Blackhawks

Kane's shootout move drawing rave reviews

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Kane's shootout move drawing rave reviews

Patrick Kanes moves keep drawing attention.

Earlier this season, the Blackhawks forwards spin-o-rama pass on a Marian Hossa goal was highlight-reel material. And on Wednesday night he added another clip to the on-ice resume.

Kanes slow-motion and we mean really slow-motion shootout goal has been a replay staple since he did it to end the Blackhawks 4-3 victory against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night. The irony is the shot wasnt even the game-winner that was Jonathan Toews. But Kanes, in which he did 14 stick handles before shooting, is the one garnering the talk and second and third looks.

I tried it a few times in practice. We were in a good position to win so I thought Id try it (on Wednesday), Kane said. Its always nice to change it up, try some new moves. You see guys slow down and go real slow before; I probably took it to another level there with slow.

Even coach Joel Quenneville was impressed.

I said, Sick when I saw it. It was an amazing play, he said. We talk about going with speed and then making a move and he did just the opposite. So theres a certain trickery that skill players have, and that patience that he showed was pretty remarkable.

Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers said he saw Kanes shootout move once before; former San Jose Sharks teammate Dan Boyle did it last season. And it worked for Boyle, too.

It really confuses the goalie because you can stick handle and they have to go down at some point, he said. Its pretty to watch.

Viktor Stalberg agreed.

That was pretty crazy, said Stalberg. It was definitely a special move and in that situation he was in, too, it was great to see. All the boys loved that, for sure.

Just add it to the guys highlight reel.

I think thats a unique ability of top scorers or players to have a little bit of an idea of what theyre going to do and, depending on what they see quickly, do what theyve got to do, Quenneville said. Thats what makes him special.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

Jimmy Greenfield, Connor McKnight, and Matt Spiegel join Kap on the panel to discuss Corey Crawford back on the ice for the first time in 10 months. The Bears have good news when it comes to Khalil Mack, who injured his ankle against the Dolphins.

Plus, Fred Hoiberg announces that Jabari Parker is coming off the bench for the season opener.

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

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds. 

Nearly a year and a half since being traded to the Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the United Center ice on Thursday playing for the visiting team.  

“It’s going to be strange coming in as the away team and being in the other locker room,” said Hjalmarsson on Wednesday. “I bet it’s going to be a lot of emotions and mixed feelings.” 

This is also the first time Hjalmarsson has been back to the city of Chicago since he was traded, a city he called his “second home.” A home where he spent parts of 10 seasons, and never really planned on leaving.

“I wasn’t happy, to be honest with you,” said Hjalmarsson of the trade to Arizona. “I was shocked. It took me a couple days to actually realize I wasn’t going to play for the Hawks anymore.”

Including the playoffs, Hjalmarsson played 751 games in the Indian head sweater. Despite that and the team’s three Stanley Cup victories, the Blackhawks shipped him off to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June of 2017.

“You kind of let it go after a while,” he said. “Now I’m just hoping all the success for the guys over here too.”

Hjalmarsson was known for his toughness, repeatedly blocking shot after shot, giving up his body, while never missing a shift. He credits his long-time teammates — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — for a lot of his success and identity on the blue line.

“I couldn’t have had better role models coming into a team,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have played on the same team as those guys and created a lot of success together. We’re always going to be connected with the Cups that we’ve had.”

The third championship won by that defense-trio was on United Center ice against the Lightning in 2015, but that isn’t the memory that stands out most for Hjalmarsson.

“The first Cup is always going to be pretty special,” said the 31-year old. “Even just going to the conference final (in 2009), even when we lost against Detroit that year, the year before was great memories too. The first time for me going into the playoffs and playing deep.”

The tables have turned now for both Hjalmarsson and the Blackhawks. 

The Coyotes have yet to score an even-strength goal this season, while the Blackhawks have claimed eight of a possible 10 points thus far through five games and expect to have their starting goaltender back between the pipes. 

But you won’t hear any ill-will from Hjalmarsson, he’s still rooting for the Hawks.

“I always think that Chicago deserves to have a team in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not that I wish them not to do well. It’s the total opposite. I want them to have continued success.”