Despite shoulder pain, Brouwer will play

415685.jpg

Despite shoulder pain, Brouwer will play

Wednesday, April 13, 2011Posted: 3:01 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Troy Brouwer still has some pain in that right shoulder. But its not enough to keep him out of the playoffs.

Brouwer, whos been out the past week, will play tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks play the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Coach Joel Quenneville did not say who would come out of the Blackhawks lineup with Brouwers return. Dave Bolland is still progressing well from a concussion and was at morning skate, but he is out for tonights game.

Brouwer was injured last week in the Blackhawks overtime loss to Montreal; hes not completely healthy Its pain. But its dulled down quite a bit, he said -- but hes definitely healthy enough for playoff hockey.

A lot of the guys out there arent going to be 100 percent. Ill just add to that list, he said. You want to make sure you can go out and play properly and not be tentative out there. For me, thats what the decision comes down to. I feel Im ready to play.

Brouwers shoulder will definitely be tested. Hell be among several Blackhawks expected to create traffic and obstruct views in front of Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo. Brouwer said hes ready to do whats necessary.

(Luongos) been playing well this year and swallowing everything up, making the saves he can see all the time, Brouwer said. You need to get traffic in front of him. Thats what were going to try and do.

Its also a chance for Brouwer to play in front of family. That includes his father Don, whose health keeps improving from a brain aneurysm he suffered last spring.

My dad doesnt get to travel too much anymore, so I want to play in front of him, Brouwer said. Hes retired and loves to golf. Hes keeping busy. The only thing he cant do is drive and hes working with a lot of specialists to make sure that can happen so he can get mobile again.

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

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks beat Avalanche; Bulls lose to Mavericks

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks beat Avalanche; Bulls lose to Mavericks

Preview: Loyola faces Northern Iowa on CSN

Vinnie Hinostroza, rookies pace Blackhawks past Avalanche

Bulls can't answer Wesley Matthews' game-winner in loss to Mavericks

Jon Lester explains absence from Cubs' White House trip: 'Absolutely nothing political'

Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

White Sox prospect Michael Kopech fires a 110 mph max velocity throw

Bears challenged to replace coaches involved in three all-rookie selections

Fire draft two Charlotte 49ers to close out draft

White Sox Talk Podcast: Zack Collins discusses staying at catcher

Illini dominated in ugly blowout loss at Purdue

Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

DENVER – Well, that was a wild one, wasn’t it?

We’ll spare you the gory-to-glorious details (most of which are in the game story, anyway). So instead, let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 6-4 victory over Colorado.

1. Great night for the rookies. The Blackhawks’ newest players were their most prolific players on Tuesday night. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals. Tanner Kero did too, and added an assist. Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist. All of these experiences are great learning curves for the Blackhawks’ youth, and coach Joel Quenneville likes how they’re progressing, not just with scoring but with their overall games. “That’s the part that’ll make them better players and us a better team is playing the right way defensively, being responsible, putting the puck in good areas and going hard to the net.”

2. Top line still too quiet. Line changes were made but the results remained the same, especially for the Blackhawks’ top trio. Ryan Hartman and Richard Panik were up there with Jonathan Toews in this one, but still nada. The three had a combined three shots for the game. Many of you have asked if Toews is still dealing with that back injury. On Tuesday morning he said, “no, it’s been really good, actually.” Still, there’s something up with a top line that, regardless of combination, just can’t get anything going.

[SHOP: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

3. Terrible second period. The Blackhawks came out of the first in great shape and with a 2-1 lead. But things got messy in the second period. Be it the inability to clear or get the puck deep in the Avs’ zone, the Blackhawks made mistakes. The Avs capitalized, scoring three goals in the second including two in a 63-second span. Outside of Tanner Kero’s goal, the Blackhawks had a forgettable second period. The Avalanche outscored them 3-1 and outshot them 8-4 in the second.

4. Faceoffs lost. The Blackhawks did not do well in this department, winning just 23 percent of their faceoffs. It didn’t cost them the game but they certainly need better nights than they got on Tuesday.

5. Corey Crawford gets through it. Crawford was stellar prior to his appendectomy but hasn’t been at that level since. Quenneville said he considered pulling Crawford during this one but decided to keep him in. Quenneville’s still happy with his goaltending – again, the Blackhawks aren’t where they are right now without it this season. But he said Crawford could be better than he was on Tuesday.