torstai, 6. huhtikuu 2017

Blackhawks 2017 playoff picture: April 5

The Chicago Blackhawks have two games left in the regular season and have clinched cheap NFL jerseys the Central Division and the top spot in the Western Conference. Each day until the end of the regular season, we'll breakdown who they could possibly face in the first round and other seeding in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Tuesday's results
Chicago squandered a three-goal lead in an overtime loss to Colorado. The Hawks gained a point, but with Washington and Pittsburgh winning Chicago was eliminated from the Presidents’ Trophy race.

Minnesota clinched the wholesale jerseys No. 2 seed in the Central Division with its win over Carolina. St. Louis failed to gain ground with a 5-2 loss to Winnipeg. Nashville, however, grabbed a point in an overtime loss to the New York Islanders.

In the Pacific Division, first-place Anaheim defeated Calgary in a potential playoff preview. Second-place Edmonton fell to Los Angeles for Anaheim to build its lead. San Jose moved into a tie for second with the Oilers after its 3-1 home win over Vancouver.

Wednesday's scoreboard watch
If the playoffs started today, the Hawks would be the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and play the No. 2 wild card team — Nashville wholesale jerseys.

There are no Western Conference teams in action. League-leading Washington hosts the New York Rangers while Buffalo hosts Montreal, who have locked in the first place in the Atlantic.

Blackhawks' remaining schedule

Thursday, April 6: at Anaheim-x

Saturday, April 8: at Los Angeles

x-playoff team

torstai, 6. huhtikuu 2017

How the last two games might influence the Blackhawks' playoff roster

The Blackhawks roster is mostly set heading into the playoffs.

They have their top six defensemen and are expecting injured center Artem Anisimov back in time for the start of the first round.

There are only two spots coach Joel Quenneville may revise on the imaginary white board in his mind before Game 1 next week – both wingers on the fourth line.

Here's what the lineup looks like now Wholesale Jerseys 2017:

Nick Schmaltz, Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik on the top line.
Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane on the second.
Ryan Hartman, Marian Hossa and either Tanner Kero or Marcus Kruger at center on the third line while the fourth line will feature either Kero or Kruger with an unknown cast at winger.
So while the last two games won't affect the Hawks' in the standings, they are a de facto audition for playoff playing time for some forwards at the bottom of the roster.

"Of course it's tough," forward Dennis Rasmussen said. "We have a really good team. We have a deep team and all the guys can play in different situations and different positions. It really helps the competition and the team."

Rasmussen is one of six forwards vying for those two spots; the others are veterans Jordin Tootoo, Andrew Desjardins and Tomas Jurco and rookies Vinnie Hinostroza and John Hayden.

Quenneville is giving all six playing time to see who stands out this week Wholesale Sports Jerseys. On Sunday, Tootoo, Rasmussen and Hayden got the call with Rasmussen at center. On Tuesday, it was Hinostroza and Jurco with Desjardins at center.

"We're still having decisions to make," Quenneville said. "There could be some movement as we're going along, but there will be some competition and decision making as far as watching them play and what our options are based on opponents."

Potential matchups based on the Hawks' first-round opponent will also play a factor in who sees the ice, but if somebody stands out over the next two games, it would be hard for Quenneville to keep him out.

Tootoo said the group won't let the competition hurt the team.

"When there's that negativity you feel it in the dressing room," Tootoo said. "Come playoff time we don't need that. This is a group of guys that are probably one of the tightest groups I've been on and you look at it from the top down -- our core group of guys are really engaged."

From this perspective, the Hawks are in better shape than they were a season ago, especially considering Wholesale Sports Jerseys their top three lines feature seven players who have scored 19 goals or more.

"You're getting contributions from all over the place," Toews said. "You want to give credit to guys like 'Desi' and 'Toots' who have been in and out of the lineup but they always seem so well prepared, ready to go and ready to do the right things not only on the ice, but being vocal in the room and on the bench and being an integral part of this locker room.

"It's a huge reason why we have been successful."

But not all of them will get to play in the Hawks' quest for postseason success.

torstai, 6. huhtikuu 2017

Roundtable: Chicago Blackhawks Warriors combat veteran hockey team

The Chicago Blackhawks Warriors are a hockey team comprising military veterans who were injured in combat and now live in the Chicago area. The Warriors, who are sponsored by the Chicago Blackhawks, faced Blackhawks alumni on April 1 at Mount Prospect Ice Arena.

After the game, which served as a benefit for the Warriors, Pioneer Press contributor Steve Reaven caught up with several players to discuss what the team means to them.

Q: What is the most beneficial aspect of wholesale MLB jerseys playing on a team with other combat veterans?

Matthew Gran, Indian Creek: It's nice to be around other vets who know what it's like to serve and have been through a lot of the same things you have. Many areas of life after getting out (of the military), there aren't a lot of veterans around.

Richard Duzinskas, Bensenville: It brings you that camaraderie that you're missing because we all understand what we've been through. You get the same joking around that you had in the barracks back in the day. It really makes you feel like a family.

Brian Torkelson, Grayslake: It's easy to bond and relate to each other. It gives a time to forget about the demons that haunt all of us. It's a safe place that almost feels like you're back in the military.

Kevin Sharwarko, Oak Lawn: We all know each other's stories and backgrounds. It's something that you can't find someplace else but with veterans. I was very anti-social coming out of the military. There are a lot of stigmas associated with having PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury), so sometimes civilians look at you in a different light.

Q: What level of previous hockey experience did you have prior to joining the Warriors?

Travis Newberg, Long Grove: My mom was a figure skater, and she took me to lessons when I was a kid, but I played football and baseball more. Three years ago, my girlfriend and I were talking, and I said, 'I think I'm going to go buy hockey skates.' Then two weeks later, I thought to go play in an adult league. I found the Warriors, and I've been playing ever since.

Eddie Kerrigan, Northbrook: I played up until about first grade cheap jerseys, got out of it for reasons I still don't know. My dad played hockey and so did my uncle, so hockey has been in my family forever. When I was coming out of the military, looking for an outlet, I said to myself, 'I'm going to start playing hockey again.'

Kevin Errandi, Darien: I played pond hockey, backyard-type stuff when I was a kid, played in the street, but never anything even remotely competitive up until October, when I joined the team.

Stephen Foster, New Lenox: I taught myself how to skate three years ago, so I'm learning on the fly every game. I've gotten significantly better. I can actually stand up, and I'm still working on stopping.

Q: How has playing with the Blackhawks Warriors helped you physically or mentally?

Bill Davidson, Lincolnshire: Hockey is so much about problem-solving. It's extremely physical, so it kind of tires the mind. Your mind doesn't have a chance to race. For 60 or 75 minutes, you can't think about anything else — all you're doing is being physically fit and thinking about problem-solving on ice. It's awesome.

Kerrigan: It's a great workout, and there's something to be said about mental health and working out. They go hand-in-hand. You feel great coming off the ice, and hanging out with the guys in the locker room makes you feel great.

Foster: It keeps me active. Coming out with these guys, we joke around and have fun, and we get that mental health help that we need while also being physically fit.

Errandi: I had a pretty rough time when I got out of the military, especially with my disabilities wholesale nfl jerseys. I was going through a divorce, and I moved around a lot. Coming out on the ice and relaxing and being around people who are like-minded means everything to me. It's what keeps me grounded.

Duzinskas: It's helped me get out of the house, it's given me exercise. It just kind of keeps you going, keeps you motivated to get up and do something every weekend.