Tag Archives: Niklas Backstrom

No Keith, No problem: Hawks grind out 5-3 win over the Wild

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks welcomed divisional rival Minnesota Wild into the United Center on Tuesday night. It was their first match since the Hawks dismissed Minnesota from the playoffs last year. Earlier in the morning it was announced that Duncan Keith would miss this game with an illness. With the mumps being all over the NHL, it has yet to be determined what Keith is going through. Antti Raanta was between the pipes for this one with Niklas Backstrom taking the visitors crease.

The Hawks relied on their big guns to take this one. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook and Ben Smith all scored as the Hawks grinded out a 5-3 victory. Originally David Rundblad was in Keith place, but that was quickly changed before the second period even started, as the defensive pairings changed. Read more »

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Fantasy Chatter: Analysis and Week 2 advice

TheLeague_2014Oct12_post_AutoDraftBluesGot the Auto-Draft Blues??

By Lane Myer

The Week Ahead: Week 2, Oct 13-19.  

4 Game slates: ANA, BOS, BUF, CGY, COL, SJ
3 Game slates: CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, LA, MON, NASH, NJ, NYI, NYR, OTT, STL, TB, TOR, WASH
2 Game slates: ARI, CAR, CHI, MIN, PHI, PITT, VAN, WIN

Hopefully you’re not one of those panicky owners who has been dropping solid middle round quality players that have an extended track record of production for bottom pairing quality players who happen to get off to a quick start. Make sure you’re checking player usage if you are one of those people.

For example, Olli Maatta is a hot pickup right now after his 3 assist performance against the Ducks in the opener, and he may end up being solid this season, but if you look at his usage, he’s only accrued 1 shift on the PP for all of 24 seconds. Read more »

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Fantasy Chatter~Premiere: Part 2 – Hawk Factors and Goalie Wars

Goldblum_Kroll

Part One of this feature ran earlier today.

For the introduction – Fantasy Chatter: Undervalues and Deep Cuts

By Lane Myer

FANTASY ‘HAWK FACTOR

Not much in the way of undervalued Blackhawks this season unless Teuvo Koivu captures a top 6 role due to injury, or Jeremy Morin skates top 9 minutes all season long.   Nick Leddy would normally be a trendy target to peg for a break out season should he happen to come upon top 4 pairing minutes and a wealth of  PP opportunities, but it seems like Leddy may be bumped off of the second PP unit in favor of Richards and Seabrook if recent events come to fruition.   Perhaps an ill-advised trade is forthcoming which may in turn bump Leddy’s value back to where it should be.

The wildcard would have to be Brandon Saad.  See Breakout Candidates section above.   If there is one Hawk, health provided, who should easily out earn his draft position, it’s Saad.

Patrick Kane is typically overvalued in fantasy drafts by a round or two each year, but he’s a reliable star who sparingly misses games.   There is value in certainty.   Read more »

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Saad Story; Hawks dominate Wild in St. Paul

By Michael Calvert

Sometimes two games are just that, two games, and not some dramatic up or downward trend.

The Hawks and Wild were pretty evenly matched throughout most of the 1st on Monday night in St. Paul, but as the game got closer to final horn it got further in hand for the Hawks.  To say this game was a total blowout would be doing a disservice for Corey Crawford, who was phenomenal AGAIN.

Crawford stopped 30 of 31 shots for a lofty .967 save percentage.  The Hawks were actually outshot in this game, but when the scoring opportunities occurred, the superior talented Hawks closed on them.  Crawford was simply better than his Wild counterpart, Niklas Backstrom.  Read more »

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Blackhawks take Game One, 2-1 in Overtime

By Jon Fromi

It took 73 minutes and eight seconds, but the Chicago Blackhawks prevailed 2-1 in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup with the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks third line came up large in setting up Bryan Bickell’s game winner that gives Chicago a 1-0 lead in the series.

The Wild was set on their heels in the warm-up, with starting goalie Niklas Backstrom suffering a lower body injury. Josh Harding got the call to face Chicago after missing much of the regular season.

Despite facing a goalie that had just five appearances all season, Chicago did not put much in the way of pressure on Harding in the opening minutes. The first real scoring chance came when Jason Zucker came up the left side and took the puck hard to the net. Read more »

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Emery shuts down Wild in Minny 1-0

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks won their third straight game Tuesday in opportunistic fashion, making a Marian Hossa tally hold up behind Ray Emery’s third shutout of the season. Razor stopped all 20 shots he faced as the Blackhawks won 1-0 at the Excel Energy Center.

Chicago had several nice chances in the early minutes. Three minutes into the game, Duncan Keith swiped a puck along the boards and got to the front of the net with Andrew Shaw on his right. Keith’s shot was absorbed by Niklas Backstrom.

The Wild had a chance when Devin Setoguchi got his stick on a slap shot in the eighth minute. However, the deflection skidded along the crease and never found the net. Read more »

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Streak 23-Blackhawks win 10th straight, top Wild 5-3

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks got a pair of goals from Bryan Bickell and a three-point night from Brandon Saad as the home team won a franchise-record tenth straight contest Tuesday night, a 5-3 decision over the Minnesota Wild.

On a night honoring Marian Hossa, the ‘Hawks used four unanswered goals in a six-minute span in the first period to avenge one of their three losses on the 2013 season. Chicago wins their 20th game and have now earned 43 of a possible 46 points.

In his first shift back from an upper body injury, Dave Bolland earned a high sticking penalty when his blade caught Torrey Mitchell in the face. Jonathan Toews had a breakaway chance even after losing his stick. Thanks to some NASCAR-like efficiency from the bench, Toews took a pass from Hossa but was turned away by Backstrom. The ‘Hawks did kill the penalty, however. Read more »

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Wild hand ‘Hawks first decision loss on season, Minnesota prevails 3-2 in a shootout

By Jon Fromi

Hey, it was bound to happen.

The Chicago Blackhawks picked up a point Wednesday to open a six-game road trip, but came up a few inches short as they dropped their first game of the 2013 season.

Niklas Backstrom recorded 28 saves in relief of Josh Harding as the Blackhawks lost 3-2 in a shootout.

Minnesota got on the board quickly.  Just ninety seconds following the opening faceoff, the Wild won a draw in the Chicago zone.  Mikael Granlund, who bested Marcus Kruger for possession, fired the puck on goal and Corey Crawford allowed a rebound in front of the net. Crawford stopped a put-back by Matt Cullen, but Cullen pounced on a second rebound attempt to give his team a 1-0 advantage. Read more »

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Lindbloom: On Big Bad John, the Kaner Dance and the long journey back to that elusive rock

“HEAVEN ON EARTH” THE BOYS (and fish) from JIM’S ROCK
“Trust me Gar!”

By Rich Lindbloom

Trophies, they’re never easy to come by, are they? While the trophies being held up in the photo above may not rival a toothless Duncan Keith hoisting the Cup two years ago, it’s rather apparent the four knuckleheads are quite proud of their efforts on a rain soaked day of fishing in Canada. Apparently, one of the boys on the fishing trip decided to stay in the cabin and raid the liquor cabinet – that could explain the off center photo. The lad on the left was my baby brother Jim, who passed away around this time last year. A friend who was known as the tenth Lindbloom, Rabbi Voshnewsky, sent the picture and one of my all time favorite stories as a very pleasant reminder of the last of nine Lindblooms to enter this world…. Read more »

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Emery stands strong, Kane’s dazzle edges Wild in the shootout

photo: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Vandenberk

Western Conference leading Minnesota Wild played host to Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center.  This game saw the 2 best teams in the Western Conference play their first game against the other this season.  The Wild lost 2-1 the night before in Winnipeg, while the Hawks have been off since coming from behind on the San Jose Sharks to force overtime on Sunday night at the United Center and come out victorious winning 3-2.

Ray Emery started his 3rd straight game for the Hawks, while Niklas Backstrom was between the pipes for the Wild.  Coach Q slightly tweaked his line up as Bryan Bickell found himself back in the line up alongside Dave Bolland and Andrew Brunette.  That moved Michael Frolik to the fourth line with Dan Carcillo and Jamal Mayers.  John Scott was Steve Montador’s defensive partner with Sean O’Donnell and Sami Lepisto scratched.

The Hawks attempted to take advantage of the travelled Wild as Bolland had Backstrom beat early but hit iron.  The Hawks were all over the Wild out shooting them 11-2 in the first period.  At the 2:57 mark of the period, the Wild got their first shot on net and the 19,254 at the Xcel Energy Center let them hear it with an abundance of sarcastic cheers. The first period ended with a 0-0 score and neither team gave up a penalty. Read more »

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