Blackhawks

Roenick: Toews could be MVP

608734.png

Roenick: Toews could be MVP

The praise and compliments for Jonathan Toews continue to pour in. This time, it was former Hawks great Jeremy Roenick with strong compliments about the Blackhawks captain.

"Jonathan Toews is one of the best captains in all of sports... right now he could be, arguably, the MVP of the National Hockey league," Roenick said Friday on Chicago Tribune Live. "It's not so much his talent -- his raw talent is fantastic -- but his mentality, his grit and his dedication to the game and his dedication to his team. He's a captain in all senses of the word."

Toews is enjoying the best start of his career, with 17 goals and 15 assists (32 points) in 29 games. The 23-year-old has scored 12 goals in his last 14 games.

Roenick feels Toews felt extra-motivated after the Hawks' disappointing 2010-11 season and believes the team could accomplish special things once again if teammates follow Toews' lead.

"I think he was embarrassed with what happened last year after they won the Cup, the season that they went through," Roenick went on to say. "Coming back this year, he's focused, he's in great shape and he's elevating his game and because he elevates his game everybody on the team has to elevate their game. If he continues to do that, this team is going to be very difficult to beat because of their captain."

What does Roenick think about NHL realignment? Watch the video to find out and let us know if you agree with his assessment of Toews by leaving a comment below.

Corey Crawford expects to make season debut for Blackhawks on Thursday vs. Arizona

corey_crawford_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Corey Crawford expects to make season debut for Blackhawks on Thursday vs. Arizona

The wait is almost over.

After missing nearly 10 months with a concussion, Corey Crawford said he expects to start on Thursday when the Blackhawks take on the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center. An official decision will come following the team's morning skate.

"It feels good to be back to myself," Crawford said. "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling clear. ... Practices have been great, been getting timing a little bit more and getting up to speed and reading shots and all that, so it'll be nice to finally get in one."

Crawford's last appearance in an NHL game was Dec. 23, 2017 against the New Jersey Devils when he allowed three goals on seven shots in 13:22 of action before getting pulled. So of course, emotions will naturally be running high, especially in front of the hometown crowd.

"I'm sure I'll be a little anxious getting into it," Crawford said. "Some nerves. But we'll see. We'll wait until the morning, but I'm definitely excited I can tell you that."

It's obviously terrific news for the Blackhawks, who have picked up eight out of a possible 10 points to start the season and are getting their two-time Stanley Cup winning goalie back between the pipes. It's been a long time coming, and Crawford is coming back into a healthy situation where the Blackhawks are in a good spot in the standings.

"It's great news, I'm sure it'll be exciting for him exciting for our team, exciting for our fans and the organization as well," Patrick Kane said. "It’s probably a good situation all around. Cam [Ward] has done a great job of playing in the net so far. Crow is really good in practice right now, so I’m sure he’s itching to get back, too. We’ve had a good start here. It’s something we want to keep going, and I’m sure him coming back on home ice, in front of our crowd, will be a fun one for him and for our team."

There's no doubting how important Crawford is the team and organization. While there may be a little bit of rust early on, the Blackhawks are expecting him to look like his old self.

"He means a lot to the team," Quenneville said. "We felt last year was a good example of how important he was and how well he was playing for us, as well. We’ve gotten off to a decent start and he was a big factor in it. We know that goaltending is such a big part of the team and your success a lot of nights depends on him and his consistency’s always been in place.

"But he looks good in the net. He’s been off for a long, long time. Is there rust? Do we expect rust? I think the way he’s competing and practicing and finding pucks, he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. So we’re looking forward to him getting in there and getting comfortable and how he’s feeling going forward will dictate a lot of the decisions about him going back in."

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

saad_crawford_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!