By Brad Vandenberk
The Chicago Blackhawks completed their 2 game home stand on Sunday night, before embarking on their annual 6 game circus road trip. First, they had to get past the high flying Edmonton Oilers, who have completely turned their fortunes around from last season. Edmonton entered Sunday’s contest in first place in the Northwest Division. This game would end an Oilers’ 6-game road trip.
Corey Crawford started in goal facing off with his old mentor in Nikolai Khabibulin. Dave Bolland did not dress for the 3rd straight game with a foot injury, but will travel with his teammates and likely play on the upcoming road swing.
The opening period began with the Hawks pressuring the Oilers zone. It paid off early as Jonathan Toews received a pass from Viktor Stalberg behind the net, then walked out in front and put a high shot over Khabibulin making the score 1-0 Hawks at 4:55 of the opening period. This came after Taylor Hall went hard to the net and hit the cross bar at the other end of the ice surface. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap
Tagged Ben Eager, Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford, Dan Carcillo, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Jordan Eberle, Nick Leddy, Nikolai Khabibulin, Oilers, Patrick Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff, Steve Montador, Taylor Hall
By Brad Gardner
Ray Emery got the call in the Blackhawks return to the United Center Friday night against the Calgary Flames, turning in his best effort of the season in Chicago’s second straight win. Goals from Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook turned out to be enough as the ‘Hawks held on to a lead in the third period for a 4-1 victory.
Duncan Keith, playing in his 500th career NHL game, opened the scoring 12:09 into the first period. Patrick Sharp sent a shot on net and Miikka Kiprusoff kicked out a juicy rebound into the slot. The Flames goalie attempted to play a shot from the closest ‘Hawk, but Dan Carcillo was taken out of the play by defenseman Scott Hannan. The puck continued out to Keith, who ripped a slap shot past Kiprusoff as he was caught out of position.
Despite a pair of power play opportunities later in the first, Chicago took the one goal lead into the intermission. Ray Emery was a big part of the lead as well, keeping Calgary off the board with a number of saves against traffic in front of the net. Read more
By Brad Vandenberk
The Anaheim Ducks flew into the United Center on Tuesday to take on your Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks were coming off a shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, while the Ducks were beginning their 7 game road trip after losing their last 2 at home.
Corey Crawford started in net for the Hawks, while his bobble heads filled the arena. Jonas Hiller, starting goalie for the Ducks, was tested early on in the game, as the Hawks found themselves owning the offensive zone; even the fourth line had a few chances to score.
The Hawks got their first power play of the game as Corey Perry, flipped the puck over the glass and was called for Delay of Game. Although the Hawks were one man up, they couldn’t break the score. Not long after Perry’s penalty expired, Sean O’Donnell was called for tripping, and the Ducks 2nd ranked penalty kill in the league received their first test of the night. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap
Tagged Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Bobby Ryan, Brad Vandenberk, Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford, Corey Perry, Dan Carcillo, Dave Bolland, Ducks, Duncan Keith, Jamal Mayers, Jonas Hiller, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Getzlaf, Sean O'Donnell, Teemu Selanne
By Brad Gardner
After dropping the season opener in Dallas, the Blackhawks came out flying in the home opener in front of an announced 21, 647 at the United Center. Chicago jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second and it was enough of a cushion to hold off the Stars’ late push. The Hawks eventually walked away with a 5-2 win.
Andrew Raycroft was in net for the Stars despite Kari Lehtonen’s hurculean effort on Friday night in Dallas. Raycroft turned in a strong first period in keeping the puck out of the net – the Blackhawks outshot the visitors 10-2 in the first period – but Raycroft wasn’t handling too many shots cleanly.
Those miscues eventually cost him in the first period. On a Blackhawks’ power play, Patrick Sharp controlled the puck and tried to put it on net. His first attempt was blocked, but Sharp recovered and got his second attempt through to Raycroft. Andrew Burnette picked up the rebound and notched his first goal as a ‘Hawk with a backhander, putting Chicago on the board first. Read more
By Jon Fromi
Brent Seabrook enters the 2011-12 campaign with a five-year, $29 million contract in hand. The physical half of the Blackhawks’ top defensive pairing can live up to the terms simply enough. Seabrook just needs to play the game that earned him those big bucks.
Seabrook’s ability to hold up in the long term under the physical play took a hit, literally and figuratively, in the playoffs via the shoulder of Raffi Torres. The Hawks hope Seabrook will erase any lingering doubt as the season gets underway. Read more
By Brad Gardner
The Blackhawks’ blue line will be without a key contributor now that Brian Campbell will lace his skates in Sunrise, Florida this season. The seismic trade was felt most strongly on the books, where Campbell’s departure opened up over 7 million dollars in cap room. Shockwaves will also be felt on the ice as Chicago’s returning defenders and a trio of new acquisitions will try to replace one of the NHL’s better offensive-defensemen. Read more
If, as Rocky Wirtz claims, the Blackhawks are still operating in the red through this past season, the company will have its work cut out for itself this coming year.
As things stand now, the Blackhawks will spend a minimum-projected $77 million on player salaries in 2011-12. This is about an $8.5 million increase on what was spent in 2010-11, $68.5M. The Hawks spent $66.0M in 2009-10, including performances bonuses ($4.1M) that went penalized against the Hawks cap the following season.
While the team at this point sits roughly $3M under the $64.3M salary cap ceiling with the roster one player over the 23-man limit, several factors will have the team spending almost $13 million more than the “upper limit.” Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Ben Youds, Brent Seabrook, Carter Hutton, Corey Crawford, Cristobal Huet, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Carlsson, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Patrick Sharp, Player Salaries, Rocky Wirtz, Salary Cap, Steve Montador
Searching for hope inside the Blackhawks’ Game 1 and 2 efforts in Vancouver can be like finding a needle in a haystack. More like pouring a glass of milk three days after the expiration date.
Those looking for positives will need to keep their good eye closed.
Corey Crawford has been mostly great, but the Hawks are still in a 0-2 series’ hole coming back to the United Center for Game 3 on Sunday night.
Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp have yet to be heard from in this series. But, neither have Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond. Habitual Hawk-killer Mikael Samuelsson was a late-scratch Friday with the flu and the Sedin twins have flubbed a few prime scoring opportunities they normally wouldn’t.
Words cannot describe how awful Chicago’s blue line has been. Future and former Norris Trophy winners will petition to have Duncan Keith’s name removed from the statue at this point. Brent Seabrook’s pressing too hard and can’t be everywhere. Brian Campbell is the Hawks’ best defenseman five on five and that’s not saying much. He’s been terrible at times too. Chris Campoli at least didn’t do anything too stupid. Nick Leddy simply doesn’t belong.
Niklas Hjalmarsson did something on Friday you don’t see very often at the NHL level. With the Hawks pinned deep in their zone, Hjalmarsson tried to outlet to his defense partner twice in a matter of seconds. Just a minor issue with that though. Neither time did Brian Campbell have a stick. Ben Smith tried to give his stick to Campbell after the second Hjalmarsson pass but the puck was ten feet from Campbell in the Hawks’ right corner and the exchange didn’t happen. The Hawks eventually got the puck out.
For the Hawks, hope is yet a glimmer in a narrowing eyelet.
For those steadfast in denial, the milk is on the table. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Tagged Alain Vigneault, Alex Edler, Ben Smith, Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook, Canucks, Chris Campoli, Daniel Sedin, Duncan Keith, Jake Dowell, Jannik Hansen, Joel Quenneville, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Patrick Sharp, Victor Stalberg
On Monday night’s Hockeenight PuckCast, and on our show in the past, we’ve mentioned some Blackhawks’ goal scorer in-detail statistics. The following is a full list of those figures for the Chicago Blackhawks 2010-11 regular season.
Here we take a look at where the Hawks’ goal scorers do their work; statistical data to back up who gets to the net and who doesn’t…. Which Blackhawks need to shoot more and who should keep it in their pocket…. and who has trouble getting their attempts on net.
Goals scored – Average distance from the net (average excludes empty-net goals)
Distance measured in feet (total goals, minus ENG in parenthesis), For players such as Michael Frolik and Jack Skille, only goals scored while with the Blackhawks this season are figured.
Hendry, Jordan – 8.0 – (1)
Johnson, Ryan – 8.0 – (1)
Boynton, Nick – 10.0 – (1)
Dowell, Jake – 11.0 – (4) – detail [7-9-7-21]
Brouwer, Troy – 14.5 – (17) [furthest 31, next was 23ft]
Bolland, Dave – 15.9 – (14) Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Stat Analysis
Tagged Ben Smith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell, Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, Duncan Keith, Jack Skille, Jake Dowell, Jeremy Morin, John Scott, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik, Nick Leddy, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Johnson, Tomas Kopecky, Troy Brouwer, Victor Stalberg
By Rich Lindbloom
Back in the early 70’s when I attended Hillcrest H. S., we used a phrase when we were about to drop the gloves so to speak. You and your adversary would bump into each other and at least one of the combatants would exclaim, “Bumping it up it up, Jack.” It was the hockey equivalent of “Do you want to dance?” I recall Rick (Andy) Anderson and Ronnie (Spooky) Williams bumping it up on the way to a high school basketball game, in the back of the bus. Who says basketball is a non contact sport!
During Wednesday’s battle with a surging Calgary team, Brent Seabrook played with such might and force he resembled an air craft carrier. Brent was bumping it up with anything that crossed his path. “I’m a steam roller baby, I’ll roll right over you,” appeared to be his game plan. Before you go pointing out that Seabrook is Canadian and wouldn’t have a US aircraft carrier named after him, get a clue. You think the Hawks meeting with President Obama next week is a formality? The President is going to announce the commissioning of our newest aircraft carrier. Do you really think the Taliban wants to see the USS Brent Seabrook cruising their way – Forget about it! The pirates in Somalia are already thinking about taking up fishing as a occupation.
The cantankerous Seabrook especially impressed me the way he cleared out the crease after the whistle blew. It’s about time someone else besides Kopecks gets a facial for lingering around the net. I was a bit surprised when I asked Chris Block what he thought about signing Seabrook about 3 weeks ago. Basically he said the #7 car was worth every cent of $5 million for what he brought to the blue line. When you think about it, unless Scott is pressed into emergency duty, he’s the only really physical d-man we have. Read more