Blackhawks

Kane doubtful for Friday; Hawks sticking together

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Kane doubtful for Friday; Hawks sticking together

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010
1:55 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks arent going through the best of times right now.

Theyre physically wounded Fernando Pisani will play Friday night but Viktor Stalberg and Marian Hossa are out and Patrick Kane is doubtful. The home record isnt good. The bounces arent going their way. The frustration is there.

Oh, and more good news: the Western Division-best Detroit Red Wings come to town on Friday night.

After a strong showing on their long road trip and a good start to December at home, the Blackhawks have lost three in a row and are watching others pass them by in the standings.

But at a time when the Blackhawks could be sulking, theyre pulling themselves together. As far as the remaining healthy Blackhawks are concerned, they have no choice.

You could say that (were frustrated), but you have to use it in the right way, Jonathan Toews said. You direct that anger and frustration toward each other thats not going to do anything. You have to work as hard as you can. Thats what weve got to do.

So the Blackhawks will cobble together their forward lines again, get back out there again and try to grab points again.

We beat the same drum a lot, that we need to be harder to play against, but thats something we re-emphasized today. Thats something we need to be, coach Joel Quenneville said. We need more urgency in our overall game, no matter whos playing with whom. You want to be part of the solution and look at it in a positive and objective way. We dont want to revisit the past; we need to move forward and find ways to do it the right way.

The Blackhawks were 10th in the West as of Thursday afternoon. They certainly arent conceding a thing yet; theres too much hockey to be played. Still, they cant let the points keep slipping away; theyre banding together through this tough time in the hopes that it stops.

We just do the right things out there and the results will be good, Jack Skille said. Sometimes even though you do the right things it may not turn out well, but we cant get frustrated at that. We have to play smart and the bounces will go our way.

Injury updates

Kane started practice with the Blackhawks on Thursday but didnt finish. Kane went off for a bit, came back briefly, then left for good a few minutes into practice. Quenneville said hes doubtful for tomorrow.

Its part of the process, Quenneville said. He might need a day off. He was out there for two days in a row, today he couldve aggravated it. But its not to the extent that its a step in the wrong direction.

Hossa did not skate again Thursday but Quenneville expected him to be skating on Friday morning. Stalberg also did not practice and wont play Friday, but Quenneville said he looked OK.

Briefly

Corey Crawford will start against the Red Wings.

Marty Turco said he appreciated Quenneville talking with him during his recent rough stretch. Its not surprising within this organization and with Joels repertoire to see where guys are at and lend a hand where needed. Its conducive to a successful environment and its appreciated on my end that were all in it together.

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

Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery dies in early morning drowning

Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery dies in early morning drowning

Former Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery was identified as the victim in an early morning drowning on Sunday at the Hamilton Harbour, Hamilton Police confirmed. He was 35.

According to the Hamilton Spectator, Emery and his friends jumped in the water around 6:30 a.m., but Emery never resurfaced. His body was recovered later in the afternoon.

Emery played in the NHL for 11 seasons, two of which came with the Blackhawks from 2011-13, where he served as a backup goaltender to Corey Crawford.

In 2013, he teammated up with Crawford to win the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender(s) with the fewest goals against in a single season, before going on to capture his first Stanley Cup. During that season, Emery went 17-1-0 with a 1.94 goals against average, .922 save percentage and three shutouts.

The Blackhawks issued this statement following the confirmation:

The Chicago Blackhawks organization was deeply saddened to hear of Ray Emery’s passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. The Blackhawks will fondly remember Ray as a fierce competitor, a good teammate and a Stanley Cup champion.

The hockey community took to Twitter to offer their condolences when news began to spread:

Thank you, Marian Hossa: An ode to one of the best Blackhawks ever

Thank you, Marian Hossa: An ode to one of the best Blackhawks ever

When the Blackhawks drafted Jonathan Toews third overall in 2006 and Patrick Kane with the No. 1 pick the following year, it was a sign that the dark skies were clearing in Chicago. Things really started to change when Rocky Wirtz took over as chairman following the death of his father Bill in September of 2007, and one of the first decisions he made was to televise all 82 games.

The fans were coming back.

For only the second time in 11 years, the Blackhawks finished above .500 in 2007-08 but missed the playoffs by three points, a season in which Kane won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

The following year Joel Quenneville took over as head coach after only three games to provide some coaching experience behind the bench for a young team on the rise. It resulted in a 104-point season and ended in a Conference Finals berth at the hands of the arch-rival Detroit Red Wings in five games.

The Blackhawks were ready to make that step into championship contenders. They just needed someone to put them over the edge.

Enter Marian Hossa.

On July 1 of 2009, he committed to the Blackhawks for 12 years worth $62.8 million. He bought into the long-term vision and wanted to be a part of something special for many years to come.

Was he ever.

In his first game as a member of the Blackhawks, Hossa scored two goals in a 7-2 road victory against San Jose after missing the first month and a half of the season with a shoulder injury. It was at that moment where you saw what kind of powerhouse the Blackhawks could be and would become with a full lineup and future Hall of Fame winger added to a mixture of franchise-changing players scratching the surface.

Fast forward to Game 5 of the 2010 quarterfinals. You know how it goes. Series is tied 2-2. The Blackhawks trail 4-3 late in the third period. Extra attacker is on. How many times have we seen this? The Blackhawks were surely going to find a way to tie it up ... and then Hossa is sent to the box with 1:03 to play in regulation. A five-minute major boarding penalty.

Dagger...

Not so fast. 

Patrick Kane went on to score arguably the biggest goal in Blackhawks history, a shorthanded one that evened it up with 13.6 seconds to go. United Center is up for grabs. But there are still four minutes left to kill off on the penalty once overtime starts, which Hossa once called "the longest four minutes of my life." 

In a span of nine seconds following the penalty kill, Hossa jumped on the ice from the box, darted straight for the net and buried home what was the second-biggest goal in franchise history to put the Blackhawks up 3-2 in the series. Two nights later Hossa assisted on three goals and the Blackhawks eliminated the Nashville Predators in their barn.

The rest is history.

Who knows if the Blackhawks rally to win that series if they don't tie it up or win it in overtime. Who knows if they break through the next year. Who knows if that core group even remains together. The course of the franchise could've changed that night.

Instead, Hossa was handed the Stanley Cup for the first time in his career on June 9, 2010 from Jonathan Toews, who couldn't give it to him fast enough after he came up on the losing end in consecutive appearances with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and 2009.

Hossa would add two more titles to his résumé with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015, which almost certainly locked up his legacy as one of the all-time greats and his eventual next stop: The Hockey Hall of Fame. The wait was worth it.

"I was hoping to get one coming to Chicago and now I’ve got three," Hossa said following the 2015 Stanley Cup win. "What a feeling." 

The Blackhawks don't win three Stanley Cups without Hossa, who will go down as arguably the greatest free-agent signing in Chicago sports history.

On behalf of the city of Chicago: Thank you, 81.