Ryan Hartman looking to get back on the scoresheet for Blackhawks

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Ryan Hartman hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 28 against Colorado. (AP Photo)

Ryan Hartman set the bar pretty high with a goal and four assists in the Blackhawks’ season-opening 10-1 trouncing of the Penguins. But while nobody expected he’d go on to post a 410-point season, Hartman was looking for another breakout game.

“Five in a game would be nice to get,” he said with a smile. “It doesn’t happen often, but that was fun.”

Since getting five points in the opener, Hartman had five points total in the 20 games that followed, entering the game against the Ducks without a goal or an assist in November. He finally picked up two assists against the Ducks.

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He was focused more on the fact that the Hawks were 6-2-1 during that stretch, but the second-year pro certainly wanted to start contributing. He said a recent move to center hasn’t been a factor, even with the added defensive responsibilities that come with it.

“I think defense and offense go hand-in-hand,” Hartman said. “If you play good defense, you’re going to get the puck a lot more in the offensive zone. It’s just one of those stretches where it just hasn’t gone in. I’m just focused on being reliable and playing hard in my own zone.”

Hartman has been playing with Patrick Sharp, who entered Monday without a point in 16 consecutive games but had a goal and an assist, and Alex DeBrincat, who had a hat trick and an assist.

Coach Joel Quenneville, who’s always more worried about how much a line is allowing than how it’s producing, said the unit has been steady.

“There’s room for that line to be a little more effective offensively, at least getting quality chances or having some zone time,” Quenneville said.

The line answered the call in a big way against the Ducks.

Edzo on their minds

The Hawks held their “Hockey Fights Cancer” night, an annual event that hits a little closer to home this season with broadcaster Eddie Olczyk battling colon cancer. Olczyk was in Tampa to call last Wednesday’s game, but did not broadcast Monday’s game, as this is a chemotherapy week for him. He did drop the ceremonial first puck, along with 9-year-old Lauren Graver.

“Eddie’s been awesome to us — been awesome to me, personally, ever since I came into the league,” Patrick Kane said. “Obviously, it’s tough news when you hear that about Edzo, but it seems like he’s been doing good and been fighting it really hard. It’s always good to see him around the rink. We know he’s battling, and some days might be tougher than others, but he seems to show up and be around the rink to talk hockey with the guys. It’s fun to see him around. He’s a great man. Obviously, we wish him the best.”

Moose returns

Dennis Rasmussen still doesn’t really know why the Hawks decided against bringing him back this season, but the versatile Ducks forward had nothing but good things to say about his three years in the organization, including most of the last two in the NHL.

“I’m happy for my time here,” he said. “Great teammates, great city, great coaching staff and organization.”

Rasmussen has a goal and two assists in 20 games with the Ducks, seeing about nine minutes per game and playing a little less on the penalty kill than he did with the Hawks.

Just like in Chicago, he has bounced around from wing to center and back. He has quickly become good friends with his locker mate, former Hawks center Antoine Vermette. He has also taken to the Southern California weather.

“Yeah, it’s a little different,” he said. “It’s sunny almost every day. But I liked Chicago when I was here. Everything is great here, too.”

Follow me on Twitter @MarkLazerus.

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com


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