Hawks start trip right thanks to Toews' big night

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Hawks start trip right thanks to Toews' big night

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011
Posted 8:43 p.m. Updated 9:46 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio Joel Quenneville had seen enough.

When the Columbus Blue Jackets scored two goals within 42 seconds early in the second period, the Chicago Blackhawks called a time out to try and settle his team down.

Four goals, a 5-on-3 kill and a lot of momentum later, it was apparent that it worked.

Jonathan Toews scored a short-handed goal late in the second period and added two assists as the Blackhawks came back twice to beat the Blue Jackets 7-4 at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks snapped a two-game losing streak they had entering the All-Star break.

It was looking touch and go, however, for a while. The Blackhawks got down 1-0 then went up 2-1 before the Jackets scored those two quick goals. Then the Blackhawks regrouped after that time out and scored four consecutive goals.

You dont expect to score four straight and you dont want to have to, but we always seem to respond from those time outs, said Toews. Weve got to be smarter defensively.

Nick Leddy, Duncan Keith, Viktor Stalberg, Patrick Kane and Dave Bolland also scored. Marian Hossa added an empty-net goal with 35.5 seconds remaining in regulation.

Toews was sharp on Tuesday, and his short-handed goal with 40 seconds remaining in the second period proved to be the game-winner, as it put the Blackhawks up 5-3 at the time. Hossa cleared the puck around the boards and Toews did the rest.

That short-handed goal, thats just huge. Theyre not cheating, theyre just smart, hard-working guys, said Marty Turco, who stopped 29 of 33 for the victory. Comebacks are always pretty huge. It just seems this team is getting more confidence. Were less frustrated and focusing on moving forward. Thats a good sign.

The Blackhawks also killed off a 37-second 5-on-3 midway through the third period when Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson were in the box.

Thats a huge kill, Quenneville said. They had some time on it and we had some penalty troubles there again. The penalty kill did a good job.

The Blackhawks will try and get home before heading to Vancouver on Thursday afternoon. Theyve got five more games on this road trip, and they need to get rid of the rust as they move forward.

I think everybody on both sides were trying to find their bearings again, Brent Seabrook said. We came out hard in the second and had a great third. It was good to see Marty shut the door there.

Ouch

Seabrook went down hard when Columbus center R.J. Umberger hit him while they were both chasing down a puck along the boards. Seabrook said he felt fine afterward.

I dont know if he just had body position but we both sort of went after each other pretty good and I got the worse end of it, Seabrook said. Hes a solid player and it was just a good hit on his part.

Turco progresses

Marty Turco said he hasnt been feeling my best physically, but improved as the game went on Tuesday. Turcos victory was his first since Jan. 16 against Nashville.

Its just nice to play and see shots and stay low and track pucks, Turco said. Youre just trying to get out there and play it and keep the progress moving forward. Its never great giving up four, but we won and we had a tremendous amount of character and battle in us to do so.

Briefly

The two teams left the ice with 39 seconds remaining in the first period after a power surge dimmed the lights a bit. They came out after the intermission and played those final 39 seconds before proceeding with the second period.

Due to the blizzard in Chicago, the Blackhawks stayed in Columbus on Tuesday night. They will practice here Wednesday before flying home.

Kanes goal was his first since Jan. 9.

Leddys goal was his second of the season.

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

Blackhawks Notes: Coaching changes and Marcus Kruger’s status

Blackhawks Notes: Coaching changes and Marcus Kruger’s status

Coach Joel Quenneville didn’t mince words. Finding out his good friend, former assistant coach Mike Kitchen was fired not long after the Blackhawks’ postseason ended, frustrated him.

“That day, I was not happy. I was a little disappointed,” Quenneville said on Thursday. “We lost a great coach and somebody I had been working with for a long time. It was tough and we’ve moved on now, but I wasn’t excited at the moment.”

In moving on the Blackhawks have revamped their coaching staff, adding another old friend and teammate of Quenneville’s in Ulf Samuelsson and a former member of his St. Louis staff in Don Granato. Quenneville said Samuelsson will take over Kitchen’s responsibilities while Granato will handle a number of tasks.

“Whether he’s pre-scout, helping Kevin [Dineen], helping Ulfie, helping me. He’s helping the young guys like Stan [Bowman] said,” Quenneville said. “We have input with all areas and all coaches and it’s a fun thing, drawing up practices or talking to guys, preparing meetings and evaluating performances. But I think he’s excited to be a part of that as well and Ulfie, he’ll be doing something he’s been doing and he’s excited to work with some of our defense as well.”

As far as the Blackhawks’ defensive style, Quenneville doesn’t foresee it changing.

“I think there are some areas how it ended or after a playoff series, there’s always some tweaks we like to do in games, in playoffs or in series," Quenneville said. "It’s obviously disappointing. But I think there’s a lot of positive things we accomplished last year and how we played without the puck, I don’t think that was too much of an issue.

"But we have a defense that can play both ways and we still want offense from our defensive part of our game. That’d be one of our strengths. But when it’s time to defend, how we want to play in our own end without the puck is something that’ll be very close to how we play.”

Kruger’s situation

There’s been plenty of talk regarding Marcus Kruger, and whether or not he’ll remain with the Blackhawks. Whatever the future holds for the center, general manager Stan Bowman wouldn’t say on Thursday.

“Yeah, there have been a lot of these rumors around, but Marcus is no different than any other player. I’m not going to comment on rumors out there, but people are stating it as if it’s a fact,” Bowman said of Kruger being at the center of trade rumors. “There’s a lot of speculation, but it’s not fair to the players for me to be commenting on what’s been rumored out there. I don’t really have anything to add on that front.”

Trevor van Riemsdyk was Vegas’ selection in Wednesday night’s expansion draft. But a source said it’s still possible the Blackhawks trade Kruger to the Golden Knights.

Why placing Marian Hossa on long-term injured reserve wouldn't help Blackhawks' cap issues

Why placing Marian Hossa on long-term injured reserve wouldn't help Blackhawks' cap issues

When the news came down that Marian Hossa would miss the 2017-18 season, most first thoughts were about his health. But it was only natural to look at the business implications, and the possibility of Hossa going on long-term injured reserve (LTIR).

That would solve the Blackhawks’ cap issues, right? That would give them more money to spend, right? Well, not exactly. See, the LTIR can be a bit complicated. It can also be tricky to explain. And right now, even Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is trying to figure out how this all develops for the team.

“I think there’s a little bit of a misconception on the LTI provision in the salary cap, and understandably so. It’s very complicated. It’s not as simple or as easy as people think it to be,” Bowman said on Thursday, the day before the Blackhawks hosted the 2017 NHL Draft. “I don’t want to get into too many details because it’s hard to explain it all, but there’s a couple different ways it can work.

"You can use offseason LTI and in-season LTI and there’s drawbacks to both, and there’s limitations the way that the league handles those things. It’s not as simple as people might think that we just have this ability to suddenly replace Marian with another player. It’s way more involved than that.”

Here are two basics about the cap: a team can be 10 percent over it during the summer, and a team must be at or below it the day the regular season begins. If the Blackhawks place Hossa on LTIR, it wouldn’t take effect until the second day of the regular season. So on Day 1 of the season, the Blackhawks would still be carrying Hossa’s $5.275 cap hit.

Once the LTIR would take effect, though, the Blackhawks would have wiggle room. If they spent to the $75 million cap, they could utilize Hossa’s entire $5.275 million cap hit on other players.

It’s not about the Blackhawks finding a guy this summer that makes an equal cap it.

“If you did that you would be essentially starting the year with an inability to make any transactions," Bowman said. "And that’s why, it’s a harder discussion to have because you’ve got to give you examples of if this happens. But it just doesn’t work that way. I wish it were that simple, but it’s not. It’s a much more complicated provision than people think. It’s not some easy cap solution where we just go sign a player for the same amount and off we go. It’s much more problematic than that.”

The NHL will be looking at the situation, although there doesn’t seem to be anything that would keep the Blackhawks from putting Hossa on LTIR. Bowman wasn’t concerned about it.

Still, the Blackhawks will still be doing their share of offseason math.

“I know how it works. What’s going to happen is a different question," Bowman said. "You don’t make those decisions overnight, but I think that understandably there’s probably a lot of confusion, because it’s not your job to run the salary cap for a team. So, I can get why you don’t know all the little details, and it is a very intricate provision in the CBA. So, we understand it. We’ve used LTI before, so it’s not like it’s something we’ve never been faced with. It’s just a factor that we’ll get through.”