Hawk Talk: All quiet so far on trade deadline day

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Hawk Talk: All quiet so far on trade deadline day

Monday, Feb. 28, 2011
Posted: 9:54 a.m. Updated: 11:45 a.m.
By Chris Boden
CSNChicago.com

Four hours prior to the NHL's 2 p.m. (Chicago time) trade deadline, it's not a big surprise things have gone slowly around the league. We're for the most part, standing still with teams bottle-necked in Hillside on the inbound Ike for the move or two that'll open things up. Save for Radek Dvorak moving from Florida for Niclas Bergfors & Patrick Rismiller, nothing's happened since St. Louis shipped Brad Boyes to Buffalo last night. But every year, the action picks up over these final hours.

Stan Bowman continues working the phones with an even more urgent need for a defenseman after Jordan Hendry went down with a lower body injury last night. Joel Quenneville said more details should be known today. After needing help from two people to get off the ice, the eye test tells you it's an injury that needs weeks more than days to heal. With Nick Boynton gone and John Scott the only player on the present roster who's played defense before, other teams know they can hike up the price to do business. The GM has said he isn't interested in dealing anyone off the current roster, leaving the Hawks with between 1-12 and 2 million of salary cap space to add to their roster, prorated to about a quarter-season of any player's salary.

Atlanta's Mark Stuart appears to be off the potential acquisition list after the Thrashers recently acquired him from Boston. TSN's Bob McKenzie reports this morning he's on the verge of signing a three-year extension. Save for Colorado (Matt Hunwick?) and Edmonton (Ladislav Smid?) don't expect anyone from the West to help the Hawks out, particularly with just about everyone else still in contention. While the Blues now appear to be sellers, you wouldn't think they'd want to help a division rival's cause. From that standpoint, options have dwindled, at least until some more dominoes start to fall today.

We'll keep you updated throughout the day as things happen, yours truly here in Chicago, and Tracey Myers in Minnesota. Bowman is expected to remain unavailable to the media until he arrives at the Xcel Energy Center prior to tonight's game with the Wild.
Trade Winds? Not Even a Gentle Breeze

Approaching two hours ahead of the NHL trade deadline, Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers have been the only busy team. It hasn't been the Booths and Weisses who've been sent packing, but Radek Dvorak and Dennis Wideman, and both went to fellow Eastern Conference teams (Atlanta and Washington, respectively). While that may be great if Stan Bowman would want to go back and get Marty Reasoner to help up the middle and on the penalty kill, defensive help remains elusive at this point. He and the Blackhawks are up against many other contenders seeking the same thing, with more salary cap space, and perhaps with more to offer besides minor leaguers and draft picks, or at least high draft picks. Thus far, nibbles haven't turned to bites. The longer it goes, the more likely it is that something will open up, but a couple of more deals would have to happen first.

Bowman said prior to Jordan Hendry's injury last night he'd be confident with his present team going forward, based on the progress they've been making, but the blue line got even thinner since. At this point, however, no one else in the West has gotten better, either, in hat's been a quiet countdown to 2 p.m. so far.

Chris Boden is the host of Blackhawks Pre and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet.

Blackhawks gear up for Wild in 'extremely important' game

Blackhawks gear up for Wild in 'extremely important' game

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Blackhawks knew their meeting against the Minnesota Wild two weeks ago was a critical contest. This one is right up there, too.

The Blackhawks are trying to keep pace with the front-running Wild, who are seven points ahead of them entering tonight's game.

"There's certainly always something to play for," said coach Joel Quenneville, whose Blackhawks are 10 points ahead of third-place St. Louis. "We want to keep getting better and we're starting to improve over this part of the season. But the point of importance of today's game and keeping it close is important for us, so we'll approach it that way. We were going into the break a week ago, and I'm sure it's an important game for them but it's an extremely important game for us."

Meanwhile the Wild will be trying to do tonight what the Blackhawks did on Feb. 11: go into their bye on a high note. The Wild haven't had many hiccups lately, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Devan Dubnyk will get the start as the Wild look to keep extending their lead.

"It's one of those games that's a great challenge for your group," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You're playing a team that's still won three Stanley Cups in the last seven years and they've been in every battle you can imagine. That team gets up for every important game, and I think they'll think this is an important game. It's just about being an athlete. It's one of those things, you love to play in these situations."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Tuesday marks the Wild's 59th game of the season; they had caught up to Chicago during the Blackhawks' bye week, yet will go into their break with a game in hand. Still, the Wild are ready for the respite.

"We're not complaining about it," Charlie Coyle said. "It's a little different, yeah, but in the long run it's going to help us. Just get this rest period, rest the legs, the body, [rest] mentally, come back and get ready for the grind. It's going to be crucial for us and we'll try to take advantage of it."

Matt Dumba (knee) could return to the Wild's lineup tonight but Boudreau wouldn't say for sure.

Broadcast information

Time: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN
Live stream: CSNChicago.com and NBC Sports app
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Blackhawks

Forward lines
Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Vinnie Hinostroza

Defensive pairs
Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltender
Corey Crawford

Injuries/illnesses: None

Minnesota Wild

Forward lines
Nino Niederreiter-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise-Erik Haula-Jason Pominville
Chris Stewart-Tyler Graovac-Jordan Schroeder

Defensive Pairs
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Gustav Olofsson-Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella-Matt Dumba

Goaltender
Devan Dubnyk

Injuries/illnesses: None

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Road warriors.

The Blackhawks have won six straight games away from the United Center, and are looking to make it a seventh in Minnesota tonight. They've scored the game's first goal in four of those wins, and in the other two, overcame 1-0 deficits to beat Dallas 5-3 and Edmonton 5-1, the latter of which they scored five unanswered goals.

2. Corey Crawford vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Crawford hasn't quite been the same since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3, but he turned in probably his best outing since then in the Blackhawks' last meeting against Minnesota on Feb. 8 when he stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. He essentially stole two points, and prevented the Wild from picking up the extra one. Across from him tonight will be Dubnyk, who leads the league in wins (32), goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.934).

3. Jonathan Toews on fire.

After a tough offensive drought earlier in the season that lasted longer than expected, the Blackhawks captain has six goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games, and upped his point total to 37, which now ranks fifth on the team. In the last meeting against Minnesota two weeks ago, Toews had a three-point night and scored the game winner in overtime. 

4. Mikael Granlund among league's most underrated players.

File Granlund under the category of players who don't get enough attention. He has 17 goals and 36 assists in 58 games this season, and his 53 points is tied with Jeff Carter and Artemi Panarin for 13th in the NHL's scoring race. The next highest point total on the Wild is Eric Staal with 45, an eight-point gap between him and Granlund. The 24-year-old forward registered his first career hat trick earlier this month, and also had a 12-game point streak just two weeks ago.

5. Ryan Hartman's closing in on 15 goals.

In Saturday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton, Hartman defended his teammate by fighting an Oilers defenseman that was practically twice his size. He called it a "no-brainer" to stick up for Tanner Kero and did well in the scrap, but it led to an Oilers power play and 10-minute misconduct which didn't do the Blackhawks any favors. He responded in a great way Sunday by scoring the game's first goal that helped his team win 5-1 in Buffalo. The next goal he scores will be No. 15, which would give the Blackhawks six 15-plus goal scorers on the year. They had only four a season ago.

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