Toews, Crawford join Blackhawks

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 15: Corey Crawford #50 and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate at the end of Game Six of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 15, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by BB/REMOTE/Getty Images)

By Scott King @ScottKingMedia 

The Blackhawks, who were missing the majority of their core players throughout training camp due to the World Cup, looked more in tact Tuesday morning. Goaltender Corey Crawford and center Jonathan Toews joined the team for their morning skate at the United Center.

Toews is expected to sit Tuesday night vs. Detroit at home, but Crawford will start in net and split goaltending duties.

Both players relished in their championship time at the World Cup in Toronto, but were glad to be back in Chicago.

“It was fun,” Crawford said. “I got to  meet a lot of guys around the league. It was fun to win it, too. Playing for your country, it was a good experience.”

For Crawford, playing against his Chicago teammates in the World Cup was an odd experience.

“Yeah, especially when Hoss scored on me that once,” Crawford said. “It was weird seeing other guys in different jerseys that were on the other side. It was weird having it in that scenario, but it was nice to beat them too.”

The Hawks’ captain enjoyed his time in the best-on-best tournament as well.

“It was a lot of fun,” Toews said. “You always learn a lot being at those tournaments. Being around some of the best players in the league and coaches. That whole atmosphere is pretty incredible, especially being in Canada.

“At the end of it all, it was a long month. Being in a hotel room for almost four weeks, so definitely excited to be back here in Chicago and picking back up with the boys and obviously seeing everyone is doing well here too.”

In his young career, Toews has won three Stanley Cups, a Selke trophy (best defensive forward), a Conn Smythe trophy (playoff MVP), two Olympic gold medals, and now a World Cup trophy.

“I’m very grateful and thankful for the success I’ve been a part of, the great teams I’ve been lucky to be a part of,” said Toews, who served as an alternate captain for Team Canada. “The thing for me is to just keep improving. Like I said, there’s always individual factors I can focus on to improve my game, and keep climbing and keep taking steps forward every single year. You know that we always have a competitive group here in Chicago and those opportunities are going to keep coming our way.”

Toews also commented on the possibility of playing on a line with last season’s rookie of the year Artemi Panarin.

“It’s always fun to play with those guys that want the puck as much as they do and you just try your best to do the ugly jobs, get them the puck and eventually good things are going to happen for your line,” Toews said.

NHL Brings down the Hammer: 

Niklas Hjalmarsson addressed being suspended for the rest of the preseason and for the season opener for his hit on the Blues’ Ty Rattie. “I said everything I had to say yesterday in my hearing,” Hjalmarsson said.

“It’s always disappointing to miss one regular season game, but I’m glad Rattie is fine and I said everything I had to say in the hearing yesterday. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”

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