CSNChicago.com Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers and PGLhost Chris Boden will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on theHawks roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.In his 16th NHL season, Andrew Brunette played in 78games and averaged 13 minutes and 33 seconds per game. He scored 12 goals (fouron the power play) with 15 assists (three on the power play) for 27 points andfinished minus-13. He was credited with 21 hits and four penalty minutes. Inthe series vs. Phoenix, Brunette scored one goal (in Game 3), has no assistsand finished minus-3.Boden's take: The team was almost unbeatable when hefound the scoresheet (25-2). Problem was, he couldn't find it often enough inthe least-productive full season of his career. The times his soft hands paidoff around the net couldn't make up for hs lack of speed that really left himlooking like a square peg in a round hole on this team for much of theseason.Maybe his lack of a defined role -- or line -- affected hiseffectiveness. The 38-year-old has been a definition of durability throughout hiscareer, and he played through a painful foot injury in the playoffs.Myers' take: The veteran wing has a great set of handsand that was beneficial around the net. That made him a decent option for apower play that needed someone who was willing to be a net presence. ButBrunettes lack of speed meant he had a tough time keeping up with his swifterteammates. He started on top lines and had a few later games there. He was partof that troika with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane that got hot late in the season.But he spent more time getting juggled up and down the forward lines, nevertruly finding a niche anywhere. The constant changing showed in his stats: his27 points were his fewest since 1998-99 (31 with the Nashville Predators).2012-13 ExpectationsChris: Brunette already indicated the team won't have himback next season, and he had to decide whether this would be a disappointingend to an otherwise productive NHL career that dates back 16 seasons.Tracey: Brunette basically said hes not planning onbeing back with the Blackhawks next season. Sounds like he was told as much,anyway. But right now its uncertain whether hell even play anywhere nextseason. The 38-year-old said he needed to think about whether he wanted to playanother NHL season after wrapping up his 16th. If this was it, Brunette had apretty solid career on which to look back.How do you feel about this evaluation? As always, be sureto chime in with your thoughts by commenting below and check out some ofBrunette's highlights above.Previously: Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, SteveMontador, Sean O'Donnell, Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy, Patrick Sharp, DanielCarcilloUp next: Marcus Kruger
It’s been just over a month since the Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs in swift fashion. And as Patrick Kane told WGN Radio on Tuesday morning, the bitter taste hasn’t gone away.
“I think a lot of us didn’t figure we’d be in the situation we’re in right now,” Kane told Steve Cochran and Dave Eanet on Tuesday. “All of us can work this offseason to get better. It’s a long time to wait to get back to that opportunity to play in the playoffs again, so we’ll have a sour taste in our mouth for a while.”
The Nashville Predators, who made quick work of the Blackhawks in the first round, eliminated the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night to earn the first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. Kane told WGN he’s been watching the playoffs and said Nashville “has a pretty good system going.”
“They come at you, they play aggressive. I don’t think any of us would be a big fan of the way they defend in the neutral zone, just sitting back and playing that 1-3-1. But at the same time they come at you,” said Kane, who added that the Blackhawks “weren’t even close in that (first-round) series.”
“Maybe we had a chance in Game 3 when we were up 2-0, but it was a clean sweep and that’s probably how it should’ve been,” he said. “So now it’s time to regroup.”
When the Blackhawks had their wrap-up media session on April 22, general manager Stan Bowman was asked if some players, having won three Stanley Cups since 2010, had lost some of the hunger. Bowman didn’t buy that and neither did Kane.
“Four sounds a lot better than three, right?” he said. “It’s a long time away and a lot of work, but sometimes you go through those situations and you realize you won three Cups and it’s almost like you’re going to be there again. That’s where the reality check is for us now, realizing how hard it is to get back in that situation, how hard it is to win a Cup or go deep in this league. There’s a lot of work to be done.”
CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.
Head coach: Brian Cooney
Assistant coaches: Marc Kersting, Karl Hoinkes, John Harazin, Steve Gregory, John Hugunin, Greg Verdino, Ben Wilson
How they fared in 2016: 10-1, 9-0 in Southwest Prairie Conference
2017 regular-season schedule:
Aug. 25 — vs. Minooka
Sept. 1 — at Plainfield North
Sept. 8 — vs. Joliet West
Sept. 15 — at Plainfield East
Sept. 22 — vs. Romeoville
Sept. 29 — vs. Oswego East
Oct. 6 — at Joliet Central
Oct. 13 — vs. Plainfield South
Oct. 20 — at Plainfield Central
Biggest storyline: Can the Panthers reload, especially on the offensive side of the football with just four starters back from the 2016 season?
Names to watch this season: offensive and defensive lineman Noah Shannon (a Minnesota commit), defensive back Josh Shodipo, quarterback Levi Olson
Biggest holes to fill: The Panthers will look for help at the offensive skill positions this summer.
EDGY's Early Take: Oswego has won 46 straight Southwest Prairie conference games, and the Panthers remain the team to beat in that league. Oswego has some serious star power, and this remains a hard-nosed, tough football team that is always a tough matchup in Class 8A.