Author Archives: Brad Vandenberk

Tampa’s 3rd period comeback at the UC gives Lightning a 2-1 series lead

By Brad Vandenberk

The Blackhawks found themselves lucky that they were able to get a split in Tampa Bay. The return to home ice on Monday where they are 7-1 in these playoffs was hopefully the spark that was required. The Bolts have been giving the Hawks fits with their speed. The Hawks do have their own knockout punch when it comes to their speed as well, but it seems like they have been on their heels for most of the game. There are 22,000 strong waiting to see their beloved Blackhawks at the UC during this Stanley Cup Final.

Ben Bishop did get the start in this one and limped his way to a 3-2 road win in the United Center which puts the Hawks playoff record to 7-2. It was a late goal with 3:11 left in the third period when Cedric Paquette beats Corey Crawford with a low snipe. There was no Cinderella story on this night as the Hawks fall 2-1 in the series giving up home ice advantage. Read more »

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Toews scores twice late to force extra time; Blackhawks lose quickly in OT

By Brad Vandenberk

What does it take to run a marathon? Agility, speed, determination and the heart to want to finish the race. That’s what we have witnessed in this series between the Ducks and Hawks. Game 4 saw another game head past an additional overtime period with tired faces and legs, but still believing that this series is up for grabs. Even though the Hawks gave up a 2 goal lead in 37 seconds, they still found a way to beat Andersen to tie the series at 2. Game five started with the Ducks taking a 3 goal lead only to see the Hawks tie it a 4 late in the third period on the back of Jonathan Toews. Just 45 seconds into the overtime period, Matt Belesky buries a rebound and the Hawks head back to Chicago down 3-2 in the series.

Corey Crawford let in a few quick Duck goals but righted the ship to get his team to overtime. Frederick Andersen let in a multiple softies, which shows he is beatable. The Ducks inserted Tomas Fleischmann into the lineup relieving Emerson Etem off the roster. This gave Coach Bruce Boudreau a different look with his line pairings, and it paid off. Read more »

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Ducks take Game 1 in Anaheim 4-1

By Brad Vandenberk

Finally, after waiting 10 days, game one of the Western Conference Final was played at the Honda Center in beautiful Anaheim. The Hawks have been trying to stay in game shape after disposing of the Wild in 4 straight games. There was one more test that stood in their way to reaching the Stanley Cup and it was the Ducks. They came to play this afternoon, but it was the Ducks who took game one with a 4-1 victory. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Hawks with 39 seconds left in the second period. That would be all she wrote from there.

Corey Crawford and Frederik Andersen were in net for this one and Andersen looked sharp, absolutely robbing Patrick Kane on a wide open net. David Rundblad replaced Michel Rozsival who broke his ankle and will not be able to resume playing until next season. Rundblad was very noticeable but in a bad way, almost solely being responsible for 2 of the Ducks goals. Read more »

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Hawks stars tame Wild to take a 2-0 series lead

By Brad Vandenberk

The Wild came into game 2 of this Central division final not having lost a back to back game since the All-star game in January. The Hawks were confident, even though they squandered a 3-0 lead in game 1, but still found a way to close it out. Jonathan Toews opens the scoring shorthanded, then it was Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp who did the rest. Kane scored 2 goals, one being an empty netter and Sharp restoring the 2 goal lead early in the third period.

Corey Crawford faced off against Devan Dubnyk who has been hot of late. Crawford literally stood on his head to keep the Wild off the score sheet until Matt Dumba found a way but it wasn’t enough. Kris Versteeg remained out of the line up with a lower body injury creating a spot for Teuvo Teravainen who played great and has a bright future. Read more »

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Seabrook blast ends Game 4 in Triple OT, Hawks take 3-1 series lead on Nashville

By Brad Vandenberk

There was a marathon at the United Center on Tuesday night as the Hawks found themselves beating the Nashville Predators in three overtimes, 3-2.

Chicago did not hold a single lead during the game, but still eventually found a way to win and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Brandon Saad scored the tying goal with Antoine Vermette getting his first tally as a Blackhawk, tipping one past Rinne in the opening period, the first of six on Tuesday.

Shea Weber and Mike Fisher did not dress for this one, but you can be sure with their season on the line that they will try and play on Thursday night when the series shifts back to Nashville. Scott Darling and Pekka Rinne faced a ton of traffic and shots and lasted the entire 5 periods. Read more »

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Wild ruin Hawks regular season home finale

By Brad Vandenberk

The final home game of the regular season played at the United Center arrived for the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night. The visiting Minnesota Wild played their boring style of stifling teams to shot from the outside helping Devan Dubnyk make saves. It was successful as Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker both scored to guarantee a Wild playoff spot with a 2-1 victory. Bryan Bickell scored late and Corey Crawford was playoff ready making some sensational saves, but putting the puck in the net is number one and the Hawks just didn’t have it.

Kimmo Timonen did not dress for this one with an upper body injury. It was announced, after the absence of Brad Richards during the morning skate, that the veteran would be done for the rest of the regular season with an upper body injury as well. This gave the opportunity for Kyle Baun to make his NHL debut. Joakim Nordstrom made his way back onto the fourth line, sending Andrew Desjardins back to the press box. David Rundblad and Michal Rozsival were both in the lineup. Read more »

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Hawks clinch playoff berth in 3-1 win over VAN

By Brad Vandenberk

After winning a tough back to back against Winnipeg and LA, the Blackhawks looked to continue the momentum on Thursday with a visit from the Canucks. Vancouver was also in a playoff battle hoping to lock up a playoff spot with a victory last night.

But it was the Hawks that would be guaranteed a spot in the 2015 postseason with a 3-1 win behind the strong net minding of Corey Crawford. He stopped 36 shots making some great saves on most of the Canucks stars. Teuvo Teravainen, Jonathan Toews and Marcus Kruger all the put puck past Eddie Lack. Kruger picked up an assist and the second star of the game. Read more »

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Hawks sliding out of Central race, lose at home 5-2 to former foes, Columbus Blue Jackets

By Brad Vandenberk

After completing a 2 game road trip through the week with stops in Carolina and Philadelphia, returned to home soil to face a familiar foe in the Columbus Blue Jackets. This would spell the return of Jeremy Morin who saw 6:50 of ice and tallied 1 hit. The Hawks got on the board early but the Jackets did not stop coming putting 4 on the board in the first period and never looking back beating the Hawks 5-2 at the UC. This could not have come at a worse time as the Wild are now just 1 point behind them for 3rd in the Central division.

Corey Crawford got the start for the Hawks who was pulled midway through the first for Scott Darling. Sergei Bobrovsky shut the door making some key saves to get the win. Michal Rozsival did not play in this one as it was time for David Rundblad to see some action. Dan Carcillo and Joakim Nordstrom were both out with upper body injuries. Read more »

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Hawks 4-game winning streak dumped in Dallas by a 4-0 score

By Brad Vandenberk

Chicago continued their road trip with a stop in Big D to face the Stars on Saturday night. The arena was packed with red jerseys as Hawks fans were heard to open the game with a “let’s go Hawks” chant. Those few would be disappointed as the Hawks would lay an egg losing 4-0 to a team that is 8 points out of the playoffs. The Stars took advantage of the Hawks careless defensive mistakes scoring on two giveaways. They also allowed two power play goals off the stick of Tyler Seguin and Shawn Horcoff.

Michal Rozsival was back in the lineup after sitting in New York on Wednesday. David Rundblad was the odd man out on defense. Andrew Desjardins and Dan Carcillo were also out of the lineup for this one. Corey Crawford battled against the Stars Kari Lehtonen who made 33 saves to record his 5th shutout of the season. Kimmo Timonen played his 1100 game playing for 13:15. Read more »

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Toews, Hossa and Sharp topple Islanders 4-1, Shaw headbutts his way out of game

By Brad Vandenberk

After a successful road trip with some proud poppas, it was time to head back home and play the first of a back to back with a few teams from New York. First up it’s the surprising Islanders, who have earned a playoff spot at this stage.

The Hawks make short work of the boys from Long island scoring 2 goals in the first period, both off the stick of Jonathan Toews. Marian Hossa added two more in the second to finish of the Isle 4-1. Next stop it’s a quick flight to MSG to face the Rangers on Wednesday night. There was one negative that came out of Tuesday night’s victory, however. Andrew Shaw was given a game misconduct for head butting that will probably be reviewed by the league.

Nick Leddy did make the trip to Chicago but did not dress to face his old mates as he is just coming back from injury. Read more »

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