Kane likely to return vs. Blues, Morin injured


Kane likely to return vs. Blues, Morin injured

Monday, Dec. 27, 2010
1:31 p.m.

By Tracey Myers

Patrick Kane has had to practice patience while healing his left ankle injury. Now it looks like hes ready to go again.

Kane is likely to start when the Chicago Blackhawks play the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, coach Joel Quenneville said on Monday. Kane, who is currently on injured reserve (retroactive to when he was hurt on Dec. 5), said hell give the ankle one more test Tuesday morning before deciding.

Im really happy with the last couple of days. Once Im in a game itll feel a little bit different but (Monday) it was good, said Kane, who was on a line with Troy Brouwer and Jonathan Toews on Monday. Weve played together a lot over the past couple of years, so you know where each other is going to be. Right now dont care who I play with. Itll just be nice to get back into the lineup. Hopefully itll be tomorrow.

Marian Hossa said he felt good Monday morning after playing for the first time in 10 games on Sunday.

Nothing snuck up on me so thats a good sign, he said. I feel pretty good this morning.

Marty Turco will get his second consecutive start on Tuesday after stopping 26 of 27 in the Blackhawks 4-1 victory over Columbus on Sunday. Corey Crawford was back at practice on Monday but said hes still not 100 percent recovered from the flu. Still, hes available for backup duties Tuesday in St. Louis. The Blackhawks sent Hannu Toivonen back to Rockford on Monday morning.

Quenneville said that outing could help bolster Turcos confidence again.

It was a big win for him and us as well, he said. Its been a while since he got into the net and he responded to a great opportunity and took advantage of it. He looked sharp, looked quick. It was good for everyone. Its a great situation to be in when both guys are playing well and we have a tough decision to decide who plays.

Stalberg good
Viktor Stalberg played nearly 12 minutes in his first game back since sustaining a concussion against Colorado on Dec. 15. He finished plus-1 with two shots on goal and a blocked shot.

I thought he played well, Quenneville said. He did a lot of good things and he protected the puck better.

Morin injured

Quenneville said he didnt know the status of BlackhawksRockford wing Jeremy Morin, who TSN.ca reported suffered a shoulder injury in Team USAs victory over Finland on Sunday night. Quenneville did not have any update on Morin on Monday.

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

Jonathan Toews donates $1 million to community center in Winnipeg

Jonathan Toews donates $1 million to community center in Winnipeg

Jonathan Toews was the highest paid player in the NHL this past year, and he's giving back to the community that helped him become one of the best players in the league.

The Blackhawks captain donated $1 million to the Dakota Community Centre in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised, making it the largest ever private donation to a community centre in Manitoba.

“From my earliest days playing hockey, Dakota Community Centre has always played a pivotal role in my upbringing and my career," Toews said in a statement. “Today, I continue to be honoured to have my name associated with the Sportsplex on the Dakota campus. My parents have instilled in me the importance of giving back, and I believe that in supporting Dakota, we will see endless possibilities for the Community Centre’s future and transformation in the lives of our community members.”

[SHOP: Buy a Jonathan Toews jersey here!]

Toews will also serve as the honorary chairman for the Dakota Futures Capital Campaign, which will support the construction of a new 60,000-square-foot, $20-million fieldhouse and future development of the campus.

The fieldhouse will include a 30,000-square-foot gymnasium that will contain multiple court sports, such as basketball and volleyball, sport training and conditioning, all of which will be connected to the Jonathan Toews Sportsplex. It's expected to open in the fall of 2017.

The Sportsplex was named in Toews' honor in 2010, and includes two indoor ice rinks, a gymnasium, and strength training facilities, among others.

“We are so proud that Jonathan has chosen to give back to the community in this way," said Toews' parents Andrée Gilbert and Bryan Toews. "Our family has such fond memories of hockey practices and friendships made at the Dakota Community Centre. We look forward to the opening of the new Fieldhouse and the continued growth of the Dakota  campus. Through programs for all ages and acting as a gathering place in our community, the Dakota Community Centre transforms thousands of lives each year."

Blackhawks: Dennis Rasmussen's defensive roots run deep


Blackhawks: Dennis Rasmussen's defensive roots run deep

In Sweden, the defensive tutelage apparently starts very early in your hockey career.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a decent or a great forward: you’re learning to play defense and you’re learning to play it well.

“When we were younger the coaches always taught us to play a team game and be responsible,” Dennis Rasmussen said on Tuesday morning. “I think they have a program in Sweden where they teach the coaches to be a certain way, and that’s one of the things they say: even if you’re a skill guy, you have to play defense, too.”

Outside of the fact that it sounds like Sweden is full of coach Joel Quennevilles, the defensive-minded approach has served Rasmussen well with the Blackhawks. An injury gave him a chance when the season began but thanks to his steady play, especially on defense, he’s carved out a solid spot in this lineup. On Tuesday night he was back at center, where he’s most comfortable, and adding a little offense in the Blackhawks’ 4-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.

Rasmussen had a strong training camp. That, coupled with Andrew Desjardins’ injury in the final preseason game meant Rasmussen stayed with Chicago. It’s worked out well, with Rasmussen providing reliability among the bottom six.

“He’s been good,” Quenneville said. “I think he’s helped out penalty killing wise. I have to commend him on how he’s approached the whole year. It looks like he’s taking advantage a little bit more of the opportunity.”

Speaking of that penalty kill, that’s another part of the game Rasmussen was required to do in Sweden. It was one more thing that’s proven beneficial in his time with the Blackhawks.

“If you’re one of the best players when you were younger you were playing PK, too,” he said. “I always played a lot of power play and PK. if I’d only been playing power play when I got here, it would’ve been more of an issue. But I’m used to the PK before.”

If Rasmussen’s a little frustrated with any part of his game, it’s generating offense. He pointed to Sunday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, when he came up empty despite opportunities – “I created a lot of chances but of course I’m not happy with how it developed,” he said. “I had a couple of really good chances last game I should have scored on. That’s one thing I need to do better.” He did capitalize on Tuesday, scoring off a Richard Panik feed in the second period; he nearly scored a short-handed breakaway later in the game.

Rasmussen has been working for a long time on his defensive and penalty killing games. The Blackhawks like what he does and have made him a consistent part of this lineup. He’d like to get the offense going too but if he capitalizes the way he did on Tuesday, it will.

“That’s one thing I have to develop a little bit: take the puck to the net, use my body, have some zone time. That’s been better the last couple of games here,” he said. “As I said before, I need to score on my chances. Hopefully that’s going to come.”