Tag Archives: Brandon Saad

Blackhawks have their way with the Devils

By Chris Block

If there ever was a game that could exemplify the current era Chicago Blackhawks, Monday’s 5-2 victory over the visiting New Jersey Devils is just it.

The Hawks patented style of suffocating much of the opposition’s attempts at advancing the puck through the neutral zone was in full force.  And even when the Blackhawks let up temporarily and give an opponent a glimmer of hope, the Hawks are much too talented, and their opponent knows the fatal gut-punch is always potentially just around the next corner.

With the three-day Christmas break looming, the Chicago Blackhawks took to the United Center ice on Monday night to face off with a New Jersey Devils team that entered the contest with a .500 record (15-15-7).

Antti Raanta made his seventh consecutive start in the Hawks net since Corey Crawford suffered his injury during the first period of the December 8th game against the Florida Panthers.  Raanta made 10 saves against a grand total of 12 New Jersey shots on Monday in improving his overall NHL record to 8-1-2 (2.20 GAA, 91.6 sv%) and 5-1-1 as Chicago’s interim number one goalie. Read more »

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Leafs offense assaults Hawks in Toronto

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks brief and ridiculously hot streak ended Saturday night in Toronto.  And the Hawks took the loss in a ‘taste of your own medicine’ fashion.

The Maple Leafs scored fairly early and very often.  Each time the Hawks struck the Leafs had an extremely quick answer.

The Hawks had a similar looking lineup to begin the game.  On the second d pairing Michael Kostka goes with Hjalmarsson, and Oduya relegated to third line duties. Read more »

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Hawks clobber lousy Stars, 6-2

By Michael Calvert

Well it can be said the Blackhawks own the Stars in their barn.  If the Dallas players give a darn, they should all be embarrassed.

The Hawks rolled out with the usual on the 1st line on Tuesday night in Dallas, and then everything thereafter was scrambled around.  Old man Zus and Versteeg joined Kane on the second line.  Saad, Shaw and Morin made up a 3rd line that would make most 2nd lines blush.  Smith, Kruger and Bollig round out the dirty line.  Mike Kostka was back in the lineup for the Hawks and appears to have come back a better player – convenient. Read more »

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Hawks special teams near perfect in Dylan Olsen and Jimmy Hayes’ return to United Center; Hawks beat Panthers 6-2

Corey Crawford leaves game in 1st period with “lower body” injury

By Brad Vandenberk

After losing a close affair against the Ducks on Friday, it was time for the Hawks to play their final eastern conference match against the Florida Panthers at the UC.  This would be the first visit for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen since being traded down south.  This was also Kris Versteeg’s first game against his old team playing for his old team.  Fatigue seems to be creeping its ugly head into the dressing room of the Hawks.  They are currently suffering from a 3-game losing streak.  Though, they have battled in all 3 games to try and stay atop the western conference.  There was some good news coming into this game.  Bryan Bickell has begun skating again and is close to a return.  Andrew Shaw did play in this game after missing the last 2 with an upper body injury.  Michael Kostka was back on the Hawks roster after being activated off the IR.  Finally Nikolai Khabibulin is working his tail off in the gym, but is still some time away from returning. Read more »

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Hawks victimized by late come from behind effort, fall 4-3 to Wild in Minnesota

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks came into St Paul riding a one game losing streak after dropping one in heart breaking fashion to the Stars.

Aside from the first, the lines looked much different.  Kris Versteeg played center for the second line, and I thought played fairly well.  Recent call ups Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom played on the third line with d man Sheldon Brookbank; you know Harding was shaking in his skates looking at that line.  The Hawks kept the 4th line of Bollig, Krüger and Ben Smith intact. Read more »

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No Panic in the MTS Centre

Despite PK, Toews carries Blackhawks in another win at Winnipeg.

By Michael Calvert

Both starting goalies came out looking strong in this game, although Corey Crawford only saw two shots on net during the first 10 minutes of the 1st quarter.  Ondrej Pavelec had to face quite a bit more pressure but was up to the task, at least in the early going.

1st period:  The Hawks came out with a familiar looking lineup Ben Smith playing in replace of Bickell, or you could say Ben Smith playing significantly better in place of Bickell, either way works really.  Rozsival is D man #6 and Steeger is down on the 3rd where he belongs. Read more »

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Patrick Roy’s intensity overwhelms Blackhawks

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 »

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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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Saad Story; Hawks dominate Wild in St. Paul

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.  Read more »

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Hawks hang on to beat winless Sabres, 2-1

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.  Read more »

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