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.
Let’s start round three with a question? Who held their hand high in October when the whispers of repeat were in the air? Did we honestly think that we would be facing the exact same team, this time last season for the same title?
This proves to the NHL, especially the Western Conference, this is what a competitive franchise flirting with the dynasty headline looks like. The Kings have wowed the entire NHL with their story book playoff season thus far. Both of their series ended in a game 7, beating both Shark and Ducks to win the Pacific title. It wasn’t easy being down in both scenarios and finding a way to win on the “road”. I really don’t want to use air quotes, but let’s be honest, driving down highway 1, 45 minutes to play a road game, doesn’t quite constitute as a road game. Read more »
“I stood stone-like at midnight, suspended in my masquerade
I combed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain and I walked on a crooked crutch
I strolled all alone through a fall out zone and came out with my soul untouched
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, but when they said “Sit down,” I stood up
Oooh, growin’ up – Bruce Springsteen
By Rich Lindbloom
Cabbies, limo rides, frat parties and riotous living have accompanied Patrick Kane over his seven year journey as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Becoming a millionaire before you leave your teens has the potential to corrupt almost anyone (think the Prodigal Son).
As a few of my friends accurately pointed out, there’s a good chance several of us would be dead possessing that kind of cabbage at 18 years of age. Coupled with the mindset of youthful invincibility and instant stardom, it’s a sure recipe for disaster. Read more »
After an absolute stellar performance from Corey Crawford on Monday night at the UC, it was time to bottle up that momentum and save it for a pivotal Game 4 also hosted by the Blackhawks. Crow made 34 saves to record his 2nd career playoff shutout in front of 22,000 strong. The absence of suspended defensemen Brent Seabrook was barely even noticeable.
The Hawks found a way to win on the backs of their strong defense, fearless power play and tremendous net minding. Now breathe with me. There is still a lot of hill left to climb in this series and most of it to be done without #7. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks came up with a third period goal from Jonathan Toews and held on for a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Sunday night. Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks, who picked up a much-needed two points on the road.
First Period-Patrick Kane gave the hometown fans something to holler about in the fourth minute. Taking a pass from Patrick Sharp at the red line, Kane weaved into the Buffalo zone and fired the puck past the glove of Jhonas Enroth. With 3:12 elapsed, Chicago led 1-0.
Brandon Saad was called for a tripping penalty at the 4:39 mark. Soon after, it appeared that the Sabres had evened the score. Corey Crawford came out to play a loose puck well in front of the crease and was kept from getting rid of the puck by Tyler Ennis. Read more »
After a victory on Sunday night at the UC over the woeful Oilers, the Blackhawks are slowly trying to climb out of this mini slump that they have on the go. The road ahead did not get any easier when the Colorado Avalanche invade the United Center on Tuesday evening. Then, on Friday it’s the NHL best team the Anaheim Ducks. And finally, an afternoon Stanley Cup rematch is on tap on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. when the pesky Boston Bruins come to town. The Avalanche would be a great test for the reigning Cup champs to test their ability as a team and try to start racking up some wins. Read more »
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 »
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. Read more »
After an absolute debacle in Nashville on Saturday night, it was time for Kris Versteeg to get his long awaited ovation at the United Center on Sunday evening. The visiting, San Jose Sharks, were coming off a five game road trip that saw them go 3-0-1 thus far. Nikolai Khabibulin was put on the IR this morning which meant that Antti Raanta was recalled from Rockford to sit behind Crawford who got his 19th start of the year. After Khabby left with an injury on Saturday night, Crawford was called upon to not only finish that game, but start against the Sharks who are battling the Hawks for tops in the Western Conference. Read more »
After a weekend of beating two Eastern Conference teams in the Islanders and Sabres, the Blackhawks sent off to Raleigh, North Carolina on Tuesday to take on the Hurricanes.
The last time these two teams met was October 28th during the 2011-2012 season, when the cardiac Canes shutout the Hawks 3-0. Coming into Tuesday’s contest, the Canes were coming off a weekend of disappointment, only grabbing 1 out of a possible 4 points. The Hawks next seven games see them play four more Eastern teams before the month of November, when it is four weeks of Western conference foes. Read more »