Monthly Archives: December 2011

Round 1: Blackhawks better than Red Wings; 3-2

By Brad Vandenberk

The United Center was rocking on Friday night to witness the season’s first matchup between central divisional rivals Detroit Redwings and the Chicago Blackhawks.  This game was circled on the calendar for both teams as the Hawks have held their divisional lead over the Red Wings all season.  This would be the first of six for these 2 teams, with the first three games coming within 16 days.

Dan Carcillo returned to the lineup after suffering a concussion during the Minnesota Wild game on December 14.  Jimmy Hayes made his NHL debut after being called up from Rockford on Thursday.  He had switched places with Brandon Pirri who was sent back down after a mediocre game against LA on Wednesday.  Read more »

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Lindbloom: Hot Wheels, lucky shoes, Ebony & Ivory

“Tazer, you’d better score next game I go to.”

Early morning, April 4
A shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride – U2

They say the most segregated hour during the week in America is at 10 am on a Sunday morning. Although there have been signs of change, birds of a feather still tend to flock together. Fortunately, the church I attend actually has a good cross section of various races. Through my involvement in Children’s Church, I happened to meet and befriend a lady by the name of Laverne. Laverne and her husband, Kevin, had a bunch of us over for a barbecue one day in their back yard. It was there that I chanced to meet Laverne’s friend Lamont. Let’s just say Lamont had more Fred Sanford in him than his namesake. Read more »

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Quick Blanks Blackhawks as Chicago Drops First December Home Game

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks were handed their first loss at the United Center in nearly a month Wednesday night. Jonathan Quick denied 38 shots on goal as the Los Angeles Kings bested Chicago 2-0.

The Blackhawks got off to a solid start in the opening minutes, generating two big scoring opportunities. Andrew Brunette’s backhand attempt was stopped by Quick in the first minute. Brandon Pirri got a look from the slot when Marian Hossa fed him following a takeaway, but the shot was blocked by Mike Richards.

Chicago spent most of the first ten minutes on penalty kill duty. John Scott was tabbed with roughing 2:31 into the game when he took on the Kings in front of the Los Angeles net. At the 5:53 mark, Patrick Sharp was charged with a double minor for a high stick. The PK unit was up to the task, killing all six minutes of the infractions.

The Blackhawks got their first time with the man advantage when Brad Richardson was called for hooking with 5:20 to go in the first. They got another with 2:31 when Drew Doughty hooked Patrick Kane. Both power plays expired with no lighting of the lamp and the teams went to the locker rooms with no score. Read more »

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Stalberg’s two goals, Crawford’s gem, paces ‘Hawks to a 4-1 victory over hapless Blue Jackets

By Jon Fromi

Monday night, the Chicago Blackhawks became the first NHL team to reach the 50-point mark this season, using a trio of second period goals to hand the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-1 loss.

The game, which was a bit lacking in execution at times, was noteworthy in a pair of goals from the red-hot Viktor Stalberg and another solid game in net by Corey Crawford.

The four-day layoff was apparent in the first period as the ‘Hawks struggled to hit tape on their passes. Stalberg set up Bryan Bickell with a nice pass in the early going which led to a hooking infraction by Antoine Vermette. After failing to score on the resulting power play, Rick Nash earned a roughing call in responding to Marcus Kruger with a punch to the head after Kruger head checked Nash over the boards and into the Hawks’ bench. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio Returns: e.94 – Home Cookin’


As promised a few days ago, its the return of TTMI~Radio!

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and MyFoxChicago.com joined me to preview tonight’s Boxing Day Blackhawks-Blue Jackets matchup and to give his take on the Blackhawks, now 35 games into the 2011-12 season.

Its a solid hour of Blackhawks’ talk as we break down what is statistically the best team in the entire National Hockey League at the moment.

Pardon my rust on the controls and our idiot caller.

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“What about dem Bears?”

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com
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Lindbloom: Blackhawks – Slap That Tail

By Rich Lindbloom

Mark 8:28 “But what about you,” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

While realizing this is a sensitive subject, I can’t help reflecting on that babe born in a manger some 2000 years ago. “What child is this?” that inspired so much incredible art and beautiful music that we are blessed with at this time of year. (Although, if I hear Feliz Navidad one more time my head will explode.) As with Moses, Jesus was born in very humble surroundings.  Both men shunned earthly kingdoms. Both men were on a mission to lead lost sheep to the Promised Land.  I’ve always found it somewhat amazing that the first people on this earth to see Jesus, were the lowliest of the low. A group of shepherds tending their flocks on a deep and dark night near Bethlehem, go to the stable after being terrified by an angel that told them not to be afraid. “I bring you news of great joy for all men.” Read more »

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IceHogs notes: Rockford begins 9 of 10 on the road Monday night in Milwaukee

By Chris Block

I continue to receive questions regarding Kyle Beach’s status.  There is no real update other than he’s out indefinitely with a severe right shoulder injury.   His shoulder was dislocated during a fight with Peoria’s Stefan Della Rovere in Peoria back on October 28.

Beach’s right arm is currently in a harness.  He’s been telling people he’ll be back before the end of the regular season.  I don’t know for sure if that’s accurate, but there is hope he’ll return sometime in March.

Season on the brink

With the loss to Toronto this past Wednesday night, the Rockford IceHogs home record drops to a dismal 6-11-0-0.  They are 3-2-0-0 over their most recent five home games.  One of those wins came via the shootout.

I suppose its good news that 9 of Rockford’s next 10 games are on the road.  Last season’s IceHogs turned their misfortunes around and finished strong (17-5-1-1) beginning with an early March 7-game road trip.

That current stretch of 9 of 10 begins Monday night in Milwaukee where the IceHogs will face off with third-best team percentage wise in the Western Conference.  The Admirals are currently second in the division behind Charlotte, but they’ve also played five fewer games than the Checkers and trail Charlotte by just two points in the standings.

Rockford is now 11-15-1-2 overall.

% Points Earned-wise, the IceHogs are the 2nd-worst team in the AHL (.431).

By Goal Differential, Rockford (-16) ranks 25th out of 30 AHL teams.

They are 6th in Goals Scored per game (3.1)

However, the IceHogs are dead-last in Goals Allowed per game (3.7).  The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, in the other conference and have no like opponents with the Hogs, are the next-worst, allowing 3.4 goals per contest.

The only team in the AHL with a worse record is the Binghamton Senators (11-19-1-1, .375), which is Rob Klinkhammer’s new home. Read more »

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Radio returns Monday, some Thank Yous and a personal note

First of all, I want to thank all of our readers and listeners, new and old, for spending time on our site this year.   I hope everyone has a great weekend planned with loved ones and enjoys the break.

–Speaking of our listeners….

TheThirdManIn~Radio returns this Monday afternoon, December 26th with a special one-time start time of 3:30pm central.

I believe I will be joined by Al Cimaglia, of Sirius/XM Radio.  Of course, Al is also the Blackhawks writer now at MyFoxChicago.com.  You’ll be able to listen live at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn

Since I’m guessing a lot of people have Monday off, we will attempt to take phone calls – BlogTalkRadio technology-willing.

I think it’s been a couple of months now since we’ve done a show.  There have been many reasons or excuses why I’ve been on hiatus.  I’ve been getting a lot of emails and I know I haven’t provided much of an update on the show of late.  The podcast will continue in its current form until show 100.  I believe we’re at 94 now.  From there, we’ll keep rolling but there will be some changes.

–Got a lot of response to this one, and my Committed Indian column from last Friday night is up here.

A huge round of Thanks…. Read more »

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Crawford returns victorious, ‘Hawks stun Habs 5-1

photo: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Vandenberk

After losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center, the Chicago Blackhawks played host to the Habitant Du Montreal at the United Center.  With the biggest crowd of the year on hand to witness the original six matchup, and Hawks did not disappoint their faithful.

Corey Crawford saw his first action after six games on the bench during Ray Emery’s  5-game winning streak.  After suffering their first loss in regulation in December at the hands of the Penguins, it was time for Crawford to get a chance, here on the second game of a back to back.  The Canadiens went with Peter Budaj in net as they were holding off Carey Price for a matchup Thursday in Winnipeg.

Marcus Kruger did not play after taking a head shot from Penguins defensemen Deryk Engelland on Tuesday.  Dan Carcillo was placed on Injury Reserve and also was inactive.  John Scott and Sami Lepisto were the additional scratches.  Sean O’Donnell was placed in the defensive lineup and Brandon Pirri was called up from the AHL earlier in the day.  Read more »

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Rusty Olesz content playing in Rockford, for now

By Chris Block

If Rostislav Olesz is upset over residing in Rockford these days, he’s surely not showing his hand.

When asked last week if he was disappointed when he learned the Blackhawks were reassigning him to their American Hockey League affiliate, Olesz described his feelings a different way.

“I wouldn’t say disappointed,” he replied.

“The disappointment was sitting in the stands and watching the game up [with the Blackhawks].  To play six, seven minutes a game is disappointing for a player.”

Olesz does not seem as phased by the demotion as he probably should be.  The fact his one-way contract pays him the same no matter where he plays probably has that influence.

During his first three weeks with Rockford, Olesz turned down all media and interview requests, even from the IceHogs.  He’s not a very talkative guy.  Instead he says he wants to let his play do the talking.

The 26-year old, Czech-born left winger came over to the Blackhawks in the draft day deal that sent defenseman Brian Campbell to the Florida Panthers.  Olesz said he learned of the trade on his first day back at home in the Czech Republic.

It was a man-for-man transaction.  One ‘bad’ contract for another.  In the deal, the Hawks gave themselves cap flexibility but also are now stuck with a player who they don’t have a place for, or know what to do with and they pay roughly half of what Campbell earned.

All along there was one caveat attached to the trade – the Panthers knew they were getting a top-end puck-moving defenseman who could eat a ton of minutes on their inexperienced blue line, while the Blackhawks had no idea what to expect from Olesz. Read more »

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