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POSTED ON Thursday, 07.17.2014 / 3:45 PM
By Beau Starrett, with Bria Davis - Special to chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Chase Agnello-Dean / Chicago Blackhawks

Throughout the week, 2014 draft pick Beau Starrett will be blogging for chicagoblackhawks.com about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.

The third time is a charm. Today we played our third and final scrimmage and my team finally got the win. The past two scrimmages didn’t go in our favor, but that only motivated us more for today’s game. We knew coming into this game we couldn’t get swept; the boys and I were really excited and pumped up for this one. We went in with the mindset of getting the win and finishing strong and that’s what we did. Once the adrenaline gets going you kind of block everything out and focus on the task at hand. It was serious and important to us but we still had fun with it.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 07.16.2014 / 9:31 PM
By Beau Starrett, with Bria Davis - Special to chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Chase Agnello-Dean / Chicago Blackhawks

Throughout the week, 2014 draft pick Beau Starrett will be blogging for chicagoblackhawks.com about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.

This morning we woke up early and got started with the routine of the day. It’s been a pretty similar schedule for the past few days, but consistency is nice. We got a pregame skate in before the scrimmage to warm us up and get the legs going. About 30 minutes before the game, we were able to rest up for a bit.

Today’s scrimmage was more intense, and the pace was high throughout the entire game. The coaches started me out at center today even though I played left wing yesterday. Switching my position gave them a chance to see my versatility and how I work in all aspects of the game. I wasn’t worried about the switch at all because playing center is what I’m comfortable with. I played center for the duration of last year when I was with the South Shore Kings in the USPHL.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 07.15.2014 / 8:47 PM
By Beau Starrett, with Bria Davis - Special to chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Chase Agnello-Dean / Chicago Blackhawks

Throughout the week, 2014 draft pick Beau Starrett will be blogging for chicagoblackhawks.com about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.

Three days into camp and we finally got in our first scrimmage! I was looking forward to this, especially getting the opportunity to play with some guys who I previously hadn’t.

Right off the bat, all of the boys were skating really well and the intensity was there. The speed was good and the energy level was high. Even though this was the first scrimmage, I kept in mind not to do too much or try to impress people. It was important to stick to the system, do the simple plays, find the open man and just throw the puck on net. That’s when good things happen.

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POSTED ON Monday, 07.14.2014 / 11:25 PM
By Beau Starrett, with Bria Davis - Special to chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Chase Agnello-Dean / Chicago Blackhawks

Throughout the week, 2014 draft pick Beau Starrett will be blogging for chicagoblackhawks.com about his experiences during his first Blackhawks Prospect Camp.

It’s my first time at Prospect Camp and it’s been a great experience so far. It’s especially nice to be in Chicago; my mom was born in Chicago and my grandparents were already big Blackhawks and Cubs fans, so I’m pretty familiar with what goes on in Chicago sports. Being able to come here for camp makes the experience even better. I’m proud to be a member of the Blackhawks organization now and I knew coming into camp that it was time for the work to begin.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 07.09.2014 / 12:00 PM

With Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane signing eight-year contract extensions, the Blackhawks have locked up their two biggest stars through 2023. The Blackhawks Blog takes a look at what the duo have accomplished so far in Chicago.

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.27.2014 / 4:19 PM
By Leah Hendrickson - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Gapski and Reif pose with their awards in at the PHATS/SPHEM 2014 Annual Meetings. (Photo via Chicago Blackhawks)

Earlier this week, Blackhawks Head Athletic Trainer Mike Gapski and Assistant Equipment Manager Clint Reif were recognized at the annual Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society (PHATS) and Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers (SPHEM) meetings in Orlando.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 06.18.2014 / 3:15 PM
By Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(L-R): John Hayden, Tyler Motte and Anthony Louis will take part in the U.S. Junior Team Evaluation Camp (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean).

Three Blackhawks prospects will be among 42 players joining the 2014 U.S. Junior Team Evaluation Camp this summer, auditioning for roster spots on the country's World Junior Championship Team. 2013 draft picks Anthony Louis, Tyler Motte and John Hayden will compete with the United States' best under-20 players for the right to compete at the IIHF's annual event, which will take place in Toronto and Montreal this December.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 06.18.2014 / 10:36 AM
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman and his staff have done a great job in building the team into a Stanley Cup champion twice and a perennial playoff contender since he took over in 2009. Bowman's task today is even more daunting due to the hard salary cap, which affects his ability to make deals to build up young talent through trades and key draft selections.

Back in 1952, when Arthur Wirtz and Jim Norris bought the floundering Blackhawks, there were rumors that the Chicago franchise might be moved to St. Louis. On July 8, 1954, the owners lured one of the league's most successful coaches away from Detroit—Tommy Ivan. Although he never played in the NHL and was only 5 feet 5 inches, he coached the Red Wings to three Stanley Cups over seven seasons and six first-place finishes.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 06.11.2014 / 3:24 PM
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog
(Photo by Mackenzie McCluer/Chicago Blackhawks)

Back on June 1, there were players from 27 NHL teams that wished they had their feet in the Blackhawks' skates when they battled the Los Angeles Kings in that fateful Game 7 at the United Center. While Chicago fans are disappointed in not returning to the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight season, it was a good run that came up only one shot or one goal short.

What makes hockey a great sport for fans is the fact that the game can change in a second—or, as Blackhawks fans remember from last year, the 17-second turnaround in Boston that clinched their second Stanley Cup in four seasons.

There was little doubt all season that being the defending champs, especially against Central Division rivals, the Blackhawks had a target on their backs. The Western Conference has proven to be more than extremely tough, with four teams having a better regular-season record than Chicago.

Not trying to make any excuses, but when you add the short turnaround from last year, plus having 10 players in the Olympics, there were no easy games. Just ask Nashville, who took the season series after winning four of five against Chicago, but didn't make the playoffs and fired longtime coach Barry Trotz.

After winning a physical series with St.Louis, a hungry Minnesota team battled the Blackhawks after upsetting division winner Colorado. Wild Coach Mike Yeo said after losing in six games that Chicago had a greater resolve.

That resolve carried the Blackhawks as they came back from a 3-1 deficit against a resilent L.A. team, which managed to get that last lucky goal off a deflected shot in overtime. So, Blackhawks fans, don't despair, because next season the team's "One Goal" remains—to bring another Cup back to Chicago!

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POSTED ON Friday, 05.23.2014 / 10:52 AM
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog
ST PAUL, MN - MAY 13: Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a glove save of a shot by Justin Fontaine #14 of the Minnesota Wild as Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on during the second period in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 13, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Hockey players—and most fans—know that when it comes to the playoffs, you can throw the regular-season records out the window, and thus far, the current situation certainly reflects that fact. In the East, Montreal is the fourth seed and New York is fifth. Both teams did not fare well in games against the West during the regular campaign; the Canadiens were 14-12-2, and the Rangers were 14-13-1.

On the other hand, our defending champion Blackhawks had the least amount of regulation losses to Eastern Conference foes, going 19-7-6. Anaheim was the Western Conference point leader with 116, only one behind the now vanquished Boston Bruins. The Ducks went 19-8-5 vs. the East, while Los Angeles had the most wins against teams on the other side of the Mississippi, going 21-8-3.

During the regular schedule, our Blackhawks had the most trouble within its division, as opponents stepped up their game against the champions. Chicago was 1-3-1 against Colorado; 2-1-2 in matches against St. Louis and 2-3-0 against Minnesota—both of whom were knocked out of postseason contention by the Blackhawks. Against the non-playoff squads in the division, Chicago was just 1-4-0 against Nashville, but held a 4-1-0 edge over Dallas and a 3-1-0 record against Winnipeg.

Even though the Blackhawks won all three regular-season meetings with the Kings, the L.A. squad—similar to when they won the Cup in 2012—has shown their toughness in the playoffs. The Kings became only the fourth team in NHL history to rally after being down 3-0, beating San Jose to win a series. They won Game 7 on the road and again knocked off Anaheim on the road in another grueling seven-game series. With the series tied 1-1, the Blackhawks are not taking the Kings lightly, not when they have former Chicago captain and coach, Darryl Sutter, behind the bench.

The current hard salary cap has made it difficult for any team to repeat since 1998, but Chicago hopes to break that drought this year. After winning last year, the Blackhawks became the first team since 2008 to win the Cup after posting the best regular-season record. In 2010, the Hawks were third overall, and they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers—who actually shared 18th in total points. Los Angeles was ranked 13th overall in 2012 as a No. 8 seed, becoming the lowest-ranked playoff team to capture Lord Stanley's Cup.

As Head Coach Joel Quennville and others have stated, regarding the playoffs, "You win when your best players play their best!" So far that has been the case for the Blackhawks.

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