Thursday, February 4, 2010
Blackhawks news and notes
By JESSE ROGERS
I arrived at practice late on Thursday, having attended the Rocky Wirtz “Lunch With a Legend” radio show on ESPN 1000. The theme with the Chicago Blackhawks right now is avoiding the turnovers and making the simple plays. It’s actually been a narrative for a while. Turnovers are killing them. There’s no need to attempt to make the “perfect play.”
Here are some other news and notes as the Hawks try to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season:
Marian Hossa is now tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals with four. The Hawks have nine on the season -- tops in the NHL. A third of those came in one game against San Jose.
Hard to get down on the Hawks for losing to a Central foe for the first time since Dec. 4. It breaks a streak of nine wins in a row against division opponents. They are 12-4 against the Central this season.
Troy Brouwer earned his 30th point on Wednesday. The Hawks now have eight players with at least 30 points. Only the Washington Capitals can claim that many with at least 30.
Dave Bolland spent more time centering Hossa and Patrick Sharp on Thursday. He had several third period shifts with them Wednesday night.
The Coyotes should be ready for this game. They’ve been in Chicago since late Tuesday night after beating Nashville 1-0 in a shootout. Wednesday marked one of the few times, if ever, three teams practiced on the same day at the United Center. After the Hawks and Blues participated in their morning skates, Phoenix took to the ice as they did on Thursday as well. The Coyotes are 34-18-5 and, considering their history and current situation, Coach Dave Tippett can take home the Jack Adams Award today.
Last, but certainly not least, cross Ilya Kovalchuk off the chalk board for the Hawks. He’s a New Jersey Devil now and while it seemed on paper that he had a chance of becoming a Hawk, the reality and timing just wasn’t right. Look for the Hawks to add, if anything, a defenseman before the March 3 trading deadline.