Dec 052013
 

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks came into St Paul riding a one game losing streak after dropping one in heart breaking fashion to the Stars.

Aside from the first, the lines looked much different.  Kris Versteeg played center for the second line, and I thought played fairly well.  Recent call ups Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom played on the third line with d man Sheldon Brookbank; you know Harding was shaking in his skates looking at that line.  The Hawks kept the 4th line of Bollig, Krüger and Ben Smith intact. Continue reading »

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Dec 042013
 

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. Continue reading »

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Dec 012013
 

By Brad Vandenberk

The Blackhawks finally completed their annual Circus road trip on Saturday night.  To this point, the road warriors had gone 5-1 on this trip.  The final stop was in Phoenix where the pesky Coyotes are known to give the Hawks some issues.  It wasn’t long ago that these same Yotes beat the Hawks out of the first round of the playoffs.  This time entering Jobing.com Arena, it was time to head back home packing another road victory.  The Hawks skated into this one in first place with a 3 point lead in the western conference separating them and second place.  The more points the merrier when you are on the road.

Hawks rookie goaltender Antti Raanta got the start, while Canadian Olympic hopeful Mike Smith was in the blue paint for the Coyotes.  Michael Rozsival worked his way back on the point with Sheldon Brookbank taking a seat.  Michael Kostka and Bryan Bickell were the other scratches. Continue reading »

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Nov 292013
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks rallied from a third-period deficit once again, coming back in Dallas to force a shootout Friday night. It took eleven shooters, but Ben Smith provided the margin of victory as the Hawks prevailed 2-1.

First Period-Duncan Keith came up with a steal and found Patrick Kane coming out of the Hawks zone. Kane took the puck up the ice and got off a shot that was knocked away by Kari Lehtonen two minutes into the game.

The Stars goalie denied Jonathan Toews a few minutes later and stopped a one-timer by Brent Seabrook near the five-minute mark. At the other end of the ice, Corey Crawford made five saves, including stops on Ray Whitney and Ryan Garbutt in the first six minutes. Continue reading »

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Nov 282013
 

By Michael Calvert

In Wednesday night’s game against the rather lowly Calgary Flames, Coach Q decided to put Michal Handzus back into the 2nd center spot and move Brandon Pirri down to the 3rd. The move didn’t seem to work.  Aside from Pirri and Handzus switching the lines, the Hawks looked pretty similar to the norm.  One exception to that norm was that Antti Raanta made his first NHL start in net.  I’d say by the eye test Raanta looked pretty good. The Finnish goalie saved 20 of 22 Flames shots in leading the Blackhawks to their 18th win of the season. Continue reading »

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Nov 262013
 

By Brad Vandenberk

After beating the Canucks with two goals over just 9 seconds on Saturday night, the Blackhawks were off to Edmonton to continue the western Canadian leg of their circus road trip.  The local Edmonton papers all had the Oilers with the slight edge heading into this contest.  It seems that the capital of Alberta must be missing something here.  The Hawks just edged the Oilers at the UC just weeks ago.  Michal Handzus was welcomed back to the lineup after coming off the IR.  Marian Hossa was still missing in action due to a family reason back in Chicago.  He is rumoured to be joining the Hawks when they cruise down highway 2 to Calgary on Tuesday.  Continue reading »

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Nov 242013
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks visited Vancouver Saturday night and rallied to defeat the Canucks 2-1 at Rogers Arena. Both Blackhawks goals were scored in a nine-second interval in the third period as Chicago picked two key points after trailing through the first 40 minutes.

Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger provided the offense, while Corey Crawford anchored the defense with 36 saves. Chicago won its second game in a row and are now 2-1 on their current road trip.

First Period-Kris Versteeg had the first good look of the contest in the second minute coming up the middle of the ice, though there wasn’t much on the shot and Roberto Luongo handled the attempt. Alexander Edler put a couple of shots on Corey Crawford in the fifth minute. Crawford fought off traffic in front of the net to make the saves. Continue reading »

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Nov 222013
 

Despite PK, Toews carries Blackhawks in another win at Winnipeg.

By Michael Calvert

Both starting goalies came out looking strong in this game, although Corey Crawford only saw two shots on net during the first 10 minutes of the 1st quarter.  Ondrej Pavelec had to face quite a bit more pressure but was up to the task, at least in the early going.

1st period:  The Hawks came out with a familiar looking lineup Ben Smith playing in replace of Bickell, or you could say Ben Smith playing significantly better in place of Bickell, either way works really.  Rozsival is D man #6 and Steeger is down on the 3rd where he belongs. Continue reading »

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Nov 202013
 

Hawks can’t keep pace; lose 5-1 in Colorado to open Circus trip.

By Brad Vandenberk

It was time to kick off the Blackhawks annual circus road trip on Tuesday.  This happens every year around the same time in November when the lions, tigers and bears, OH MY, invade the United Center for two weeks.  As we have witnessed in the past, this trip provides an accurate measuring stick as to how well the Hawks play on the road.  Continue reading »

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Nov 172013
 

By Michael Calvert

Well, that was embarrassing.  Chicago went into Nashville Saturday night to face a flailing Predator team sporting a backup goalie.  One would think that a team with little to no offense and a backup with ‘Khabibulin bad’ numbers would be an easy win.

1st period:

The Wall, who shall be known from here forth as The Gate, lets in a pretty easy tap in from Matt Cullen off a pedestrian wrist shot rebound.  I’ll call him the gate because we all know they can’t really keep much out, figure out their weak spots and in you shall go.  Continue reading »

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