Montador returns when Hawks host Wings


Montador returns when Hawks host Wings

Steve Montador will be back in the lineup and Corey Crawford gets the start when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings tonight at the United Center.

The Blackhawks are looking for their first victory since they last played the Red Wings on Dec. 30. They've gone 0-3-0 thus far in January. The Red Wings are also coming off a loss, a 4-3 decision in Toronto on Saturday night.

Defenseman Sean O'Donnell will also play his 1,200th career game tonight.

Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith did not skate this morning but coach Joel Quenneville said both will play against the Wings.

Marcus Kruger skated for the third consecutive day. While he has not been cleared for contact yet, Kruger said he is feeling better with each passing day.

Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Together again: Toews, Saad expect chemistry to return quickly

Brandon Saad talked to plenty of people after he was traded back to the Blackhawks. Some were now ex-teammates from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Others, soon-to-be-teammates again from the Blackhawks.

One of the first people he talked to on Friday? Jonathan Toews.

“He’s someone I talked to shortly after it happened. He’s a guy I’ve always kept in touch with, great friend,” Saad said. “To be reunited, getting that chance to play with him again, he’s an incredible player and his resume speaks for itself. I look forward to trying to rekindle that.”

The two didn’t lose touch the past two years. Now that they’ll be reunited on the ice, they hope they didn’t lose the chemistry either. Saad and Toews formed a great combination a few years ago, a steadiness that’s been missing from the top line, especially at left wing, ever since. With Saad’s return, however, the Blackhawks are looking to get that top line consistent again.

[MORE: Blackhawks trade back, select Henri Jokiharju at No. 29

Toews was at the NHL Draft on Friday night, announcing the Blackhawks’ first-round pick with Patrick Kane. The thought of getting Saad back on his left wing was appealing.

“Well there’s no doubt getting an old teammate, an old friend back, another guy who shared that same bond, friendship and having the experience of winning a Cup together with Saader. I guess there’s some reconciliation because you know what you’re getting,” Toews said. “You know what type of guy he is and how he’s going to fit into the locker room and what he’s going to bring.”

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said via conference call today that, while Toews and Saad had great chemistry the first time around, Saad could fit with others. It all depends on what works best.

“That’s up to Joel [Quenneville] on where he wants to use him,” Bowman said. “No doubt they had tremendous chemistry; he found a home on Jonathan’s left wing. But the one thing I’m trying to stress to everyone, even internally, is we don’t want to look backward and replicate some old formula. He’s had great success with Jonathan and if they go back to that, great.”

Toews and Saad found their niche together pretty quickly the first time around. It’s only been two years since Saad departed, so finding that chemistry again shouldn’t take long at all.

“I don’t think so,” Toews said of chemistry taking long to rekindle. “You play at that caliber you just worry about your own game. Go out there and have fun. be prepared, be ready to roll and it shouldn’t take long for things to happen out there.”

Jamal Mayers saved a kid's life on his draft night

Jamal Mayers saved a kid's life on his draft night

Jamal Mayers may have had the most eventful draft night in any sport. Ever. 

The former Blackhawks winger told a story on In the Loop Friday evening that puts all other draft stories to shame. 

He didn't have to wait several picks like Aaron Rodgers or get his inappropriate tweets discovered like 50 percent of athletes today. No, Mayers actually saved a kid's life back on his big night in 1993. 

A 7-year-old was choking on pizza right in front of him, causing Mayers to jump into action. 

Mayers performed the Heimlich Maneuver - which he learned because his brother was training to be an ambulance driver - to save the child. 

That's some heroic stuff. 

Listen to the full story in the video above.