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Morning Bag Skate: 12-8-21

A daily look at hockey news around the world.

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Blackhawks at Flyers Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

This is your daily thread to talk about the latest hockey news.

BLACKHAWKS

RECAPS: Rangers 6, Blackhawks 2 (SCH) (Sun-Times) (Tribune)

Blackhawks have learned to trust each other: “The feeling is a lot different” (Sun-Times)

Jonathan Toews is taking “small steps” towards his old self (Tribune)

How do you coach a Hall of Famer? Blackhawks’ Jimmy Waite finds an eager pupil in Marc-Andre Fleury (The Athletic)

Number Munchers: Comparing the Blackhawks statistics under King, Colliton (SCH)

Blackhawks are built to excel in shootouts — and they know it (Sun-Times)

Erik Gustafsson learning to prioritize defense as Blackhawks shift philosophies (Sun-Times)

RECAPS: Blackhawks 3, Islanders 2 (SCH) (Lighthouse Hockey) (Sun-Times) (Tribune) (The Athletic)

Dylan Strome’s future with the Blackhawks is still in doubt, but at least now he has a say in it (The Athletic)

Patrick Kane enjoying plentiful ice time while waiting for scoring burst (Sun-Times)

How the counterattacking Blackhawks are turning established 3-on-3 strategy on its ear (The Athletic)

RECAPS: Rangers 3, Blackhawks 2 (SCH) (Sun-Times) (Tribune)

RECAPS: Blackhawks 4, Capitals 3 (SCH) (Japers Rink) (Sun-Times) (Tribune) (The Athletic)

Blackhawks Bits: Tyler Johnson undergoes neck surgery; Murphy in concussion protocol (SCH)

Blackhawks trade Malcolm Subban to Sabres for future considerations (SCH) (Sun-Times) (Tribune)

Blackhawks prospect Jalen Luypen hopes to follow in the footsteps of Brandon Hagel, Josiah Slavin (The Athletic)

Musings on Madison: Episode 71 — What’s wrong with the Blackhawks offense? (SCH)

CENTRAL DIVISION

RECAP: Predators 5, Red Wings 2 (On the Forecheck)

RECAP: Blues 4, Panthers 3 (St. Louis Game Time)

RECAP: Hurricanes 4, Jets 2 (NHL)

RECAP: Wild 4, Oilers 1 (NHL)

Jets’ Pionk suspended 2 games for kneeing (NHL)

Often-overlooked Wild make a statement to the hockey world: They’re for real (The Athletic)

Neal and Kostin’s assignments to IR a test of the Blues’ depth (St. Louis Game Time)

Wild to retire Mikko Koivu’s jersey (Hockey Wilderness)

Wild players looking forward to behind-the-scenes Winter Classic coverage (Hockey Wilderness)

NHL

RECAP: Maple Leafs 5, Blue Jackets 4 (NHL)

RECAP: Lightning 3, Canadiens 2 (NHL)

RECAP: Islanders 5, Senators 3 (NHL)

RECAP: Ducks 2, Sabres 0 (NHL)

Spezza suspended six games for kneeing (Pension Plan Puppets)

Flyers fire Alain Vigneault, name Mike Yeo interim coach (Broad Street Hockey)

Dog takes dump at center ice, creates metaphor for Flyers season (Broad Street Hockey)

Rask fills in at goalie for Bruins practice (NHL)

Lehner won’t play at 2022 Beijing Olympics (NHL)

Source: Lowly Canucks hire Boudreau, fire Green (ESPN) (The Athletic)

Getzlaf placed on injured reserve by Ducks (NHL)

Recovering Kucherov takes ice with Lightning (NHL)

HOCKEY WORLD

China in for Olympic hockey despite concerns (ESPN)

What will the moment be like for McDavid to be on the same team as Crosby? (TSN)

Canada closing its border to unvaccinated professional, amateur athletes on Jan. 15 (TSN)

Weariness over COVID-19 growing, but players still want to participate in Olympics (Sportsnet)