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updated: 3/24/2014 9:01 PM

Carey wants to soak up all he can from Blackhawks

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  • The Blackhawks' Sheldon Brookbank squares off with the Predators' Rich Clune during Sunday's game at the United Center.

      The Blackhawks' Sheldon Brookbank squares off with the Predators' Rich Clune during Sunday's game at the United Center.
    Associated Press

 
 

With all the chatter about Teuvo Teravainen's impending debut with the Blackhawks, another new arrival has gone under the radar a bit.

That would be free-agent center Matt Carey, whom the Hawks signed last week following a freshman season at St. Lawrence in which he recorded 37 points in 38 games.

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While Teravainen is here to help the Hawks now, Carey is more of a long-term project who may or may not see action with the big club down the stretch of the regular season.

"We're going to see on how that plays out," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He can't play in the playoffs, so we'll see how he fits in and the timing of it, when we've got everybody on the ice in a practice.

"But at some point hopefully we get a chance to play him at least a game and then go from there."

Until then, Carey, 22, who describes himself as a puck-possession player, plans to take advantage of all the resources available to him, including the guidance of one of the best centers in the game.

"I'm looking to come and learn how the professionals live, the lifestyle kind of that, and I need to improve my defensive game," he said. "Shadow Jonathan Toews a little bit, see how he plays."

Despite very limited ice time since coming to Chicago, Carey already has managed to catch Quenneville's eye.

"It was nice watching him play, not having an idea what he looks like. But he looks like a nice player," Quenneville said. "In a short amount of time, you haven't seen him play hockey yet, but you like the way he worked and I liked his skill set."

Making his mark:

With Michael Kostka in Tampa Bay and Michal Rozsival sidelined with a lower-body injury, the Blackhawks' sixth defenseman roulette has stopped at Sheldon Brookbank for the time being, and the 33-year-old seems to be making the most of his opportunity.

"Brooksie's an old pro that we like the energy that he brings," Joel Quenneville said of Brookbank, who has seen action in five of the last six Hawks games. "He brings us a physical dimension on our back end which we can add to our team game."

Brookbank brought the physical Sunday against Nashville when he dropped the gloves with the Predators' Rich Clune in the first period, picking up a team-leading sixth fighting major of the season

"He's well-liked by his teammates, and he's appreciated for what he does," Quenneville said.

What's the deal?

The Blackhawks have spent more time in the penalty box recently, and that has Joel Quenneville wondering what's up with that.

"I don't know if the standards are a little tighter since the break or what, but they are calling more penalties both ways," he said. "There are more power plays in these games. We haven't had a directive (from the NHL) that it has changed, but it seems like … there's more -- both ways."

Nothing but the hits:

Brandon Bollig led the Hawks with 4 hits against Nashville, followed by Jeremy Morin and Andrew Shaw with 3 each.

Bollig paces the club with 173 hits, while Shaw ranks second with 153, but it will be Morin's shoulder-lowering crunch that sent Roman Josi airborne into the boards in the second period that proved an instant classic.

Thinking postseason:

Blackhawks' single-game tickets for the first two rounds of the potential 2014 Stanley Cup playoff home contests went on sale to the general public Monday. The tickets will be available exclusively at ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

He said it:

"I think their defense goes under the radar so much compared to their forwards. Their defense is the key to me -- they're strong and they're active."

-- Nashville coach Barry Trotz on what makes the Blackhawks tick.

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