By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks spotted Pittsburgh a three goal advantage over the first 40 minutes Tuesday night in the Consol Energy Center. A furious third period charge made for a fun finish, but the Penguins held on to hand the Blackhawks their first regulation loss of the month by the score of 3-2.
It was a rough and tumble contest that turned in a playoff-type atmosphere. Pittsburgh used a physical play to pave the way for the game’s first goal in the ninth minute of action.
Deryk Engelland attempted to remove Marcus Kruger’s head, which somehow went unpenalized save for John Scott jumping in and throwing down. As a result, Scott was assessed the instigator penalty. On the resulting power play, just over a minute later, the Penguins scored on a wrist shot by Chris Kunitz, assisted by Evgeni Malkin and Matt Niskanen.
Kruger appeared to be okay and finished the first period, but did not return for the second and third. Pittsburgh went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Read more
Posted in Game recap, Jon Fromi
Tagged Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook, Deryk Engelland, Eddie Olczyk, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Jeremy Morin, John Scott, Jonathan Toews, Marcus Kruger, Marian Hossa, Matt Niskanen, Patrick Kane, Penguins, Ray Emery, Viktor Stalberg
Bushwhacked-send in the clowns
By Rich Lindbloom
Bushwhacked: To attack or fire upon from hiding ; ambush.
I received an e-mail from a customer while attending a sales meeting Monday morning. It simply read, “I think that Edmonton just scored again!” To say the Oilers, and to a lesser extent the Flames, knocked us off our high horse would be an understatement. In an inadvertent way, I may have contributed to the “narrow” defeats in Alberta over the weekend – more on that later. Suffice it to say the ephemeral joy we experienced in Vancouver two days before being thrown into the depths of despair, dissipated quicker than a cowboy trying to stay on the much ballyhooed bull Bushwhacker. In retrospect, we were bushwhacked in Alberta, there’s no other way to put it. Oh, and weren’t the rubes in the frozen tundra having a time, “We want 10, want 10!” Not satisfied with a win, they wanted to rub our nose in it.
One of the few positives that could be taken away from that game was the Oilers only ended up with 9 – ha!, in your face Edmonton fans, in your face.
In professional Bull riding, 8 is the magic number. The cowboy who can stay on the bull for 8 seconds, has grabbed the bull by the horns so to speak. Currently, there is a bull on the rodeo circuit who has never been ridden, successfully. The closest anyone has come is 6.65 sec. Most ca-boys don’t make it past 3.5 seconds. We caught of first glance of the bull called Bushwhacker a few Sundays ago. My wife hollered down to my son, “Greg come here for a second, this is what a real man looks like,” as the crazy cowboy prepared himself in the chute. You could feel the excitement in the announcer’s voice just prior to the gate opening, waiting for the 1,500# ballerina like bull to be set free. The rider lasted less than four seconds, and Bushwhacker spent at least 3.5 seconds with all four hooves in the air. For the 28th consecutive time, Bushwhacker launched a cowboy into space. As the saying goes, “What goes up must come down,” and as the rider, (I’m going to call him Duncan), flew off the bull, the clowns were sent in to pick up the pieces. Read more
Posted in Rich Lindbloom
Tagged Andrew Brunette, Ben Smith, Dan Carcillo, Eddie Olczyk, John Scott, Judy Collins, Nick Leddy, Nikolai Khabibulin, Pat Foley, RockVegas, Rostislav Olesz, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Scott Clemmensen, Shakespeare, Taylor Hall, Viktor Stalberg
Patrick Sharp underwent emergency appendectomy surgery on Monday evening.
“Patrick Sharp underwent an emergent surgical appendectomy this evening after experiencing some abnormal abdominal discomfort,” Blackhawks head physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a team statement released Monday night. “The surgery was successful and I anticipate a full recovery in approximately three to four weeks.”
Based on prior instances across sports, a more likely timetable for an athlete of Sharp’s stature is 2-3 weeks. Four weeks would push Sharp’s return beyond the Blackhawks opening weekend match ups with the Stars as four weeks from the time of surgery is October 10.
Sharp will be fine. This development does open the door for increased reps and exhibition game action for the likes of Viktor Stalberg, Rostislav Olesz, Ben Smith, Marcus Kruger, Brandon Segal, Brett McLean and others. Read more
As a follow up to Igor Makarov signing with St. Petersburg (KHL), it appears the Blackhawks did execute a contractual release of the one-remaining year on his entry-level deal. That means Makarov is off the 50-man roster. In the Russian interview we cited in Friday’s story, Makarov said the Hawks released him and that claim now lines up. His name has now been removed from the team’s web site.
–All remaining regular season Blackhawks tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10am central via Ticketmaster. Standing room is now $27. First seven rows of the top level will cost $72 or $90 (60-72 if your seats are behind netting) depending on the opponent. To sit eleven rows off the ice on the weekend or against an Original Six or rivalry opponent now costs you $200. And you thought trading Brian Campbell would save us money….
–Free agent Chris Campoli says he has “a few irons in the fire.” [Toronto Star]
“There is interest,’ Campoli told the Star. “I have to stay positive.” Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Alexander Salak, Blackhawks tickets, Bobby Hull, Brent Sopel, Chris Campoli, Eddie Olczyk, Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani, Gary Suter, Igor Makarov, Jeremy Roenick, Joanne Hull, Johan Mattsson, Jonathan Toews, Justin Hodgman, Paul Goodman, Ray Emery, Richard Peddie, Rick Rypien, Sami Lepisto, Stan Bowman, Steve Montador
A couple IceHogs’ notes from last week.
–After years of trying, the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment [RAVE] Authority finally leased the naming rights to the MetroCentre.
RAVE leased those rights to BMO Harris Bank for a period a five years and a total of $1.3 million, according to a Rockford Register-Star report.
The MetroCentre will now be known as BMO Harris Bank Center.
Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough spoke at the press conference at the MetroCentre on Friday. Harris is also a prime sponsor of the Blackhawks. The Rockford deal actually isn’t completely finalized, but a joint memorandum indicated all points will be in place by December 15.
The arena management giant S.M.G. brokered the deal. S.M.G. has been responsible for booking the MetroCentre since last September. BMO Harris had already been sponsoring the winter synthetic outdoor ice rink a couple of blocks from the arena at Davis Park, which the RAVE Authority also oversees.
A “grand re-opening” is planned for the IceHogs preseason home opener on September 28.
The ‘BMO’ comes from Bank of Montreal. I am not making this up – The correct pronunciation on the abbreviation BMO is “Bee-mo”. So this season, if you take in an IceHogs’ home game, you should say you’re headed to the Bee-Mo, or Bee-mo Harris Bank Center. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Andrew Allen, Ben Simon, Brett McLean, Chris Campoli, Chris Chelios, Darren Pang, Dennis Rodman, Eddie Olczyk, Enrico Ciccone, Flames, Gary Suter, Greg Fox, Hockeenight, IceHogs, Ivan Boldirev, James Black, Jason Morgan, Jeremy Roenick, MetroCentre, Michael Nylander, Neil Wilkinson, Nikolai Khabibulin, Owen Nolan, RAVE, Robbie Earl, Theo Fleury, Wayne Gretzky
On Monday, Blackhawks television color analyst Eddie Olczyk was a guest on Chicago sports radio 670 TheScore discussing the team’s moves over draft weekend with hosts of the station’s midday show.
Olczyk joined hosts Dan McNeil and Matt Speigel, essentially, as you’ll read, to rundown outgoing Hawks’ defenseman Brian Campbell. Read more
The following is my column which ran in Wednesday night’s Committed Indian.
One thing struck me going back and watching last Friday night’s broadcast of the Hawks-Senators game that I felt shined a spotlight on what’s wrong with the Blackhawks this season.
In breaking down and assessing blame for the Senators’ power play goal at the start of the first period, Eddie Olczyk put Fernando Pisani under the bus for doing the very thing that has been missing since June 9th – being aggressive.
On Daniel Alfredsson’s goal, 49 seconds into the middle stanza, Olczyk ranted on and on over Pisani putting too much pressure on Sergei Gonchar as the top pointman quarterbacking the Sens’ power play. How soon we forget how these things were done for the last three years. Olczyk tried to make the point that Pisani’s over-pursuit of Gonchar disassembled the Hawks’ zone coverage. If Joel Quenneville and his staff have instructed their penalty killers to sit back in a passive box, then Olczyk is factually correct in this case.
But I wouldn’t be so quick to take Olczyk’s word for it. After all, what experience did he ever have playing in his defensive zone? And ask Mark Recchi how much he thinks of Olczyk’s hockey acumen. Read more
Posted in Committed Indian
Tagged Ben Eager, Blackhawks, Curtis Glencross, Duncan Keith, Eddie Olczyk, Fernando Pisani, Jonathan Toews, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Penalty Kill, Stan Bowman, Steve Montador