Chicago Sun-Times

December 2009 Archives

Blackhawks Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky were named to Slovakia's roster for February's Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It'll be Hossa's third selection to his national team and Kopecky's first. The Hawks hope to get more Olympians when Canada names its team on Wednesday and the U.S. on New Year's Day.

Winger Kris Versteeg and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson returned to the Blackhawks at Monday's practice and made the trip to Dallas for Tuesday night's game against the Stars. Both had missed the previous two games with flu-like symptoms.

Ben Eager has a history of concussions, and one caused him to miss 13 games earlier this season. Eager, after missing two games, returned to the ice at the Blackhawks' morning skate on Tuesday and denied that concussion issues have surfaced again. The Hawks and Eager say he simply as an upper body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said Eager was doubtful for Tuesday night's game against San Jose, and Bryan Bickell went through the morning skate without officially being recalled from Rockford. Who starts as the fourth-line left winger will be a game-time decision. Cam Barker was also off the nice, apparently nursing a lower body injury, so Jordan Hendry figures to be in the lineup as a defenseman again. Cristobal Huet will start in goal for the second straight game.

Huet NHL's No. 1 star

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Goaltender Cristobal Huet was named the NHL' s No. 1 star of the week after posting two shutouts and running his scoreless streak to 141 minutes 21 seconds. Huet stopped 47 shots in wins over St. Louis and Detroit to edge another goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury of Pittsburgh, for the top star honor. The Hawks, who didn't practice Monday, did return winger Bryan Bickell to Rockford again but he could be recalled on Tuesday if Ben Eager is unable to play in that night's home game against San Jose.

Eager could be out again

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Ben Eager was called ``doubtful'' by coach Joel Quenneville for Sunday's game against Detroit at the United Center. The Hawks say only that Eager has an upper body injury, but he was scratched Friday against Boston after participating in the morning skate. He has a history of concussions, and missed 13 games earlier in the season for that reason. Niklas Hjalmarsson is expected back on the blue line after missing his first game against the Bruins. Bryan Bickell was returned to Rockford but could be back if Eager can't go. Cristobal Huet will start in goal against the Red Wings.

Hjalmarsson won't play

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Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson will miss his first game of the season for the Blackhawks when they take on the Boston Bruins at the United Center. Coach Joel Quenneville said Hjalmarsson is ``under the weather.'' Jordan Hendry figures to make the lineup as a defenseman this time, and the Hawks also made a rare roster move in recalling Bryan Bickell from Rockford. The starter in goal will be Antti Niemi.

Niemi will get a home start

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Coach Joel Quenneville meant it when he said rookie goaltender Antti Niemi would get consideration for more ice time. Niemi, who allowed just one goal in his last two starts -- both of them in road games, will be between the pipes when the Tampa Bay Lightning visits the United Center of Sunday. Niemi has a 5-1-1 record, 1.71 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in seven game appearances. Niemi has played in just two home games, and he came on in relief of starter Cristobal Huet in one of them. He was spectacular in his last two starts -- a 1-0 win at Vancouver on Nov. 22 and a 2-1 overtime victory at Pittburgh on Dec. 5.

Patrick Lalime, a solid backup for Nikolai Khabibulin for two seasons when both were with the Blackhawks, will be the starter in goal against the Hawks tonight when they visit the Buffalo Sabres. Lalime, who signed with Buffalo after the Hawks acquired Cristobal Huet prior to last season, has had trouble getting playing time with the Sabres. Buffalo has one of the NHL's best netminders in Ryan Miller, but coach Lindy Ruff opted to go with Lalime against his former team and save Miller for a Saturday night Eastern Conference matchup against the New York Rangers on the road. Lalime, 0-2 this season, is coming a two-game conditioning stint with Portland in the American Hockey Assn.

Back to Huet

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Allowing only one goal in his last two starts and getting a 2-1 overtime win over the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on their ice wasn't enough to earn rookie goaltender Antti Niemi a second straight start for the Blackhawks. Coach Joel Quenneville named Cristobal Huet his starter between the pipes for Wednesday's home game against the New York Rangers. While Niemi is 5-1-1 as the backup Huet has been no slouch either, posting an 11-4-1 record in his last 15 starts.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2009 is the previous archive.

January 2010 is the next archive.

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