Chicago Blackhawks

Brouwer's physical presence a game-changer

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Brouwer's physical presence a game-changer

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011
2:47 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio Troy Brouwer was ready to drop the gloves after watching Mark Methot land a hit on Patrick Kane on Tuesday night.

They were starting to get a little momentum, scoring chances, a power play or two, Brouwer said. We needed something to make sure we could hold on to that game.

It wasnt a lengthy fight, or one of those where one or both combatants end up bruised and bloodied. Brouwer just stood up for a teammate, took a few whacks and got the Blackhawks focus back where it needed to be.

Brouwers supplied a bulk of the Blackhawks physical presence this season, mainly with hits. Hes been a protector of sorts for linemates Jonathan Toews and Kane, dishing out punishment in the hopes that those two dont have to take any.

Coach Joel Quenneville said his fight with Methot was a timely one.

I thought it was perfect how the whole situation played out; he handled himself well, Quenneville said. But I still think he makes his presence gong to the net, being physical. He compliments the two guys hes working with and he did what he had to do as well.

Brouwer said he asked Methot ahead of time.

He looked a little bit surprised but he was wiling and ready, he said. It was a good, clean fight.

Brouwer isnt really known as a fighter. His one on Tuesday was just his second this season. He recognizes theres a time to drop them and a time to just walk away.

You cant be running after guys all the time, Brouwer said. It happens once in a while. After every hit, I dont know. It depends on who the player is, stuff like that. I guess you just make sure (some hits) wont be tolerated.

Keiths offense

Duncan Keiths goal on Tuesday was just his first in the last 15 games, but it couldnt have come at a better time. The Blackhawks were in the closing seconds of a lengthy 5-on-3 power play which wasnt producing much pressure or many shots.

Its nice to score on the 5 on 3, because it wasnt looking so hot, Quenneville said. A lot of times thats the difference in the game and it was a big one. Whether its his offensive part of game or his speed, it helps the whole game.

Briefly

Jake Dowell did not practice on Wednesday after blocking a shot off his ankle. Quenneville said he should be OK.

Quenneville said he hasnt decided yet whether Marty Turco or Corey Crawford will start against Vancouver on Friday night.

The Blackhawks plan to practice in Vancouver on Thursday afternoon.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Did Artemi Panarin throw shade at Patrick Kane?

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Did Artemi Panarin throw shade at Patrick Kane?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Tracey Myers discuss the first week of training camp. Alex DeBrincat will skate on Patrick Kane’s line with Nick Schmaltz in Thursday’s preseason game, but is DeBrincat ready for the NHL?

In Columbus, Artemi Panarin talked to the Tribune and Sun-Times about the trade. The Breadman did his best Kane impression saying ‘‘This is business, baby.’’ Panarin also said that in Columbus ‘‘I can play a little bit more with the puck,’’ adding via an interpreter ‘‘Just kind of express myself on the ice a little bit more.’’

Boyle and Myers debate whether this is Panarin’s attempt to throw shade at Kane and the Hawks.

They also discuss which defenseman have turned some heads in the first week of camp, Anton Forsberg’s impressive debut as Corey Crawford’s under study, and who might be “the guy” to bring the young Blackhawks and the core group together.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here:

How a Jonathan Toews injury could have kept Blackhawks from winning 2010 Stanley Cup

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AP

How a Jonathan Toews injury could have kept Blackhawks from winning 2010 Stanley Cup

The Blackhawks made history in 2010 when they snapped a 49-year championship drought by breaking through to beat the Philadelphia Flyers in six games. But their fate could have changed dramatically if it got to a Game 7 for a reason that practically nobody was aware of until now.

The Athletic’s NHL Insider Craig Custance sat down over the summer with some of hockey’s greatest coaches to dissect games of their crowning achievements for his book titled, “Behind the Bench: Inside the Minds of Hockey's Greatest Coaches,” which was released in September. One of those coaches included was Joel Quenneville, who won his first career Stanley Cup as a head coach with the Blackhawks in 2010.

So the two went back and rewatched Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in Philadelphia — the series-clinching game — to get a glimpse inside Quenneville's mind during that game.

Well, inside the book, there was a pretty big revelation regarding their star player. Jonathan Toews had apparently suffered a knee injury late in the game that was serious enough to put his status for a potential Game 7 in doubt.

Here are a few snippets:

"Jonny gets hurt in this game with less than 10 minutes to go in regulation," Quenneville says. "He can't really go. Thank God we scored early [in overtime]. I think it would have been impossible for Jonny to play Game 7."

Wait. What?

This was all news to me.

Same to everyone else.

It happened in the waning minutes of the third period on the play the Flyers evened up the score at 3-3. Toews was shoved into the goaltender after the goal was scored and stayed down on the ice grabbing his knee, then labored back to the bench hunched over.

His teammates didn't know how serious Toews' injury was at the time either:

"It wasn't until midsummer. I remember talking to him, he was still having problems with this knee," Sharp said. "That's when I was like, 'Holy shit, we wouldn't have had Tazer in Game 7.' That just shows you the margin of winning and losing is so small."

In this moment, Hossa has no idea how banged up Toews is. He taps the puck back to Toews as they enter the offensive zone. Flyers forward Darroll Powe bumps him off the puck and the threat is wiped out. The Flyers are headed the other way.

"Yeah, he can't go. Left leg, can't really go," Quenneville says.

It went completely unnoticed, but it could have been a psychological turning point in the series if the Flyers recognized that the Blackhawks' captain was banged up:

Just imagine the lift the Flyers would get if they realized that not only had they tied the game and possibly forced a Game 7, but the Blackhawks' most important player was injured. Quenneville realized this. He was hoping to play Toews just enough to throw the Flyers off the scent.

"He gets that shift, so everybody knows he's fine. Okay, this is Carter. Watch this chance he gets."

Claude Giroux finds a wide-open Jeff Carter, who spins and fires a puck that Niemi somehow saves.

I'm stunned at how close the Blackhawks came to losing this game.

"What a chance he had," Quenneville says.

"That would have made it 4-3 and you're going back without Toews in Game 7."

"Every one, we got lucky."

What a turn of events that would have been, huh?

Knowing the competitor in Toews, he probably would have found a way to play in a possible Game 7, but it certainly makes Chicago appreciate Patrick Kane's game-winning goal in overtime even more knowing its captain may not have been able to play or, at the very least, wouldn't have been close to full strength.

The book goes into full detail of how Quenneville monitored Toews' injury throughout the end of that third period and in overtime, the communication he had with Toews and trainers, and even offers his thoughts on his shifts after the injury like he's coaching in real time again, among many other things.

It's a must-read, and a great in-depth look at how the complexion of the series could have changed on a play nobody saw.