The Chicago Blackhawks finished the month of January 6-6-1 after being shut out in San Jose Saturday night. Former Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi had a big night, stopping all 31 shots tossed his way as the Sharks beat Chicago 2-0.
(Note-I’m breaking my own format a bit tonight. Rather than offer three periods of “Niemi says no,” I’ll just tell you that while both goalies were stingy Saturday, this was Niemi’s victory.)
The only goal San Jose would need came five minutes into the game. Melker Karlsson brought the puck across the Chicago blue line and fed defenseman Matt Irwin at the top of the left circle. Irwin’s attempt came off Antti Raanta’s pads and provided a second chance for Karlsson. Raanta kept the shot out of the net again but couldn’t control the rebound. Karlsson was able to collect the loose puck and slip it between the Hawks goalie and the left post. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks got three goals from the defensive corps to get out in front of the visiting San Jose Sharks Sunday night. The Hawks hung on to post a 5-2 victory at the United Center behind a solid effort from Corey Crawford to go with the first NHL goal for Trevor van Riemsdyk.
[editor’s note: The NHL changed the scoring on the Hawks’ first goal on Monday, taking it away from van Riemsdyk and crediting it to Kris Versteeg.]
First Period-The Blackhawks outshot San Jose 20-9 in the opening 20 minutes as Chicago defenders accounted for a trio of goals.
A nice hole by Johnny Oduya led to a scoring chance for Ben Smith in the slot. However, Logan Couture prevented Smith from getting off a shot. van Riemsdyk took a drop pass from Patrick Kane and sent a shot on goal that Antti Niemi smothered in the fourth minute. Read more »
Sunday night, I joined the HockeeNight gang for our annual NHL Draft preview discussion.
We covered all the bases, including the trade rumors surrounding the team, what could very well happen, organizational depth needs heading into the draft, who the ‘Hawks may be drafting, big seasons ahead for some Rockford IceHogs and much, much more.
This matchup between two Western conference Cup hopefuls didn’t really provide much scoring opportunities, fireworks or even a lot of chippyness, but it still was a fairly exciting game.
The Hawks had their usual top line of Patrick Sharp and Hossa centered by Toews. Line two had Versteeg in place of Saad with Brandon Pirri in the middle, joined of course by Patrick Kane. The 3rd line benefited from the addition of Saad. Along for the ride was 3rd line stalwart Andrew Shaw and old man Zus at center.
In goal was current cup hero Corey Crawford vs former cup hero Antii Niemi. Crawford and Niemi are both beneficiaries of solid teams in front of them as they both sport a sub .920 save percentage to go along with excellent win loss percentages. Read more »
“Every block of stone has a statue inside it
and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. – Michelangelo
By Rich Lindbloom
In 1501, Michelangelo was commissioned to sculpt a statue of the famous biblical figure David. He was given a block of damaged marble 19 feet tall, chiseling away at it for almost three years. The finished sculpture was over 17 feet tall! Purportedly, when Michelangelo finished his masterpiece, it was so life like he shouted, “Speak!” I thought about the difficulties a sculptor might encounter when detailing his creation. As I packed the snow to form Frosty on Saturday, chunks would fall out and I’d have to start all over. Can you imagine if Michelangelo hit down a little too hard with that chisel – I’m pretty sure that’s what happened to a lot of the sculptures that have missing arms. Read more »
Metamorphoses: Basher unleashes his inner butterfly
By Rich Lindbloom
The Roman poet Ovid wrote a book called Metamorphoses about 2,050 years ago on people changing into new bodies – trees, rocks, animals, constellations etc. It’s a great read covering some 250 Greek and Roman myths, man’s feeble attempts to explain the why for and the where for of his existence. (Or as David Byrne sang, “You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”) Ovid states in his opening sentence, “I want to speak about bodies changed into new forms.” With those enticing words, the hook is set.
The transformation of Bryan Bickell this season was enough to send me to see if I could locate Ovid’s classic Metmorphoses in the attic. In its day, it was one of those books that you couldn’t put down. Who would have thought 40 years ago that I would be mentioning Bickell’s name alongside Ovid in a hockey piece? Bickell has always been a bit of an enigma to the throngs pining for blood in the 300 section during the past two seasons. Read more »
The San Jose Sharks came to Chicago losers of six straight games, and they met an unfavorable host in the unbeaten Blackhawks.
The home team never trailed, getting another solid goaltending performance from Ray Emery. The scoring was provided by depth players, in most cases known more for their defensive acumen than offensive game, with goals from Dave Bolland, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw, and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
It was not scoring, however, but fisticuffs that got the Chicago crowd into the game early. Jonathan Toews was whistled for a boarding penalty on Joe Thornton in the corner, and shortly after, things boiled over between Toews and Thornton and the captains squared off for a first period fight. Read more »
After a lengthy film session in Denver University on Wednesday morning and a “back to basics” practice on Thursday in California, the Chicago Blackhawks were back on the ice Friday night in San Jose trying to snap a six game losing streak.
The film session took place in a theatre that had the perfect set up to run through game tape of their 5-2 loss to the Avalanche on Tuesday night. The session took longer than normal, but at this stage the Hawks were attempting anything to break this streak. After travelling to San Jose and took to the ice to practice “hockey 101”. If the current six game losing streak wasn’t enough, the flu bug was also flying around the locker room as four Hawk players took the day off practice. Steve Montador was also missing from practice, but it was not due to the flu. Monty suffered an upper body injury during the game on Tuesday and was placed on Injured Reserve Friday morning. Dylan Olsen was recalled from the IceHogs to replace the injured Montador. To rub more salt in the wound, Niklas Hjalmarsson, who originally had the flu, was then diagnosed with an upper body injury. Both Nik and Monty flew back to Chicago and will not be playing Saturday night in Phoenix either. Read more »