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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blackhawks find good and bad in 6-3 loss to Vancouver

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Before Saturday's game, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was asked how the games went just before the Hawks embark on their annual trip to Las Vegas.

"Flip a coin," said Quenneville. "You know some real good and some real bastards."

Saturday's game could be considered a bit of both.

The Hawks played better than they had in a victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday and lost overtime to the Calgary Flames on Friday, but still came out on the wrong end of a loss to the Vancouver Canucks 6-3.

Some familiar enemies have done in the Hawks Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

Daniel Sedin tallied a hat trick, including two goals after Artem Anisimov center Hawks tied the game 3-3 in the third period, while Henrik Sedin had a goal and four assists.

"We gave up half the chances we did the last two games, but the bad guys had chances tonight," said Quenneville said.

There were some good points for the Hawks. Trevor Daley had two assists and the Hawks offense picked up a little momentum after Quenneville decided to change his lines in a radical way. Quenneville moved Marian Hossa on the top line and he skated on the third line with Andrew Desjardins and Marcus Kruger.

He also paired Ryan Garbutt and Andrew Shaw Jonathan Toews, a movement that had a certain advantage. Toews and Shaw were among the leaders of the Hawks in Corsi plus-minus. Garbutt scored his first goal as a Blackhawk in the first period.

"They had a little energy, they got the speed, they had rhythm, they had the puck, had time to attacking zone," said Quenneville. "They scored. Many things we wanted. It was a dangerous line."

Meanwhile, Patrick Kane extended his point series of 16 games with assistance on the secondary purpose of Anisimov in the third.

"Actually, I thought we played well enough for most games, you put 3-3, then a couple moves later, you're down 4-3 and 5-3 really fast and it's frustrating" said Kane. "But these guys have made some good games tonight."

These guys would be the Sedin. With the score tied at 3-3, Daniel Sedin took a pass from Henrik along the left circle and beat Crawford short side at 14:35. Sedin then ran a give-and-go that led to a third goal from Daniel night.

"I do not know if they are getting better, but they are not getting any worse," said Quenneville said. "They have always been quite effective, dangerous. Tonight was one of those nights where they had the magic touch and they were good."

The Hawks now head to Las Vegas for some rest and relaxation before facing the Sharks on Wednesday in San Jose. While Saturday's score was lopsided, they do not leave Canada in a total funk.

"You play well on the road, it's 3-3 and then give you up to two faster, then you are out of the game," said Kane. "That's what's frustrating, but even if we got points in our last two games I thought (Saturday) was a better effort. "

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The breathtaking potential of the Blackhawks' new line

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Artem Anisimov was where all of the life of Patrick Kane Jersey?

Marko Dano was supposed to be the stud Brandon Saad in the trade, and it could still be, but for now, Anisimov was a Kane centering star on the Blackhawks only line that could mark until Jonathan Toews discovered three-on-three overtime.

Last season, you remember, Brad Richards was supposed to be the answer for Kane - always someone is supposed to be the answer, even Michal Handzus - but inexplicable and unacceptable Richards three goals in 22 games before Thanksgiving and none in October 1 killed that idea for a while.

Anisimov, meanwhile, already has five goals in the first 12 games of the Blackhawks, two of them shorthanded, including the clincher in the 4-2 win over the Kings on Monday night.

For those of you scoring at home, Anisimov is a goal of Saad.

Even absent, Saad large numbers in the context and perspective of this pairing Anisimov-Kane and now the trio which includes wonderfully talented Teuvo Teravainen.

Blackhawks send struggling F Bryan Bickell to AHL, recall Marko Dano

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Three years ago Bryan Bickell was a major contributor to a winning team to the Stanley Cup when he scored nine goals in 23 playoff games for the Chicago Blackhawks. He was rewarded with the next summer, $ 16 million contract extension for four years with the team, and it's pretty much done all downhill for him since.

His production declined his playing time was reduced, it was left out, and it has even been put on waivers (and went unclaimed) during the summer after the team was unable to find a trading partner for him.

On Monday, the team turned to the only other option she had when she announced that Bickell was sent to Rockford of the AHL.

Taking its place on the list will be Marko Dano, one of the key players Blackhawks received during the summer in the trade that sent Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Dan had seven points (one goal, six assists) in nine games in the AHL this season and had a very impressive NHL debut last season with the Blue Jackets when he recorded 21 points in 35 games in his rookie season 20 years.

Bickell still has a year remaining on his contract after this season at a salary cap hit of $ 4 million. By sending him to the AHL Blackhawks only save $ 950,000 from the ceiling.

The decision to sign him this long-term contract was controversial at the time because he had never really proved to be a big-time producer before the playoffs, and given the movements Blackhawks had making in recent years because of the salary cap is proven to be a costly extension.

Including his seven games this season (where he has yet to record a point) Bickell only 44 points in 146 regular season games since signing the contract.