Cue Chelsea Dagger, Blackhawks' 2013 schedule has arrived

981053.png

Cue Chelsea Dagger, Blackhawks' 2013 schedule has arrived

The lockout has come to its merciful end. And with the Memo of Understanding finally being completed and signed by the NHL and NHLPA, the focus finally shifts to training camps and regular-season schedules.

READ: Hawks hit the ice Sunday as training camp opens

The Chicago Blackhawks will play 10 of their first 12 games on the road before enjoying a seven-game homestand, as team schedules were finally released on Saturday. The schedules came out a few minutes after both sides agreed upon a Memo of Understanding regarding the new collective bargaining agreement. The league said it would wait until the MOU was complete and signed before releasing all the information.

PHOTOS:A look inside the Hawks' first 10 games

Now the fun begins. Training camps will open on Sunday, albeit later in the day because it took so long Saturday to complete the MOU. The Blackhawks will have a little less than six days to prepare for their season opener against the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, which will be a 2 p.m. start on Jan. 19.

RELATED: Pack your bags, Hawks hitting the road

Other highlights of the Blackhawks schedule include:

The home opener against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 22 and their next home game against the Red Wings, on Jan. 27.

An early visit to play the Phoenix Coyotes, the team that eliminated the Blackhawks in the Western Conference quarterfinals, on Jan. 20. But this game will be without Phoenix forward Raffi Torres, who will still be serving his suspension for injuring Marian Hossa last April.

A six-game road trip -- with games at Minnesota, Vancouver and San Jose, among others -- while the Disney ice show is in the United Center.

A seven-game homestand immediately following that six-game road trip. The Blackhawks will play San Jose twice and host the hated Vancouver Canucks once on this stand.

With trying to squeeze 48 games into a condensed amount of time, the Blackhawks will face all Western Conference opponents.

DateOpponentTimeTVJANUARYSat, Jan. 19at Los Angeles2:00 p.m.NBCSun., Jan. 20at Phoenix9:00 p.m.NBCSNTue., Jan. 22St. Louis7:30 p.m.CSNThu., Jan. 24at Dallas7:30 p.m.Sat., Jan 26at Columbus6:00 p.mSun., Jan. 27Detroit6:00 p.m.Wed., Jan. 30at Minnesota7:00 p.m.NBCSNFEBRUARYFri., Feb. 1at Vancouver9:00 p.m.Sat., Feb. 2at Calgary9:00 p.m.Tue., Feb. 5at San Jose9:30 p.m.Thu., Feb. 7at Phoenix8:00 p.m.Sun, Feb. 10at Nashville7:00 p.m.Tue., Feb. 12Anaheim7:30 p.m.Fri., Feb. 15San Jose7:30 p.m.Sun., Feb. 17Los Angeles12:30 p.m.NBCTue., Feb. 19Vancouver7:30 p.m.Fri, Feb. 22San Jose7:30 p.m.Sun., Feb. 24Columbus6:00 p.m.Mon., Feb. 25Edmonton7:30 p.m.Thu., Feb. 28at St. Louis7:00 p.m.MARCHFri., March 1Columbus7:30 p.m.Sun., March 3at Detroit11:30 a.m.NBCTue., March 5Minnesota7:30 p.m.Wed. March 6Colorado7:00 p.m.NBCSNFri. March 8at Colorado8:00 p.m.Sun., March 10Edmonton6:00 p.m.Thu., March 14at Columbus6:00 p.m.Sat., March 16at Dallas7:00 p.m.Mon., March 18at Colorado8:00 p.m.Wed., March 20at Anaheim9:00 p.m.Mon., March 25Los Angeles7:00 p.m.NBCSNTue., March 26Calgary7:30 p.m.Fri., March 29Anaheim7:30 p.m.Sun., March 31at Detroit11:30 a.m.NBCAPRILMon., April 1Nashville7:30 p.m.Thu., April 4St. Louis7:30 p.m.Sat., April 6at Nashville2:00 p.m.Sun., April 7Nashville6:00 p.m.Tue., April 9at Minnesota7:00 p.m.NBCSNFri., April 12Detroit7:30 p.m.Sun., April 14at St. Louis11:30 a.m.NBCMon., April 15Dallas7:00 p.m.NBCSNFri., April 19Nashville7:30 p.m.Sat., April 20Phoenix7:30 p.m.Mon., April 22at Vancouver9:00 p.m.Wed., April 24at Edmonton8:30 p.m.Fri., April 26Calgary7:30 p.m.Sat., April 27at St. Louis7:00 p.m.All game times Central

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks blank Bruins; Bulls fall in Atlanta

blackhawks_bulls.jpg
USA TODAY

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks blank Bruins; Bulls fall in Atlanta

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' shutout win over Bruins

Fred Hoiberg after Bulls' embarrassing loss to Hawks: 'We're gonna look at everything'

Bears' best rookies will have another learning curve

Marian Hossa scores game winner as Blackhawks beat Bruins

Dwyane Wade not buying into the Bosh to Bulls speculation

Why Cubs are excited for pitching prospect Dylan Cease: He's 'throwing lightning bolts'

Dwyane Wade tweets apology to fans after Bulls' lopsided loss in Atlanta

High School Lites basketball roundup: Week 8

Could the Bulls go after Chris Bosh for next season?

Artemi Panarin shows off Duncan Keith's Russian singing skills

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' shutout win over Bruins

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' shutout win over Bruins

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins on Friday night:

1. A sluggish start.

The Blackhawks have gotten off to some solid starts lately, scoring the game's first goal in the opening frame in five of their last six contests heading into Friday. But they were lucky to get out of the first in a 0-0 tie this time.

They had 15 shot attempts (six on goal) through the first 20 minutes while the Bruins had 30 attempts (17 on goal). Fortunately for the Blackhawks, Scott Darling stopped all of them that came his way.

Boston's third line of Ryan Spooner, Riley Nash and David Backes dominated possession, leading all skaters with a plus-12 Corsi in the period.  

2. Scott Darling steals two points.

Joel Quenneville decided to go with Darling in an effort to give a slumping Corey Crawford a chance to reset, and the Lemont native an opportunity to play in front of his father away from home, where he's used to watching him shine. It's safe to say he made his papa proud by putting on a great show.

Darling turned aside all 30 shots he faced, including 17 in the first period, for his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career. He has now allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his last 12 starts. 

Asked after the game whether he will earn a second straight start Sunday when the Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks, Quenneville responded, "We'll see."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Special teams not a factor.

In a game that featured only one goal, you'd think the way to crack the scoresheet would be on the man advantage. That didn't happen.

The Blackhawks went 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Bruins failed to cash in on their only two opportunities. Boston entered the contest by going 7-for-17 on the power play in their previous five games, good for a 41.2 success rate.

It was a nice bounce-back game for the Blackhawks' penalty kill unit, which allowed a goal on the man advantage in their previous two games.

4. Third line steps up at crucial moment.

The Blackhawks' third line of Vinnie Hinostroza, Marian Hossa and Tanner Kero had the worst possession numbers among all skaters, each registering a 24 percent Corsi or below. But when their team needed them the most, they stepped up.

With 1:26 left in regulation, Hossa ended his 10-game goal drought by burying home a terrific feed from Kero to snap a 0-0 tie and give the Blackhawks their second consecutive win. It's Hossa's 17th goal of the campaign, which ties Artemi Panarin for second on the team, and his fifth game-winning goal of the year. His 83 career game-winning goals now ranks 24th in NHL history, surpassing Mike Bossy, and remains fifth among active players.

Hossa's goal also moved him within a tie of Pierre Turgeon for 37th on the all-time goals list with 516.

Kero has six points in his last six games, while Hinostroza has two goals and one assist in his past two.

5. Despite recent struggles, Bruins in good hands with Claude Julien.

It seems like this is a discussion every year, but firing Julien would be a huge mistake for a Bruins team that fell to 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. They're still the No. 1 possession team in the NHL, controlling 55.42 percent of the even-strength shot attempts, and give up the fifth-fewest high danger scoring chances with 326, according the naturalstattrick.com. They average the second-most shots on goal per game at 33.9, and allow the second-fewest at 26.5.

To back it up, their PDO is 97.5 percent, the sum of a team's even-strength save percentage and shooting percentage that usually works it way toward 100, which indicates they're due for a fairly large correction. They're not getting bounces right now, but they're playing the right way and a change behind the bench would be a step in the wrong direction, considering Julien is easily a top-five coach in the NHL.