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.

Blackhawks are one of NHL's hottest teams, but have they turned a corner?

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USA Today

Blackhawks are one of NHL's hottest teams, but have they turned a corner?

For the first two and a half months of the season, the Blackhawks were battling through major inconsistency issues. They had won more than two games in a row just once and lost at least three straight five times.

And yet somehow, the Blackhawks still found themselves afloat in the Western Conference playoff race. 

But the tide has finally started to turn.

Since Dec. 15, the Blackhawks are 12-5-0 and have the fourth-most standings points in the NHL over that span with 24. They’ve also won a season-long five consecutive games and have a plus-13 goal differential during their winning streak.

Now, there are certainly some statistical trends that are unsustainable over the long term that could result in a market correction. Their on-ice shooting percentage (13.0) and save percentage (94.7) at 5-on-5 play during their winning streak is a combined 107.7, which is the second-highest in the league over that stretch.

But the Blackhawks are playing a brand of hockey that will win them games more often than not going forward: The top guys are producing, the depth scoring is there, the defensive structure has tightened up and the goaltending remains strong.

"No question,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said on whether he feels this type of performance will continue to lead to positive results. “We are being rewarded. There's no reason to get away from it. It's paying off and the more it gets into our mentality and our identity that this is who we are, and we'll do this no matter what, it's a habit and you don't think twice about it. We still need to work at preparing to approach the game that way, but when we do it's easier for you and you'll set up your teammates as well."

Perhaps the most notable part of the winning streak is the fact the Blackhawks look like a team that's on the same page after making an in-season schematic adjustment in November, on top of dealing with an array of key injuries. The Blackhawks stayed the course and aren't wavering from their game which we saw them do earlier in the season, whether they're playing with a lead or a deficit. 

Take Sunday's 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets as an example. The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, gave up a late goal in the second period that cut their lead to 2-1, but punched back in the third period by scoring twice to pull ahead 4-1, which iced the game.

One month ago, the Blackhawks would probably find a way to squander that two-goal lead. That hasn't been the case over the last month and the Blackhawks are hoping this becomes part of their DNA.

"We're finally starting to full buy-in to the system," Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner said. "Full effort level, doing the right things at the right times. ... Everyone's just doing their job, and we're starting to feel [that] doing those things gets you rewarded and everyone keeps doing it. We're doing well, but we've just got to keep doing it because every point is crucial."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Jonathan Toews named NHL's Third Star of the week

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews named NHL's Third Star of the week

The Blackhawks (24-20-6, 54 points) are on fire, having won five straight games to vault them back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

Jonathan Toews has been key to that stretch, and on Monday, he was recognized for his recent stellar play by being named the NHL's Third Star of the week. Alex Ovechkin and Elvis Merzlikins nabbed the top two spots:

In four games between Jan. 14 and Jan. 19 (all Blackhawks wins, of course), Toews led the NHL in points with nine (three goals, six assists). And none of them were empty. Among myriad highlights was this game-winning slingshot to beat the Senators 3-2 in overtime to kick off the week (the 15th overtime game-winner of his career):

His two-goal, two-assist outing against the Maple Leaf days later was pretty fun, too:

Toews rides a six-game point streak into Tuesday night's bout with the Florida Panthers. If he extends it, he'll become the sixth player in Blackhawks history to reach 800 career points. 

The milestones and accolades are piling up for The Captain and, crucially, they're translating in the win column for the Blackhawks.

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.