Blackhawks

Intense Blackhawks drill Oilers for crucial win

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Intense Blackhawks drill Oilers for crucial win

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011
Posted Feb. 9, 10:55 p.m. Updated 12:19 a.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

EDMONTON, Alberta The Chicago Blackhawks had to get their focus and emotions together quick.

They had just said goodbye to teammate Jack Skille, who, along with two others in the Blackhawks system, was sent to Florida for forward Michael Frolik and Alexander Salak. But about an hour later they had to face the Edmonton Oilers.

MORE: Stan Bowman thrilled with trade

With all that was going on, the Blackhawks got what they needed: a quick start, a solid game and two much-needed points.

Patrick Sharp scored his 27th goal of the season and Patrick Kane added a power-play goal and an empty-netter in the Blackhawks 4-1 victory over Edmonton at Rexall Place on Wednesday night.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak and kept the Blackhawks in 11th place; most of the teams in front of them also won on Wednesday. Corey Crawford stopped 23 of 24 for the victory and Bryan Bickell added his 13th goal of the season.

The Blackhawks didnt have much time to digest the trade, as it happened minutes before they took the ice.

Its weird, especially right before the game. Jacks getting ready just like everyone else and the next thing you know hes not in the locker room, said Jonathan Toews, who had two assists on Wednesday. Hes a good guy, a good teammate and we wish him the best. At the same time were looking forward to the player coming in.

But the Blackhawks got focused quick, coming out fast against the Oilers and taking a 1-0 lead after one on Sharps goal.
Bryan Bickell made a nice move in tight on a breakaway for his 13th goal of the season and first since Jan. 16. The goal gave the Blackhawks some breathing room with a 2-0 lead in the second period. (AP)
A good start can give you confidence through the rest of the game to keep that going, said Duncan Keith. Its nice to get the lead and we used our speed and puck possession. We didnt throw pucks away. We were holding onto those pucks and causing them to commit penalties.

The Oilers went to the box plenty on Wednesday, giving the Blackhawks six power plays. The advantage was still quiet for the Blackhawks until their final one, when Kane took a pretty Tomas Kopecky pass to beat Devan Dubnyk.

That last power play was kind of a bang-bang play, Kane said. Well take the goal but (the power play) wasnt very good at all. You get six, especially with the talent we have here, you have to score some goals.

Still, the Blackhawks got enough of everything on a night they needed something positive. They used their speed. They stayed out of the penalty box until late. They switched up their defensive pairs and coach Joel Quenneville was happy with the results of the changes sometimes a fresh look you discover things. All the pairs added a little more pace to our game, he said.

The Blackhawks will meet their new teammate in Dallas when they fly in on Thursday night. Lineups will change. The Blackhawks need to get results like Wednesday night cant.

This was a very important game, Quenneville said. You look at the standings, everyone in our neighborhood had winning nights. We had to take care of our own business and we did.

Saying goodbye

The Blackhawks said it felt strange to have a trade come so close to game time and it wasnt easy saying goodbye to Skille.

Its kind of tough to see a guy traded before the game. Thats the first time its ever happened to me, Kane said. Frolik is a pretty good player; Ive played against him. Hell definitely help our team. Jack was good in the locker room and someone I got close to the past couple of months. Hopefully its better for the team and hopefully it works out.

Duncan Keith said a few emotions were felt.

That was kind of weird but thats hockey for you, he said. Its always sad to see a teammate go. Ive known Jack for a long time. Hes a good guy, a good teammate and I wish him nothing but the best in Florida.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook said its tough to lose a teammate right before the game. But were professionals and its part of the game. You know we wish Jack the best. He was a great player for us and we wish him well.

Hossa hurt

Marian Hossa suffered an upper-body injury in the second period on Wednesday and did not return. Quenneville said Hossa is day-to-day, and his injury is not serious.

WATCH: Coach Q explains injury
Briefly

Ryan Johnson and Jordan Hendry were back in the lineup on Wednesday. Johnson played 10 minutes, 31 seconds with two shots and a blocked shot. Hendry, who was paired with Brian Campbell in the defensive switches Nick Leddy was with Keith and Seabrook was with Niklas Hjalmarsson played 13 and a half minutes.

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

How will the Blackhawks utilize Kirby Dach?

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Detroit Red Wings

How will the Blackhawks utilize Kirby Dach?

The Blackhawks recalled No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach from his AHL conditioning stint on Friday night after he appeared in three games with the Rockford IceHogs. He missed the first week of training camp with a concussion and the organization wanted him to get a taste of the pro action and back up to speed after not playing in any preseason games, either.

"I enjoyed the experience there," Dach said. "I had a lot of fun. Got to see a couple buddies. It was good for me to get down there and get some pro games under my belt and just feel what the pace is going to be like. It'll be another step up here, but I feel good and I feel like I'm ready to go."

Whether Dach makes his NHL debut on Sunday against the Washington Capitals won't be revealed by head coach Jeremy Colliton until after morning skate on Sunday. But where does he fit into the lineup going forward?

The Blackhawks are 2-0-1 in their past three games and aren't necessarily looking to shake up their rotation, even though they're still searching for consistency on all four lines.

The easy answer is for Dach to slide into a third-line center role behind Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome, but the trio of David Kampf, Dominik Kubalik and Brandon Saad has undoubtedly been the most consistent for the Blackhawks this season. And we saw in the home opener what happened when they were separated. 

The Blackhawks held an optional practice on Saturday morning and didn't run through line rushes, but before Dach was assigned to Rockford, he took several spins on the first line with Toews and alternated with Drake Caggiula and Alex DeBrincat. It's possible Dach starts on the wing, where he can play top-six minutes and not have as much responsibility as a center would.

"I've played wing in previous years, so it's not something that's new to me," Dach said. "At the same time I'm open-minded to just getting into the lineup and helping the team win."

The Blackhawks can give Dach up to nine NHL games before deciding whether they want to burn the first year of his entry-level contract or send him back to the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL.

"As a kid you always grow up dreaming of playing in the NHL, so there'll be nerves," Dach said. "But there will also be a lot of excitement. I've just got to do my best to focus on my game and be ready to play whenever my name's called upon by the coaching staff."

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis welcome Nick Gismondi into the fold before discussing Friday's win over Columbus. Robin Lehner played stellar and is forming quite a tandem in net with Corey Crawford (4:10), while the DeBrincat/Kane connection is alive and well (6:10), and the Blackhawks' struggles at even strength continued (12:10). Then, the guys react to the breaking news of Kirby Dach's recall from Rockford and discuss where he might fit into this lineup (15:10).

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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