Toews' career-best five points save Blackhawks


Toews' career-best five points save Blackhawks

ANAHEIM, Calif. The Blackhawks didnt say anything special in the second intermission on Friday afternoon; nothing they havent said the past few intermissions, anyway.

They didnt need to talk. They just needed to execute. And when that third period rolled around, they did plenty of that.

Jonathan Toews had a career-high five points and Patrick Sharp recorded his first hat trick in four years as the Blackhawks came back to beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-5. Toews, who had four points alone in the third period, is the first Blackhawk with a five-point night since March 10, 2007, when Jeff Hamilton (three goals, two assists) did it against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Youre not keeping count when youre out there on the ice, Toews said of his outing. You just know youre down one goal and you need to get another one. A couple of goals gave us the momentum and we just carried it through the last 20 minutes.

It was also Sharps first hat trick since Nov. 17, 2007 against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Blackhawks four-goal outburst in the third period helped them overcome a 4-2 Ducks lead and snap a three-game losing streak. But players said there was no special speech heading into the third. It was just reinforcing whats been said since they left Alberta, Canada.

Its just been consistent over the last 6 periods. Every period were saying the same things: be predictable, be reliable do the little things that the next guy expects you to. That work ethic finally took over, Toews said. We didnt change anything going into that third period relative to the last bunch of periods. We just finally got some breaks to win.

And coach Joel Quenneville also made a quick line change, putting Sharp on the top line with Toews and Viktor Stalberg. The change took effect quick. Toews second goal, a Duncan Keith shot that went off his skate, came 64 seconds into the period. Sharps second goal of the game came just 28 seconds later to tie it. The two would score one more each to complete the comeback.

I dont think in pro sports you respond to a rah-rah speech too many times, Sharp said. We had a good discussion with the coaching staff after the Edmonton game. We felt we could be better and we have for (the last) six periods. (We got down) 2-0 but its early in the game and we didnt even really get going at that point. We didnt change the way we played for 60 minutes and thats a sign of a good team.

Keith and Stalberg had two assists each for the Blackhawks. Bobby Ryan scored twice for the Ducks.

The Blackhawks got their moral victory in San Jose but they needed the points they got in Anaheim more. They got past early hiccups, buckled down and got rewarded for it. Now they want it one more time to finish up this road trip.

It really was a great effort across the board, Quenneville said. The guys are excited; we have a chance to get to .500 and coming off two very disappointing games and the last two were right back on track. Getting our team game back in order quickly is something I appreciate.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 189 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Kotkaniemi has been a top-six forward for his league team in Finland all season and had a very solid U18 season relative to his historical peers in the league. He has very good hands that are high-end, if not flashing elite. He can make very skilled plays off an entry, but what impresses me is how well he can control the puck and keep plays alive."

NHL player comparable:

Fit for Blackhawks:

There isn't a player that has climbed the rankings in such a short amount of time than Kotkaniemi, who was initially projected to go outside the top 10 but could go as high as No. 3 overall. It's likely because there aren't many high-end centers in this draft, and he's the top one.

If Kotkaniemi happens to slip to No. 8, it may be hard for the Blackhawks to pass up on him. He's versatile, too, which is always a bonus, especially when playing under Joel Quenneville. But if they view him as a center, here's how the Blackhawks would look down the middle: Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Kotkaniemi and Artem Anisimov.

Um, yeah. That'll work.