Sep 142011
 


By Brad Vandenberk

The final day of the Prospect Tournament in Oshawa, Ontario wrapped up Tuesday with the Chicago Blackhawks playing their final contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Both teams entered the game 0-2 for the tournament, looking for a win.  The Hawks had the slight edge by having a total of 6 goals throughout the tournament, while Pittsburgh had just 1 through 2 games.

Johan Mattsson was the starting goalie, with Shawn Lalonde and Ryan Stanton on defensive.  The forward line saw Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Saad, centered by Phillip Danault. [Tuesday’s line up]

The game didn’t take long to get started.  15 seconds after the puck dropped, Rob Flick set the tone for the day dropping his gloves against Keven Veilleux of the Penguins.  Fists were flying as Veilleux took Flick to the ice.  Just 5 minutes later, after a delayed offside, Shawn Lalonde decided to take on Dominik Uher.  Continue reading »

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Sep 112011
 


By Brad Vandenberk

Annual rookie tournaments have begun all over North America, getting fans and players excited with less than a week until training camp starts.  The Chicago Blackhawks are in Oshawa, Ontario playing the likes of Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Toronto.  Game 1 saw the Hawks square off against the Maple Leafs at the General Motors Centre.

Donned in their red jerseys, the Hawks began the tournament with a determined effort against the Leafs.  Mac Carruth was the starting goalie joined by starters Shawn Lalonde and Dylan Olsen on defense.  Mark McNeil was flanked by Ludvig Rensfeldt and Jimmy Hayes up front. [Hawks game roster]

The Hawks got their first chance at a power play as the ref made a hooking call at 1:52 of the first period.  They were unable to capitalize however.

It didn’t take long for the fists to start flying as 5’10” Andrew Shaw took on 6’5” Jamie Devane with a David versus Goliath type match.  [Highlights at bottom of this report]

After Devane served his 5 minute major for fighting, he opened the scoring for the Leafs as a puck was shot wide from the blue line and bounced to the side of the net. Devane, standing on the door step, quickly shot the puck over Carruth making the score 1-0 with just under 2 minutes remaining in the first.

Philippe Paradis left the 1st period after being hit hard in the offensive zone and grimacing his way back to the bench.  Paradis did not return.  [ed.  note: Paradis did not dress in Sunday’s game vs Ottawa] Continue reading »

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Jun 222011
 

Stan Bowman was interviewed on ChicagoBlackhawks.com’s podcast, Blackhawks Insider, in audio posted on Monday.  A portion of Bowman’s conversation with Adam Kempenaar is transcribed here.

The Blackhawks Way of playing hockey

One piece of news coming out of the audio portion pertained to July’s prospect camp.  Bowman is inviting fewer players and there will be less scrimmage time.  He’s looking at this year as less of a tryout (or evaluation) camp and more of a development camp.  They’re experimenting with a different ideas at the assistance and suggestion of Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.  Bowman said there will be a bigger focus on “skills they’re going to need to have in order to eventually play for us.”  Just the idea of fewer players would seem to indicate one scrimmage per day instead of two.  On the topic of scrimmages, Bowman said “we are certainly going to have some of those but it was predominately scrimmages in the past.”

On the talent pool in this year’s draft, Bowman is optimistic that there is enough that he’ll get “good” future NHLers but he doesn’t see high-end goaltenders in this draft, which is consistent with the scouting reports.  Bowman said they “don’t necessarily have a one position” they’re focusing on.  He said in the past they had holes at center and defense but felt they’ve addressed those in the past couple of years.  He said he hadn’t had talks with any GM’s on moving up or trading down, but revealed those discussions between GM’s don’t typically come into play until the week and days leading into the draft.  He said they’re working at getting the best group of picks, regardless of position.

That taken, the Hawks are very weak on the depth chart at right wing.  Jeremy Morin is better on the left side.  Kyle Beach and Igor Makarov can play either.  Beach is probably better on the left but his game is a little far off to say for sure.  Makarov could Rockford’s top right wing by default if Morin and Beach keep to their off wing.

Longer-range, Bowman shared his thoughts and is high on Justin Holl’s skating ability; the toning down of Stephen Johns and Kevin Hayes taking the next step.

–Conflicting reports now coming out of Canada on the search for a new Winnipeg coach.  Today’s Winnipeg Sun is reporting there will be a second-round of interviews with finalists Claude Noel and Mike Haviland. Continue reading »

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