Recipe for must-see video: Take one Patrick Kane, mix with one GoPro camera

Adam Proteau
Patrick Kane (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane is still recuperating from a broken clavicle, but to tide you over until he makes his return (hopefully for Hawks fans, that will be in late May when Chicago is still in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and not next season), he and the people at GoPro have partnered to give fans an up-close look at his astonishing skill set.

The 26-year-old right winger straps the high-performance GoPro camera to the top of his helmet in the video, and the results are mesmerizing. The viewer gets the impression they’re seeing things through Kane’s eyes as he stickhandles through obstacles and smoothly around the ice: Read more

Why bother winning a lot of games in the Western Conference?

Mark Scheifele and Tyler Myers (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong has done a lot of roster building over the past few years and if the franchise is going to win its first-ever Stanley Cup, the window is open. Of course, the Blues could also get knocked out in the first round again and no one would bat an eye – the West is just that competitive.

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NCAA Frozen Four: Players to watch from every team in the tournament

Minnesota State goalie Stephon Williams (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

College hockey’s Frozen Four kicks off this week with 16 teams gunning for a spot in Boston, where the semifinal and final will be held in April. Regionals spread the squads across four cities and there is a lot of firepower at this year’s installment. But who are the players to watch for? Here’s a primer for every school, with an admitted bias towards NHL prospects.

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Here’s why Shea Weber deserves the Norris Trophy this season

Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Last season, the No. 1 spot on the Norris Trophy ballot I had the privilege of submitting belonged to Boston’s Zdeno Chara. But at the end of the breakdown of my vote for the Norris, I said “One of these years, though, Weber has to be the recipient”.

This is the year it ought to happen. And as it stands, I’m giving my first-place Norris vote this season to Predators captain Shea Weber. There are good cases to be made for more than a few blueliners (including Chicago’s Duncan Keith, L.A.’s Drew Doughty, Montreal’s P.K. Subban and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson), but it’s about time the hockey world acknowledged Weber’s unique skill set.

Weber certainly isn’t having a career year on offense (that came last season with his 23-goal, 56-point campaign), but he’s in the top 10 among NHL defensemen in scoring in 2014-15 with 15 goals and 45 points. With an average ice time of 26:24, he’s nearly three full minutes behind Doughty (29:17) and slightly behind Preds defensive partner Roman Josi (26:28). But if you’re basing your vote strictly based on points or time on ice leaders, you’re voting wrong. The Norris goes to the blueliner deemed to have displayed the greatest all-around ability, not the one who makes the most highlight reels. And Weber’s multitude of abilities make him capable of hurting you physically, in any zone, and have a direct effect on the scoreboard at both ends of the playing surface. Read more

Five backup goaltenders who could find starting jobs next season

Cam-Talbot

In Wednesday’s win over the New York Rangers, Chicago backup netminder Scott Darling showed exactly why the Blackhawks inked him to a two-year extension. And, with the win, he made the backup goaltending job in Chicago that much more interesting.

With the shutout – the first of Darling’s professional career – it adds more credence to the belief that Antti Raanta’s time might be up as Corey Crawford’s backup. But the move from starting AHL netminder to NHL second-stringer, which Darling made, is a common one. Next season, however, could see the rise of more than a few backup goaltenders to first-string duty.

Here are the five goaltenders you can most expect to challenge for a starting gig: Read more

Even without Kane, Hawks’ win over Rangers shows you count them out of the playoffs at your peril

Brad Richards (Rebecca Taylor/NHLI via Getty Images)

When superstar Patrick Kane was injured Feb. 24, more than a few people knocked the Chicago Blackhawks down a peg or two in their rankings of Stanley Cup contenders.

Not me. Even though Kane isn’t expected back from a broken left clavicle until the time the Western Conference Final is played, I think the Hawks have more than enough talent and experience to win their third championship in six seasons. And Wednesday night, in a terrifically-contested 1-0 win over the powerful New York Rangers, Chicago demonstrated one of its core strengths, and one of the biggest reasons they were my pre-season pick to win the Cup and remain so today: they can beat you any way you want to play. Read more

Blackhawks’ Richards shows incredible patience for game-winner against Rangers

Jared Clinton
Brad Richards (Jared Silber/Getty Images)

It was almost too fitting. In Brad Richards‘ first game back in Madison Square Garden since he was bought out last summer, the Chicago Blackhawks, his new team, and the New York Rangers, his old, were playing to a scoreless tie. Then Richards delivered the dagger.

During Wednesday night’s contest, less than twenty seconds after New York’s Dan Boyle hit the crossbar, Richards collected the puck behind the net, was given space to walk out front and waited out Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot before burying a shot up top. The celebration tells you about all you need to know: Read more

Suspend him or not: Andrew Shaw headbutts Brock Nelson

Jared Clinton
Andrew Shaw (Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks winger Andrew Shaw might be watching a few games from the sidelines after a headbutt to the face of New York Islanders sophomore center Brock Nelson.

Little more than five minutes into the second period of Tuesday’s game between the Blackhawks and Islanders, Shaw and Nelson tangled up along the boards and remained engaged for a few seconds after the puck had left the area. That’s when Shaw caught Nelson in the face with the top of his helmet. As Shaw skated away, the referee blew the play dead and Shaw was escorted to the penalty box: Read more