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POSTED ON Friday, 11.21.2014 / 4:43 PM
By Leah Pascarella - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Bill Smith / Chicago Blackhawks)

ESPN.com recently asked a panel of experts – ranging from reporters to insiders – to rank players and coaches on a scale of 0 to 10 based on how they predicted the person will perform this season. The results were released this week, and to no surprise, several Blackhawks individuals were ranked among the league’s best in a number of categories.

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.17.2014 / 4:25 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2014-15 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Teuvo Teravainen, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 1G, 2A

Teravainen sparked Rockford’s lone win this week, a 3-2 result over Texas on Sunday, with a pair of helpers in the game; the 2012 first-round pick now shares first on the team with eight assists this season. Teravainen also scored the lone goal in Rockford’s 2-1 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday for his second tally of the season.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 2:41 PM
By Leah Pascarella - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

The NHL recently released their list of top-selling jerseys for October 2014, and it's no surprise that the Blackhawks were well-represented among the top 20. Patrick Kane holds the top spot, followed by Jonathan Toews coming in at number three. (Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby took the second spot.)

Two other Blackhawks who found their way into the top 20 were Marian Hossa (15th) and Corey Crawford (17th).

Even more impressive, the Blackhawks were the only team to have four jerseys in the top 20 for the month of October. The full list was released by SportsBusiness Daily and tweeted out by Sean Leahy of Yahoo Sports:

CHI: 4
PIT: 2
NYR: 1
WSH: 1
ANA: 1
PHI: 1
BOS: 3
LAK: 3
NYI: 1
MIN: 1
DAL: 1
DET: 1

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.10.2014 / 3:08 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: RW Mark McNeill, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line:
3GP, 6G, first career hat trick

McNeill extended his goal streak to four games and point streak to five contests after collecting six tallies in three games for Rockford last week, helping the IceHogs extend their win streak to a franchise-best eight games. The 2011 first-round pick’s haul included his first professional hat trick in a 3-1 win over Grand Rapids on Saturday. He also netted the game-winning tally in Rockford's 5-3 win at Iowa on Thursday, in addition to a pair of goals that sparked Rockford’s 5-4 come-from-behind overtime victory against Lake Erie on Tuesday. McNeill was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week for his offensive efforts and now shares the AHL lead with nine goals and three game-winners in 13 games this season.

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.03.2014 / 4:25 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2014-15 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Joakim Nordstrom, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 2G, 1A

Rockford’s newly minted captain – the eighth in franchise history, as well as the youngest at age 22 – led the IceHogs to three victories in three games last week, extending the team’s win streak to five games and vaulting to the top of the AHL’s Midwest Division. Nordstrom netted the game-winning goal in a narrow 2-1 result over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday, scored a power-play goal in a 6-3 win over San Antonio on Friday, then assisted on the opening goal of a 5-1 win over the Rampage on Saturday. Nordstrom shares sixth on the team with five points (3G, 2A) in 10 games this season.

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.27.2014 / 2:31 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2014-15 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: RW Mark McNeill, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 2G, 2A

McNeill contributed points in each of Rockford’s three games last week, helping the IceHogs rise a few places in the division and conference standings. The 2011 first-round pick netted his first goal of the season, a shorthanded tally, in a 3-2 loss at Rochester on Oct. 22, collected a pair of helpers on Oct. 25 in a 4-3 victory over the rival Chicago Wolves (including one on the game-winner), then scored an empty-net goal to seal a 5-2 victory over Lake Erie on Oct. 26. McNeill shares the team lead with five points (2G, 3A) in seven games.

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POSTED ON Friday, 10.24.2014 / 1:43 PM
Billy Corgan poses at the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.

If you follow the Blackhawks on Twitter, you are in great company! From professional athletes to the Old Spice guy, Victoria Secret models to TV stars, @NHLBlackhawks has a broad following.

Here are some of the interesting musicians and bands that follow @NHLBLackhawks.


Billy Corgan (@Billy)

The frontman of the Smashing Pumpkins has been a lifelong fan of the Blackhawks, having grown up in suburban Chicago. The Elk Grove native attended the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in 2009 and is a big fan of Patrick Kane.

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.20.2014 / 1:08 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2014-15 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Peter Regin, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 2G, 2A

Regin keyed the Rockford IceHogs offensively as they went 2-0-0-1 on the road last week, compiling two goals and two assists. He recorded three points (1G, 2A) on Thursday in a 3-1 victory over Adirondack, including a helper on the game-winning goal and an empty-net tally; on Saturday, Regin netted the overtime game-winner in a 2-1 win at Hamilton. His four points currently lead Rockford.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

2nd Star: G Scott Darling, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2-0-0, 45 saves on 48 shots

Darling saw his first action of the AHL season last week, winning both of his starts while compiling a 1.43 goals-against average and .948 save percentage. On Oct. 16, the 2014 free-agent signing stopped 21 of 23 shots at Adirondack, and two days later he saved 34 of 35 attempts in Rockford’s win over Hamilton.

(Photo courtesy MJB Images)

3rd Star: LW Fredrik Olofsson, Chicago (USHL)
The Line: 2GP, 5G, 1A

Olofsson, the Blackhawks’ 2014 fourth-round selection, had a breakout weekend for the Chicago Steel, collecting six points in two games. He notched a natural hat trick in a 4-3 win on Friday vs. Bloomington, including the game-winner, then tacked on a pair of goals and an assist the next night at Muskegon in a 4-3 win. Olofsson leads Chicago with seven goals and ranks second with nine points in seven games this season.

Honorable mentions: D Michael Paliotta, University of Vermont (H-EAST); G Ivan Nalimov, Admiral Vladivostok (KHL)

Paliotta continued to pace the Catamounts in a pair of wins over the weekend, notching an assist on Friday in a 2-1 win over Clarkson and notching two points (1G, 1A) in Saturday’s follow-up, a 3-0 win at Clarkson. The Vermont captain has points in all three outings so far this season and leads the team with seven points (2G, 5A).

Goaltender Ivan Nalimov, a sixth-round selection in 2014, made 26 saves in a 1-0 shootout loss at HC Sochi on Sunday to record his first career KHL shutout. Nalimov also stopped 27 saves on 28 shots in a relief appearance last Monday; he has a .981 save percentage over his last two appearances.

Around the system:

  • Defenseman Carl Dahlstrom played two games for Linkoping last week in the Swedish Hockey League and netted his first goal in a 4-2 loss to Djurgardens on Saturday... Anders Nilsson made 34 saves on 35 shots in his only start for AZ Bars Kazan last week, a 2-1 shootout loss to Metallurg on Friday. The 24-year-old netminders improved his GAA to 1.66 and his SV% to .940 in 11 games this season.

  • Miami forward Anthony Louis collected a pair of helpers in a 5-1 win over Ohio State on Friday and combined for six shots on goal over the weekend; the sophomore now has four assists in as many games... Freshman forward Nick Schmaltz posted three helpers for the University of North Dakota as they won a pair of weekend games at Colorado College by a combined score of 10-3. The 2014 first-round pick shares third on North Dakota with four points (1G, 3A) in four games.

  • Rockford received offensive contributions from a number of players as the team won their first two games of the season. Defenseman Klas Dahlbeck logged a goal and an assist in three games, including the game-winner in Thursday’s 4-2 victory at Adirondack... Fellow defensemen Viktor Svedberg and T.J. Brennan also scored in the game, both players tallying their first of the season... Joakim Nordstrom opened his scoring account on Saturday, notching Rockford’s only goal in regulation in a 2-1 OT win at Hamilton.

  • Goaltender Michael Leighton stopped all 28 shots he faced on Sunday at Toronto, but couldn’t shut the Marlies down in the shootout as the IceHogs dropped a 1-0 decision. The 33-year-old improved his numbers with the result and now has a 1.43 GAA and .941 SV% in two outings.

  • The Indy Fuel, Chicago’s new ECHL affiliate, began their inaugural campaign with an 0-1-0-1 record in two games last week. Defenseman Mathieu Brisebois netted the franchise’s first-ever goal and added an assist in a 5-4 shootout loss to Fort Wayne on Friday... Former Blackhawks draft choice Justin Holl compiled a pair of assists for Indy on Saturday in a 4-3 loss at Fort Wayne.

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.13.2014 / 1:11 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2014-15 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: RW Ryan Hartman, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 1GP, 2G

Hartman netted both goals in Rockford’s regular-season home opener, a 3-2 loss to Milwaukee on Oct. 11; he was named Second Star of the Game for his efforts. Hartman, the Blackhawks’ first-round pick in 2013, is entering his first full season in the American Hockey League after posting seven points (3G, 4A) in nine games with the IceHogs at the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

(Photo courtesy University of Vermont Athletics)

2nd Star: D Michael Paliotta, University of Vermont (H-EAST)
The Line: 1GP, 1G, 3A, +3 plus/minus

Paliotta’s career-high four points (1G, 3A) keyed the Catamounts in their season-opening 6-2 victory over Northeastern on Oct. 11. Paliotta, who was named team captain in his senior campaign, opened the scoring for Vermont before adding helpers on the next two tallies. Chicago’s third-round pick in 2011 set career highs in all offensive categories last season, including goals (5), assists (22) and points.

(Brandon Anderson/Muskegon Lumberjacks)

3rd Star: RW Matt Iacopelli, Muskegon Lumberjackets (USHL)
The Line: 2GP, 3G

Iacopelli tallied three goals in Muskegon’s home-and-home series against Lincoln over the weekend. Chicago’s 2014 third-round selection scored the game-winner in a 3-2 win on Friday and added a pair the next night in a 4-3 loss, including his second power-play strike of the season. Iacopelli’s six goals lead the Lumberjacks, and he shares first in points.

Honorable mentions: G Anders Nilsson, AK Bars Kazan (KHL); C Anthony Louis, Miami of Ohio (NCHC)

Nilsson, a Swedish netminder acquired from the New York Islanders in the Nick Leddy trade earlier this month, made 19 saves in a 3-0 win for AK Bars Kazan in the KHL to log his sixth win and first shutout of the season. The result improved Nilsson’s goals-against average to 1.75 and his save percentage to .936 after 10 games this season.

Louis notched an assist in each of Miami’s two games against Bowling Green last weekend and added three shots on goal in the team’s 3-2 win on Sunday. Louis, a sixth-round draft selection in 2013, ranked fifth on Miami last season with 25 points (12G, 13A) as a freshman.

Around the system:

  • A pair of Swedish defensemen picked up points for their teams in the domestic league. Robin Norell, a fourth-round pick in 2013, collected an assist for Djurgardens in a 4-3 win over MODO on Oct. 9; he now has two points (2A) in 10 games this season… Blueliner Robin Press posted a pair of assists for Sodertalje in two Allsvenskan games last weekend. The 2013 seventh-round pick leads the team with 16 points (5G, 11A) in 12 games this season.
  • Right wing Jack Ramsey contributed a pair of assists for the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, who went 3-0 last week. Chicago’s seventh-round pick in 2014 has four points (1G, 3A) in nine games this season.
  • College hockey got underway over the weekend, with 11 Blackhawks prospects in action. Boston College winger Chris Calnan tallied his first goal of the season in a 5-2 loss at UMass-Lowell on Friday… Notre Dame forward Vinnie Hinostroza notched his first point of his sophomore campaign in 3-2 loss to RPI on Friday… Ohio State defenseman Sam Jardine posted a pair of helpers in a 5-4 overtime win over Providence on Oct. 10; teammate and fellow Blackhawks prospect Matt Tomkins made 27 saves on 29 shots in the Buckeyes’ 2-1 overtime loss to Providence the next night… Freshman defenseman Luc Snuggerud tallied a goal and added an assist for the University of Nebraska-Omaha in his collegiate regular-season debut, a 5-3 win over Minnesota State, on Friday.
  • No college team has more Blackhawks prospects on its roster this season than the University of North Dakota, which boasts three, including 2014 first-rounder Nick Schmaltz, who opened his collegiate goal ledger by scoring UND’s only goal in a 5-1 loss to Bemidji State on Friday. Sophomore forward Luke Johnson didn’t record a point in two outings, but totaled a team-best 10 shots on goal… Senior blueliner Nick Mattson logged two blocked shots in two games over the weekend.
  • Rockford opened their 2014-15 slate with a 3-2 loss at Milwaukee, with four players collecting their first assists of the season in the tilt: Zach Mikovic, Matt Carey, Phillip Danault and Teuvo Teravainen. Carey led the team with four shots on goal. The IceHogs will play three games this week, all on the road.
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 5:40 PM
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog

When the Blackhawks begin their 88th NHL season in Dallas on Oct. 9, is there any indicator of a successful season? Naturally, there is a lot that can happen between the opener and the schedule's finale in Colorado on April 11.

In 87 seasons, the Hawks have won 66 season openers and qualified for the playoffs 64 times. There's no doubt that the 2013 Stanley Cup champions set the tone, setting a league mark by tallying points in their first 24 games (21-0-3). That campaign began with the Hawks ruining the banner-raising ceremonies for the 2012 champion Kings in Los Angeles. Last year, the Hawks opened at home with a 6-4 victory over Washington.

Recalling the 2013 championship, the playoff comeback against Detroit on Brent Seabrook's overtime goal in Game 7 was only overshadowed by the infamous "17 seconds" triumph in Game 6 in Boston in the last 77 seconds of the game.

While the 2010 season opened on "neutral ice" in Finland with a 4-3 shootout loss to Florida, the championship run the following spring also unfolded in dramatic fashion. Coach Joel Quenneville called Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at the UC against Nashville the turning point—when Patrick Kane scored shorthanded in the closing seconds of regulation to tie the game against the Predators. Then Marian Hossa came out of the penalty box in overtime to score the winner. Kane repeated his heroics in the clinching Game 6 in Philadelphia with his OT goal.

The 1961 champions opened the campaign in a 1-1 tie with Detroit, but with the likes of eventual Hall of Famers Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Glenn Hall and Pierre Pilote. they conquered Montreal and Detroit in the playoffs.

The Cinderella 1938 champions barely made the playoffs and had a losing season record, which included being shut out 3-0 in the opener. However, with a rare roster of predominantly American-born players, they knocked off the favored Toronto Maple Leafs in a Final that required them to dress a minor-league goalie in the series opener.

Chicago's first Stanley Cup in 1934 came behind the brilliant goaltending of Charlie Gardiner and a goal in the second overtime by Hal "Mush" March in the clinching game against Detroit. So while winning the season opener is no guarantee of re-capturing the Stanley Cup, I feel that the current Blackhawks roster is very capable of bringing back another championship to Chicago's fans!

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