Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews questionable for Blackhawks' Tuesday-night game vs. Panthers

Jonathan Toews questionable for Blackhawks' Tuesday-night game vs. Panthers

Jonathan Toews is questionable to play and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night on CSN.

Toews has been day-to-day since suffering his upper-body injury against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. And while Toews did not practice with the Blackhawks on Monday, coach Joel Quenneville said there’s a chance Toews could be ready for Tuesday’s game.

“We’ll see how he is tomorrow morning,” Quenneville said.

Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body) practiced with the Blackhawks for the first time since sustaining his injury on Oct. 21 against the Columbus Blue Jackets but he will not play vs. the Panthers.

“I liked what I saw today. But I think maybe a couple more days on the ice we’ll get a better indication of when [he returns],” Quenneville said of van Riemsdyk. “We’ll see how he progresses over the next couple of days.”

For van Riemsdyk, it’s been a long wait. Unfortunately, he’s used to that given his injury history – he’s had some serious ones that have kept him out anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Still, looking back at how he dealt with previous injuries helped.

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“This is something you don’t want to have much experience at but I have some. It’s nice to be able to draw from it,” van Riemsdyk said. “It’s unfortunate, unlucky stuff. You can draw from that stuff. There [are] some things that just take a little bit of time and that’s how it goes. It just helps to stay positive, to have the great staff we do… every day, coming into the rink, even if you can’t skate, they still make it a pleasure to come in.”

A few other Blackhawks were missing from Monday’s practice. Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov were just taking maintenance days and are expected to play vs. the Panthers. Backup goaltender Scott Darling was out sick; Quenneville said Darling, “should be fine” by Tuesday.

The Blackhawks went 3-3-1 on their latest – and final – Circus Trip. With the Blackhawks still atop the Western Conference entering Tuesday’s game, Quenneville likes the direction in which they’re heading.

“When you finish it and you’re .500 or above, that’s a pretty good objective. With seven points, we’re happy in that regard,” Quenneville said. “We had good stretches in the seven games. It’s good for the guys to get together, get some bonding. But to me, that was an important stretch of the season, knowing we came out it in a pretty good spot. We had a favorable schedule at home early and now let’s get back to another busy month ahead.”

Four takeaways: Strong start wasted as Blackhawks winless streak extends to five games

Four takeaways: Strong start wasted as Blackhawks winless streak extends to five games

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday:

1. Strong start wasted

The Blackhawks came out of the gates flying. They recorded the first nine shot attempts (four on goal) and didn't allow the Rangers to get their first shot on net until the 6:35 mark.

The Blackhawks were rewarded when Brandon Saad scored at 5:41 to put his team up 1-0. But the Rangers responded with a pair of goals within 4:18 of each other towards the latter stages of the frame to go up 2-1.

It was a tough way for the Blackhawks to go into the first intermission, happy with the start but not the result.

2. High-quality scoring chances

The Blackhawks gave up three goals at 5-on-5 and one empty-netter. And they'll quickly realize when reviewing the tape that they didn't do Collin Delia any favors.

Each of New York's first three goals came from the lower slot area, and they were seemingly all preventable. That's the positive, but also the negative because the Blackhawks are making it tough on themselves.

The Rangers finished with 14 high-danger chances at even strength compared to the Blackhawks' three. Below is a heat map of the shot chart at 5-on-5, courtesy of naturalstattrick.com:

3. Power play stays hot

The Rangers aren't a great team in the penalty kill department. They went into Thursday's game ranked 26th with a 77.1 percent success rate. But they were coming in hot, having killed off 14 in a row in the last three games.

That wasn't enough to stop the Blackhawks' scorching power play, which potted two more on three opportunities (goals by Saad and Alex DeBrincat). It's the seventh straight game the Blackhawks have scored at least one power-play goal, upping their percentage to 37.2 (16-for-43) since Dec. 18 — a span of 14 games, which ranks first over that stretch.

The power play continues to be a bright spot, and the Blackhawks have to be pleased with the consistency of it over the last month now.

4. Strome vs. Strome

For the third time in his NHL career, Dylan Strome went head-to-head with older brother Ryan, the latter of whom had gotten the best of his younger brother in the first two meetings — once when Ryan was with the Islanders and the other when he was with the Oilers, both against Dylan's Coyotes.

But Ryan stayed 3-for-3 against Dylan even though they were both on different teams this time.

Dylan was on the ice against Ryan for 8:46 of 5-on-5 time, which is the most he faced against any other Rangers skater. Ryan's line generated nine scoring chances and allowed only one during that time.

Dylan did get the better of his older brother in the faceoff department (58.3 percent vs. 53.3 percent), but it was Ryan that came away with the result that matters to both of them and that's the two points in the standings.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox prospects trip to the Dominican Republic

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox prospects trip to the Dominican Republic

Thirteen of the White Sox top American born prospects are in the Dominican Republic this week for a cultural exchange trip organized by the White Sox, giving players like Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal, Zack Collins and Dane Dunning a first-hand experience to learn about the country where many of their Latin teammates like Eloy Jimenez call home. Chuck Garfien speaks with Ryan McGuffey who is covering the trip for NBC Sports Chicago. They talk about the White Sox training academy in the Dominican Republic (3:50), what the players are learning and how they're bonding on the trip (6:30), the crazy atmosphere going to a Dominican Winter League game (11:10), going with Reynaldo Lopez to the home where he grew up (14:40), personal stories from the trip (23:15) and more.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: