Hossa, Kane to be teammates at All Star Game

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Hossa, Kane to be teammates at All Star Game

OTTAWA, Ontario Marian Hossa had just one hope entering the All-Star draft. And he got it.

I got picked before Kaner, Hossa said of Patrick Kane. So thats a big win for me.

Hossa and Kane were selected fourth and 12th, respectively, by Team Zdeno Chara at the 2012 NHL All-Star Draft on Thursday night. The Blackhawks forwards will be teammates through this weekend, too, and theyll be joined by former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell, who was Team Charas 11th pick.

So, for at least one night, a few of the 2010 Cup winners will be together again.

Yeah, I know when I was drafted (last year) I tried to put those things together, guys like (Martin) Havlat, (Dustin Byfuglien), (Jonathan) Toews, all those guys, Kane said. This year it worked out that all three of us ended up on the same team.

So will Hossa and Kane be on the same line together? Hey, its the All-Star Game. They could play some together but things could get switched around quite a bit. Either way, the players are going to enjoy it.

Im just looking forward to it, Hossa said. Being together on a team is awesome. And Soupys there, too.

The second-annual player draft yielded very few surprises. Team captain Daniel Alfredsson picked all of his Ottawa Senators teammates, the Sedin twins were kept together and away from the Boston players chosen by Team Chara -- and Chara chose fellow Slovak and friend Hossa.

The selection process was new to Hossa and Campbell, who were not part of last years festivities. Campbell said its been a while since hed been through something like that.

It kind of brings you back to the outdoor rink kind of thing, the playground, Campbell said. It was good.

Hossa found it interesting.

I didnt know what to think about it but it was fun, especially when it comes down to a few players. They were getting really nervous, Hossa said. Overall it was a good show.

TEAM CHARA

1. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit
2. Tim Thomas, Boston
3. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
4. Marian Hossa, Blackhawks
5. Kimmo Timonen, Philadephia
6. Corey Perry, Anaheim
7. Carey Price, Montreal
8. Phil Kessel, Toronto
9. Ryan Suter, Nashville
10. Jimmy Howard, Detroit
11. Brian Campbell, Florida
12. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
13. Dion Pfaneuf, Toronto
14. Jarome Iginla, Calgary
15. Dennis Wideman, Washington
16. Marian Gaborik, N.Y. Rangers
17. Jordan Eberle, Edmonton
18. Tyler Seguin, Boston
19. Jamie Benn, Dallas

TEAM ALFREDSSON:

1. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa
2. Jason Spezza, Ottawa
3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles
4. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia
5. Kris LeTang, Pittsburgh
6. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay
7. Brian Elliott, St. Louis
8. Shea Weber, Nashville
9. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver
10. Dan Girardi, N.Y. Rangers
11. Keith Yandle, Phoenix
12. Milan Michalek, Ottawa
13. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver
14. James Neal, Pittsburgh
15. Alex Edler, Vancouver
16. John Tavares, N.Y. Islanders
17. Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia
18. Jason Pominville, Buffalo
19. Logan Couture, San Jose

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Grab the first goal.

The Blackhawks have scored the game's first goal in seven of the last eight games, and of those seven, they've won six of them. Meanwhile, the Lightning have scored the first goal only 17 times in 48 games this season, and are 12-5-1 in those games. They're 9-17-4 when they allow the first goal, so getting out to a lead first will be important against a struggling Lightning team looking for signs of life.

2. Will the floodgates open for Jonathan Toews?

After a four-point game in a 4-2 win over Vancouver, the Blackhawks captain matched his point total over his previous nine games. He's up to 26 points on the season, which is now fifth among Chicago forwards. When Toews has offensive droughts, they usually last longer than they should. But when he gets hot, he gets extremely hot. Perhaps we'll see the floodgates open offensively.

3. A chance for the team lead in scoring.

With an empty-net goal on Sunday, Marian Hossa tied Artem Anisimov for the team-lead with 18 goals. Artemi Panarin is right behind with 17, and Patrick Kane isn't far either at 15. The Blackhawks had four 20-goal scorers last season, and haven't had more than that since the 2013-14 season. They're definitely on pace to hit four, but could they surprass that? Richard Panik, who scored another goal Sunday as well, is fifth with 11 goals while Ryan Hartman has 10. Toews is at eight, but a flurry after a drought could make things interesting.

4. The triplets reunited?

In an effort to jumpstart a struggling offense, Lightning coach Jon Cooper reunited the triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat that was so successful during their 2015 playoff run in their latest game, a 5-3 loss to Arizona. It's unclear whether they will begin tonight's game on the same line, but if not, it's worth watching throughout the game whether they do. The Blackhawks have been coming at opponents in waves lately, so Cooper could look to separate the three to distribute the scoring.

5. Take advantage on special teams.

The Lightning have racked up the fifth-most penalty minutes in the league, and own a bottom-10 penalty kill unit at 80.1 percent. The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team, and have converted on 17.9 percent of their power plays, which sits at 16th. But they haven't scored one on the man advantage in five straight games, going 0-for-9 during that span. Here's a chance to change that.

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TSN coaches poll: Wild favored to win West over Blackhawks

TSN coaches poll: Wild favored to win West over Blackhawks

The Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups since 2010, and have eliminated the Minnesota Wild from the playoffs three times from 2013-15.

But it's the Wild that NHL coaches believe will win the Western Conference this season as we approach the trade deadline.

In his annual midseason poll, TSN's Bob McKenzie surveyed 25 of 30 coaches to vote on multiple categories, such as the league's best player and the team most likely to win it all.

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According to the survey, 11 coaches predicted the Wild will win the West while the Blackhawks and Sharks tied for second with four votes.

As for winning the Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals are the favorite, earning 10 votes, followed closely by the reigning champion Pittsburgh Penguins with eight. The Wild and Blackhawks rounded out the poll with three and two votes, respectively.

Joel Quenneville earned one vote as the NHL's best coach, which is three fewer votes than he had last year, despite this year being arguably his most challenging — and best — coaching job since arriving in Chicago, given the youth on the roster.