Tag Archives: Coyotes

Blackhawks blow two-goal 3rd period lead in Detroit, win 3-2 in a shootout, finish 6th in West, await Pacific winner

By Brad Gardner

The sixth and final meeting of the season between the Blackhawks and Red Wings went down to a shootout, where Patrick Kane scored the deciding goal to give the visiting ‘Hawks a 3-2 victory. Corey Crawford played a strong game, despite giving up a pair of third-period goals, and did not allow a goal in the shootout to register his 30th win of the season.

Detroit’s third period comeback secured one point in the standings, thereby sealing up either the fourth or fifth seed of the Western Conference and a first round match-up against Nashville.

Despite the two points, Chicago settled into the sixth spot with 101 points (45-26-11 record) on the season. They will open the playoffs on the road against the winner of the Pacific Division.

The game played much like the rest of the season series. Each game between the two Central Division rivals has been decided by one goal. It was the fourth time in six games that the final score was 3-2 and the fourth time Chicago came out victorious. The ‘Hawks ended up taking 10 of a possible 12 points out of the season series against the Wings with a 4-0-2 record. Read more »

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Toews can’t do it all; Coyotes 4-3 in shootout

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks tried to go for their third straight win Monday night, as they were host to the Phoenix Coyotes.  No more then six days ago those same Coyotes out played the Hawks to a 4-1 victory.  This was the third game in 4 nights for the Hawks.

This game was carried nationally on TV through Versus and TSN2 with US Hall of Fame inductee Mike “Doc” Emrick and Eddie O on the call, with Pierre McGuire between the benches.  Corey Crawford and Mike Smith started in their respected nets, which turned out to be the same goalie match up as 6 nights ago.

The lines mimicked what coach Q put together in St Louis on Saturday night.  Dan Carcillo was on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.  Marcus Kruger was still centering the second line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp on the wings.  Dave Bolland centered the third line with Ben Smith and Michael Frolik and finally Viktor Stalberg was on the fourth line with Jamal Mayers and Andrew Brunette.  Bryan Bickell, Sami Lepisto and the mighty John Scott were the scratches. Read more »

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Hawks surrounded by Coyotes, dropped 4-1 by Phoenix in United Center return

photo credit: AP/Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Vandenberk

With the scent of circus still in the air at the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks returned home to play their final game in November.  The Phoenix Coyotes were in town seeking revenge for the 5-2 loss they suffered at the hands of the Hawks back in Glendale in October.

The Coyotes got their revenge as they out played the Hawks from the opening faceoff.

Mike Smith withstood a barrage of Hawks shots in the opening moments.  It was the Coyotes that open the scoring.  With 4:07 remaining in the opening period, Daymond Langkow completed a tic tack toe play from Ray Whitney and Shane Doan.  The period ended with Hawks down 1-0 and out shot 8-7.

The second period saw the Coyotes extend their lead as Mikkel Boedker dropped a pass to Shane Doan who let a rocket go from the top of the right circle.  It repelled past Corey Crawford, hit the crossbar and fell beyond the goal line making it 2-0 with 10:06 remaining in the period. Read more »

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Hossa’s return sparks Hawks to 5-2 win over ‘Yotes

By Brad Vandenberk

Blackhawks began a small road trip Tuesday with a stop in the desert versus the Phoenix Coyotes.

Phoenix decided to start Jason Labarbera while the Hawks went with Corey Crawford.

Marian Hossa returned to the lineup, again playing alongside Patrick Kane and Dan Carcillo.

Hossa didn’t need much time to get going.  On his first shift, he found himself on a 2 on 1 with Carcillo and elected to shoot high over the net.  The first penalty of the game went to Taylor Pyatt who was called for boarding, sending Niklas Hjalmarsson awkwardly into the boards.  Hjalmarsson would be okay.

The Hawks first power play unit had Jonathan Toews, Kane and Andrew Brunette, with Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith at the point.  Although Sharp had a breakaway, the Hawks still could not convert. Read more »

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Bold, perhaps foolhardy 2011 NHL Playoff picks

There were some very long, tough deliberations going into a few of this year’s opening round matchups.  Its difficult to isolate a ‘Cinderella’ this year because every one of those teams have gaping holes; major issues.

If the Nashville Predators were facing almost any other team but the Ducks in the first round, I’d pick the Preds to finally solve the first-round victory equation.  The Preds must jump all over Anaheim at Honda Center in games one and two to have a chance.  Pekka Rinne is due for a coming out series and the Ducks will have to get by with Dan Ellis at least for the initial game or two.  It will be a long series though and the Ducks have too much firepower to bet against.  I’m already planning on regretting this, but…. Ducks in 7.

(1) Vancouver over (8) Chicago – 6 games

(2) San Jose over (7) Los Angeles – 5 games

(3) Detroit over (6) Phoenix – 7 games

(4) Anaheim over (5) Nashville – 7 games

The Canucks are deeper up front and their blue line will outperform the Blackhawks defensive six.  Corey Crawford had to start the Blackhawks’ final 27 consecutive games out of necessity and showed signs of wear in the last week.  If the Hawks do get under Roberto Luongo’s hair, the key to the series then becomes Alain Vigneault’s trigger finger.  In Corey Schneider, Vigneault has possibly an equally as good goaltender to Luongo in the back up position.  But if Vigneault waits too long to flip the card, the series’ tide could turn and it could be too late.  The Hawks are 18-10-1-3 versus Western playoff teams and five of those losses overall came to Vancouver and San Jose.  If they can somehow work their Van-magic again and pull past the Nucks, the Hawks could go on another run.  But the Canucks are too deep; special teams are too good and they’re primed to take this series.  In both previous Blackhawks’ postseasons, home ice in the first round was a pivotal factor and they don’t have it here.  Canucks in 6.

Phoenix gave the Red Wings all they could handle last season and now have another chance to pull off the upset.  The difference this year being Detroit has the home ice advantage.  Detroit struggled down the stretch and will start the series without Henrik Zetterberg (knee).  Jimmy Howard has been just ‘okay’ and he stares down the other end of the rink at Ilya Bryzgalov, who is capable of winning three or four games on his own.  Phoenix relies on him and a balanced scoring attack.  The Red Wings need Johan Franzen to get going again and guys like Lidstrom, Stuart, Rafalski and Kronwall must be better than they were in March and April.  Home ice will be a major factor.  Dave Tippett and Mike Babcock are two of the best coaches around.  Experience edge goes to eventual series winner… Red Wings in 7.

San Jose were the league’s best team during the second-half of the season.  Antti Niemi regained his 2010 playoff form and finds himself now behind another deep and top-end talent rich 2-seed.  Los Angeles will be without top center Anze Kopitar.  While Kopitar didn’t do much in the Kings’ opening-round loss to Vancouver last year, his absence is a stinger.  The season-series between these two teams did split 3-3, but the Sharks needed a shootout to win two of those games.  Jonathan Quick and Antti Niemi will wage an epic battle, so the games will be tight.  Which is where Kopitar’s loss looms bigger at a position the team isn’t strong at.  San Jose has two lines that can score every night and a third that will pitch in too.  The Kings secondary scoring line is now its first and thus draws the top checking assignment.  If LA is to win this series, they’ll have to do so with a string of 2-1, 1-0 type victories.  They can pull it off once or twice, but the Sharks are too explosive to shut down four over seven…. Sharks in 5.

(1) Washington Capitals over (8) New York Rangers – 7 games

(2) Philadelphia Flyers over (7) Buffalo Sabres – 6 games

(3) Boston Bruins over (6) Montreal Canadiens – 5 games

(5) Tampa Bay Lightning over (4) Pittsburgh Penguins – 6 games

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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