Nhl Recap – Minnesota Wild At Chicago Blackhawks – Jan 11, 2015 – Cbssports.com

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Chicago Blackhawks Playing Down to Their Competition is Troubling Trend | Bleacher Report

”It just seems like everything that could go wrong is going wrong,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. The Wild dropped to 18-18-5 and are 12th in the loaded 14-team Western Conference, but coach Mike Yeo is certain they can turn it around. ”I’m confident in what we’re capable of, but we have to better,” he said. ”So I’m not going to just sit around and hope that things are going to be better. We have to find a way to be better. We have to find a way to bring more to the rink every day.” Trailing 2-0 in the second, Minnesota had a chance to get back in the game, but defenseman Nate Prosser ‘s shot went off the outside of the left post at 8:04. The Blackhawks then caught a break when Kane’s shot went off Prosser’s left skate and right to Richards, who beat Backstrom from the left side for his ninth goal. Wild forward Jason Zucker made a great move to draw a penalty shot with 3:43 left in the second, but he sent a backhand wide of the net and a trailing Oduya made it 4-0 at 18:25 when he jumped on a loose puck for his second goal. The Blackhawks (28-13-2) improved to 3-0 against the Wild this season with their second win over Minnesota in four days. Kane had a goal and two assists and Crawford made 42 saves in Chicago’s 4-2 road win on Thursday night. Now the Blackhawks have four days off before they host Winnipeg on Friday night. Sunday’s win capped a stretch of five games in eight days. source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/gametracker/recap/NHL_20150111_MIN@CHI

Chicago Blackhawks’ Awards for the 1st Half of the 2014-15 Season | Bleacher Report

Defenseman Johnny Oduya also scored and Corey Crawford had 36 saves as Chicago rebounded from an ugly 5-2 loss at Edmonton on Friday night. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane added two assists apiece in the opener of a four-game homestand. Hossa’s tap-in goal in the first period was his ninth of the season and No. 473 for his career, moving him into a tie with former Blackhawks great Denis Savard and Alexander Mogilny for 50th on the NHL list. It was a nice way to celebrate another birthday for a winger who appears to be embracing his age in his 17th season. “Maybe the number is higher, but I still feel good,” he said. “That’s how I look at it.” The weary Wild dropped their fifth consecutive game, including a 3-1 home loss to Nashville on Saturday night. Matt Cooke scored his third goal in the third period, and Niklas Backstrom had 31 saves in his third consecutive start. “It just seems like everything that could go wrong is going wrong,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. The Wild dropped to 18-18-5 and are 12th in the loaded 14-team Western Conference, but coach Mike Yeo is certain they can turn it around. source: http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/288214621.html

Midseason Grades for Each Line on the Chicago Blackhawks | Bleacher Report

2 in Chicago. Byfuglien and Ladd, members of the 2010 championship squad, combined for three assists in a 5-1 road win Dec. 23. Ladd has two goals and four assists on a four-game point streak against Chicago, which has been outscored 9-2 in the last three meetings – all at United Center. “They keep coming at you,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “They get you disrupted, and I think that’s what we saw here both times. I think we got outworked both times we played them, and you can’t expect to beat them when you’re just out there playing.” The Blackhawks have had plenty of time to prepare for this meeting after opening a four-game homestand by beating Minnesota 4-1 on Sunday. Marian Hossa and Bryan Bickell had a goal and an assist apiece for Chicago, which has split its last six. “You get two days away to get re-energized, then we had two good practices and I think they’re ready to play,” Quenneville said. “We’re playing a team that’s had some success against us twice already (at United Center). source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/jets-blackhawks-preview-061312305–nhl.html

Chicago Blackhawks get fast start, cruise past struggling Minnesota Wild 4-1 | Star Tribune

It’s one thing if the four losses in the previous eight games prior to the win over Minnesota were one-goal games, but three of those defeats were by multiple goals. They dropped a 5-1 decision at home to the Jets, were blanked 2-0 at Colorado and were the victims of a 5-2 defeat to the lowly Edmonton Oilers. The only one-goal loss was their hard-luck 3-2 decision to the Capitals in the Winter Classic, when former Blackhawk Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 13 seconds remaining in the third period. In addition to struggling against teams that they would normally beat with ease, the Blackhawks had problems with their even-strength play and their inability to get off to good starts. They were outscored 19-13 in even-strength situations, and that’s normally an area where the Blackhawks dominate. According to NHL.com, Chicago is scoring 1.27 goals for every goal their opponents score in five-on-five situations, ranking fifth in the league. However, during that cold spell, they were scoring just 0.68 goals to each goal their opponents scored when both teams were at full strength. High-level teams like the Blackhawks can normally overcome the occasional slow start because they have so much firepower with superstars such as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith in the lineup. However, even the best teams have problems when they get outscored consistently in the first period. Andy Devlin/Getty Images The Blackhawks were outscored 16-7 in the first periods during that eight-game stretch, and it explains why they had so much trouble against the likes of the Avs and Oilers. Those teams are used to falling behind, and when they face deficits in the second and third periods, it’s difficult for them to maintain a winning attitude and compete for 60 minutes. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2330395-chicago-blackhawks-playing-down-to-their-competition-is-troubling-trend

Jets-Blackhawks Preview – Yahoo Sports

They are two points behind the Nashville Predators in second place in the NHL ‘s Central Division, and the Preds have two games in hand on Chicago. Nevertheless, the Blackhawks proved themselves as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders during the first half of the season. They have depth and scoring power up and down the lineup, and there is little doubt that they would be favored in any best-of-seven matchup they are likely to engage in during the postseason, assuming the team can avoid major injuries. Head coach Joel Quenneville loves to switch his lines on a regular basis. Not only will he do it from game to game, he will make changes within games. However, for the purposes of this feature, we will hand out grades for the four lines based on these combinations. No. 1 Line: Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa USA TODAY Sports When Quenneville calls on his top line of center Jonathan Toews surrounded by right wing Marian Hossa and left wing Brandon Saad, he knows the house is going to be protected. He knows that Toews and Hossa are two of the most responsible and effective three-zone players on the teamif not the leagueand Saad has the speed and diligence to stay with opposing forwards or catch up to them when the opponents have possession of the puck and are attacking. However, the Blackhawks usually have possession of the frozen disc and are creating scoring opportunities when Toews, Hossa and Saad are on the ice. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2328156-midseason-grades-for-each-line-on-the-chicago-blackhawks

You wouldn’t expect anything else from a player who is a two-time winner of the Norris Trophy. Keith has remarkable offensive instincts and regularly puts them on display. He is so adept at carrying the puck and skating it out of the defensive zone to start the Chicago attack. Keith is a pinpoint passer who can put tape-to-tape passes on the sticks of the Blackhawks’ highly talented offensive players. He has scored six goals and 20 assists, and he has the ability to put together multiple-point games on a regular basis. He has a plus-12 rating and is averaging 25:57 of ice time per game. Keith’s presence on the ice means good things usually happen for the Blackhawks, as his on-ice Corsi mark of plus-18.66 percent indicates, per Behind the Net. Unsung Player Award: Marcus Kruger Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press The Blackhawks have slew of superstars, and that’s probably the main reason they are considered perhaps the league’s strongest threat to win the Stanley Cup this year. However, they also have their share of blue-collar workers who are never in consideration for the All-Star team but make valuable contributions anyway. They will go into the corners, fight the hard battles and play strong defensive hockey. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2330057-chicago-blackhawks-awards-for-the-1st-half-of-the-2014-15-season

 

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