Blackhawks advance to Western finals, bounce Minnesota in overtime in Game 6

By Michael Calvert

The good news is – usually when you start with the good news, it’s followed by some bad news – Well, I don’t have any of that.  The good news is the Hawks ‘to be determined’ challenger for the Western Conference Finals is going to be playing at least one more, likely, very physical game.

The better news is the Hawks this season are a combined 5-0-1 against Anaheim and L.A.  I personally don’t think either team is going to do anything close to rolling over and dying for the Hawks, but I like that stat just the same.

Corey Crawford has become a star and will, in my opinion, be the top goalie in the upcoming series, which is saying a lot with Jonathan Quick and the young phenom that is John Gibson.  Read more »

Stars shine in Game 5, Hawks take series lead in 2-1 victory over the Wild

By Brad Vandenberk

Leaving Minnesota with the series tied at 2 was not part of plan A in this second round match up. The Wild showed their talent using their speed and forecheck to trouble the Hawks and 2 loses were the result. They took it to the Hawks out shooting them in two games holding the Hawks to less than 20 shots per game.

Matt Cooke returned for game 4 and gave the Hawks a lot of problems as he was involved on 2 of the Wilds 4 goals. The Hawks depth is being challenged and the employees needed to come to work Sunday night in Chicago.

Don’t get me wrong, the stars or core of this team also needs to pull up their sleeves and not allow the Wild to possess the puck. Brandon Bollig was reprimanded for his hit on Keith Ballard, being suspended for 2 games. Keith Ballard and Matt Moulson did not travel with the team to the windy city. Andrew Shaw did not dress for his 4th straight game and has yet to begin skating. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: What, Me Worry?

Lindbloom_WhatMeWorry“It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Amateur – “Mr Hogan, how do you back the ball up on the green?
Ben Hogan – “Well, how far do you hit an 8-iron?”
Amateur – “Oh, about a 125 yds.”
Ben Hogan – “Why in the hell would you want to back the ball up?”

By Rich Lindbloom

The Hawks current predicament reminds me of Alfred E. Neuman’s seemingly inextricable mess in the above cartoon. In the early 80’s, a innovation called square grooves somewhat revolutionized the game of golf. They replaced the traditional V-shaped grooves and supposedly were able to make you back the ball up on the green like a Yo-Yo.  Read more »

Series Even as Hawks fall to Minny 4-2 in Game 4

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks were unable to hand Minnesota its first home loss of the postseason Friday night. The Wild evened up the Western Conference second-round series with the Blackhawks, stifling Chicago shooters and taking Game 4 by a score of 4-2.

First Period-Both teams set a fast pace to start the contest, though most of the early action was in the Wild zone. Duncan Keith caught Minnesota napping on a line change an carried the puck toward Ilya Bryzgalov in the fifth minute until Mikko Koivu hustled over to prevent a point-blank shot on goal.

The Wild drew first blood in the eighth minute after Matt Cooke swiped the puck from Michal Rozsival. Justin Fontaine waited out Corey Crawford from the right circle and beat the Hawks goalie high to give Minnesota a 1-0 advantage 7:24 into the opening period. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Game 3 and Mad Hatters

Lindbloom_MonaLisa_SheMustaHadTheHighwayBluesShots like that make me smile!

By Rich Lindbloom

Kevin Weekes on the NHL Network put it best. Patrick Kane’s electrifying, game winning tally in Game One of the Semi Finals was hockey’s equivalent of the Mona Lisa. He said you can go to the Louvre in Paris if you want, or save the money and watch a replay of Kaner’s goal instead. For those of us who witnessed Kaner’s surgical strike, are reactions were a bit more animated than Mona Lisa’a Delphic smile. Read more »

Bickell big again in Game 2 victory over Wild

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead Sunday at the United Center, getting three-point performances from Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa to down the Minnesota Wild 4-1. The Blackhawks never trailed in Game 2, getting goals from Bickell and Jonathan Toews along with a pair of goals from Brandon Saad.

First Period-After winning the faceoff, the Hawks got an early shot on goal when Niklas Hjalmarsson fired a slap shot that was caught be Ilya Bryzgalov. Corey Crawford gloved a puck that came up high off of Zach Parise’s skate early in the second minute.

Clayton Stoner was goaded into a cross-checking penalty by Saad at 3:29 of the period to set up a Chicago power play. Brent Seabrook sent an attempt toward net that Bickell got a stick on However, the puck rang off the crossbar and the Wild killed the penalty without surrendering a shot. Read more »

Kane 3rd period Showtime deflates Wild push, Blackhawks take series opener 5-2

By Brad Vandenberk

Just as the bikini girl puts down the “round 2” sign, you can’t help but ponder, is this the same Minnesota Wild team the Hawks faced last year in the first round? The answer is simple. No. This Wild team comes slightly different with some glaring similarities.

Remember during the warm ups in game one last season when Niklas Backstrom took a puck off the knee and was helped off the ice deeming him finished for the series? In came Josh Harding, who played real well before hurting himself as well, and then came in Darcy Kemper to finish the series off in a losing cause as Minnesota were eliminated 4-1. Well not a lot has changed with the Wild’s goaltending carousel.

Minnesota’s hope this series seems to rest on Ilya Bryzgalov’s universe. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: A Cure for the Blues

Lindbloom_2014May01_KottkeThe Armadillo Album-
A cure for the blues

“While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates it.” – Samuel Johnson

By Rich Lindbloom

While watching the Blues vs Hawks in Game Five on Friday, a friend came up to me and asked, “You really hate the Blues, don’t you?” I smiled and said, “There is no team in the NHL I like watching the Hawks trounce more. The Blues and their fans are a bunch of slithering, fire breathing heathens.” When the Hawks emerge victorious in these contests it’s my, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” moment. At that point, the world just flat out begins to make sense.

Oddly though, my antipathy for the Blue Notes and their followers abated with a few minutes to go in Sunday’s Game Six clincher. Read more »

Blackhawks send Blues packing, clinch series in 5-1 Game 6 victory at United Center

AndrewShaw_Art_BagelHoleStudio_InstagramAndrew Shaw tallied 1 goal, 1 assist in 5-1 win over Blues on Sunday
Art credit: BagelHoleStudio on Instagram – Shop Bagel Hole Studio


By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks put on a clinic in the third period of Game 6, much to the dismay of the St. Louis Blues. The Hawks ripped the hearts out of the Blues with a furious final 20 minutes, sending the Blues home to clean out their lockers with a 5-1 victory.

Chicago wins this Western Conference first-round series 4-2 and completed a sweep of St. Louis after falling two games behind the Blues. Duncan Keith helped pace the Hawks with a four-point afternoon as five different Blackhawks posted goals in the deciding game. Read more »

Right place, Right time; Toews pushes Blues to the brink of elimination

By Michael Calvert

Just like its predecessors, game 5 was a tightly played, very close game. And like three of the previous games, Friday night’s contest also took extra time to decide.

The Blackhawks Put Saad up on the line with Kane and Toews and in place of Brent Seabrook on his 2nd game of suspension was Sheldon Brookbank, who again was good enough.

Deja vu for the Blues who lost last year’s first round series to the Kings after taking a 2-0 lead in the series following eerie similarities with this series. The Kings beat the Kings 4-3 in game four and 3-2 in ot in game 5, going on to win the series in LA in game 6. It’s starting to feel that way again, only in Chicago. Read more »