Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks aim to snap losing streak vs. Coyotes tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks aim to snap losing streak vs. Coyotes tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Arizona Coyotes tonight on CSN and streaming live on Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

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Five Things to Watch:

1. New lines! (Again).

The Blackhawks reunited Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on the top line Tuesday against San Jose, but it was short-lived. Joel Quenneville juggled the lines in the third period, and is going with some new ones again tonight. Nick Schmaltz is paired up with Toews and Richard Panik on the first line, followed by Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin on the second. Hossa was moved to the third line with Marcus Kruger and Dennis Rasmussen, while Tanner Kero centered the fourth line with Andrew Desjardins and Ryan Hartman at Wednesday's practice to round out the bottom six. Let's see how long these last.

2. New power play units, too.

The Blackhawks have scored only one power play goal in their last eight games, and are searching for more consistency in that area. So both units were spruced up. Gustav Forsling was manning the point on the first unit with four forwards that included Kane, Panik, Schmaltz and Toews. Brian Campbell and Brent Seabrook anchored the point on the second unit with Anisimov, Hossa and Panarin up front. It should be noted, however, that Duncan Keith did not practice Wednesday. He'll likely take Forsling's spot on the first unit, unless Quenneville decides to take out the fourth forward.

3. Capitalize on special teams.

The Blackhawks have struggled on special teams as of late, going 1-for-20 (5 percent) on the power play in their last eight games and 14-for-18 (77.8 percent) on the penalty kill in their past seven, allowing a goal in four of those contests. The good news is, the Coyotes are a bottom-five team in both special teams categories with a 15.2 power-play percentage and 77.2 penalty kill percentage.

4. Will Artemi Panarin break out of his slump?

The Russian sniper hasn't scored a goal in eight straight games, and has registered only two assists during that span. He's slipped to 20th in the league in scoring with 44 points. The Blackhawks are 3-5-0 since his drought.

5. Play your game.

The Coyotes rank third in the league with 1,335 hits, and will look to knock the Blackhawks off their game. The Blackhawks like to play a puck possession style of hockey, but they've been in the middle of the pack in that area this season. Arizona ranks dead last in possession numbers, and allow the most shots per game at 33.5.

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2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 6 win over Canucks

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 6 win over Canucks

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup team, NBC Sports Chicago is re-airing each of the Blackhawks' 16 postseason wins from the run that ended a 49-year championship drought. You can join the conversation using #HawksRewind on social media.

After failing to close out the series at home in Game 5, the Blackhawks took care of business in Vancouver by eliminating the Canucks following a 5-1 win in Game 6 to advance to the Western Conference Final for the second straight season. Here are three things we noticed in the win:

1. Contributions all around

The 2010 Blackhawks had ridiculous depth. And they flexed their muscles in Game 6 after three of the four lines contributed on the scoresheet. 

Five different Blackhawks scored in the win (Troy Brouwer, Dave Bolland, Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg) and three others recorded an assist (Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp). Byfuglien and Kane each had multi-point outings.

2. Dave Bolland ices the game

After a scoreless first period, the Blackhawks scored two goals in a 36-second span in the opening minutes of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. The next goal was going to be a crucial one as the game went on.

With 1:03 left in the period, the Canucks were awarded a power play. It was a prime opportunity to get themselves back in the game and generate momentum. But that did not happen thanks to The Rat.

Bolland, who was a pest all series long, disrupted Pavol Demitra's pass at the point, caught the puck in his hand, dropped it on the ice, fought off Demitra twice and snuck a shot past Robert Luongo to put the Blackhawks up 3-0.

The Canucks never recovered.

3. Containing the Sedin twins

Big-time players make big-time plays in the biggest moments. The Blackhawks are a perfect example of that. Can you think of a better big-game player than Patrick Kane? Jonathan Toews? Duncan Keith? The core together?

The Canucks, at home, had the advantage of drawing favorable defensive matchups. But Henrik and Daniel Sedin went up against Bolland's line, which contained both of them.

At even strength, the Sedins had 15 shot attempts for and six against and seven scoring chances for and four against, according to Natural Stat Trick. But they gave up two goals and scored zero.

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Toronto cancels city events through June 30: here's what it means for NHL

USA Today

Toronto cancels city events through June 30: here's what it means for NHL

Tuesday afternoon Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the city would cancel all major city-wide events until June 30. For baseball fans hoping to start their season and basketball and hockey fans hoping to get back into the swing of theirs, the news makes it hard to envision live sports returning before July. 

What does this mean for the NHL? Well, technically the ban is for city-wide events such as parades, events, festivals, and other cultural programs, excluding the NHL. 

However, professional sports will have to contend with the province of Ontario, which banned gatherings of more than five earlier this month. 

The NHL recently reached out to arenas asking for their availability in July and August. 

The idea of finishing out the 2020 season in summer is becoming more and more likely as governments continue to grapple with the severity of COVID-19. There have been speculations about what this new schedule will look like for the NHL, including a shortened 2020-21 preseason and eliminating by-weeks and All-Star weekend. This will present its own unique challenges, including arenas in warmer climates struggling to maintain ice quality for summer games. But if more major cities follow Toronto’s lead, all we know for certain is that a return to normalcy may be longer than anticipated. 

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