Chicago Blackhawks Report Card: First Midterm Edition

Toews needs to keep his scoring touch going.

On Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 at the United Center, bringing their record for the first 10 games of the season to 6-2-2. Ray Emery made 27 saves in only his second start of the season, and while the Hawks’ power play struggled to get going in an 0-for-5 performance, their penalty killing unit was perfect yet again, going 5-for-5 in keeping the Jackets off the board. It was a great microcosm of their season to this point, and it was a solid victory for a club that is among the top squads in the Western Conference.

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Blackhawks Notes: Salak Recalled, Saad Sent to Saginaw

Despite his assurances on Monday that he is completely healthy, the Chicago Blackhawks took out an extra insurance policy on goaltender Corey Crawford on Wednesday, bringing up keeper Alexander Salak from Rockford. Ray Emery has also been feeling under the weather, so the goalie lineup for the Hawks going into Thursday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets is anyone’s guess at this point.

In addition to the call-up of Salak, word also came down that Brandon Saad, who had impressed the team’s brass with his excellent preseason performance, had been sent back to Saginaw of the OHL. He will remain there for the rest of the year and work to refine his game, but in his short stint with the team he proved that he likely is going to be one of the biggest steals of the 2011 Draft, having gone with the 43rd overall selection in the second round.

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Chicago Blackhawks Season Preview: Meet the IceHogs

Lost in the shuffle amid all the roster moves that were made today by the Chicago Blackhawks as they prepare for their regular season opener on Friday was the fact that the roster for the Rockford IceHogs, their AHL affiliate, was solidified as well. Several players who were sent down today, including Brandon Pirri, Dylan Olsen, and Marcus Kruger, undoubtedly will be looked at to make a big impact on the upcoming season for the Hogs, who are coming off a disappointing season in which they finished in last place in the West Division. The injury-depleted Blackhawks didn’t help matters in terms of prying players away from Rockford, but so is the life of an AHL affiliate.

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Blackhawks Notes: Kane, Hossa to Play Wednesday; Could Saad Make the Team?

 

Patrick Sharp in pre-game warmups

The Chicago Blackhawks will take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight at the United Center, but before they do, here are some news and notes to get you set for what will be the first game with the Opening Night roster taking to the ice:

….Except for Patrick Sharp

Patrick Sharp will not be in the lineup for the Blackhawks tonight, but he has been skating on his own for the past few days, and head coach Joel Quenneville has said he is still optimistic that Sharp will be in the lineup Opening Night. If he isn’t, there are a couple of guys who could theoretically replace him:

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Thursday’s Three Stars: Saad Shines But Staal and Penguins Get Last Laugh

The Chicago Blackhawks skated into Pittsburgh on Thursday night looking to end a streak of seven consecutive road preseason losses, but unfortunately for them, Jordan Staal and the Penguins had other ideas. Staal scored twice, and Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy also added goals as the Pens pulled away late and beat the Hawks 4-1. Michael Frolik picked up the lone tally for the Blackhawks in the second period, and Ray Emery gave up four goals on 19 shots in a losing effort.

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Tuesday’s Three Stars: Several Hawks Shine, But Oilers Get Last Laugh in Saskatoon

Tuesday night may not have mattered in the standings to the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell by the high level of play that was displayed as the two teams met in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in their respective preseason openers. Rostislav Olesz and Jamal Mayers netted goals for the Blackhawks, but it wasn’t enough to overcome two tallies by Josh Green and the game winning goal by Jordan Eberle late in the third period as the Oilers beat Chicago 4-2.

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Blackhawks Notes: Storylines Heading Into First Preseason Game

The Chicago Blackhawks are headed to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for their first preseason game tomorrow night, where they will play the Edmonton Oilers. The game, while not available on TV in Chicago, is going to be streaming on the Hawks’ official team website, and it will provide fans’ first glimpse into some of the changes that the team has made this off-season.

Big name players like Marian Hossa (who is finally reporting to camp tomorrow after attending Pavol Demitra’s funeral last week, as well as attending the birth of his daughter), Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Patrick Kane will not be making the trip up to Canada, but there is still plenty to pay attention to as the team suits up against an actual opponent for the first time since April:

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Training Camp Primer: Recapping & Grading the Blackhawks’ Offseason

In contrast to the 2010 off-season, the summer of 2011 was a relatively quiet one for the Chicago Blackhawks. Sure, there were still trades that took place and signings galore, but the attachment that fans felt to the players who had so recently won the Stanley Cup made it more difficult to see guys like Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien go to other places.

With more fans tuning in to see what the Blackhawks are up to as they prepare for the regular season, which is only 18 days away, The Sports Bank is here to give you a quick and dirty recap of all the moves that the Blackhawks have made since Alex Burrows swiped the puck from Chris Campoli and scored the series winner that sent Chicago home.

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