Tag Archives: Antti Niemi

Hawks drop 2-1 shootout loss in San Jose

By Michael Calvert

This matchup between two Western conference Cup hopefuls didn’t really provide much scoring opportunities, fireworks or even a  lot of chippyness, but it still was a fairly exciting game.

The Hawks had their usual top line of Patrick Sharp and Hossa centered by Toews.  Line two had Versteeg in place of Saad with Brandon Pirri in the middle, joined of course by Patrick Kane.  The 3rd line benefited from the addition of Saad.  Along for the ride was 3rd line stalwart Andrew Shaw and old man Zus at center.

In goal was current cup hero Corey Crawford vs former cup hero Antii Niemi.  Crawford and Niemi are both beneficiaries of solid teams in front of them as they both sport a sub .920 save percentage to go along with excellent win loss percentages. Read more »

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Hawks bounce back, trounce Sharks 5-1

By Brad Vandenberk

After an absolute debacle in Nashville on Saturday night, it was time for Kris Versteeg to get his long awaited ovation at the United Center on Sunday evening.  The visiting, San Jose Sharks, were coming off a five game road trip that saw them go 3-0-1 thus far.  Nikolai Khabibulin was put on the IR this morning which meant that Antti Raanta was recalled from Rockford to sit behind Crawford who got his 19th start of the year.   After Khabby left with an injury on Saturday night, Crawford was called upon to not only finish that game, but start against the Sharks who are battling the Hawks for tops in the Western Conference. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: “Peaking” too early

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Isaiah 40:31
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not
grow weary, they will “skate” and not be faint. – RL abridged version

By Rich Lindbloom

There’s a legend that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching. In fact, while all other avian creatures seek the cover of the tempest tossed tree, the eagle will spread its wings and fly directly into the storm, using the updraft to rise above the approaching danger. Soaring heights and dizzying speeds are achieved that are not attainable under normal conditions. It takes great daring to jump into the maelstrom. Perhaps they achieve this feat by looking up instead of down. Keep your heads up Blackhawks, at the altitude you’re at right now, looking down might cause substantial dizziness. The Hawks are definitely breathing rarefied air at the moment. (At least when they’re not in the locker room.) Read more »

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Blackhawks make history in defeating Sharks 2-1

By Brad Vandenberk

The time is almost upon us.  Yes that’s right, a completed Blackhawks roster.  Although the Hawks haven’t been bitten by the injury bug all that much, they have had their scares.

Steve Montador was the first victim, having his concussion symptoms come back during training camp.  Next up was Dan Carcillo, who injured his knee early in the year, saw his first game in over month tonight against the Sharks.  Michal Rozsival tweaked his knee and missed a few games.  Then Corey Crawford suffered an upper body injury just a week ago giving Ray Emery the keys to the crease.  Then, Brent Seabrook missed his first game of the year against the Canucks suffering a lower body injury.  The latest saw Marian Hossa take a forearm to the back of the head and being immediately helped off the ice, not returning to the game.  The perpetrator, Jannik Hansen, received a 1 game suspension for the incident and Hossa will not miss any action.  Read more »

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Brandon Saad nets first NHL goal in Blackhawks 5-3 victory in San Jose

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks broke a four-game losing streak at the HP Pavilion, rallying from an early two-goal deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 Tuesday night. The ‘Hawks remained unbeaten in regulation this season in a game that saw rookie Brandon Saad log his first NHL goal in a wild first period.

The Sharks were physical right from the start of the contest and it paid off in the form of a pair of early goals. San Jose laid some hard hits on Andrew Shaw along the boards and Duncan Keith behind the ‘Hawks net. Keith avoided big contact, but landed hard on his back.

With Keith temporarily on the bench, Joe Pavelski knocked in a bouncing puck created by Marc Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the point at the 2:53 mark of the first.

Minutes later, Tommy Wingles got the puck entering the Chicago zone and fired a lazer over the glove of Corey Crawford to make it 2-0 San Jose just 5:18 into the game. At this point, coach Joel Quenneville used his time out in an attempt to settle his team. It did just that as Chicago struck twine three times in the span of 89 seconds. Read more »

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IceHogs release Lebda, Sign Four; Karlsson Visa Issue Delays Debut; How Carter Hutton’s season stacks up; more Rockford news and notes

By Chris Block

On Friday, the Rockford IceHogs officially released defenseman Brett Lebda from his second professional try-out contract with the club.

Lebda had been a healthy scratch in 5 of Rockford’s last 8 contests.  The Buffalo Grove native and member of the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings had appeared in 27 games for the IceHogs, posting 11 assists to go with a minus-12 plus/minus rating, worst on the team.

The IceHogs would have had to sign Lebda to a standard-player contract by February 17th or release him.

Lebda has never before played overseas but back in October he told us he had interest from a few teams in Europe and he would reconsider those if nothing presented itself after the NHL lockout ended.

MCARDLE SIGNS CONTRACT

Just three games into his PTO, Kenndal McArdle agreed to a contract with the Rockford IceHogs for the remainder of this season on Wednesday.

The Florida Panthers’ 2005 first round (#20th overall) draft pick has one assist in the three games since joining the IceHogs.  He was also involved in the brawl with Grand Rapids last Saturday, getting ejected for a Third Man In violation.

McArdle played 9 games in the NHL last season with Winnipeg.  So far he’s taking the spot on Martin St. Pierre’s left wing that was vacated by Brandon Saad. Read more »

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Kruger scores twice; Hawks slide slips to 7 in San Jose

By Brad Vandenberk

After a lengthy film session in Denver University on Wednesday morning and a “back to basics” practice on Thursday in California, the Chicago Blackhawks were back on the ice Friday night in San Jose trying to snap a six game losing streak.

The film session took place in a theatre that had the perfect set up to run through game tape of their 5-2 loss to the Avalanche on Tuesday night.  The session took longer than normal, but at this stage the Hawks were attempting anything to break this streak.    After travelling to San Jose and took to the ice to practice “hockey 101”.  If the current six game losing streak wasn’t enough, the flu bug was also flying around the locker room as four Hawk players took the day off practice.  Steve Montador was also missing from practice, but it was not due to the flu.  Monty suffered an upper body injury during the game on Tuesday and was placed on Injured Reserve Friday morning.  Dylan Olsen was recalled from the IceHogs to replace the injured Montador.   To rub more salt in the wound, Niklas Hjalmarsson, who originally had the flu, was then diagnosed with an upper body injury.  Both Nik and Monty flew back to Chicago and will not be playing Saturday night in Phoenix either.  Read more »

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Blackhawks back atop West after 4-3 win over Sharks; Legend of Andrew Shaw keeps growing

photo: NHL.com

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks got the better of Antti Niemi in their third game against the team’s former goalie, this time earning two points in regulation by holding onto a 4-3 lead against a late barrage from the Sharks. The home team held fast against a late two-man advantage, giving rookie Andrew Shaw the game-winner with his third-period tally.

The ‘Hawks struck first on a sharp-angle shot by Dave Bolland. The play began with Andrew Brunette controlling the puck behind the net. He passed to Jimmy Hayes one way, who quickly sent it back the other way to Bolland. He was able to elevate it over Niemi’s should as he tried to get to the post for the first goal of the game.

Viktor Stalberg cashed in about a minute and a half later on a slick set-up from Jonathan Toews. The captain kept control of the puck below the goal line and turned up the end boards before sending a strike to the tape of Stalberg. The winger had an easy finish before Niemi could move over, extending Chicago’s lead to 2-0 heading into the first intermission. Read more »

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Hawks tie Sharks late, Sharp wins it again in OT

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks salvaged two points from the reeling San Jose Sharks on Sunday evening at the United Center.

Starting goaltenders Ray Emery and Antti Niemi limited the scoring all night and it took a late push from Chicago to force the overtime. Patrick Sharp, skating in his first game since the birth of his first daughter on Friday, potted the overtime game-winner off a Niemi rebound to seal the comeback victory for the ‘Hawks.

Former Blackhawks’ netminder Niemi closed the door on a handful of high-quality chances from his former teammates in the opening period. Viktor Stalberg was robbed on the first shift of the game after he was set up by Jonathan Toews on the doorstep, but Niemi denied him with the pad. Not all of his saves were clean, but he extended his shut-out streak of the ‘Hawks to four periods going back to his November 23rd shutout.

At the other end of the rink, Ray Emery did his part in keeping his team in the game. Read more »

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Blackhawks skid hits 3; Niemi Says No

By Brad Gardner

Despite a better effort at both ends of the ice from the Blackhawks, it was still not enough to get past Antti Niemi and the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Despite a pronounced lead in the shot count and possession time, the Blackhawks fell by a score of 1-0 for their third consecutive regulation loss.

San Jose was strong out of the gate, registering four shots on Corey Crawford in the first four and a half minutes. The Sharks’ offense was limited by a couple penalties as well as Chicago’s puck possession and managed only one shot through the last 15 minutes of the first.

The ‘Hawks finished the first with 10 shots on Niemi, including a pair of breakaways. Brent Burns whiffed on clear and Marian Hossa picked up the loose puck but shot high. Bryan Bickell broke in alone shortly after, but Niemi was able to square up and snuff out another chance.

Momentum went back and forth in the second period as the team’s traded penalties and prime scoring chances. Jamie McGinn rang a shot off the post just after a San Jose power play ended and then leveled Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy for good measure. Hossa had another great opportunity when he split between the San Jose defensive pairing of Douglas Murray and Dan Boyle but his backhand shot went off the outside of the net. Read more »

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