Hawks' Hossa to rejoin team after bittersweet week

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Hawks' Hossa to rejoin team after bittersweet week

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011Posted: 3:25 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com Blackhawks InsiderFollow @TraMyersCSNMarian Hossa will miss the first few days of Blackhawks training camp, as he attended the memorial of good friend Pavol Demitra, who was killed in the Lokomotiv plane crash last week.It was a bittersweet week for Hossa. He and his wife Jana welcomed their first child, a girl, on Friday; daughter Mias birth was two days after the Lokomotiv tragedy.Marians gone through a tough time; its a tough situation for him to deal with (Demitras death). We certainly want to give him the time to be ready and our thoughts are with him, general manager Stan Bowman said. Its tough losing a close friend. It was a terrible tragedy. Its not an easy time for him but hell be here soon.Sharp mendingPatrick Sharp will miss training camp after having that emergency appendectomy on Monday, and Bowman didnt want to put a date on when Sharp will play his first game.But Bowman isnt worried about Sharp being ready when hes healed.Its better to get it out of the way now. I wouldnt say it impacts training camp or the season, Bowman said. In the scheme of things, its minor.Coach Joel Quenneville concurred.We saw last year how quickly he got back at a critical time of year, said Quenneville, referring to Sharps return off a late-season knee injury. Well give him the necessary time. But at the same time, once hes ready to go hell be a big part of our team.Another ToewsJonathan Toews was understandably excited to have brother David, acquired last week, in the Blackhawks fold.Hes got a lot of talent and hes been through a few tough years with injuries, especially those important years where you develop. Hes just looking for an opportunity, Jonathan said. We worked out and skated a lot this summer, and he was pushing me as much as I was him. Who knows where he ends up, but its nice to have him close by and talk him through some things.Bowman said its important to let David develop and be himself, not Toews younger brother.In fairness to him he has to be judged on his own; he has the same last name but its not really fair to make comparisons, Bowman said. (Davids) here to earn a job. Hes still young, still in that group of players; we have a lot in that age category trying to establish themselves in that process.He said itJonathan Toews on hitting a kid in a youth camp last week: Hes OK, just so you know. He shook it off. But it took a while. I thought it was funny because I had a million texts, more than from anything (else) my buddies have seen on the internet. Like Wow, did you learn how to hit in the offseason?Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Will lopsided loss shake Blackhawks from their slumber?

Will lopsided loss shake Blackhawks from their slumber?

The Blackhawks have talked the past several games now about how they need to play better, how they need to get back to their 60-minute game. But even when you tell yourself you have to improve the message doesn't always translate into immediate action. That's especially true if, despite so-so play, you're still managing victories or still eking out a point.

Sometimes, you need a jolt to realize you have to get better. Well, that thud the Blackhawks made in South Florida ought to get their attention. 

The Blackhawks' 7-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, that "ugly, ugly game," as coach Joel Quenneville, is the latest in what's been a mediocre stretch for the team. They've been leaning on their goaltending again (please see Minnesota, Montreal, Ottawa and Dallas games). Or they've been leaning on their ability to wake up in the third period after sleepwalking through the first two. Sixty-minute games and four-line rotations, such a big part of the Blackhawks' success through February and early March, have been absent.

Call it the Blackhawks' mid-March malaise.

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It hasn't been more painful because the Blackhawks have still found ways to get points. Or at least they did until Saturday night, when two "yapping" penalties – Quenneville's (accurate) description of Ryan Hartman and Marcus Kruger's unsportsmanlike calls – started the Blackhawks' demise against the Panthers. Players told the traveling media following the game that this was a wake-up call. It ought to be.

Granted, the Blackhawks' late-season issues aren't as bad as some of their fellow Western Conference teams. The Minnesota Wild are 3-10-1 in March. The San Jose Sharks have lost six in a row. This also isn't the first time the Blackhawks have gone through this late-season mediocrity.

Entering the 2015 postseason they struggled to score goals and lost four in a row (five goals in those four games). It turned out alright. Still, best to avoid bad habits.

Perhaps the Blackhawks are in a bit of a swoon because, really, there's not much for which to play in these final few games. They don't care if they win the Presidents' Trophy (and they probably won't). They're currently in first place by seven points following the Wild's 3-2 overtime loss to Detroit on Sunday. Whether the Blackhawks finish first or second, they'll start this postseason at home. 

So is this panic-inducing? No. Is it a concern? Certainly. The Blackhawks can't start thinking they'll automatically flip the switch as soon as the postseason begins.

The Blackhawks want to get their four-line rotation going again. Artem Anisimov returning in the next week or two will certainly help that. They want to get their overall game going again. The Blackhawks have been telling themselves what needs to be done for a few games now. Maybe they needed a wake-up call. On Saturday, they got it. 

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks give up season-high seven goals

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