Blackhawks prospects continue setting the bar high


Blackhawks prospects continue setting the bar high

Blackhawks prospects have spent the last week showing their respective leagues how the game is played.

Last Tuesday, 2008 first-round pick Kyle Beach was named the American Hockey League's player of the week after posting three goals and five points in the IceHog's two previous matchups.

On Monday the Chicago products kept the achievements coming as Mark McNeill was named the Western Hockey League's player of the week for his performance with the Prince Albert Raiders. The 19-year old forward racked up seven points, scoring two goals and five assists in the team's last three games, leading the team to a 2-1-0 road record.

McNeill currently leads the Raiders in scoring and ranks 23rd among WHL players with 24 points in 21 games. He was selected 18th overall by the Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL Draft.

Dennis Rasmussen taking advantage of opportunity with Blackhawks

Dennis Rasmussen taking advantage of opportunity with Blackhawks

During training camp, Mike Kitchen talked of what Dennis Rasmussen had to do entering this season.

Be proactive, the Blackhawks assistant coach said at the time, be bold.

“That’s what they told me,” Rasmussen recalled. “Since I got called up I have to do things a little bit quicker, I have to create a little bit more and be more active.”

Rasmussen got the message, and in the time he’s been in the lineup he’s done what the Blackhawks have wanted him to do. He scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday, when he took advantage of a fallen Philadelphia defender, and he’ll be on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Jordin Tootoo again on Friday when the Blackhawks face the Columbus Blue Jackets.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

“He showed a lot of character and determination to find a way to make an impact in the game. He bided his time here and then got in there, and he’s done a great job for us,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Gives up some size, gives us some depth, gives us some usefulness as far as playing a couple positions and can take face-offs, kill penalties as well. He’s turned out to be very useful and in a situation where we needed someone to come in and take advantage of it.”

The Blackhawks needed someone to step in after Ryan Hartman was injured last week in Nashville. Rasmussen, who’s played center most of his career, is currently on the wing. It’s different, but Rasmussen isn’t complaining.

“I haven’t played a lot of wing since I moved over here but it’s great. I like to play with Kruger, too, because we can take each other’s spots and cover for each other,” Rasmussen said. “I feel comfortable right now.”

Rasmussen’s in the lineup at the moment but how long will that last? Marian Hossa is out of Friday’s game with a lower-body injury but could come back on Saturday. Still, even when the Blackhawks are healthier they may have to keep Rasmussen in there. As long as he’s playing, he’ll keep trying to be the proactive forward the Blackhawks want him to be.

“I just try to work as hard as possible, win a lot of loose pucks and try to create some chances,” Rasmussen said. “At the same time be reliable, stay on the right side of the puck and be a two-way player.”

Fantasy Football Fix Podcast: Week 7


Fantasy Football Fix Podcast: Week 7

The CSN Chicago fantasy crew looks ahead to Week 7 in the NFL and gives their take on which players should start in your lineup and which players should remain on your bench. Host Slavko Bekovic with Scott Krinch, Tony Andracki, Pat Joyce and Michael Piff.

Listen to the latest Fantasy Football Fix Podcast.