Kings Blackhawks

Columnist to Blackhawks fans: Be careful what you wish for


Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom has a message for Blackhawks fans: You’re “crazy” if you’re hoping the ‘Hawks finish sixth in the Western Conference and get the Pacific Division champion in the first round instead of Detroit or Nashville.

First of all, the Hawks don’t have a winning record this season against any of the possible Pacific champs. They went 1-3 against Los Angeles and Phoenix, and 2-2 against Dallas and San Jose.

Maybe it’s me, but it’s hard to understand the smug act about Pacific opponents when you can’t find even one that you beat regularly.

What’s more — and what’s more important in the playoffs — all four Pacific possibilities have better goaltending than the Hawks.

Old friend Antti Niemi has a 2.39 goals-against average and .915 save percentage for San Jose. Compare that with Corey Crawford’s bloated 2.87 and painful .902.

Rosenbloom also rips the Blackhawks for going 15-13-4 since mid-January, though he fails to mention they’re 7-1-2 in their last 10.

But he’s right about two things:

—- The Pacific Division winner won’t be a pushover.

—- The ‘Hawks should be worried about their goaltending. Crawford had a nice stretch in the first three weeks of March, but he’s had a couple of mediocre outings since. Overall his numbers remain poor compared to the rest of the starters in the Western Conference.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”

Yes! Jagr’s bringing back the mullet

Ice Hockey - Day 6 - Czech Republic v Slovakia

The greatest mullet in sports history is making a comeback.

According to the Miami Herald’s George Richards, Jaromir Jagr says he’s bringing back the party in the back.

“I have to,” Jagr, 43, said.

Jagr’s teammate with the Florida Panthers, goalie Roberto Luongo, appears to have been the lead lobbyist in all this.

Anyway, this is fantastic.