Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011
Posted 9:53 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
RALEIGH, N.C. Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland was enjoying the All-Star festivities this weekend, a Stanley Cup perk for he and head coach Joel Quenneville as they led Eric Staals team.
Im riding on the coattails of Q a little bit here, Haviland said Friday with a smile.
The weekend is a nice getaway for all NHL teams before returning to the grind. For the Blackhawks that grind is that much trickier as theyre on the bottom half of the Western Conferences top eight. Coming off the Cup-winning season, Haviland said he understands fan concern about this team.
They have every right to be frustrated. Weve been inconsistent this year, he said. It looks like were going to turn the corner and then we shoot ourselves in the foot. But were progressing in the right way. Guys are starting to play for each other and the team.
One particular tough area has been the Blackhawks penalty kill. Once one of the best in the league, its currently 26th.
Early on we were looking more at shorthanded goals than just killing penalties. You lose a couple key guys, and now (new) guys have to step up and theyre starting to do that now. Early on I just think we werent committed in blocking shots, whatever it may have been.
Haviland said its also about the details.
Instead of taking care of little details we started cheating a little bit. And you cant cheat. Its like the power play, if you go a couple games without scoring a goal, theres pressure. Now guys are a little nervous going out killing penalties, and you cant be nervous on special teams. So its just snowballed for us.
Sharp-Toews, Take 2
Jonathan Toews didnt hear the whistle when he was facing Patrick Sharp in the accuracy contest. So Toews, who lost the first outing to Sharp, got another chance. He won the second.
It kind of sucks for him and for me. I don't really feel great about it. Everyone's calling me a crybaby now because they gave me a rematch, Toews said laughing. Maybe we'll have to do it again in Chicago and have a rubber match, best out of three. I was kind of disappointed. I didn't hear the whistle and I might have gotten two shots off before he had hit all four targets. I think I caught him offgaurd a little bit the second time.
Said teammate Patrick Kane, Toewser, he doesnt win so he complains.
Sharp, however, would get the last laugh as Eric Staals squad beat Nicklas Lidstroms team, which had the rest of his Blackhawks teammates.
Patrick Kane had his Flip camera for some of the on-ice action, and said he collected plenty of memories.
I thought it was pretty cool out there with (Zdeno) Chara when he hit 105.9 (mph on the hardest shot), that was pretty sweet. After (Alex) Ovechkin missed one of the (hardest) shots he said, Im terrible. I got some pretty funny things.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.