Hawks shut out Islanders on '61 Heritage Night

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Hawks shut out Islanders on '61 Heritage Night

Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011
8:40 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

A complete game. The Chicago Blackhawks have been looking to have one of those for a while. But on Sunday night, with some of the greats from the 1961 Blackhawks in the arena, the 2011 team got it.

Five different Blackhawks scored goals, with Marian Hossa getting a goal and two assists, as they beat the New York Islanders 5-0 at the 1961 teams Heritage Night on Sunday. The Blackhawks have now won three of their last four, and their four-point weekend moved them up to sixth place in the Western Conference.

Thats huge, said Corey Crawford, who was stellar once again, stopping 29 for his first shutout this season. It seems like you lose a couple games and youre at the bottom of the standings, so it was good to get a couple in a row.

The Blackhawks were getting an Islanders team that was ending a five-game road trip that began on New Years Eve but had won four of their last five. Still, it was a game the Blackhawks needed to have a strong outing in and, more important, needed to win.

Patrick Sharp once again started it, as his power-play goal early in the first period proved to be the game-winner. He now has 25 goals, equaling his total all last season.

The Blackhawks, who peppered Islanders goaltender Nathan Lawson with 45 shots, added four more goals in the second. Hossa, Patrick Kane and Dave Bolland scored, as did Niklas Hjalmarsson, who added his with less than a minute remaining in the period. Finally, the Blackhawks entered a third period with breathing room.

Its been a while since weve had a third period like that, Sharp said. You dont want to develop any bad habits and just go with what works out there and for the most part we did that. We didnt give up too many chances then, but when we did Crow was there to make the save.

And many of the 29 shots Crawford face werent easy ones. The rookie goaltender came up big several times, and another potential Islanders goal was waived off on Jon Sims interference.

All the saves he had to make were high quality, coach Joel Quenneville said. Breakaways, open-side plays, he made several key stops. He was solid.

The Blackhawks in front of Crawford are benefiting from good health right now. Because of that, they can stick with the same lines that the players gained comfort with earlier this season.

The lines are clicking, everybodys coming together now, said Bolland, who had his first goal in seven games. We havent been mixing the lines up so weve had some time together. All four lines are rolling and doing a good job.

The Blackhawks were feeling good after Sundays victory. Theyve got everyone healthy and an opportunity to build off this weekend.

We havent played this type of game for a long time, Hossa said. We didnt have to worry about the score. We were dominating from the beginning and I think we can build on this win.

Should-be All-Star

The remaining NHL All-Stars will be selected on Tuesday, and coach Joel Quenneville said Sharp should be among them.

Absolutely, Quenneville said when asked if Sharp was deserving. Hes had a great season, great consistency. Its been a big part of our offense all year long; his consistencys been very solid.

Sharp, meanwhile, doesnt want to talk too much about it right now.

Its an individual accomplishment. Well talk more about it if it happens, he said.

Ceremony for 61

The current Blackhawks enjoyed watching the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1961 team. This years team said they did get a bit of a charge out of watching the former Cup winners in the 20-minute pregame ceremony.

That was great seeing the guys in their uniforms with the big smiles coming off the ice, Hossa said. The whole thing inspires you and gives you extra jump.

As for the 2009-10 Cup team getting together in 50 years, Hossa had to laugh.

I would like to see Buff, he said.

Briefly

John Scott, Nick Boynton and Ryan Johnson were the healthy scratches on Sunday night.

Niklas Hjalmarssons goal on Sunday was his first since Nov. 26 against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Blackhawks 45 shots on Sunday was their second-highest total this season. They had 47 in a 5-0 victory over Edmonton on Nov. 17.

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Vinnie Hinostroza talks rookie season and new wrinkle to offseason training

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Vinnie Hinostroza talks rookie season and new wrinkle to offseason training

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, forward Vinnie Hinostroza joins Pat Boyle and evaluates his rookie season, tells us how he has added MMA and Ju-jitsu to his offseason training and is he going to room with Ryan Hartman next season?

Plus, Tracey Myers joins Pat to discuss Patrick Kane’s first interview this offseason, the latest on the Blackhawks coaching moves and tournament fall-out for Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Alex DeBrincat.

Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below.

In wake of first-round playoff sweep, Patrick Kane talks about the Blackhawks' 'reality check'

In wake of first-round playoff sweep, Patrick Kane talks about the Blackhawks' 'reality check'

It’s been just over a month since the Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs in swift fashion. And as Patrick Kane told WGN Radio on Tuesday morning, the bitter taste hasn’t gone away.

“I think a lot of us didn’t figure we’d be in the situation we’re in right now,” Kane told Steve Cochran and Dave Eanet on Tuesday. “All of us can work this offseason to get better. It’s a long time to wait to get back to that opportunity to play in the playoffs again, so we’ll have a sour taste in our mouth for a while.”

The Nashville Predators, who made quick work of the Blackhawks in the first round, eliminated the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night to earn the first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. Kane told WGN he’s been watching the playoffs and said Nashville “has a pretty good system going.”

“They come at you, they play aggressive. I don’t think any of us would be a big fan of the way they defend in the neutral zone, just sitting back and playing that 1-3-1. But at the same time they come at you,” said Kane, who added that the Blackhawks “weren’t even close in that (first-round) series.”

“Maybe we had a chance in Game 3 when we were up 2-0, but it was a clean sweep and that’s probably how it should’ve been,” he said. “So now it’s time to regroup.”

When the Blackhawks had their wrap-up media session on April 22, general manager Stan Bowman was asked if some players, having won three Stanley Cups since 2010, had lost some of the hunger. Bowman didn’t buy that and neither did Kane.

“Four sounds a lot better than three, right?” he said. “It’s a long time away and a lot of work, but sometimes you go through those situations and you realize you won three Cups and it’s almost like you’re going to be there again. That’s where the reality check is for us now, realizing how hard it is to get back in that situation, how hard it is to win a Cup or go deep in this league. There’s a lot of work to be done.”