Cleat Geeks

The Blackhawks Backhand

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Jonathan Toews pulled out of the All-Star festivities in Nashville due to an illness, which got him suspended for Tuesday’s game. However, Patrick Kane was there and his weekend was filled with booing, a goal, and a “fight.” “It’s good to get out there and kind of move the body around a little bit, play Pacific Division forward John Scott (28) pretends to fight with Central Division forward Patrick Kane (88), of the Chicago Blackhawks, during an NHL hockey All-Star semifinal round game Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. The Pacific Division team won 9-6. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)some hockey, enjoy Nashville as a city and spend some time with family and friends,” Kane said after his Central Division team lost in the semifinals of the three-on-three tournament at Bridgestone Arena. “Overall, it was a good weekend.” The crowd booed any time a Blackhawks logo appeared, whether when it was worn by a fan shown on the video screen or by Kane when he was on the ice. “They booed me all weekend,” Kane said. “I don’t think they like the Blackhawks here.” Kane did win some of the crowd over when he scored to help the Central in a 9-6 loss to the Pacific then dropped his gloves and went after former teammate John Scott. The “fight”, which featured smiles rather than punches, came after Scott delivered a hit on Kane, a rarity in an All-Star Game.

“This whole weekend is about fun and having a good time,” Kane said. “(The hit) caught me off guard a bit, but I think the whole sequence with him hitting me and then him going down on a breakaway and getting a shot and then me going back and scoring a goal and then the fight will be something pretty cool for people to play over and over again.” “I don’t know if he was expecting me to drop them with him,” Kane added. “It was a fun little moment.”

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Corey Crawford was named the NHL’s Second Star of the month for January. Crawford, who leads the league in shutouts and is second in wins this season, had an awesome January as the Blackhawks set a new team record by winning 12 consecutive games. During January, he went 9-2-0 with a 1.64 goals against average and also racked up an impressive .952 save percentage. Besides being a great goaltender, he’s also a great human being. As a part of the Blackhawks’ “What’s Your Goal” campaign, Crawford made a visit to one young fan named Ben and his babysitter. Ben was born with a rare condition making it difficult to move his limbs. Crawford and a couple of his Blackhawks teammates visited Ben, played some hockey, ate lunch, and even read a book together. Make sure to check out the heartfelt video and don’t forget the tissues.

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The Blackhawks were able to hold off the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night without Jonathan Toews. After six days off over the All-Star break, the Blackhawks looked refreshed when they defeated the Avalanche 2-1 to start the second half of the season. Toews was serving his one-game suspension, but it didn’t seem like any trouble for the Hawks. They put up 42 shots on net against Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard. “It was definitely needed,” coach Joel Quenneville said of the rest. “We were definitely on fumes going into (the break). It was nice to see us recapture the emotion and the pace and the strength.” 508077256_slideThe altitude in Denver did not seem to affect their speed or style of play, especially in the first period when they raced around to score the first two goals.

“It’s always tough to start in Colorado with the altitude and everything but we played really well,” said Corey Crawford, who made 23 saves. “We did what we wanted. Solid road game. It’s a good start coming back from the break.” With Toews out, Quenneville put Teuvo Teravainen with Andrew Shaw and Richard Panik. The result was an early goal for Panik, his third goal in nine games. The Hawks took a 2-0 lead after Artemi Panarin put a slick backhand move on a defender and beat Pickard. The Avalanche got one goal back on the Hawks when Gabriel Landeskog fired a shot past Crawford in the slot at 9:59 of the first. The Hawks dominated puck possession in the second period after Quenneville switched around his lines, pairing Marian Hossa with Teravainen and Shaw. They outshot the Avalanche 15-2 in the period, although Pickard made 40 saves. In the third period, Colorado mounted the pressure, but Crawford made 16 saves after his team allowed him prolonged moments of rest most of the night. The Blackhawks will face the Coyotes in Arizona Thursday night.

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