Blackhawks

Playing overseas now on front burner for Toews

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Playing overseas now on front burner for Toews

Jonathan Toews has long been optimistic that at least some of the NHL season could be saved. But after Thursdays events in New York City, the Chicago Blackhawks captain isnt feeling the same.

And playing overseas has become a lot more likely.

Toews was part of talks in New York on Tuesday and part of Wednesday, back when things were going smoothly. But sometime Wednesday the mood change, and Thursday turned into an absolute mess of rejected proposals, items taken off tables and angry words.

Everyone talks about being optimistic but, really, what is there positive to take from whats gone on? Toews said Friday. Its unbelievable how hypocritical the leagues been in saying theyve tried so hard to make an effort to get a deal done when theyve pushed it this far to begin with. It doesnt matter what the players do, how much we sacrifice to make things happen. Its never been good enough.

The Hatfield-McCoy fracas between the NHL and NHLPA took its most bizarre twists on Thursday. Well summarize again in a nutshell: NHLPA director says the two sides are close and announces groups latest proposal. League rejects proposal via email. League commissioner blasts NHLPA and the were close talk. League deputy commissioner says some items were non-negotiable including those five-year player contract limits (the hill we will die on). Commissioner takes some items off the negotiating table.

Owners who had been meeting with players Tuesday and Wednesday, left on Thursday. Four of the owners released statements regarding the weeks talks.

Its all left Toews very frustrated.

Its mind-blowing that weve made it this far and their behavior hasnt changed one bit. Theyre great at trying to make (executive director Donald Fehr) and the players association look like the bad guys, he said. Theyre just trying to play any angle they can. So far, any angle weve had is to see and wait if the NHL wants to wait this long and they have. Im not too sure where we go from here.

Now Toews will look at where he goes from here. Fellow frustrated captain Sidney Crosby told Pittsburgh Post-Gazettes Dave Molinari that playing in Europe has moved to the front burner. Same go for Toews?

Absolutely it does, he said, adding that he doesnt have a specific location in mind yet. Its just sad in so many ways because your whole life you dream of playing in the NHL. You never dream that politics and things like this would get in the way of you playing and living out your dream. But thats obviously something you have to explore more at this point.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The Blackhawks losing streak extends to 8

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The Blackhawks losing streak extends to 8

The Blackhawks losing streak extended to eight games with an overtime loss in Carolina, but there were some signs of improvement with the team. Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss Jeremy Colliton going to the “nuclear option,” pairing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the same line. It seemed to work, but how did the other lines fare?

Plus, how close are we to seeing some calls made to Rockford and how important are the next two “winnable” games?

0:45 - Mindset of the team after their 8th straight loss

2:00 - Opposition getting quality chances against hawks goalies

4:00 - Toews and Kane playing on the same line

5:00 - Nick Schmaltz needs to take more shots

5:45 - Colliton's lines during overtime

8:00 - DeBrincat playing on a line with Kampf and Kahun

9:45 - Debrincat with more goals than Kane or Roenick through 100 career games

11:45 -  How close are the Blackhawks to making some callups from Rockford to give the team a boost?

14:00 - Hawks get a chance against 2 other struggling teams in Blues and Knights

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Blackhawks' losing streak extends to eight in Cam Ward's return to Carolina

Blackhawks' losing streak extends to eight in Cam Ward's return to Carolina

It felt like the Blackhawks' seven-game losing streak was going to end Monday night. 

Cam Ward was stellar in net, the Blackhawks' offense started hot and Alex DeBrincat snapped his scoring drought. In the end, though, Monday's hot-start was for all for naught.

Despite holding a 2-0 lead after the second period, the Blackhawks were outscored 3-0 the rest of the game, falling to the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. The Blackhawks have now lost eight-straight games for the second-straight season (they lost eight-straight in February 2018). 

While the loss hurts, there are several positives to take from Monday's game. Cam Ward was stellar in his first start in Carolina as a visitor.

Ward, who played for the Hurricanes in his first 13 NHL seasons, made 37 saves on 40 shots. The two regulation goals that he allowed came with the Blackhawks a man-down, however. 

Ward also made a huge save halfway through the third period during a 4-on-4 situation, keeping the score knotted at 2-2.

Alex DeBrincat scored his ninth goal of the season to put the Blackhawks up 2-0. Not only was the goal DeBrincat's first since Oct. 25, but it also put him in exclusive company.

Monday was DeBrincat's 100th career NHL game; his 37 goals in those 100 games matches Artemi Panarin and Eric Daze through their first 100 games with the Blackhawks.

And while a loss is still a loss, the Blackhawks picked up a point for the first time since Oct. 28. There's always some positives, right?