Blackhawks

Quenneville suffered from internal bleeding

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Quenneville suffered from internal bleeding

Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011
Posted 2:56 p.m. Updated 3:59 p.m.

By Chris Boden
CSNChicago.com

The Blackhawks released a follow-up statement Thursday afternoon on the condition of Joel Quenneville following a second day of tests in the hospital.

Joel was originally admitted to the hospital early Wednesday morning due to gastrointestinal bleeding, according to Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry. He has been stabilized and today the cause of the bleeding was determined to be a small ulcer caused by aspirin. He is resting comfortably at the hospital and we anticipate him to make a full recovery and to be released in the next few days. At the appropriate time, we will update everyone regarding his release from the hospital and return to the Blackhawks bench.

With that encouraging bit of news, acting head coach Mike Haviland can probably prepare for at least two more games guiding the Blackhawks behind the bench. Wednesday nights 3-1 win over Minnesota likely assisted in Quennevilles recovery.

I talked to Q late last night after the game, said acting head coach Mike Haviland following Thursdays practice. He watched the majority of it. He was pleased, very happy about the game. I know he has some tests today, but he was in really good spirits, joking and laughing on the phone, so it was good to hear.

System-wise, he liked us in the neutral ice, certain areas of our forecheck and our cycles. He was just happy that we won.

Haviland had yet to be told whether hed have the same role behind the bench Friday versus Columbus, but with tests still ongoing, he was certainly preparing for the possibility.

Things are hopefully looking good, added Patrick Sharp. Thats a positive sign. I thought our team played well without him last night. We kind of rallied behind him, had a good game, and we all have our fingers crossed hell be back soon. I just sent him a text and I know a couple of other guys did as well. Ive been in that position before where youre away from the team and got things going on. Just to hear from the guys and others in the organization is a good feeling. Hopefully it lifted his spirits. I know he was happy with how we finished the game the last two periods.

Patrick Kane also exchanged text messages with his coach.

I hear hes doing a lot better, so thats always a good thing to hear. We dont know when hes gonna coach. Obviously we want him back as soon as possible, but I thought Havi did a real good job last night almost like Qs protg. It was pretty much the same thing. He was good in all situations.

Two positives stood out in grabbing the two points in regulation, the first being the play of Marian Hossa, who was denied on a handful of scoring chances, but set up a pair of goals and was a dominating presence. Despite that capability, skill and history of putting up great numbers, Haviland noticed a change in his psyche.

I think its confidence. You see him carry and possess the puck, hes one of the better guys in the league where he can control, protect, and take it to the net. Hes such a strong man and you see what he did last night thats a good sign for this hockey team. We just gotta keep him going that way.

Hossa and Duncan Keith (who played almost 29 minutes) were given the day off from practice, and we might see more of that for Hossa.

Certainly you want him to be ready for the games, said Haviland. The games are more important this time of year. He knows the system, knows what we want so if hes rested, he can play a 60-minute game like we got out of him last night and in Phoenix. Joels been around. He knows when its time to give guys days off and rest them. Certainly we need Hossa to play like he did the last two games down the stretch here.

The other positive: showing third period resiliency a second consecutive game. In 16 of the Hawks 22 regulation losses, theyve led or been tied in the third period. If they took half of those losses to overtime, theyd be sitting atop the logjam in the West instead of towards the bottom. The Hawks rallied to force O.T. with a late goal Saturday in Phoenix, then rebounded from the Wilds tying goal in Wednesdays third.

Its a sign were growing as a team. Maybe its a little later than we thought. When you come from behind and get a point in Phoenix on the road, you get a ton of confidence and thats what we need to see here.

Its nice to see, having a 1-0 lead going in, but even though we gave it up, we came back and won, according to Kane. But the West is so good this year. Columbus is just two points behind us. I think we all know how good we are in here, and if we put it all together, we can still have a special season again.

By-the-Ways

Kane on Wednesdays return after a two-day bout with the flu: I was a little tired, a little sluggish last night, but I wish we could play tonight, I feel so much better. Its tough being in bed a couple days, but hopefully that means Im that much better tomorrow.

Sharp on catching Chicago Magazine cover-boy grief: A couple of guys are giving me a hard time. I know Jonathan (Toews) is pretty jealous about it. He thinks Michigan Avenue magazine can steal the show, and hes upset hes not one of the 50 Most Beautiful Chicagoans. But are guys are having fun with it.

Reporters didnt get a chance to ask Haviland if Corey Crawford returns to the net Friday against the Blue Jackets, but we can only guess after Thursdays evaluation of his 33-save night against Minnesota:

He was outstanding. He kept us in it early on when we didnt have our legs. He battled when we turned the puck over in our end and they got some point-blank chances and he stood on his head.

Chris Boden is the host of Blackhawks Pre and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet.

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.

Blackhawks looking for defensive improvement from everyone, not just defensemen

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks looking for defensive improvement from everyone, not just defensemen

The Blackhawks were able to get away with their defensive lapses in the past solely because of Corey Crawford. When he went down with a concussion last December, those issues were magnified because he wasn't there to mask the flaws.

But it's reached the point where they can't rely on their goaltender to bail them out on a nightly basis, which is becoming another trend. Cam Ward allowed six goals to Tampa Bay on Sunday night, but made 49 saves — including 30 in the second period alone. He did everything he could to keep his team withing some sort of reaching distance and without his timely stops, the scoreboard could've looked much worse for the Blackhawks.

Something's got to change. 

When the Blackhawks talk about tightening things up defensively, they're not just putting it all on the defensemen. All five guys on the ice need to do their part and they're not doing it right now.

"I think we're trying to do too much and running around trying to do each other's job," Jonathan Toews said. "Sometimes we just need to simply and finish our checks and support each other."

No team has given up more even-strength high-danger chances through eight games than the Blackhawks at 110. That's 15.77 per 60 minutes. For reference, the New York Islanders finished worst in the league in that category last season and their number was at 12.96.

It didn't help that the Blackhawks spent nearly the entire second period in their own end on Sunday.

"We just couldn’t get it out of our zone, couldn’t get our stick on it, didn’t see pressure, didn’t feel pressure when we had it, were stripped," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Hence, we didn’t advance it. Kept looking like we were going up the ice and there were going to be some odd-man situations and then we’re the ones who were facing it."

That's one way to eliminate those high quality scoring chances, is getting the puck out of their own zone effectively or else it opens the door for Grade-A opportunities because of self-inflicted wounds. And it usually happens at the end of shifts when guys are tired, which often leads to goals.

"We have to learn how to play without the puck better and learn how to keep it," Quenneville said. "Whether it was our execution going up the ice, first pass poor and then we couldn’t change. A lot of things that happened yesterday were there tonight."

The Blackhawks weren't using three games in four nights as an excuse because Tampa Bay was in the same situation. It was an even playing field in that respect.

It's all about execution from everyone involved, forwards and defensemen. And the Blackhawks feel they're correctable issues.

"Of course," Toews said. "We've had some good periods this season so far. The first three, four, five games, everyone was excited and you guys are all talking to us much differently than you are right now. It's just getting back to playing that smart defensive game and playing with effort and letting our offense do the work. We know what's got to improve. It's right there in front of us."