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19.12.2018 08:17
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CHICAGO (AP) What was left of the United Center crowd was mostly quiet while the final seconds of an era ticked off Tuesday night. There was no big rally for the Chicago Blackhawks. No final charge.It’s over.The NHL playoffs will go on without Chicago for the first time in a decade after the Blackhawks were eliminated from contention with a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Injuries Peter Budaj Jersey Womens , aging stars and inexperience combined to sink Chicago after a wildly successful run that included three Stanley Cup titles.”It’s been a tough, tough stretch here,” coach Joel Quenneville said.Quenneville was coaching Colorado the last time Chicago missed the playoffs. The former NHL defenseman and the Avalanche decided to part ways after the team was swept by Detroit in the second round of the 2008 postseason, and he replaced Denis Savard after the Blackhawks fired the Hall of Famer four games into the following season.What followed was the most successful decade in franchise history. Led by a core group of stars that included Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, Chicago won three Stanley Cups and reached the conference finals two more times while appearing in the playoffs for nine straight seasons.But it looks as if age and an annual dance with the salary cap might have finally caught up to the Blackhawks (30-35-9), who are last in the Central Division with eight games left on their schedule.”We’ve had some terrific players and some really good teams, real good depth,” Quenneville said. ”We didn’t always have good starts to the season, but had a lot of options to work with as a staff. The building was rocking and we’re good at home, and we’re successful on the road, real consistent.”This has been the one year we’ve been unpredictable in our game, and our possession game has been the one area that we’ve nailed. This year Andrew Hammond Jersey Womens , we didn’t get to that level we needed to get to.”An injury to two-time All-Star goaltender Corey Crawford also contributed to Chicago’s rapid decline. The 33-year-old Crawford hasn’t played since Dec. 23 due to an upper-body injury, and it has been a steep drop-off to backups Anton Forsberg, Jean-Francois Berube and Jeff Glass.The Blackhawks also have been without top forward Marian Hossa all season due to severe side effects from medication to treat a progressive skin disorder. It’s unclear if he will ever play again.”You’re always going to have key injuries,” Quenneville said. ”Always going to have significant injuries, have some things go against you. But we’ve always been able to overcome them and find ways rectify some tough situations and get back on track. This year we’ve been unable to do it.”Chicago still might have been able to make a playoff run if not for its other issues. Toews, Keith and key defenseman Brent Seabrook are showing signs of age after years of long playoff runs and international play. The Blackhawks’ young defensemen have experienced some growing pains, and Brandon Saad has struggled in his return to Chicago after an offseason trade with Columbus.But the Blackhawks just got a closer look at a possible roadmap for a return to contention.The Avalanche are in prime position to return to the playoffs after going 22-56-4 last season. Top goaltender Semyon Varlamov is healthy again after playing in just 24 games a year ago. Mikko Rantanen has developed into an offensive presence at age 21, and rookie Alexander Kerfoot scored twice against Chicago to get to 17 goals on the season.”There’s a great example in the team we played today, and in how far out you can be, and how quickly you can recapture that winning attitude and that feeling and get right back in the race,” Quenneville said after the Blackhawks’ sixth loss in seven games.”The playoff picture’s probably completely different than a lot of people anticipated. That’s how close teams are when they begin a year, and things can go right from goaltending to special teams to top players. There’s a number of ways where you can make a difference and new young players are certainly a part of that equation.”—Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap— CHICAGO — If the Edmonton Oilers were looking to carry any sort of momentum into a quick turnaround, finding a way to notch back-to-back victories while keeping up its recent surge in scoring was certainly way to do it.Fresh off a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night J.T. Brown Jersey Womens , the Oilers will look to extend their winning streak to three games when they face the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at the United Center.The Oilers have scored nine goals in their past two games and have at least four goals in each of their past three.Article continues below ...On Saturday, Edmonton got two goals each from Leon Draisaiti and Drake Caggiula to push their season mark to 5-3-1.“It was a really strong effort,” Draisaiti told reporters after the victory, according to the Oilers’ official team website. “We played for 60 minutes.”The complete-game effort only adds to the self-assurance Edmonton has played with during the last three games, which has produced a wealth of scoring after the Oilers were shut out last weekend against the Predators. And considering the way Edmonton has produced of late, Cagguila has noticed a marked difference in how his teammates have responded heading into Sunday’s game in Chicago.“We’ve got a confident group,” Cagguila told reporters Saturday, according to the team website. “As the season’s gone on, you could see every game we’ve gotten better and better. We’re a very confident group right now.”Oilers coach Todd McLellan credited his team’s strong start on Saturday, which led to the Oilers reaching the five-goal plateau for the second time in three games.Despite having to quickly turn around and face the Blackhawks, McLellan — like Cagguila — has seen a different on-ice product of late from his team.“We’re at a point now where the guys are believing in themselves,” McLellan told reporters on Saturday. “And when you do that and you start to win, you believe in it a little more. It’s a powerful thing.”While the Oilers have found a way to string a couple of victories together Tomas Plekanec Jersey Womens , the Blackhawks will attempt to quickly rebound from a forgettable performance on Saturday against St. Louis.Despite getting two goals from Patrick Kane, who pushed his season total to 11, Chicago allowed three third-period goals in a 7-3 loss to the Blues.“The game was there to be had,” Chicago’s Duncan Keith said after the loss, according to the Chicago Tribune. “But unfortunately, we weren’t good enough.”The Blackhawks saw their two-game winning streak snapped and, despite Kane’s continued strong play, watched St. Louis break open a game that Chicago had a chance to extend its winning ways in quickly left the Blackhawks looking to rebound against the suddenly surging Oilers.But like the Oilers, Chicago won’t have much time to process its most recent performance. “It seemed like (the Blues) were playing with maybe a little bit more intensity than we were,” Kane told reporters, according to NHL.com. “We knew that was going to happen, especially with the media attention about their team and what happened last game. We just didn’t come out and match it.”

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