Chicago Blackhawks

Hawks dominate in Arizona

564920.jpg

Hawks dominate in Arizona

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Chicago Blackhawks have sometimes struggled to find that insurance goal, that score to give them a little breathing room late in games.

And on a night when the power play was sputtering some again, they found that goal with their other special teams.

Dave Bolland scored a short-handed goal early in the third period and the Blackhawks' kill helped them to a 5-2 victory against the Coyotes on Tuesday night. Bolland's goal gave the Blackhawks that elusive two-goal lead and helped them regain momentum after taking back-to-back penalties to start the third.

"If I can do that every game it would be nice," Bolland said with a grin. "It was a good break. It's a huge advantage when you score on the PK; it gets the guys going."

Duncan Keith, who had two assists on the night, said, "to get that extra goal, it's what we were looking for in the Boston game (on Saturday night). To get that tonight, that shows you there's the difference how it changes the game."

Marian Hossa, back after missing Saturday's game with an upper-body injury, scored the Blackhawks' lone power-play goal (5 on 3). Jonathan Toews, Jamal Mayers and Bryan Bickell also scored. Corey Crawford got the victory.

The Blackhawks kept Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera busy, peppering him with 35 shots. They went on the power play five times. Despite all of that, the Blackhawks just couldn't find breathing room. And with Hossa in the box to start the third period, and Patrick Sharp whistled just as Hossa's penalty ended, the Blackhawks were playing with fire in another tight game.

Enter Bolland, whose steal and shot provided a cushion and woke up the Blackhawks.

"Bolley has a quick stick and deceptive shot," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Obviously that turned into a huge goal for us."

Hossa returns

Hossa was back after missing Saturday with an upper body injury. The right wing, back with linemates Patrick Kane and Daniel Carcillo, played just under 18 minutes, recording a goal on three shots and two takeaways. Hossa said he was feeling pretty good after the game.

"After not practicing four days I was afraid but I tried to keep short shifts and (linemates) helped me," he said. "It felt pretty good for the first game (back). We'll see how it feels on the flight back, but so far it feels good."
Briefly

The Blackhawks' penalty kill was 3 for 3 on Tuesday and is now 8 for 8 over the last three games.

Keith was a plus-3 on the night.

Toews was 17 of 21 in the faceoff circle.

Mayers' goal was his first with the Blackhawks.

Jeremy Roenick thinks NBA offseason player drama 'is a joke'

roenick_lebron_kyrie.jpg
AP

Jeremy Roenick thinks NBA offseason player drama 'is a joke'

For the past decade, NBA stars have moved away from trying to beat down each other on the court and have instead looked to form superteams in an effort to maximize their chances at winning a title or building a dynasty.

There's a debate to be had whether that's good or bad for the game, but the offseason drama has gotten under the skin of one former NHL player who has seen enough.

Jeremy Roenick, former Blackhawks winger and current NHL on NBC analyst, took to Twitter to voice his opinion surrounding the drama amid the Kyrie Irving situation evolving in Cleveland, and he didn't hold back:

Do you agree or disagree?

Could Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher be an option for Blackhawks?

Could Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher be an option for Blackhawks?

The calendar is quickly approaching August and a majority of the NHL's top free agents have already signed new deals or found new homes. But there's one marquee player who has suddenly shaken loose, and will surely draw heavy interest across the league.

That would be 22-year-old defenseman Will Butcher, who informed the Colorado Avalanche that he will hit the open market and become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15.

Butcher, a 2013 fifth-round draft pick, was named the recipient of the 2017 Hobey Baker Award, annually given to college hockey's top player, after scoring seven goals and 30 assists in 43 games during his senior campaign while helping Denver University capture its first national title since 2005. It's the second straight year NCAA's top player has elected not to sign with the club that drafted him, with Jimmy Vesey doing the same last year when he signed with the New York Rangers instead of the Nashville Predators.

So could Butcher be a real option for the Blackhawks? There's certainly a reason for both sides to be intrigued by a potential match. 

With Brian Campbell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya no longer in the picture, the Blackhawks could use a young, NHL-ready blue liner with top-four potential and Butcher provides just that.

He's a 5-foot-10, 186-pound puck-moving defenseman with high offensive upside but also plays a solid two-way game and is responsible in his own end. He carries a left-handed shot, quarterbacked Denver's No. 1 power play unit and possesses strong leadership skills after serving as the team's captain for two years.

While he is certainly no sure thing, Butcher would be as close to pro ready as any prospect in Chicago's system and could factor into the cards as soon as this season. It also doesn't hurt that he shared the same blue line at Denver as Blackhawks prospect Blake Hillman, who drew great reviews from Joel Quenneville at prospect camp.

The good news for the cap-crunched Blackhawks is that the maximum allowable salary for an entry-level contract is $925,000, so that eliminates the possibility of getting into a bidding war with other teams. Signing and performance bonuses can still be included, but that's the least of their worries if they can land a player of Butcher's caliber.

His decision will really come down to best fit and opportunity to play and win, and the Blackhawks can offer all of the above.