Tag Archives: Marcus Kruger

Hawks keep rolling, top struggling Sharks 4-1

By Brad Gardner

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 »

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Crawford claims 1st shutout in almost 2 years; Hawks win 3-0 in Nashville

Brad Vandenberk

One week since the Super Bowl claimed its victor, it was time for the Blackhawks to claim victory on the final night of their 6-game road trip on Sunday night in Nashville.  The team has been on a two week road trip covering western Canada, the sunny south and now the home of country music.

The Predators played on Saturday night in Minnesota and went all the way to overtime and then a shootout where they came up short losing 2-1.  The Hawks already had a practice in Nashville and were awaiting the Sunday night central division grudge match.  It was said the talk around the locker room was that the energy was high and the excitement of returning home to Chicago and a seven-game home stand was even more enticing.  The Hawks have only played at the United Center twice this season and rolled into Nashville on Sunday with a 9-0-2 record, the best in the NHL.  Read more »

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Brandon Saad nets first NHL goal in Blackhawks 5-3 victory in San Jose

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks broke a four-game losing streak at the HP Pavilion, rallying from an early two-goal deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 Tuesday night. The ‘Hawks remained unbeaten in regulation this season in a game that saw rookie Brandon Saad log his first NHL goal in a wild first period.

The Sharks were physical right from the start of the contest and it paid off in the form of a pair of early goals. San Jose laid some hard hits on Andrew Shaw along the boards and Duncan Keith behind the ‘Hawks net. Keith avoided big contact, but landed hard on his back.

With Keith temporarily on the bench, Joe Pavelski knocked in a bouncing puck created by Marc Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the point at the 2:53 mark of the first.

Minutes later, Tommy Wingles got the puck entering the Chicago zone and fired a lazer over the glove of Corey Crawford to make it 2-0 San Jose just 5:18 into the game. At this point, coach Joel Quenneville used his time out in an attempt to settle his team. It did just that as Chicago struck twine three times in the span of 89 seconds. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: Giving Cor-dawg a bone

2013Jan30_Lindbloom_Heavy“He ain’t heavy Father, He’s a brother.”

By Rich Lindbloom

Back on a pleasant evening in early October, I took the dogs for their customary evening walk. My black neighbors a few houses down, the Wilkerson’s, were sitting in their driveway basking in the evening shadows. In a way, they reminded me of my youth when it seemed everyone sat on their front porch. With no air conditioning back then, I suppose we were left with little choice but to enjoy the evening breeze.

Of course that was before the plethora of TV stations that DirecTv blesses our homes with. (Tongue firmly in cheek.) Actually, a good game of Ghost in the Graveyard probably was more entertaining than flipping through 300 stations trying to find something of interest. Read more »

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Leddy, Blackhawks edge Red Wings 2-1 in Overtime; Chicago off to best start in franchise history

By Brad Gardner

The Chicago Blackhawks set a new franchise record by getting off to a 6-0 start to the 2013 season with a win on Sunday at the United Center over the rival Detroit Red Wings.

Corey Crawford stopped 29 shots and Nick Leddy was the overtime hero by beating Jimmy Howard off the rush to extend the Hawks excellent run to open the season.

Both teams wanted a good start in the first period. The Red Wings, who only practiced Saturday after winning 5-3 over the Wild on Friday, had been inconsistent in the first period in the early going this season, while the Blackhawks were coming off a first-period pummeling at the hands of the Blue Jackets in their game Saturday. Read more »

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Blackhawks off to roaring start, blast through the defending champs 5-2 in LA

By Brad Gardner

Three months late, the Chicago Blackhawks finally kicked off the new season on the road against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. The Blackhawks were sharp with the puck and got off to a quick start, eventually coming away a 5-2 victory.

Although badly out-hit in the game by the Kings (39-22), the Blackhawks managed to get off to the quick start and hold the lead. The PK unit turned in a perfect effort, killing off five penalties in the game (although the final Kings advantage lasted only the final 36 seconds of the game).

Less than two minutes into the game, Patrick Sharp drew the first penalty. Then 40 seconds into that man advantage, Trevor Lewis cross-checked Jonathan Toews into the corner boards to put the Blackhawks on a 5-on-3 power play. The first unit maintained the offensive zone throughout the two-man advantage, in part because of a hustle play by Marian Hossa to keep the puck in the zone, and Patrick Kane eventually cashed on a one-time blast from a sharp angle. Hossa, who lined up on the point for this power play, got the primary assist for putting the puck in Kane’s wheelhouse. Read more »

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Blackhawks preview: It’s Time to Step Up

By Brad Gardner

After two consecutive first-round playoff exits, the entire Blackhawks organization has a lot at stake heading into the abbreviated 2013 season. For better or worse, the club entered training camp with a roster that was very similar to the 45-win team from a season ago. The only new additions – defensemen Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank – do not figure to see huge roles during the upcoming season. If the Blackhawks are going to put the last two seasons behind them, they will need bigger contributions from the following groups of players with something to prove this season.

Goaltenders

The last time the Blackhawks entered a season with the same goaltending tandem as they utilized the year before was 2007-08, when Nikolai Khabibulin and Patrick Lalime returned to the Chicago crease for a second season together. Both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery will be relied upon to secure wins this season, something that is even more important out of the gate as the skaters get back into game shape and adjust to the breakneck pace of the compacted schedule. Read more »

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Blackhawks recall 4 players from IceHogs, Ben Smith not one of them; Smith comments; Morin on roster shakeup

By Chris Block

While it can’t officially be announced until after the NHLPA membership ratifies the new CBA on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks have jumped the gun a bit by recalling four players from AHL Rockford.

Nick Leddy, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig were all recalled by the Blackhawks on Monday January 7th.  This, one day after the NHL and Player’s association hammered out the framework for a new collective bargaining agreement to end the NHL Lockout.

All four players were held out of Rockford’s home game Wednesday night against first-place Grand Rapids.  The transactions will be made official this weekend.  Three of the four were in Chicago skating with most of the other Blackhawks players at informal on-ice workouts beginning Tuesday.  Nick Leddy joined in on Thursday.

One player who was surprisingly left out of the initial group of four call-ups is Rockford IceHogs alternate captain, and the team’s leading goal scorer, Ben Smith.

Smith, 24, scored his 15th goal of the season on Wednesday night.  He also ranks second in points scored by an IceHogs player, 26, seven behind team captain Martin St. Pierre. Read more »

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Waiting on Mikita: Frozen thoughts from outside the BMO

By Jon Fromi

With Stan Mikita gracing the Forest City (more specifically the BMO Center) Saturday, my pal and I made it our goal to be among the first go-getters to cue up in the signing line. I’ve found myself waiting outside the season-ticket entrance on occasion, most notably an extended wait on Tony Esposito last February. Three hours? No problem. Yeah, right.

Mother Nature provided an optimal day on that February afternoon, with sunny skies and spring-like temperatures. I didn’t expect to be so lucky Saturday, and of course the weather told a different tale.

Did we have to be there at 1:45 p.m. to wait for the doors to open at 5:45? Of course not, but think of all the conversation I would have missed.

The odyssey (or not, since we stood in the same place for the bulk of it) began with our arrival to find that five individuals had beaten us to the front of the line. As the line began to lengthen over the course of the afternoon, conversation naturally fixated on the IceHogs. Read more »

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Ted Dent says some supposed NHL guys not pulling their weight; Blackhawks brass forcing more lineup changes; Tonight’s game preview

By Chris Block

Riding a four game losing streak (0-3-1-0), the Rockford IceHogs drive 93 miles northeast tonight where they’ll visit the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face off with the Milwaukee Admirals for the second time in six days.

The lone point Rockford has picked up in those four contests came in a 4-3 overtime loss in Milwaukee this past Friday.  Rockford trailed the Admirals 3-1 midway through that game until goals by Brandon Pirri and captain Martin St. Pierre forced an overtime session.  However, a breakdown in the IceHogs end resulted in Kevin Henderson surprising Carter Hutton with the game-winning shot a minute and forty-five seconds in to send the IceHogs back to Rockford with only the one consolation standings point.

Although the IceHogs (13-12-1-1) have lost both of their games since dropping first-place to the Griffins in Grand Rapids on December 9th, that one point earned in Milwaukee has been enough force Rockford back into a tie with Grand Rapids for the top spot in the Midwest Division.  The Griffins has also lost their past two games since moving into first in the division.  Grand Rapids hosts the Rochester Americans tonight at Van Andel Arena.

The Midwest division race is as tight as it could possibly be, now a third of the way through the 76 game American Hockey League season.  One point separates last-place Milwaukee (12-11-2-1, 27 points) from Grand Rapids and Rockford in the top spot. Read more »

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