Hawks ready to hit the reset button
Jonathan Toews claims to know nothing of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx.
But coach Joel Quenneville does.
"I thought that's why we got beat," Quenneville joked.
The Blackhawks are on the magazine's cover this week with the story extolling their 24-game point streak and crediting them for bringing people back to the sport following the lockout.
"I saw the cover and it's pretty cool," Toews said. "It's definitely high praise for our team after what was a tough time for our sport a few months ago. The fans have come back full force and we've put everything on the line to try and play some exciting hockey for our fans.
"It's great that it's being noticed and we want to keep it going. Our fans show up to the United Center every night to see an exciting brand of hockey. There's a lot of attention on us and who knows where it's going to go."
The Hawks have lost two games since the story was written.
"We just have to get back to playing like we can," Toews said. "We had a nice (two-day) break here and we're excited to get back on the ice and play smart, responsible hockey out there. Just being a little more patient out there. I think we gave up too many scoring chances the last couple games. Sometimes that's going to happen. We just have to tighten up and hit the reset button."
As part of the Make-A-Wish program, 13-year-old Jarrett Hill of Kirkland wanted to skate with the Blackhawks and meet goalie Corey Crawford.
A goaltender himself, Hill got more than he expected Wednesday when Jonathan Toews, Viktor Stalberg, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig put some shots on him. Toews than gave Hill a tour of the dressing room and let him undress in Ray Emery's stall.
"It's always fun to have a little guy like that come out and take a few shots," Toews said. "I wasn't telling him how to stop pucks. I know nothing about that. For his age he was pretty good."
New Blue Jackets:
Three times the Hawks have played Columbus this season and all three games have been decided by 1 goal.
The Hawks face the Blue Jackets again Thursday night at Nationwide Arena. Columbus had a five-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday with an overtime loss to Vancouver but does have points in eight straight games.
"They're a completely different team," Viktor Stalberg said. "They're playing better and more solid defensively. They're a hardworking group. They might not have that top guy like they had in (Rick) Nash, but they do have more balance in their lineup and are hard to play against."
Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Hawks.
"Every game was on the line from start to finish with them," Joel Quenneville said. "It's a different team than we've seen over the last couple years. All of a sudden they look like they're on the right track."
Bryan Bickell had some fun in shootout practice Wednesday by trying to duplicate what Ottawa's Kaspars Daugavins did on Monday, when he pinned the puck to the ice with the toe of his stick, kept control down the ice and spun when he got near the net.
Only a great save by Boston's Tukka Rask prevented Daugavins from scoring.
Bickell didn't get very far with the puck when he tried it.
"(Marian) Hossa said you should do the top of the stick thing and I said all right," Bickell said. "I started off OK, but the ice wasn't very good and I lost it so I just put it in the corner. I saw Q after and he kind of chuckled.
"I don't think that's in my game. If I ever had a penalty shot I would shoot, not do anything fancy like that. I guess the guy had success in the minor leagues doing it and scored, but for his first penalty shot up here, it was kind of surprising."
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