Monthly Archives: December 2011

Kruger KO’d, A Stalberg Period, A 3-2 Penguins Win – And the Blackhawks streak ends at 5

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks spotted Pittsburgh a three goal advantage over the first 40 minutes Tuesday night in the Consol Energy Center. A furious third period charge made for a fun finish, but the Penguins held on to hand the Blackhawks their first regulation loss of the month by the score of 3-2.

It was a rough and tumble contest that turned in a playoff-type atmosphere. Pittsburgh used a physical play to pave the way for the game’s first goal in the ninth minute of action.

Deryk Engelland attempted to remove Marcus Kruger’s head, which somehow went unpenalized save for John Scott jumping in and throwing down. As a result, Scott was assessed the instigator penalty.  On the resulting power play, just over a minute later, the Penguins scored on a wrist shot by Chris Kunitz, assisted by Evgeni Malkin and Matt Niskanen.

Kruger appeared to be okay and finished the first period, but did not return for the second and third.  Pittsburgh went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Read more »

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Decision to rush Seabrook back just plain dumb

By Chris Block

First off, the Blackhawks have indicated that Brent Seabrook will play tonight in Pittsburgh when Chicago meets the injury-plagued Penguins.

NHL head of discipline Brendan Shanahan suspended Calgary Flames’ winger Rene Bourque two games for his check from behind on Brent Seabrook in Sunday’s game at United Center.

Bourque, a close friend of Seabrook’s, drove the Blackhawks’ defenseman head first into the glass along the boards inside Chicago’s zone with 4:35 remaining in the opening period of a 4-2 Hawks victory.

Seabrook appeared to be momentarily knocked out after his head was driving into the glass just above the boards, the area of the glass with the least give.  Seabrook was able to get up under his own power and skate off the ice, but he was ruled out of the game by Blackhawks doctors during the first intermission.

 

Seabrook has had two known concussion in the past 21 months.  The most recent, came on the brutal hit Raffi Torres threw on Seabrook behind the Blackhawks’ net during Game 3 of the 2011 opening round playoff series with Vancouver. Read more »

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Emery, Blackhawks win 5th straight; Quenneville’s 600th

Photo: @FaberBrandon

By Brad Gardner

There was no love lost in the third meeting of the season between Calgary and Chicago but it was the Blackhawks that put together another solid effort and came away with two points. The Western Conference foes combined for 61 PIMs and the Flames out-hit the ‘Hawks by a count of 31 to 12, but Chicago was able to get out to a lead and hold on against a late Calgary charge for the 4-2 victory.

Steve Montador gave the Blackhawks a first period lead when his slap shot beat Miikka Kiprusoff to the glove side 9:23 into the game. The ‘Hawks fourth line of Viktor Stalberg, Jamal Mayers, and Andrew Brunette applied the pressure in the offensive zone and had the Flames chasing the play along the wall. Mayers’ centering pass found Montador wide open in the slot, where he unleashed a heavy shot that found the net just inside the post.

Later in the opening frame, Brent Seabrook was on the receiving end of another bad hit from a former teammate when Rene Bourque checked him squarely in the back. Read more »

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Lindbloom: On Big Bad John, the Kaner Dance and the long journey back to that elusive rock

“HEAVEN ON EARTH” THE BOYS (and fish) from JIM’S ROCK
“Trust me Gar!”

By Rich Lindbloom

Trophies, they’re never easy to come by, are they? While the trophies being held up in the photo above may not rival a toothless Duncan Keith hoisting the Cup two years ago, it’s rather apparent the four knuckleheads are quite proud of their efforts on a rain soaked day of fishing in Canada. Apparently, one of the boys on the fishing trip decided to stay in the cabin and raid the liquor cabinet – that could explain the off center photo. The lad on the left was my baby brother Jim, who passed away around this time last year. A friend who was known as the tenth Lindbloom, Rabbi Voshnewsky, sent the picture and one of my all time favorite stories as a very pleasant reminder of the last of nine Lindblooms to enter this world…. Read more »

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Blackhawks recall Jeremy Morin, Update on health status of goaltender Alexander Salak

By Chris Block

Jeremy Morin left the BMO Harris Bank Center late Saturday night in route for Chicago.  Morin has been recalled to the Blackhawks.

The 20-year old winger received word of his recall after an IceHogs’ 4-2 victory over Milwaukee.

Morin missed Saturday night’s IceHogs contest serving the final game of a 3-game suspension he incurred as result of last Sunday’s elbowing incident on Milwaukee Admirals’ forward Joel Champagne.  Morin miss all three IceHogs games this past week.  The team does not play again until Wednesday night, when the Toronto Marlies visit the BMO.

In 23 games this season in Rockford, Morin has 5 goals and 10 assists.  He’s a plus-1 with 56 penalty minutes.

After missing 9 months with post-concussion symptoms as a result of an Andrey Zubarev hip-check on January 15, 2011 at the Chicago Wolves, Morin finally returned to action on October 14th in Abbotsford.

Morin scored on his second shift in his return, on his first shot on goal.  He also scored in his second game back, also in Abbotsford, two days later.  Since, Morin has 3 goals in 21 contests.  Two of those came in one game, at Peoria on November 11th. Read more »

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Pirri lifts Power Play, Hogs to 4-2 win over Milwaukee

By Chris Block

A complete 60-minute effort was all the IceHogs needed to defeat second-place Milwaukee on Saturday night.

Rockford improved their season record to 11-14-1-2 on goals from Pete Leblanc, Brandon Bollig and two from the team’s leading scorer, Brandon Pirri.

Rockford’s power play entered Saturday night’s game having scored just 3 times in its past 40 chances.  Against the Milwaukee Admirals, the IceHogs power play scored 3 times on 5 chances Saturday.  Two of those goals came off the stick of Brandon Pirri, the other was set up by Pirri.

“I thought our power play really helped us out tonight,” head coach Ted Dent said after a week of working with that unit in practices.  “We finally figured that out.”

Pete Leblanc capitalized on an early power play opportunity when he snuck into the low slot and chipped a feed from Brandon Pirri past Milwaukee Admirals starter Jeremy Smith.  Ben Smith was in front of the net disturbing Smith’s vision as well on the play, putting the Hogs up 1-0 at 10:35 of the opening period.  The assist marked Pirri’s 50th professional helper (49 AHL, 1 NHL)

Two minutes later, after failing to convert on a second power play, Brett McLean was called for roughing, giving Milwaukee its first chance with the man advantage.  The Admirals wasted little time converting as defenseman Jonathan Blum whizzed a shot from the left point past Carter Hutton’s glove to tie the game at 1-1.  Admirals forward Ryan Thang was in front battling for position with Joe Lavin, and Hutton was late reacting to Blum’s shot. Read more »

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Complete effort drives Hawks over Ducks 4-1

photo: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Gardner

Ray Emery earned another start in net with the Anaheim Ducks in town and helped the Blackhawks beat his former team by a score of 4-1. Emery’s shutout bid was spoiled by Teemu Selanne with less than two minutes to play in the game, but the veteran goalie turned in another strong start for Chicago in collecting his fourth consecutive win in as many starts.

Emery’s cause was aided by the effort of the skaters in front of him. For all the ink the ‘Hawks top players have earned so far this season, it was Jamal Mayers and the fourth line that opened the scoring for Chicago at the 6:37 mark of the first.

Andrew Brunette won the puck on the forecheck against Francois Beauchemin and passed it to an open Mayers behind the net. Jonas Hiller was slow to cover his post and Mayers was able to flip the puck off the goalie and into the net.

Chicago extended the lead quickly at the start of the second after pressure from Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp gave the ‘Hawks possession in the Duck zone. Sharp picked up a loose puck and fed Hossa driving in all alone on Hiller. Hossa powered the backhander through the legs of Hiller just over a minute into the second period to put the Blackhawks up by a pair of goals. Read more »

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Emery stands strong, Kane’s dazzle edges Wild in the shootout

photo: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Vandenberk

Western Conference leading Minnesota Wild played host to Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center.  This game saw the 2 best teams in the Western Conference play their first game against the other this season.  The Wild lost 2-1 the night before in Winnipeg, while the Hawks have been off since coming from behind on the San Jose Sharks to force overtime on Sunday night at the United Center and come out victorious winning 3-2.

Ray Emery started his 3rd straight game for the Hawks, while Niklas Backstrom was between the pipes for the Wild.  Coach Q slightly tweaked his line up as Bryan Bickell found himself back in the line up alongside Dave Bolland and Andrew Brunette.  That moved Michael Frolik to the fourth line with Dan Carcillo and Jamal Mayers.  John Scott was Steve Montador’s defensive partner with Sean O’Donnell and Sami Lepisto scratched.

The Hawks attempted to take advantage of the travelled Wild as Bolland had Backstrom beat early but hit iron.  The Hawks were all over the Wild out shooting them 11-2 in the first period.  At the 2:57 mark of the period, the Wild got their first shot on net and the 19,254 at the Xcel Energy Center let them hear it with an abundance of sarcastic cheers. The first period ended with a 0-0 score and neither team gave up a penalty. Read more »

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AHL suspends Jeremy Morin 3 games for elbowing incident in Milwaukee on Sunday

By Chris Block

Top Blackhawks prospect and Rockford IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin was suspended on Tuesday for the team’s next 3 games as result of an elbowing incident during Sunday’s 5-4 shootout loss in Milwaukee.

With six minutes remaining in the second period, Morin collided with Milwaukee Admirals center Joel Champagne, while chasing a loose puck deep in the Admirals’ zone.

Morin’s elbow connected with the left side of Champagne’s jaw as Morin attempted to box his opponent off the loose puck in the right corner behind the Admirals’ goal line.

Champagne was moving on the ice but did lay prone for several minutes while attended to by both the IceHogs and Admirals trainers.  He was eventually placed on a backboard and stretchered across the ice before being sent to a hospital for further evaluation.

The play sequence began with a weak Champagne turnover in the neutral zone, forced by an Andrew Shaw backcheck.  Seconds later, Brandon Pirri gained the Admirals’ blue line by lifting a puck, tossed backhand across the ice, leading Shaw along the far boards.  Shaw won a one-on-one physical battle with defenseman Tyler Sloan and advanced that puck down low into the right corner.  At this point, Morin read the play and came down from the middle of the slot in pursuit of the puck.

Joel Champagne actually should have gotten to that puck first, but he was slow to get there.  Champagne saw Morin coming and pulled up to avoid a hit.  Morin had time to adjust, and instead of throwing a check on Champagne, Morin chose to box him off the puck since Champagne was, in effect, surrendering possession to Morin.  In seeing Champagne pull up and making his adjustment, Morin shifted his weight in turning his back to Champagne to shield the Milwaukee player off the puck.

As far as the elbow, Champagne was struck by an accidental blow from Morin’s left, trailing elbow. Read more »

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Hawks tie Sharks late, Sharp wins it again in OT

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks salvaged two points from the reeling San Jose Sharks on Sunday evening at the United Center.

Starting goaltenders Ray Emery and Antti Niemi limited the scoring all night and it took a late push from Chicago to force the overtime. Patrick Sharp, skating in his first game since the birth of his first daughter on Friday, potted the overtime game-winner off a Niemi rebound to seal the comeback victory for the ‘Hawks.

Former Blackhawks’ netminder Niemi closed the door on a handful of high-quality chances from his former teammates in the opening period. Viktor Stalberg was robbed on the first shift of the game after he was set up by Jonathan Toews on the doorstep, but Niemi denied him with the pad. Not all of his saves were clean, but he extended his shut-out streak of the ‘Hawks to four periods going back to his November 23rd shutout.

At the other end of the rink, Ray Emery did his part in keeping his team in the game. Read more »

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