photo credit: Zimbio
By Brad Gardner
Jonathan Toews is returning for the second season of his five-year $31.5 million dollar contract extension as the Blackhawks’ leading scorer, cracking the 70 point mark for the first time in his career last season with 76 points in 80 regular season games. Of his 32 goals, just two short of his career-high of 34 set in 2008-09, eight of his markers were game-winners. Toews finished second on last year’s club with a plus-25 rating. He had 10 power play goals as well.
His strongest stretch came in the season’s second half as the Blackhawks hovered in and out of a playoff position on an almost nightly basis. The ‘Hawks captain scored 14 goals and 21 assists in 26 games during February and March, supplying the team with just enough offense down the stretch to hang on to the 8th seed in the Western Conference. Read more
By Jon Fromi
Two guys having a pretty decent training camp for the Chicago Blackhawks were knocked out of the team’s return engagement with Detroit Wednesday night. The Hawks prevailed at the United Center, parlaying a host of power play chances into a 4-3 comeback win. However, the availability of Viktor Stalberg and Ben Smith for the start of the regular season is now up in the air.
Smith, who tied the score in the third period with an opportunistic goal, was knocked senseless by a shoulder to head hit by Detroit’s Brendan Smith. The check left Smith face down on the ice for several minutes before he was helped to the dressing room. [Video and more here]
The Blackhawks opened the scoring when Cory Emmerton was called for hooking midway through the first period. Less than a minute into the man advantage, Jonathan Toews dug the puck out of the corner, skated to the right side of the net and flipped the puck back to a streaking Patrick Kane. Kaner’s aim was true, and Chicago led 1-0. Read more