Author Archives: Brad Vandenberk

Regular season wraps in wild 7-5 Hawks loss in Nashville

By Brad Vandenberk

Game 82 is upon us, finally!  Not that this season has been a bad one, but after mailing it in against the Capitals last night, it’s hard to get excited for this game.  As I stated last night, Chicago can’t move up from their current third seeded position.

Even though most fans and players are looking toward the post season the Hawks are looking to avenge some pride with the season series owned by the Preds 3-1.  It’s amazing to think – would the Preds be making the playoffs if Pekka Rinne played the entire season?  Several players may be playing their final game tonight in the likes of Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom.  Once Toews and Kane return those two seem to be the odd men out.  It does prove the depth that Chicago does have available if needed to be called upon.  Another situation that will be solved on Sunday evening is who is the Hawks first round opponent?   After both Avalanche and Blues taking a loss last night, it seems that it will come down to the final day of the NHL.  The Avs finish their season against the Ducks while the Blues have an afternoon affair against the Redwings at home.  Read more »

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Hawks wash out in our Nation’s Capital

By Brad Vandenberk

With the last weekend of the NHL season upon us, it is reassuring to know that the Hawks will be going to the playoffs and cannot get into a higher spot than the 3rd seed.  Over the past few weeks it was the Avalanche that the Hawks thought they would face for the first round, but with the Blues latest slide it could be either opponent.  Being the third seed means that they will not have home ice for the first round.  So now it’s time to sit back and let me be your host for the final 2 games of the year.  The question now is, do the Hawks rest a few players, Olympic athletes, or do you ride the momentum you are currently on?

The ‘Hawks are on a 4 game winning streak without 2 of their stars, Kane and Toews.  Good news is both players are skating and look to be 100% for the first game of the playoffs.  Read more »

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Blackhawks lose game, Captain in Pittsburgh; Quenneville says Toews not serious

By Brad Vandenberk

With over 40 family and friends attending the Consol Energy Center, Brandon Saad better hope his game is better than his outing in Ottawa where he posted a minus-3.  Sunday was Saad’s first regular season game in his hometown of Pittsburgh since turning pro with the Chicago Blackhawks.

This recent Eastern Conference road trip has not been kind to these Hawks going a disappointing 0-2.  The return to the scene of the Cup win was not so eventful being manhandled 3-0.  Then to Canada‘s capital to be embarrassed against one of the conference’s worst.  Now to complete the trip it’s a Sidney Crosby versus Jonathan Toews match up.  Read more »

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Hawks take the ‘Canes 3-2 at the UC

By Brad Vandenberk

The St. Louis Who’s?  The Hawks finally tackled their demons and beat the Blues on Wednesday proving that they can beat anyone when they turn it up a notch.  Not only did they turn it up, they made it very uncomfortable for a very good Blues teams in all situations.  Corey Crawford made some very good saves to obtain his 10th career shutout.

Among all the celebrating, there was a significant loss suffered by the Hawks.  Patrick Kane was accidentally landed on while in an awkward position and seemed to twist his knee, leaving during the second period.

It was announced Friday that Kane was shut down for the remainder of the regular season and placed on long term injury reserve.   There is method to the Hawks madness.  This was one of the only options the Hawks had get Teuvo Teravainen up to the big squad.  He sported the Indian head this morning during the morning skate with teammates welcoming him as well as fans as the skate was streamed live.

Tonight’s game sees the Carolina Hurricanes enter the UC with a few key Hawks out of the line up.  Read more »

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Giroux beats Raanta in OT, Flyers win 3-2; Hawks now 0-7 in overtimes this season

By Brad Vandenberk

From one Eastern Conference team to the next, the Blackhawks jetted to Philadelphia on Tuesday looking to stack points in effort to regain a home ice advantage for the opening round of the playoffs.   A welcomed spark was added on Sunday with the return of Marian Hossa.

Big Hoss propelled the Hawks to victory with a three-point performance over their old rivals, the Detroit Red Wings Sunday.  It definitely makes a difference when he is in the lineup.  Although it was an injury depleted Red Wings team, the 2 points is exactly what the Hawks needed. Now it’s a visit to Philly to take on the Flyers.  Last time the Hawks played the Flyers, Ray Emery was run out of the net as the Hawks coasted to a 7-2 victory.    Read more »

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Hawks slip in Colorado and in the standings

By Brad Vandenberk

After barely beating the NHL’s worst team on Sunday in Buffalo it was now time to roll up the sleeves and get a little greasy on a trip to Colorado.  This could possibly be the Hawks first round playoff match up with some differences of course.  Yes, the Hawks have lost to the Avs 3/4  times this year.  But let’s be honest, in a 7 game series when Coach Q starts matching up lines, then we will see how things will play out.  Oh yeah,  and the fact that one of the best 2 way players in the game, Marian Hossa, is still on the shelf until this weekend at the earliest.  The Avalanche have the potential to pass the Hawks in the Central division with a regulation win.  The good news is the Hawks will be done with Roy and the boys after this one.  Read more »

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Central division race tightens; Avs pull to within a point of the Hawks after 4-2 win at the UC

By Brad Vandenberk

Now that the Olympics have claimed its victor and the Stadium Series business is behind us, its time to shift focus to the NHL playoff chase.  On the eve of the trade deadline, the Chicago Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche.  The Avs entered the contest trailing the Hawks by three points in the standings.  To make Tuesday night’s matchup even more meaningful, Colorado also has a game in hand on the defending champs in a tight race atop the Central division between the Avs, Hawks and Blues.

As we sit on March 4, 2014 the Hawks have 20 games remaining in their schedule with the pesky Avs nipping at their heels. While the St Louis Blues began the evening tied with the Hawks at 86 points (St. Louis won 4-2 over Tampa on Tuesday night to climb to 88 points].  This will make for a great finish heading into the playoffs.  The bad news coming out of the Madhouse on Madison is that Marian Hossa will be on the shelf for approximately 2-3 weeks with an upper body injury suffered in Saturday night’s affair at Soldier Field.  This next stretch without him will be a very tough test as no one can play as good a 200 foot game as Hossa.  Brandon Saad started out on the top line Tuesday night as a first-laid plan to replace Hossa alongside Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp for the time being.   Read more »

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Dominant 2 goal Kane performance lifts Hawks to 5-3 win over the Kings at Staples Center

By Brad Vandenberk

At the halfway point of their current six game road trip, the Hawks are collecting points and slightly staying ahead of the St Louis Blues in the Central Division.  Before entering game four in Los Angeles on Monday evening, the Hawks were 1-0-2.  They were still struggling to close the deal in OT and or the Shootout adding to their league’s worst 14 overtimes with a point lost. LA on the other hand is currently looking for goal scoring being shutout in most of their games.  Bryan Bickell made his return to the line up on the 3rd line along side Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad.  Bickell is slowly creeping his way out of the Q’s dog house and knows he needs to use his physicality on the ice.  Marian Hossa has been taking a few maintenance days missing morning skates.  He remains in the line up but with the Olympic break just 5 days away, fatigue can be a factor.  You wouldn’t think with the Big Hoss, as his game is already getting Selke nods.  The fourth line has been exactly what the Hawks have asked for, playing good minutes, establishing the forecheck and actually tucking a few in at key times.  Read more »

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Blackhawks overtime woes extend in Calgary

By Brad Vandenberk

After an abysmal week that saw the Hawks go 0-2-1, it’s now time to embark on a 6 game road trip spanning over 12 days and playing some difficult opponents out on the West coast.  These are the last six games that the Hawks will play before the Olympic break starting February 9-26.  The Hawks are suffering through a mid season slump and what better team to bust this slump then the streaking Calgary Flames.  These same Flames gave the Hawks trouble during their last meeting back on November 27th until Patrick Kane threw a backhand over Reto Berra with just 18 seconds left in the 3rd period winning 3-2.  The start of this current road trip is also game one of a back to back with a quick visit to Van-city on Wednesday before heading south to enjoy some fun in the sun, with San Jose, LA, Anaheim and Phoenix waiting patiently.  Read more »

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Hawks take battle of West titans, 4-2 at the UC

By Brad Vandenberk

The Anaheim Ducks are not quacking their way to the top of the NHL standings they are literally steam rolling teams and now have a commanding 6 point lead in first place over all.  The only team that is that 6 points back are your Chicago Blackhawks.  The Ducks have won 18 of their last 19 games in convincing fashion especially embarrassing their last victims the Vancouver Canucks 9-1.  The Hawks last affair was a 3-2 loss to the Avalanche at home on Tuesday.  This game will be a determining factor to see how the Hawks match up against an elite team that they will have to prove beatable in order to make their way back to the Cup finals. Read more »

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