Blackhawks

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Controversial offsides ruling turning point in comeback

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Controversial offsides ruling turning point in comeback

Here’s the problem with writing Quick Hits ahead of time: they can change quickly. Coach Joel Quenneville uses that phrase all the time, and we didn’t heed it.

Still, what were the odds the Blackhawks would turn a two-period, 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 victory? Live and learn – and wait until the end of the game to write.

Anyway, we’re stalling. Let’s look at the notables from the Blackhawks’ comeback victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

What Worked: The third period. Well, more to the point, the final 10 minutes of it. The Blackhawks played better overall in the third period after admitting to radio and TV that they were too cute for their own good through the first 20 minutes. Better shots, more shots and more traffic led to the desired results for the Blackhawks, who were unstoppable that final 20 minutes.

What Didn’t Work: The Avalanche’s challenge. On first glance it looked like the Avs were going to win their challenge for offside on Jonathan Toews’ first goal and any momentum the Blackhawks did gain from it would be gone. Not so fast. Officials deemed it a good goal, ruling the review “was not conclusive in determining whether Toews tagged up at the instant the puck was on Richard Panik’s stick when Chicago entered the attacking zone prior to the goal.” When a review is inconclusive, officials are, “instructed to confirm their original call.” The Blackhawks had the goal, the momentum and they ran with it.

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Star of the game: Toews. You look to your leaders in situations like this and Toews was outstanding in that final period. His first goal woke the Blackhawks up and his second put it out of reach (5-3 at the time). Toews is now on a four-game point streak (three goals, two assists).

He Said It: “It’s just fun to watch. And then I’m just trying to stay into it, because I didn’t have any shots or chances for eight or nine minutes I’d say there. [The Avs] not going to give up. They’re going to come back and try and do anything they can. You’ve got to stay mentally in it as a goalie because you’ve got to be ready when they come back your way. But it was super impressive to watch.” — Scott Darling on the Blackhawks’ comeback.

By the Numbers:

34 – Time, in seconds, that the Blackhawks scored three goals in the third period (Toews, Richard Panik, Artemi Panarin).

17 – Goals, in his last 20 games, for Patrick Kane. With 79 points, Kane is now tied for third in the league in points with Brad Marchand (79). He trails Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby (80 each).

6 – Consecutive games in which Artemi Panarin has at last a point. He has four goals and four assists in that span.

8-1-0 – Record for Scott Darling since Jan. 1.

Blackhawks remember Dave Bolland for more than just '17 Seconds'

Blackhawks remember Dave Bolland for more than just '17 Seconds'

The Blackhawks are honoring one of their own on Friday, with Dave Bolland set to skate “One More Shift” with the organization. He will join the team on the ice during the anthem, and will be featured throughout the game commemorating his time in Chicago.

When you think of Bolland, the first thing that pops up into the minds of fans is his game-winning goal in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins. Or, better known as the second goal of "17 Seconds."

But his former teammates remember him for more than that.

"He was awesome," Patrick Kane said. "He was one of those guys who played a third-line role for like his whole time here and just really did well with it. I remember the line with him, [Martin] Havlat and [Andrew] Ladd really took off in 2009 and obviously [Dustin] Byfuglien, him and [Kris] Versteeg were a good line in 2010. But just the way he played, he got underneath the other team's skin, especially their star players. Wasn't afraid to chirp, wasn't afraid to get into the mix, especially with his size and the way he was built.

"But yeah, some great moments, some big goals, a lot of big shorthanded goals, you can obviously remember his 17 seconds was unbelievable as well, that's a goal I'm sure he'll never forget. We'll never forget that celebration too, so it's awesome he's getting honored."

Bolland, who earned the nickname "The Rat," is perhaps best known for the role he played in the Blackhawks' playoff series battles with the Vancouver Canucks. His line frequently drew the defensive matchups against Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and he's the one player who really knew how to throw both twins off their game at the same time.

"I think he's kind of like Shawzy," Jonathan Toews said. "He's one of those guys that fans here in Chicago really like. Aside from scoring goals and the plays that he made over the years in the playoffs, he was one of those guys that you loved having on your team that other teams hated. He found ways to chip away at their best players and get them off their game. He was good at a lot of little things like that, so he was a big part of those winning teams."

Andrew Shaw was teammates with Bolland for only two seasons, but they won a Stanley Cup together and Bolland was one of the best and knowing his role and perfecting it.

"One of the best at his job," Shaw said. "He played that shutdown centerman. I always thought he had the shortest shifts. His shift lengths were so short just 'cause he would play so much against top guys that he'd want to be so well-rested while he was out there. ... He was skilled enough to chip in offensively as well.

"That's the type of player he was. He'd play against the top guys, he'd shut them down, he'd be that little rat himself, just try to get them off their game as well as outworking them."

Bolland spent seven of his 10 NHL seasons in Chicago, where he registered 168 points (70 goals, 98 assists) in 332 games. He was drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round (No. 32 overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft.

Friday will mark the first night honoring the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship, which ended a 49-year drought in franchise history. The first 10,000 fans on Friday will receive a Marian Hossa bobblehead.

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Robin Lehner to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets

robin_lehner_usa_today.jpg
USA Today

Robin Lehner to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets

Robin Lehner will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night, coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed after morning skate. It will be his second start of the season.

In his season debut against the Winnipeg Jets, Lehner stopped 30 of 33 shots for a save percentage of .909 in a 3-2 overtime loss. He gave up a 5-on-5 goal, power-play goal and overtime goal at 3-on-3. Overall, he was solid.

"Everyone wants to play all the time," Colliton said of the dynamic between Corey Crawford and Lehner. "Whether it's a goalie, forward or D, they play better when they play more. That's just the standard answer. But we've had a little bit of a lighter schedule. We're trying to make ... we want both guys going because we're coming up on a stretch where we're playing a lot of games, so we're going to need them both."

Lehner is 5-3-0 with a 1.97 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout in eight career appearances against the Blue Jackets. 

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