Chicago Sun-Times

April 2010 Archives

Dustin Byfuglien has played defense for the last month or so -- having his share of ups and downs -- but he was moved back to wing at practice Wednesday by coach Joel Quenneville.

Here's a look back at the Hawks' first-round series win over the Nashville Predators. It wasn't an easy series, and the Hawks never expected it to be.

"Whenever you can win a playoff series, especially against a team like Nashville, it feels good," Patrick Sharp said. "I don't know who said it was going to be an easy series or we were going to get upset. It was two teams that played hard going back to the regular season. It was a very tough series. I give them a lot of credit. It could have really gone either way."

NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- Marian Hossa is a happy man.

After going through his first-ever NHL disciplinary hearing, the Hawks winger was happy to learn from general manager Stan Bowman that NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell ruled against suspending him for his major penalty for boarding in Game 5.

hamhuis.jpgNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nashville Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis disagreed with the NHL's decision not to suspend Marian Hossa.

"I thought it was a little bit light," Hamhuis said Monday. "It was a dangerous play. My injury, his prior past shouldn't have anything to do [with it]. it doesn't change the action."

hossa01.jpgHawks winger Marian Hossa was not suspended by the NHL Sunday for his hit on Nashville Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis in Saturday's win in Game 5.

There is also something the Hawks can laugh about from Game 5.

Late in the first period, a faceoff was delayed after the puck got lost in Antti Niemi's equipment, following a save on Predators center Nick Spaling.

As expected, Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith was named one of the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL's best blue-liner.

The NHL will announce the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, which goes to the league's best defensemen, Friday morning.

Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith is expected to be a finalist for the award, which is voted upon by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Keith's 69 points in the regular season were the second most among defensemen.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Injured Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell is a game-time decision for Game 4 Thursday night against the Nashville Predators.

preds.jpgNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- First, let me start by saying that the Hawks -- despite their poor effort Tuesday night -- can still win the series against the Nashville Predators.

Seabrook1jpg.jpgBlackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has never been one to hesitate to alter his lines and defensive pairings if he thinks they aren't clicking or things could be better.

Patrick Kane's mullet continues to garner attention - and new nicknames for the Hawks winger.

Here are what the lines for the Blackhawks and Predators are expected to look like in Game 1 on Friday:

Patrick Sharp said he was surprised the Blackhawks' first-round series against the Nashville Predators didn't start today.

"I was getting ready to go," Sharp said of the Friday start date. "But it's all right. It gives us time to tune up our sticks and skates and make sure everybody is ready to go."

So as the pucks drop for other playoff teams tonight, here are five things to be concerned about and five reasons to believe in the Hawks:

Thumbnail image for 2bc.jpgDefenseman Brian Campbell returned to full practice for the first time Wednesday since breaking his collarbone and rib when he was checked into the end boards by the Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin on March 14.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville didn't see any negatives in the playoffs starting Friday against the Nashville Predators, especially with his team playing five games in eight days to close the season.

fraz.jpgHere are my picks and thoughts on the first-round matchups:

The second-seeded Hawks will play the Nashville Predators, the seventh seed, in the first round. Here are the dates and times:

Game 1 Friday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., United Center, CSN, Versus (joined in progress)

Game 2 Sunday, April 18, 7:30 p.m., United Center, CSN, Versus (joined in progress)

Game 3 Tuesday, April 20, 8:00 p.m., Bridgestone Arena, CSN, Versus (joined in progress)

Game 4 Thursday, April 22, 7:30 p.m., Bridgestone Arena, CSN, Versus (joined in progress)

*Game 5 Saturday, April 24, 2:00 p.m., United Center, NBC

*Game 6 Monday, April 26, TBD, Bridgestone Arena, CSN

*Game 7 Wednesday, April 28, TBD, United Center, CSN

*Games 5, 6 and 7 are if necessary.

jub.jpgFirst place in the Western Conference is there for the taking. All the Blackhawks have to do is defeat the rival Detroit Red Wings Sunday at the United Center.

DENVER - Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel figures that when he finally gives in and undergoes surgery for some wear and tear from playing in 587 NHL games - not to mention 42 in the playoffs - that he will need four or five things repaired.

5.jpgDENVER --- Defenseman Brent Sopel was selected as the Blackhawks' Bill Masterton Trophy nominee by the Chicago chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer's Association.

81jpg.jpgDENVER -- Hawks winger Marian Hossa said he is a game-time decision for Friday's game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Hossa.jpgThere is good news and bad news on the Hawks' injury front.

The good?

Bryan Bickell played in his 15th game for the Hawks Wednesday and scored his third goal, which is more than some regulars. He has two goals and an assist in his last four games with the Hawks.

If the playoffs started today, the Hawks would play the rival Detroit Red Wings -- not exactly the first round matchup anyone wants.

But there are still games to be played, and the Hawks have three of them (St. Louis, Colorado, Detroit).

The Hawks won the Central Division -- their first division title in 17 years -- on Sunday when the Detroit Red Wings lost 4-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers.

bollig_1.jpgThe Hawks signed forward Brandon Bollig Saturday to a two-year entry-level contract that starts next season. Bollig, 23, had 25 points in 42 games for St. Lawrence University.

The Blackhawks were 36.4 seconds away from clinching their first division title since the 1992-93 season Saturday when Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datysuk scored to force overtime against the Nashville Predators.

Here is my "expert" opinion on how the Western Conference standings will play out for the playoffs:

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