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Posted On Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 1:38 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Nordstrom hopes to carve own role with Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- Michael Frolik's replacement on the Chicago Blackhawks would like it to be known that he's no "Fro," even if his skill set is pretty similar to the former penalty-killing wing on the fourth line.

Instead, 21-year-old rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom hopes to make his own impact in Chicago, while starting out playing right wing on the fourth line and likely getting the penalty-killing minutes that Frolik absorbed on the way to the 2013 Stanley Cup.

"I would be happy to be that guy, but I don't want to replace him," Nordstrom said of Frolik, who was traded to the Winnipeg Jets in the offseason. "I want to be the player that I am, but for sure I think that we have the same qualities as players. Killing penalties is one of my biggest strengths. That's what I want to bring to the team and everything else too."


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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 4:47 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Blackhawks' Kane dazzles in viral video

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The advertising spot Patrick Kane did to promote the Bauer Vapor APX2 hockey stick was released Friday and became an instant hit online.

The video, which shows Kane stickhandling his way through three circular mazes of pucks at United Center, spread quickly. People shared it on social media sites in droves and almost all the comments were about the Chicago Blackhawks star right-winger's incredibly high skill level.

Kane never touches a single puck with either his stick or skates, despite more pucks being put into the maze as the video progresses.

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 2:35 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Blackhawks hold out Toews for precautionary reasons

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Chicago Blackhawks went through their first day of scrimmaging at training camp on Friday at Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena without captain Jonathan Toews.

After he went through a practice session with his assigned group in the morning, the decision to pull him from the scrimmage was made in order to rest an undisclosed lower-body injury.

"He practiced this morning and [being] precautionary, we kept him off for the game," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "It's not serious, but we decided we'd give him a little [time], see how he is [Saturday] and maybe give him a couple days off the ice."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 8:23 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Bickell, Handzus OK for Blackhawks camp

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Injuries stemming from the Chicago Blackhawks' victory in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final appear mostly healed, and the team appears to be healthy for the official start of camp Thursday at the University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena.

Blackhawks vice president and general manager Stan Bowman said Wednesday he expects forwards Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus, who each needed surgical procedures this summer, to participate.

"We had our medicals today and to my knowledge everything is fine," Bowman said. "I talked to the doctor this morning and the players are on their way up here now, but I spoke to both of them and they all look ready to go. I think health-wise we're in a very good situation leading into camp. There's always some little things that pop up here and there, but no surprises."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.22.2013 / 2:15 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Success rate down, but Blackhawks happy with PK

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have allowed more power-play goals to the Boston Bruins through the four games of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final than they did against the three other teams they eliminated coming into this series.

Chicago's success rate prior to facing the Bruins was 94.8 percent (55 of 58), tops in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it is 71.4 percent (10 of 14) in the Cup Final heading into Game 5 Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).

Is there something to it, or is that 23 percent drop more of an aberration than it might seem?

The Blackhawks said they feel it's more of the latter than the former.

"I think our penalty kill's been pretty good," Chicago center Dave Bolland said Saturday after the morning skate. "They've had four goals, but you're going to have breakdowns. It's going to happen. I think we've still stayed strong. We've still stuck to our game plan. We haven't gotten away [from] it. We've had some goals against, but I think those are going to come. You have to go over those and see what happened, but I think overall our PK has been pretty good."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 8:04 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks likely to use Leddy more in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy appears to be going through one of those turbulent dips in the ongoing maturation process of a talented young player.

The 22-year old played 2:37 over four shifts in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, which the Blackhawks won 6-5 in overtime against the Boston Bruins to even the best-of-7 series 2-2 heading into Saturday’s Game 5 at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Leddy took one shift in the first period, two in the first nine minutes of the second, and one early in the OT that lasted 12 seconds.

After the game, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Leddy was fine from a health perspective. Quenneville was again asked Thursday about the decision to sit Leddy so long.

"In the course of a game, I think every game is different," Quenneville said. "We went into the game, I think we were waiting to see how things played out, certain matchups you're looking for in the course of a game. And we're on the road, sometimes you can't get it, and sometimes the score reflects it, and sometimes you get deeper in the game and you're going to wait and see -- but I think that was probably the case last night with the lead. Later in the game we didn't go to him too much, but we'll definitely visit with him as we go along here before the next game."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.20.2013 / 6:49 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks confident in Crawford for Game 5

CHICAGO -- The answer, in case anybody's wondering, is that Ray Emery will not start in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Barring an unforeseen injury to Corey Crawford in practice Friday or during Saturday's morning skate, Emery will remain on the bench for the next chapter of what's already been a memorable Final.

Crawford, who allowed five goals in Chicago's 6-5 overtime win Wednesday that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2, will instead get a shot at redemption, something he's done a couple of times already this season following tough games.

Joel Quenneville was asked Thursday if he'd even consider starting Emery, who went 17-1-0 in the regular season, and the Blackhawks coach squashed the notion quickly.

"No, not at all," Quenneville said. "No, we're very comfortable with Corey. Corey has been rock solid all year for us, and when he's got the [start], he's been outstanding, and he's the biggest reason why we're here [right now]."

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Posted On Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 2:08 AM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks' power play continues to struggle

CHICAGO – There were signs of slight improvement on their first power play Saturday night, but the Chicago Blackhawks reverted back to bad habits in the next two during their 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

After going 0-for-3 in a triple overtime Game 1 victory on Wednesday, the Blackhawks watched another trio of man-advantage situations go by the wayside in Game 2 with just two combined shots on goal – and both of those coming on the first power play of the game.

Chicago is now 0-for-6 in the series on the power play and its conversion rate dipped to 12.3 percent (7-for-57) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not helping matters is the success rate of the Bruins’ penalty kill, which is snuffing out power plays at a clip of 87.9 percent (ranked fourth in the postseason).


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Posted On Saturday, 06.15.2013 / 2:29 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks stick with lineup that finished Game 1

CHICAGO -- Joel Quenneville is sticking with what worked in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, which his Chicago Blackhawks won 4-3 in triple overtime against the Boston Bruins on a double-deflection goal by Andrew Shaw.

Prior to Game 2 on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), the Chicago coach put his team through its morning skate with the same forward lines that finished the series opener Wednesday.

Rookie Brandon Saad is on the top line with captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, where Shaw played almost the entire regular season and to start the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with left wing Patrick Sharp fitting back into the second line and power forward Bryan Bickell slotting back into left wing on the third line.

"It was six periods [in Game 1], so we got a pretty good assessment of what they're up to," Quenneville said of the Bruins. "I think we got a little bit more comfortable with our own line rotation as we were going along. I think every game is different. We know we're playing a real good team here. We've got to be at our best. Every game is different. I think the lines right now look like they were for most of the regular season."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 5:43 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks could alter defense matchups in Game 2

CHICAGO -- An interesting strategic matchup went overlooked in the aftermath of the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 triple-overtime victory against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Throughout the nearly six periods in Game 1 Wednesday night, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville opted not to match his top defense pair of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook against the Bruins' top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton.

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Quote of the Day

Because of the way they play and their skill set I don't think they're fourth-line players, so in my mind I'm looking at one of those guys I'll have to move over to the wing.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on his four-player battle for second-line center