Two Stanleys will be fixtures in Chicago – Bowman and the Cup

Ken Campbell
Stan Bowman  (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

It would be a little presumptuous to expect the Stanley Cup to take up permanent residence at 1901 West Madison in Chicago for the foreseeable future, but it might want to check out the schools and amenities in the area just in case.

With the signing of GM Stan Bowman to a three-year extension that will take him through the 2020-21 season, there is no franchise in the NHL set up better for long-term success than the one that is best set up for short-term success. It’s a great time to be a Chicago Blackhawks fan, an era which people will look back on as the golden age of this franchise. You’d have to think there are a handful of players on this team – Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith for sure – who will be the last ones to wear their sweater numbers before they’re hoisted to the rafters of the United Center. And those wonderful statues of Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Michael Jordan outside the building will undoubtedly have company someday.

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Watch Blackhawks’ Panarin blast beautiful backhand pass from Kane

Jared Clinton
Artemi Panarin (Bill Smith/Getty Images)

Patrick Kane has been dominating the NHL’s scoring race for most of the season, but he hasn’t done it alone. His 26-game point streak was aided by the impressive play of Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin. Sunday night, Kane managed another point and it was thanks to a booming slapshot from Panarin.

In the second period of a scoreless game against St. Louis, the Blackhawks broke into the Blues zone with the puck on Kane’s stick. Kane glided down the right wing wall, took a look to his left, spotted Panarin and threw a perfect backhand pass across the zone. Panarin wasted no time before absolutely rocketing the puck on goal: Read more

Blackhawks’ Crawford makes unbelievable sprawling save on Lightning’s Brown

Jared Clinton
Corey Crawford (via NHL/YouTube)

Corey Crawford is having a spectacular season for the Blackhawks. Some will attribute Chicago’s success to their offensive talent or the skilled defensemen manning the blueline, Crawford has been one of the main catalysts for the Blackhawks’ winning ways.

But even with how good Crawford has been, no one could have expected him to make the stop he made Thursday night on Tampa Bay Lightning winger J.T. Brown.

Midway through the first period, the Lightning worked the puck around the Blackhawks’ zone before it ended up on the tape of Ryan Callahan, who was to Crawford’s left. Callahan made a quick move before flipping a backhand on net and Crawford made a slick pad save on the initial effort, but it’s hit second save — a sprawling, how-did-he-stop-that effort on Brown — that had the Amalie Arena crowd buzzing: Read more

Richard Panik scratched by Blackhawks after oversleeping, missing practice

Jared Clinton
Richard Panik (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Coach Joel Quenneville isn’t one for shaking up his lineup when they’re winning, but Richard Panik won’t be in the lineup for the Blackhawks when they go for their 13th straight victory Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It’s not an injury Panik out, though. Instead, he’ll be out of the contest because he overslept and missed practice. Quenneville said because Panik was late to the team skate, he won’t be suiting up for the Stanley Cup final rematch. According to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Hine, Panik arrived at the arena late for the 11:30 a.m. practice and skated by himself as his teammates were coming off the ice.

“It’s too fresh right now to really assess it,” Quenneville said of Panik’s lateness. Read more

Ducks trade Jiri Sekac to Blackhawks for Ryan Garbutt. Why?

Matt Larkin
Jiri Sekac and Ryan Garbutt. (Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks struck a mini deal Thursday. Left winger Ryan Garbutt heads to the Ducks and left winger Jiri Sekac joins the Hawks.

The salary cap exchange is negligible. Sekac carries a $925,000 cap hit and is a restricted free agent this summer. Garbutt’s number is $900,000, as the Dallas Stars ate half his $1.8 million in the Patrick Sharp trade with Chicago. Garbutt has one season left on his deal.

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Power Rankings: Defending Cup champs separating from pack in West

Ken Campbell
Steven Stamkos (left) and Patrick Kane (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

This is getting downright scary. Will anyone be able to stop Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks this season? As great as the Blackhawks have been over the past half decade, they never won 12 games in a row the way they have this season. As brilliant as Kane has been throughout his career, he has never had a stretch like this one.

The Blackhawks established their franchise high-water mark for straight wins when they dispatched the Nashville Predators Tuesday night. And they’ll have a chance to usurp the Florida Panthers season-high winning streak when they visit the surging Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night.

Their play of late makes the Blackhawks an easy choice as the top-ranked team in thn.com’s Power Rankings for the second straight week. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)

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Prospect Need to Know: Jeremy Lauzon has Rouyn-Noranda flying

Jeremy Lauzon (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

It’s home stretch time in the CHL as trade deadlines have passed and all the newbies are settling in to their new uniforms. In 2016 draft news, the NHL’s Central Scouting bureau released its mid-term rankings and not surprisingly, Auston Matthews topped the European skaters list (because he’s playing in Switzerland). Team USA linemate Matthew Tkachuk of OHL London was tops amongst North American skaters, while Filip Gustavsson (Lulea) and Carter Hart (Everett) lead the goalies. Here’s a look at some of the other prospects making noise right now:

 

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Kane, Panarin and Anisimov combine for slick passing play, goal against Predators

Jared Clinton
Artem Anisimov, Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Overshadowed by how well Patrick Kane is playing is that his line with Artem Ansimov and Artemi Panarin has been one of the hottest in the league. There’s been times this season where the trio have been on ice for some Globetrotter-esque goals, but maybe no goal this year more encapsulates the chemistry the three have shown together than Anisimov’s goal Tuesday night.

In the final minute of the first frame, Nashville was attempting to clear their zone when the puck took a favorable bounce for Chicago and hopped towards Panarin, who swatted the puck in Kane’s direction. With Panarin swooping behind him, Kane drew a Predators defender in before slipping the puck neatly to the Russian winger which created a 2-on-1 low in the Nashville zone.

Only Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis stood between Anisimov and Panarin. As soon as Ellis went down, though, Panarin slid a pass perfectly under the Nashville defenseman’s stick and onto Anisimov’s tape. In one motion, he pulled the puck back across the crease before slipping it five hole on Pekka Rinne: Read more