Blackhawks

Viktory: Stalberg's shootout winner lifts Hawks

433350.jpg

Viktory: Stalberg's shootout winner lifts Hawks

Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted 8:48 p.m. Updated 9:53 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville asked Viktor Stalberg about getting into a shootout a few weeks ago.

WATCH: Stalberg happily in shootout lineups

On Friday night Quenneville wasnt asking as much as telling Stalberg he was in the top three. And for the second time in as many attempts this season, Stalberg came through.

Bryan Bickell scored late in regulation to tie it and Stalberg had the shootout winner as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 at Nationwide Arena. The victory kept the Blackhawks eighth in the Western Conference; Calgary, a 3-2 winner in St. Louis, remained three points behind them.

Stalbergs only other shootout was Nov. 6 in Atlanta, another game-winner. But hes been good at it during Blackhawks practices and skates, so he got another chance on Friday.

So far so good I guess, Stalberg said of his 1.000 shootout percentage. I do a lot in practice and try to score as much as I can there. (Quenneville) asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to go if we had the chance. We havent had any shootouts since he asked me. But that was a big point. At least I got a chance to win it.

The Blackhawks took advantage of things early in this one. Patrick Kane scored on a 2-on-1 sprung by Chris Campoli, and Brent Seabrook scorched one 15 seconds into the Blackhawks first power play for a 2-0 lead.

But then the Blackhawks got sloppy, with turnovers in the first and five penalties in the second period. The Blue Jackets, playing without Rick Nash and eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday, looked more like the team playing for something.

We killed for half the (second) period. And a lot of them were stupid penalties, too. We need to jeep the sticks on the ice and use our legs to backcheck and forecheck, defenseman Brian Campbell said. We were a little sloppy. But we got the win which is what we needed.

Still, it was looking unlikely for a while. The Blue Jackets were pushing the pace and tied it late in the second period on Derick Brassards 5-on-3 goal. Columbus then took a 3-2 lead about 13 minutes into the third, with Sami Pahlsson deflecting Anton Stralmans shot.

But just 95 seconds later Bickells knuckle-ball shot went under Mathieu Garons arm to tie it.

We gave up that 5 on 3 which was tough to swallow, Seabrook said. We just needed to be more disciplined, keep our sticks down and work harder. Thats what we did in the third period and we got the result that we wanted.
Bryan Bickell's goal with 5:03 remaining guaranteed at least one point for the Blackhawks. The goal was No. 17 this season for Bickell, but first since March 5 at Toronto. (AP)
The Blackhawks didnt get their desired game on Friday night. They did, however, get the desired result.

We came out of that (second) period very fortunate to be even, Quenneville said. Well take what we can get right now. It turned out to be a huge win for us.

Johnson a Masterton candidate

Ryan Johnson came back from two broken feet to become a solid faceoff-winning and shot-blocking center for the Blackhawks. For that reason, Johnson was nominated for the Masterton Trophy by the Chicago media. Johnson spent all offseason and part of the fall coming back from his foot injuries; he broke each on blocked shots. He made his Blackhawks debut in mid-December.

Theres nothing more rewarding than getting back to where you want to be (after injuries). I never thought about giving up, Johnson said. I needed a lot of the summer to get back. Patience is a hard trait to have when youre used to that point of the summer gearing up and getting back on the ice.

Johnson bided his time, got healthy and then, when the time came, answered the Blackhawks call. Hes been effective for them in several categories including faceoffs, where he won 11 of 15 against Columbus on Friday.

I wanted to be patient and let teams figure out what they knew they had or didnt have and the phone eventually started ringing, he said. I just wanted to put myself in the best situation to win a championship. That was here.

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

2019 NHL Draft Profile: C Jack Hughes

jack_hughes.jpg
NBC Sports

2019 NHL Draft Profile: C Jack Hughes

From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top prospect per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick third overall.

Jack Hughes

Position: Center
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report from NHL.com draft expert Adam Kimelman:

The most talented player in the draft should be the first one selected. The 18-year-old has a package of skating, passing, vision and hockey sense that's reminiscent of Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane."

NHL player comparable: Connor McDavid/Patrick Kane

Fit for Blackhawks:

Listen, we know. Hughes isn't going to be on the board at No. 3. But let's dream just for one minute because when the Blackhawks jumped into the top-three on lottery night, the thought crept into everyone's minds.

Hughes is one of the most talented players to ever come out of the United States National Development Program, and is the most pro-ready out of any prospect in this year's draft. He could step onto an NHL team tomorrow and play in a top-six role seamlessly. 

Stylistically, Hughes' game is reminiscent of McDavid and Kane: A playmaker, goal scorer, smooth skater, unreal vision, high hockey IQ. He is the complete package. And just wait until he adds some muscle to his frame under the care of an NHL organization.

If the Blackhawks landed the No. 1 overall pick, their center depth for the next 7-8 years could've consisted of Hughes, Dylan Strome and Jonathan Toews. Alright, now back to reality. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

GM Stan Bowman: Blackhawks 'unlikely' to trade out of No. 3 overall spot

GM Stan Bowman: Blackhawks 'unlikely' to trade out of No. 3 overall spot

The 2019 NHL Draft is 48 hours away from now and the Blackhawks are slated to pick third overall for the first time since 2006 when they took Jonathan Toews. Coincidentally, that draft happened to be in Vancouver. 

The Blackhawks are sitting in a unique spot this time around.

The consensus is that Jack Hughes and Kappo Kakko will go first and second overall, respectively, which essentially puts the Blackhawks in a position where they have the first overall pick in a different draft. There's a large group of players to choose from and there doesn't appear to be much separation amongst them.

So would the Blackhawks consider trading out of the No. 3 spot if a team wants to make the jump and the Blackhawks feel good about their player being on the board a few picks back?

"That’s a tough question to answer because it's not like we have a magic formula that we’re waiting for some to call and offer us," GM Stan Bowman said on Wednesday during his pre-draft conference call. "If somebody made a really appealing offer then we’d have to consider it, but that hasn’t happened yet. If it does, then as a group we’ll talk about it. That’s one of those things where a team has to want to put together a really appealing package to move up. It’s happened before, pretty rare though. So I wouldn't say it's out of the realm, but it’s unlikely to happen."

All signs point to the Blackhawks keeping their pick at No. 3, as expected. And it sounds like they already know who it's going to be, which isn't surprising considering the Blackhawks have done extensive research on the prospects — both on and off the ice — for months now.

The Blackhawks staff met on Wednesday a group, they'll meet again on Thursday, and then one more time on Friday before the draft to finalize their list. At this point, it's more about ironing out the later rounds.

"It’s more just fine-tuning the list," Bowman said. "We have more than just one pick in the draft. We’re looking at players we think are going to be around in the second round, and then we don’t have a third-round pick right now so there’s a bit of a gap there between our 43rd and then the two picks in the fourth round. So we have to look at that and determine which players we’re going to target for those rounds. I wouldn’t say there’s anything new that's being discovered at this time of year.

"We’re not going to be cramming last minute. I think we’re going to be very comfortable with the guy we pick when we get to Friday night."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.