Daily Archives: December 21, 2011

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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