Blackhawks' Morin learning on the job

November, 14, 2013
11/14/13
12:31
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Jeremy Morin's hockey education is ongoing.

While Morin would have certainly preferred to play in the team’s last three games instead of being a healthy scratch, he has tried to make the most of his situation and improve from it.

“Every day I’m learning things, even in practice,” Morin said on Thursday morning. “Kind of watching the older guys, little things they do. They’re subtle things, but that’s what the coaches are looking for -- sticks in the right places and keeping your speed on the walls and stuff. It’s tough to do every shift, but I think I definitely learned a lot every day.

“You want to be in the lineup for sure. You know the things you got to work on. They’re giving me opportunities to be back in the lineup. That’s all I can ask for.”


Morin’s opportunity will come again on Thursday night as he returns to play against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he hopes to see Morin utilize his offensive skills while also being more reliable on defense.

“You want to bring energy,” Quenneville said. “You want to make sure you play your game. Basically, play to your strengths. At the same time, defensively, make sure you’re doing the right things for the team structure is what we’re hoping for.”

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews also had some advice for Morin.

“He’s got a lot of confidence as a player,” Toews said. “It’s not always easy when you’re a skilled player and you’re fighting for ice time and you’re fighting for the opportunity when you know you belong at this level. I think for a guy like him he’s just got to keep reminding himself of the responsible way to play and make sure he’s good defensively and good with his stick and good in key areas.

“As a team, the thing you want to remember is not turning over the puck in dangerous areas. All those simple, boring things that come with it. I think when you’re in that trust with the coaching staff his skill’s going to take over. For a guy like him, my best advice would be to stay with it and keep your confidence going.”

Morin admitted the third-line role he’s been asked to play with the Blackhawks has been different than what he’s been accustomed to in the past, but it’s been another chance for him to learn.

“I’m kind of playing a different role up here, which I’m not usually used to playing,” said Morin, who has two assists in five games this season. “It’ll only help my game out just becoming comfortable in that role and just feeling comfortable in all ends most importantly. Every time have trust I’m going to do the right things out there. I get another opportunity tonight and hopefully I do something with it.

“Just play my game, bring some energy, just be good defensively. Mostly just keep my game simple, get pucks in, get pucks on net, finish my checks and be in the right areas and things will come together.”
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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