The Blackhawks and Avalanche met for the second time in three nights as they took the ice for the back half of their home-and-home series. Corey Crawford and Semyon Varlamov again started between the pipes after an excellent duel Thursday night in Colorado, but neither would have such a strong showing in Saturday’s tilt.
After the Blackhawks carried play for a bulk of the first period, Colorado began to turn the tables in the second half of the frame. The Avs eventually took the lead at the 16:09 mark of the first on a redirect in front of Corey Crawford. Paul Stastny beat everyone to a puck on forecheck and passed back to his blue line. Working his way across the slot, Stastny got his stick on a puck from Kyle Quincey and redirected it past Crawford to put Colorado on the board first.
The Avs took the one goal lead to the locker room, but it would not last long in the second. Michael Frolik brought the game even just 46 seconds into the middle period. Erik Johnson attempted an ill-advised pass up the center of the ice that was picked off by Frolik. He was wide open right in front of Varlamov’s net and buried the chance for his first goal of the season. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks overcame a weak effort in the opening minutes of Thursday’s game with visiting Winnipeg. The Blackhawks used four unanswered goals to prevail in the United Center by a score of 4-3. Patrick Kane was the star of the game with a goal and two assists on the night. However, two players making their debut in the Indian head sweater, Daniel Carcillo and Ray Emery, were vital in the besting of the Jets.
Carcillo, who returned after serving a two-game suspension incurred last season, skated well with Kane and Marian Hossa, who accounted for half of Chicago’s goals on the night. Emery was between the pipes in place of Corey Crawford. Like the rest of the squad, he was able to shake off a less than promising start to the contest.
Chicago staked the Jets an early lead with Jim Slater potting two first period goals on redirects. After a giveaway by Jonathan Toews, Johnny Oduya fired a shot on goal that Slater put past Emery at the 4:24 mark to open the scoring. He then tipped in a shot by Ron Hainsey between Emery’s legs three minutes later to send Winnipeg out to a 2-0 lead. Read more »
With Opening Night of the 2011-12 NHL season now a mere days away, we called upon an old friend and colleague on tonight’s edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio to get down to some serious Blackhawk puck chatter.
Sam Fels, writer extraordinaire and editor of The Committed Indian – SecondCityHockey.com and blogger at NBCChicago.com’s MadHouse Enforcer joins me to digest the off season and preview this year’s Chicago Blackhawks.
On the show, we discuss, but won’t limit ourselves to….
– Blackhawks’ Opening Night roster
– Updates and status of injured Hawks – Ben Smith, Patrick Sharp & Davey Bolland
– Brandon Saad signs entry-level. Begins season in NHL
– Saad vs Morin
– The mess at the center position
– Kane at Center, Sharp at Wing – For how long though?
– Grading Stan Bowman’s off season. Likes & Dislikes
– Can Dan Carcillo play?
– John Scott in the lineup Opening night?
– Ray Emery ‘wins’ the backup job
– The shake ups and makeup of the new defense corps
– Chris Campoli’s contract stand & new place in Montreal
– Biggest Hawks’ Storylines, Key Players for 2011-12
– Bolland again
– How much longer will Joel Quenneville remain Hawks’ head coach?
– Stan Bowman’s new 3-year contract extension in 2016
– 1st NHL head coach to be fired
– Western conference & Finals picks
– Predictions on Hart, Norris & Selke winners
– the Dallas Stars Ice Girls~!
– Drink beer – Get loaded – this Friday night at The Bottom Lounge with Sam and the boys over at SecondCityHockey.com at their big Opening Night viewing party.
And much… much… more
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Searching for hope inside the Blackhawks’ Game 1 and 2 efforts in Vancouver can be like finding a needle in a haystack. More like pouring a glass of milk three days after the expiration date.
Those looking for positives will need to keep their good eye closed.
Corey Crawford has been mostly great, but the Hawks are still in a 0-2 series’ hole coming back to the United Center for Game 3 on Sunday night.
Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp have yet to be heard from in this series. But, neither have Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond. Habitual Hawk-killer Mikael Samuelsson was a late-scratch Friday with the flu and the Sedin twins have flubbed a few prime scoring opportunities they normally wouldn’t.
Words cannot describe how awful Chicago’s blue line has been. Future and former Norris Trophy winners will petition to have Duncan Keith’s name removed from the statue at this point. Brent Seabrook’s pressing too hard and can’t be everywhere. Brian Campbell is the Hawks’ best defenseman five on five and that’s not saying much. He’s been terrible at times too. Chris Campoli at least didn’t do anything too stupid. Nick Leddy simply doesn’t belong.
Niklas Hjalmarsson did something on Friday you don’t see very often at the NHL level. With the Hawks pinned deep in their zone, Hjalmarsson tried to outlet to his defense partner twice in a matter of seconds. Just a minor issue with that though. Neither time did Brian Campbell have a stick. Ben Smith tried to give his stick to Campbell after the second Hjalmarsson pass but the puck was ten feet from Campbell in the Hawks’ right corner and the exchange didn’t happen. The Hawks eventually got the puck out.
For the Hawks, hope is yet a glimmer in a narrowing eyelet.
For those steadfast in denial, the milk is on the table. Read more »
Boy, let’s hope the NHL doesn’t schedule any games on back-to-back days should the Blackhawks make the playoffs.
The Blackhawks roll-over and play dead act in Boston on Tuesday was widely anticipated and accepted by many before the two teams even took the ice before a nationwide audience at TD Banknorth Garden.
You see, because the Hawks skated so exceptionally hard to earn a 61-minute win over an AHL goaltender in Detroit twenty-four hours earlier, it’s perfectly understandable the team wouldn’t stand much of a chance against the Vezina Trophy frontrunner and the big bad bully Bruins.
Boston outshot the Hawks 9-0 in the first seven and a half minutes of the contest. From the onset, the visitors had little to offer. Apparently, whatever the team had stowed in its ‘care-tank’ was exhausted the night before in Motown.
There’s a good chance Milan Lucic would have scored the game’s first goal at that point had Marcus Kruger not slashed Lucic’s stick on the Bruins’ 15-foot rebound opportunity. An early gift from referee Paul Devorski as that act was overlooked (because Lucic’s stick didn’t break) but when Kruger and Lucic continued and got entangled in the battle for what then became a loose puck, Devorski called Lucic for holding. Read more »
On this week’s show we review the Blackhawks 6-3 possible statement win over the visiting San Jose Sharks on Monday night. As well as the three-game losing streak, which we did predict on last week’s show, leading up to Monday night’s win.
Also on this week’s show:
-Kudos to Joel Quenneville’s recent handling of the goaltending position and why
-Change in Quenneville’s philosophy
-Stan Bowman acknowledges team fortunate
-Potential playoff matchups and which favor the Hawks
-Why a series with Vancouver may not favor Chicago
-Toews for MVP
-Ridiculous reasoning for ruling out other Hart candidates
-A GM doing his job
-This site celebrates a 5th year
-Updates on Dave Bolland and Brian Campbell injuries
-Playing Crawford every night
-More on Campoli acquisition and his value
-Trouble if Bolland’s out
-Handicapping the week ahead
-Convincing Marcus Kruger & Alexander Salak to move to N.A.
-No success explaining new standings tie-breaker method
-Superstar hits the road, and the water
-Someone visits temporary sobriety
-Hossa & Kane get their Awesome on
We didn’t get to everything, but that’s nothing new. The title of this show is a reference to the last two years of this web site. Thanks to everyone as always for visiting and listening. And for your incredible patience with us. The show returns next Tuesday night, March 22nd @ 8pm central with Dieter Kurtenbach joining me as guest-host.
Sylvester – “Now you listen mommy, you listen to me close. You stay right there because I’m coming mom. I’m coming to get you right now.” Sylvester’s mom – “Will you shut up and listen!” Sylvester – “Mom its all right. Everything is going to be all right. Your baby’s coming to get ya. Sit there, relax. Take it easy.” Lennie – “Well?” Sylvester’s mom–“So, he’s coming here. And I’m not to worry about a thing because everything is going to be all right!” Sylvester’s mom [talking to his sister] – “Exactly like your father: a big, stupid, muscle headed moron.”
By Rich Lindbloom
No, that is not a picture of Jack Skille racing down to Florida. It’s a scene from one of the funniest movies ever made – by a long shot – It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” The segment of the movie I’ve zeroed in on here is when the beach bum beatnik, Sylvester, races to “save” his momma. For those of you who can recall Sylvester literally “flying” down the road, it was one of the funniest car scenes ever filmed. With tears streaming down his cheeks and total disregard for any traffic signs or lights, our hero is on a mission to rescue his momma. “Your baby’s coming momma, your baby’s coming,” he cries over and over. It made me wonder. While we cling to our tenuous playoff hopes with every last ounce of optimism we can muster, who’ll be the Sylvester that comes to rescue the Blackhawks? While on the subject of “big, stupid, muscle headed morons…(JK Q)
I thought about calling this piece “Win One For the Qu-ipper,” but was beaten to the punch by the BlackhawkUp website. (That Boxing with Bartl feature is beginning to become addicting. As Rod Stewart would sing, “Every box score tells a story, don’t it?”) I wasn’t sure which way I was going to go with my assessment of Coach Q’s illness. There’s the empathy angle where we all remember that there are things in life more important than hockey – perhaps “sending flowers or something” as Toews said. What kind of a fruitcake wants flowers – c’mon Captain Brown Nose – sneak him in a Honkers Ale. Another angle would be “You don’t think this team is ripping our insides apart to? Suck it up big boy!” I was reminded of that scene in Remember the Titanswhen Coach Boone screams, “You’re killing me Petey. You’re killing me!” Read more »
Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and HockeyIndependent.comjoined me on Tuesday night for 70-plus minutes of Blackhawks’ talk.
A great show. Al’s extremely knowledgeable and has keen slant on the goings on with the Blackhawks. We discussed the fallout from the Blackhawks’ performance in a 3-1 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night and previewed the road ahead with games upcoming this week in Edmonton, Dallas and Phoenix to close out the Hawks’ six-game road trip.
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Among the topics discussed:
- Was Duncan Keith right to call out his forwards after Monday’s loss, no matter how correct his assertion is?
- What Keith is upset about and what may have set him off
- Is a “bag skate” in the middle of a road trip, on the Eve of 3 games in 4 nights a sound idea?
- We give Al the Hawks’ GM seat from now until the Feb 28th trade deadline, what would he do?
- ..Wait it out, or react now…
- Which popular former Blackhawk could be a right fit to return this month?
- Other names who could make a positive impact
- Where have the Blackhawks stood for the past three months
- Stat that doesn’t give impression things are so bad
- Record the Hawks must close out with to earn spot in postseason
- Talking sense, not fanatical nonsense, in Brent Seabrook negotiations
- What Seabrook may be thinking
- Sharp at center, positives and negatives
- Hawks around the net, who gets there & who doesn’t
- Who’s hot and who’s not
- Troubling sign again noted with Marian Hossa’s shot
- Q’s line allocations and responsibilities; Defining the 4th line
- Getting a jump start on RFA’s now; why it didn’t happen last year
- Odds Cristobal Huet will ever wear an Indianhead sweater again?
- Have the Hawks hit the physical and emotional wall?
- This year’s locker room vs. last season’s locker room
- And much, much more
Less than half of current NHL players recently participated in a voluntary poll presented by the National Hockey League Player’s Association and the CBC television network in Canada. Of the 318 players who did return surveys, 11% identified the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they’d most-like to play for. And 7% choose the United Center as their favorite arena to play in.
Duncan Keith, the reigning Norris Trophy award winner, finished 5th in the category of toughest defenseman to play against. Keith received three percent of the votes in that query. Patrick Sharp ranked 3rd in the most-underrated player category, tied with New Jersey center Travis Zajac with each receiving 3.5% of votes. That’s something of an arbitrary category. Frans Nielsen, who got the 2nd most votes for most-underrated, is a sneaky-skilled player but he’s not in the league of Sharp or Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson, who led the voting by a slim margin over Nielsen (5 goals, 16 assists, 43gp).
In Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks have the league’s 5th most desired coach, according to players polled. Quenneville received 6% of votes tallied, behind Guy Boucher (8%), Dave Tippett (8%), Mike Babcock (18%) and Dan Bylsma (21%). Bylsma was obviously aided by how well he came off in the HBO 24/7 series.
Here’s the entire list of questions and top vote getters: Read more »