Blackhawks

Crawford stays hot, melts Avalanche with shutout

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Crawford stays hot, melts Avalanche with shutout

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011
Posted 9:59 PM Updated 11:09 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Remember what we said about that checking line producing offense as well as it shuts down the oppositions? The group was at it again on Wednesday night.

Dave Bolland and Fernando Pisani had a goal and an assist each, and Corey Crawford recorded his second consecutive shutout as the Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 at the United Center.

WATCH: Pisani knows checking line having success

Brent Seabrook had two assists and Duncan Keith had one, and the defensemen were each a plus-4 on the night. It was the Blackhawks third victory in a row and fourth in their last five games, and the team is feeling good about its game.

We got a lot of confidence the last couple games, the last one especially, said Keith. I know the Islanders were on a long road trip and that was the last game, but it still gave us confidence winning the way we did and knowing we can play a full 60 minutes, create offense and play the right way.

The Blackhawks were strong throughout, shutting down a Colorado team that had scored 15 goals on them the previous three games.

Crawford was once again stellar, stopping all 24 shots he faced. He hasnt allowed a goal since Ottawas Milan Michalek scored with 1:25 remaining in regulation of the Blackhawks 3-2 shootout victory over the Senators.

WATCH: Coach Q happy with Crawford

Ive always been confident. It doesnt change, no matter what the situation is, Crawford said. Im just worried about what I can do and make sure my effort and focus is there and rely on my technique and reflexes after that.

The Blackhawks got going early, with Troy Brouwer scoring 7:08 into the first period. Bolland scored one minute, 40 seconds later, off a Pisani rebound. Pisani added his in the second period, deflecting a pretty Bolland pass for a 3-0 lead.

Our line did a good job of shutting those guys down and creating opportunities for ourselves, Pisani said. Boley made a hell of a pass. I was driving and it just went off my stick and into the net.

Jack Skille added the fourth goal in the third.

The Blackhawks could be onto something. The Blackhawks celebrate Troy Brouwer's first-period goal to make it 1-0. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were on the ice for the goal and all the others, finishing with a plus-4 rating. (AP)Theyre healthy, theyre comfortable in their lines and theyre playing complete games from the starting whistle. They wont have an easy go of it with back-to-back games against Nashville this weekend, but the Blackhawks are feeling more confident than they have in a while.

Lets hope this is the start of something thats more consistent than its been in the past, Quenneville said. I liked our overall team game tonight. Back to back solid games are something to build off.

Leddy, Hendry connect

Nick Leddy has adjusted just fine to his second NHL stint, and coach Joel Quenneville has liked his work with Jordan Hendry. The duo played nearly 15 minutes each on Wednesday.

That pair had another good night, Quenneville said. When you have all three pairs threatening to come off the rush or off the points in the offensive zone, it presents a lot more things to be concerned with defensively.

Leddy, who played three games early this season before heading to Rockford, said he learned a lot with the IceHogs.

I took a lot from the coaches and tried to focus on the defensive zone a lot. I tried to learn as much as I could, said Leddy, who played 16:34 in the Blackhawks victory over the Islanders on Sunday. Theres not a ton (different this time). I just feel more prepared.

The pair has logged numbers in the mid teens these past few games, taking some of the onus off the top two defensive groups. Hendry, meanwhile, said hes felt better in his return to defense.

Its been nice playing on the point there but its been a while, he said. To get a few games in a row has been good; defense is more natural for me.
Briefly

The second period ended two minutes, seven seconds early on Wednesday night, as the arena crew had to replace a panel of broken glass behind the Blackhawks first- and third-period goal. The Blackhawks and Avalanche played the 2:07 after the second intermission, had a quick respite and then played the third.

Nick Boynton (flu) was a scratch; Ryan Johnson and John Scott were healthy scratches on Wednesday.

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

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

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AP

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

The Blackhawks announced Monday that they have officially agreed to terms with forward Dominik Kahun, defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Darren Raddysh and goaltender Kevin Lankinen on entry-level contracts.

Kahun ($925,000 cap hit), Lankinen ($925,000) and Raddysh ($730,000) each signed two-year deals that run through the 2019-20 season while Carlsson's is a three-year deal that runs through the 2020-21 campaign and carries a cap hit of $792,500.

So who are these guys? Let's meet them:

Carlsson

Drafted in the fourth round (No. 110 overall) by the Blackhawks in 2016, Carlsson set a career-high with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 44 games this season with Brynäs IF of the Swedish Hockey League. He was tied for fourth among all blue liners with seven goals.

Carlsson, 20, doesn't have major upside, but he's a reliable, well-rounded defenseman and that's what drew the attention of Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley.

“When he’s on the ice, he makes things happen," Kelley told Scott Powers of The Athletic last summer. "I think what impressed the Sweden under-20 coach was Lucas’ ability to challenge in all three zones. He’s an active defensively. Offensively, he challenges. He keeps plays alive.”

Kahun

The 22-year-old forward spent the last four seasons with EHC München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany's top professional hockey league, where he established career highs in assists (29), points (41) and tied a personal best with 12 goals, leading Munchen to their third straight championship in 2018 after recording four goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff contests.

He raised eyebrows at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, where he compiled five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games and won 55.4 percent of his faceoffs (41 of 74), helping Germany capture a silver medal.

“He has made an enormous step this year, has become much more stable and mature," German national team coach Marco Sturm said after the Olympics. "I am sure that he would grab it in the NHL,” Sturm told the Hamburger Morgenpost.

Most recently, Kahun had a goal and two assists in seven games for Germany during the IIHF Men's World Championship. He's 5-foot-11, 176 pounds whose known to be a solid two-way player and can play center but may need some time to adjust to the smaller ice surface and NHL style of speed and physicality.

Lankinen 

Lankinen is 23 years old and coming off a season in which he was in the discussion for the Urpo Ylönen trophy, annually awarded to the top goaltender of the Finnish Elite League, after registering a league-best 1.33 goals against average and .946 save percentage in 15 games with HIFK.

He missed a large portion of the season because of an injury, but it didn't stop him from turning in a strong postseason, guiding his team to a bronze medal after posting a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage in 13 playoff games. The year before that, he led the league with seven shutouts in 42 games, backstopping his team to a silver medal.

This is a low-risk, medium-sized reward signing for the Blackhawks, who could use some more young goaltending depth in the pipeline, especially given how this season unfolded with the big club.

Raddysh

The Blackhawks signed Raddysh to a one-year AHL contract last June, and he turned it into an NHL one after a strong season with the Rockford IceHogs.

Raddysh, 22, accumulated 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 66 regular-season games with the IceHogs, and has appeared in each of the team's playoff games en route to the Western Conference Final.

Last season Raddysh was named the OHL's top defenseman after scoring 16 goals and 65 assists for 81 points in 62 games for the Erie Otters, where he was teammates with current Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat. He's the Otters' all-time leader in assists (143) and points (184) among defensemen.

Raddysh might be nothing more than a depth defenseman, but his development is worth monitoring because the offensive production is there and that's something the Blackhawks lacked this past season from their back end.

Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa: 'I will not play hockey anymore'

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AP

Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa: 'I will not play hockey anymore'

Days after putting his Gold Coast condo on the market, Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa revealed to a Slovakian newspaper that he is moving back to his hometown country and doesn't plan on returning to the NHL.

"I will not play hockey anymore," said Hossa, who missed the entire 2017-18 campaign due to a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat it. "I have a valid contract with Chicago for the next three years, but I have only one health and it does not allow me to return."

Because he has three years left on a deal that carries a $5.275 million cap hit, Hossa is not expected to sign his retirement papers until the contract is completed or else it would result in salary cap consequences.

The news is not surprising, but it officially allows the Blackhawks to move on without him in the fold roster-wise and toy around with some options this summer.

The first is stashing his contract on long-term injured reserve, as they did last season when they utilized the in-season preference.

The second, which Hossa wondered could happen, is finding a trade partner that would absorb the remainder of his contract, usually done by lower payroll teams aiming to reach the cap floor.

And it wouldn't be difficult trying to find a buyer, considering Hossa's actual salary is $1 million per year over the next three seasons. Hossa, of course, has a no movement clause but it's likely he would waive it given his status at this point.

The good news for Chicago is, the three-time Stanley Cup winner didn't rule out joining the Blackhawks organization in some capacity after his contract expires in 2020-21, whether it's in a front office role or as a team ambassador.

In 19 NHL seasons, Hossa accumulated 525 goals and 609 assists for 1,134 points in 1,309 regular-season games, and added 149 points (52 goals, 97 assists) in 205 postseason contests. He's one of 45 players in league history to net at least 500 goals in his career.