Author Archives: Michael Calvert

Hawks drop 2-1 shootout loss in San Jose

By Michael Calvert

This matchup between two Western conference Cup hopefuls didn’t really provide much scoring opportunities, fireworks or even a  lot of chippyness, but it still was a fairly exciting game.

The Hawks had their usual top line of Patrick Sharp and Hossa centered by Toews.  Line two had Versteeg in place of Saad with Brandon Pirri in the middle, joined of course by Patrick Kane.  The 3rd line benefited from the addition of Saad.  Along for the ride was 3rd line stalwart Andrew Shaw and old man Zus at center.

In goal was current cup hero Corey Crawford vs former cup hero Antii Niemi.  Crawford and Niemi are both beneficiaries of solid teams in front of them as they both sport a sub .920 save percentage to go along with excellent win loss percentages. Read more »

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Back and forth 65 minutes results in Red Wings 5-4 shootout win

By Michael Calvert

Wednesday marked the first meeting of long time rivals, ex-rivals?  The Hawks and Wings hadn’t played one another since Game 7 on the Western Conference semi-finals in late May.

The Hawks came out looking to bury the Wings early but as is their way so often they gave up counter strikes very soon after scoring themselves.

Marian Hossa opened the scoring with his 21st goal of the season at 8:41 of the opening period.  Jonathan Toews and Johnny Oduya assisted on the Hossa strike.

Less than a minute after Andrew Shaw cleaned up a second-chance opportunity after a Patrick Kane shot rang off the crossbar to put the Hawks up 2-0 on an inferior opponent, Tomas Tatar scores the first goal for the Wings.  Read more »

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Sharp trick, Hawks tunnel through New Jersey

By Michael Calvert

Chicago came out with their backup goalie Antti Raanta and the Devils rolled out spot starter, future hall of famer Martin Brodeur.

I think it can be proven fact that the Hawks and Patrick Sharp are on fire.  The Hawks are 9-1-3 in their last 13 games boast the top star of the month for rookies and the last two top stars of the month player in Patrick Kane.  Patrick Sharp now leads the Hawks in goals with 25, that’s really saying something when the two time reigning player of the month is another goal scorer on your team.  Sharp now has two hat tricks in the last 4 games.

1st period:  The Hawks came out with the usual first line of forwards and the d line whose job it is to face the opposition’s top line, Oduya and Hjalmarsson. Read more »

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Checkmate: Hawks pin Kings in 1-0 battle; Raanta earns first NHL shutout

By Michael Calvert

In a game where both goalies were awarded a spot among the top 3 stars, the Hawks came out victorious with a 1-0 shutout Monday night at the United Center.

Antti Raanta earned his first NHL start, though Patrick Kane also saw his 14 game point streak come to an end in this hard fought victory over the LA Kings.

Martin Jones started for the Kings and he’s been excellent backing up Ben Scrivens (so well, he’s taken over the top temp slot from Scrivens) in Jonathan Quick’s injury-related absence. Read more »

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Leafs offense assaults Hawks in Toronto

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks brief and ridiculously hot streak ended Saturday night in Toronto.  And the Hawks took the loss in a ‘taste of your own medicine’ fashion.

The Maple Leafs scored fairly early and very often.  Each time the Hawks struck the Leafs had an extremely quick answer.

The Hawks had a similar looking lineup to begin the game.  On the second d pairing Michael Kostka goes with Hjalmarsson, and Oduya relegated to third line duties. Read more »

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Hawks clobber lousy Stars, 6-2

By Michael Calvert

Well it can be said the Blackhawks own the Stars in their barn.  If the Dallas players give a darn, they should all be embarrassed.

The Hawks rolled out with the usual on the 1st line on Tuesday night in Dallas, and then everything thereafter was scrambled around.  Old man Zus and Versteeg joined Kane on the second line.  Saad, Shaw and Morin made up a 3rd line that would make most 2nd lines blush.  Smith, Kruger and Bollig round out the dirty line.  Mike Kostka was back in the lineup for the Hawks and appears to have come back a better player – convenient. Read more »

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Hawks victimized by late come from behind effort, fall 4-3 to Wild in Minnesota

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks came into St Paul riding a one game losing streak after dropping one in heart breaking fashion to the Stars.

Aside from the first, the lines looked much different.  Kris Versteeg played center for the second line, and I thought played fairly well.  Recent call ups Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom played on the third line with d man Sheldon Brookbank; you know Harding was shaking in his skates looking at that line.  The Hawks kept the 4th line of Bollig, Krüger and Ben Smith intact. Read more »

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Raanta leads Hawks to victory in first NHL start

By Michael Calvert

In Wednesday night’s game against the rather lowly Calgary Flames, Coach Q decided to put Michal Handzus back into the 2nd center spot and move Brandon Pirri down to the 3rd. The move didn’t seem to work.  Aside from Pirri and Handzus switching the lines, the Hawks looked pretty similar to the norm.  One exception to that norm was that Antti Raanta made his first NHL start in net.  I’d say by the eye test Raanta looked pretty good. The Finnish goalie saved 20 of 22 Flames shots in leading the Blackhawks to their 18th win of the season. Read more »

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No Panic in the MTS Centre

Despite PK, Toews carries Blackhawks in another win at Winnipeg.

By Michael Calvert

Both starting goalies came out looking strong in this game, although Corey Crawford only saw two shots on net during the first 10 minutes of the 1st quarter.  Ondrej Pavelec had to face quite a bit more pressure but was up to the task, at least in the early going.

1st period:  The Hawks came out with a familiar looking lineup Ben Smith playing in replace of Bickell, or you could say Ben Smith playing significantly better in place of Bickell, either way works really.  Rozsival is D man #6 and Steeger is down on the 3rd where he belongs. Read more »

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Hawks hammered in Smashville

By Michael Calvert

Well, that was embarrassing.  Chicago went into Nashville Saturday night to face a flailing Predator team sporting a backup goalie.  One would think that a team with little to no offense and a backup with ‘Khabibulin bad’ numbers would be an easy win.

1st period:

The Wall, who shall be known from here forth as The Gate, lets in a pretty easy tap in from Matt Cullen off a pedestrian wrist shot rebound.  I’ll call him the gate because we all know they can’t really keep much out, figure out their weak spots and in you shall go.  Read more »

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