U.S. women’s hockey players Kendall Coyne and Alex Rigsby were honored by the Blackhawks before the game against the Bruins on Sunday. And, of course, they brought their impressive gold medals they won at the Pyeongchang Olympics. It’s now a part of who they are.
“What good is a medal doing in a box when you have the ability to share it and inspire kids to follow their dreams,” said Coyne, a Palos Heights native and Sandburg graduate who scored two goals in the Olympics.
“It’s fun whipping it out,” said Rigsby, a goaltender from Downers Grove. “You kind of show it to one person [and] the next thing you know, there’s a bunch of people surrounding you and wanting to take pictures. I kind of think about how we were when we were kids and if we could have seen the gold medal. The  women’s team was such an inspiration to us. So for us to try and inspire the next generation, you want to take as many selfies as you can with the little boys and girls. Just share it as much as you can.”
But even though they could probably get away with it, Coyne and Rigsby don’t bring their medals everywhere they go.
“No,” Coyne said. “I was at Costco [on Saturday], and someone said, ‘Do you have your medal?’ I said, ‘No. I have my wallet.’ ’’
The response to the women’s victory predictably has been “surreal,” both players said.
“We were at [Madison Square Garden] at a Rangers game the other day,” Coyne said, “and this woman had a USA jersey on and she came up to us and she says, ‘I was playing roller hockey in the park, and someone came up to me and said, “Thank you so much.” ’ And she goes, ‘Oh, no, no, no. I don’t play hockey. I’m just out here playing roller hockey.’
“I think that just shows the significance. People are recognizing USA jerseys, people are recognizing women’s hockey. The support and the recognition has been overwhelming but also for a lot of us, we knew how special of a group we were.”
With 12 games to go, coach Joel Quenneville said the Hawks still have hopes that Corey Crawford will return. Crawford, who has missed the last 35 games with a head injury, is working out off the ice but has not worked out on the ice since Feb. 12, when he participated in the morning skate before the Hawks-Coyotes game in Glendale, Arizona.
Why play him now?
“It would be a fun situation for him to get out there and feel the puck again,” Quenneville said. “If not, we’ll sort it out.”
This and that
Artem Anisimov’s first-period goal was his 20th of the season. It’s his third consecutive season with 20 goals since joining the Hawks in 2015-16.
— Forward Anthony Duclair “likely” remains out for 1-2 weeks after colliding with Bruins forward Brad Marchand on Saturday.
— Marchand was a surprising scratch Sunday for what was called an upper-body injury, though he finished Saturday’s game after the Duclair incident.
— The Hawks have scored first in 23 of their last 30 games. They are 11-10-2 in those games.
Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.