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updated: 2/7/2012 2:06 PM

Blackhawks getting outhit nearly every game

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  • Bryan Bickell is sent to the ice by Calgary's Cory Sarich during the Hawks' loss to the Flames on Friday.

      Bryan Bickell is sent to the ice by Calgary's Cory Sarich during the Hawks' loss to the Flames on Friday.
    Associated Press

 
 

As far as statistics go, it's a powerful one.

The Blackhawks have been outhit by their opponent in 47 of 53 games.

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While the Hawks are not a physical team by any stretch of the imagination, it's still a stunning stat born out of several factors:

Coach Joel Quenneville's system is centered on puck possession and cycling, not forechecking.

Only Brent Seabrook consistently hits among the defensemen.

The roster at forward is dominated by small, skilled players and not power people.

"It's the way we play," defenseman Sean O'Donnnell said. "I'm sure Detroit gets outhit most games too. It's the personnel we have. We have more of a skilled team, an up-tempo team.

"I think we still can get it down low and cycle them and grind them. We're never going to be a team that runs the other team out of the building, but we can still play grinding hockey when we're down in their end, cycling it down low and making them turn."

Honest assessment:

Brendan Morrison knows he hasn't set the world in fire in his first three games with the Hawks.

Morrison has no points with 3 shots on goal, playing an average of 14 minutes on a variety of lines.

Morrison centered the third line at practice Monday for Viktor Stalberg and Marcus Kruger.

"It's been average, not really the start I was looking for," Morrison said. "I thought in Vancouver, I had a chance there to score a big goal for the team and got robbed. Edmonton was OK then Calgary, I didn't feel that great.

"For me, it's just getting my game back as far as playing. I haven't played a whole lot this year and even before the break there, I missed six games. I don't want to use that as an excuse, but that's kind of the reality of it. It's just being more comfortable on the ice, really."

Line it up:

Dave Bolland was centering the second line for Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa at practice Monday as Joel Quenneville shuffled the deck again.

Rookie Andrew Shaw was at left wing on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane while Viktor Stalberg dropped down to the third line with center Brendan Morrison and Marcus Kruger.

Quenneville's second and third defense pairs were what they were for much of the last game at Cagary: Niklas Hjalmarsson with Sean O'Donnell, and Nick Leddy with Steve Montador.

Back at it:

Jonathan Toews was back at practice Monday even though it didn't look like he was totally over whatever illness it was that kept him out Sunday and slowed him in Friday's loss at Calgary.

"It wasn't the flu -- I wasn't up all night doing you know what," Toews said. "I was just absolutely run down.

"I don't really understand what it was because I've been taking care of myself. Luckily, I've got a few days here and I'm feeling much better. I should be ready to go and play better (Tuesday) night."

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