Mar 092013
 

By Brad Vandenberk

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have reached the halfway point of the shortened NHL season and your Chicago Blackhawks have yet to lose a game in regulation.  Let’s see a show of hands of how many people thought this would happen.

At this stage let’s take a minute to review the season preview that was posted back in January.  There were a few statements that I made in believing what would make this Hawks team successful.

We will start from the goalies and make our way up to the forwards.  Corey Crawford and Ray Emery were viewed as being the “unknown” factors.  Continue reading »

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Mar 062013
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks got a pair of goals from Bryan Bickell and a three-point night from Brandon Saad as the home team won a franchise-record tenth straight contest Tuesday night, a 5-3 decision over the Minnesota Wild.

On a night honoring Marian Hossa, the ‘Hawks used four unanswered goals in a six-minute span in the first period to avenge one of their three losses on the 2013 season. Chicago wins their 20th game and have now earned 43 of a possible 46 points.

In his first shift back from an upper body injury, Dave Bolland earned a high sticking penalty when his blade caught Torrey Mitchell in the face. Jonathan Toews had a breakaway chance even after losing his stick. Thanks to some NASCAR-like efficiency from the bench, Toews took a pass from Hossa but was turned away by Backstrom. The ‘Hawks did kill the penalty, however. Continue reading »

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Mar 022013
 

By Brad Gardner

The Chicago Blackhawks took the ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second time this week on Friday night. A back-and-forth affair eventually swung in favor of the home team, with Brent Seabrook scoring the game winning goal in a 4-3 overtime victory.

Ray Emery got the nod in net for the Blackhawks after posting two thirds of the team’s shutout the previous night in St. Louis. Corey Crawford, who left that game against the Blues after the first period due to injury, dressed as Emery’s back-up.

The Hawks squeezed past the Jackets, the NHL’s lowest ranked team in the standings, in a 1-0 regulation win on Sunday and Todd Richards’ club again proved to be all the Hawks could handle on Friday. The Jackets pushed out to a pair of one-goal leads during the first 40 minutes and were still able to put together a good effort in the third period to tie it up and force overtime. Continue reading »

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Mar 012013
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks got to work early in St. Louis Thursday night, parlaying a quick goal into an impressive 3-0 win over the Blues. The continuation of Chicago’s NHL record point streak to start a season was tempered by the departure of starting goalkeeper Corey Crawford after the first intermission.

The ‘Hawks wasted little time getting on the board following the opening faceoff. Jonathan Toews won the draw, starting a sequence that saw all five Chicago skaters handle the puck. Brent Seabrook gained control of the puck and sent it across the ice to Duncan Keith. Keith quickly found Marian Hossa entering the St. Louis zone.

Hossa found Brandon Saad. Saad returned the puck to the doorstep, where his captain scored on what was officially labeled a backhand. The puck looked like it came off of Tazer’s skate, but it wasn’t a kicking motion by any means. The puck slid into the vacated net for a 1-0 lead twelve seconds into the contest. Continue reading »

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Feb 242013
 

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks squeaked out win number 15 on the season with a 1-0 victory at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

One night after losing a 2-1 decision in St. Louis, the Jackets brought their physical, grinding game into the Madhouse on Madison intent on being the first team to knock the Hawks out in regulation time this season.

Corey Crawford, returning after missing four games due to injury and suiting up for one game as a back-up, matched up against Steve Mason in net. Both goalies played strong in what turned out to a tight-checking affair for the most part.

Although each team had their share of power play opportunities, they ended up a combined 0-for-8 on the man advantage. Crawford, for his part, made 10 saves against the Columbus power play on five opportunities. Continue reading »

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Feb 172013
 
image001(1)Metamorphoses: Basher unleashes his inner butterfly

By Rich Lindbloom

The Roman poet Ovid wrote a book called Metamorphoses about 2,050 years ago on people changing into new bodies – trees, rocks, animals, constellations etc. It’s a great read covering some 250 Greek and Roman myths, man’s feeble attempts to explain the why for and the where for of his existence. (Or as David Byrne sang, “You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”) Ovid states in his opening sentence, “I want to speak about bodies changed into new forms.” With those enticing words, the hook is set.

The transformation of Bryan Bickell this season was enough to send me to see if I could locate Ovid’s classic Metmorphoses in the attic. In its day, it was one of those books that you couldn’t put down. Who would have thought 40 years ago that I would be mentioning Bickell’s name alongside Ovid in a hockey piece?  Bickell has always been a bit of an enigma to the throngs pining for blood in the 300 section during the past two seasons. Continue reading »

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Feb 132013
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks returned to the United Center Tuesday to take on the team directly below them in the Western Conference standings, the Anaheim Ducks. The ‘Hawks led after two periods, but lost the lead late and suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to begin a seven-game home stand.

Viktor Fasth won his sixth straight start this season, stopping 28 of the 30 shots managed by the Blackhawks.

In the opening period, Chicago had a nice chance created by Brandon Saad, who won a battle for the puck, took it into the Ducks zone and passed to Jonathan Toews. Toews got behind the net and set up Saad in front of the net, but Fasth stopped the attempt. Continue reading »

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Feb 082013
 

By Brad Gardner

The Chicago Blackhawks earned their seventh road win of the 2013 season with a 6-2 victory in Glendale over the Phoenix Coyotes. Patrick Kane scored a pair of power play goals in the first period and Ray Emery had another reliable outing in net as the Blackhawks improved to 9-0-2 on the year.

The game marked the first time that Raffi Torres would be on the ice against the Blackhawks after his high hit on Marian Hossa in the 2012 playoffs knocked the Hawks star winger out of action for months.

Retribution was quick against Raffi Torres, who answered the bell on his first shift of the game. Jamal Mayers initiated the scrap as soon as he stepped off the bench, and Torres was ready for him. Continue reading »

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Feb 062013
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks broke a four-game losing streak at the HP Pavilion, rallying from an early two-goal deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 Tuesday night. The ‘Hawks remained unbeaten in regulation this season in a game that saw rookie Brandon Saad log his first NHL goal in a wild first period.

The Sharks were physical right from the start of the contest and it paid off in the form of a pair of early goals. San Jose laid some hard hits on Andrew Shaw along the boards and Duncan Keith behind the ‘Hawks net. Keith avoided big contact, but landed hard on his back.

With Keith temporarily on the bench, Joe Pavelski knocked in a bouncing puck created by Marc Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the point at the 2:53 mark of the first.

Minutes later, Tommy Wingles got the puck entering the Chicago zone and fired a lazer over the glove of Corey Crawford to make it 2-0 San Jose just 5:18 into the game. At this point, coach Joel Quenneville used his time out in an attempt to settle his team. It did just that as Chicago struck twine three times in the span of 89 seconds. Continue reading »

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Jan 312013
 

By Jon Fromi

Hey, it was bound to happen.

The Chicago Blackhawks picked up a point Wednesday to open a six-game road trip, but came up a few inches short as they dropped their first game of the 2013 season.

Niklas Backstrom recorded 28 saves in relief of Josh Harding as the Blackhawks lost 3-2 in a shootout.

Minnesota got on the board quickly.  Just ninety seconds following the opening faceoff, the Wild won a draw in the Chicago zone.  Mikael Granlund, who bested Marcus Kruger for possession, fired the puck on goal and Corey Crawford allowed a rebound in front of the net. Crawford stopped a put-back by Matt Cullen, but Cullen pounced on a second rebound attempt to give his team a 1-0 advantage. Continue reading »

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