By Brad Vandenberk
Remember the phrase “Home sweet home”? Well the Blackhawks have finally returned back to the United Center with faint smells of horse dung still lingering in the air. The circus has travelled to its next destination and the Indian head shines bright at center ice once again. The opponent on Tuesday was the same Dallas Stars that the Hawks played in Big D five days prior. That game went to a shootout with Ben Smith grabbing the victory as the 11th shooter, ripping one over Kari Lehtonen’s glove. The league leading Hawks completed their best circus trip going 6-1 and winning 6 straight after losing to Colorado to begin the trip. I smell another streak on the horizon, better scent than horse droppings. All four lines are clicking for Coach Q making it easier to have any given line out against any of the oppositions attack. Duncan Keith is making a strong case for a Norris nod being named 3rd star of the week with 6 assists. The Stars will be without one key element heading into Chicago. Tyler Seguin is suffering from concussion like symptoms and was sidelined for this event. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap
Tagged Alex Chiasson, Andrew Shaw, Antoine Roussel, Blackhawks, Brad Vandenberk, Corey Crawford, Dallas, Erik Cole, Game recap, Johnny Oduya, Kari Lehtonen, Nick Leddy, Patrick Sharp, Stars, Valeri Nichushkin
Stan Bowman solidified his repackaged defense corps on Thursday, inking Steve Montador to a 4-year $11 million agreement. The $2.75M annual cap hit is slightly more than you would have wanted to spend, but the difference isn’t significant enough to debate over.
The Blackhawks had acquired Montador’s rights late Wednesday from Buffalo for the seventh-round draft choice Chicago received from Florida this past Monday when the Hawks sent Tomas Kopecky’s negotiating rights to the Panthers. Kopecky signed with the Panthers two days later; $12M over 4 years.
Montador, 31, isn’t huge (6-0, 210) but he’s tough and plays with an edge the Hawks lacked on the blue line. He’s best-suited as a third-pair defenseman on a contender, which the Blackhawks should be again in 2012. But he will kill penalties and fill time on the power play if need be. He’s solid all around, but not really above-average at anything in particular. He gets into trouble when he leans too heavily into the offensive end or in the physical side of his game. But he makes good reads, a solid first pass and is trustworthy. Montador also has a big shot the Hawks might use on a second power play unit and he’s adept and willing to patrol the crease on the defensive end. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Brent Sopel, Erik Cole, free agency, Jeff Woywitka, Joel Ward, Kent Huskins, Matt Bradley, Maxime Talbot, Paul Mara, Sean Bergenheim, Steve Montador, Vernon Fiddler