Western Conference final team capsules: Chicago Blackhawks

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Here’s a rundown of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Blackhawks, who captured the playoffs’ first overall seed thanks to a 36-7-5 regular-season record.

58th appearance 4 Stanley Cup titles (1934, 1938, 1961, 2010)

Studs:

  • Patrick Sharp: 7 goals (T-lead in NHL)
  • Bryan Bickell: 5 goals on 18 shots, 35 hits (T-lead on team)
  • Brent Seabrook: GWG in Game 7 vs. DET, 35 hits (T-lead on team)
  • Duncan Keith: 1 goal, 8 assists
  • Johnny Oduya: 23 blocked shots (leads team)
  • Corey Crawford: 8-4, 1.70 GAA (2nd in NHL), .938 save% (3rd in NHL), 1 shutout
  • Team: 6-1 at United Center
  • Team: 97.6% on penalty kill, 40-for-41 (leads NHL)
  • Team: 98 takeaways (leads NHL)

Duds:

  • Jonathan Toews: 1 goal, 5 assists, -2 … but has won 56.0% of faceoffs (2nd in NHL)
  • Brandon Saad: 0 goals on 27 shots
  • Dave Bolland: 1 assist, -2
  • Marcus Kruger: 35.3% on faceoffs (3rd-worst in NHL)
  • Team: 47.6% on faceoffs (13th in NHL)

Stanley Cup winners with 2010 Blackhawks (8 players, 2 coaches):

  • Dave Bolland, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews (captain, Conn Smythe winner), Joel Quenneville (head coach), Stephane Waite (asst)

Cup winners with other franchises (1 coach):

  • Jamie Kompon (asst, 2012 Kings)

Seeking first Cup, have played or coached one+ playoff game this postseason (14 players, 1 coach):

  • Bryan Bickell (name not etched), Brandon Bollig, Daniel Carcillo, Corey Crawford, Ray Emery (back-up goalie), Michael Frolík, Michal Handzuš, Marcus Krüger, Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsíval, Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Viktor Stålberg, Mike Kitchen (asst)

Seeking 2013 postseason debut:

  • Sheldon Brookbank (26 regular-season games), Adam Clendening (0), Klas Dahlbeck (0), Jimmy Hayes (10), Carter Hutton (1), Henrik Karlsson (0), Shawn Lalonde (1), Jamal Mayers (19), Steve Montador (0), Jeremy Morin (3), Dylan Olsen (0), Brandon Pirri (1), Ben Smith (1), Ryan Stanton (1)

Most career playoff …

  • Games: Marian Hossa, 142
  • Goals: Marian Hossa, 41
  • Points: Marian Hossa, 108

Last playoff …

  • Hat trick: Jonathan Toews, May 7, 2010 (vs. Canucks, Game 4, WCQF)
  • 4-point game: Duncan Keith, April 21, 2011 (at Canucks, Game 5, WCQF)
  • Short-handed goal: Michael Frolik, May 3, 2013 (vs. Wild, Game 2, WCQF)
  • Fight: Brandon Bollig, April 19, 2012 (Paul Bissonnette, vs. Coyotes, Game 4, WCQF)
  • Shutout: Corey Crawford, May 7, 2013 (at Wild, Game 4, WCQF)

Milestones:

  • With six points, Patrick Kane (61) will tie Dennis Hull for 7th on the all-time points list in Blackhawks postseason history
  • With one point, Jonathan Toews (56) will move into 10th on the all-time points list in Blackhawks postseason history
  • With six goals, Patrick Sharp (29) will tie Jeremy Roenick for 5th on the all-time goals list in Blackhawks postseason history
  • With two goals, Patrick Kane (22) will tie Kings head coach Darryl Sutter for 10th on the all-time goals list in Blackhawks postseason history
  • With one power-play goal, Jonathan Toews (11) will move past Jeremy Roenick for 3rd on the all-time PPG list in Blackhawks postseason history
  • With four wins, Corey Crawford (13) will move past Antti Niemi for 5th on the all-time goaltending wins list in Blackhawks postseason history
  • Joel Quenneville moved into 8th in all-time coaching wins (80) … needs two wins to tie Toe Blake (82) for 7th

Awards:

  • With the NHL’s best record (36-7-5), the Blackhawks won the Presidents’ Trophy for the second time (1990-91) … that season, they were eliminated in the Norris Division semis (Minnesota North Stars)
  • Corey Crawford & Ray Emery combined to win the William M. Jennings Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltending tandem (97 goals allowed, 2.02 per game)

Biggest storylines of 2012-13 season & postseason:

  • “The Streak”: the Blackhawks set a new NHL record by going 24 games without a regulation loss (21-0-3) at the beginning of the season, from a win on Stanley Cup banner-raising night at Los Angeles on January 19, to a loss at Colorado on March 8 … the Blackhawks went 15-7-2 in the second half
  • Corey Crawford (19-5-5) & Ray Emery (17-1-0) each won 17+ games, and won the Jennings Trophy as the best goaltending tandem in the NHL … Emery set an NHL record by winning his first 12 decisions … only one other team had two 15-game winners: Anaheim (Jonas Hiller & Viktor Fasth)
  • Marian Hossa made an immediate impact after season-ending hit by Raffi Torres in 2012 playoffs
  • Brent Seabrook became the fourth defenseman to score an overtime winner in a Game 7 in Stanley Cup playoffs history (Leo Reise, 1950 Red Wings; Brad Park, 1983 Bruins; Darius Kasparaitis, 2001 Penguins), helping the Blackhawks come back from a three-games-to-one deficit for the first time in franchise history, vs. DET

Award finalists:

  • Presidents’ Trophy (won)
  • With the NHL’s best record (36-7-5), the Blackhawks won the Presidents’ Trophy for the second time (1990-91)
  • William M. Jennings Trophy: Corey Crawford & Ray Emery (won)
  • Crawford & Emery combined to win the William M. Jennings Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltending tandem (97 goals allowed, 2.02 per game)
  • Calder Memorial Trophy (Top rookie): Brandon Saad
  • Saad had 27 points (T-4th among rookies) and was a +17 (best among rookies)
  • Frank J. Selke Trophy (Top defensive forward): Jonathan Toews
  • Toews had 48 points (13th in NHL), was a +28 (3rd in NHL), won 59.9% of faceoffs (2nd in NHL)
  • Jack Adams Trophy (Top head coach): Joel Quenneville
  • Quenneville led the Blackhawks to their second-ever Presidents’ Trophy (36-7-5 record)
  • Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Best sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability): Patrick Kane
  • Kane had 55 points (5th in NHL), 23 goals (T-5th in NHL) and only 8 penalty minutes
  • Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award (most influential team captain): Jonathan Toews

These 2017 NHL Draft picks lacked hype … but not swagger

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The interview process for draft prospects must be a real beating. Then again, it’s also an opportunity for hopefuls to push back.

In the case of two smaller prospects, it meant providing some swagger in their answers, possibly impressing their new teams. If nothing else, Kailer Yamamoto and Michael DiPietro generated some refreshingly confident quotes.

One would assume that the Edmonton Oilers picked Yamamoto with the 22nd choice for more than just a great answer alone … but still.

Nice, right?

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek related a similar story about DiPietro, who the Vancouver Canucks nabbed with the 64th pick.

Funny story: When one team at the NHL told him “We don’t think you can play in the NHL with our team, you’re too small” at the combine, he fired back with “well, I guess you have a problem with winning, then.” How do you not like that?

If nothing else, those two aren’t shy.

As a bonus story, check out the bumpy path Will Reilly – aka the “Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2017 NHL Draft – took to being chosen last overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, via Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy. From the sound of things, there are worse feelings than going 217th.

The 2017 NHL Draft may have been “pumped down” from a hype perspective, yet it sounds like many of these prospects at least bring some moxie to the table.

Kings, Golden Knights labeled 2017 NHL Draft winners; Bruins, not so much

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It’s nearly certain that we won’t be able to determine the “winners and losers” of the 2017 NHL Draft until, say, 2022. If not later.

Still, what fun is that?

Quite a few outlets pegged some winners and losers, though sometimes the choices were more about themes like nations or player types than specific teams.

For example: Puck Daddy gives a thumbs down to the “green room” experiment.

Let’s take a look at some of the consensus picks.

Winners

Vegas Golden Knights

GM George McPhee was dealt a bad hand when it comes to the lottery draft, so he instead made his own luck. And then he selected three players who could improve this team going forward.

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek especially liked the last two of their three first-rounders (Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom), viewing Cody Glass as more of a no-brainer. Plenty of others were on board.

Los Angeles Kings

Gabe Vilardi fell to Los Angeles, whether it was because of shaky skating or some other reason. That potential steal (and some other shrewd moves) impressed the Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy, who assembled draft profiles for PHT.

Again, Vilardi’s loss was considered the Kings’ gain, as slower skaters were considered losers by the likes of Post Media’s Michael Traikos.

Philadelphia Flyers

Boy, Ron Hextall is good at this thing, isn’t he? Philly drew high marks even beyond the layup of landing Nolan Patrick. The main area of disagreement revolved around the Brayden Schenn trade, though plenty came out on Hextall’s side there, too.

Arizona Coyotes

Boy, that negative press didn’t last long, did it? Between landing Niklas Hjalmarsson, Derek Stepan, and Antti Raanta in trades and savvy picks, they were a popular choice.

Themes

Smaller players, Sweden, and Finland drew semi-serious mentions as “winners.”

Losers

Boston Bruins

The perception is that they played it too safe.

Colorado Avalanche, for now?

OK, this was more about draft weekend than picks, but people are criticizing Joe Sakic for standing pat. That could change, but the negative sentiment is there.

Detroit Red Wings

Another common choice. Some believe that their draft was the worst of them all, which isn’t great considering the declining opinion of GM Ken Holland overall.

New York Rangers

Lias Andersson was viewed as a reach by plenty, and his connection to the trade to Arizona might intensify the scrutiny.

Themes

Not a great draft for Russian-born players and/or guys who don’t skate quite swiftly.

***

So, those are some of the near-consensus choices for winners and losers, via the brave souls who made rapid reactions to the 2017 NHL Draft.

Ducks ink D Holzer to two-year deal reportedly worth $1.8M

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As the dust settled on the expansion draft, the Anaheim Ducks’ defense is coming into focus.

Sunday continued that pattern; the Ducks signed Korbinian Holzer to a two-year contract worth $1.8 million, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

You can break down the Ducks defense as more expensive players (Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler, and Kevin Bieksa) and cheaper ones (Holzer, Brandon Montour, and Josh Manson).

Only Vatanen, Lindholm and Holzer see contracts that go beyond 2017-18 – at least without an extension yet for the likes of Fowler and Manson – so Holzer provides a little bit of certainty.

Is the $900K a minor overpay, though? Holzer played in 32 games for the Ducks this season after appearing in 29 in 2015-16. His impact has been pretty minimal, generating seven points while averaging 13:31 in ice time per contest (down from 14:45 the previous season).

Granted he may get more opportunities to show what he’s capable of if the Ducks lose another piece. Then again, at 29, the Ducks likely know what they have.

2017 Hockey Hall of Fame class to be named Monday; Selanne + who?

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The 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame class is expected to be announced on Monday, and every indication is that Teemu Selanne will be on the list. Beyond that, well, there are a lot of question marks.

NHL.com notes that there’s at least a possibility that Selanne will be the only NHL name to be part of this class, which would mark a first since 2010 (when Dino Ciccarelli was the lone addition).

It’s a nice way to continue what’s been a buffet for hockey fans: the 2017 Stanley Cup Final’s conclusion, the expansion draft and then the 2017 NHL Draft. The HHOF announcements are a nice appetizer before free agency gets, well, frenzied?

“The Finnish Flash” was also an obvious top choice in last year’s poll to see who should be in the class.

Now, that doesn’t mean he is the only interesting name.

For one thing, Daniel Alfredsson will be eligible for the first time, much like Selanne. “Alf” falls in the “Maybe” category with some interesting, debatable other options: Mark Recchi, Dave Andreychuk, Alex Mogilny, Jeremy Roenick, Paul Kariya, Chris Osgood, and more.

The 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class included Eric Lindros, Rogie Vachon, Sergei Makarov, and Pat Quinn.