Blackhawks

Seabrook skates; Canucks in new mental state

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Seabrook skates; Canucks in new mental state

4Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 11:09 a.m. Updated: 4:34 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com
And so, theyre back.

The Blackhawks have gotten this series with the Vancouver Canucks back to being a series again, and the Blackhawks are riding a wave of momentum entering Game 6 Sunday night at the United Center.

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault recognizes that momentum surge. He also knows his team needs to grab it away.

Weve got to get our urgency without a doubt to match their level of desperation, he said. Ever since Game 4 their (desperation) has certainly gone to another level and we need to do that also.

So the Canucks have their plan: play Game 6 like its a Game 7. No holding back, no acting like theres another game to close this series out and send the Blackhawks packing for good.

It puts us on the same frame of mind as the other guys, Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo said. Theres no more room for mistakes. We want to make sure were playing as desperate as the other side tomorrow.

The Blackhawks have piled a ton of goals into these last two games, outscoring the Canucks 12-2. The Blackhawks were basically free to do what they wanted in Game 5, thanks to a wealth of space on the ice. Its one of the biggest concerns the Canucks want to shore up in Game 6.

Not that Vigneault was going to tip his hand as to how theyd do that.

Were aware of the situation. Well put something in place and see if we can do a better job, he said. The Blackhawks have a lot of weapons. We need to get ready for their different weapons.

Seabrook hopeful

Brent Seabrook skated with his Blackhawks teammates on Saturday and coach Joel Quenneville hopes the defenseman can play tomorrow night.

It was the first time Seabrook has skated since he suffered a concussion from a Raffi Torres shoulder-to-head hit in Game 3 last Sunday. It sounds like Seabrook would have to pass the necessary tests tomorrow morning to play.

Obviously getting on the ice with the guys it was a lot of fun out there, said Seabrook, who added that he started feeling some symptoms entering Game 4 last weekend, the first game hed missed all season. He said he felt pretty good on Friday and is symptom-free today.

Im just overall excited to go, he said.

Quenneville said the Blackhawks will know more tomorrow on whether Seabrook can go. Seabrook did not skate among the top-six defensemen during drills; he was paired with Jassen Cullimore through practice. John Scott has played in Seabrooks place the past two games.

For Seabrook, its been tough to watch these last two games from the sidelines. He traveled to Vancouver for Game 5 and his sweater hung in the locker beside partner Duncan Keith.

Obviously I want to be out there with the guys, he said. I was talking with them and asking for another chance to get into the lineup. They did an unbelievable job and played two great games. Hopefully tomorrow's a better day for me and I can get back in there and help the guys out.

Tennis, anyone?

The Canucks opened their Saturday practice by passing and shooting with tennis balls. Vigneault said there was nothing strategic about it.

Its just a new way to warm up, he said. Were always looking for new ways to warm up.

Elbows and slashes

Troy Brouwer said he talked to officials in Game 5 after Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler caught him with an elbow. The chat, however, didnt help Brouwers cause.

The ref that was behind me, I had a quick chat with him and his angle was blocked by my body, so its tough to see. You know, he called a slash (on me), Brouwer said. So, he can see sticks but not elbows, I guess.

Edler said he did nothing wrong.

I didnt try anything with an elbow. I saw that he was coming and tried to cut him off at the net a little bit.

He said it

Roberto Luongo on the United Center crowd: Ive always liked playing in this building. I love it when the crowd yells at me, even when I got pulled.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

State of the Blackhawks going into All-Star break

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USA TODAY

State of the Blackhawks going into All-Star break

It's been a crazy first half of the 2018-19 season for the Blackhawks. There was a coaching overhaul, two trades, multiple call-ups, an injury to their star goaltender, a Winter Classic spectacle and an insane travel schedule looped into an already busy schedule with the club being tied for the second-most games played of any NHL team.

The All-Star break and nine-day hiatus from game action is coming at a great time for the Blackhawks, to say the least. And they left off on a positive note, with back-to-back home victories against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals on national television and a comeback shootout win over the No. 1-ranked defense and hottest Eastern Conference team in the New York Islanders.

But in the bigger picture, the Blackhawks are still not where they want to be. Not even close.

Going into Wednesday, they mathematically have a 1.4 percent chance of make the playoffs, according to hockeyreference.com, and that's likely to drop by the end of the day with eight Western Conference teams in action before the NHL shuts down for All-Star weekend. Only two other teams have a better chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick than the Blackhawks (11.5 percent), and that's Los Angeles (13.5) and Ottawa (18.5), the latter of which is actually Colorado's pick.

"We’re going to play until we’re out of it," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "No reason to give up. We’ll do everything we can. However, my approach is still the same. We have to get better. We’re not good enough right now. We have to play better. And so that’s how we’re going to approach each day and then we add it up at the end, see where we’re at."

The reality is, the Blackhawks are closer to the earning a top pick than making the playoffs. And that's fine, especially in a retooling year. In fact, it's better than sitting just outside the playoff picture because mediocrity is the worst spot to be in — it doesn't guarantee you an immediate impact-type player in the draft if you miss out on the postseason.

But the Blackhawks have to come to grips with it. It seems like they have, although that doesn't mean they're going to lie down for the final 31 games. This is still an important stretch run to determine what you have going into the offseason.

Scouting meetings are happening this week in Chicago, an annual occurrence where the organization gets together to decide how they want to approach the Feb. 25 trade deadline. Should they be sellers? If so, how aggressive should they get without creating more holes? Trade anyone you can to clear roster spots and open up even more cap space to take a big run at this upcoming unrestricted free agent class or only pull something off if you're filling a long-term positional need elsewhere?

Right now, non-playoff and bubble teams across the NHL are asking themselves these same questions. If they're buyers, the Blackhawks will certainly be one of the teams they call to ask who's available. It's up to Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks front office to determine who is and who isn't, what the market value is for players drawing interest and whether a potential trade is something that benefits them in the long run but, at the same time, can make an impact as early as next season.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Bold predictions about the Blackhawks' post-All-Star schedule

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Bold predictions about the Blackhawks' post-All-Star schedule

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Jamal Mayers and Pat Boyle discuss whether the Blackhawks can get back in the Wild Card race. They tell us which Blackhawks player has been the biggest surprise so far and have they figured out their defensive zone issues?

Jammer weighs in on what he would like to see from this team after the All-Star break, how they can improve their penalty kill and will they be a buyer or seller at the NHL trade deadline?

The guys close out the podcast with their bold predictions for the final 31 games of the regular season.

0:15 Teasing us or can they get into WC race?

2:00 Why is the power play clicking?

3:45 Biggest surprise between Kane, Toews and DeBrincat

6:00 Toews finds confidence

7:30 Biggest surprise from players not named Toews, Kane and DeBrincat

10:00 Strome factor

11:30 Have Blackhawks figured out defensive zone issues?

13:30 Jokiharju after the World Juniors

16:00 What would you like to see post All-Star break?

17:00 How do they improve penalty kill?

19:00 Buyer or seller at trade deadline?

21:00 Bold Predictions

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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