Blackhawks

Quenneville hospitalized, Haviland fills in vs. Wild

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Quenneville hospitalized, Haviland fills in vs. Wild

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
Posted: 10:55 a.m. Updated: 12:16 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks already had plenty on their minds. Now their thoughts are also with their head coach.

Coach Joel Quenneville is in stable condition and being treated for an undisclosed health concern, according to Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry. Terry said Quenneville presented severe discomfort Tuesday night at his home and went to the emergency room.

He was admitted to the hospital this morning. Terry said the situation is not of cardiac nature.

Any time you hear someones in the hospital its definitely scary news, said Patrick Kane. Hopefully we can get a win for him tonight and make him happy wherever he is. Its tough not to have your leader behind the bench. At the same time we can do special things and get a win for him.

Assistant coach Mike Haviland will be acting head coach tonight. Haviland will handle the forwards while fellow assistant Mike Kitchen is in charge of the defensemen.

The Blackhawks focus tonight, however, has to be with the Minnesota Wild. The Wild have a three-point lead on the Blackhawks, who need to start collecting points fast. Haviland said the team obviously had questions regarding Quenneville this morning, but that the team was upbeat and the mindset is where it needs to be.

We talked on the ice about how much this game means to us and not a lot needs to be said. They know, Haviland said. We put ourselves in this position and guys know whats at stake. I think were all professionals. We can all move forward. Our thoughts are with him and his family but certainly these guys know whats at hand.

Defenseman Brian Campbell said we should be able to handle it; weve had to adapt to different situations. Obviously there are differences not having (Quenneville) around, but you have to adapt and I think right now, with our position, we have to worry about tonights game. Joels in the best hands and thatll take care of itself.
Kane will play

Patrick Kane is still recovering from the flu bug that caught him late Sunday but will play tonight against the Wild.

Right now its tough to eat. Ive got to get something in me for tonight for energy, Kane said. I got a couple of IV bags this morning. I still dont feel great but hopefully Ill have enough energy to do what I want to do out there.

Haviland said theyll monitor Kane throughout the game.

Kane is the latest of the Blackhawks to get the flu. Corey Crawford, Marian Hossa, Fernando Pisani and Nick Boynton were among others whove had it these past few months.
Johnson better

Center Ryan Johnson said hes feeling better after suffering a concussion against the Dallas Stars on Friday night. Johnson was hurt on a hit by Stars defenseman Jeff Woywitka, which knocked off his helmet.

Johnson said he hopes to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

You get your bell rung a lot. Sometimes you can just dust it off, Johnson said. By the time we got to Phoenix, things were coming back. Ive had a couple good days.
Briefly

Corey Crawford will start against the Wild.

Fernando Pisani (upper body) did not practice this morning.

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

Blackhawks assign Anton Forsberg to Rockford after clearing waivers

Blackhawks assign Anton Forsberg to Rockford after clearing waivers

Anton Forsberg cleared waivers on Tuesday morning and was assigned to the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League.

That's good news for the Blackhawks organizational depth chart, with Forsberg as the No. 3 in goal. But it also complicates things in Rockford, where Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen have been sharing the duties.

Delia is 3-1-0 with a 3.26 goals against average and .910 save percentage while Lankinen is 0-1-1 with a 3.39 GAA and .825 save percentage. Perhaps the most likely scenario is Lankinen gets sent to the ECHL with the Indy Fuel while Delia and Forsberg split the load in Rockford.

It's certainly a good problem to have, but it's still unclear how that dynamic will play out.

"We haven’t talked about that," coach Joel Quenneville said. "But we expect [Forsberg] to play."

Luke Johnson recalled

With a spot opening up on the 23-man roster, Johnson is being brought back up after he was squeezed out by Corey Crawford's return. He had a goal and an assist in two games with Rockford.

Brandon Saad returns to top-six role

After turning in arguably his best performance of the season on Sunday, Saad is back playing on the second line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane. He had seven shot attempts (three on goal) against Tampa Bay and led the team in 5-on-5 possession numbers.

"[Saad] is coming off a game where we liked what we saw," Quenneville said. "Playing with Kaner can help him get going."

Nick Schmaltz to play right side for first time in NHL career

Eight games into the season and Schmaltz has spent time at both center and left wing. Now he'll get a look on the right side with Alexandre Fortin on the left and David Kampf centering the third line.

Part of the reason for Schmaltz’s move to the right side was because Quenneville said they like Fortin on the left. It's not unfamiliar territory for Schmaltz, but could take some time getting used to.

"I played a little while back, not sure when," Schmaltz said "Just a little bit different. Catching pucks on your forehand now instead of your backhand. It's not a huge adjustment, just play with speed and compete hard and hopefully the skill on our line will take over."

Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers

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AP

Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers

The Blackhawks have said all along that they don't plan on carrying three goaltenders, but wanted to do so during the three games in four days stretch just in case, with Corey Crawford coming back from a 10-month layoff because of a concussion.

After being encouraged by how Crawford has responded to his return, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Anton Forsberg on waivers Monday morning. Teams have 24 hours to put in a claim for the 25-year-old goaltender and would have to keep him on their NHL roster for 10 games and/or 30 days before he's eligible to go through the waiver process again.

His chances of getting claimed by any of the other 30 teams essentially depends on which teams believe Forsberg would be an immediate upgrade over their current backup — or starter, for that matter — or whether there's an injury to one of the team's two goaltenders that requires a placeholder, like we saw the Carolina Hurricanes do by claiming Curtis McElhinney from the Toronto Maple Leafs after Scott Darling's injury in the preseason.

If Forsberg goes unclaimed, the Blackhawks can assign him to the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs. With Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen sharing the goaltending duties in Rockford, it's possible Lankinen gets sent to the Indy Fuel in the ECHL to get consistent starts under his belt.

A third option, one that isn't very common but we've seen in the past as recently as last October with Maple Leafs goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo, is that Forsberg can be loaned to any AHL team while still being a part of the Blackhawks organization. This would allow the Blackhawks to keep Delia and Lankinen in Rockford while Forsberg gets his starts in the AHL, too.

Or, the Blackhawks could simply trade Forsberg to another NHL team that could stash him in the AHL, as long as he clears waivers. They did it last season with Chris DiDomenico, who cleared waivers as a member of the Ottawa Senators but was then traded to Chicago for Ville Pokka days later. Had DiDomenico been claimed by the Blackhawks, he would have had to stay on the NHL roster as noted above.

Forsberg was 10-16-4 with a 2.97 goals against average and .908 save percentage in 35 appearances last season but has not appeared in a game yet this year. He was acquired as part of the Brandon Saad package for Artemi Panarin in June 2017.