Tag Archives: Mike Smith

The Song Remains the Same; Coyotes take 3-1 series lead with 3-2 victory after Hawks battle back to force OT

By Jon Fromi

It was the same story for the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal with the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. The Hawks rallied back late, this time from a late two-goal deficit to send a fourth consecutive game into overtime. However, it was the Coyotes who once again found a way to pull out the game, prevailing 3-2. Phoenix now holds a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with a home game coming up Saturday.

As has been the case in this series, the Hawks were active early. Dave Bolland’s line had a nice shift in the second minute. Bolland got a puck on the doorstep thanks to a failed shot attempt by Bryan Bickell, but Mike Smith came up with a save. Shane Doan interfered with Patrick Kane at the 2:12 mark of the first, but couldn’t take advantage. Read more »

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Coyotes jump to 2-1 series lead, Torres KO’s Hossa

By Brad Gardner

Another tightly contested game between Phoenix and Chicago saw the visiting Coyotes take the series advantage. The visiting Coyotes escaped with a 3-2 overtime win on Tuesday night. Mikkel Boedker was the ovetime hero for Phoenix on a sharp-angle goal at the 13:15 mark of the extra session.

The first period was marred by a late hit from Raffi Torres on Marian Hossa right in front of the ‘Hawks bench. Early signs were not good, as Hossa dropped to the ice, slamming the back of his head, and Blackhawks medical staff jumped over the boards before the puck was even blown dead. Little time was wasted before the stretcher was brought out and Hossa wheeled to an ambulance, at which point he was communicating but had still not yet regained movement. Fortunately, he was able to return home, under further monitoring, with what is being called a broken jaw. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: The Incredible Bickell

Bickell emerges as frontrunner for John Druce Award

By Rich Lindbloom

OK, you can breathe now. With seconds remaining on the jobing.com Center’s scoreboard, the Blackhawks managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Despite outshooting the dogged Coyotes 50-33, the Hawks were quite fortunate to emerge triumphant over a tenacious, disciplined Phoenix squad. Bryan Bickell scored two goals, including the game winner in overtime late Saturday night; or was it early Sunday morning? He’s clearly the front runner for the John Druce Award, named after a role player who scored 14 goals in 15 games for Washington in the 1990 playoffs. Although goals are an obvious mark of a player’s efficacy, they often overshadow the less refined parts of the game. Refined is not generally a word associated with Bickell; he’s more like a working man’s hero. Just prior to his game winner, Brian started throwing his body around like dat Buff-lin guy did a few years ago. (Now that’s hockey.) I believe on one shift he clobbered three different Coyotes, seeming to take a sadistic delight inflicting pain upon his unsuspecting prey. Read more »

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Blackhawks tie series 1-1 with more late night heroics

By Brad Vandenberk

Instead of white t- shirts on the seats of the Jobing.com arena, Game 2 of the western conference quarterfinal saw white pom pom’s riddled throughout the arena.  The Chicago Blackhawks needed a big win to avenge the loss they suffered on Thursday night in overtime.  Martin Hanzal’s tip past Corey Crawford gave the Coyotes and 1-0 lead in the series.  The Hawks were looking to head back to Chicago with a split in the series.  Read more »

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Toews Returns but Coyotes Win Game 1 in OT 3-2

By Jon Fromi

Jonathan Toews made an impressive return to the lineup Thursday as the Chicago Blackhawks opened their Western Conference Quarterfinal in Phoenix, tallying a goal and assist. Despite Toews and a late surge to the tie the contest, the Hawks succumbed in overtime as the Coyotes bested Chicago 3-2.

The Coyotes tried to establish a physical tone from the opening faceoff, but it was Andrew Shaw who registered a bit hit on Radim Vrbata that sent Phoenix’s leading goal scorer to the dressing room. Shaw had an open look on a rebound on the ensuing trip down the ice, but Coyotes goalie Mike Smith turned it away.

Toews got the scoring started with his play in the fourth minute. Gaining control of the puck behind the Phoenix net, the captain attempted to center to Patrick Kane. Toews wound up gathering in the failed connection and shoveled a backhand that escaped the grasp of Smith. At the 4:04 mark, the Blackhawks led 1-0. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: From Parts Unknown

The Angel of Playoff Death

By Rich Lindbloom

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every first born-both men and animals-and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” – Exodus12: 12-13

And you thought Pharaoh Shanahan’s rulings were severe!

The Jewish Feast of Passover, so inextricably bound with Christianity, is one of the most incredible events I’ve ever pondered. The Readers Digest version is God rescues the descendants of Jacob from the intense persecution they were facing in Egypt. He accomplished this through an obedient servant, (a servant who initially tried to convince God he had the wrong man for the job), and a series of ten plagues. The last plague was the death of the first born throughout Egypt, unless the door posts were covered by the blood of a one year old male lamb, without defect. One of the most unique aspects of the Bible is it’s almost completely devoid of humor-although I would say that God’s command of finding a male without blemish comes about as close to humor as you can get. Read more »

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8 in a row

By Brad Gardner

Another serviceable effort from the Blackhawks resulted in no points as they dropped their eighth straight game, falling to the Coyotes by a score of 3-0. The ‘Hawks found themselves in an early hole and did not have any comebacks in them tonight against a 38-save shutout from red-hot goalie Mike Smith in the Phoenix net.

The Blackhawks faced an uphill battle early with Phoenix scoring two goals in the first six  minutes of the opening period. Radim Vrbata continued to light up the ‘Hawks, registering his 26th goal of the season and third against Chicago when his pass from behind the net deflected into the net off defenseman Sami Lepisto. Viktor Stalberg was unable to clear the puck from the defensive zone and Ray Whitney and Vrbata attacked with a give-and-go the other way. Vrbata used his speed to skate in behind and Lepisto was in an unfortunate position as Vrbata tried to get the puck back to the front of the net, deflecting in the opening goal at 3:14 of the first period. Read more »

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Toews can’t do it all; Coyotes 4-3 in shootout

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks tried to go for their third straight win Monday night, as they were host to the Phoenix Coyotes.  No more then six days ago those same Coyotes out played the Hawks to a 4-1 victory.  This was the third game in 4 nights for the Hawks.

This game was carried nationally on TV through Versus and TSN2 with US Hall of Fame inductee Mike “Doc” Emrick and Eddie O on the call, with Pierre McGuire between the benches.  Corey Crawford and Mike Smith started in their respected nets, which turned out to be the same goalie match up as 6 nights ago.

The lines mimicked what coach Q put together in St Louis on Saturday night.  Dan Carcillo was on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.  Marcus Kruger was still centering the second line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp on the wings.  Dave Bolland centered the third line with Ben Smith and Michael Frolik and finally Viktor Stalberg was on the fourth line with Jamal Mayers and Andrew Brunette.  Bryan Bickell, Sami Lepisto and the mighty John Scott were the scratches. Read more »

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Lindbloom: Ow!

By Rich Lindbloom 

“Ow! Ohhhh yeah

I used to think maybe you loved me, now baby I’m sure
And I just can’t wait til the day when you knock on my door
Now every time I go to the mail box, gotta hold myself down
Cos I just wait till you write me your coming around.

I’m walking on Sunshine, wooah
I’m walking on sunshine, woooah
I’m walking on sunshine, woooah
And don’t it feel good!”
 - Kimberly Rew

Ok, I get it. This song was probably the furthest thing possible from anyone’s mind leaving the United Center Wednesday night with their tail between their legs. Perhaps a more fitting song would be the dirge by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, “There’s something wrong.” However the start of “Walking on Sunshine,” particularly the word “OW!”, reminded me not only of the Hawks’ game. It also brought back a memory of a Chemistry 101 lab and a scorching hot test tube I had heated up. I’m not sure why, but when it was time to clean up and head to my next class, I firmly grabbed hold of the test tube with three fingers. All were instantly blistered. I didn’t even have time to think of a swear word, I just exclaimed, “Ow!” as the test tube flew out of my hand and broke on the floor. The chemistry teacher kind a shook his head and asked if I needed any first aid. In this highly embarrassing situation I said, “No, I’m ok.”

Needless to say, the Blackhawks were not ‘ok’ Tuesday night. I’d imagine their ears were pretty blistered by the time Coach Q finished his assessment of their efforts; or perhaps better put, lack thereof. Read more »

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Hawks surrounded by Coyotes, dropped 4-1 by Phoenix in United Center return

photo credit: AP/Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Vandenberk

With the scent of circus still in the air at the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks returned home to play their final game in November.  The Phoenix Coyotes were in town seeking revenge for the 5-2 loss they suffered at the hands of the Hawks back in Glendale in October.

The Coyotes got their revenge as they out played the Hawks from the opening faceoff.

Mike Smith withstood a barrage of Hawks shots in the opening moments.  It was the Coyotes that open the scoring.  With 4:07 remaining in the opening period, Daymond Langkow completed a tic tack toe play from Ray Whitney and Shane Doan.  The period ended with Hawks down 1-0 and out shot 8-7.

The second period saw the Coyotes extend their lead as Mikkel Boedker dropped a pass to Shane Doan who let a rocket go from the top of the right circle.  It repelled past Corey Crawford, hit the crossbar and fell beyond the goal line making it 2-0 with 10:06 remaining in the period. Read more »

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