Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hawks surrounded by Coyotes, dropped 4-1 by Phoenix in United Center return

photo credit: AP/Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Vandenberk

With the scent of circus still in the air at the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks returned home to play their final game in November.  The Phoenix Coyotes were in town seeking revenge for the 5-2 loss they suffered at the hands of the Hawks back in Glendale in October.

The Coyotes got their revenge as they out played the Hawks from the opening faceoff.

Mike Smith withstood a barrage of Hawks shots in the opening moments.  It was the Coyotes that open the scoring.  With 4:07 remaining in the opening period, Daymond Langkow completed a tic tack toe play from Ray Whitney and Shane Doan.  The period ended with Hawks down 1-0 and out shot 8-7.

The second period saw the Coyotes extend their lead as Mikkel Boedker dropped a pass to Shane Doan who let a rocket go from the top of the right circle.  It repelled past Corey Crawford, hit the crossbar and fell beyond the goal line making it 2-0 with 10:06 remaining in the period. Read more »

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Lindbloom: Big Dogs on the front porch

By Rich Lindbloom

I think it’s the eyes, but that picture of Sean O’Donnell bears a striking resemblance to our goofy Newfie, George. George is in the doghouse at the moment for helping himself to a good portion of my son’s 11 pound bag of Halloween candy. Needless to say, he wasn’t feeling all that hot this morning. When I came home at lunch, well, let’s just leave it at – I had to wash the kitchen floor-twice. To make matters worse, he’s been on a strict diet since we adopted him in August. George apparently had enough of The Biggest Loser program we had him on. I’m thinking about putting a padlock on the fridge and stressing to him that potpourri is not edible.

We obtained George this past summer from a family in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin. The owner was heartbroken to have to give him up, and was determined to find a good family for the behemoth. It turned out that the owner was not only a Blackhawk fan, but had actually coached Joe Pavelski of the Sharks in a youth league. Needless to say, our visit to see if our family would be a good fit with George, turned into about a 3 hour stay. We’ve had three Akita’s so I thought we were quite familiar with big dogs. We quickly discovered George is in a weight class all his own. George, by far, is the strongest beast I’ve ever walked. He also has the loudest bark I’ve ever heard and doesn’t he love to hear himself.  When I saw that picture of O’Donnell the other day, it made stop and reflect for a moment on the acquisitions the Hawks made during the offseason, players who added some brute strength to watch over our skill players. If I were Corey Corey Crawford, I’d probably keep some dog biscuits handy. It’s nice to have some big dogs hanging around the porch! Read more »

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Hawks Close Circus Trip with 2-1 Victory in LA

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks brought their six-game road trip to a close Saturday night with their second victory in a row. The Blackhawks swept the back-to-back, following up Friday’s come from behind victory in Anaheim with a 2-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings.

The Hawks opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Duncan Keith fired a shot on goal from the left point. Marcus Kruger got a piece of the puck, and the deflection struck the side of the net and rolled toward the end boards. As Dave Bolland swung from the crossbar, Andrew Brunette calmly collected the puck and executed a nice wraparound on goalie Jonathan Quick.

Brunette, who played on the third line with Bolland and Kruger, potted his first even strength goal of the season. He proved to be efficient with the puck, drawing twine on his only attempt of the evening.

Chicago limited the Kings chances to score in the opening period, but Los Angeles evened the score midway through the contest. Keith stopped Matt Greene’s shot attempt only to see Jarret Stoll get control of the puck. Stoll took advantage of the turnover, firing a shot over Corey Crawford’s glove to tie the contest at a goal apiece. Read more »

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IceHogs drop 2 games below .500 at quarter-mark; Tough loss to West’s best Oklahoma City

By Chris Block

Arriving at the quarter-mark of the season (19th of 76 games) on Saturday night, the divisional last-place Rockford IceHogs were riding high as they welcomed the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Barons.

Rockford was looking to draw to an even .500 record and continue to build momentum off back-to-back home wins, 6-3 and 7-3, this week over San Antonio and Peoria.

The Barons rode the four hour bus ride in from Grand Rapids after holding on for a 5-4 win over the Griffins on Friday night.

In a tightly-checked and hard-fought affair, Oklahoma City prevailed in Rockford Saturday night by a 3-1 score and the IceHogs now find themselves two games under the .500 mark.

“I think they played a good defensive game against us,” alternate captain Brian Fahey said after the loss.

“We had a hard time getting to their net.  Its not that we didn’t have chances, we just had a tough time getting to the second and third chances.”

After an evenly matched opening twenty minutes, Oklahoma City got on the board at 1:06 of the second on controversial goal call by referee Dave Lewis.

IceHogs goaltender Alexander Salak fiercely disputed the call, feeling the puck had not crossed the line.  However, further review proved the puck did and the Barons’ Philippe Cornet, the AHL’s leading goal scorer, had his 14th of the season.

“I thought we had a great first period,” said defenseman Dylan Olsen.

“Second period we were a little off.”

The scored stayed 1-0 until 2:41 of the third period when Cornet netted his 15th goal, set up brilliantly by winger Ryan Keller for the easy put-home to give the Barons the 2-0 advantage.

This tally came seconds after the IceHogs’ Brandon Bollig squandered a golden opportunity to tie the game at the other end when he missed an open side by shooting a puck through Oklahoma City goaltender David LeNeveu’s crease, missing the net entirely.

Brian Connelly gave Rockford life late on a power play when he unleashed a slap shot from the right point through traffic to trim the Barons’ lead to 2-1 with 7:23 to go.  Wingers Jeremy Morin and Brandon Segal obstructed LeNeveu’s vision as Brett McLean set Connelly up for the shot.

With his team down 2-1, Ted Dent pulled Alexander Salak from his net for the extra attacker with a minute and a half to go in regulation.  Twenty seconds later, Ryan O’Marra was the benefactor of a Rockford turnover and sealed the Barons’ win emphatically with an empty-net tally at 18:57 of the period. Read more »

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Sharpie’s Hat Trick, Tazer’s five-points spearhead 6-5 ‘Hawks comeback win

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks shook off forty minutes of frustration in Anaheim Friday afternoon, roaring back from a two-goal deficit with four third period tallies to beat the Ducks 6-5.

A career night for Jonathan Toews was eclipsed only by Patrick Sharp’s second career hat trick and the euphoria brought on by the ‘Hawks refusal to pack it in at The Pond.

Chicago was up against an offense that was plugging along at two goals a game. Naturally, Anaheim hit the two-goal mark just 2:13 into the contest. A strong forecheck by Corey Perry separated Niklas Hjalmarsson and the puck. Bobby Ryan was turned away once by Corey Crawford, but Ryan slammed his own rebound home to open the scoring.

Less than a minute later, Steve Montador left the puck in front of the net after blocking a Teemu Selanne blue line shot with his hand. Andrew Cogliano cleaned up the mess, and just like that the ‘Hawks found themselves down 2-0 and completely on their heels. Chicago didn’t manage a shot until the sixth minute; by then Anaheim had laid siege to Crawford with seven shots. Read more »

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Blackhawks skid hits 3; Niemi Says No

By Brad Gardner

Despite a better effort at both ends of the ice from the Blackhawks, it was still not enough to get past Antti Niemi and the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Despite a pronounced lead in the shot count and possession time, the Blackhawks fell by a score of 1-0 for their third consecutive regulation loss.

San Jose was strong out of the gate, registering four shots on Corey Crawford in the first four and a half minutes. The Sharks’ offense was limited by a couple penalties as well as Chicago’s puck possession and managed only one shot through the last 15 minutes of the first.

The ‘Hawks finished the first with 10 shots on Niemi, including a pair of breakaways. Brent Burns whiffed on clear and Marian Hossa picked up the loose puck but shot high. Bryan Bickell broke in alone shortly after, but Niemi was able to square up and snuff out another chance.

Momentum went back and forth in the second period as the team’s traded penalties and prime scoring chances. Jamie McGinn rang a shot off the post just after a San Jose power play ended and then leveled Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy for good measure. Hossa had another great opportunity when he split between the San Jose defensive pairing of Douglas Murray and Dan Boyle but his backhand shot went off the outside of the net. Read more »

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Lindbloom: Bushwhacked!

Bushwhacked-send in the clowns

By Rich Lindbloom

Bushwhacked: To attack or fire upon from hiding ; ambush.

I received an e-mail from a customer while attending a sales meeting Monday morning. It simply read, “I think that Edmonton just scored again!”  To say the Oilers, and to a lesser extent the Flames, knocked us off our high horse would be an understatement. In an inadvertent way, I may have contributed to the “narrow” defeats in Alberta over the weekend – more on that later. Suffice it to say the ephemeral joy we experienced in Vancouver two days before being thrown into the depths of despair, dissipated quicker than a cowboy trying to stay on the much ballyhooed bull Bushwhacker. In retrospect, we were bushwhacked in Alberta, there’s no other way to put it. Oh, and weren’t the rubes in the frozen tundra having a time, “We want 10, want 10!” Not satisfied with a win, they wanted to rub our nose in it.

One of the few positives that could be taken away from that game was the Oilers only ended up with 9 – ha!, in your face Edmonton fans, in your face.

In professional Bull riding, 8 is the magic number.  The cowboy who can stay on the bull for 8 seconds, has grabbed the bull by the horns so to speak. Currently, there is a bull on the rodeo circuit who has never been ridden, successfully. The closest anyone has come is 6.65 sec. Most ca-boys don’t make it past 3.5 seconds. We caught of first glance of the bull called Bushwhacker a few Sundays ago. My wife hollered down to my son, “Greg come here for a second, this is what a real man looks like,” as the crazy cowboy prepared himself in the chute. You could feel the excitement in the announcer’s voice just prior to the gate opening, waiting for the 1,500# ballerina like bull to be set free. The rider lasted less than four seconds, and Bushwhacker spent at least 3.5 seconds with all four hooves in the air. For the 28th consecutive time, Bushwhacker launched a cowboy into space. As the saying goes, “What goes up must come down,” and as the rider, (I’m going to call him Duncan), flew off the bull, the clowns were sent in to pick up the pieces. Read more »

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Boots to Asses: Oilers 9, Blackhawks 2

photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Gardner

The speed and skill of the Oilers put the Blackhawks on their heels early and the result was the worst whooping of the year for Chicago. Careless play with the puck and a parade to the penalty box in the second period sealed Chicago’s fate in their 9-2 shellacking at the hands of the young guns in Edmonton.

Ales Hemsky opened the scoring in the first minute by carrying the puck with speed into the zone and eluding a hip check by Steve Montador. The veteran winger had a clear lane to the net and beat Chicago’s starter Ray Emery over the glove.

Patrick Sharp knotted the game at one goal apiece just a couple minutes later. The first power play unit notched another goal after Sharp picked up a rebound off the post and beat Nikolai Khabibulin.

The speed of the Oilers started to wreak havoc for the Blackhawks, though, and the home team rattled off four unanswered goals through the rest of the first period. Ryan Jones scored a goal from a horrible angle against Emery and it was downhill from there for the ‘Hawks. Ryan Smyth’s team-leading 11th goal of the season came on a good set-up from Jordan Eberle, putting the Oilers up 3-1 just 7:32 into the first period. Read more »

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Win streak ends at 4; Hawks Drop One to Flames

Curtis Glencross – photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks were coming off a four-game win streak and looking to keep rolling atop the NHL. A spotty defensive effort in Calgary Friday night, coupled with two goals by the Flames in the first two minutes of the second period, led to a 5-2 defeat.

In the first period, the pace was to Chicago’s liking. Jonathan Toews took a pass from Marian Hossa in the fifth minute that Miikka Kiprusoff stopped with his pad. Toews hacked the puck into the goal, but it was waved off when the referee ruled the play whistled dead before the puck crossed the line.

The Flames drew first blood just over a minute later. Lee Stempniak came up with a loose puck and went the distance into the Chicago zone. Coming up the right side, Stempniak badly beat Duncan Keith to the inside and slapped it high to Corey Crawford’s stick side, giving Calgary a 1-0 lead.

The Blackhawks returned fire on the following shift. Nick Leddy got it started with a pass across the ice to Toews, and the captain brought the puck across the blue line and powered toward the net. Viktor Stalberg crashed the net, got inside position on Jay Bouwmeester with a nice move, and tapped in the centering pass to tie the contest. Read more »

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Power play enacts measure of revenge on Canucks; Blackhawks conquer Vancouver 5-1

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks kicked off their 6 game road trip on Wednesday with a visit to Rogers Arena in Vancouver to square off against the Canucks.  This would be the 33rd time these two teams have met since the 2008-2009 season.  The last meeting on Nov 6th ended ugly for the Hawks as the Canucks went 5 for 6 on the power play and beat the Hawks 6-2.  Revenge is always a dish best served cold.

Cory Schneider got the start in net as Roberto Luongo had missed the last 2 days of practice with an upper body injury.  Dave Bolland returned to the line up for the Hawks after missing the last 3 games with a foot injury.  Brent Seabrook did not dress for this game after going hard into the boards during the Edmonton Oilers game on Sunday night.

The first period had a Game One playoff feel to it, as both goalies were tested early and both coaches tried to get there preferred match ups.  Bolland returned starting on the 4th line. It didn’t take long for him to regain his center position on the 3rd line pestering the Sedins.   Read more »

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