Blackhawks

Hawks 'outplayed,' shut out by Bruins' Thomas

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Hawks 'outplayed,' shut out by Bruins' Thomas

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Posted: 9:03 p.m. Updated: 11:12 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

BOSTON The Chicago Blackhawks were coming off one of their most critical victories on Monday night when they faced the same situation on Tuesday.

They needed points, were playing a gritty, defensive-minded team and they needed to rinse and repeat that effort in Detroit.

They couldnt.

Tim Thomas stopped all 32 shots he saw for his ninth shutout of the season, as the Chicago Blackhawks fell 3-0 to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.

The Blackhawks held onto eighth place in the Western Conference, but that was little consolation to the opportunity lost to jump past the idle Anaheim Ducks and into seventh. The Blackhawks looked like they were starting to feel the effects of Monday nights overtime victory in Detroit halfway through Tuesday nights contest. But coach Joel Quenneville wasnt buying it.

(The Bruins) were a hard-working team tonight. The first 10 minutes we were on our heels, we got back into it, but we didnt do much after they scored first, he said. We were looking for more tonight. You play good hockey teams on back to back nights, getting two is OK, but you cant be happy with just that.

Corey Crawford stopped 31 of 34 for the loss, including 12 in the first when the Bruins were pushing and the Blackhawks mustered just five shots. Zdeno Chara put the Bruins up 1-0 with 12:02 left in the second period, and the Blackhawks could manage little past that point.
CSNNE.com: Thornton gash requires about 40 stitches, Blackhawks chirping

They out shot us pretty good in the first and we didnt really get rolling, if at all, until later in the game, defenseman Brian Campbell said. They got a couple of deflected pucks go in on Crow and thats tough for him. They outplayed us.

Johnny Boychuk and Nathan Horton also scored for the Bruins, who kept the defensive pressure up throughout the game. Thomas allowed few rebounds, and those he did allow the Blackhawks were unable to capitalize upon.

Theyve got a big defense and thats part of their game. They love to box you out, Quenneville said. There were some good opportunities around the net but we werent hungry enough. (Thomas) saw too many pucks.

Crawford said the Bruins worked for their chances and crashed the net hard. They did what they wanted to do.

The Blackhawks wont play again until Friday when they face Columbus. Where theyll rank in the Western Conference by then, who knows.

Were not just trying to play our best hockey but were trying to get points and thats all that matters, Duncan Keith said. There are no excuses (on Tuesday), no tired legs, nothing. Its all battle and heart and thats what it comes down to.

Injury updates

Patrick Sharp (left knee) is still progressing well, Quenneville said, and the forward could start skating when the Blackhawks get back to town.

Hell be skating soon, but how soon I dont know, he said. I dont think hell be on ice the next couple of days, but we could see him in not too long.

Asked if Sharp could be back for the Blackhawks April 8 game in Detroit, Quenneville said, wed love to have that situation. Whether it happens or not is a question mark. Were optimistic. But I dont think it would be before (that).

Thornton injured

Shawn Thornton said the skate he took near his eye that he needed 40 stitches to close was accidental. But he wasnt too happy with chirping he allegedly heard from the Chicago Blackhawks bench as he skated off.

Thornton skated off under his own power after taking Fernando Pisanis skate near his eye as he fell behind the net in the Bruins 3-0 victory over the Blackhawks. But Thornton said something was said by the Blackhawks that left him angry.

There was some stuff said that Im not happy about, he told Boston media. Im going to find out who it was and Ill deal with it in my own way.

I dont know if its right when someones face is half across the other side of their face, continued Thornton. But its a tough game and people have to live with their actions. If you guys even find out who it is dont be afraid to send me a Christmas card.

Briefly

John Scott was the Blackhawks lone healthy scratch on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks headed home after Tuesdays game. Theyll fly to Columbus on Thursday.

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

Recapping breakout OHL season for Blackhawks top prospect Adam Boqvist

Recapping breakout OHL season for Blackhawks top prospect Adam Boqvist

The London Knights set high expectations for themselves going into the 2018-19 OHL campaign. They always do. Their roster is usually loaded with top NHL prospects and this season was no different.

After finishing No. 1 in the Western Conference with 99 points, the Knights looked poised to go on a deep run. They got off to a roaring start in the playoffs by sweeping the Windsor Spitfires (4-0) and kicked off the second round by winning three straight against the Guelph Storm. But then, for the first time all season, the Knights lost four in a row to squander a 3-0 series lead and were eliminated just like that. It was a disappointing finish for a team with Memorial Cup aspirations.

One of the bright spots of the postseason was Blackhawks prospect Adam Boqvist. He was tied for first among all skaters with 10 goals through two rounds; no other defenseman had more than six. And he finished with 13 points in 11 games for a points-per-game average of 1.18.

To summarize his season: Boqvist scored one goal in his first 15 games. From that point on, he finished with 29 goals and 60 points in 50 games, including playoffs. He became an offensive driving force.

It's unclear what his future holds, but with Evan Bouchard expected to turn pro and secure a full-time roster spot on the Edmonton Oilers next season, returning to London would put Boqvist in a position where he could be the No. 1 defenseman in all situations.

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Blackhawks 2018-19 season grades: Front office

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AP

Blackhawks 2018-19 season grades: Front office

If we're evaluating Stan Bowman's moves as a whole, we have to go back to July 1 when the 2018-19 season really started.

On that day, the Blackhawks announced three signings: Chris Kunitz (one year, $1 million), Brandon Manning (two years, $2.25 million cap hit) and Cam Ward (one year, $3 million). Not exactly splashy additions after missing the playoffs for the first time in 10 years — although, to be fair, it wasn't a great market to throw money around.

Eleven days later, the Blackhawks traded Marian Hossa and his $5.275 million cap hit to the Arizona Coyotes in a seven-player deal that included top-nine winger Vinnie Hinostroza. Bowman acknowledged after the trade that he tried exploring every possible avenue before surrendering that the financial flexibility became more valuable.

But the trade might've put the team in a better position going into free agency had it been executed before July 1. Because of all that, Bowman's grade isn't looking great so far.

Then we get into the actual regular season.

The biggest move Bowman made was the coaching change on Nov. 6 in going from future Hall of Famer Joel Quenneville to Jeremy Colliton, which was a controversial decision in and of itself, especially the timing of it.

“There’s no perfect way to do things," Bowman admitted. "I think we made the best of it at the time. It’s one of those things where you’ve just gotta get through it. I think he’s gonna benefit from not only having a training camp next year but also we had this whole long stretch of a season. ... We’ve got a lot more things we want to get to, and I think we did a good job of — it’s a good start, but I’m sure Jeremy will tell you that we want to be way better next year and we’re gonna push our players to be better. We’re gonna try to do things differently. It’s not just taking this exact same program and we’ll start that. We want to do different things as well and enhance our team. I think there’s reason for hope there.”

Where did Bowman start to earn high marks? The roster tinkering, beginning in late November.

Perhaps recognizing that Nick Schmaltz wasn't progressing the way the team would have liked in a contract season, Bowman dealt him for a potential future second-line center in Dylan Strome and replenished the top-nine forward they lost in Hinostroza with Brendan Perlini, who showed flashes down the stretch. That's turned out to be a win-win for both sides.

The trade that was very clearly one-sided is the one Bowman pulled off with Peter Chiarelli, who was later relieved of his GM duties with the Edmonton Oilers.

Not only did Bowman acquire rugged winger Drake Caggiula, who became such a valuable part of the Blackhawks' second-half turnaround because he was a perfect complement for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on the top line, but he unloaded the contract of Manning without having to retain salary or giving up an important piece of the roster. It essentially gave the Blackhawks an extra $2.25 million to work with this summer, which shouldn't go unnoticed when you look at how deep the 2019 free agent class is.

Bowman essentially undid the mistake he made and put the Blackhawks in an even better position going into this offseason by adding a useful player on top of it. So he certainly upped his overall grade.

Now it's time to spend the money he cleared in getting rid of the contracts of Hossa and Manning, and continue building around the current core.

"We're not going to bring the same group back," Bowman said. "That's clear. We don't do that really any year. There's changes to every team, even a team that ends up winning the Cup this year will have some different players. We're going to have some new players next year. What we're going to do is try to improve in the areas where our team needs some help and the way that looks isn't completely clear right now, but we have time over the next couple months to dive in and look at our team in greater detail and figure out how we're going to make that happen.

"There's obviously free agent signings, there's trades, there's growth from within. Those are the ways that your team improves from year to year and we're going to do that. So we're going to have some new players here next year for sure but we have a lot of players that are going to be back and I think a lot of the key guys who had good seasons they're coming back for sure, so we don't need across the board changes but we do need some new players."

Front office: B-

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