Blackhawks

Burish gearing up for matchup with Hawks

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Burish gearing up for matchup with Hawks

Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010
4:50 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Adam Burish was giving a little preview of what he may say on the ice tomorrow, when he faces his former Chicago Blackhawks teammates. But not too much of one.

"Lot of stuff like that going on, inside jokes, some I'll share with you, some I probably won't," said the former Blackhawks forward who's fitting in just fine with the Dallas Stars this season. "There are going to be a lot of laughs, a lot of smiles and we'll crack a few jokes. It's not going to be teary-eyed or anything like that, I'm not just getting macho with you guys. It's just going to be fun."

Burish had plenty of that last season as part of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup run. He's not doing too bad in that category thus far this season with the Stars, who had won seven in a row prior to their 3-2 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

For Burish, the reunion is bittersweet. He had that "weird" feeling as soon as he got into Chicago, and he'll probably feel a little bit of that tomorrow night again.

Still, it's a chance to get and take a good ribbing from his former teammates.

"I can't wait to get against (Patrick Sharp)," said Burish, who planned to have dinner with seven or eight Blackhawks Tuesday night. "I was looking forward to playing (Patrick Kane). I told him he must've gotten the Burish flu. I told (Duncan Keith) I'm going to chase him around the corner and give him the business."

The Blackhawks, meanwhile, continue on their carousel of seeing former players -- the only one remaining, after tomorrow night, is Kris Versteeg of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Defenseman Brian Campbell figures he'll hear Burish on the ice.

"He's just going to talk, talk, talk. We know him better than he knows himself," he said. "It'll be good. I'm happy for Adam, he's playing a lot of minutes. I'm really happy he got a pretty good contract and a team where he's getting an opportunity."

Stars center Steve Ott, another one known for his chirping, has been Burish's linemate for a few recent games. Ott said Burish has brought plenty.

"He brings a lot to the table," Ott said. "He's got a great personality and he just adds to our core. He makes our team more vocal."

The memories will come flooding back for Burish tomorrow night, when he'll have about 20 family and friends for the game. Burish is getting more settled on his new team. But those days with the Blackhawks will stay in his memory for good.

"When you win a championship, it's a fun moment we'll have forever. I won a college championship and I remember all those guys," he said. "When you win a championship, you're friends forever."

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

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

Corey Crawford is back and it didn't look like he skipped much of a beat. The Blackhawks were handed their first regulation loss of the season to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, but the 33-year-old netminder stopped 27 of 30 shots (.900 save percentage) in his season debut and made several timely saves to keep his team in it.

In the larger picture, it was a win based on how well Crawford looked between the pipes.

"Yeah, I think it is," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice on Friday. "It's one of things we were wondering, how he would handle post-game and how he came in today. Very encouraging signs. He felt good in all aspects of what he went through and dealt with, and practiced well today too, so that was good."

The first one is in the books.

But what's the plan going forward? Will Crawford be on a "pitch count" or will they treat him like they have in past seasons when he was healthy?

In the past, Crawford has generally started somewhere in between 55-58 games per season. Part of that has been because of injuries. Another part is the Blackhawks have had reliable backups, which allowed them to give Crawford an extra night off here and there to keep him fresh.

It's not unreasonable, though, to think Crawford could flirt with 50 starts, considering he missed only five games to start the season. And they can still accomplish that by playing it safe.

The Blackhawks have 13 more back-to-backs this season, which gives them the opportunity to start Cam Ward at some point in each of them. That leaves room for another 15 or so starts to sprinkle in for Ward that could serve as rest days for Crawford and still being on track to start around 50.

Obviously, the Blackhawks want to be careful with how much they ask of Crawford because concussions are tricky to deal with and every player responds differently to it.

His return comes at a time where the Blackhawks are slated to play seven games in 11 days after playing just two in the previous 10. Thursday marked the start of that stretch.

"He’ll tell us how he feels and we’ll go from there and make those decisions," Quenneville said.

The Blackhawks have been on record saying they prefer not to carry three goaltenders. But in this case it makes sense. At least in the short term.

Quenneville said Friday that the Blackhawks will reevaluate the situation at the end of the weekend following the beginning of a busy stretch where they'll play three games in four days.

"Yeah, that’s the mindset," he said. "Let’s see how we handle these three in four and then we’ll address it."

Crawford is expected to start on Saturday in Columbus, making it his second start in three days. That's when they'll get a better sense of how he's handling things.

If it were up to him, Crawford said he feels he's prepared for it.

"Yeah, sure," Crawford said. "Why not? I've been working hard with [strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman]. He's got me where I need to be, so I'm in shape right now. Why not?"

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

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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!