Hawks' Hossa to rejoin team after bittersweet week


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.

Five Things from Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Same mistakes resurface

Five Things from Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Same mistakes resurface

COLUMBUS, Ohio – We’ll save you some time tonight. The Blackhawks lost another one in familiar fashion. You can guess what our focus will be, so let’s get right to it.

Here are Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

1. We’re trying not to pick on the penalty kill again, but… it cost them again. The Blackhawks gave up their 10th and 11th power-play goals in their first five games on Friday night. Opponents are planting themselves in front of Corey Crawford and, be it screens or tips, they’re capitalizing. Long-distance shots are getting through far too often. “I think our focus always has to be 5-on-5. When our effort and our energy and our work ethic is there it usually translates into our special teams and I don’t know. It’s frustrating," Jonathan Toews said. "We definitely have to keep pushing to find a solution. Even when it seems like we’re doing a good job bounces go against us. We deserve all the criticism and we just have to keep finding ways, dig deep and really try to dig ourselves out of this thing.”

2. The seven-defenseman set. Quenneville didn’t want Trevor van Riemsdyk sitting out too long, and for a few days it looked like Brian Campbell was going to be the odd-man out tonight. Instead the Blackhawks went with seven, which gave them the chance to rotate and put Campbell back on his natural left. With that, however, the forward lines were naturally skewed. Patrick Kane played nearly 29 minutes. Quenneville said earlier this season that it wouldn’t be something the Blackhawks would try often. Speaking of van Riemsdyk…

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Van Riemsdyk hurt again. You have to feel for van Riemsdyk. He finally got healthy last season playing in all 82 games after knee and wrist injuries sidelined him the previous one. Now it looks like he’ll be out again after he went hard into the net late in the second period. Van Riemsdyk got tangled up and his right arm/shoulder collided with the post.

4. Tyler Motte gets his first. The University of Michigan product scored his first career NHL goal, a rebound off a Toews shot in the second period. Considering the game’s outcome, however, Motte’s enthusiasm was tempered. “It was exciting. It felt good to chip in offensively but obviously the real story is us losing another game,” he said. “We were better in the offensive zone but there are still some things to improve on. The most important thing is winning games.”

5. Brandon Saad great but stymied. The former Blackhawks left wing had some tremendous scoring opportunities on Friday. He had a team-high seven shots, most high quality, but Crawford stopped him every time. Just in case anyone needed a reminder of what the kid is capable of, regardless of which sweater he’s wearing.

Penalty kill struggles again in Blackhawks’ loss to Blue Jackets

Penalty kill struggles again in Blackhawks’ loss to Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Blackhawks were trying a different look on Friday, going with seven defensemen. But at the end of the night, it was something all too familiar contributing to their downfall.

Tyler Motte scored the first goal of his NHL career but the Blackhawks gave up two more power-play goals in their 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. It was another night on which special teams doomed the Blackhawks; through the first five games of their regular season, their penalty kill has now allowed 11 goals.

And the loss could also sting them, personnel-wise. Trevor van Riemsdyk went hard into the post late in the second period and did not return. Coach Joel Quenneville said van Riemsdyk, who has had his injury issues in the past, “may be out for a bit.” Quenneville added that he’ll know more on Saturday.

Quenneville dressed seven defensemen to get everyone playing. Van Riemsdyk had been a healthy scratch the previous three games. It also gave him a chance to put Brian Campbell back on the left, his normal side. But regardless of the new defensive look, the penalty kill remained its unreliable self.

“It just seems a lot of times it’s a quick play off a faceoff and it’s in our net,” said Duncan Keith. “It’s a few different things and obviously, we as players, we need to take ownership of it and figure out a way to get the job done. You watch it, there’s lots of different things.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno was set up right in front of Corey Crawford on both of their successful power plays. On the first, a Zach Werenski goal, Foligno set the screen. On the second, he tipped David Savard’s shot. The Blackhawks’ confidence has to be shaken, and that never helps.

“It’s the same way 5-on-5: I think when you’re snake bitten you tend to try too hard and do too much. That can end up hurting you as well,” Jonathan Toews said. “As forwards I think that’s the No. 1 thing. We have to be better getting in shot lanes. It started on the road against Nashville, they scored two goals going right past our forwards and it kind of led one game after another to today.”

Still, the Blackhawks had a great chance to find an equalizer at the end. They got a power play with 3:26 remaining. Despite some good scoring chances, and Crawford pulled for an extra attacker, the Blackhawks couldn’t capitalize. Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 32 of 34 shots in the victory.

The Blackhawks can’t stop the bleeding on the penalty kill. It’s cost them in all three of their losses and it’s made their two victories closer than necessary. They know what the problems are. They have to fix them fast.

“Both plays could have been prevented, whether it was a block, clear, just got to get sharper, more determination and try to stay out of the box,” Quenneville said. “Starts from the faceoff to a clear to shots and recognize when there’s a chance to pressure. We had a couple of opportunities there. they end up in our net right now.”