Blackhawks

Jokes aimed at Bolland; but is joke on Canucks?

Jokes aimed at Bolland; but is joke on Canucks?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Posted: 9:02 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Dave Bolland received a good-natured ribbing from his teammates after his great Game 4 performance on Tuesday night.

We were joking he was well rested and had lots of legs left, Patrick Sharp said on Wednesday.

Bolland definitely had the legs and the game the Blackhawks needed on Tuesday. With Bryan Bickell and Michael Frolik on Tuesday, the Blackhawks had a line that was sharp offensively and stingy defensively, holding the Sedin twins to one goal and a combined minus-7 rating.

Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo said after Game 4 that one guy wasnt going to change a series. Maybe not, but Bolland altered momentum with his performance, and the depth his return adds can effect the rest of it.

No matter who you're playing against you have so many more (options) as far as putting lines together, said coach Joel Quenneville, who now has Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Bolland as his top three centers. He's a competitive guy and he gives you a different look as a team. He certainly brings more weapons in the lineup and does pretty well against the Sedins.

Sharp said he really noticed the Bolland lines impact when he watched the game again late Tuesday.

Froley goes back to the wing and he was flying all night, Sharp said. With his speed he created a lot of those goals; it was a very underrated game from Froley. You can see what Bicks is capable of doing when he plays that way. He's big, he can move and he has some great skills. That line was big.
Seabrook and Scott

Brent Seabrook traveled with the Blackhawks when they headed to Vancouver on Wednesday and Quenneville said there is a possibility of him playing in Game 5 on Thursday.

John Scott filled that vacant defenseman spot in Game 4 and could again in Game 5. Scott was never out there to take Seabrooks place and pick up his duties, specifically that was a concerted effort among all the defensemen. Scott was there to do what he does best: pick up some minutes and be a big body to keep havoc from breaking out.

If Seabrook plays, Quenneville said theyd look at Scott maybe playing at forward.

A lot of people rolled their eyes Tuesday morning when we announced he'd be on the back end, he said. But we played five big games down the stretch with John Scott on the back end. He played meaningful minutes in those games but they were important. He settled things down, played well defensively and he has purpose to his game.
Froliks time

Michael Frolik isnt used to playing past early April. But the Blackhawks forward, who was acquired from the Florida Panthers for Jack Skille in early February, is starting to soak up the postseason vibe.

It's amazing, so different than what it was in Florida, he said. Its my first playoff so I didn't know what to expect. Its a great experience for me.

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

Hawks Talk Podcast: Predicting who Blackhawks will take at No. 3 overall

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Predicting who Blackhawks will take at No. 3 overall

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Slavko Bekovic and Charlie Roumeliotis react to the Olli Maatta trade and how this impacts the Blackhawks' defensive group. Is this the first of more moves to come?

The guys then break down their top-three candidates for the Blackhawks at No. 3 overall and predict who the pick will be on Friday. They also discuss how the Blackhawks' selection may impact the offseason and the big picture going forward.

0:40 – Initial reaction to the Olli Maatta trade

3:45 – How Maatta fits with the Blackhawks

7:45 – Filling Dominik Kahun’s spot

10:00 – Maatta’s contract situation

11:00 – Our top-3 draft predictions

18:30 – Official predictions on who the Blackhawks will pick

24:30 – Is there a wrong pick in the top 10?

27:30 – If the Blackhawks don’t pick D, the forward is…?

29:30 – How the Blackhawks selections shape the offseason

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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How Erik Karlsson’s extension with Sharks impacts Blackhawks, Western Conference

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USA TODAY

How Erik Karlsson’s extension with Sharks impacts Blackhawks, Western Conference

The 2019 NHL free agent class — both restricted and unrestricted — is absolutely loaded. But perhaps the biggest fish of them all has already been taken off the board.

Erik Karlsson and the San Jose Sharks have agreed to an eight-year extension worth $11.5 million per year, according to Cap Friendly, becoming the highest-paid defenseman in league history. It’s a significant move for the Sharks, who are looking to keep the band together and take a few more stabs at a Stanley Cup before their window starts to close — Joe Thornton is 39, Joe Pavelski turns 35 in July, Brent Burns is 34, Marc-Edouard Vlasic is 32 and Logan Couture is 30.

How the Sharks make the math work going forward will be fascinating to monitor. Thornton, if he doesn't decide to hang up the skates, is a UFA. Same with Pavelski, who is coming off one of the most productive seasons of his career. Both of those players have become part of the Sharks identity, but their futures aren't guaranteed. And then there are guys like Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier, both of whom are RFAs and due big raises.

So how does the Karlsson extension impact the Blackhawks and the rest of the Western Conference?

For starters, the UFA defensemen class just got thinner and that could lead to overpayment across the board from teams looking for impact-type blue-liners because general managers that are looking to make a splash don’t want to come away empty-handed. The Blackhawks were never going to be in on Karlsson, but his contract set the market for this year's class and the fact the signing came before the NHL Draft now gives teams that would've been in on Karlsson an opportunity to refocus ahead of the negotiating period.

In the bigger picture, the Sharks just solidified themselves as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders for at least the next couple seasons. While the Karlsson contract may not look the greatest on the back half, given his durability issues, the Sharks had no choice but to offer him a blank check. When healthy, he is a game-changer and a two-time Norris Trophy winner who's still in his prime, and if the Sharks win a title in the next couple years then it was well worth it. You don't let players like him walk.

The Blackhawks are expected to be aggressive over the next several weeks, particularly in free agency but also continuing to explore the trade market. We already saw that when they acquired defenseman Olli Maatta from the Pittsburgh Penguins, a move that could only be the first of many this offseason. The West might be top heavy, but this past season proved that any team can turn it around quickly and the Blackhawks need to do everything in their power to make sure they're one of those teams.

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