Tag Archives: Brian Campbell

Blackhawks 7, Canucks 2: Gm 4 Highlights

They have “Bad Moon Rising” on continuous repeat in B.C. tonight.

Blackhawks are still in a 3-1 hole, but are now back in the series, relieved by the “no pressure – nothing to lose” position they earned over the previous 85 games.

NHL.com has the Game 4 and some guy named Bolland – highlights.

Game 5 in Vancouver on Thursday night.

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Say a Prayer for the Dying

The following piece ran in Sunday‘s Committed Indian, before Game 3.

By Chris Block

The Chicago Blackhawks 2010-11 season has entered the ICU.

Many of us saw this coming.  Yet, it’s a bitter pill to swallow when reality comes knocking.  The Vancouver Canucks come to United Center Sunday night looking to put the fatal wound in the 2010 and defending Stanley Cup champions’ repeat bid.

The Hawks simply cannot skate with Vancouver, the league’s best team.  They’re doing all they can just to keep up.  I’m certain Kane, Sharp or Toews will show up this week and the Hawks will win a game or two, but it’ll be too late.

The Hawks have not come back to win a series after dropping the first two on the road since 1968.  Sixteen series with the exact scenario have gone by since and the Hawks 0 for 16.  The Flyers did it to Boston last year, but this year’s Hawks don’t compare to last year’s Flyers.

Cap constraints, turnover, new faces and questionable maneuverings had the defending Cup champs behind from the start of training camp.

Logic figured the Hawks would be a very good team all season, hit a wall at some point and fall short of its ‘One Goal’.  They were, somewhat and they did – and now the Canucks are here to make certain of the latter.

What we didn’t expect out of 2010-11 was for the team to take steps backwards. Read more »

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Blackhawks shooters; 2010-11 by the numbers

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 »

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The Wearing and Tearing: Hawks no-show in Beantown

Boy, let’s hope the NHL doesn’t schedule any games on back-to-back days should the Blackhawks make the playoffs.

The Blackhawks roll-over and play dead act in Boston on Tuesday was widely anticipated and accepted by many before the two teams even took the ice before a nationwide audience at TD Banknorth Garden.

You see, because the Hawks skated so exceptionally hard to earn a 61-minute win over an AHL goaltender in Detroit twenty-four hours earlier, it’s perfectly understandable the team wouldn’t stand much of a chance against the Vezina Trophy frontrunner and the big bad bully Bruins.

Right.

Boston outshot the Hawks 9-0 in the first seven and a half minutes of the contest.  From the onset, the visitors had little to offer.  Apparently, whatever the team had stowed in its ‘care-tank’ was exhausted the night before in Motown.

There’s a good chance Milan Lucic would have scored the game’s first goal at that point had Marcus Kruger not slashed Lucic’s stick on the Bruins’ 15-foot rebound opportunity.  An early gift from referee Paul Devorski as that act was overlooked (because Lucic’s stick didn’t break) but when Kruger and Lucic continued and got entangled in the battle for what then became a loose puck, Devorski called Lucic for holding. Read more »

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Setting the stage, plus Toews and the Hart

You can put your pencils and notepads down.  The only thing left to learn about these 2010-11 Chicago Blackhawks is how bad the “core” wants to win at this point. Too, how far they can drag the dead weight Stan Bowman has anchored to what remains of the 2010 Stanley Cup champs.

One look at Cpt. Scowl-face and the ever-present expression tells the story.  This team can’t accomplish much if 50, 19, 10, 88, 2 and 7 aren’t hovering near perfection.  Throw Marian Hossa into the mix and you might have something, but those who remember last spring and have paid close attention this season should know better than to count on him.

Brian Campbell has sacrificed some offense to be a little more dependable in his own end.  He’s needed to.  His partner for most of the season, Niklas Hjalmarsson, has been a mess for the most part.  Good luck out East next year Nik.  Campbell’s plus-28 rating is second best in the NHL right now.  It’s a little misleading since his pairing draws the opposition’s secondary scoring line, but that’s no different than last year and Campbell’s offensive production has remained steady and his defense has improved, while Duncan Keith has gone backwards in both cases.

It’s about time we call a spade for what it is.  Outside of the aforementioned, adding Dave Bolland and maybe Troy Brouwer, there’s a bunch of guys in this locker room who should consider themselves lucky to be Blackhawks for the time being. Read more »

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Lindbloom: The Phantom of Rogers Arena

The Phantom of Rogers Arena

The Phantom of the Rogers Arena

Floating, falling, sweet intoxication!
Touch me, trust me savour each sensation!
Let the dream begin
let your darker side give in
to the power of the music that I write –
the power of the music of the night. –
 Charles Hart

I’m guessing most Blackhawk fans have never been to a musical – if you haven’t, skip this paragraph and go right to the one where it starts out, “We got a rope, we got a tree, all we need is a referee.” For those of you who have, I’m sure you would agree that the human voice has the uncanny power to evoke emotion sequestered away in the dark recesses of our hearts. If you just spend a moment reading the lyrics to the song Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera, you’ll discover one of those gems whose worth can never be told. The song actually helped me get over the Blackhawk victory that was snatched away somewhere in the depth’s or Rogers Arena Friday night. While I tossed and turned, reflecting on the “phantom” calls that contributed to our demise, I finally surrendered “to my darkest dreams.” Read more »

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Leaders TOI, Blackhawks record when.. through 47 games

Those who subscribe, or regularly purchase The Committed Indian may recall last week Sam Fels mention the Blackhawks record when Brian Campbell leads the team in ice time.  Since we’ve been doing a bunch of statistical analysis of late, we decided to look up the exact numbers across the board.  Sam mentioned Campbell’s exact number in Wednesday’s Indian, but here we have everything and in some detail.

A few of you may have seen the original post for this last Wednesday before our site upgrade and software updates went awry and we went down for approximately 45 hours.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed we did lose just about everything.  But anyway… Read more »

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Roundtable with Fork, Feather, Bartl, Fels and Block

Blackhawks "Blogger" Symposium

It’s been awhile, but its time once again for another round of “blogger” symposiums.  Credit McClure of SecondCityHockey.com for moderating this one and setting the topics.  Seated at the table as always is the mysterious “Forklift” of Hockeenight.com fame; John from the Fifth Feather, Jeff Bartl of BlackhawkUp and Sam Fels of The Committed Indian and NBC’s Madhouse Enforcer blog.  As well, I join in on a list of five hot topics.   Enjoy. Read more »

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Hawks Cut Morin, Details; Opener Roster Appears Set

On Monday, the Blackhawks assigned Jeremy Morin to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.  The decision ends an apparent late pre-season competition between Morin and 24-year old Vitkor Stalberg for a spot on left wing.

In the off season, Morin, 19, was acquired from Atlanta in the deal that sent Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel to the Thrashers.  Viktor Stalberg was the key return in the trade in which the Hawks sent Kris Versteeg to Toronto.

In the final exhibition game Sunday versus the Blues, Stalberg skated just under 9 minutes for coach Joel Quenneville, while Morin played 13:18 including several shifts on the power play.  Both were credited with two hits.  Morin registered two shots to Stalberg’s one.  Each picked up an assist while Morin finished a minus-1 and Stalberg a plus-1.  Morin’s effort leading to Marian Hossa’s deflection-goal during a second-period power play was a highlight of the game.  Afterwards, Quenneville called Morin’s night “okay.”

The move of Morin to the AHL trims the Blackhawks roster down to the maximum of 23 with the injury to Brian Campbell and demotion of goaltender Hannu Toivonen having previously gone down over the weekend.

Here’s how the opening night roster stacks up: (lines speculative)

Troy Brouwer – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Tomas Kopecky – Patrick Sharp – Patrick Kane
Viktor Stalberg – Dave Bolland – Fernando Pisani
Bryan Bickell – Ryan Potulny – Jack Skille
Jake Dowell

Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson – Nick Leddy
Jordan Hendry – Nick Boynton
John Scott (W/D) – Jassen Cullimore

Marty Turco
Corey Crawford

Injured: Brian Campbell (sprained right knee; out 4-5 weeks)

Jack Skille (arm) is at this point still considered questionable for Thursday’s opener in Colorado.  Skille has said he thinks he’ll be ready.

Cullimore is still around in case the Hawks get cold feet with the Nick Leddy experiment or it simply doesn’t work out.  Cullimore had a better camp than most everyone is willing to give him credit for and while it may seem unfathomable to some, Cullimore is still a better option for Quenneville than rookies like Ivan Vishnevskiy or Brian Connelly.

If Skille can’t go Thursday, its very possible John Scott will dress as the 12th forward and Cullimore as the 6th-D against the Avalanche.  Remember, Nick Boynton will be serving a one-game suspension Thursday night for his throat-slashing gesture in the first exhibition game on September 22 in Winnipeg against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

With Jake Dowell dressing the final two preseason games and Ryan Potulny watching those contests from the stands, it would stand to reason Dowell is getting the call to center the fourth line in Game 1 of 82.  Or, both Dowell and Potulny dress  (if Skille is out) in game one and Scott stands in as the 6th defenseman.

While Jordan Hendry didn’t do much this exhibition season to gain many’s confidence in his ability to anchor the third defensive pairing, the 5-6 duo needs the additional mobility neither Boynton or Scott can provide.  Thus, Hendry could have a longer rope.

In regards to the Morin demotion….

I think you’d be troubled to find a single person who felt Viktor Stalberg out-performed Jeremy Morin during the exhibition contests.  If this were a legitimate one vs one competition, Stalberg would be the player headed to the AHL.  But this obviously wasn’t.

There’s also not much to the notion Morin was a casualty of salary cap considerations.  While Morin’s 2010-11 potential performance bonuses total $170,000 more than Stalberg’s, those would be covered under the entry-level bonus cushion.  Also, Morin’s base salary and preliminary cap hit is $70,000 less than Stalberg’s.  So Morin’s preliminary hit is more favorable than Stalberg’s.  And if Morin were to stick all year at the NHL level and meet all his marks for those bonuses, I’m sure the Blackhawks wouldn’t mind.

More likely, if the cap figured into Morin’s case at all, is apparent inclusion of Nick Leddy on the opening night roster.  Leddy’s base salary according to numbers listed on CapGeek.com is $900,000.  Leddy also does not have attainable performance bonuses this season.  With Leddy in the mix on the Hawks’ blue line, the Hawks only have space for minimum sized contracts for the time being.  If Brian Campbell had not been injured Friday in the game with Pittsburgh, Leddy probably would not have made the team and Morin may have been rewarded with an early trial with the Hawks.

With Leddy in the picture, Morin had to beat out Stalberg since the contracts of Bickell, Skille, Potulny, Dowell, and even John Scott are all closer to the league minimum.  And ultimately, Morin doesn’t have to clear waivers while most of those players do, and that’s why Morin was never really in competition for a spot with anyone but Stalberg.  However, once Viktor Stalberg hits the 20 games played mark this season, he becomes waiver-eligible.  So you can see the pressure is on Stalberg to get going early or he could be headed to Rockford sooner than later after all.  Morin won’t become waiver-eligible until the 2014-15 season, or when he hits 160 NHL games played.

Stan Bowman, may also be looking to delay the passing of Jassen Cullimore through waivers until a few days after the season begins and teams set their initial rosters in case there would happen to be interest in him.  And there very well could be if you consider losing another veteran blue liner (Cullimore) would hurt the Hawks to a degree.  He hasn’t had a bad camp either.  While I’m pretty positive he’s not someone Bowman wants to see in any regularity in a Hawks uniform, Cullimore, who turns 38 in December, is still a veteran who could give the Hawks some minutes in a pinch and also has value skating with the young kids in Rockford.

While I don’t find the Morin cut as any great injustice, it is slightly disconcerting to see Bowman’s slight of Morin.  That said, Stalberg can erase those thoughts in a hurry if he gets off to a quick start this week.  And by all accounts, Morin is a determined, intelligent kid and this probably won’t set him back any.  He could also use the experience of a season in the AHL to learn the intricacies of the pro game and continued improvement on his skating.  He was only in the running for a spot this year to begin with because the Hawks’ depth up front so poor.

Stalberg posted 9 goals and 14 points in 40 games with the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs last season.  In Chicago, he’s greeted, yes, with more-accomplished teammates, but also with greater expectations.  The early returns simply won’t do.  Stalberg will find himself on the outs soon enough if he can’t find the net and help provide some offense on one of the top three lines.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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