Monthly Archives: March 2012

Hawks keep rolling, beat Capitals 5-2 at the UC to earn 40th victory of the season

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks controlled play for much of the game when they hosted the Washington Capitals at the United Center in the only meeting of the season between the two teams. Andrew Shaw opened the scoring and finished with two goals to lead the way in a complete team effort by the ‘Hawks in which they held Washington to just 18 shots en route to a 5-2 win.

The ‘Hawks scored first for the third straight game on a deflection by Shaw in front of the net. Bryan Bickell carried the puck over the line and hit Shaw with a rink-wide pass. He made a drag move around Brooks Laich to get to the center of the ice, but his shot was kicked out by the pad of Michal Neuvirth. Duncan Keith picked up the rebound and fired it back towards the traffic in front where it deflected off Shaw for a 1-0 Chicago lead.

The speed of Viktor Stalberg helped to extend the lead a few minutes later when he beat Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a loose puck and converted on the breakaway against Neuvirth. Sharp dumped the puck down the ice and Stalberg left Orlov in his dust on his way to recovering the puck and tucking the shot behind a downed Neuvirth. Read more »

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Blackhawks Stick It to Stars in Big D, Win 4-1

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came out with a pair of early tallies to establish control in Dallas Friday night. Up 2-0 before Stars fans knew what had hit their team, the Blackhawks won their third road game in four tries this month with a 4-1 triumph.

Chicago took little time in lighting the lamp. Just seconds after the faceoff, Bryan Bickell got control of the puck along the boards between the benches. Andrew Shaw got the pass as he came over the blue line and dropped it back to Dave Bolland, who snapped home the shot past Kari Lehtonen at the ten second mark of the opening period.

Ninety seconds later, after Corey Crawford turned away a redirected shot, the Hawks brought the puck to the other end. Viktor Stalberg’s attempt was blocked by Lehtonen, but Patrick Sharp got the puck out the corner. Looping into the left faceoff circle, Sharp fired for the opposite post. The shot got past Lehtonen and 1:42 into the game held a two-goal advantage. Read more »

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Lindbloom: On Kitchen Sinks, and your Blackhawks

Seen sliding through Halak’s five hole in the Shoot Out

By Rich Lindbloom

Jaroslav Halak gave it the old college try Tuesday night, no doubt about that. He made 43 saves, valiantly trying to withstand the fury, unrelenting attack and irresistible force unleashed by a Blackhawk team that appears to be taking matters into their own hands. If the Blues are the number one team in hockey, (deservedly so I might add), I’m a little more optimistic about our playoff chances. Actually, I’ve had the Hawks penciled in all the way to the Cup Finals for some time now.

The 65 minute beat down over a lethargic, uninspired, out worked and undermanned Blues squad does wonders to bolster my confidence. Think about it – the team noted by several St. Louis Game Time posters as being too thin, just defeated Lunquist, narrowly lost to Quick in a shootout and made Halak stand on his head for most of the game Tuesday night. Does that sound like a team that’s hanging on by a thread? Read more »

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Third period comeback propels Hawks over Blues

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks captain was still sidelined with an upper body injury as the league leading St Louis Blues rolled into town.  Although whispers were heard throughout the United Center for a Jonathan Toews return this week, he had not practiced the past two days and did not lace the skates up for this one.  The Hawks played the Blues in St Louis just seven days ago and got beat up physically and on the scoreboard, losing 5-1.  The Hawks are still sitting in the 6th spot in the western conference but are beginning to feel the heat from the 7th and 8th position.  After suffering a shootout loss on Sunday night to the LA Kings, a big win was needed from a central divisional rival.  Ray Emery, still crowned the number one goalie, started for the Hawks and Jaroslav Halak continued the Blues dominance between the pipes.  The same Hawks line-up that squared up against the Blues last week stood intact for this match.

Less than a minute into the game, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane break in on a 2 on 1, but Halak was there to shut the door.  Read more »

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Desperate Kings pickup two points in Chicago

By Brad Gardner

Jonathan Quick continued to baffle the Blackhawks when his Kings club visited the United Center on Sunday evening. The Blackhawks battled back to tie the game twice and earn one point in the standings, eventually falling to Mike Richards’ conversion in the shootout for a final score of 3-2.

The Kings set the tone early with a chance off the opening faceoff. Nick Leddy fumbled a pass to his defensive partner that was picked up by Dwight King. He broke in between the two defenders on Ray Emery but the ‘Hawks goaltender was able to deny the game’s first shot.

Slava Voynov was able to get one by Emery a few minutes later. Duncan Keith pinched into the offensive zone but had the puck poked away by Justin Williams. The sent the Kings in on a 4-on-1 against Brent Seabrook, who sold out to take away the passing lane. Williams still had room to get the puck to Voynov, who beat Emery wide to the glove side for the rookie defenseman’s fifth tally of the season. Read more »

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Milwaukee still can’t solve stripped down IceHogs

By Chris Block

Without the services of Ben Smith and leading scorer Brandon Pirri, the Rockford IceHogs extended their recent dominance of the Milwaukee Admirals behind goaltender Carter Hutton’s 22-save performance.

Rockford defeated the Admirals 4-1 on Saturday night on goals from unlikely sources in Chris DiDomenico, Brandon Svendsen and Philippe Paradis.  All three ended long personal goal scoring droughts.  Pete Leblanc, another player whose had hard luck recently finding the back of the net, added an empty-netter with 45 seconds to go sending the Milwaukee crowd of 15,888 home unhappy.

Brandon Pirri missed the game with a lower-body injury.  Pirri will miss Sunday’s home game versus the Admirals and likely Tuesday’s contest in Oklahoma City against the conference-leading Barons as well.  Officially, Pirri is listed as day-to-day.

Ben Smith will undergo surgery next week to repair a labral tear in his right hip and hernia.  He will miss the remainder of the season but is expected to make a full recovery in sixteen weeks.

For one night anyhow, the IceHogs didn’t seem to miss Pirri and Smith as others stepped up in their absence. Read more »

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Wild Third Period Nets ‘Hawks 4-3 win over Rangers

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks erased a third period deficit with three goals in the final seven minutes. Johnny Oduya led the attack with a goal and an assist as the ‘Hawks prevailed over the New York Rangers 4-3 in front of the 180th straight sellout crowd at the United Center.

Chicago got a big scoring opportunity seconds into the game when Duncan Keith made an area pass that Marian Hossa caught up to. Hossa beat the Ranger defense to the net, but Henrik Lundqvist snuffed out the shot.

From there, it was back and forth hockey with both teams getting their chances. Lundqvist and Ray Emery kept both teams honest along with their defenses. The ‘Hawks killed off the only penalty of the period, a delay of game call that came when returning defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson closed his hand on the puck late in the sixteenth minute. Read more »

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Puck Chatter Podcast: Talkin’ Future Hawks with Brad of HockeysFuture.com

By Chris Block

Wednesday night we were joined by Brad Gardner of HockeysFuture.com and also here at TheThirdManIn.com as we got caught up on the Blackhawks top prospects making their way up through the system.

Brad and I went through the Blackhawks budding young stars and gave our thoughts on which prospects will ultimately make the biggest impact one day in a Chicago Blackhawks sweater.

We covered and charted the progress this season of Brandon Saad, Mark McNeill, Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening, Phillip Danault, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Kevin Hayes, Stephen Johns, Michael Paliotta, goaltender Johan Mattsson and many more.  And we also note which top prospect will be in an IceHogs uniform very soon.

After the first hour of prospect talk with Brad, I am joined by the Superstar for the final thirty minutes or so of the show.

We discussed some recent misfortune and having to say goodbye to a beloved pet, the Moose, this week.  On to the Blackhawks, we preview the upcoming Blackhawks schedule and project how difficult the road ahead to the postseason will be for the boys in the Indian head sweaters and if it will once again come down to the final game of the regular season.

Also, first impressions of Johnny Oduya, the “knee-capping” of Joel Quenneville, what’s going on with Jonathan Toews, the IceHogs Clear Day Roster and issues with veterinary clinics.

All this and much more on episode 101 of the official audio program of TheThirdManIn.com.  We now call it “Puck Chatter.”

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Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin talk goal celebrations and IceHogs fashion sense

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Blues dominate Blackhawks 5-1 in The Lou

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawk`s three-game road trip came to an end on Tuesday night in St Louis.  The Hawks had a 3-game winning streak heading into the Scottrade Center.  They took two eastern conference teams out earlier last week with the Leafs and Senators falling by one.  They then travelled to Detroit where they won a tight match against their divisional rivals.  With the Hawks’captain still on the shelf, they have won all three previous games the hard way, grinding out with great defense and even the back checkers making their presence felt.  This game would offer another divisional match up with St Louis holding the edge in toughness and grit.

The line up remained the same with Brandon Bollig making his “home” debut.  Bollig called in a favour and put his whole family in the crowd.  The Hawks knew they would be going to battle against this tough Blues team.  Niklas Hjalmarsson, only days away from returning, remained out with Steve Montador joining him. Morrison, O’Donnell and Frolik also missed out on the action again.  Patrick Kane continued his play at center with Marian Hossa and Andrew Brunette. The rest of the line up remained the same.  Ray Emery started his 3rd consecutive game in net.  Read more »

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