Blackhawks

Bowman: Hawks improving, enough for second Cup?

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Bowman: Hawks improving, enough for second Cup?

Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010
10:16 a.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

LOS ANGELES The Chicago Blackhawks didnt get the start that general manager Stan Bowman was hoping for, but Bowman said hes liked what hes seen from the team in recent weeks.

Speaking prior to the Blackhawks 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, Bowman said the team is finding its identity.

Obviously we were hoping to be better at this time of the year. But Ive seen signs over the last couple of weeks, Bowman said. I think over the long haul, when we play the way we want to play -- control the game and limiting opponents chances -- the results are going to come. We are playing better.

The Blackhawks have gotten better results lately, including that victory over the Kings that gave them a 4-2-0 mark on their annual circus trip. Here are Bowmans thoughts on other subjects regarding the Blackhawks:

If theres a timetable on making a move if the Blackhawks remain near .500:
I dont know if you can put a timetable on it. I like the way that weve responded in terms of our style of play over the last few weeks. Obviously there are some very good players. Even the new players weve brought in are very good; some have probably exceeded expectations, truthfully. Its really just getting this team to create its own identity. Its starting to happen. I see the signs of that.

If this team has enough to win another Cup:
Thats a tough question to answer. I dont think personnel so much wins championships. Obviously you have to have players. But you have to come together as a team and play the right way. Look at standings. Its a very competitive league, especially in the West. Theres a very fine line between winning and losing games. The first 20 games we had a bunch of one-goal games. We lost some games we probably should have won and won some maybe we didnt deserve to. I certainly believe in our players and our experience and the fact that theyve gone through situations, adversity in the past. Now is the time when you have to rely on them to draw upon that.

On Corey Crawfords progress this season:
Coreys a guy that, I would say Im surprised but, with young players like that you give them the opportunity and they have to take it when theyre given it. His play will dictate how much he plays. He understands the situation hes in, he wants an opportunity to prove himself and hes very confident. Its a different look for him. Hes always been the guy whos played a majority (in Rockford). You dont want to load too much on a guy whos getting used to NHL. It is a long season. We dont want to burn either (Crawford or Marty Turco) out.
On whether or not the salary cap dictates who gets called up from Rockford:
Thats not an issue right now. We have cap space. Weve been fortunate recently that we havent had injuries. Were comfortable with the guys that have been playing. We can bring a guy up tomorrow if we want to; its not a salary cap issue.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks assign Anton Forsberg to Rockford after clearing waivers

Blackhawks assign Anton Forsberg to Rockford after clearing waivers

Anton Forsberg cleared waivers on Tuesday morning and was assigned to the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League.

That's good news for the Blackhawks organizational depth chart, with Forsberg as the No. 3 in goal. But it also complicates things in Rockford, where Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen have been sharing the duties.

Delia is 3-1-0 with a 3.26 goals against average and .910 save percentage while Lankinen is 0-1-1 with a 3.39 GAA and .825 save percentage. Perhaps the most likely scenario is Lankinen gets sent to the ECHL with the Indy Fuel while Delia and Forsberg split the load in Rockford.

It's certainly a good problem to have, but it's still unclear how that dynamic will play out.

"We haven’t talked about that," coach Joel Quenneville said. "But we expect [Forsberg] to play."

Luke Johnson recalled

With a spot opening up on the 23-man roster, Johnson is being brought back up after he was squeezed out by Corey Crawford's return. He had a goal and an assist in two games with Rockford.

Brandon Saad returns to top-six role

After turning in arguably his best performance of the season on Sunday, Saad is back playing on the second line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane. He had seven shot attempts (three on goal) against Tampa Bay and led the team in 5-on-5 possession numbers.

"[Saad] is coming off a game where we liked what we saw," Quenneville said. "Playing with Kaner can help him get going."

Nick Schmaltz to play right side for first time in NHL career

Eight games into the season and Schmaltz has spent time at both center and left wing. Now he'll get a look on the right side with Alexandre Fortin on the left and David Kampf centering the third line.

Part of the reason for Schmaltz’s move to the right side was because Quenneville said they like Fortin on the left. It's not unfamiliar territory for Schmaltz, but could take some time getting used to.

"I played a little while back, not sure when," Schmaltz said "Just a little bit different. Catching pucks on your forehand now instead of your backhand. It's not a huge adjustment, just play with speed and compete hard and hopefully the skill on our line will take over."

Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers

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AP

Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers

The Blackhawks have said all along that they don't plan on carrying three goaltenders, but wanted to do so during the three games in four days stretch just in case, with Corey Crawford coming back from a 10-month layoff because of a concussion.

After being encouraged by how Crawford has responded to his return, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Anton Forsberg on waivers Monday morning. Teams have 24 hours to put in a claim for the 25-year-old goaltender and would have to keep him on their NHL roster for 10 games and/or 30 days before he's eligible to go through the waiver process again.

His chances of getting claimed by any of the other 30 teams essentially depends on which teams believe Forsberg would be an immediate upgrade over their current backup — or starter, for that matter — or whether there's an injury to one of the team's two goaltenders that requires a placeholder, like we saw the Carolina Hurricanes do by claiming Curtis McElhinney from the Toronto Maple Leafs after Scott Darling's injury in the preseason.

If Forsberg goes unclaimed, the Blackhawks can assign him to the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs. With Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen sharing the goaltending duties in Rockford, it's possible Lankinen gets sent to the Indy Fuel in the ECHL to get consistent starts under his belt.

A third option, one that isn't very common but we've seen in the past as recently as last October with Maple Leafs goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo, is that Forsberg can be loaned to any AHL team while still being a part of the Blackhawks organization. This would allow the Blackhawks to keep Delia and Lankinen in Rockford while Forsberg gets his starts in the AHL, too.

Or, the Blackhawks could simply trade Forsberg to another NHL team that could stash him in the AHL, as long as he clears waivers. They did it last season with Chris DiDomenico, who cleared waivers as a member of the Ottawa Senators but was then traded to Chicago for Ville Pokka days later. Had DiDomenico been claimed by the Blackhawks, he would have had to stay on the NHL roster as noted above.

Forsberg was 10-16-4 with a 2.97 goals against average and .908 save percentage in 35 appearances last season but has not appeared in a game yet this year. He was acquired as part of the Brandon Saad package for Artemi Panarin in June 2017.