Blackhawks

Seabrook plays hero role for Blackhawks

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Seabrook plays hero role for Blackhawks

Brent Seabrook had the unenviable duty of going up against some of the Anaheim Ducks most potent offensive and physical threats on Tuesday night.

The Blackhawks defenseman was up to the task 29-plus minutes worth up to the task. He was hitting, he was blocking shots and he was part of a penalty kill that went 5-for-6, including 3-for-3 in the third period.

Killing penalties is always tough, Seabrook said. And against them, youve got skilled, big forwards who are good in front of the net, can make plays and have big shots. It was definitely something had to get done last night.

The Blackhawks did, and Seabrooks strong outing was a big help to that end. But whether its against the Ducks or another team, even strength or on the penalty kill, Seabrook has been one of the Blackhawks most consistent defensemen.

Last night he was physical, had a real good game, said coach Joel Quenneville, whos liked what hes seen from Seabrook as well as his defensive partner Niklas Hjalmarsson. Defending against those big guys as much as (Seabrook) did, thats a big nights work. When you have a guy like him playing against top lines, its tough on those guys knowing he can be physical and wearing. It can make for a long night.

It also made for a long night for Seabrook, as his 29:13 time on ice was his highest since March of 2008 and 7:16 of those were on the penalty kill. He had three blocked shots and now leads the team with 21. And against a Ducks team that loves to be physical, Seabrook had a team-high seven hits.

Im trying not to take myself out of the play to take a big hit, Im just playing the same way Ive always played, he said. Some games (the hits) come more than other games. Last night was sort of one of those games.

Seabrook is steady and not flashy on the ice. He doesnt always garner the headlines, but his game earns him plenty of respect.

In this room we appreciate what he brings to the team. Hes been around the long time and he brings a lot of leadership here, too, said former partner Duncan Keith. Everybody here knows his importance and certainly guys around the league know hes a big strong guy and tough to play against.

Anthem singer Wayne Messmer talks 1991 NHL All-Star Game rendition

Anthem singer Wayne Messmer talks 1991 NHL All-Star Game rendition

Wayne Messmer, the National Anthem singer from the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, chatted with NBC Sports Chicago's Blackhawks Talk podcast about one of the most iconic moments in Chicago sports history.

On January 19, 1991 the NHL All-Star Game was at Chicago Stadium. The celebration of the league's best players commenced just two days after Operation Desert Storm began the Gulf War. 

Messmer has sung the National Anthem around Chicago for 30 years and was the Blackhawks anthem singer for 13. 

He notes the tradition of Hawks fans cheering the anthem began ahead of a 1985 playoff contest with Chicago down 2-0 in the series to the Edmonton Oilers.

"It had been a little noisy when Hawks had played Vancouver," Messmer said. "Perhaps the year before or even in '83, but it was really games 3 and 4 of that series, the Conference Finals against Gretzky and the gang from Edmonton, where it began."

Messmer believed the '91 All-Star anthem was the hockey universe's introduction to Chicago's way of enjoying the Star Spangled Banner.

"Yeah, for sure," he said. "Because it was a few weeks earlier there was a game on that was televised nationally from the stadium and the decision was, 'Do not carry the anthem.' There was kind of a pushback, especially from the fans. 

"So when they announced NBC was going to cover both anthems, it was like a challenge to the fans, 'Let's show them how it's done here.' And the signs and the flares and the sparklers and all of that, it was Twilight Zone surreal. You had to pinch yourself because it was really happening.

"And trying to get through that as a vocalist isn't easy because you got a huge, emotional lump in your throat. You want to be a part of that, but you're the guy that's got to light the wick."

The singer was able to take in the moment despite his monumental duty that day.

"I was certainly soaking it in," Messmer said. "I've always, as I will describe it, 'lived life with my eyes open.' But, I will tell you, it took enormous concentration. And I'm not saying, 'Hey, how swell I am,' but it's a technique of concentrating on technique, on breathing, on supporting and not shouting, not screaming and not trying to get louder because the crowd is getting louder." 

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Patrick Kane views booing in St. Louis as 'a sign of respect'

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USA Today

Patrick Kane views booing in St. Louis as 'a sign of respect'

ST. LOUIS — Of the 11 NHL All-Stars from the Central Division this season, four of them are Blues: Jordan Binnington, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo. And deservedly so.

The other seven were all booed by Blues fans on Friday, but none were louder than the ones Patrick Kane drew.

Kane steps on the ice for warmups? Boos.

Kane’s name announced as a Central Division representative? Boos.

Kane touches the puck for one of the skills challenges? Boos.

Heck, even during Thursday’s media session when seven other skaters were talking at the same time as Kane, he was interrupted by boos.

So when the nine-time Blackhawks All-Star won the Shooting Stars challenge at the Skills Competition on Friday, Blues fans weren’t afraid to show how they felt about it. It didn’t help that it was the final event of the night, either.

After the competition, Kane was asked about the crowd reception in St. Louis. And he responded in terrific fashion.

"The boys were asking me why I was getting booed," Kane said. "And I said I shouldn't have scored those overtime playoff goals against them and maybe they wouldn't have booed me."

Over the last decade, Kane helped lead the Blackhawks to nine consecutive playoff appearances, five Conference Finals and three Stanley Cup runs. He was a thorn in the side of every Central Division team over that span, including the Blues.

In 64 career games against the Blues, Kane has 25 goals and 38 assists for 63 points. He also has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 13 postseasons contests, with two of those goals being game winners.

As they say, fans don’t boo nobodies.

"I remember me and my dad, we went to watch the Flyers and Sabres fans were booing [Eric] Lindros the whole game," Kane recalled. "I think he got kicked out with like 10 minutes left in the game or something, and then the game was no fun anymore because there was no one left to boo or watch. 

“You kind of view it as, obviously it’s somewhat a sign of hatred, but somewhat a sign of respect too. It’s fun when you play in Nashville or Winnipeg or places like that, and you hold onto the puck and they’re booing you and you want to hold onto it longer. [Duncan Keith] get booed in Vancouver, which is always pretty funny to see him up his game a little bit and hold onto the puck as well. It’s somewhat a sign of respect.”

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