Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks plan to attack Blues in Game 2 ]]> Lead story image

ST. LOUIS — Late in the first overtime Thursday night, in the eye-blink it took for his shot to sail past Ryan Miller toward an open net, only to be kicked aside by St. Louis Blues forward Maxim ­Lapierre, Kris Versteeg threw his arms in the air. For a split second. “It wasn’t a celebration,” Versteeg said. “It was more of, ‘What the heck just happened?’ My hands went in the air like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” The Hawks could have won Game 1 right there. Or when Patrick Sharp had a breakaway late in the second overtime. Or … ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:16:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Joel Quenneville fined $25,000 for gesture ]]>

ST. LOUIS — The NHL fined Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville $25,000 for grabbing his crotch while arguing for a penalty in the second overtime of the 4-3 Game 1 loss to the Blues on Thursday. The league termed it “inappropriate conduct.” Quenneville was upset that a delay-of-game penalty wasn’t called on the Blues, which would have given the Hawks a 5-on-3 power play. He apologized for the gesture Friday, before hearing from the league. “Disappointed with the call, but I apologize for my behavior,” Quenneville said. “It wasn’t very appropriate at all. It was a bush-league move on my part.” … ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:16:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks are used to playoff adversity ]]> Lead story image

ST. LOUIS — The first real test of the Blackhawks’ renowned postseason fortitude already is here. Less than 40 hours after playing more than 100 minutes of hockey in Game  1 and getting outhit 42-27 in a 4-3 triple-overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night on the road, the Hawks will face the Blues in a Game 2 matinee Saturday (2  p.m., Ch. 5) at the Scottrade Center. “You try to get as much sleep as you can, but I think everyone feels really good right now,’’ goaltender Corey Crawford said. “We’re in good shape, and we’re ready to … ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:16:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks lose Game 1, fall to Blues in 3 OT ]]> Lead story image

ST. LOUIS — His face a bit bloodied, his shoulders a bit stooped, Jonathan Toews sat at his locker stall — he usually stands up, but hundred-minute hockey games take their toll — and tried to process and put in the past the Blackhawks’ 4-3 triple-overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues in Thursday night’s first-round opener. “Let this one sink in, and maybe we can be ticked off about it for a few moments here,” Toews said. “But then tonight and tomorrow, it’s time to move on and get ready for the next one.” The next one will be … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:17:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ It was only one (long) game, Blackhawks fans ]]> Lead story image

RICK MORRISSEY: If this series goes seven games, no one is going to survive. Not the Blackhawks. Not the Blues. Not the viewing audience. ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:53:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane make quick impact in opener ]]>

ST. LOUIS — Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane wanted more hockey, and they got it. Eager to return to the ice after missing significant time with injuries, Toews and Kane probably got more ice time than they bargained for in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 triple-overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. But both made an immediate impact. Toews, who did not play in the final six regular-season games because of an upper-body injury, had two assists and Kane, who missed the final 12 games because of a sprained knee, scored a goal as the Blackhawks took a 3-2 … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:36:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ It was only one (long) game, Blackhawks fans ]]> Lead story image

RICK MORRISSEY: If this series goes seven games, no one is going to survive. Not the Blackhawks. Not the Blues. Not the viewing audience. ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:53:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Patrick Kane adjusting to knee brace for playoffs ]]> Lead story image

ST. LOUIS — The brace is on Patrick Kane’s knee, but it’s not in his head. “I don’t feel limited,” the Blackhawks winger said after the morning skate Thursday. “I feel like the same player. Once you kind of get into skating with the puck and game situations like we’ve done in practices here, it’s kind of the last thing on my mind. When you’re out there playing and skating around, it’s not like I’m thinking, ‘How does my brace feel?’ ” Kane — who was injured when St. Louis’ Brenden Morrow fell on his left leg March 19 at the … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:27:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Coaching rivals Quenneville, Hitchcock: Big winners with mutual respect ]]>

ST. LOUIS — Joel Quenne­ville and Ken Hitchcock have matched wits since the late 1990s, when Hitchcock’s Dallas Stars beat Quenneville’s St. Louis Blues en route to the Stanley Cup in 1999. Quenneville is the NHL’s third-winningest coach with 706 regular-season victories. Hitchcock is seventh (second among active coaches) with 648. The mutual respect has piled up with all those victories. Quenneville said Hitchcock’s teams “always play hard, and the right way.” And the more ­loquacious Hitchcock raved about his counterpart. “I just think he’s, if not the best, he’s one of the best matchup guys in the world,” Hitchcock … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:27:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks are confident to the core ]]> Lead story image

The biggest obstacle on the nine-week journey to hockey’s Stanley Cup is the fickle finger of fate. In no other sport do the fortunes of the best teams at the highest level so often hinge on a clink, a clank or a wayward bounce — to an almost unfair degree. It’s as if the puck is the shape of a football when the playoffs begin. Imagine if almost every baseball playoff game was determined by a bad-hop single. In all its glorious excitement and misery, that’s the Stanley Cup playoffs. “You [talk about] the hockey gods,’’ Patrick Sharp said on … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:08:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Another Stanley Cup solidifies Blackhawks as a dynasty ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: The playoffs are where history is made. And if the Blackhawks can win the Stanley Cup this season, it will mark them as a dynasty. It’s that simple. ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:13:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Corey Crawford isn’t considered elite goalie outside Chicago ]]> Lead story image

Patrick Sharp was smirking before the question was even finished. It wasn’t the first time he heard it, and he knows it won’t be the last time, either. “It seems like we always answer questions about [Corey Crawford],” Sharp said. “I’m not sure why.” Why all the bad questions? Good question. All Crawford has done is put together back-to-back stellar regular seasons. He won at least 30 games for the third time in his three full seasons. He had a 2.26 goals-against average, fourth-best among clear-cut No. 1 starters. Then there’s the minor detail that his name is on the … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:37:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Why Blackhawks will repeat as Stanley Cup champs ]]> Lead story image

RICK MORRISSEY: The Blackhawks are about to go on another roll. Can you feel it? No, not that. That’s your feet attempting to thaw. I’m talking about a team that knows how to do this, that has the rare ability to turn it on when necessary. ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:01:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks vs. Blues: The deciding factors ]]> Lead story image

The St. Louis Blues were a preseason favorite to win the Stanley Cup and played like it for 26 weeks of a 28-week season. The Blackhawks are the defending champions and racked up the second-most points in team history. And neither is terribly happy with where it sits entering the first round of the playoffs. ‘‘It’s not very often you get 107 points and you’ve got to start on the road,’’ Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said, shrugging. Despite the injuries, the slumps and the uncertainties, each team is good enough and deep enough to win the Cup. But one will … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:45:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks vs. Blues will be speed vs. brawn ]]> Lead story image

There’s really no way of knowing what to expect from this first-round playoff series between the Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues. The Hawks largely cruised through the second half of the season, waiting to flip the switch in the playoffs, and have been without one or both of their biggest stars for a month. The Blues dominated the league all season before falling off a cliff in the final two weeks. They’ve been decimated by injuries but expect just about everyone back for the series, likely at various levels of effectiveness. Momentum, health, home-ice advantage and playoff experience all … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:26:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Balanced lines are key to Blackhawks’ playoff plans ]]> Lead story image

Patrick Kane returned to practice Tuesday on the Blackhawks’ third line with center Andrew Shaw and winger Bryan Bickell. With no questions asked. ‘‘That’s what the coaches are here for, to set some lineups,’’ said Kane, who missed the final 12 games of the regular season with a knee injury. ‘‘All of us have played with each other at one point or another. That’s one of the strengths of our team — the depth and how many players can play in different situations. ‘‘It seems like we’ve got a lot of balance throughout our lineup right now. I’m sure that’s … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:25:55 -0500