Monthly Archives: April 2011

Hawks-Nucks: Hits Count

Much has been made of the physicality in this year’s Blackhawks-Canucks series.  While the Canucks hold a substantial (+46) advantage in the overall credited hits column, they also (according to official scorers in Vancouver) collected a hefty 40 to 14 margin over Chicago in Game 5.  This on a night the Canucks were shutout in their home rink and have worked themselves into a situation where they could see their season slipping away if they don’t get their act together fast.

Now one aspect sometimes overlooked when analyzing hit counts is that if one team has the puck, they’re not looking for hits or finishing checks.  So if one team owns the puck for a great majority of the game, or is sitting back protecting a hefty lead (which the Hawks were in Game 5 as well) they’re not forechecking as hard and thus not finishing as many checks.  Thus why hit counts can oftentimes be misleading.

By periods in Game 5, Vancouver out-hit Chicago 12-4. 17-5 and 11-5.

From a Blackhawks’ perspective you can see how certain players such as Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg have dug into their roles and pressured the Canucks when they’ve been on the ice.  They along with Troy Brouwer (the Hawks regular season hits leader) and Chris Campoli on the blue line have been the most physical Hawks. Read more »

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Game 5 Highlight Package: Blackhawks blow through Vancouver 5-0

A lesson to all you young hockey coaches out there: Don’t be a Vigneault. Taking any game (4) off, no matter the series score, has its consequences. Alain Vigneault has been bitten once again. Now he has a rattled team and a shaken goaltender heading back to Chicago for a Game 6 he almost can’t lose if the Canucks are to close out the series successfully.

NHL.com has the highlights

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Lindbloom: On Roundhouse Elbows

By Rich Lindbloom

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” – Charles Kingsley

Well now; raise your hand high if you saw that one coming.  After Sunday’s disheartening loss, fans trudging towards the exits were heard saying they were not going to waste their money to watch a lost cause in Game 4. Actually it was more like, “F___ it. I’m selling my tickets.” Certainly, the Blackhawk faithful we’re expecting a reenactment of Custer’s Last Stand. While most of us expected a valiant effort, we were somewhat resigned to the fact we would succumb to yet another disastrous third period. Jeff Bartl of Blackhawk Up put it best; “Tuesday nights demolishing of Vancouver in Game four might have been the most fun I’ve had watching something I could not muster excitement for all day.” Our bleak chances were as cold and dismal as spring in the Big Chi.

With Seabs still not sure what team he was on, and Big Bad John in, the lumberjacks from British Columbia were certain to holler “Timber!’ as the defending Stanley Cup Champs went down to an ignominious defeat. Not to mention the considerable consternation as to the debatable decision to play “The Rat.”  What could that little pest possibly bring to the ice after over 45 days of inactivity? Hell, Frank Pellico was probably in better shape. As the National Anthems were belted out once again by Jim Cornelison, I noticed something though.  Actually I felt it. Read more »

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Last night’s TTMI~Radio show

After merging with Hockeenight last week for a special 2-hour playoff preview extravaganza, TheThirdManIn~Radio returned Wednesday night to our regular home.

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ Hammer To Fall
Wednesday April 20, 2011 ~ Right-click here to download

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On the show

- Alain Vigneault decisions leave door wide open for Blackhawks
- What to do with Roberto Luongo
- Dave Bolland’s elbow
- Another Blackhawk player who doesn’t get it
- Keith out of control
- Hawks down 3-1
- Chances, Ways to realize come back
- Suggestion for Vancouver lineup change
- Who the Hawks shouldn’t think twice to move this summer
- The Raffi Torres hit on Brent Seabrook
- How it compares to the Hjalmarsson-Pominville hit
- How the league could possibly eliminate bad hits such as those
- Did Kevin Bieksa deserve an instigator for late 3rd period fight with Viktor Stalberg in Game 4?
- Patrick Kane’s acting skill
- Blackhawks chirping
- We crowned Mr. TTMI~Radio 2011
- Plans for the show this summer
- all this and much more

BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn ~ all the shows
SUBSCRIBE to TTMI~Radio via ITUNES

Our show returns Live on Monday night April 25th at 8pm central.  You can listen live at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Blackhawks 7, Canucks 2: Gm 4 Highlights

They have “Bad Moon Rising” on continuous repeat in B.C. tonight.

Blackhawks are still in a 3-1 hole, but are now back in the series, relieved by the “no pressure – nothing to lose” position they earned over the previous 85 games.

NHL.com has the Game 4 and some guy named Bolland – highlights.

Game 5 in Vancouver on Thursday night.

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Say a Prayer for the Dying

The following piece ran in Sunday‘s Committed Indian, before Game 3.

By Chris Block

The Chicago Blackhawks 2010-11 season has entered the ICU.

Many of us saw this coming.  Yet, it’s a bitter pill to swallow when reality comes knocking.  The Vancouver Canucks come to United Center Sunday night looking to put the fatal wound in the 2010 and defending Stanley Cup champions’ repeat bid.

The Hawks simply cannot skate with Vancouver, the league’s best team.  They’re doing all they can just to keep up.  I’m certain Kane, Sharp or Toews will show up this week and the Hawks will win a game or two, but it’ll be too late.

The Hawks have not come back to win a series after dropping the first two on the road since 1968.  Sixteen series with the exact scenario have gone by since and the Hawks 0 for 16.  The Flyers did it to Boston last year, but this year’s Hawks don’t compare to last year’s Flyers.

Cap constraints, turnover, new faces and questionable maneuverings had the defending Cup champs behind from the start of training camp.

Logic figured the Hawks would be a very good team all season, hit a wall at some point and fall short of its ‘One Goal’.  They were, somewhat and they did – and now the Canucks are here to make certain of the latter.

What we didn’t expect out of 2010-11 was for the team to take steps backwards. Read more »

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Canucks 3, Blackhawks 2: Gm 3 Highlights

The referees tried. Raffi Torres tried. But no one could hand the Blackhawks the game and they weren’t good enough to take it own their own. A demoralizing defeat at the hand of the Canucks after the Hawks saw a first period 5-on-3 and eight and a half minutes of power play time (to VAN’s 1:17), the Blackhawks find themselves facing elimination Tuesday night in Game 4 at the United Center.

NHL.com highlights after the jump. Read more »

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With my good eye closed; Hawks lose, return from Vancouver down 0-2

Searching for hope inside the Blackhawks’ Game 1 and 2 efforts in Vancouver can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  More like pouring a glass of milk three days after the expiration date.

Those looking for positives will need to keep their good eye closed.

Corey Crawford has been mostly great, but the Hawks are still in a 0-2 series’ hole coming back to the United Center for Game 3 on Sunday night.

Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp have yet to be heard from in this series.  But, neither have Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond.   Habitual Hawk-killer Mikael Samuelsson was a late-scratch Friday with the flu and the Sedin twins have flubbed a few prime scoring opportunities they normally wouldn’t.

Words cannot describe how awful Chicago’s blue line has been.  Future and former Norris Trophy winners will petition to have Duncan Keith’s name removed from the statue at this point.  Brent Seabrook’s pressing too hard and can’t be everywhere.  Brian Campbell is the Hawks’ best defenseman five on five and that’s not saying much.  He’s been terrible at times too.  Chris Campoli at least didn’t do anything too stupid.  Nick Leddy simply doesn’t belong.

Niklas Hjalmarsson did something on Friday you don’t see very often at the NHL level.  With the Hawks pinned deep in their zone, Hjalmarsson tried to outlet to his defense partner twice in a matter of seconds.  Just a minor issue with that though.  Neither time did Brian Campbell have a stick.  Ben Smith tried to give his stick to Campbell after the second Hjalmarsson pass but the puck was ten feet from Campbell in the Hawks’ right corner and the exchange didn’t happen.  The Hawks eventually got the puck out.

For the Hawks, hope is yet a glimmer in a narrowing eyelet.

For those steadfast in denial, the milk is on the table. Read more »

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Friday night CHI-VAN Gm 2 Highlights

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Blackhawks shooters; 2010-11 by the numbers

On Monday night’s Hockeenight PuckCast, and on our show in the past, we’ve mentioned some Blackhawks’ goal scorer in-detail statistics.  The following is a full list of those figures for the Chicago Blackhawks 2010-11 regular season.

Here we take a look at where the Hawks’ goal scorers do their work; statistical data to back up who gets to the net and who doesn’t…. Which Blackhawks need to shoot more and who should keep it in their pocket…. and who has trouble getting their attempts on net.

Goals scored – Average distance from the net (average excludes empty-net goals)

Distance measured in feet (total goals, minus ENG in parenthesis), For players such as Michael Frolik and Jack Skille, only goals scored while with the Blackhawks this season are figured.

Hendry, Jordan – 8.0 – (1)

Johnson, Ryan – 8.0 – (1)

Boynton, Nick – 10.0 – (1)

Dowell, Jake – 11.0 – (4) – detail [7-9-7-21]

Brouwer, Troy – 14.5 – (17) [furthest 31, next was 23ft]

Bolland, Dave – 15.9 – (14) Read more »

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