Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Tough guy Brandon Mashinter good bet to make Blackhawks’ roster ]]> Lead story image

Blackhawks tough guy Brandon Mashinter beat up and took down the Edmonton Oilers’ Kale Kessy in his first fight of the preseason Sunday in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. But it was his play between the whistles that caught coach Joel Quenneville’s eye. ‘‘I thought he did a nice job in the fight, as well, [but] I was measuring his hockey performance and how he managed the game,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘And I thought he made a couple of nice plays with the puck, and positionally he was strong and aware. So he had a good game.’’ Mashinter all but locked up a roster … ]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:34:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kris Versteeg back at full speed season removed from knee surgery ]]> Lead story image

After forward Kris Versteeg’s strong preseason debut Sunday in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a reporter mentioned to him that he looked significantly faster than he did last season, when he was coming off major knee surgery. Then another reporter did. And another. Versteeg didn’t mind the repetition. He thinks he’s faster, too. ‘‘If you hear it enough, maybe you’re not crazy when you think it,’’ he said. Versteeg had a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks’ 5-0 victory against the Edmonton Oilers. His debut had been delayed because of  a weeklong bout with the flu. His line, which also featured Bryan … ]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:24:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Peter Regin trying to crack roster, and loving it; Blackhawks win 5-0 ]]> Lead story image

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — Back in Ottawa eight or nine years ago, when Peter Regin was young and naive and maybe a little brash, he’d spend his training camp scouring over scrimmage scoresheets, making his own talent evaluations and counting roster spots — trying to figure out exactly what needed to happen for him to make the team, and then what kind of role he might have. Now, at 28 and on the fringe of a loaded Blackhawks roster, he’s much more zen about his ever-precarious situation. “I used to do it in my first year and second year,” Regin said. … ]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:46:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks’ Brandon Saad looking to take next step ]]> Lead story image

Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad has everything a team could want in a young player. He’s big, fast and skilled and already has experienced two long playoff runs. But to get everything possible out of those attributes, Saad will have to show more consistency than he has in the past. On April 6, Saad was a healthy scratch for the Hawks’ 4-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues. At the time, coach Joel Quenneville made it sound like an easy decision. Saad’s production had dipped, and Quenneville clearly was looking for more from him. There are even higher expectations for Saad, … ]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 02:32:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks winger Jeremy Morin should make roster, but it's a battle ]]> Lead story image

He has been all but anointed by general manager Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville as the next guy to make the jump. He was one of the most effective players down the stretch last April when injuries forced him into the lineup. He signed a two-year, one-way contract this summer. Logic says Jeremy Morin is a lock to make the Blackhawks' roster out of training camp. The math says it’s not so simple. Among the forwards in camp, there are 11 mortal locks. Quenne-ville has made it abundantly clear he wants some type of enforcer on the roster, which … ]]> Sat, 27 Sep 2014 02:07:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks prospect Phillip Danault’s extra strength pays off ]]>

Phillip Danault said he worked on getting stronger over the offseason. It showed Friday night. Danault, a 2011 first-round pick, created the Blackhawks’ only goal in their 4-1 loss to the Rangers. Midway through the second period, Danault drove from the boards to the crease and sent the puck off goalie Henrik Lundqvist. It was fired in by a charging Dennis Rasmussen. To make the play, Danault had to keep control of the puck while driving through the Rangers’ defense. He did, and the strength he added helped make that happen. “I try to get it to the net more … ]]> Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:20:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Antti Raanta must adjust to being a backup; Blackhawks edged 3-2 ]]> Lead story image

DETROIT — Even in a preseason game, Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford wasn’t entirely thrilled with playing only a half-game Tuesday. If Crawford had his way, he probably would play every minute of every game. ‘‘I like to play,’’ he said. That’s good for the Hawks, who have a championship-caliber, workhorse goalie who seems to get better as the workload gets heavier. But it’s not exactly ideal for backup Antti Raanta, who has shown he’s good enough to be No. 1 but has yet to prove he can handle being No. 2. Raanta was thrown into the fire last season and … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:21:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Andrew Shaw a ‘team guy,’ doesn’t mind going back to 3rd line ]]> Lead story image

If you’re looking for bitterness and frustration or for someone to angrily spout off about how unfair it all is, don’t go to Andrew Shaw. He might be a trash-talker and an agitator on the ice, but off the ice, Shaw seems to find the bright spot in nearly every situation and peppers nearly every comment with some variation of “working hard,” “my teammates” or “working hard for my teammates.” “I’m a team guy,” he said Wednesday. “I’ll do what’s best for the team and compete to the best of my ability.” So even though Shaw waited for nearly three … ]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:24:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Marian Hossa preps for 17th NHL season; Jonathan Toews nets OT winner ]]> Lead story image

This is the 17th time now for Marian Hossa — the welcome-backs, the how-was-your-summers, the fitness tests, the medium-effort scrimmages, the just-don’t-get-hurt preseason games. For 17 autumns, Hossa has come to an NHL training camp, looked at the excruciating and long road ahead and taken a deep breath. When you’ve been to four Stanley Cup Finals in the last seven seasons, and you play for a team on which a postseason berth feels like a birthright, you kind of want to skip past all that bleeding and sweating and just get to the darn playoffs already. “That would be easier, … ]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 23:26:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kris Versteeg has pep back in his step ]]> Lead story image

For the record, Kris Versteeg agrees with Blackhawks fans. ‘‘I was brutal last year in the end stretch,’’ he said, echoing a sentiment among those who turned on him as he trudged through the playoffs, a shell of his old self. But Versteeg has a different perspective looking back on last season and, likely, a different expectation looking ahead to this season. While he wasn’t happy with the three goals and nine assists he posted during the final four months of last season,  including the playoffs, just the fact that he made it all the way to June was a … ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:38:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp survive injury scares in scrimmage ]]>

A pair of Patricks gave the Blackhawks a pair of scares during a scrimmage Monday at the United Center. Wingers Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane missed parts of the skate after taking knocks to the face. Sharp, who took a high stick from forward Matt Carey in the second period, tweeted a photo of him and Kane displaying their cut-up faces. ‘‘They both got souvenirs, and it was nice to see them return,’’ coach Joel Quenneville said. ‘‘Didn’t really miss shifts, except for the work that was done on them. It happens. But the fact that it wasn’t a cause … ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 23:35:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mark McNeill, Phillip Danault trying to crack loaded Blackhawks ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — It would be a heck of a lot easier somewhere else. There are teams around the league playing guys who have little business being in the NHL — teams on which Mark McNeill could be a major contributor this season, on which Phillip Danault could be killing penalties right away, on which Adam Clendening could be running the power play, on which Trevor van Riemsdyk could have been competing for a roster spot. Instead, McNeill and Danault look up and see a virtually impenetrable roster, loaded with talented veteran forwards. Clendening and van Riemsdyk look up … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:00:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Patrick Kane impressed with LeBron James’ knowledge of Blackhawks ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Patrick Kane has been one of the biggest stars in Chicago for years. After shooting two national commercials this summer, one for Gatorade and another for McDonald’s, his national profile is starting to catch up to his local one. ‘‘I’ve had fun with them, and it’s cool when you tune into ESPN or something and you see it on TV,’’ Kane said. ‘‘When you’re growing up, you think none of that stuff would ever happen you to. And, to be honest, in the back of your mind, you’re kind of hoping it does.’’ Kane’s latest ad, … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 18:30:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Teuvo Teravainen has talent but might not make Blackhawks ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — This is all still sort of new to Teuvo Teravainen — the speed of the game, the size of the rink, the strength of the players, the pace and the language of the interviews. Off the ice, he looks like a boy among men, shy and quiet, humble and unassuming. Ask him about bulking up this summer, and he shrugs and giggles uncomfortably. Ask him about his odds of making the Blackhawks out of training camp, and he tries to toe the line between confident and just happy to be here. But ask him about the … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:35:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks’ new second line shows it can click ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Seems easy enough. Take a world-class talent like Patrick Kane, a skilled veteran playmaker like Brad Richards and a net-crashing, puck-possessing power forward like Brandon Saad, throw them all on the ice at the same time and wait for the Jack Adams awards to roll in. You don’t even need a mustache to figure out that one, right? Well, not quite. Hockey is never that simple. Perhaps more than in any other sport, chemistry — that nebulous, maddening, mystical concept that may or may not even exist — is what turns good into great and a … ]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 02:08:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blackhawks are built to win — and are expecting the same ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Duncan Keith can remember walking into a training camp without this feeling — this sense of, well, not invincibility, but something close to it. Early in his career, in the middle of the Blackhawks’ lost decade, it would have been laughable to sit down in front of a bunch of cameras and microphones and say the word “Cup,” let alone say it over and over. As another season of the highest expectations dawns, that fact isn’t lost on the 10-year veteran. “It’s always exciting to be part of a group that has a chance to win … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:54:22 -0500