In Wednesday night’s game against the rather lowly Calgary Flames, Coach Q decided to put Michal Handzus back into the 2nd center spot and move Brandon Pirri down to the 3rd. The move didn’t seem to work. Aside from Pirri and Handzus switching the lines, the Hawks looked pretty similar to the norm. One exception to that norm was that Antti Raanta made his first NHL start in net. I’d say by the eye test Raanta looked pretty good. The Finnish goalie saved 20 of 22 Flames shots in leading the Blackhawks to their 18th win of the season. Read more »
Hawks can’t keep pace; lose 5-1 in Colorado to open Circus trip.
By Brad Vandenberk
It was time to kick off the Blackhawks annual circus road trip on Tuesday. This happens every year around the same time in November when the lions, tigers and bears, OH MY, invade the United Center for two weeks. As we have witnessed in the past, this trip provides an accurate measuring stick as to how well the Hawks play on the road. Read more »
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 »
Well, that was embarrassing. Chicago went into Nashville Saturday night to face a flailing Predator team sporting a backup goalie. One would think that a team with little to no offense and a backup with ‘Khabibulin bad’ numbers would be an easy win.
The Wall, who shall be known from here forth as The Gate, lets in a pretty easy tap in from Matt Cullen off a pedestrian wrist shot rebound. I’ll call him the gate because we all know they can’t really keep much out, figure out their weak spots and in you shall go. Read more »
Winnipeg is not very good. This game was a bit of a yawner. It sort of had me on the back of my seat.
I remember, back in the day, when ESPN actually paid attention to the NHL and used to call the Jets ‘Losipeg.’ I always loved that one. I still call them that. Times have changed but Winnipeg still has a bad NHL team. I bet something like out of Mystery, Alaska could actually happen to Winnipeg. A group of beer guzzling social league hockey guys from Winnipeg could probably beat the Jets.
At any rate, the Hawks won Wednesday’s game pretty easy, unfortunately little more than halfway through the third the not so hot-handed Devin Setoguchi broke Crawford’s shutout. Besides some drunk dude sporting Adam Pardy’s helmet after Bollig put his head through the glass, the guchi goal was the only real excitement in the second half of the game. Read more »
Sometimes two games are just that, two games, and not some dramatic up or downward trend.
The Hawks and Wild were pretty evenly matched throughout most of the 1st on Monday night in St. Paul, but as the game got closer to final horn it got further in hand for the Hawks. To say this game was a total blowout would be doing a disservice for Corey Crawford, who was phenomenal AGAIN.
Crawford stopped 30 of 31 shots for a lofty .967 save percentage. The Hawks were actually outshot in this game, but when the scoring opportunities occurred, the superior talented Hawks closed on them. Crawford was simply better than his Wild counterpart, Niklas Backstrom. Read more »
Saturday night’s game is a feather in the hat of the NHL due to conference realignment. All teams now play each other at least twice, so fans get to see some of the biggest teams in the league once a year in their barn. This game featured two of the biggest teams in the League, one by name, the other by name and talent.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL’s only billion dollar franchise, were in the UC on Saturday. My initial inclination is to compare them to the Yankees, but as much as I don’t care for the Yankees, that comparison is not fair to them. The Yanks win consistently. I think the Leafs are more like the Dallas Cowboys; it’s a big deal whether they are winning or losing, and mostly are losing. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks took the visiting St. Louis Blues into a shootout Thursday night but couldn’t exact revenge on last week’s defeat in St. Louis. The Blues picked up their second win over the Hawks this season, besting Chicago 3-2 in a shootout.
First Period- The Hawks had six shots on net in the first three minutes. Marian Hossa set up Duncan Keith for a nice scoring opportunity that was stopped by Jaroslav Halak in the first minute. Soon after, Brandon Pirri got a good look at the net. Read more »
On Sunday night, I had the pleasure once again of joining our friends CT and “the Forklift” over at Hockeenight.com for their PuckCast.
Over the course of the show we discussed the Blackhawks so-so start, Kyle Beach‘s recent claim about the role he was “forced” to play, Joakim Nordstrom’s game, whose behind him and whether or not he should be sent down to Rockford. We also discuss Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes, the second-line center position, what should be done and who are the other top candidates for recall at this point.
Rockford’s 2-2 start is covered in detail, all the prospects and Fork’s favorites. We discussed off season changes; Maxim Shalunov‘s first AHL shift gone terribly awry, and a funny story about Maxim Shalunov’s first interaction with the IceHogs training staff gone terribly awry; Kent Simpson going for Rockford’s star player one weekend to bench warmer the next; which Blackhawks prospect is likely to jump straight from college into the NHL, the Islanders terrible future home, Mariano Rivera, the fate of MSG, Laschet’s Inn, some Russian military history, a Jock Callander sighting and much, much more.
Its the longest PuckCast in more than three years and second-longest ever.
Last night’s game started out almost laughably one-sided in the Hawks favor. Buffalo was unable to generate any type of consistency in any facet of the game. Fortunately, for the Sabres, Ryan Miller was spectacular. Fortunately, for the Hawks, so too was Corey Crawford.
1st period: The Blackhawks started the game with Brandon Saad on Jonathan Toews wing, along with Patrick Kane. This line, up until jumbled again, was dominant on most every shift they were on the ice for. One more interesting line change was Marcus Kruger playing second line center. Kruger looked good in the second line center position, ending the night winning 45% of his faceoffs taken. Read more »