Author Archives: Brad Vandenberk

Toews’ OT penalty costly; Avalanche prevail 3-2, hand Hawks a 5th January loss

By Brad Vandenberk

After a victory on Sunday night at the UC over the woeful Oilers, the Blackhawks are slowly trying to climb out of this mini slump that they have on the go.  The road ahead did not get any easier when the Colorado Avalanche invade the United Center on Tuesday evening.  Then, on Friday it’s the NHL best team the Anaheim Ducks.  And finally, an afternoon Stanley Cup rematch is on tap on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. when the pesky Boston Bruins come to town.  The Avalanche would be a great test for the reigning Cup champs to test their ability as a team and try to start racking up some wins.  Read more »

Share

Crawford not sharp early, Hagelin 3rd period goal lifts Rangers to 3-2 win at the UC

By Brad Vandenberk

NBC Wednesday rivalry came to town on Wednesday night for the New York Rangers lone visit to the United Center this season.  After coming off a shootout loss on Sunday against the Sharks, the Blackhawks were looking to continue their eastern conference domination.   New York also lost their last game in a shootout as well.  The excitement was high for this one as the Hawks tied the league for most Olympic athletes sending 10 players to Sochi.  Only the Blues and Red Wings are the only other teams that share this honor.  The Hawks haven’t necessarily rung in the New Year in style.  They are 1-0-2 in 2014.  With an Olympic break looming in less than 4 weeks, most players are looking to rest and enjoy the time off.  Read more »

Share

Hawks top Preds 3-1, avenge brutal November loss in Music City

By Brad Vandenberk

Remember November 16, 2013?  That was the last time the Hawks entered Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.  The game ended looking more like a murder scene than a hockey game.  The Predators taught the Hawks a lesson, defeating them 7-2.  After that game, the Hawks went on to win their next seven out of eight, which included their circus road trip. If we look back to Saturday night when the Hawks were blown out on the road 7-3, we start to see a trend here. The Hawks then came home on Sunday to play a complete effort beating up on the LA Kings 3-1.  Now it’s back to the scene of the crime to show why Chicago are the defending Cup champs.  Read more »

Share

Hawks rebound from Saturday’s loss in TO, halt Kings’ winning ways with 3-1 victory at the UC

By Brad Vandenberk

After a complete debacle in Toronto on Saturday night, and the Blackhawks not getting home on Sunday until 3am, the Hawks were back in action Sunday at 6pm taking on the Los Angeles Kings.  The Kings are coming off an afternoon game in Ottawa on Saturday.  Both teams were playing on a back to back but the Kings have gone 18 straight games without allowing a first period goal.  The Hawks, on the other hand, are still trying to pick up the pieces from being embarrassed 7-3 at the ACC.  On the good news front, Bryan Bickell sounds like he will make the trip to Nashville on Tuesday with his return in question.   The Hawks also bolstered their goaltending situation, acquiring Jason Labarbera on Saturday afternoon for a player to be named later. Read more »

Share

Hawks special teams near perfect in Dylan Olsen and Jimmy Hayes’ return to United Center; Hawks beat Panthers 6-2

Corey Crawford leaves game in 1st period with “lower body” injury

By Brad Vandenberk

After losing a close affair against the Ducks on Friday, it was time for the Hawks to play their final eastern conference match against the Florida Panthers at the UC.  This would be the first visit for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen since being traded down south.  This was also Kris Versteeg’s first game against his old team playing for his old team.  Fatigue seems to be creeping its ugly head into the dressing room of the Hawks.  They are currently suffering from a 3-game losing streak.  Though, they have battled in all 3 games to try and stay atop the western conference.  There was some good news coming into this game.  Bryan Bickell has begun skating again and is close to a return.  Andrew Shaw did play in this game after missing the last 2 with an upper body injury.  Michael Kostka was back on the Hawks roster after being activated off the IR.  Finally Nikolai Khabibulin is working his tail off in the gym, but is still some time away from returning. Read more »

Share

Hawks fire 50 shots on Lehtonen, yet lose 4-3 to Stars

By Brad Vandenberk

Remember the phrase “Home sweet home”?  Well the Blackhawks have finally returned back to the United Center with faint smells of horse dung still lingering in the air.  The circus has travelled to its next destination and the Indian head shines bright at center ice once again.   The opponent on Tuesday was the same Dallas Stars that the Hawks played in Big D five days prior.  That game went to a shootout with Ben Smith grabbing the victory as the 11th shooter, ripping one over Kari Lehtonen’s glove.  The league leading Hawks completed their best circus trip going 6-1 and winning 6 straight after losing to Colorado to begin the trip.  I smell another streak on the horizon, better scent than horse droppings.  All four lines are clicking for Coach Q making it easier to have any given line out against any of the oppositions attack.  Duncan Keith is making a strong case for a Norris nod being named 3rd star of the week with 6 assists.   The Stars will be without one key element heading into Chicago.  Tyler Seguin is suffering from concussion like symptoms and was sidelined for this event. Read more »

Share

Hawks complete Circus trip with 5-2 win in Phoenix

By Brad Vandenberk

The Blackhawks finally completed their annual Circus road trip on Saturday night.  To this point, the road warriors had gone 5-1 on this trip.  The final stop was in Phoenix where the pesky Coyotes are known to give the Hawks some issues.  It wasn’t long ago that these same Yotes beat the Hawks out of the first round of the playoffs.  This time entering Jobing.com Arena, it was time to head back home packing another road victory.  The Hawks skated into this one in first place with a 3 point lead in the western conference separating them and second place.  The more points the merrier when you are on the road.

Hawks rookie goaltender Antti Raanta got the start, while Canadian Olympic hopeful Mike Smith was in the blue paint for the Coyotes.  Michael Rozsival worked his way back on the point with Sheldon Brookbank taking a seat.  Michael Kostka and Bryan Bickell were the other scratches. Read more »

Share

Hawks quick to chase Dubnyk, win 5-1 in Edmonton

By Brad Vandenberk

After beating the Canucks with two goals over just 9 seconds on Saturday night, the Blackhawks were off to Edmonton to continue the western Canadian leg of their circus road trip.  The local Edmonton papers all had the Oilers with the slight edge heading into this contest.  It seems that the capital of Alberta must be missing something here.  The Hawks just edged the Oilers at the UC just weeks ago.  Michal Handzus was welcomed back to the lineup after coming off the IR.  Marian Hossa was still missing in action due to a family reason back in Chicago.  He is rumoured to be joining the Hawks when they cruise down highway 2 to Calgary on Tuesday.  Read more »

Share

Patrick Roy’s intensity overwhelms Blackhawks

Hawks can’t keep pace; lose 5-1 in Colorado to open Circus trip.

By Brad Vandenberk

It was time to kick off the Blackhawks annual circus road trip on Tuesday.  This happens every year around the same time in November when the lions, tigers and bears, OH MY, invade the United Center for two weeks.  As we have witnessed in the past, this trip provides an accurate measuring stick as to how well the Hawks play on the road.  Read more »

Share

Hawks bounce back, trounce Sharks 5-1

By Brad Vandenberk

After an absolute debacle in Nashville on Saturday night, it was time for Kris Versteeg to get his long awaited ovation at the United Center on Sunday evening.  The visiting, San Jose Sharks, were coming off a five game road trip that saw them go 3-0-1 thus far.  Nikolai Khabibulin was put on the IR this morning which meant that Antti Raanta was recalled from Rockford to sit behind Crawford who got his 19th start of the year.   After Khabby left with an injury on Saturday night, Crawford was called upon to not only finish that game, but start against the Sharks who are battling the Hawks for tops in the Western Conference. Read more »

Share