Blackhawks

Quick hits from Blackhawks-Canucks: Ryan Hartman shines

Quick hits from Blackhawks-Canucks: Ryan Hartman shines

We're just going to get to it tonight. It's basically Sunday's game except the Blackhawks got one point instead of two. Or is it? Read on and you'll see what we're talking about in the notables from the Blackhawks' 5-4 overtime loss to Vancouver.

What Worked: Another third-period comeback. Again, the Blackhawks don't want to get into this habit but for the second consecutive game those final 20 minutes – make that 20-plus minutes on Tuesday – were pretty exciting. The Blackhawks started getting better scoring opportunities late in the second period but they started punching them in in the third to take a point.

What Didn't Work: Defense and goaltending. Well, maybe it was just goaltending. Coach Joel Quenneville said several times following this one that he was fine with the overall game. Good puck possession on the Blackhawks' end and not much given up. Chalk it up to Corey Crawford having a tough one then, allowing four goals on 10 shots.

Star of the game: Ryan Hartman. The rookie has had a few quiet games recently but he was strong in a lot of aspects on Tuesday night. And when the Blackhawks needed the tying goal in the waning minutes of regulation, Hartman was there with it. Hartman's two goals on the night give him 18 on the season. A very nice season, indeed.

He Said It: "I don't get an argument. I know they saw the puck going in and saw my head bumping him but that's not what I was mad about. They slowed my ability to play goalie, and we lost the game because of it." Scott Darling on no goaltender interference being called in overtime.

By the Numbers:

7-14-3 – The Blackhawks' record this season when trailing after two periods.

56 – Points, in 56 career games, for Henrik Sedin vs. the Blackhawks. Sedin scored the Canucks' opening goal and assisted on brother Daniel's game winner in overtime.

4 – Goals on their first 10 shots for the Canucks. Corey Crawford was pulled after the fourth goal, which was early in the third period.

15 – Shots on goal for the Canucks, the fewest the Blackhawks have allowed this season. Their previous low was 20 by the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 5 (a 4-3 Blackhawks victory).

100 – Points for the Blackhawks following Tuesday’s overtime loss. This is the fourth consecutive season they have reached at least 100 points.

Blackhawks give thanks to Mike Gapski, who's set to celebrate 2,500th game

mike_gapski_usa_today.jpg
USA Today

Blackhawks give thanks to Mike Gapski, who's set to celebrate 2,500th game

For 33 years, Mike Gapski has been the glue of the Blackhawks' support staff. He's the longest-tenured head athletic trainer in the NHL, landing the job in 1987 shortly after graduating from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

It's been a dream come true for Gapski to work in his hometown all these years, and on Thursday he is set to be involved in his 2,500th regular season game with the Blackhawks.

Current and former players took the time to congratulate and give thanks to Gapski, and share what he's meant to the Blackhawks:

Kirby Dach:

"It's crazy, you have the same guys in junior, but it's a little bit different level here. These guys take care of us, it's unbelievable the job they do. It's a tremendous accomplishment for Gapper. Couldn't be happier for him. I've only known him for a little bit and he's a really nice guy and helps everybody out and is very kind and caring. And that's what you need in a trainer, somebody who's going to have your best interest at heart. It's good for our group and obviously he's been through a lot with some of the older guys in here. I'm sure it'll be a fun celebration for those guys and for our group as well."

Alex DeBrincat:

"He's great. He's always helping. You try to stay out of the training room, but it's always nice to go in there and talk with those guys. Gapper specifically is a great guy to have around, always fun and lighthearted around there. He obviously knows his stuff, he's been in the league a long time, he's seen a lot of injuries. He's pretty quick to help us out and know what we need to get better."

Steve Konroyd:

"Michael Gapski, congratulations on 2,500 games. You're one of the first guys I ever met when I got traded to the Chicago Blackhawks way back in 1988. You're knowledgeable, you're professional and above all else you're a great guy. I was very proud to have you as a trainer and I think the Blackhawks are very lucky to have you over all these years."

Jamal Mayers:

"Just want to say congratulations to Mike Gapski on 2,500 games. Wow. That's a lot of games, Gapper, congratulations. I know all the players that have ever had you are thankful to have you around. You're a professional, you do things the right way, you really care about the players, it comes across every single day. And thanks for keeping me together when I was 37 and 38 at the end of my career."

Eddie Olczyk:

"Hey Frank, congratulations — 2,500 games standing behind the bench for our Chicago Blackhawks. A tremendous honor, congratulations to you and your family. One thing I love about you, Frank, is you're the same guy today as you were back in the late '90s when we were working together when I was still a player. So congratulations and here's to another 2,500 more."

Patrick Sharp:

"Gapper, Gappity, Frank, Mike Gapski, thank you so much for all the years that you've put in to the Chicago Blackhawks training staff. Countless players have come through the organization, nobody's got a bad thing to say about you. 2,500 games, that's no joke. How about we do another 2,500? Congratulations on all your success. I came to Chicago in 2005 as a young man, spent my whole adult life with having you taking care of me at the rink, so thank you for everything over the years. All the best to you and your family, Frank."

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Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Kris Versteeg recently retired and now the Blackhawks are honoring him with the team’s “One More Shift.”

Versteeg began the season with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, but retired in November after playing six games for the IceHogs this season.

The 33-year-old wrote an emotional letter to the Blackhawks organization after requesting his contract with Rockford be terminated.

Versteeg will be honored before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He will join the team on the ice for the national anthem and highlights of his career will be featured in the United Center.

Versteeg won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, in 2010 and 2015. He is part of the Blackhawks celebrating the 10-year anniversary of that 2010 Cup win. Brian Campbell was given the same treatment on Nov. 21.

The first 10,000 fans into the UC can get replicas of the 2010 ring.

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