Blackhawks

Hurting Blackhawks limp into All-Star break

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Hurting Blackhawks limp into All-Star break

Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 10:55 p.m.

The Blackhawks found out on Saturday what happens when youre not careful against the opportunistic Nashville Predators. They got a refresher course on Tuesday night.

Craig Smith and Mike Fisher scored off Blackhawks turnovers, and Pekka Rinne stopped 24 of 25 in the Predators 3-1 victory over the Blackhawks. It was the second consecutive loss for the Blackhawks, who were without Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp and had five rookies in their lineup. They dropped to sixth in the Western Conference and fourth in the Central Division.

It definitely was not the way the Blackhawks wanted to go into the lengthy All-Star break.

Its just the way it is against Nashville: you need to have a good start and unfortunately just a couple of breakdowns cost us goals, defenseman Duncan Keith said. Weve done some good things, but these last two games against Nashville we werent happy with the way things went. We got behind early and unfortunately you cant get behind these guys.

Dave Bolland scored a power-play goal with 12:40 remaining in regulation, but the Blackhawks could get nothing more off the Predators goaltender. Nashville forward Colin Wilson scored an empty-net, power-play goal with 13 seconds remaining.

Corey Crawford allowed two goals on 25 shots.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday morning that the Blackhawks had to take a business-like approach into this pre-break finale. But they were careless early with the puck, and it cost them twice.

We sagged off that first goal; we lost a lot of momentum, Quenneville said. The start was OK, but for most of the first and all second we didnt have anything going. No pace. They were stronger in the puck area; very noticeable.

Defensive lapses have been a sore spot for the Blackhawks a few times this season. And the Predators, with their stifling brand of hockey, can be dominant with a two-goal lead.

We thought coming in it would be a grinding, low-scoring game. We had those two unfortunate giveaways -- mine was the first -- and you cant do that to a team like this, Sean ODonnell said. It was a big one going into the break and we just made some mental mistakes in the first that cost us.

The Blackhawks will have some time to get away from hockey and regroup for the stretch run. There isnt much wiggle room in the Central or West, and the Blackhawks will have to shore things up defensively if they want to be back atop both of them.

Its a tough loss, Crawford said. You look at the other teams in our division, it seems like everyones rolling right now. Were kind of up and down. Well see where we are when we start rolling after a couple games.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Kris Versteeg on signing with IceHogs and possibility of one more spin with Blackhawks

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Kris Versteeg on signing with IceHogs and possibility of one more spin with Blackhawks

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle catches up with two-time Stanley Cup winner and the newest member of the Rockford IceHogs Kris Versteeg.

Versteeg explains his recent medical issues and his experience playing last season in the KHL and Swedish Elite League. He also talks about why he decided to sign a one-year deal with Rockford and defines his role with the IceHogs.

Versteeg weighs in on getting a third chance to play for the Blackhawks organization and what would be the perfect ending to the Kris Versteeg hockey movie?

1:00 - Why sign with Rockford?
2:00 - KHL experience
3:00 - Back on track in Sweden
4:30 - Health update
6:00 - Deal with Rockford
7:30 - Contact with Kane and Toews?
9:00 - Family coming to Rockford?
10:00 - Mentor or last fling with Hawks?
12:00 - Kris Versteeg Movie Ending

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Blackhawks remove interim tag and name Derek King head coach of Rockford IceHogs

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Rockford IceHogs

Blackhawks remove interim tag and name Derek King head coach of Rockford IceHogs

One day after mutually parting ways with assistant coach Don Granato, the Blackhawks announced Thursday that they have removed the interim label from Derek King's title and named him the head coach of the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. Anders Sorensen also received a multi-year extension to remain on the staff as an assistant.

While King may have been a worthy candidate for the vacant assistant coaching position on Jeremy Colliton's staff in Chicago, the Blackhawks like the continuity this gives them within the organization. King is familiar with Colliton's philosophy and has a strong rapport with his players.

After Colliton was promoted to head coach of the Blackhawks on Nov. 6, 2018, King moved into his role on an interim basis while the organization got their house in order. Sheldon Brookbank was later added to Colliton's coaching staff with the Blackhawks, which led to Sorensen — who had previously worked as a development coach for the last five years — stepping in for Brookbank. 

King, 52, guided the IceHogs to a 29-28-3-4 record and fell short of the Calder Cup Playoffs after reaching the Western Conference Final a year ago. He joined the organization in July of 2016.

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