Tag Archives: Ben Smith

Exhibition recap: Hawks fall short to Sid, Pens 4-3 in the shootout at United Center

By Michael Calvert

In a game that would be a premiere regular season matchup, the Hawks took on the Pens at home in preseason game #2.  Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Evgeni Malkin did not suit up for this game, so it lacked a lot of the star power this matchup normally would present.  Toews was out again with injury and is expected to be back for preseason game #3 against Washington on Friday.

1st period:  The Hawks opened the scoring with a very nice Leblanc takeaway and feed to Patrick Sharp.  Sharp put a beautiful wrister past Voukun.at 5:19 in the first.  Roughly four minutes later the Pens evened the score 1-1 on a Derrick Pouliot shot that 5 holed Khabby and could possibly be described as soft.  Six minutes later the Pens strike again on a Joe Vitale putback at 16:53.  The Vitale goal ended the scoring for the first period. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.130, Don’t Tell Joel

By Chris Block

On Tuesday night, PuckChatter~Radio returned to review the initial three games of the Stanley Cup Finals, illuminate the issues ailing the Blackhawks as well as try to make sense of some of the decisions and moves coach Joel Quenneville has been making behind the bench so far in facing the Boston Bruins

I’ve got to tell you… I turned flat out exhausted and needed an intermission, and an ice pack after my attempt to do the latter.

We also previewed tonight’s Game 4 in Beantown, discussed Bryan Bickell’s status in the current series and what Zdeno Chara could possibly have been thinking?; Brandon Bollig‘s play, the trouble with Viktor Stalberg; the thing about momentum… How Dave Bolland has played more minutes than Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane at times in this series? Our take, and the irony of it, on the Marian HossaBen Smith warmup saga of Game 3; why folks need to stop excusing, or making excuses for captain Jonathan Toews and much, much more.

Also, bathroom exits and trouble with the auto mechanic… all on edition number 130 of Puck Chatter.

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–Special Thanks to Molson Canadian, the Official Imported Beer of the NHL..

As you watch the Chicago Blackhawks strive for Lord Stanley’s Cup for the second time in four seasons, make sure to pick up some cold, refreshing Molson Canadian and participate in Molson Canadian USA’s Call of the Cup..

Molson Canadian recognizes that every decision a coach makes in the Playoffs can mean the difference between skating to glory and skating into the off season.

When you pick up Molson Canadian bottles now in the U.S., you can participate in The Call of the Cup series, which allows hockey fans to play the role of the coach and make the tough calls from their smart phones, or just debate the questions and scenarios on the back of the bottle labels between friends.

Which special teams unit is more important in the playoffs?  Make trades or stand pat at the trade deadline?  Be a part and help a team win its first Stanley Cup or help a team break a long championship drought?  Answer these questions and debate more scenarios in The Call of the Cup series from Molson Canadian beer.

For more information check Molson Canadian out on Facebook at:

Facebook.com/MolsonCanadianUSA

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Hossa late scratch prior to Game 3; B’s, Rask shut down Hawks 2-0, Boston takes 2-1 series lead

By Brad Vandenberk

Tuesday night, the Stanley Cup Finals shifted to Boston for a pivotal Game 3.   The Chicago Blackhawks had yet to win a game 3 this post season, whereas the Boston Bruins were 3-0 in Game 3’s during these playoffs coming into Tuesday night’s contest.

Viktor Stalberg was inserted back into Chicago’s line up, and for the first time this series, to try and add some speed to the offensive forecheck.  Stalberg replaced Brandon Bollig, who had taken Stalberg’s spot in Games 1 and 2 in Chicago.  Stalberg was also warned by coach Joel Quenneville to watch his defensive responsibilities as well.  Quenneville was quoted saying he was looking for “more” from Stalberg in essentially every facet of his game. Read more »

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Old Dog, New Bicks

From this past Saturday night’s issue of The Committed Indian

By Chris Block

Anyone whose read or followed my work over the years would know that I haven’t exactly been a huge fan of Bryan Bickell’s.  However, this playoff’s John Druce deserves kudos for being, perhaps, the single-most overriding factor in the Blackhawks being now one game away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in four seasons.

That’s not to suggest Bickell’s current successes should force Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman (provided this kind of thing is ultimately even his decision) into doing anything drastic (not his style anyhow) in attempts to keep Bickell this summer.

Before this postseason, Bickell’s greatest asset to the Blackhawks was his salary cap number, which for three seasons has hovered right at the NHL minimum salary requirement.

While it is stunning to look at the NHL leaderboard today and see Bickell’s eight playoff tallies ranking the 6-4, 235 pound Bowmanville, Ontario native second overall in playoff goals scored (tied with Patrick Sharp).  Boston Bruins center David Krejci’s nine goals leads all postseason performers. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.127, Hawks-Red Wings Game 1 review and much more

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*Note: At about the 53:00 mark, our sound board crashed and the show goes silent for a little over a minute and returns.  Last week it happened just as we were about to start.  So, its becoming a weekly occurrence, I guess.

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You can also listen via the Tune In Radio app on your smartphone.  Not sure how that comes about, but its been brought to my attention that the show is available through the Tune In Radio app as well.

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PuckChatter~Radio, Rockford Season Review with Mike Peck, Voice of the IceHogs

By Chris Block

On Tuesday, we welcomed Mike Peck, the voice of the Rockford IceHogs, back to PuckChatter~Radio to help us recap the IceHogs’ 2012-13 season.

Over the course of this 40 minute show, Mike and I discussed the emergence of third-year pros Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Ben Smith and Ryan Stanton.  We also covered the development and future of other Blackhawks prospects, including Kyle Beach, Joe Lavin and Jimmy Hayes.  Also, we take a look at what next season’s IceHogs’ roster will look like.

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Hutton, Stanton, Lalonde make NHL debuts in Blackhawks regular season finale 3-1 loss in St. Louis

By Jon Fromi

It was a new look Chicago Blackhawks squad that came out in St. Louis Saturday night and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Blues. With most of the Blackhawks stars resting comfortably in Chicago, the lineup was filled with recent call ups from Rockford.

Three prospects made their NHL debut, including starting goalie Carter Hutton. Defensemen Ryan Stanton and Shawn Lalonde were also seeing their first action in Chicago. Recent IceHogs Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes and Ben Smith were also on the ice.

The Blues drew first blood in the fifth minute on a delayed penalty on Michal Roszival. With the extra attacker, Andy McDonald sent a shot to the net.Hutton made a nice kick save, but Patrik Berglund was there to convert the rebound at the 4:33 mark of the opening period. Read more »

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IceHogs keep playoffs in sight with big win in Milwaukee

By Chris Block

One night after picking up a huge 7-3 victory over the Chicago Wolves in their regular season home finale, the Rockford IceHogs hit the road, again set out to keep their AHL postseason bid alive in a crucial divisional matchup with the 8th place Milwaukee Admirals.

Rockford came into Saturday’s contest in 9th place in the Western Conference, tied at 81 in points with Milwaukee, though the Admirals hold two games in hand over the IceHogs heading into the final week of the regular season.

On the heels of Brandon Pirri’s franchise record 6-point (1 goal, 5 assists) night and Ben Smith’s hat-trick in the win over the Wolves, the IceHogs had to beat the Admirals on Saturday if they had any hopes of sneaking into the postseason.

Backed by a 20 save performance by Carter Hutton and goals by Adam Clendening, Ben Smith and Klas Dahlbeck, Rockford did just that, defeating the Admirals 3-1 on Saturday before a crowd of 8,895 fans at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Read more »

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Video of the IceHogs-Wolves bench brawl incident Sunday in Rosemont

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Ben Smith says he doesn’t regret fight that cost him a chance to make the Blackhawks for 2nd straight season; For now, focused on leading the IceHogs

Smith_Ben_IceHogsphoto courtesy of the Rockford IceHogs

The following is the piece published in Tuesday night’s issue of The Committed Indian, the official~unofficial Chicago Blackhawks home game night program, which you can buy individual copies or subscribe to at this link.

By Chris Block

You have to focus on what’s right in front of you and I think at that moment …  I was focused on winning two points against Grand Rapids and fortunately that night we did.Ben Smith

With the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining dispute having been settled and NHL training camps set to commence in less than three days, Blackhawks prospect Ben Smith took to the BMO Harris Bank Center ice in Rockford on January 11th to face off with the IceHogs division-rival, and Detroit Red Wings farm team, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

At this time Smith was the IceHogs’ leader in goals scored, game-winning goals, a member of both the first-team power play and penalty killing units and among the top three forwards in ice time on a nightly basis.

And on a team up to that point which couldn’t help itself but take careless or undisciplined minor penalty after minor penalty, Smith had just 4 penalty minutes on the season and had not stepped foot in the penalty box since mid October.  That’s quite the accomplishment for the gritty and tenacious two-way forward Ben Smith is. Read more »

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