Nov 172013
 

By Michael Calvert

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.

1st period:

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.  Continue reading »

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Nov 072013
 

By Michael Calvert

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. Continue reading »

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Oct 292013
 

By Michael Calvert

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.  Continue reading »

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Oct 202013
 

By Michael Calvert

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. Continue reading »

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Oct 172013
 

By Jon Fromi

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. Continue reading »

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Oct 142013
 

By Chris Block

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.

Fun time as always talking to those guys.

Check it out by punching the play button below.

Or, Right-Click here to download the audio file.

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Oct 132013
 

By Michael Calvert

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.  Continue reading »

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Oct 072013
 

By Chris Block

Oftentimes when a good young player graduates a level there is at least a brief adjustment, or feeling out period.

And, in most cases, at some point, there are those moments or nights when you can almost witness that proverbial light bulb going off in the player’s head – when he, himself, becomes convinced his abilities do apply at that next level.  On a shift, or a moment of pure instinct, his skills take over and he leaves behind the indecisiveness and over-thinking that naturally occurs when adapting to a new environment.

Prior to game two of the IceHogs 2013-14 season on Sunday in suburban Austin, Texas, Mark McNeill had appeared in 13 games in an IceHogs sweater and was without a point.  Seven of those came at the end of his 18 year old junior season, and five more at the end of last season.  In those late season cameos, McNeill barely showed even brief flashes of the attributes that made him the 18th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Continue reading »

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Oct 062013
 

By Chris Block

The Rockford IceHogs began the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday night with a porous performance in San Antonio, Texas.

A re-stocked group of young IceHogs led by now AHL veterans Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin and Dylan Olsen committed one careless turnover after another in route to a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers minor league affiliate.

The loss was also costly in that the IceHogs lost two players to injury.

Annti Raanta left the game at the 5:36 mark of the first period.  Raanta had taken an Eric Selleck 12-foot one-time attempt off the inside of his left knee at the 2:58 mark of the first.  Raanta smothered Selleck’s shot, but crumpled to the ice in obvious discomfort, favoring his left leg.  After consulting with IceHogs’ trainer D.J. Jones, Raanta opted to stay in the game.  He would stop one more San Antonio shot before deciding he couldn’t continue and Kent Simpson entered the contest with 14:24 to go in the opening period. Continue reading »

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Jul 252013
 

By Chris Block

This week’s edition of PuckChatter~Radio, done on Tuesday night, is finally available for download or play here on the site.

Over the course of this show, we jumped into the reader/listener email bag to answer your questions on Steve Larmer and the Hall of Fame, Brandon Bollig, Kyle Beach, this upcoming season’s second line center and some ‘blogger’ stuff.

We also share exclusive, behind-the-scenes details from Pearl Jam’s concert at Wrigley Field in Chicago this past weekend, as well as discuss puppy dogs and health problems, sleeping on the floor, Sega Genesis, NHL97, Road-Trippin’, being old and gassy, inappropriate sharing and much much more.

Click the player below to listen here in your browser,

Or, Right-Click Here to Download the MP3 file

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We’ll return next week with another show largely dedicated to answering more emails and possibly a caller or two helping us out with the events of this upcoming weekend’s Blackhawks Fan Convention.  If you have a question or topic you’d wish to contribute to next week’s show, you can pass it along using one of the email addresses below.

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ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
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