By Rich Lindbloom
I think it’s the eyes, but that picture of Sean O’Donnell bears a striking resemblance to our goofy Newfie, George. George is in the doghouse at the moment for helping himself to a good portion of my son’s 11 pound bag of Halloween candy. Needless to say, he wasn’t feeling all that hot this morning. When I came home at lunch, well, let’s just leave it at – I had to wash the kitchen floor-twice. To make matters worse, he’s been on a strict diet since we adopted him in August. George apparently had enough of The Biggest Loser program we had him on. I’m thinking about putting a padlock on the fridge and stressing to him that potpourri is not edible.
We obtained George this past summer from a family in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin. The owner was heartbroken to have to give him up, and was determined to find a good family for the behemoth. It turned out that the owner was not only a Blackhawk fan, but had actually coached Joe Pavelski of the Sharks in a youth league. Needless to say, our visit to see if our family would be a good fit with George, turned into about a 3 hour stay. We’ve had three Akita’s so I thought we were quite familiar with big dogs. We quickly discovered George is in a weight class all his own. George, by far, is the strongest beast I’ve ever walked. He also has the loudest bark I’ve ever heard and doesn’t he love to hear himself. When I saw that picture of O’Donnell the other day, it made stop and reflect for a moment on the acquisitions the Hawks made during the offseason, players who added some brute strength to watch over our skill players. If I were Corey Corey Crawford, I’d probably keep some dog biscuits handy. It’s nice to have some big dogs hanging around the porch! Read more
Posted in Rich Lindbloom
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Bryan Bickell, Corey Crawford, Cristobal Huet, David Backes, George, Joe Pavelski, John Scott, Jonathan Toews, Kevin Westgarth, Master of Disguise, Ray Emery, Sean O'Donnell, Steven's Point, Talking Heads, Teemu Selanne, Trent Hunter, Viktor Stalberg, WGN
By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks brought their six-game road trip to a close Saturday night with their second victory in a row. The Blackhawks swept the back-to-back, following up Friday’s come from behind victory in Anaheim with a 2-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Hawks opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Duncan Keith fired a shot on goal from the left point. Marcus Kruger got a piece of the puck, and the deflection struck the side of the net and rolled toward the end boards. As Dave Bolland swung from the crossbar, Andrew Brunette calmly collected the puck and executed a nice wraparound on goalie Jonathan Quick.
Brunette, who played on the third line with Bolland and Kruger, potted his first even strength goal of the season. He proved to be efficient with the puck, drawing twine on his only attempt of the evening.
Chicago limited the Kings chances to score in the opening period, but Los Angeles evened the score midway through the contest. Keith stopped Matt Greene’s shot attempt only to see Jarret Stoll get control of the puck. Stoll took advantage of the turnover, firing a shot over Corey Crawford’s glove to tie the contest at a goal apiece. Read more
Bushwhacked-send in the clowns
By Rich Lindbloom
Bushwhacked: To attack or fire upon from hiding ; ambush.
I received an e-mail from a customer while attending a sales meeting Monday morning. It simply read, “I think that Edmonton just scored again!” To say the Oilers, and to a lesser extent the Flames, knocked us off our high horse would be an understatement. In an inadvertent way, I may have contributed to the “narrow” defeats in Alberta over the weekend – more on that later. Suffice it to say the ephemeral joy we experienced in Vancouver two days before being thrown into the depths of despair, dissipated quicker than a cowboy trying to stay on the much ballyhooed bull Bushwhacker. In retrospect, we were bushwhacked in Alberta, there’s no other way to put it. Oh, and weren’t the rubes in the frozen tundra having a time, “We want 10, want 10!” Not satisfied with a win, they wanted to rub our nose in it.
One of the few positives that could be taken away from that game was the Oilers only ended up with 9 – ha!, in your face Edmonton fans, in your face.
In professional Bull riding, 8 is the magic number. The cowboy who can stay on the bull for 8 seconds, has grabbed the bull by the horns so to speak. Currently, there is a bull on the rodeo circuit who has never been ridden, successfully. The closest anyone has come is 6.65 sec. Most ca-boys don’t make it past 3.5 seconds. We caught of first glance of the bull called Bushwhacker a few Sundays ago. My wife hollered down to my son, “Greg come here for a second, this is what a real man looks like,” as the crazy cowboy prepared himself in the chute. You could feel the excitement in the announcer’s voice just prior to the gate opening, waiting for the 1,500# ballerina like bull to be set free. The rider lasted less than four seconds, and Bushwhacker spent at least 3.5 seconds with all four hooves in the air. For the 28th consecutive time, Bushwhacker launched a cowboy into space. As the saying goes, “What goes up must come down,” and as the rider, (I’m going to call him Duncan), flew off the bull, the clowns were sent in to pick up the pieces. Read more
Posted in Rich Lindbloom
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Ben Smith, Dan Carcillo, Eddie Olczyk, John Scott, Judy Collins, Nick Leddy, Nikolai Khabibulin, Pat Foley, RockVegas, Rostislav Olesz, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Scott Clemmensen, Shakespeare, Taylor Hall, Viktor Stalberg
By Brad Vandenberk
The Chicago Blackhawks kicked off their 6 game road trip on Wednesday with a visit to Rogers Arena in Vancouver to square off against the Canucks. This would be the 33rd time these two teams have met since the 2008-2009 season. The last meeting on Nov 6th ended ugly for the Hawks as the Canucks went 5 for 6 on the power play and beat the Hawks 6-2. Revenge is always a dish best served cold.
Cory Schneider got the start in net as Roberto Luongo had missed the last 2 days of practice with an upper body injury. Dave Bolland returned to the line up for the Hawks after missing the last 3 games with a foot injury. Brent Seabrook did not dress for this game after going hard into the boards during the Edmonton Oilers game on Sunday night.
The first period had a Game One playoff feel to it, as both goalies were tested early and both coaches tried to get there preferred match ups. Bolland returned starting on the 4th line. It didn’t take long for him to regain his center position on the 3rd line pestering the Sedins. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford, Corey Schneider, Daniel Sedin, Dave Bolland, Duncan Keith, Henrik Sedin, Jannik Hansen, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Patrick Kane, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, Steve Montador
By Rich Lindbloom
“What me worry? There’s must be at least 50 ways to find that elusive #2 center – having $3 mildo in my pocket is a good start.”
Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to locate a seat in our company’s Suite. Normally an inhabitant of the upper reaches of the U.C., on occasion I get to sit close enough to the ice to actually hear the sound Dave Bolland’s elbow makes when it collides with an adversary. In between periods, I made my way down to the main concourse to meet a friend close to where Denis Savard was signing autographs. The excitement and buzz there were rather apparent on this, the opening night of the 2011/12 season. Like most of the ardent Hawk fans, the bat senses were heightened that night trying to discern if this year’s team is an improvement over last year’s. If nothing else, Stan Bowman had a very active offseason. The word frenetic comes to mind. While he didn’t pull a true second center out of his hat, the revamping of the Hawks almost paralleled the amount of changes made last year. Read more
Posted in Rich Lindbloom
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Andrew Ladd, Blackhawks, Bobby Orr, Dan Carcillo, Dave Bolland, Jets, John Scott, Marian Hossa, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Kane, Rich Lindbloom, Stan Bowman, Steve Montador
By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks overcame a weak effort in the opening minutes of Thursday’s game with visiting Winnipeg. The Blackhawks used four unanswered goals to prevail in the United Center by a score of 4-3. Patrick Kane was the star of the game with a goal and two assists on the night. However, two players making their debut in the Indian head sweater, Daniel Carcillo and Ray Emery, were vital in the besting of the Jets.
Carcillo, who returned after serving a two-game suspension incurred last season, skated well with Kane and Marian Hossa, who accounted for half of Chicago’s goals on the night. Emery was between the pipes in place of Corey Crawford. Like the rest of the squad, he was able to shake off a less than promising start to the contest.
Chicago staked the Jets an early lead with Jim Slater potting two first period goals on redirects. After a giveaway by Jonathan Toews, Johnny Oduya fired a shot on goal that Slater put past Emery at the 4:24 mark to open the scoring. He then tipped in a shot by Ron Hainsey between Emery’s legs three minutes later to send Winnipeg out to a 2-0 lead. Read more
Posted in Game recap, Jon Fromi
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Andrew Ladd, Bryan Bickell, Daniel Carcillo, Dave Bolland, Dustin Byfuglien, Joel Quenneville, Kyle Wellwood, Marcus Kruger, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Patrick Kane, Ray Emery, Steve Montador
By Brad Gardner
After dropping the season opener in Dallas, the Blackhawks came out flying in the home opener in front of an announced 21, 647 at the United Center. Chicago jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second and it was enough of a cushion to hold off the Stars’ late push. The Hawks eventually walked away with a 5-2 win.
Andrew Raycroft was in net for the Stars despite Kari Lehtonen’s hurculean effort on Friday night in Dallas. Raycroft turned in a strong first period in keeping the puck out of the net – the Blackhawks outshot the visitors 10-2 in the first period – but Raycroft wasn’t handling too many shots cleanly.
Those miscues eventually cost him in the first period. On a Blackhawks’ power play, Patrick Sharp controlled the puck and tried to put it on net. His first attempt was blocked, but Sharp recovered and got his second attempt through to Raycroft. Andrew Burnette picked up the rebound and notched his first goal as a ‘Hawk with a backhander, putting Chicago on the board first. Read more
This week I’m happy to be re-joined for the first time in many months by John of the great FifthFeather.com.
First, we get the lowdown on the Feather’s summer away at cottage and what’s in store for readers this season over at their site. Then, with training camp vastly approaching, John and I try to put a lid on the Blackhawks off season.
We discussed all the following and much more
-The current status of fighting in hockey & place in today’s game
-How the NHL should handle concussions
-What is wrong with the NHL’s drug testing policy and what Gary Bettman must do to fix it.
-Blackhawks blue line shuffle. Where do the changes leave the D?
-Viktor Stalberg’s new role
-Ben Smith – Odd man out?
-Will Troy Brouwer breakout in Washington?
-Comparing this summer’s adds to last year’s
-Who will make the Hawks better & improve their position in the standings
-Last-man standing in the backup competition
-Fourth line center
-Who skates with Toews?
-Kane winning puck battles
-Bowman’s posturing lends flexibility
-Hawks top competition in the West
-Handicapping Shea Weber’s future in Nashville
Click the player below to listen. Or – Right-Click here to Download mp3 file
Check out the TTMI~Radio Archives @ BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn SUBSCRIBE to TTMI~Radio on ITUNES
As mentioned on the show, I’ll be the guest Wednesday night on the Let’s Go Kings podcast at 11pm eastern/10 central/8 pacific. You can listen live or later in their archives at BlogTalkRadio.com/LetsGoKings.
Posted in TTMI~Radio
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Ben Smith, Concussions, Dan Carcillo, Drew Doughty, Drug testing, Fifth Feather, Gary Bettman, Jonathan Toews, Marcus Kruger, Podcast, Shea Weber, Troy Brouwer, Viktor Stalberg
Brad Gardner’s latest ranking of the top 20 Blackhawks prospects is up now at HockeysFuture.com
This was yesterday’s huge news story. When Patrick Kane says he’ll be ready for opening night, would that not logically then indicate he’ll also be healthy and able to participate in some training camp activity, even a preseason game or two? Kane went on a Toronto radio station Tuesday and was non-committal on the status of his recovery from wrist surgery. Still, Kane is confident he’ll be good in time for the season opener. I know its August, but to me this is a lot of unnecessary commotion over what will likely amount to a week of missed camp. It was obvious from the moment that interview concluded this would blow up. Whatever Kane does is going to be news. He’s that big a star. However, it is amazing Kane would be so cloudy on his state of return just 24 hours after his general manager was emphatic Kane is fine and on schedule for the start of training camp. And that’s why this blew up. Kane used to live in Stan Bowman’s basement and he is a franchise player, you’d figure these guys would be on the same page. I wouldn’t put any heat on Kane for this. Its his body and the team’s timeline seemed convenient to begin with. But this is a fuss over what could simply amount to seven days. Still, is appears the Hawks shifted into damage control last night.
–Marcus Kruger will be in Toronto on Tuesday, August 30 to be one of 27 NHL rookies presented in the NHLPA’s 2011 Rookie Showcase. Kruger and his six Blackhawks teammates wrap up the week of practice sessions in Lugano, Switzerland on Sunday. He’ll then head straight to Toronto. Tuesday is mostly a media showcase, interview and photography session.
–It was pointed out to me that Lugano head coach Barry Smith is still technically employed by the Hawks as a European talent adviser. Smith was a pro scout with the Hawks last year. He was Scotty Bowman’s assistant while with the Red Wings.
–New Blackhawk Andrew Brunette turns 38 today…. Roland “Alain” Daigle is 57. This Three Rivers, Quebec native spent six seasons (74-80) on right wing with the Blackhawks. They drafted him 34th overall in ’74. He retired in 1984 after stops in Europe and the AHL. The Hawks were the only NHL team he ever played for…. They share the day Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (24)….
–Former prospect and Hawks’ 2005 6th round pick Joe Charlebois has signed with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL).
–I’ll have much more tonight/tomorrow morning.
–We have a podcast scheduled for Monday night at 6pm with Al Cimaglia.
–We are now 60 days away from opening night of the Blackhawks’ regular season. The AHL’s too for that matter.
–Rockford IceHogs have announced two preseason home games. Both will be played at the MetroCentre.
Wed Sept 28 vs Chicago Wolves, 7:05pm
Sat Oct 01 vs Peoria Rivermen, 7:05pm
The IceHogs will have one other exhibition game in Milwaukee on September 30th. That game will be played at the Milwaukee School of Engineering inside the Kern Center.
–Hearing now the loan agreement of Cristobal Huet between the Blackhawks and Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss National League is a done deal. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Adam Clendening, Andrew Brunette, Andrew Shaw, Andy Bohmbach, Bill Peters, Brent Sopel, Cristobal Huet, Daniel Carcillo, IceHogs, Johan Mattsson, Justin Holl, Kevin Hayes, Ludvig Rensfeldt, Mark McNeil, Patrick Kane, Ray Emery, Rob Flick, Schedule, Tony Salmelainen