When Will Toews Return?

I am really starting to miss Jonathan Toews and his handsome face. Word had spread that he could potentially play in Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild after the Blackhawks captain was cleared for contact, but that hope was shot down today.

When asked why Toews is still out after being fully involved in practice this week Coach Joel Quenneville said, “it’s all part of the process.”  He will miss his 21st consecutive game and last played Feb. 19 against the St. Louis Blues.

Toews just seems so sad, I felt bad for the hockey star (and then I remembered he’s still making millions so I don’t feel that bad). Luckily he will be able to go on the road with the team, “That’s step one,” he said. “It’s better than staying home and sitting around by myself. It’s not fun to be home watching on TV in my living room; guys go on the road and you miss out on a lot. I feel like I’m a little bit closer to being in the picture again and it’s better than nothing. Hopefully that means I’ll be playing soon.”

We could still potentially see Toews on the ice against the Detroit Red Wings this weekend.

Do not fret, there is still one positive to Thursday’s game. Duncan Keith is a free man now, his five-game NHL suspension is over. It was essentially more of a refresher course than anything, he recharged his legs, regained even more strength. Welcome back #2!

Sharp or Keith? Do We Really Have to Choose?

Well gosh, thanks for making it hard on us EA Sports! How are Blackhawks fans supposed to choose between Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith? You sure we can’t have both?

The two stars are vying for the spot to represent the Hawks in EA Sports’ fan voting contest, the winner will grace the cover of “NHL 13.” The voting will consist of two preliminary rounds, the first round has two members from each of the 30 NHL franchises (March 29-April 11), the second round is narrowed to 32 players – each winner from every team with two separate wild cards (April 12-22), and the final round is a 16-player bracket to produce a winner (April 12-22). The cover-contest champion will be announced June 20 at the 2012 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.


So who do Chicago fans choose? They’re both assistant captains, they were both apart of the Stanley Cup Championship team, they would both look fancy on the cover of a video game. If we’re basing this on looks alone, my heart belongs to Patrick Sharp – his face is perfection. However, I also think their is a certain demeanor NHL defensive players have (who doesn’t love watching a man slam another man into the boards?) which gives recently suspended Keith an upper hand – we all remember when he got his teeth knocked out and kept playing. The RedEye Chicago also pointed out that Keith has a Norris Trophy and an Olympic gold medal, Sharpie might not be considered as “prestigious” to some. This is going to take some serious consideration.

You can cast your vote by going to the Cover Vote page, by visiting the EA Sports NHL Facebook page or by tweeting your vote using the hashtag #NHL13Cover.


Keith Suspended 5 Games

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended Friday after elbowing Canucks star Daniel Sedin during Wednesday night’s game at the United Center. Keith’s suspension will be five games with no pay – his cheap shot will cost him $149,688 reports ESPN Chicago.

“I respect (the suspension) and I’m going to serve five games and I’m looking forward to getting back,” Keith said. “I’m not going to sit here and question things or wonder how they came to the decision. I respect what they decided was fair and I’ll serve my time.”

If you ask me, Sedin deserved it. The Canucks are absolutely one of the dirtiest teams in hockey and just minutes before Sedin hard checked Keith into the boards, but his hit went unpenalized. The league would not comment publicly if the referees should have called a penalty, but spokesman Gary Meagher simply said: “It did not rise to the level of needing supplemental discipline.” Yea…uh huh. The Sedin brothers need to get shaken up every once in a while. Sedin missed the Canucks’ Thursday victory against the Stars because of a suspected concussion, his injury played a big part in Keith’s suspension as well.

Hopefully the Blackhawks can tough it out without Keith tonight against the Nashville Predators. Blackhawks have won five consecutive games, a win tonight would be their longest winning streak since last season.

Blackhawks Desperate for a Shark Attack

I feel like I’ve been neglecting my boys, but the Blackhawks are in a nasty slump. After this six-game losing streak, I think it’s safe to say the Hawks defense has hit “rock bottom” and there are five games left of this brutal road-trip. The next battle begins tonight against the Pacific leading San Jose Sharks and our old friend Antti Niemi.

Things continue to look bleak today, two Hawks were placed on injured reserve; Niklas Hjalmarsson has progressed from having the flu to having an upper-body injury and Steve Montador also with an upper-body injury. Both are out for the next two games and are day-to-day.

As strange as it sounds, Patrick Sharp and the Hawks are hopeful their current situation will bring  them closer to being the team they want to be. “If I had the right quote or the magic recipe I’d throw it out there,” Sharp said after a lengthy practice on Thursday. “All I can say is we’re working through it. We’re not happy. We believe in each other. I know our fans out there want us to win every game and we know we have the support of them and we’re going to be a better team because of this.”

Sami Lepisto and Dylan Olsen, both recalled this morning, will play tonight against the Sharks. Olsen played two games in early January and this will be Lepisto’s first game since January 2nd against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Hawks need to get back to basics, get more aggressive on defense with bigger hits, and stop letting their offense completely run the show (because their offense can’t keep the puck out of Chicago’s net). Time to step it up Seabrook and Keith!

It’s going to be a tough game on the road tonight, but the Hawks are long overdue for a W.