Blackhawks

Quick hits: Blackhawks will face Predators in Round 1 of Stanley Cup Playoffs

Quick hits: Blackhawks will face Predators in Round 1 of Stanley Cup Playoffs

LOS ANGELES – Alright, folks, the regular-season show is over. Time for the real entertainment.

We now know that the Blackhawks will host the Nashville Predators, thanks to the Predators late-regulation loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. So much for a new foe in the first round.

But we digress. Before we look too far ahead, we might as well take one last look at the Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

What Worked: Artemi Panarin's chase. Well, it's looking like it'll be enough right now, anyway. Panarin jumped for joy, and understandably so, when Patrick Kane fed him for his 31st goal of the season. As of now Panarin is tied for ninth among NHL forwards in scoring. A top-10 finish assures him of collecting bonuses. It was almost the game-winning goal, too, but that went by the wayside. 

What Didn't Work: The power play. Yeah we know, it's a running theme and it went 0-for-3 on Saturday. A goal or two maybe changes the outcome but it's Game 82. A struggling power play was an issue heading into last postseason because, outside of that and the second line, the Blackhawks didn't have consistent 5-on-5 scoring. They do this season, so it's not as big a concern heading into these playoffs.

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Star of the game: Jeff Carter. The Los Angeles Kings forward came up short on two shorthanded breakaway opportunities of his own but he was great in setting his teammates up on Saturday. Carter finished with three assists, including the primary helper on Drew Doughty's overtime winner.

He Said It: "When our team plays for keeps, that's what it's all about. We have some young guys; we're looking forward to their contributions as well. But it's a long season to put yourself in this position here and this year it's so wide open, it should make for a great playoff. Let's be ready to meet the challenge." Coach Joel Quenneville on looking forward to the postseason.

By the Numbers: 

109 – Points for the Blackhawks this season, the second-most in franchise history. They had a franchise-best 112 in 2009-10.

700 – Games for Joel Quenneville with the Blackhawks. He's now 413-204-83 in his time here.

3 – Blackhawks who played in all 82 games this season: Patrick Kane, Panarin and Richard Panik.

15 – Career goals against the Los Angeles Kings for Jonathan Toews, the most of any of the Blackhawks.
 

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

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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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