Author Archives: Michael Calvert

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 »

Share

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 »

Share

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 »

Share

Some old faces, One drunk dude and a Jet thumping

By Michael Calvert

Winnipeg is not very good.  This game was a bit of a yawner.  It sort of had me on the back of my seat.

I remember, back in the day, when ESPN actually paid attention to the NHL and used to call the Jets ‘Losipeg.’ I always loved that one.  I still call them that.  Times have changed but Winnipeg still has a bad NHL team.  I bet something like out of Mystery, Alaska could actually happen to Winnipeg.  A group of beer guzzling social league hockey guys from Winnipeg could probably beat the Jets.

At any rate, the Hawks won Wednesday’s game pretty easy, unfortunately little more than halfway through the third the not so hot-handed Devin Setoguchi broke Crawford’s shutout.  Besides some drunk dude sporting Adam Pardy’s helmet after Bollig put his head through the glass, the guchi goal was the only real excitement in the second half of the game. Read more »

Share

Saad Story; Hawks dominate Wild in St. Paul

By Michael Calvert

Sometimes two games are just that, two games, and not some dramatic up or downward trend.

The Hawks and Wild were pretty evenly matched throughout most of the 1st on Monday night in St. Paul, but as the game got closer to final horn it got further in hand for the Hawks.  To say this game was a total blowout would be doing a disservice for Corey Crawford, who was phenomenal AGAIN.

Crawford stopped 30 of 31 shots for a lofty .967 save percentage.  The Hawks were actually outshot in this game, but when the scoring opportunities occurred, the superior talented Hawks closed on them.  Crawford was simply better than his Wild counterpart, Niklas Backstrom.  Read more »

Share

Blackhawks fall one bad goal short in Tampa

By Michael Calvert

The Bulin wall seemed to be missing at least a few bricks in his homecoming, of sorts, to Tampa on Thursday night.

Nikolai Khabibulin was the #1 goalie for the Lightning in 2003-04 when they won their first and only Stanley Cup.  This prompted the Hawks to sign him to a pretty large deal coming out of the 2004-05 lockout, one he arguably did not live up to.  For this season the Hawks have brought him back on the cheap.

1st period:  This game started out slowly enough.  Matt Carle opened the scoring with a power play goal 6:28 into the game. Michal Rozsival was in the box for hooking Valtteri Filppula. Read more »

Share

Hawks bring Leafs back to earth in Bolland’s return

By Michael Calvert

Saturday night’s game is a feather in the hat of the NHL due to conference realignment.  All teams now play each other at least twice, so fans get to see some of the biggest teams in the league once a year in their barn.  This game featured two of the biggest teams in the League, one by name, the other by name and talent.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL’s only billion dollar franchise, were in the UC on Saturday.  My initial inclination is to compare them to the Yankees, but as much as I don’t care for the Yankees, that comparison is not fair to them.  The Yanks win consistently.  I think the Leafs are more like the Dallas Cowboys; it’s a big deal whether they are winning or losing, and mostly are losing. Read more »

Share

Hawks hang on to beat winless Sabres, 2-1

By Michael Calvert

Last night’s game started out almost laughably one-sided in the Hawks favor.  Buffalo was unable to generate any type of consistency in any facet of the game.  Fortunately, for the Sabres, Ryan Miller was spectacular.  Fortunately, for the Hawks, so too was Corey Crawford.

1st period:  The Blackhawks started the game with Brandon Saad on Jonathan Toews wing, along with Patrick Kane.  This line, up until jumbled again, was dominant on most every shift they were on the ice for.  One more interesting line change was Marcus Kruger playing second line center.  Kruger looked good in the second line center position, ending the night winning 45% of his faceoffs taken.  Read more »

Share

Hawks manage to lose a game they dominated

By Michael Calvert

The Blackhawks lost tonight to Martin St Louis, Steven Stamkos and some other guys.  This was a frustrating loss as the Hawks pretty much dominated this game, including the scoreboard until fairly late in the third.   Here’s how it happened… Read more »

Share

Exhibition recap: Hawks fall short to Sid, Pens 4-3 in the shootout at United Center

By Michael Calvert

In a game that would be a premiere regular season matchup, the Hawks took on the Pens at home in preseason game #2.  Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Evgeni Malkin did not suit up for this game, so it lacked a lot of the star power this matchup normally would present.  Toews was out again with injury and is expected to be back for preseason game #3 against Washington on Friday.

1st period:  The Hawks opened the scoring with a very nice Leblanc takeaway and feed to Patrick Sharp.  Sharp put a beautiful wrister past Voukun.at 5:19 in the first.  Roughly four minutes later the Pens evened the score 1-1 on a Derrick Pouliot shot that 5 holed Khabby and could possibly be described as soft.  Six minutes later the Pens strike again on a Joe Vitale putback at 16:53.  The Vitale goal ended the scoring for the first period. Read more »

Share