Kopecky bothers Wings as Blackhawks stay hot

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Kopecky bothers Wings as Blackhawks stay hot

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011
Posted 3:40 p.m. Updated 4:56 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

DETROIT After their five-day break between games, the Chicago Blackhawks could have had a slow start and labored to shake off rust against the Detroit Red Wings.

Instead, the Blackhawks came out fast and their goaltender made sure they finished strong.

Tomas Kopecky scored twice against his former team and Dave Bolland had a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday afternoon. Corey Crawford stopped 36-of-37 for the Blackhawks, who have now won five of their last six heading into Sunday mornings tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Heading into Saturday nights games, the Blackhawks were sixth in the Western Conference with 56 points.

The Blackhawks liked their Thursday and Friday practices and wanted to bring the same energy on Saturday. Healthy and rolling all four lines, the Blackhawks dictated the tempo through most of this one.

Thats what we need to do from now on. We have to set our standards really high and push ourselves, Kopecky said. We said wed take it a period at a time and we did that.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook said sometimes its tough to get a good start when youve had a week or 4-5 days off. Its nice to see we had a good tempo all week and we pushed the pace and played hard today. We just kept it going throughout.

Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist and Duncan Keith had two assists for the Blackhawks.

WATCH: Brouwer, Seabrook finding power

Crawford gave up a bad goal early to Wings forward Cory Emmerton, who was playing in his first NHL game on Saturday. But he was stellar after that, stopping some choice Red Wings chances. He was especially big in the third period when the Wings pushed back at the Blackhawks and fired 20 shots at Crawford.

I felt my timing was off in the beginning, I felt a little weird. I wasnt in the right position, Crawford said. But I felt better as it went on.

Bollands power-play goal in the first gave the Blackhawks back the momentum they had most of that opening period. Kopeckys first from Bolland -- came just 15 seconds into the Blackhawks second power play. His second, about five minutes later, was a put-back on Marian Hossas attempt.

The Blackhawks knew this weekend was going to be big. They had the pace and early scoring to hold off the Red Wings. Theyll need another effort like that against Philadelphia on Sunday.

We have to gauge ourselves against these two teams. We have to go into these games and really judge ourselves against them, Brouwer said. To get this one today, its good for confidence. Hopefully we have a good one again tomorrow and get some points.

Pick me!

Patrick Sharp said he was pumped when he found out Patrick Kane was chosen as an alternate captain for the All-Star game.

WATCH: Kane has tough decision ahead

Now I hope he picks me ahead of (Jonathan) Toews, Sharp said. Well see. Ive got a Thunder Bay guy (Eric Staal) as captain of the other team.

Kane said Red Wings defenseman and All-Star captain Nicklas Lidstrom asked him who he would pick. Kane said, anyone but Toews.

Briefly

Coach Joel Quenneville said theres a chance Crawford starts Sunday against Philadelphia.

Kopecky now has 10 goals, equaling his total all of last season.
NBC.com will stream Sundays Game of the Week between the Blackhawks and Flyers in its entirety for free.

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

Patrick Kane, Eddie Olczyk, Dale Tallon and more team up and lace up for charity

Patrick Kane, Eddie Olczyk, Dale Tallon and more team up and lace up for charity

Officially the Blackhawks season begins Thursday, Oct. 4th against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

BUT … if you just can’t wait that long to see some of your favorite Blackhawks then you may want to check out the Chicago Hockey Charity Classic.

The event is a charity hockey game that is being put on by Illinois native Topher Scott. Scott played locally for organizations such as the Chicago Young Americans before playing for the Chicago Steel of the USHL and capping off an impressive amateur career with four years at Cornell University.

The goal of the event is to raise $100K for Special Olympics Chicago by putting together a game full of local hockey celebrities shown below.

CSN’s own Eddie Olczyk will step down from the booth and onto the ice joining a list of impressive current and former Blackhawks. And oh yeah, a guy named Patrick Kane will also be participating.

This game is not limited to only Blackhawks. It has an impressive list of Illinois natives such as:

Garret Sparks, G, Toronto Maple Leafs — Elmhurst

Robbie Russo, D, Detroit Red Wings —  Westmont

John Moore, D, New Jersey Devils —  Winnetka

Megan Bozek, D, USA Women's National Team —  Arlington Heights

Kendall Coyne, D, USA Women's National Team — Oak Lawn

And more.

Even local Twitter celebrity @BarstoolChief is getting in on the action for a good cause.

The game is taking place on Saturday, Aug. 5th at 3 p.m. at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva. Leading up to puck drop there is a GiveGab online fundraising campaign that you can visit here, and contribute if you would like.

If you are in desperate need of seeing some Blackhawks hockey, or just want to be part of a great cause you can get your tickets to the event right here for just $25.

Better hurry up though, Scott is anticipating all 3,000 tickets to sell out.

Why Blackhawks prospects are already buying what Rockford coach Jeremy Colliton is selling

Why Blackhawks prospects are already buying what Rockford coach Jeremy Colliton is selling

Luke Johnson has gotten a few chances to talk to Rockford head coach Jeremy Colliton, and he likes what the new coach is selling.

“He seems like a knowledgeable guy about the game,” said Johnson, who played 73 games with the IceHogs last season. “He’s a younger guy and his career wasn’t too long ago. That’s always nice having a younger coach that can kind of relate to us a little bit more. I’m looking forward to getting going with him and working with him.”

They’ve gotten to work together some already at the Blackhawks’ development camp this week, where Colliton has started to see who may be making up the IceHogs’ roster in a few months. The 32-year-old Colliton was a player himself not too long ago, and that connection has meant a smaller gap between he and his future players.

“I guess it’s another way to relate to them, another way to try and get the message across that they need to hear to get better,” Colliton said. “I’ve been in their shoes, I’ve been in their position and so hopefully that allows me to get that message across… whether it’s part of their game or what they’re doing off ice or how they approach things. There are so many things that can help them become Blackhawks. Getting that message across in different ways is a benefit.”

Colliton was among the coaches working with a group of prospects on Wednesday afternoon. Several of the players in that group either played some in Rockford last season (including Johnson and Matheson Iacopelli) or are headed there for the first time this fall. At the same time Colliton is learning himself, getting integrated in the Blackhawks’ way of doing things.

“Right from the first interview there’s been a discussion on how the Blackhawks want to play, and it fits well with how I see the game and how we played in Mora,” said Colliton of the team he coached in Sweden prior to returning to the states. “Whether it’s new guys as first-year pros or guys who have been there before, we have to continue to play at a high pace, have the puck as much as possible and play that up-tempo style that’s given the organization so much success.”

The fact that Colliton isn’t far removed from the game himself has already helped him connect with his soon-to-be IceHogs players. The other connection is the desire to win, which is there regardless of age gap.

“I’ve always paid attention to what I thought was important to win. As a competitor, nothing better than winning. As a player it was a big priority for me and when you become a coach it’s the same thing. You do whatever you can to help the team win and help the players learn what it takes to be successful individually,” Colliton said. “If you start there, they’re receptive to your message.”