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Friday, January 20, 2012
Hawks crowd rewarded for braving conditions

By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- After the game was over, several Chicago Blackhawks’ players showed their appreciation to the crowd for literally weathering a storm to make it to the United Center for the Hawks 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

A blizzard pushed back the start time to 8:00 pm and despite horrendous travel times nearly every seat was full.

“I noticed that,” Duncan Keith said. “It was pretty cool to see that. It was tough for the players to get here and so for the fans to make it after work and everything it was pretty impressive.”

For some fans it took up to five hours. For players who normally live minutes away it took far longer than usual.

“It was a little bit different,” Patrick Kane said. “It was nerve wracking trying to get to the game. I actually left earlier than usual. It was pretty crazy going through it. I live 10-15 minutes from the rink and it took me an hour and a half to get here. It was good to see all the fans come out through a snowstorm like that.”

Joel Quenneville wasn’t fining any players who arrived late. He wasn’t sure if it was Marian Hossa or Corey Crawford who was last in the building.

“He [Crawford] had a tough stretch there, said he never moved in traffic for half an hour,” Quenneville said.

The Panthers arrived at 6:45 p.m. Normally, the visiting team bus gets to the United Center between 5-5:30 p.m.

Slappers

Jonathan Toews took a slash to his left hand by Eric Gudbranson in the second period but claimed to be fine afterwards.

“Took a whack on the hand,” he said. “Nothing serious. Should be ready for tomorrow [Saturday] night.”

• After the game the official scorer added an assist to Toews on Patrick Kane’s goal giving him 50 points on the season in 48 games played.

• After struggling for a bit Nick Leddy has turned things around. He extended a point streak to four games with his 22nd assist of the year, good for 10th among NHL blueliners. He has tallied four helpers and a +6 rating during the four-game streak.

• Marian Hossa has points in seven straight games after collecting his team leading 32nd assist.

• The Chicago Blackhawks announced Friday that weekend passes for the fifth annual Blackhawks Convention will go on sale on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 11:00 a.m. The Blackhawks Convention will take place at the Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan Ave.) on Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22. Fans interested in attending can purchase weekend passes online at chicagoblackhawks.com, at the United Center box office, or through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning.