Blackhawks

WATCH: Artemi Panarin denies Patrick Kane's playful kiss

WATCH: Artemi Panarin denies Patrick Kane's playful kiss

The bromance of Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin may have hit a stumbling block.

After setting him up on the empty-net goal in the Blackhawks' 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night, it appeared that Kane attempted to lean in and playfully kiss Panarin as a mini thank you.

The Russian winger wasn't having it, but the two shared a laugh about it after the celebration. All is well.

Check out the GIF below, and the full video above.

Update: Upon further review, it appears that Kane got his visor stuck on Panarin. But we still fully support this bromance.

How Malcolm Subban is preparing for potential 'opportunity of a lifetime'

How Malcolm Subban is preparing for potential 'opportunity of a lifetime'

When Robin Lehner was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights at the NHL trade deadline, you knew the Blackhawks were going to ride Corey Crawford down the stretch as long as they were mathematically in the playoff hunt. And that's exactly what happened.

Malcolm Subban, who was part of the package coming back to Chicago, logged only 70 seconds of ice time in a Blackhawks sweater prior to the March 12 pause after being called upon for a brief relief appearance. But his role could be expanding in a significant way ahead of the NHL’s Return to Play tournament.

Crawford has been absent for the first three days of training camp after being ruled "unfit to play," which has opened the door for Subban to potentially serve as the Blackhawks' starter for their qualifying round matchup against the Edmonton Oilers if Crawford isn't ready.

"It could end up being the opportunity of a lifetime," Subban said. "For me, it's just taking it day by day and continuing to work hard and making sure I'm ready if I get an opportunity."

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Head coach Jeremy Colliton made it clear on Day 1 that it will be an open competition as the Blackhawks prepare for the possibility of life without Crawford. Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and Matt Tomkins will have as equal a shot as Subban to make their case, with all four rotating in and out with the NHL regulars' group during camp.

"We have a situation now where we’ve talked about it being open competition for a spot, whether that’s the starting position or the backup when we start come playoff time," Colliton said. "I think the work ethic from all of those guys has been good and that makes us feel good about the preparation they’re doing to take hold of that opportunity."

But Subban may have a slight leg up on the competition. He was one of only four Blackhawks — along with Alex DeBrincat, Alex Nylander and Patrick Kane — who participated in Phase 2 of voluntary workouts at Fifth Third Arena from start to finish and has the most career starts (60) among the four goaltenders.

Despite all that, Subban still feels like he has a long way to go before getting his timing right. He's taking full advantage of every practice session with goaltending coach Jimmy Waite and ironing out the fundamentals of his game because coaches weren’t allowed on the ice during Phase 2.

But Subban is slowly working his way back into form and getting more comfortable with each practice.

“We were skating for three or four weeks and I thought I was back on the little small things,” Subban said. “And then got out with Jimmy for the first time and realized I still had a lot of stuff to work on. But just getting out there and trying to correct those little bad habits that form and also getting back into game shape. Every skate will help.“

Why Blackhawks' Phase 3 training camp has had an extra intensity

Why Blackhawks' Phase 3 training camp has had an extra intensity

From the minute the Blackhawks' summer camp started on Monday, it was straight to business.

Unlike the usual team training camp that starts in September in preparation for the start of a new season ahead, there's no time to get back in the swing of things with the NHL's 24-team playoffs approaching.

Come July 26th, the Hawks will be traveling to Edmonton for the postseason. Prior to the first contest of a best-of-five play-in series against the Oilers beginning on Aug. 1, the Hawks will be facing off against the St. Louis Blues, the NHL's defending Stanley Cup champions, on July 29th in an exhibition game.

Despite where the Hawks' players were spread out across the grid during the NHL pause, which began on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how good of shape they were able to get in for the league's Return To Play, they were put to work by Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton on Day 1 monday and that's still the case through Day 3.

"I think the coaches had somewhat of a game plan coming in, we expected they were going to be hard practices and they have been," Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome said after Day 2's session. "They’ve been up-tempo, we did some power play at the end today. We’re getting back into it, starting to feel good. 

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"Obviously it takes a while to get back with the full team and feeling great again, but we’re doing the right things to feel good about ourselves and about our game. I’m sure the practices are going to ramp it up even more; every team’s going through the same thing. There’s what, 11, 12 days left of practices and camp? We’re looking forward to it. it’s going to be a grind but it’s a good grind for the right reasons, so we’re looking forward to it."

Drills, scrimmages and sprints starting with Day 1 and not subsiding through Day 3, didn't allow for much, 'So what did you do during the pause' idle chatter amongst teammates. At the first session on Monday, the team sprinted laps for more than 15 minutes before the end of practice.

The duration of the sprints shortened a little bit for Days 2 and 3, but seemed more challenging as the Hawks were doing laps broken up into groups on Day 2 around certain parts of the ice in a pattern and down the middle of the ice on Day 3. 

Along with basic drills, scrimmages and conditioning, the Hawks have been working more on specific game situations like breaking out of the defensive zone and Colliton said the team will be prepping more specifically for their matchup with the Oilers as camp drags on as well.

And Strome was right, it was all part of a game plan. 

"Well, we don’t have much time and we’ve got to make use of every day we have," Colliton said after Day 1. "That’s the upside of having that Phase 2 was relatively long. Most of the guys have had a chance to be on (the ice) and get up to speed. It wasn’t the first time they’ve been on the ice. These guys have been training at a high level, even if it wasn’t perfect conditions. These guys are pros and they’re ready. 

"We’re trying to be as smart as we can with the loads. There wasn’t a lot of stops and starts. There was a lot of skating. We’re trying to get their skating legs back. I think we had a little bit of everything today. We had some habits, some pace, some contact, some battles and compete things. Some 5-on-5 play. They had a chance to scrimmage. We’re going to see a lot of that. 

"There’s only one exhibition game we think. Trying to get them (to) that game level, that game feeling as quick as we can. So we’re gonna scrimmage quite a bit here as we move through this camp. Again, we don’t have much time so we’ve got to make use of every day."