Blackhawks

Heritage Night: Blackhawks honor '61 Champions

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Heritage Night: Blackhawks honor '61 Champions

Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011
7:55 PM
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull were already reveling with fellow 1961 Chicago Blackhawks teammates on their Heritage Night on Sunday night. Not long after the opening ceremony, the duo found out theyll soon be immortalized in bronze.

The Blackhawks announced they will unveil life-sized bronze statues of Mikita and Hull early in the 2011-12 season. The statues will be located outside the United Center.

I dont know how to explain euphoria; you guys can help me out, Mikita said during the first intermission. Its a great gesture on their part for all of this to happen to us. Now I know how Michael (Jordan) felt out there.

Hull remembered when his son, Brett, got a bronze statue in front of what is now the Scottrade Center in St. Louis a few years ago.

I said, Son, this is the greatest tribute youll ever have. Itll never go away. Youre part of this real estate now. And Stan and I are going to be part of this real estate, Hull said. And when were gone and hopefully not forgotten, when people walk by, theyll remember the era of the Mikitas and the Hulls.

In a statement, Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said Bobby and Stan and have been so terrific for the organization for so many years, its a way that we could show our support. And our fans from all over the world can come to see this.

The announcement was a perfect cap for the two after the pregame ceremony honoring that Stanley Cup-winning 1961 squad. Other 61 players attending included Glenn Hall, Ab McDonald, Pierre Pilote and Bill Hay. The 20-minute ceremony, emceed by Eddie Olczyk, featured a video montage of that season.

The attending players also had a private dinner on Saturday night, during which they received a 50th anniversary ring from Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough. The ring is an exact replica of the one they received in 1961, with 2011 added to one side.

But for Hull and Mikita, being bronzed was a great ender on the night.

The greatest tribute Ill ever have paid to me is when they put me in bronze in front of this building, Hull said. Its not just a tribute to me but also the great teams I played with.

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

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on Thursday:

1. Return of the Crow

The Blackhawks got their man back between the pipes after a 10-month layoff due to a concussion. And he looked like same old "Crow."

Crawford stopped 27 of 30 shots for a save percentage of .900. He faced 12 shots and eight scoring chances in the first period, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The biggest save he made was on a Michael Grabner breakaway in the third period, bailing out a turnover in the neutral zone.

"I think I felt better in the second and third," Crawford said. "But they really didn’t get that many opportunities early. It was nice. I think they flipped one in for the first one, so that was kind of good just to get in it and feel one early. We were close in that one all game and we created a lot. I thought [Antti] Raanta played really well.

"It was a tough, tough break at the end. Still felt I should have stopped that one. We were right there, we were creating a lot and gotta try to come up with that one. Just gotta forget about it and worry about the next game."

2. Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews extend point streaks

The hot start continues for the Blackhawks' two leading scorers, both of whom assisted on Erik Gustafsson's goal in the second period to stretch their point streaks to six games. DeBrincat and Toews each have 10 points this season.

3. Overtime streak ends

The Blackhawks made history by forcing five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team has ever done in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). But they didn't have the comeback magic in them this time.

Entering Thursday, the Blackhawks were 1-0-1 when trailing after two periods. They were 5-28-2 last season for a win percentage of .143.

4. Familiar faces, new places

Five former Blackhawks took the ice for the Coyotes: Vinnie Hinostroza, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Oesterle, Richard Panik and Antti Raanta.

It was Hjalmarsson's first trip back to Chicago since being traded in the 2017 offseason. He received a nice video tribute during the second TV timeout of the first period, which made him very emotional.

"I almost got emotional too seeing his reaction," Toews said. "He's one of those guys you'll never forget what he meant to this locker room. He was a quiet guy in the room but we all know how he played and put everyone else before himself. Pretty cool reaction from the fans too. I think we were all sad to see him leave this locker room, he did a lot of special things and was a massive part of our championship wins. Happy for him to get that reception. It's well-deserved and obviously we miss having him around."

As far as the game, Hjalmarsson logged a team-high 22:18 of ice time and blocked three shots. Oesterle registered a secondary assist on Arizona's first goal, which was its first 5-on-5 of the season.

Hinostroza, who was also part of the Marian Hossa trade over the summer, scored twice in his return to his hometown, beating Crawford with a wrist shot to make it 2-1 in the second period and an empty-netter in the third; his second goal turned out to be the game winner, the fourth of his career and first as a member of the Coyotes.

Panik recorded four shot attempts (three on goal). And Raanta improved to 16-0-3 in his career at the United Center, a remarkable record for any goaltender in any situation.