Tag Archives: Nikolai Khabibulin

Early season story on Antti Raanta, his Opening Night injury scare, how he became a Blackhawk, what won him over, his style and much more

For those who buy or read The Committed Indian program on, or at Blackhawks home games, I have a 2-page feature running in Wednesday’s issue that hopefully you’ll find interesting.  The following is a story I did on Antti Raanta that ran in The Committed Indian back in November.  I’ve had requests to post it here, but kept forgetting to do so.  So here it is, as it ran on 11/6/13.  Raanta was recalled to the Blackhawks eleven days later, after Nikolai Khabibulin went down with a groin injury.  Stan Bowman announced today that Khabibulin underwent shoulder surgery that Bowman said would keep the veteran netminder out of action another 4-5 months.  Khabibulin will turn 41 this coming Monday.  While Bowman claimed Khabibulin “could” return this season, that timetable would put Khabibulin out until around the time of the Stanley Cup Finals.  Thus, Raanta, for the foreseeable future, is Corey Crawford’s backup and second on the Blackhawks goaltending depth chart.

 Raanta_Antti-GHAntti Raanta in action for Rockford, 10/19/13 vs Grand Rapids
photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

By Chris Block

A long way from his home in Finland, Antti Raanta led the Rockford IceHogs onto the ice at AT&T Center in San Antonio last month.  Outside, it was just another steamy October Saturday in south Texas.  Inside, the IceHogs were opening the 2013-14 season.  And for Raanta, it was the beginning of the next stage in his pursuit of realizing his dream of becoming an NHL goaltender. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.138, Tis the Season

By Chris Block

A Saturday matinee edition of TheThirdManIn.com’s ~ PuckChatter~Radio dropped today.

On the show, we discussed the finality and fallout from the end of the Kyle Beach era, Brandon Pirri’s demotion back to the Rockford IceHogs, the future of Nikolai Khabibulin in an Indian head sweater and a few other Blackhawks related items.

The show typically veered off the tracks as well in various off-topic stories including the “only” two things Block hates these days, his dog freezing to the ice in the frigid Chicago weather and the recent California expedition.  Also, Block tries, and fails to identify common hand tools and his father’s response to it, and our “Pud of the week” award is dealt out as well.

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 **The Hawks acquisition of goaltender Jason LaBarbera was announced just minutes after we finished recording this show.  Thus, it is not discussed here.

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Lindbloom’s View: Attack of the Mustard Men

Lindbloom_Img01_2013Nov21“My dog died yesterday and left me all alone.
The finance company stopped by and repossessed my home.
But that’s just a drop in the bucket babe, compared to losing you,
and I’m down to seeds and stems again too.
Got them down to seeds and stems again blues.”
– Commander Cody

By Rich Lindbloom

After the Nashville game last Saturday, I started to ponder the meaning of life. Losing to the Predators has that kind of effect on me – I doubt even the brain addling effects of alcohol could have helped me. Instead of resorting to “oh demon alcohol,” I started Googling “meaning of life quotes,” cementing my depression. It seems most philosophers, as Kahlil Gibran once suggested, suffer from indigestion. I’m pretty sure I would have had a much better time if I had gone to Gonna Drinken 3 at Galway Bar with Hockeenight’s brain trust. (What’s the meaning of life – Fart!) Somehow, I think you get vastly different takes on the meaning of life depending on your sobriety. Stick tap to the boys for raising money for the wounded veterans. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.137; The Hjalmarsson Dance

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio pulled off 2 shows in 6 days with another brand new episode on Tuesday night. dissecting the Kris Versteeg trade and the reasons why Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen were the players to go the other way.

We covered the official announcement of the retirement of former Blackhawk defenseman Adrian Aucoin, and the details of how he was since hired to the Blackhawks player development staff.  Aucoin’s retirement, new job as well as the accurate depiction of his Hawks career was covered on this site exactly one month ago.

Then, we give an in-person account of the exclusive Chicago Blackhawks/Banner Collective/Blackhawks TV – launch party for the One Goal II book and 17 Seconds film commemorating the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions that was held at The Wit hotel in downtown Chicago on Monday night – what it was, exclusive details and impressions of this event, film and book.

Also, we hit a couple listener emails, talked the Horseshoe Casino on a random November Saturday afternoon, Blackhawks-Predators, Block’s niece having poor in-game hockey etiquette, and bacon – Yeah, of course We want bacon!

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Hawks bounce back, trounce Sharks 5-1

By Brad Vandenberk

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 »

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Hawks hammered in Smashville

By Michael Calvert

Well, that was embarrassing.  Chicago went into Nashville Saturday night to face a flailing Predator team sporting a backup goalie.  One would think that a team with little to no offense and a backup with ‘Khabibulin bad’ numbers would be an easy win.

1st period:

The Wall, who shall be known from here forth as The Gate, lets in a pretty easy tap in from Matt Cullen off a pedestrian wrist shot rebound.  I’ll call him the gate because we all know they can’t really keep much out, figure out their weak spots and in you shall go.  Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, Not Late Enough

By Chris Block

Since I had to work real late today, and missed the Blackhawks game, I figured we may as well do a PuckChatter~Radio.

On the show (we finished recording just before the Blackhawks-Panthers trade was announced), we discussed the Alex Broadhurst recall, Jeremy Morin’s scratchings, the Andrew Shaw contract extension, who’s next?, Brandon Bollig, the Blackhawks start, IceHogs injuries, the next wave of prospects, and which IceHogs defenseman has been flying under the radar this season.  Also, we’ll get to some listener emails, our upcoming trip to St. Louis, Superstar states his irritation with Block’s general tardiness – and much, much more.

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Toews’ Trick Surges Hawks to 6-5 comeback win

By Brad Vandenberk

After a Wild weekend splitting a home and home series with Minnesota, it was time to head back to the Madhouse on Madison to take on the visiting Ottawa Senators.   This will be the last eastern conference test until December 8th when the Florida Panthers visit the UC.

On Saturday night the Hawks were given a rude awakening when they were beaten badly on home ice by their central division rivals, the Wild, 5-3.    Read more »

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Blackhawks fall one bad goal short in Tampa

By Michael Calvert

The Bulin wall seemed to be missing at least a few bricks in his homecoming, of sorts, to Tampa on Thursday night.

Nikolai Khabibulin was the #1 goalie for the Lightning in 2003-04 when they won their first and only Stanley Cup.  This prompted the Hawks to sign him to a pretty large deal coming out of the 2004-05 lockout, one he arguably did not live up to.  For this season the Hawks have brought him back on the cheap.

1st period:  This game started out slowly enough.  Matt Carle opened the scoring with a power play goal 6:28 into the game. Michal Rozsival was in the box for hooking Valtteri Filppula. Read more »

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Exhibition recap: Hawks fall short to Sid, Pens 4-3 in the shootout at United Center

By Michael Calvert

In a game that would be a premiere regular season matchup, the Hawks took on the Pens at home in preseason game #2.  Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Evgeni Malkin did not suit up for this game, so it lacked a lot of the star power this matchup normally would present.  Toews was out again with injury and is expected to be back for preseason game #3 against Washington on Friday.

1st period:  The Hawks opened the scoring with a very nice Leblanc takeaway and feed to Patrick Sharp.  Sharp put a beautiful wrister past Voukun.at 5:19 in the first.  Roughly four minutes later the Pens evened the score 1-1 on a Derrick Pouliot shot that 5 holed Khabby and could possibly be described as soft.  Six minutes later the Pens strike again on a Joe Vitale putback at 16:53.  The Vitale goal ended the scoring for the first period. Read more »

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