Chicago Blackhawks Player News: Last 7 days, All Positions

News: Kane scored a pair of goals and recorded five shots in a 4-1 victory over the Wild on Sunday night.
Impact: Don't look now, but the perennial MVP candidate is heating up. He has seven points in his last four contests, including four goals in the past three games. That's brought Kane north of the point per game average - 34 points in 33 contests. As all his fantasy owners know, once Kane gets on one of his runs, there's no stopping him. It appears he's beginning one of those right now.
News: Crawford allowed one goal on 28 shots in a 4-1 victory against the Wild on Sunday.
Impact: The veteran goaltender better known for having superstar players around him is once again having a spectacular start to the season. Sure, the Blackhawks are barely holding onto a playoff spot, but Crawford owns a .935 save percentage and 2.10 GAA. Crawford has never posted a save percentage better than .924 in a full season, so he's more than on pace to set a new career high. And his GAA is currently his best mark since 2012-13. Crawford ends this weekend ranked in the top three in both of those percentage categories.
News: Crawford led the team onto the ice and will patrol the crease for Sunday's match against Minnesota, Tracey Myers of NHL.com reports.
Impact: Crawford has won each of his last four games sporting a .952 save percentage in the contests, and will draw his fifth straight start. The 32-year-old has stepped up this season and currently is tied for the second best save percentage in the NHL (.934) and has the fourth best GAA (2.15), and with Minnesota currently averaging the least amount of shots per game in the league (28.6), Crawford has a good chance at keeping his hot streak rolling.
News: Rutta (upper body) didn't practice Saturday, which indicates he likely won't be available for Sunday's matchup with the Wild, NHL.com's Tracey Myers reports.
Impact: Rutta has been excellent for the Blackhawks this season, picking up three goals and 13 points while registering a plus-1 rating in 31 contests, so he'll return to a prominent role as soon as he's cleared to play. There's a distinct possibility that he'll only be forced to miss one more match due to his upper-body injury, as the Blackhawks don't play until Thursday after Sunday's meeting with Minnesota.
News: Franson (upper body) wasn't on the ice for Saturday's practice, which indicates he won't be available for Sunday's matchup with the Wild, NHL.com's Tracey Myers reports.
Impact: The 30-year-old blueliner will almost certainly miss a fourth consecutive game Sunday due to the upper-body injury he suffered Dec. 8 against the Sabres. Jordan Oesterle has played well in Franson's absence, so the veteran defender could be the odd man out once he's cleared to play.
News: Keith garnered an assist in Chicago's 5-1 victory over Winnipeg on Thursday.
Impact: Keith rifled a puck from the blue line that was deflected into the back of the net by Nick Schmaltz. The helper -- his 15th of the year -- ended a five-game pointless streak for the defenseman. While the veteran may not be a prolific goal scorer, fantasy owners were likely hoping he would have notched his first of the year by now.
News: Bouma picked up an assist in Thursday's 5-1 drubbing of the Jets.
Impact: Bouma found a wide open Tommy Wingels at the top of the circle to give the Hawks a two-goal lead early in the first period. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the center only added one shot on goal and a plus-1 rating the rest of the game. Considering he tallied less than 10 points in each of the previous two seasons, the 27-year-old's 34-point, 2014-15 campaign seems to have been a fluke.
News: Schmaltz potted his sixth goal of the season and added a helper in Thursday's win over the Jets.
Impact: Schmaltz's terrific playmaking ability was on full display in the victory, as the 21-year-old made a beautiful no-look pass to linemate Patrick Kane in the second period. The youngster has gone through some short scoring droughts recently, but his six goals and 19 points in 28 games make him a reliable fantasy player. Schmaltz is sporting a tidy plus-9 rating and plays on the power play, making him a safe fantasy choice whenever the Blackhawks are in action.
News: Kane scored his 12th goal of the season and added a helper in Thursday's win over the Jets.
Impact: Kane is riding a three-game point streak and is now up to 32 points in as many games on the season. He was the overtime hero against the Panthers on Tuesday and followed up with another strong performance Thursday against Winnipeg. Kane is an automatic play whenever Chicago takes to the ice.
News: Crawford turned away 27 of 28 shots in Thursday's win over the Jets.
Impact: Crawford has been dynamite since returning from injury, putting together four straight impressive victories. He's allowed two or fewer goals in each start and is now 15-7-2 on the season with a .934 save percentage. The 32-year-old is one of the best fantasy netminders in the game and needs to be in your lineup whenever the Blackhawks take to the ice.
News: Crawford continued his superb play with 27 saves Thursday in a 5-1 win at Winnipeg.
Impact: Crawford has now won all four starts since returning from a lower-body injury, and he's yielded just six goals on 125 shots during the streak. The rock-solid netminder has gone 10 straight outings without a regulation loss, a stretch in which he's 8-0-2 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.
News: Kane scored his 12th goal Thursday in a 5-1 win at Winnipeg.
Impact: Kane has two goals and three assists in three games after going four contests without a point. He scored his 50th career game-winning goal on Tuesday vs. Florida. He's fourth in franchise history, trailing Bobby Hull (98), Stan Mikita (84) and teammate Jonathan Toews (56).
News: Crawford will defend the cage in Thursday's road tilt against the Jets, Brian Munz of TSN 1290 Winnipeg reports.
Impact: Despite the league-wide uptick in scoring, Crawford is enjoying what's shaping up to potentially be the best season of his career. Through 24 games, Crawford owns a 2.20 GAA and career-best .933 save percentage to go along with a 14-7-2 record. That said, the two-time Stanley Cup champ faces a daunting matchup Thursday, as the Jets have gone 11-2-1 while scoring a whopping 4.36 goals per game at home this season.
News: Rutta (upper body) won't be available for Thursday's game against the Jets.
Impact: The severity of Rutta's upper-body injury has yet to be determined, but the Slovakian blueliner will have to wait for Sunday evening's matchup with Minnesota for his next opportunity to crack Chicago's lineup. It'll be a big blow to the Blackhawks' back end if he's forced to miss extended time, as he's played well this season, picking up three goals and 13 points while posting a plus-1 rating in 31 games. With Rutta unavailable Thursday, Ville Pokka or Michal Kempny will draw into the lineup against Winnipeg.
News: Pokka was promoted to the parent club from AHL Rockford on Wednesday.
Impact: Despite being associated with the Blackhawks' top minor-league affiliate since 2014-15, Pokka has yet to make his NHL debut. Perhaps his posting an egregious minus-25 rating -- despite banking 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) in 76 games with the IceHogs -- has been factored into his slow movement through Chicago's system. Pokka was recalled to take the roster spot of Cody Franson (upper body), who's now listed on injured reserve.
News: Franson (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.
Impact: The journeyman, who's belonged to four different clubs since the Predators originally selected him in the third round of the 2005 draft, will at least miss Thursday's game against the Jets in Winnipeg due to his IR status. In a corresponding move, the Blackhawks recalled Ville Pokka from AHL Rockford.
News: Kane scored the overtime winning goal Tuesday against the Panthers.
Impact: Kane beat Panthers netminder James Reimer on a breakaway for his 11th goal of the season and first game-winner. The 29-year-old is basically producing at a point-per-game pace this season with 30 points through 31 contests. He's as good as it gets in terms of fantasy forwards, so make sure you have him in your lineup whenever the Blackhawks are in action.
News: DeBrincat picked up a pair of assists in Tuesday's win over the Panthers.
Impact: DeBrincat set up both Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad in the victory and is now up to 23 points (12) in 31 games. The 19-year-old is producing consistently on the second line and is also chipping in with the man advantage. DeBrincat dominated the OHL and has started his NHL career with a bang.
News: Toews netted an even-strength goal and a secondary assist in Tuesday night's 3-2 overtime home win over the Panthers.
Impact: An established two-way veteran, Toews is up to 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) through 31 games this season. Neither of his points took place on the man advantage in this latest contest, but he's averaging an eye-popping 3:42 of ice time in that special teams situation this season, which is the most he's had since the 2008-09 campaign. Owning Toews is a luxury in fantasy since he's such a low maintenance player.
News: Saad compiled two points -- a goal and an assist -- in Tuesday night's 3-2 overtime win over the Panthers at home.
Impact: Rookie Alex DeBrincat danced around the net and delivered a one-timer to Saad for the game's first goal, and then Saad -- who now has 11 goals and six assists through 31 games -- was the primary setup man on Jonathan Toews' game-tying tally in the third period.
News: Crawford stopped 35 of 37 shots in Tuesday's overtime win over the Panthers.
Impact: Crawford has been dynamite in three straight victories and is now 14-7-2 on the season with a .933 save percentage. The veteran netminder returned from injury Friday against the Sabres and has wasted no time returning to form. Crawford is one of the most reliable fantasy netminders in the game and can be rolled out with confidence whenever the Blackhawks are in action.
News: Murphy has failed to find the back of the net in 15 consecutive outings.
Impact: During his goalless stretch, Murphy has managed to compile four assists, a plus-7 rating and 34 hits. Not exactly an offensive powerhouse -- he has never reached the 20-point mark in his career -- fantasy owners probably shouldn't be expecting to find the blueliner's name on the scoresheet on a nightly basis.
News: Crawford stayed hot by coming up with 35 saves in the Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime win over Florida on Tuesday.
Impact: Crawford has now won all three starts since returning from a lower-body injury, and he's yielded just five goals on 97 shots during the streak. The rock-solid netminder has gone nine straight outings without a regulation loss, a stretch in which he's 7-0-2 with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
News: Toews continued his recent surge by recording a goal and an assist to help the Blackhawks to Tuesday's 3-2 overtime win over Florida.
Impact: The Chicago captain scored the game-tying goal with 6:02 left in regulation, his third marker in five games. Toews has six points over his last six contests as well, producing at least one in five of those outings.
News: Saad posted a goal and an assist while finishing a plus-2 in the Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime win over Florida on Tuesday.
Impact: Saad's return season to Chicago has been an inconsistent one, but he's played better lately with four goals and three assists over his last seven games. And as a former 30-goal scorer who's playing on a line with Jonathan Toews, the opportunity to turn around his mildly disappointing campaign should be there.
News: Kane scored 2:24 into overtime to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory over Florida on Tuesday.
Impact: Kane ended a five-game goal drought with his first game-winner of the season, though he did record two assists in Sunday's win over Arizona. The former Hart Trophy winner is now up to 30 points through 31 games despite not having his usual success in power-play situations. He's recorded just one assist on the man advantage over his last eight contests.
News: Rutta (upper body) took a hard hit into the boards in Tuesday's game against the Panthers and won't return.
Impact: Even though Rutta didn't return, head coach Joel Quenneville said he seemed better after the game, Eric Lear of the Blackhawks' official site reports. More details will likely be released Wednesday morning. Rutta's next opportunity to play will be Thursday in Winnipeg, and if he can't, Michal Kempny will likely take his place.
News: Panik will sit as a healthy scratch for Tuesday's game against the Panthers, NHL.com's Charlie Roumeliotis reports.
Impact: Panik has only tallied one assist in his last 11 games, so coach Joel Quenneville will hope watching Tuesday's contest from the press box will light a fire under the Slovakian winger. If the Blackhawks play well against the Panthers, Panik could remain out of the lineup for Thursday's game against the Jets as well.
News: As expected, Franson (upper body) will miss a second consecutive game Tuesday against the Panthers, NHL.com's Charlie Roumeliotis reports.
Impact: The severity of Franson's ailment remains unclear, but the veteran blueliner should be considered questionable at best for Thursday's matchup with the Jets at this juncture. Jordan Oesterle will continue to occupy Franson's spot in the lineup until he's given the green light to return.
News: Crawford will guard the goal in Tuesday's home game against the Panthers, John Dietz of The Daily Herald reports.
Impact: Crawford has been fantastic since returning from injury Friday against the Sabres, picking up back-to-back wins while posting an impressive 1.44 GAA and .950 save percentage over that span. He'll look to keep rolling Tuesday and secure his 14th victory of the campaign in a favorable home matchup with a Panthers club that's only averaging 2.27 goals per game on the road this season, 30th in the NHL.
News: Crawford stopped 31 shots in the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Coyotes on Sunday.
Impact: Crawford has now stopped 57 of 60 shots in winning both starts since coming off IR. The Blackhawks host the Panthers on Tuesday, and Crawford stopped 37 shots in a 4-1 win in Florida on Nov. 25. Crawford is 3-0-0 in four career home starts versus the Panthers, posting a 0.91 GAA with a shutout.
News: Kane had a pair of assists in the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Coyotes on Sunday
Impact: Kane assisted on Artem Anisimov's go-ahead goal with 4:47 remaining in the third period, and he set up Nick Schmaltz's goal less than two minutes later. Kane had not recorded a point in his previous four games. "Something's got to change," he said. "You've got to fix it yourself or change some things up." The Blackhawks host the Panthers on Tuesday, and Kane had a goal in Florida on Nov. 25.
News: Franson (upper body) is doubtful for Tuesday's home game against the Panthers, Eric Lear of the Blackhawks' official site reports.
Impact: This news came from Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who added, "He looked like he was in some pain out there," presumably referring to Friday's game against the Sabres, when Franson sustained the ailment and was limited to a season-low 8:48 of ice time. Consider the veteran day-to-day until further notice.