Toews, Hossa and Sharp topple Islanders 4-1, Shaw headbutts his way out of game

By Brad Vandenberk

After a successful road trip with some proud poppas, it was time to head back home and play the first of a back to back with a few teams from New York. First up it’s the surprising Islanders, who have earned a playoff spot at this stage.

The Hawks make short work of the boys from Long island scoring 2 goals in the first period, both off the stick of Jonathan Toews. Marian Hossa added two more in the second to finish of the Isle 4-1. Next stop it’s a quick flight to MSG to face the Rangers on Wednesday night. There was one negative that came out of Tuesday night’s victory, however. Andrew Shaw was given a game misconduct for head butting that will probably be reviewed by the league.

Nick Leddy did make the trip to Chicago but did not dress to face his old mates as he is just coming back from injury. Read more »

Fantasy Chatter: Week 23 – Head-to-Head League Playoff Primer & Sharp’s Drought Halted

IllinoisLotterCup_IceHogs2015Quest for The Cup – photo: @GoIceHogs

The Week Ahead: March 16 – March 22

4 Game slates: ARI, BOS, BUF, MON, STL, VAN
3 Game slates: ANA, CAL, CAR, CHI, CLB, DET, EDM, FLA, LA, MIN, NJ, NYR, OTT, PHI, PIT, SJ, TB, TOR, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates: COL, DAL, NASH, NYI
Back to Back games: ARI, BOS, BUF, CHI, COL, CLB, DET, MON, NJ, NYR, STL, VAN

By Lane Myer

Playoff Time!

Monday begins playoff time in a good percentage of head-to-head leagues. For some they will begin the following Monday. Regardless, it’s time to start focusing in on the schedule. Especially for those in deeper counting stat category leagues where one goal, assist, hit, blocked shot, penalty minute or faceoff win can mean the difference in winning a category and advancing to the second week.

It’s the difficult part of playing in head to head leagues. Should one load up on players who will be playing in 4 games this week? Or should you keep your roster status quo? A lot of that will depend on your league’s roster size and allowable adds per week because if you do advance past the first round you obviously have additional weeks where you’ll need your best players. Read more »

Blackhawks Floor It in the Third, Beat Sharks 6-2

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks broke open a tight contest in San Jose Saturday afternoon, scoring four goals in the final 20 minutes. Behind a pair of goals from Patrick Sharp, Chicago wound up 6-2 winners over the Sharks.

First Period-Ben Smith, now on the Sharks, collected a mishandled puck off the stick of Kimmo Timonen and fed Barclay Goodrow coming down the left side in the third minute. Corey Crawford gloved the attempt to snuff out a decent scoring chance. San Jose fired the game’s first ten shots in the early going and Crawford was a big reason that the Hawks weren’t in a hole after the barrage.

A Bryan Bickell holding penalty at 3:46 gave San Jose an early power play. Logan Couture appeared to convert early in the man advantage but Joe Pavelski was ruled to have made contact with Crawford in the blue paint and the goal was disallowed. Read more »

Shaw, Richards snap out of funks, Blackhawks one goal better than Coyotes in Vermette’s return to Arizona; Dahlbeck talks Hawks tenure

By Chris Block

Blackhawks set off for their annual father and son’s trip this week.

Glendale, Arizona was the first stop for the Hawks as they visited a majority Blackhawks fan partisan crowd of 17,534 at Gila River Arena.

Andrew Shaw and Brad Richards ended two long goal scoring droughts and Corey Crawford was stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced in a 2-1 win over the NHL’s 3rd-worst team by record.

The game also marked Antoine Vermette’s return to Arizona for the first time since being traded to Chicago on March 2nd. The Coyotes got the Blackhawks’ first-round draft choice this coming June, and defenseman Klas Dahlbeck back in return for Vermette’s services. So, it was Dahlbeck’s first chance to perform against the team that drafted him 79th overall in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft.

Dahlbeck is also on the Coyotes’ first penalty kill unit, a unit that had not surrendered a power play goal against in the four games since Dahlbeck joined their team. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Puzzling even for a Puzzler

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“The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns.” – George Santayana.

By Rich Lindbloom

Am I the only one who gets goose bumps when I read a quote like Santayana’s? It seemed to be a snapshot of the Blackhawk season this year. And to think many of you thought I possess no more knowledge than, “Hit Someone.” I’m not sure even most of the intelligentsia in the 100 section can digest that run-on-ish sentence! I guess if you’re a philosopher you can get away with that stuff.

For those of you who need help digesting such a heavy thought, allow me to interpret it for you; the good news is it’s rather apparent the Blackhawks have not peaked too early. In fact, were pretty tangled up in those nasty thorns.  Read more »

Rockford IceHogs Media Day Stuff; TVR debut now imminent, Broadhurst sets date, Keith Seabrook set to play, Power play numbers

By Chris Block

A few news items here coming out of Tuesday’s Rockford IceHogs weekly media day huddles.

Alex Broadhurst Targeting Return

Right now, Alex Broadhurst is aiming for March 21st or 22nd as his return from the broken left arm he suffered on Black Wednesday evening back in November. Broadhurst suffered the break to the bone just above his left elbow on a hit from Iowa Wild forward Curt Gogol.

Broadhurst, who turned 22 on March 7th, had a forgettable start to this 2014-15 season. He was healthy scratched 5 times in 20 games and when he did dress, Broadhurst skated a lot of fourth line minutes. In 15 games, the center has 0 goals and 2 assists.

While an injury like that is never welcome, there is some good that came out of it.

Broadhurst on Tuesday said that he’s now in the best physical condition of his life as he’s had nothing to do for the past two months but workout and train for his return. The time away could be good for him in another sense in that his auspicious beginning to the season can be long forgotten now. Read more »

Fantasy Chatter, Wk 22: Trade-a-mania Revisited, Crawford’s March of Dominance, Nose-Diving Hawks

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The Week Ahead: March 9 – March 15

4 Game slates: ANA, BOS, CAR, CLB, DAL, DET, NASH, NYI, NYR, OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TOR
3 Game slates: ARI, CAL, COL, EDM, FLA, LA, MIN, MON, NJ, SJ, TB, VAN, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates:
BUF, CHI
Back to Back games:
BOS, CAL, CAR, CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, MIN, NASH, NYI, NYR (x2), OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TOR

By Lane Myer

Trade Deadline Wrap

For your scanning/reading pleasure, the TTMI Action News Team was all over the trade deadline with five alarm late breaking hot Internet player updates from a fantasy hockey perspective. Some of those players had already donned the laundry of their respective new organizations which we covered at the above link last week, but a handful of those players acquired on Sunday and Monday were not covered as far as their roles with their new teams filtered out. So we’ll wrap that up right now. You can also consider using some of these players as potential waiver adds. Read more »

Rangers Shutout Blackhawks 1-0 in Overtime

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks squandered an inspired effort from goalie Corey Crawford Sunday night at the United Center. The New York Rangers got just one shot by the Hawks goalie but it was the only one of the contest. The overtime tally was enough to send the Madhouse faithful home disappointed as the Hawks lost 1-0.

First Period-New York outshot the Blackhawks 16-8 in the opening 20 minutes but neither team was able to get a puck past Crawford or Rangers goalie Cam Talbot.

Chicago was awarded a power play 3:12 into the game when Marc Staal hooked Brandon Saad. Patrick Sharp got a shot on goal late but the man advantage went unfulfilled.

Crawford stopped a Dan Boyle slap shot in the ninth minute and also denied the rebound by Staal. A couple of minutes later, he made another nice save of a James Sheppard attempt. Read more »

PuckChatter~Radio; e.142, Crusaders of the Lost Podcast, A Blackhawks Chat and a Special Flashback Steve Montador Interview

By Chris Block

It took six, long months but PuckChatter~Radio returned Thursday night for 90 minutes of Hawky Talk just the way you like it. Or, not.

Over the course of the initial 80 minutes, Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio joined me to breakdown the Blackhawks trade deadline action in the wake of Patrick Kane’s broken collarbone. We discussed how the Hawks stack up now against the West, the handling of Teuvo Teravainen as well as various comments those in the organization have made about Teuvo and evaluated Stan Bowman’s past year.

In the past two months, Stan Bowman has traded 2 prospects who were formerly ranked in the Top 20 of the Blackhawks 2015 Prospect Rankings. We discussed the rate of return those players help yield and the history of the Hawks and how they’ve managed their prospects.

Finally, we replay an April 2, 2013 interview I did with the late Steve Montador.

Click the play button below to listen here in your brower,

Or, Right-Click to Download the MP3 file here.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

*We had technical difficulties with the audio at two points during the live recording. This file was edited in post-production. I’ve uploaded the edited file to BlogTalkRadio as well, but some may have gotten the first version, which wasn’t too terrible (for our low standards) but we had a soundboard drop at the start of the show and Al and I both had our sound drop somewhere near the halfway mark. I cleaned those spots up afterwards.  The Montador interview was clipped about thirty seconds early in the original recording too, for some reason.  Intro and outro audio was added and edited in this second version.

**As mentioned on the show, we will return soon with a special podcast on a yet to be determined date and time.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com
Twitter.com/ChrisBlock

Toews powers Hawks past Hurricanes; New guys debut; Teuvo Up To Stay; Ben Smith’s day, TVR update, IceHogs lose more guys

By Chris Block

After a weekend dealing with wild rumors of off-ice turmoil and supposed discord, the Blackhawks took to the ice on Monday with a couple of new faces and minus another. A United Center crowd announced as 21,641 watched the ‘Hawks cruise to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The win pushed the Hawks to five points up on Winnipeg in the Central Division and eight on the Minnesota Wild. If the playoffs were to begin today, the Hawks would finish 3rd in the Central and face the Blues in the first round. Winnipeg would play Nashville and Minnesota would cross over into the Pacific Division bracket by way of finishing second in the Wild Card standings. Chicago is still four points back of St. Louis and the Blues have a game in hand on them.

Jonathan Toews notched his 20th and 21st goals of the season as the Hawks easily dissected the Hurricanes defense. Brandon Saad kept pace with the Captain, scoring his 20th midway through the second after a solid Patrick Sharp forecheck that created a Carolina turnover. Marcus Kruger (6th) and Marian Hossa (18th) would round out Chicago’s scoring. Corey Crawford made 27 saves in earning his 25th win on the campaign.

Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen made their Blackhawks’ debuts. Read more »