May 022015
 

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just 15 minutes of the first period in Game 1, Friday night at United Center.  Brandon Saad notched his third goal of postseason on an incredible power move and shot that he ripped by Devan Dubnyk at the 1:15 mark.  Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger scored 124 seconds apart later in the period to give the Hawks command of the game.  Kane’s tally, also his 3rd of the playoffs, was set up by a great move (or, the $2M toe-drag, you could call it.) by Brad Richards entering the Wild zone.

But the Wild chipped away at the Hawks lead in the second period, and by the mid-way point of the second stanza, the game was tied 3-3.  Minnesota’s marksmen Jason Zucker, Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund all scored to even the score at 1:21, 5:07 and 9:30 of the second respectively.

Neither starter, Dubnyk nor Corey Crawford were pulled from the game.  Crawford stopped 30 of 33 shots.  Dubnyk allowed 4 goals against 35 Blackhawks’ shots on net.

Chicago’s 4th and deciding goal came off the stick of Teuvo Teravainen with 59 seconds to go in the second period.  The line of Antoine Vermette, Patrick Sharp and Teravainen were doing their work down in the Wild zone when Teravainen fired a puck toward the net from the half wall.  Dubnyk might have been partially screened for a moment but he just whiffed at it with his glove and the puck sailed by him and into the net at 19:01 of the second.

The score remained that way throughout the 3rd period, though Minnesota’s Dubnyk had to come up with 15 saves in the final period to keep his team in the game.

Crawford’s win gives him a 2-1 record now in this postseason.  Crawford is now 9-3 lifetime in postseason play versus Minnesota.

The Hawks are now 11-7 in Game 1’s under Joel Quenneville. They’ve gone on to win 9 of those 10 prior series in which they’ve won Game 1 under their current coach.

Game 2 is Sunday night at 7:30pm central on CBC and Sportsnet 360 in Canada and on NBCSports Network in the States.

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Apr 262015
 

By Michael Calvert

The Blackhawks closed out Nashville in another dramatic, come-from-behind whirlwind night at United Center on Saturday.

Duncan Keith scored with 3:48 to play in regulation to complete the Hawks’ Game 6 comeback. Keith’s tally was his second of the series and gave the home team a 4-3 lead that would stand as the final score.

A wild opening 11 minutes of the game saw the Predators gain 2-0 and 3-1 leads on the backs of two James Neal goals, and another from Matt Cullen that got Scott Darling pulled from the net in favor of Corey Crawford.

Darling was the Game 6 starter as he’s managed to keep the net since Game 3 and the Hawks went in with what has become a pretty consistent line arrangement.

The Blackhawks tightened up in front of Crawford as he needed to make just 13 saves in 49 minutes the rest of the way. That opposed to Darling, who saw 12 shots in 11:16 of play. Continue reading »

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Apr 232015
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks had a chance to close out their Western Conference quarterfinal in Nashville Thursday night. Thanks to a hat trick by Filip Forsberg and a trio of Predator goals early in the third period, that didn’t happen.

Nashville broke open a tight affair and cruised to a 5-2 victory over Chicago. The Hawks still own a 3-2 series advantage but the Preds showed they have the resolve to extend the series to at least six games.

First Period-Patrick Sharp was the recipient of an ill-advised hit by Ryan Ellis, who was sent to the box for tripping 3:06 into the game. The Hawks had a few chances early in the power play, but Nashville wound up with possession for most of the second minute of the penalty. Continue reading »

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Apr 192015
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came back to the United Center Sunday afternoon and took a 2-1 series lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal with the Nashville Predators. Three second period tallies and a stronger defensive effort paved the way for a 4-2 Blackhawks triumph.

First Period-Nashville went to the power play in the opening minute when Kimmo Timonen held the stick of Taylor Beck. Marian Hossa led a shorthanded charge that was stopped by Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. The Blackhawks killed the penalty fairly easily.

Nashville’s first shot came off the stick of Beck in the fifth minute but the attempt was covered by Hawks goalie Scott Darling. The action was back and forth and the pace was brisk to say the least. Continue reading »

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Apr 172015
 

By Michael Calvert

I hadn’t intended to write an anti- Crow story as I consider myself a Crawford fan, but there’s not enough time for him to “figure it out.”

Whatever IT is, Crow doesn’t have it now. He’s been so bad in fact that if given the Preds were to be held to only 10 shots in a game the Hawks would need to score 3 to win. Continue reading »

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Apr 162015
 

By Chris Block

Opening night of the 2015 playoffs in Nashville had everything you might ask for an NHL postseason game: Double overtime, the return of a mega star, huge momentum shifts, trading scoring chances in end-to-end sequences, a dramatic game-winning goal, a blown 3-0 lead, a goalie yanking, an incredible goaltending performance, bad ice, dramatic scoring chances as a result of bad ice, bad penalty calls, bad non-penalty calls, heroes, goats and finally – one now huge goaltending controversy.

And that was just Game One.

The return of Patrick Kane just seven weeks after surgery to repair a broken left collarbone suffered on February 24 against the Florida Panthers was the big story coming into Wednesday’s playoff opener. Kane wasn’t in top form, but 75 percent or so was enough to make a big difference.

But the story coming out of the Hawks come-from-behind 4-3, double overtime victory in Game 1 is who will be the starter in Game 2.

Corey Crawford was victimized for 3 first period goals. The middle of those three was result of a Crawford turnover behind his net, but that was in part due to some bad luck in that the momentum of the puck as it approached the trapezoid slowed down as Crawford waited to play it. Continue reading »

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Apr 112015
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks had a game to play in Colorado Saturday night. The Hawks playoff position was locked in earlier that afternoon when St. Louis beat Minnesota. Knowing that they would travel to Nashville to start the postseason, there was little reason for Chicago to put a lot of effort into beating the Avalanche.

The Blackhawks drew even late in the game only to surrender a late power play goal to lose their regular season finale 3-2. Since the Hawks were just running out the clock, I figured I’d let the 11-year-old handle the recap tonight. See you in a few paragraphs for some thoughts.

First Period-Some of the players took the ice, except Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith. Cody McLeod scored midway through the opening period. The Blackhawks and Avs went up and down the ice, trading scoring chance before and after this happened. Everyone played nice and there were no penalties. Continue reading »

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Apr 072015
 

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. Continue reading »

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Apr 052015
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks scored first in a big game at the United Center against the St. Louis Blues Sunday night. However, they weren’t able to survive a pair of St. Louis goals in the second period and Jake Allen and the Blues defense came away with the win. The Blackhawks wound up on the short end of a 2-1 decision.

The Blues move to the top of the Central Division with the victory. Chicago sits in third behind St. Louis and Nashville.

First Period-Crawford had to make a couple of stops early in the third minute on consecutive shots by Jori Lehtera and Olli Jokinen. In the fifth minute, Crawford denied T.J. Oshie. Jake Allen, in goal for St. Louis, had Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell coming at him shortly after. Allen sent away Bickell’s shot attempt at the right post.

Crawford sent a clearing attempt over the glass ten minutes in to hand the Blues a power play for delay of game. St. Louis peppered the goal in the resulting two minutes but the Hawks net-minder kept the Blues from converting on his miscue. Continue reading »

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Apr 032015
 

By Michael Calvert

In a game where the Hawks could really use the win and the Sabres really could use a loss, this game wound up developing into a nail biter, go figure.

1st period: The Hawks jumped all over the Sabres to begin the game, as anticipated. Keith netted the first goal only 2:16 into the game on a slapper glove side with Bickell providing the screen.

The Hawks maintained pressure for the next few minutes and at around the 4:00 mark really started pouring it on. The Sabres managed to weather that storm keeping the score at 1-0.

At 8:36 in the first, Sharp put a beauty of a move on the Sabres hapless d man and beat Lindback with a nice wrister, at this point it’s 2-0 and looks as though the rout is on. Continue reading »

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