Blackhawks

Brandon Mashinter latest IceHog to get chance with Blackhawks

brandonmashinterblackhawksslide.png

Brandon Mashinter latest IceHog to get chance with Blackhawks

Brandon Mashinter was stocking up on groceries when he got the call from Rockford general manager Mark Bernard.

“He said, ‘Can you take them back?’ [I said,] ‘No, why?’ And he ended up telling me I was coming up,” said Mashinter, who the Blackhawks recalled from the IceHogs on Wednesday morning. “A little bit of a surprise with the forwards and nobody injured, but it’s definitely nice.”

And it looks like Mashinter will be part of the team’s fourth line — with Andrew Desjardins and Marcus Kruger — when the Blackhawks host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. Mashinter has four goals and three assists in 12 games with the IceHogs, so he’s the latest to get his opportunity.

[MORE HAWKS: Duncan Keith could return to Blackhawks this weekend]

“You get some size, some physicality. He skated well in camp, played well in the games he played and was playing well down there [in Rockford],” coach Joel Quenneville said. “You want to get some consistency in our game and hopefully he can give us that.”

That’s part of it, for sure. Another possibility may be the Blackhawks still have a few days, at least, of wiggle room with their salary cap — defensemen Michal Rozsival and Duncan Keith are still on long-term injured reserve, and the Blackhawks can utilize their salaries while they remain on that list. So why not give another player who’s done well in his time in Rockford a chance?

“Time’s running out if that’s the case; it’s an opportunity to do things,” Quenneville said of the cap. “At the same time he’s earned the opportunity, too, by how he’s playing and what we’re looking for.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Things have gone well thus far for Mashinter, who is the IceHogs’ captain this season.

“Bounces have been going my way early this year, especially for our team in Rockford. We had a little bit of a rough start the first four games but the last eight have been going really well,” Mashinter said. “I just always try to play my own game and not think too much about anything really except playing my game.”

BRIEFLY

- Ryan Garbutt (illness) practiced with the Blackhawks on Wednesday. He was not on the top four lines — he, Viktor Tikhonov and David Rundblad wore white jerseys as “fifth liners” — but Quenneville said it was more because Garbutt is still coming off that illness. “Yeah, let’s see how he handles that. He hasn’t been on the ice for four or five days.”

- Teuvo Teravainen did not finish practice, but Quenneville said the forward, “seemed all right. We’re still expecting him to play tomorrow.”

- Corey Crawford will start against the Devils. 

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

crawford_usa_today_debut.jpg
USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on Thursday:

1. Return of the Crow

The Blackhawks got their man back between the pipes after a 10-month layoff due to a concussion. And he looked like same old "Crow."

Crawford stopped 27 of 30 shots for a save percentage of .900. He faced 12 shots and eight scoring chances in the first period, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The biggest save he made was on a Michael Grabner breakaway in the third period, bailing out a turnover in the neutral zone.

"I think I felt better in the second and third," Crawford said. "But they really didn’t get that many opportunities early. It was nice. I think they flipped one in for the first one, so that was kind of good just to get in it and feel one early. We were close in that one all game and we created a lot. I thought [Antti] Raanta played really well.

"It was a tough, tough break at the end. Still felt I should have stopped that one. We were right there, we were creating a lot and gotta try to come up with that one. Just gotta forget about it and worry about the next game."

2. Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews extend point streaks

The hot start continues for the Blackhawks' two leading scorers, both of whom assisted on Erik Gustafsson's goal in the second period to stretch their point streaks to six games. DeBrincat and Toews each have 10 points this season.

3. Overtime streak ends

The Blackhawks made history by forcing five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team has ever done in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). But they didn't have the comeback magic in them this time.

Entering Thursday, the Blackhawks were 1-0-1 when trailing after two periods. They were 5-28-2 last season for a win percentage of .143.

4. Familiar faces, new places

Five former Blackhawks took the ice for the Coyotes: Vinnie Hinostroza, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Oesterle, Richard Panik and Antti Raanta.

It was Hjalmarsson's first trip back to Chicago since being traded in the 2017 offseason. He received a nice video tribute during the second TV timeout of the first period, which made him very emotional.

"I almost got emotional too seeing his reaction," Toews said. "He's one of those guys you'll never forget what he meant to this locker room. He was a quiet guy in the room but we all know how he played and put everyone else before himself. Pretty cool reaction from the fans too. I think we were all sad to see him leave this locker room, he did a lot of special things and was a massive part of our championship wins. Happy for him to get that reception. It's well-deserved and obviously we miss having him around."

As far as the game, Hjalmarsson logged a team-high 22:18 of ice time and blocked three shots. Oesterle registered a secondary assist on Arizona's first goal, which was its first 5-on-5 of the season.

Hinostroza, who was also part of the Marian Hossa trade over the summer, scored twice in his return to his hometown, beating Crawford with a wrist shot to make it 2-1 in the second period and an empty-netter in the third; his second goal turned out to be the game winner, the fourth of his career and first as a member of the Coyotes.

Panik recorded four shot attempts (three on goal). And Raanta improved to 16-0-3 in his career at the United Center, a remarkable record for any goaltender in any situation.