Category Archives: Brad Gardner

PuckChatter~Radio; e.132, Prospect Camp and Free Agency review

By Chris Block

On this edition of PuckChatter~Radio, I’m joined by Brad Gardner of HockeysFuture.com and frequent contributor to TheThirdManIn.com to review all the Blackhawks news of the past two weeks.

Brad also attended Blackhawks prospect camp this past week and shares his thoughts on the standouts; how some other top prospects looked as well as some surprise performers as well.

We also look at the new assistant coach in Rockford and one particular intriguing aspect of that hire as well as some of the new player contracts a busy Stan Bowman has been dishing out the past two weeks as well.

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Blackhawks tie Finals series 2-2 in wild 6-5 overtime win at Boston

By Brad Gardner

Entering the game trailing the Bruins 2-1 in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals series, the Chicago Blackhawks were desperate for a win on Wednesday night in Boston. The ‘Hawks offense woke up, but the Bruins would not let Game 4 go quietly.

The Bruins tied the game twice in the third period to force yet another overtime session. Brent Seabrook scored the decisive goal in overtime, his second overtime goal of the playoffs, to give the visiting team a 6-5 win. Read more »

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Kings bounce back, defeat Hawks 3-1 in Game 3 in L.A.

By Brad Gardner

The Los Angeles Kings held serve with a 3-1 win on home ice over the Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Goals from Justin Williams and Slava Voynov spotted the Kings a 2-0 lead, which was enough for Jonathan Quick and a tight-checking Kings defense to remain undefeated at home during the playoffs.

Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 27 shots and kept his team in the game the whole way. The penalty kill also played a big part in keeping the score close, finishing a perfect 5-for-5 against the Kings powerplay. Despite the loss, the Blackhawks maintain a 2-1 series advantage. Read more »

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Howard, Red Wings stand tall, Take 2-1 series lead; Game 3 clouded over questions on officiating

By Brad Gardner

The second round playoff series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, tied at one game apiece, shifted to Joe Louis Arena for Game 3 on Monday night. Even though the Blackhawks offense opened up to the tune of 40 shots, doubling their total from Game 2, Jimmy Howard stood tall in net for the Red Wings and carried his team to a 3-1 victory.

Quick strikes from bottom-six forwards Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller in the second period put the Blackhawks in a hole from which they would not get out. Patrick Kane scored for the second consecutive game, but Howard came up with the save on the rest of Chicago’s 39 shots, including saves on 16 of the 17 shots he faced against the Hawks late push in the third period.

Viktor Stalberg suited up for the Blackhawks after being a healthy scratch for the first two games of the series. It looked like his night might end early when on his first shift the game, Jakub Kindl ducked a check, sending Stalberg head first into the boards. He was slow to get up but eventually skated off under his own power. After a few minutes in the locker room, Stalberg returned to the bench. Read more »

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Detroit draws even: Disjointed Blackhawks effort leads to 4-1 Red Wings victory in Game 2

By Brad Gardner

Three days after the Chicago Blackhawks took a 4-1 victory in Game 1 of their second round playoff series against rival Detroit, the Red Wings responded in kind with a 4-1 win of their own to even the series. Henrik Zetterberg assisted on two goals for Detroit as the visitors handed the ‘Hawks their first home loss of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Red Wings’ tight-checking game didn’t give the Blackhawks nearly as much room to operate as they had in the latter stages of the first game. The puck possession time favored Detroit, and even when the Hawks were able to get a shot on goal, they did not challenge Jimmy Howard too much. The Red Wings goalie made 19 saves on only 20 shots, the lowest total for the Blackhawks in the playoffs.

Corey Crawford made 26 saves on 30 shots and did not look as sharp as the Blackhawks had come to expect of him in the playoffs. Read more »

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Blackhawks Out-Everythinged in Vancouver

By Brad Gardner

The Chicago Blackhawks were throttled early in Vancouver and the Canucks did not let their foot of the gas pedal, taking a 3-1 victory over the top team in the Western Conference. Daniel Sedin assisted on the eventual game-winner and scored a goal of his own late in the second period.

Cory Schneider got the win for the Canucks by stopping 24 of the 25 shots he faced. Corey Crawford faced a far greater number of quality chances and came away with 29 saves in the loss.

Although the Blackhawks came into Monday’s games with a chance to clinch the President’s Trophy, the Pittsburgh Penguins came away with a 3-1 victory in Ottawa, keeping the President’s Trophy out of the Blackhawks’ reach on Monday. With three games left to play for each team, Chicago still holds a three-point lead over Pittsburgh for the league’s best record. Read more »

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Blackhawks, Wings tie; Saad clinches extra point in the shootout

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks completed the season sweep of the Detroit Red Wings in a 3-2 shootout win at the United Center on Friday night. Jonathan Toews tied the game with around three minutes left in regulation and Brandon Saad scored the decisive goal in the shootout.

The Blackhawks clinched the Central Division title in what will be the last regular season meeting between the two teams while they are division rivals. The longest rivalry in hockey will be relegated to inter-conference play next season when the Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference.

Corey Crawford got the start for the first time in eight days, matching up against Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, fresh off signing a six-year extension with the Wings. Both goalies turned in strong performances, with Crawford making 27 saves and Howard 26. Of the ten total attempts in the shootout, the goalies allowed only three conversions. Read more »

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Blackhawks clinch playoff berth with win over Preds

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks completed the weekend sweep of the Predators with a 5-3 victory on Sunday night at the United Center, becoming the first team in the league to clinch a playoff berth.

A pair of goals inside of one minute during the third period was the difference for Chicago, which beat Nashville for fourth time this season. The Blackhawks moved to 9-0-0 in the second game of back-to-backs during this condensed season.

Ray Emery earned a second consecutive start after shutting out the Predators on 20 shots in Nashville on Saturday. He stopped 19 of 22 shots in this one, coming up with key saves during the second and third periods while the game was still up for grabs. Read more »

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Hawks can’t close the deal; Blues win in shootout

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks hosted the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on Thursday night for the first meeting between the two teams since the end of February. Thursday’s tilt marked the first of three games scheduled between the Central Division rivals this month.

Another lead was given away in the third period by Chicago, but they managed to come away with a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Blues, who registered their first victory over the Hawks this season. The back-and-forth battle saw the Blackhawks out-shoot the Blues 36 to 22 in the game, while the Blues out-hit the home team 43 to 21.

Adam Cracknell opened scoring in the first period with his first career NHL goal. Duncan Keith lost an edge in the offensive zone and Chris Porter’s outlet pass sprung Cracknell on a 1-on-1 break. Brent Seabrook moved over to pick up the man, but appeared to get a piece of Cracknell’s shot that caused it to deflect past Corey Crawford. Read more »

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Late goal gives Anaheim season sweep of ‘Hawks

By Brad Gardner

The Anaheim Ducks completed the season sweep of the Blackhawks on Friday at the United Center with a 2-1 regulation win. Ray Emery suffered his first loss of the season because a Sheldon Souray shot deflected off a Blackhawks defenseman in front of the net for the game-winning goal.

Chicago managed just one of a possible six points against the Western Conference rival Ducks on the season. The Blackhawks still hold a three point lead in the standings with one game in hand over Anaheim, who entered the United Center on Friday in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

The Western Conference’s two best teams played another tight game with little difference when it came to the shots, hits, and blocked shots. Both teams managed nine shots in the opening period but neither was able to solve the opposing goaltender in the first. Read more »

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