Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010
By Tracey Myers
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.
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.
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.