EDMONTON, Alberta — Ah, another Sunday. It’s time for football, whether you’re tuning in to the NFL in the U.S. or huddling around the tube to watch the Grey Cup here in Canada.
But for us, a Sunday off for the Chicago Blackhawks also means musings. So while you watch the football of your choice today, enjoy a few Blackhawks musings.
1. Family comes first, no matter what. We were reminded of that on Saturday when we found out Marian Hossa flew back to Chicago for a “family matter,” according to coach Joel Quenneville. As of Sunday afternoon, there was no update on his situation, or news on if and when he would rejoin the team. Once again, we hope everything is OK. Hockey can wait.
2. Is it just us or is Duncan Keith looking very Norris Trophy candidate-like again this season?
3. Corey Crawford might have had his best game of the season on Saturday night. It’s not necessarily the number of stops — he had 36 of 37. It’s more about how he looked overall, and he looked confident and crisp against the Vancouver Canucks. Crawford was seeing just about every shot, he was square to the net and knocking (most) rebounds out of harm’s way. And despite now appearing in 22 of the Blackhawks’ last 24 games, Crawford said he feels fine. “I work hard in the summer to be ready,” he said. “We have enough time to recover. We have a day in between. That should be enough.”
4. Speaking of goaltending, here’s our guess of when we’ll see Antti Raanta: Monday night vs. the Edmonton Oilers and Friday against the Dallas Stars.
5. From the “Things We Should Be Aware Of” category: Patrick Kane is on a 10-game point streak. During this stretch, Kane has five goals (including two game-winners) and nine assists. Doesn’t matter who his linemates are, Kane just keeps scoring points.
6. We wrote in our Five Things heading into Saturday night’s game that any time Blackhawks defensemen get involved in helping to create offense, the team will be in great shape. Three defensemen each got an assist last night (Keith, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson). As we were saying ...
7. In related news to the note above, the Swedish Olympic team scouts were at the Canucks-Blackhawks game last night. Hjalmarsson, Oduya and Marcus Kruger picked a good time to have a good night.