Blackhawks

Five things from Blackhawks' Stanley Cup clincher

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Five things from Blackhawks' Stanley Cup clincher

Well, the Blackhawks did it.

The sour taste they had in their mouth following last year’s Western Conference Final carried over to training camp, when the Blackhawks realized how long the road was going to be to get back to even that point. But they took that road, dealt with the ups and downs of it along the way and, once again, hoisted the Stanley Cup at the end of that arduous trek.

The Blackhawks won their third Cup in the past six seasons when they ousted the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 on Monday night. Duncan Keith earned the Conn Smythe Trophy. Corey Crawford earned a shutout and – maybe – a little more respect league wide.

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But we know you’re all reveling in the Cup victory so we’ll get to the point. Here to cap Game No. 105, are the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ Cup triumph.

1. Keith takes home his own hardware. What a postseason for the defenseman, who logged a ton of minutes – more than 700 – and just got better with every passing moment. It was only fitting that Keith scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. His play cannot be heralded enough. Said Quenneville of Keith, “great selection, great guy, based on a lot of reasons. He defends as well as he does and he still creates a lot of offense for us against top players.”
 
2. Kimmo Timonen gets his Cup moment. You could see the joy and relief on Timonen’s face as he lifted the Cup above his head. The defenseman said he was retiring at the end of this season no matter what, but a Cup victory would be the perfect ending. Well, Timonen, who overcame blood-clot problems during the offseason, got his perfect ending. “Doctors have their own opinion and they were probably right,” Timonen said of his health issues that almost cost him this season completely “But my desire was so deep. If there was any chance I could make a comeback I [wanted] to do it.”

[MORE: Mission accomplished: Blackhawks bring home third Stanley Cup in six years]
 
3. Corey Crawford finishes with a bang and a blanking. Crawford wanted to forget his first round, which was rough. No better way to erase the start than to come through in the end, and Crawford was great when the Blackhawks needed him to be again. Crawford stopped all 25 shots he faced on Monday. In his last three games – all victories – Crawford held the Lightning, the highest scoring team in the regular season, to just two goals. Said Brandon Saad, “We know who he is. He gets bad press or whatever it is, they can say whatever they want, as a group in there we know what he does. He can steal games for us. He's a big time player. He anchors our team and we love him.”
 
4. Patrick Kane comes through again. Kane, much like Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos, was asked a lot about not scoring throughout this Stanley Cup Final. But when the Blackhawks needed an exclamation-point goal in Game 6, guess who provided it? Kane gave the Blackhawks that insurance goal they needed en route to this third Cup. “I felt so good and I knew I had to step up,” Kane said. “So many guys on our team had already done that during the series so I knew I had to do something. It was great to come in and produce.”
 
5. Three Cups in six seasons means… Some will call it a dynasty. Some won’t want to use that word because the Blackhawks didn’t win them in successive seasons like the NHL’s past dynasties. But in the salary-cap world, we’re using the D word. The Blackhawks just find ways of getting to this point, or close to it, despite the money restrictions and the departure of players. They’ll have to go through it again this offseason. Maybe they don’t get to this point again next season, when they’ll have a lot of youth joining them. But don’t doubt they’ll be back soon.

SportingNews Top 50 NHL Prospects lists Boqvist at 10 and Kirby Dach at 13

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USA Today

SportingNews Top 50 NHL Prospects lists Boqvist at 10 and Kirby Dach at 13

NHL draft analyst Steve Kournianos released his list for Top 50 players in NHL pipelines for the upcoming 2019-20 season. To the delight of Blackhawks fans everywhere, Adam Boqvist and Kirby Dach were ranked at number 10 and 13 respectively.

Kournianos described 19-year-old defender Boqvist as a dominant rookie with 40 assists and 20 goals during his tenure with the London Knights. Fans speculate whether the Blackhawks will keep Boqvist on his junior squad for another year or pull him up to play with the American Hockey League Rockford Ice Hogs.

Kournianos said Dach was one of Team Canada’s top players at the World Junior Summer Showcase. The 18-year-old center is sure to be one of Canada’s main forwards during World Juniors and Dach has the flexibility to play anywhere in the Blackhawks lineup. Dach’s entry-level contract allows him up to nine NHL games this season, giving him the chance to return to the AHL or NHL after his junior season in the Western Hockey League is finished.

Both Boqvist and Dach are key player for the future of this team and it will interesting to watch the Hawks develop these younger players.

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: An inside look at the Blackhawks Hockey Ops department with Senior VP Al MacIsaac

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: An inside look at the Blackhawks Hockey Ops department with Senior VP Al MacIsaac

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle catches up with Senior VP of Hockey Operations, Al MacIsaac. They discuss the process the Blackhawks took in transforming the roster this off-season. MacIsaac is entering his 20th year with the Blackhawks and talks about the organizational changes over the last two decades. He also weighs in on the role analytics plays in evaluating current or potential Blackhawks and he explains why the team made a commitment to make its new practice facility the “gold standard” of the NHL.

0:45 – MacIsaac on changes within the Blackhawks organization in the last 20 years

4:00 – How the Blackhawks have added great depth this summer

5:25 – A good problem to have with two good goaltenders

6:23 – How the hockey ops meeting went at the end of last season

8:45 – How much the Blackhawks use and rely on analytics

10:27 – The importance of the Blackhawks strength and conditioning programs

12:24 – The planning behind Fifth Third Arena’s development

14:40 – The dynamic between hockey ops and business ops

16:37 – Agreements and disagreements within the hockey ops group

18:32 – MacIsaac’s longtime relationship with Mark Bernard

20:27 – Looking ahead to training camp and the regular season

22:42 – Tough decisions will need to be made when the season starts

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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