Report: Hawks to play at Soldier Field on March 1
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported late Tuesday that the Blackhawks and the Penguins will play an outdoor game at Soldier Field on March 1, 2014.
The game would be part of a six-game series of outdoor games, as first reported by TSN and ESPN.
The series would be kicked off by the previously announced Winter Classic between the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1.
Other games would include the Ducks and Kings at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, Devils vs. Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26, the Islanders and Rangers on Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium and the Senators vs. Canucks on March 2 at BC Place in Vancouver.
The Hawks played in the second Winter Classic at Wrigley Field on Jan. 1, 2009, losing to Detroit 6-4.
In a season in which nearly everything has gone right for the Blackhawks, the power play continues to be the one big concern. The Hawks are 0-for-19 in the last nine games, yet still managed to be 8-0-1. They are 1-for-32 in their last 12 games.
"It's not an easy thing," Jonathan Toews said. "We were there last year and here we are again talking about it, but we'll stay positive. We'll stay with it.
"There are some things that have come up in our game this year that seem to be a problem and hinder us a little bit, but we stay with it and find a solution, and that's what we're going to do.
"We know that if we just focus on what we need to do and how we work together as a unit eventually those results are going to come."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville tinkered with the power play on one occasion in Monday's win over Dallas, putting forwards Michal Handzus, Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger on the ice. Those three forwards don't normally see much power-play time.
"We might not be scoring on the power play, but we're creating a lot of momentum and we're using that in our 5-on-5 play," Andrew Shaw said.
Change is good:
The Hawks haven't lost since Joel Quenneville changed his defensive pairings March 31 at Detroit, going 8-0-1.
Since then, Duncan Keith has played with Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook with Nick Leddy, and Johnny Oduya with either Michal Rozsival or Sheldon Brookbank.
"It's been good," Quenneville said. "We had a stretch there where we weren't pleased with the results and at the same time we were in position to try something. We only try things when we don't like the way things are going so it's a need basis. There's been a lot more sharing of ice time as well and the pairs are all dependable."
The Hawks have allowed only 14 goals in those nine games.
"We've been more consistent, especially defensively," goalie Ray Emery said.
Drew LeBlanc actually lived with former Hawks defenseman Steve Poapst when he played for the junior Chicago Steel. Poapst was coaching the Steel back then and now is an assistant to Ted Dent at Rockford.
LeBlanc signed with the Hawks last Friday after helping lead St. Cloud State to the Frozen Four and winning the Hobey Baker Trophy as the best player in college hockey.
"The older guys have been talking to me quite a bit and it's been good to get to know them," LeBlanc said. "I look forward to getting to know the rest of the guys, the younger guys who are living in the same place I am.
"I hope to be in their position at some point. Chicago does have a great reputation for developing young guys. That's a big thing, and I hope they can help me out a little bit."
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