Tag Archives: Blackhawks

Hawks finish Preds in a dramatic Game 6

By Michael Calvert

The Blackhawks closed out Nashville in another dramatic, come-from-behind whirlwind night at United Center on Saturday.

Duncan Keith scored with 3:48 to play in regulation to complete the Hawks’ Game 6 comeback. Keith’s tally was his second of the series and gave the home team a 4-3 lead that would stand as the final score.

A wild opening 11 minutes of the game saw the Predators gain 2-0 and 3-1 leads on the backs of two James Neal goals, and another from Matt Cullen that got Scott Darling pulled from the net in favor of Corey Crawford.

Darling was the Game 6 starter as he’s managed to keep the net since Game 3 and the Hawks went in with what has become a pretty consistent line arrangement.

The Blackhawks tightened up in front of Crawford as he needed to make just 13 saves in 49 minutes the rest of the way. That opposed to Darling, who saw 12 shots in 11:16 of play. Read more »


Lindbloom’s View: Honey, Don’t Ask


Q-dawg, riding that horse hard
“Quit whining or I’ll put you in for Rozsival”

“I ain’t much for mowing grass
I’m too slow for working too fast
I don’t do windows, so honey don’t ask
But I’m pretty good at drinkin’ beer.” – Billy Currington

By Rich Lindbloom

I heard the song Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer while driving to work this week. Billy Currington sings about all the things he’s not too good at, (basically anything involving work), but ends each stanza by singing, “but I’m pretty good at drinkin’ beer.” I had to admire Billy in a way; life just seemed to make sense to him. It made me smile, perhaps it hit too close to home. Leave it to the country bumpkins, and I think you know who you are, to summarize a portion of my suds soaked life. C’mon y’all, you know we ain’t worth a plug nickel after a few beers. Read more »


IceHogs return to postseason after 4 years out; After a strong 2014-15, how will Rockford fare; Calder Cup 1st round preview

By Chris Block

Tonight, Rockford plays its first playoff contest since 2010 when they begin their best-of-5 opening round series with the Texas Stars in suburban Austin.

Rockford has lost the past 10 consecutive playoff games they have played. The American Hockey League record of most consecutive losses in postseason is 12, set by the Buffalo Bisons in the 1950s.  The IceHogs last playoff win came in Game 5 of their second round series with the Chicago Wolves in 2008, the IceHogs first season in the AHL. Rockford was up 3-2 in that series then lost games 6 & 7.  The Wolves would go on to with the Calder Cup that year.

While the IceHogs dominated the season series with Texas, this was about the worst draw Rockford could have asked for. The key to Rockford’s success against Texas during the regular season was catching the Stars at the right times, and a power play that ran at a 37.5% clip against the Stars this season.

Rockford can skate with any team in the West at 5-on-5. Where they have separated themselves for success is in getting elite goaltending from Michael Leighton, Scott Darling and Antti Raanta. Mac Carruth, who was in net for three games this season and went 2-1 with a shutout (at Chicago) is now the backup.

But aside from the goaltending, which, no mistake, is why the IceHogs are in the postseason, Rockford’s special teams were consistently the difference between a win and a loss in 2014-15.

Noting that, no team boasts better special teams than Texas.

Their combined special teams mark is 106.9 (86.9 PP + 20.0 PK). Texas ranks 3rd overall in the AHL, and tops in the Western Conference on the power play. Their penalty kill is 4th in the AHL and 2nd in the West. Read more »


Preds Narrow Series Gap in 5-2 Win in Nashville

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks had a chance to close out their Western Conference quarterfinal in Nashville Thursday night. Thanks to a hat trick by Filip Forsberg and a trio of Predator goals early in the third period, that didn’t happen.

Nashville broke open a tight affair and cruised to a 5-2 victory over Chicago. The Hawks still own a 3-2 series advantage but the Preds showed they have the resolve to extend the series to at least six games.

First Period-Patrick Sharp was the recipient of an ill-advised hit by Ryan Ellis, who was sent to the box for tripping 3:06 into the game. The Hawks had a few chances early in the power play, but Nashville wound up with possession for most of the second minute of the penalty. Read more »


Seabrook blast ends Game 4 in Triple OT, Hawks take 3-1 series lead on Nashville

By Brad Vandenberk

There was a marathon at the United Center on Tuesday night as the Hawks found themselves beating the Nashville Predators in three overtimes, 3-2.

Chicago did not hold a single lead during the game, but still eventually found a way to win and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Brandon Saad scored the tying goal with Antoine Vermette getting his first tally as a Blackhawk, tipping one past Rinne in the opening period, the first of six on Tuesday.

Shea Weber and Mike Fisher did not dress for this one, but you can be sure with their season on the line that they will try and play on Thursday night when the series shifts back to Nashville. Scott Darling and Pekka Rinne faced a ton of traffic and shots and lasted the entire 5 periods. Read more »


Fantasy Chatter: TTMI’s Top 50 Under 25 Keeper/Dynasty League Player Rankings Revisited


By Lane Myer

As promised, here is the revised Top 50 Under 25 list that we initially published back in early January for Keeper/Dynasty leagues. Since we don’t cover much here in this column dealing with keeper or dynasty leagues, we figured this would be the most beneficial manner to toss something out there in a fairly simple manner.   Also I’m told everyone loves a list. Not that you were anyway, because you’re much smarter than that, but don’t pay too much attention to the ranking number. It’s a highly convoluted process with attempting to mix current production with future projection along with other factors such as basic stat categories, age in relation to similar value players, and future playing time and line-mates for the younger less established players.   Tie-breakers were awarded to players with an age advantage and/or those who are more likely to hold multi-positional eligibility.

As a reminder, as with almost everything we do here, these are penned with standard stat category leagues in mind. That means 6×4 or 5×4 fantasy hockey leagues that use the basic stat categories that usually include Goals, Assists, Plus/Minus, PPP and either (or both) PIMs or Shorthanded Points on the offensive side and Wins, GAA, SV% and Shutouts on the goalie side.

*Revised Top 50 Under 25 after the jump…

Read more »


Hawks take 2-1 series lead over Weber-less Preds

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came back to the United Center Sunday afternoon and took a 2-1 series lead in their Western Conference quarterfinal with the Nashville Predators. Three second period tallies and a stronger defensive effort paved the way for a 4-2 Blackhawks triumph.

First Period-Nashville went to the power play in the opening minute when Kimmo Timonen held the stick of Taylor Beck. Marian Hossa led a shorthanded charge that was stopped by Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. The Blackhawks killed the penalty fairly easily.

Nashville’s first shot came off the stick of Beck in the fifth minute but the attempt was covered by Hawks goalie Scott Darling. The action was back and forth and the pace was brisk to say the least. Read more »


Lindbloom’s View: Darlin’ Corey

Lindbloom_Top_20150418On Gorging Ourselves and Sad Country Songs

“Oh where have you gone darlin’ Cory
With a dram glass in your hand
She’s a drinking away all her troubles
And a courtin’ some other man..”  Doc Watson

By Rich Lindbloom

Before I get into the actual meat of this piece, I wanted to describe an image that came to me while getting ready for the two games per night, every night, during Round One of the NHL Playoffs. I love this round the most, because it is basically non-stop, balls out, hockey for almost two weeks. Getting to watch the third period of the Blues vs. Wild on Saturday afternoon almost made me forget about Friday night’s debacle. Damn the Wild look formidable. The Rangers/Penguins game is turning out to be a good old fashioned barn burner as I type this. Lundqvist just let in his fourth goal – is it time for a goalie controversy in New York? Anybody see the line dance in Vancouver last night? As I finish this up I’m watching taking periodic glances at the Jets/Ducks game, which closer resembles a bowling game. Read more »


Be My Darling Please: Clobbered in Smashville

By Michael Calvert

I hadn’t intended to write an anti- Crow story as I consider myself a Crawford fan, but there’s not enough time for him to “figure it out.”

Whatever IT is, Crow doesn’t have it now. He’s been so bad in fact that if given the Preds were to be held to only 10 shots in a game the Hawks would need to score 3 to win. Read more »


Darling’s 42 saves in relief carry rallying Hawks to 4-3 win in double-OT of Game 1

By Chris Block

Opening night of the 2015 playoffs in Nashville had everything you might ask for an NHL postseason game: Double overtime, the return of a mega star, huge momentum shifts, trading scoring chances in end-to-end sequences, a dramatic game-winning goal, a blown 3-0 lead, a goalie yanking, an incredible goaltending performance, bad ice, dramatic scoring chances as a result of bad ice, bad penalty calls, bad non-penalty calls, heroes, goats and finally – one now huge goaltending controversy.

And that was just Game One.

The return of Patrick Kane just seven weeks after surgery to repair a broken left collarbone suffered on February 24 against the Florida Panthers was the big story coming into Wednesday’s playoff opener. Kane wasn’t in top form, but 75 percent or so was enough to make a big difference.

But the story coming out of the Hawks come-from-behind 4-3, double overtime victory in Game 1 is who will be the starter in Game 2.

Corey Crawford was victimized for 3 first period goals. The middle of those three was result of a Crawford turnover behind his net, but that was in part due to some bad luck in that the momentum of the puck as it approached the trapezoid slowed down as Crawford waited to play it. Read more »