Tag Archives: Canucks

Lindbloom: Who’s going to cook for us?

By Rich Lindbloom

The last weekend in October is set aside on our calendar for the annual Father/Son camp out in Oakland, Il.  My son and I have attended seven years straight , often times waking up with frost on our noses. Basically, we are exposed to the great outdoors nonstop from Thursday evening, until Sunday afternoon, dealing with whatever mother nature decides to throw our way. Interspersed with the solid teaching of Norm Wakefield, we canoe, fish, paint ball, skeet shoot, play 15 on 15 football and many other manly type things. Impromptu voices singing “Men, men, men, men, big strong men” can be heard throughout Walnut State Park. Yet, it seems every year about the second week of October, I start questioning if I really want to lay on the ground for three nights in a bag that you sleep in. Especially if it means I’ll miss two Hawk games, although from what I’ve garnered, I didn’t miss much on Friday when we succumbed to an inspired Cane club. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio, e.92, Sam Fels and Chris Block preview the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks

By Chris Block

With Opening Night of the 2011-12 NHL season now a mere days away, we called upon an old friend and colleague on tonight’s edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio to get down to some serious Blackhawk puck chatter.

Sam Fels, writer extraordinaire and editor of The Committed IndianSecondCityHockey.com and blogger at NBCChicago.com’s MadHouse Enforcer joins me to digest the off season and preview this year’s Chicago Blackhawks.

On the show, we discuss, but won’t limit ourselves to….

— Blackhawks’ Opening Night roster
— Updates and status of injured Hawks – Ben Smith, Patrick Sharp & Davey Bolland
— Brandon Saad signs entry-level. Begins season in NHL
— Saad vs Morin
— The mess at the center position
— Kane at Center, Sharp at Wing – For how long though?
— Grading Stan Bowman’s off season. Likes & Dislikes
— Can Dan Carcillo play?
— John Scott in the lineup Opening night?
— Ray Emery ‘wins’ the backup job
— The shake ups and makeup of the new defense corps
— Chris Campoli’s contract stand & new place in Montreal
— Biggest Hawks’ Storylines, Key Players for 2011-12
— Bolland again
— How much longer will Joel Quenneville remain Hawks’ head coach?
— Stan Bowman’s new 3-year contract extension in 2016
— 1st NHL head coach to be fired
— Western conference & Finals picks
— Predictions on Hart, Norris & Selke winners
— the Dallas Stars Ice Girls~!
— Drink beer – Get loaded – this Friday night at The Bottom Lounge with Sam and the boys over at SecondCityHockey.com at their big Opening Night viewing party.

And much… much… more

Click the player below to listen now in your browser

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Enjoy.  And thanks to everyone as always for listening.

Check out the archives – BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn
SUBSCRIBE to TTMI~Radio on ITUNES

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Bowman interview, prospect camp changes; Winny coach news, Torchetti out, Yawney quits, Toews quips, Tallon troubles, NHLvsNBA and Wang news

Stan Bowman was interviewed on ChicagoBlackhawks.com’s podcast, Blackhawks Insider, in audio posted on Monday.  A portion of Bowman’s conversation with Adam Kempenaar is transcribed here.

The Blackhawks Way of playing hockey

One piece of news coming out of the audio portion pertained to July’s prospect camp.  Bowman is inviting fewer players and there will be less scrimmage time.  He’s looking at this year as less of a tryout (or evaluation) camp and more of a development camp.  They’re experimenting with a different ideas at the assistance and suggestion of Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.  Bowman said there will be a bigger focus on “skills they’re going to need to have in order to eventually play for us.”  Just the idea of fewer players would seem to indicate one scrimmage per day instead of two.  On the topic of scrimmages, Bowman said “we are certainly going to have some of those but it was predominately scrimmages in the past.”

On the talent pool in this year’s draft, Bowman is optimistic that there is enough that he’ll get “good” future NHLers but he doesn’t see high-end goaltenders in this draft, which is consistent with the scouting reports.  Bowman said they “don’t necessarily have a one position” they’re focusing on.  He said in the past they had holes at center and defense but felt they’ve addressed those in the past couple of years.  He said he hadn’t had talks with any GM’s on moving up or trading down, but revealed those discussions between GM’s don’t typically come into play until the week and days leading into the draft.  He said they’re working at getting the best group of picks, regardless of position.

That taken, the Hawks are very weak on the depth chart at right wing.  Jeremy Morin is better on the left side.  Kyle Beach and Igor Makarov can play either.  Beach is probably better on the left but his game is a little far off to say for sure.  Makarov could Rockford’s top right wing by default if Morin and Beach keep to their off wing.

Longer-range, Bowman shared his thoughts and is high on Justin Holl’s skating ability; the toning down of Stephen Johns and Kevin Hayes taking the next step.

–Conflicting reports now coming out of Canada on the search for a new Winnipeg coach.  Today’s Winnipeg Sun is reporting there will be a second-round of interviews with finalists Claude Noel and Mike Haviland. Read more »

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Monday night’s Hockeenight PuckCast

Gracious hosts as always, CT and the “Forklift” of Hockeenight.com welcomed me onto their PuckCast again last night.

Click the player below to listen here in your browser.  ITunes users can subscribe and download all of their shows in the podcast section of the ITunes store.

For others who prefer to download these audio programs, I uploaded it here.

We ran the gamut of Chicago Blackhawks topics on the show.  Here’s a list of just some of those:

-Blackhawks at this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft
-Who the Hawks are likely to pick
-Draft trades
-Which position the Hawks need to stock up on
-Making the right deal with Michael Frolik
-Bringing back former Hawks
-Two Hawks, aside from Marty Turco, definitely goners
-Niklas Hjalmarsson
-What Ben Smith won’t do next season
-The Kid Rock of hockey blogging
-Canucks injuries
-Twitter
-Joel Quenneville’s goalie gun
-Jeremy Morin
-Getting the best player in a deal
-Gargantuan hockey bloggers
-Blackhawks convention
-More on Duncan Keith’s comments
-Trying to make sense of why people dislike John McDonough so much
-Missing Tonkfest
-Thoughts on Canucks-Bruins
-Phil Collins in Concert
-Hockey Returns to Winnipeg
-Trying to watch baseball
-Raffi Torres, Aaron Rome, Hjalmarsson and hits that must be taken out of the game

And much, much more

Thanks as always to Fork and CT for having me on and to all those who take the time to listen to their show, as well as ours.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Lindbloom: Back to Gasoline Alley

By Rich Lindbloom

The Hawks precipitous fall from the pinnacle of the hockey world left many of us searching not for Rhett Butler, but for the Anacin bottles when all was said and done. Intensifying the pain was the manner in which we were finally eliminated. Despite the efforts of “all the king’s horses and all the kings men,” the Blackhawk’s Stanley Cup defense was shot in the foot by a player who has a Doctorate in Aggravation. I’m referring of course to the villainous #14, Alexandre Burrows, from this point on referred to as the “Squirrel.” I wish there was a way to erase that memory from the recesses of my brain, but it keeps resurfacing like some inextricable nightmare. Furthermore, no doubt we’ll have to watch highlights of that special moment in Vancouver Playoff history the rest of this post season. Excuse me while I head to the vomitorium.

To backtrack a moment, let me try to explain Alexandre’s new nickname. My wife, the Belgium babe, has an incredible soft spot in her heart for animals. Usually we’re fostering a litter of puppies or kittens for the Humane Society. There have been some exceptions – most notably a raccoon named Rocky who drove me banana’s for about three months. I could tell you a lot of Rocky stories, but this one is about three squirrels we tried to raise that fell out of some God forsaken tree in front of our house. What really bugs me is that it seems half of Homewood calls our house when they get an injured or seemingly abandoned bunny or whatever. I can only pray that I answer the phone when they call so I can say, “No she isn’t home and don’t ever call here again!” But back to the squirrels… Read more »

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Game 7: The End: Canucks 2, Blackhawks 1, OT; Highlights

Via NHL.com

 

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Game 7 Highlights: Nucks prevail 2-1, OT

Scroll down the main page to see period by period details of Game 7.

Corey Crawford was phenomenal and the only reason this game was ever close. One incredible, determined individual short-handed effort by Blackhawk captain Jonathan Toews miraculously extended this game to overtime with less than two minutes to play in regulation. Roberto Luongo made a lot of good saves (31 in all), but also gave a bunch of rebounds. This happened to be one his teammates in front of him didn’t get to first, a rarity on Tuesday night.

Game 7 lived up to the hype and then some. Vancouver dominated, then flirted with disaster, the Hawks hung in there but the better team definitely won in the end.

Alex Burrows scored both Vancouver goals. On top of those, he was also awarded a penalty shot 21 seconds into the third period off a Duncan Keith tripping infraction but was stopped by Crawford. A score at that time would have put the Canucks up two goals.

Toews’ short-handed tally was his lone goal of the series (1g, 3a, -4, a team-worst plus/minus). Crawford allowed 16 goals in the series, finishing with a .927 save percentage and 2.21 goals against average.

After losing the first three games of the series, the Blackhawks made a valiant comeback in attempt to pull off the upset. Sure, the pressure was off by Game 4, and Alain Vigneault’s Canucks took their double foot-stomp off the gas mid-series, but the defending champions showed their character and would not go quietly. In the end, this amounted to one great series.

Vancouver now moves on to face Nashville in Round 2. San Jose will matchup with Detroit. The Western Conference obviously will have a new Finals representative this year. Detroit will attempt to make their 3rd Finals appearance in four years. Vancouver has been there twice (’82+’94) before. San Jose and Nashville have never been. For the Predators, this is their first time advancing past the first round.

NHL.com Game 7 highlights after the jump Read more »

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Hawks-Canucks Game 7: Overtime notes: OT all Alex Burrows

Overtime lasted 5 minutes and 22 seconds.  The Canucks persevere and advance past the Blackhawks on an Alexandre Burrows’ bullet after a turnover at the Hawks’ blue line.

Vancouver survived an early scare when Burrows went to the penalty box 24 seconds into overtime for holding Duncan Keith.  The ‘Hawks managed just one shot during those following two minutes up 5-on-4 and then the play belonged to the Canucks for the eventual final three minutes.

The game and the Blackhawks season ended when Chris Campoli failed to clear a puck up the left side wall inside the Hawks’ zone.  Campoli tried to clear a bouncing puck but Jonathan Toews was kneeling on the ice ten feet in front of Campoli near the boards inside the blue line so it appeared Campoli chose to clear the puck up and over Toews instead of along the boards where Toews was prone.  But unfortunately for Campoli and the Hawks, Burrows gloved the puck down and broke clear towards Crawford and Burrows fired a bomb clear by the Hawks’ netminder.

Vancouver wins the game 2-1 and the finishes the Blackhawks season 5:22 in to overtime of Game 7.

The Canucks now move on to meet Nashville in the second round.  Which means San Jose and Detroit will meet once again in the Western Conference Semi-finals.

Burrows had both Vancouver goals.  He also had a goal, his only other of the series, in Chicago in Game 6.  In 40 career playoff games, Burrows now has 10 goals and 17 points.  He finished with 3 goals and 3 assists in the series.  Five of those points came in games six and seven.

Burrows, Luongo and Crawford, in that order (1-3) were named the stars of the game.  Crawford had to be much better than Luongo tonight but its hard to argue those given the outcome.  Just a fabulous performance by Corey Crawford to keep the Hawks in a game they really had no business being in.

Luongo made 31 saves to Crawford’s 36.

Both teams went 0-2 in four minutes of power play time a side.  Although the Hawks did strike with the shorty to tie the game late in regulation with Duncan Keith in the penalty box.

Another terrific game surrounded by high drama that goes beyond your typical Game 7 hype.  Luongo and the Canucks finally solve the Blackhawks.  Given where this series was after Game 3, it is a minor miracle there was even a seventh game, but you Canucks’ fans have Alain Vigneault’s bench management in game 4 for that.

That Blackhawks leading goal scorer in the series was Duncan Keith (4), followed by Sharp (3) and Ben Smith (3).  Toews’ lone tally was the big short-handed one in this one.  Hossa’s two goals in Game 5 were huge in the Hawks’ 5-0 rout to close the series’ gap to 3-2 but he was largely invisible the rest of the series.  Patrick Kane (1g, 5a), Michael Frolik (2g, 3a) and Dave Bolland (2g, 4a) were the other major point scorers.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing about quite a few injuries on the Hawks’ side in the next couple of days.  Sure, they were a factor but its also highly probable that Vancouver is dealing with injuries as well.  Had Dave Bolland been healthy from the start of the series the outcome may have been different, or it may not have.  Vancouver was clearly the better team in five of the seven games and its no injustice that they’re moving on.  The Canucks’ regular season record was no joke.  They were the more consistent and potent team in every aspect during the regular season as they were here in this series.  The Blackhawks could have easily checked out in Games 4 or 5, but they didn’t.  A few players had coming of age type moments in this series; namely Michael Frolik and Ben Smith.  The Hawks pushed back when they could have folded; they responded with character, like champions, albeit wounded, over-matched former champions.

Many decisions lie ahead in the coming months and there should be some different faces on the team next year.  The regular season cannot be ignored, but given this team’s body of work and the challenge it faced in the opening round, and where the team stood in this series nine days ago, no one should say this season ended on a sour note.

The Blackhawks battled hard but they weren’t good enough.  Not this year.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Hawks-Canucks Game 7: Jonathan Toews sends this one to Overtime notes

Why not?  I guess Canucks fans will truly never suffer enough.

After a mostly dominant game, the Canucks get both a penalty shot opportunity and a late 3rd period power play (with Duncan Keith the Hawk going into the box) and not only did the Canucks not put the game away, but they surrendered a short-handed goal to tie the game and extended it to overtime.

Jonathan Toews with an amazing individual effort to beat two checks carrying the puck to the goal after a Canucks neutral zone giveaway.  The sequence started with Toews losing a neutral zone draw to Chris Higgins.  Toews got the puck from Seabrook and drove hard towards Luongo, dishing to Marian Hossa whose shot was stopped, but rebounded to a falling Toews for the put-in.

Duncan Keith’s attempt to stop an Alex Burrows breakaway on the opening shift of the period resulted in a Burrows penalty shot that Crawford stopped.  Burrows also drew the late period hook that sent Keith to the box for the Vancouver power play that the Blackhawks’ captain turned the tables on.

Corey Crawford has been nothing short of incredible.  He’s stopped 34 of 35 shots he’s faced.  12 of those coming in the third period.

Chicago really has no business extending this game to overtime.  A fact the Rogers Arena crowd recognizes as they went eerily silent after the Hawks’ short-handed goal and the Canucks inability to respond afterwards.  Some anxious moments ahead in Vancouver.

Shots going into OT are 35-31 in Vancouver’s favor.  The Canucks are outhitting Chicago 40-17.

The Blackhawks have yet another life in this series.  The Canucks mentally must be reeling.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Hawks-Canucks Game 7: 2nd period notes

Second period was all Corey Crawford.  This game could easily be 3-0 at this point.  Crawford stopped 15 Vancouver shots in all to keep the score 1-0 through forty minutes.  His biggest save was one he absolutely needed to make after turning the puck over behind his goal.  With the Hawks on the power play (Jannik Hansen in the box for tripping Sharp), Crawford was trying to ease a dump in to a retreating Duncan Keith.  Keith was being hounded by Mason Raymond and Crawford didn’t lay the puck out far enough behind the goal for Keith and Keith overskated it and Raymond had an easy takeaway.  Keith really had no chance on the play.  Raymond then moved out front but Crawford turned his chance away.

Crawford’s two other huge stops came 39 seconds apart, both on Henrik Sedin, the second a goal line stand with a little help from Marcus Kruger who has been good in his role tonight.

The Blackhawks appeared gassed by the end of the period.  Vancouver didn’t let up at all coming out for the second, continuing to put the heat on Chicago in all zones.  The Hawks defense have little time and space in the offensive zone and the Canucks are effectively clearing their zone.  The Canucks appear to be tireless.

Vancouver continues to out hit the Hawks, 13-7 in the second period and out shot Chicago as well, 15-6 and 23-18 now overall in the game.

The Rogers Arena is reacting vociferously to every perceived non-call, with an obvious slant towards the home team.   Not unexpectedly the officials are trying to stay out of this game and a very reluctant to call anything.  That said, there’s been no rhyme or reason to the two penalties they have called, versus what they’ve let go.  Still, it has the feeling each team will get a power play opportunity in the third period.

Marian Hossa had a nice steal in the Cancucks’ zone seven minutes into the second, but aside from that, he’s been laregly invisible tonight.  Jonathan Toews was better in the circle that period and is everywhere but he’s missing a gear as has been the case most of the series.

Coming into the game, for those who have followed the Hawks all year long, the very least you wanted to see was another strong Crawford performance.  So far they’ve seen it.  Crawford is main reason Chicago even made the playoffs and its a crime he wasn’t one of the Calder trophy (rookie of the year) finalists.  The worst thing that could happen at this point would be for Crawford to wind up being the game 7 goat.  Through two, Crawford’s again been the Hawks best player by a wide margin.

Twenty minutes to go in regulation. Game 7. Vancouver leads 1-0.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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