Vince Vaughn may be a good luck charm for Toews, Blackhawks after all


Vince Vaughn may be a good luck charm for Toews, Blackhawks after all

By Zareen Syed


Chicago guy Vince Vaughn is all over the Stanley Cup Final. And why wouldn't he be? 

Earlier in the week, the actor picked up the tab for the Lightning coaching staff at the Chicago Cut (they really have it good, huh?) and perhaps got hit with some side-eyes from his fellow loyal fans. 

But worry not, his act of generosity didn't cost more than just dinner. In fact, looks like he's bringing us some luck by sitting rink side as Jonathan Toews scored the opening goal in Game 4.

In classic die-hard fashion, Vaughn gives his buddy Toews a pointing approval. If we mouth read correctly, pretty sure he says "nice job, my man." 


[More: Vince Vaughn likes Blackhawks' chances: 'Chicago has a big heart']

And just when you think Vaughn had enough of a good time, in a exclusive before the game, he sat down with Toews for some full-fledged banter about everything from the Toews Lake in Manitoba to his dance-off with Patrick Kane.

Vaughn also had a blast with nicknames. "People have called you Captian Serious, Tazer, Johnny Johnny hotcakes.... the last one I might've just made up on the spot," joked Vaughn. (Toews told Vaughn to come hang out in the locker room to get himself a nickname, too.)

See Vaughn's full interview with Toews here. 

Nicknames aside, the two had more to bond over. In March, Vaughn was in Chicago for the Polar Plunge to support he Special Olympics and sported none other than a Toews jersey. But it kind of, sort of backfired: "It was a terrible idea!" Vaughn said. "Because the fabric made it twice as cold." You can check that out below: 




How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

Corey Crawford is back and it didn't look like he skipped much of a beat. The Blackhawks were handed their first regulation loss of the season to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, but the 33-year-old netminder stopped 27 of 30 shots (.900 save percentage) in his season debut and made several timely saves to keep his team in it.

In the larger picture, it was a win based on how well Crawford looked between the pipes.

"Yeah, I think it is," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice on Friday. "It's one of things we were wondering, how he would handle post-game and how he came in today. Very encouraging signs. He felt good in all aspects of what he went through and dealt with, and practiced well today too, so that was good."

The first one is in the books.

But what's the plan going forward? Will Crawford be on a "pitch count" or will they treat him like they have in past seasons when he was healthy?

In the past, Crawford has generally started somewhere in between 55-58 games per season. Part of that has been because of injuries. Another part is the Blackhawks have had reliable backups, which allowed them to give Crawford an extra night off here and there to keep him fresh.

It's not unreasonable, though, to think Crawford could flirt with 50 starts, considering he missed only five games to start the season. And they can still accomplish that by playing it safe.

The Blackhawks have 13 more back-to-backs this season, which gives them the opportunity to start Cam Ward at some point in each of them. That leaves room for another 15 or so starts to sprinkle in for Ward that could serve as rest days for Crawford and still being on track to start around 50.

Obviously, the Blackhawks want to be careful with how much they ask of Crawford because concussions are tricky to deal with and every player responds differently to it.

His return comes at a time where the Blackhawks are slated to play seven games in 11 days after playing just two in the previous 10. Thursday marked the start of that stretch.

"He’ll tell us how he feels and we’ll go from there and make those decisions," Quenneville said.

The Blackhawks have been on record saying they prefer not to carry three goaltenders. But in this case it makes sense. At least in the short term.

Quenneville said Friday that the Blackhawks will reevaluate the situation at the end of the weekend following the beginning of a busy stretch where they'll play three games in four days.

"Yeah, that’s the mindset," he said. "Let’s see how we handle these three in four and then we’ll address it."

Crawford is expected to start on Saturday in Columbus, making it his second start in three days. That's when they'll get a better sense of how he's handling things.

If it were up to him, Crawford said he feels he's prepared for it.

"Yeah, sure," Crawford said. "Why not? I've been working hard with [strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman]. He's got me where I need to be, so I'm in shape right now. Why not?"

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut


Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

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