While the action around the NHL seemingly gets wilder, the Chicago Blackhawks are adding some events to their team time-line.
The one-time Blackhawks Captain, Adrian Aucoin will be returning to the team but not on the roster. Aucoin will be returning as a player development personnel and will be working with defensive prospects.
Although he only played two seasons in a Blackhawk sweater, Aucoin has had 20 –years in the NHL, just recently playing last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Aucoin joins other former Blackhawks Yanic Perrault and Keith Carney as players who are now in development positions.
As far as current players go, Patrick Sharp is riding some positive feelings. Chicago’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes was more than just a ‘W’ on the schedule for Sharp.
He had a big night.
Sharp netted two goals in the game, one of which came in an overtime shootout. The first, however, came during regulation and became his 200th career goal.
The puck from his 200th went to his folks as a souvenir. Presumably to go on the trophy wall that all parents have for their athlete children, no matter their age. The stick and puck from the shootout goal are staying at the Sharp house and will be handed down to Sharp’s newest daughter, Sadie, when she grows up.
Some Blackahwk fans might say that Sadie gets the better end of the deal since the shootout goal gave Chicago the win over Carolina, but just as impressive, it gave Chicago its 2,500th win in franchise history.
The PNC Building has been good to Sharp. During the 2011 All-Star game Sharp was awarded a car for being named the MVP. Although future 16-year old Sadie would rather have the car, it went to Sharp’s brother instead.
Though, not all games are happy ones.
Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville was none too pleased with his team’s performance against Central Division rivals, the St. Louis Blues recently.
He described the game as “awful,” and he knew it early. “I didn’t like our game at all [after] the first twelve minutes.”
Coach Q went on to say that he wasn’t happy with the team’s pace, which is normally quick with fast, crisp passing and speed-skating. He mentioned the number of turnovers and the fact that Chicago couldn’t get pucks to the net. All basics when trying to win a hockey game.
It’s been mentioned before, the Blues are a top team this year and if Chicago wants to regain some points in the division, and some respect in the middle of the country, they’re going to have to eliminate ‘off-nights’ and start producing when the puck is dropped.
Chicago’s most recent game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was a positive relief from the disappointment against St.Louis. Original Six match-ups are always fun to watch and there is an extra sense of excitement in the air.
It was no different recently in Chicago, however there was an added level of anticipation as Dave Bolland returned to the United Center but this time on the visitor’s bench. Bolland remarked after the game that it was fun to be back though his team’s performance left more to be desired.
The Blackhawks topped the Leafs on Cancer Awareness Night. Patrick Kane and Dave Bolland took the ceremonial first puck drop. The handshake between the two afterwards looked like to brothers whose mom just forced them to play nice in front of company.
While the Leafs left disappointed, Blackhawk fans are happy and positive again. Though ,with the current mood-swings of the NHL, nobody knows how long that will last.