Hidden past: Carcillo a captain, altar boy

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Hidden past: Carcillo a captain, altar boy

SUNRISE, Fla. Gino Carcillo playfully dodged the question of his son Daniels childhood.

You dont want to know, the elder Carcillo said with a laugh, as he watched his son practice in person as part of the Blackhawks dads trip here to Florida.

Growing up, actually, in his younger stages he was captain of his team, Gino continued. He took care of his club and any problems; any fights or misunderstandings, he would be there. Hell go to war for you, right to the end.

That part hasnt changed for Carcillo, who will be back in the lineup Thursday night when the Blackhawks play the Florida Panthers.

The Blackhawks have made these family trips an annual event the fathers get theirs this year, the mothers went on a California trip last year. This isnt the first one for the Carcillos, who went on two together when Daniel played for the Philadelphia Flyers.

But the fun of it never ends, and this was the first time Carcillos been able to spend time with his dad since the summer. The two also teamed up on the golf course with other teammatesdads, where Daniel said, I carried our team for sure. The Lepistos were busy eating hot dogs and staring at birds they dont see in Europe.

Daniel, the middle son of three in the Carcillo family, concurred that there wasnt a whole lot of unordinary moments in his altar-boy, youth-group childhood.

Thats true, actually, Daniel said. I had pretty strict parents; if I didnt do well in school wouldnt play hockey. I was a really good student, believe it or not. It was a pretty normal childhood.

Carcillo didnt want to dwell on his suspension, other than he was glad it was done. A few days ago he joked that he thought about changing his last name, hes under such scrutiny in the league. Gino laughed that off, too.

He was born a Carcillo and hell die a Carcillo, said Gino. Sometimes (hes targeted); but hes built that reputation on his own, though, you have to remember. But when he was younger, I dont understand it, he never fought. He was a 20-30 goal scorer. When he went to the AHL (Wilkes-Barre) for Pittsburgh, thats when he started fighting. That carried him through.

Still bothered by suspension

Daniel Carcillo didn't want to dwell on the two-game suspension he completed earlier this week but he's still not happy about it. And the Blackhawks forward insinuated that Carolina's Joni Pitkanen, who went into the boards on the hit, may have embellished a bit.

"Its Joni Pitkanen. Ask around the league. Hes a big guy but he goes down easy," Carcillo said of Pitkanen, who never missed a shift in that game and logged the most ice time of any Carolina player that night. "It's a quick play and it happened. Thats that. I honestly dont want to dwell on it."

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

The Blackhawks made a minor league deal on Saturday, announcing the acquisition of forward Michael Latta from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for defenseman Cameron Schilling.

Latta, 25, has two goals and four assists in 29 games this season with the Ontario (Calif.) Reign of the American Hockey League.

He has four goals and 13 assists in 113 career games in the National Hockey League, all with the Washington Capitals from 2013-16.

Latta, who was a third-round pick (No. 72 overall) by the Nashville Predators in 2009, will report to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. He carries a $600,000 cap hit, and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Schilling ranked second among defensemen on the IceHogs with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 40 games, and had a minus-3 rating. The 28-year-old blue liner signed a two-year contract worth $575,000 per season with the Blackhawks in July 2015.

One-goal victories are great but Blackhawks’ method has to change

One-goal victories are great but Blackhawks’ method has to change

See the Blackhawks get off to a slow start. See the Blackhawks get outshot. See the Blackhawks lean on their goaltending. See the Blackhawks find some offense in the third period. See the Blackhawks win.

This is a story the Blackhawks have written and played out plenty this season. Despite all evidence that it should work out to the contrary, the Blackhawks continue to pull out victories. But as we're well into the second half of the season, how much longer can they win with this formula? And is this, more than anything, a testament to how much they need to acquire someone (or plural) at the deadline to bolster their forward lineup?

Entering Sunday night's game against Vancouver the Blackhawks remain second in the Western Conference, two points behind Minnesota. Not surprisingly, they enter Sunday coming off another one-goal victory, a 1-0 decision over Boston on Friday night. Friday's game was cut from the same cloth as so many other one-goal games this season (please see above for the script). 

Here's how the Blackhawks are doing in one-goal games (through 48 games played this season) and how they've done in previous seasons:

Year Record
2016-17 18-7-5
2015-16 17-7-9
2014-15 22-13-6
2013-14 17-8-15
2012-13 19-3-5 (lockout yr.)
2011-12 22-6-11
2010-11 16-13-9
2009-10 23-9-8

The Blackhawks played 41 one-goal games (half of their regular-season games) in the 2014-15 season. Thirty of their 48 games this season have been one-goal games. But again, it comes down to how you're winning those games, and the Blackhawks are winning just about all of them in the same way: deal with a slow start and come back in the third period, relying on goaltending the entire time.

Being outshot the amount of times the Blackhawks have this season remains alarming. Sure, sometimes a lot of shots don't mean a lot of quality chances. But it's still better than minimal shots, and any shot can be an opportunity for a rebound, a deflection, something. From our stats guru Chris Kamka, here's a breakdown of the Blackhawks' shots per game vs. opponents, dating back to 2008-09:

Year Shots/Gm Opp. Shots/Gm Diff.
2008-09 32.7 28.6 +4.2
2009-10 34.1 25.1 +9.1
2010-11 32.2 28.7 +3.6
2011-12 31.5 28.6 +3.0
2012-13 31.1 26.2 +4.9
2013-14 33.1 27.2 +6.0
2014-15 33.9 30.2 +3.8
2015-16 30.5 30.8 -0.3
2016-17 29.3 31.1 -1.7

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

It's no surprise that the Blackhawks' differential was especially good in their Stanley Cup-winning seasons (and even 2013-14, when they went to the Western Conference Final). Those Blackhawks teams were deep, especially at forward. They weren't waiting for the perfect shooting opportunities as much as just firing. They had great four-line rotations, something they've sorely been lacking the past two seasons, which makes a difference with puck possession.

The Blackhawks will see what's available at the trade deadline. As I wrote a few days ago, there will be names out there but, considering some teams are still hoping for playoff spots, you take mentions for what they are right now. Over the next few weeks the picture will become clearer, and adding the right depth could rekindle that four-line rotation.

We've said throughout this season that the Blackhawks can't keep this up. We said it in November, and December, and now. Understand where we're coming from here; the Blackhawks can absolutely keep winning one-goal games. They've shown that in recent seasons and in the postseason, when the ability to do that is critical. But it's doubtful they can keep doing it the way they have most this season.