'Controversy' clouds Sharp vs. Toews shooting

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'Controversy' clouds Sharp vs. Toews shooting

Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011
Posted 9:53 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

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.

Flip this

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.

In Saad’s case, re-acquiring Blackhawks alumni is beneficial

In Saad’s case, re-acquiring Blackhawks alumni is beneficial

* “Don’t look to the past anymore. It’s great to think you can recapture the magic with former players but years go by and times change.”

The sentences you see above were written by yours truly after the Blackhawks were unceremoniously eliminated from the first round in April. And for the most part, I stand by the message. The Blackhawks kept going back to their alumni well for solutions but, for the most part, it wasn’t working. But there’s always an exception to the rule, always one asterisk that can be applied in every situation (as we’ve done here).

In this case, that exception is Brandon Saad.

This isn’t someone who played with the Blackhawks five or more years ago. This isn’t a player who’s in his 30s. This isn’t a player who’s at the end of his career. This is a player in his prime, a 24-year-old who has a whole lot of game remaining and a whole lot of familiarity with this group, especially captain Jonathan Toews.

By the way, anyone else struck by the irony that the same Saad deal that the Blackhawks couldn’t afford two years ago is now one that fits perfectly, and will be really beneficial in two seasons when they don’t have to worry about trying to re-sign Artemi Panarin, who will be an unrestricted free agent?

Anyway, back to revisiting the past. General manager Stan Bowman admitted that he was hoping to bring Saad back into the fold at some point, although talks for this particular deal didn’t heat up until the past few days.

“Certainly it was a tough move a couple of years ago to have to make that trade [of Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2015]," Bowman said. “Today my conversation had a much different tone. Brandon’s coming back and that chemistry is there right away and intensity and the way he plays. His all-around game is second to none.”

Saad said he wondered if he’d end up with the Blackhawks again at some point in his career.

“The day I was traded I talked with Stan and you part ways, but it’s a small league and there are always opportunities. It was definitely a thought in my mind possibly ending up in Chicago,” he said. “I didn’t think it’d happen this soon but that’s just the way it happened. It’s exciting to be back somewhere I’m comfortable, somewhere I know and an organization that’s had success.”

Yes, the Blackhawks went back to their alumni well. But instead of getting an aging veteran they’ve reacquired a kid in his prime. Every situation can come with an asterisk. This is one exception that will turn out well for the Blackhawks. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bye-bye Bread Man and Hammer; welcome back Saad

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bye-bye Bread Man and Hammer; welcome back Saad

Sports Talk Live is on location at the NHL Draft Fanfest. Kap is joined by Pat Boyle (CSN Chicago), David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Tracey Myers (CSNChicago.com) and Jamal Mayers (CSN Chicago) to discuss the Blackhawks big trades plus the Bulls deciding to start a rebuild by dealing Jimmy Butler.

Listen to the full episode at this link or below.