Tag Archives: Penguins

Lindbloom’s View: Natural born lover man

Morin_Jeremy_Lindbloom_viewJeremy Morin flashes the Vulcan gang sign to Bicks

“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.” – Spock

By Rich Lindbloom

After Tazer went down to an illegal hit by known Penguin assassin Brooks Orpik, the inner meatball button in me was triggered. Winning the hockey game became secondary to exacting just retribution on the nozzle who obviously was attempting to injure Tazer. I heard several Hawk players defend their lack of response by saying , “It was a 2-1 game and we didn’t want to take a penalty…” type excuse. Apparently there were no mirrors in their locker room in Pittsburgh. Read more »

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Blackhawks lose game, Captain in Pittsburgh; Quenneville says Toews not serious

By Brad Vandenberk

With over 40 family and friends attending the Consol Energy Center, Brandon Saad better hope his game is better than his outing in Ottawa where he posted a minus-3.  Sunday was Saad’s first regular season game in his hometown of Pittsburgh since turning pro with the Chicago Blackhawks.

This recent Eastern Conference road trip has not been kind to these Hawks going a disappointing 0-2.  The return to the scene of the Cup win was not so eventful being manhandled 3-0.  Then to Canada‘s capital to be embarrassed against one of the conference’s worst.  Now to complete the trip it’s a Sidney Crosby versus Jonathan Toews match up.  Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: The Bad and the Beauteous

IholdOn“I – Hold – On”

“It’s just an old beat up truck,
some say I should trade up
Now that I got some jangle in my pocket. Read more »

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Hawks Win Stadium Series Snowdown 5-1 over Penguins; Hossa leaves after 1st with upper body injury

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks offered a national audience a dominating performance Saturday night. In a snowy Stadium Series contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Hawks used a big night from Jonathan Toews and a strong penalty kill to defeat the Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field.

First Period-The teams labored in the snow for most of the first few minutes until Simon Despres was called for tripping Marcus Kruger in the fifth minute. Kris Versteeg got the only shot on goal as the Penguins negated the man advantage.

Pittsburgh got a loose puck in front of Corey Crawford in the seventh minute but the Hawks goalie covered it up. Forty seconds later, Ben Smith made a nice pass to Kruger only to have Marc-Andre Fleury made a nice save on Kruger’s shot attempt. Read more »

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Blackhawks prospects notch win in tourny finale

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Junior Blackhawks played their final game in the annual rookie tournament in London, Ontario on Sunday afternoon, this time facing off with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mac Carruth got the start in goal for the Hawks, while the Pens went with Tristan Jarry.

Forward Chris Desousa worked his way back in the lineup edging out Johnny McGuire.  Bobby Shea was back in on the defense pairings with Adam Henry scratched.

Less than a minute into the opening period, Pat Mullane throws an elbow trying to separate a Pens d-man from the puck.   Read more »

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Kruger KO’d, A Stalberg Period, A 3-2 Penguins Win – And the Blackhawks streak ends at 5

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks spotted Pittsburgh a three goal advantage over the first 40 minutes Tuesday night in the Consol Energy Center. A furious third period charge made for a fun finish, but the Penguins held on to hand the Blackhawks their first regulation loss of the month by the score of 3-2.

It was a rough and tumble contest that turned in a playoff-type atmosphere. Pittsburgh used a physical play to pave the way for the game’s first goal in the ninth minute of action.

Deryk Engelland attempted to remove Marcus Kruger’s head, which somehow went unpenalized save for John Scott jumping in and throwing down. As a result, Scott was assessed the instigator penalty.  On the resulting power play, just over a minute later, the Penguins scored on a wrist shot by Chris Kunitz, assisted by Evgeni Malkin and Matt Niskanen.

Kruger appeared to be okay and finished the first period, but did not return for the second and third.  Pittsburgh went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio, e.92, Sam Fels and Chris Block preview the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks

By Chris Block

With Opening Night of the 2011-12 NHL season now a mere days away, we called upon an old friend and colleague on tonight’s edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio to get down to some serious Blackhawk puck chatter.

Sam Fels, writer extraordinaire and editor of The Committed IndianSecondCityHockey.com and blogger at NBCChicago.com’s MadHouse Enforcer joins me to digest the off season and preview this year’s Chicago Blackhawks.

On the show, we discuss, but won’t limit ourselves to….

– Blackhawks’ Opening Night roster
– Updates and status of injured Hawks – Ben Smith, Patrick Sharp & Davey Bolland
– Brandon Saad signs entry-level. Begins season in NHL
– Saad vs Morin
– The mess at the center position
– Kane at Center, Sharp at Wing – For how long though?
– Grading Stan Bowman’s off season. Likes & Dislikes
– Can Dan Carcillo play?
– John Scott in the lineup Opening night?
– Ray Emery ‘wins’ the backup job
– The shake ups and makeup of the new defense corps
– Chris Campoli’s contract stand & new place in Montreal
– Biggest Hawks’ Storylines, Key Players for 2011-12
– Bolland again
– How much longer will Joel Quenneville remain Hawks’ head coach?
– Stan Bowman’s new 3-year contract extension in 2016
– 1st NHL head coach to be fired
– Western conference & Finals picks
– Predictions on Hart, Norris & Selke winners
– the Dallas Stars Ice Girls~!
– Drink beer – Get loaded – this Friday night at The Bottom Lounge with Sam and the boys over at SecondCityHockey.com at their big Opening Night viewing party.

And much… much… more

Click the player below to listen now in your browser

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Enjoy.  And thanks to everyone as always for listening.

Check out the archives – BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn
SUBSCRIBE to TTMI~Radio on ITUNES

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Blackhawks 2011 preseason schedule; Salary Cap up more than expected

Blackhawks announced their upcoming 2011 preseason schedule on Monday.

Chicago will again play seven exhibition games and see home-and-home games with the Penguins and Red Wings, as they did last fall.  The Capitals return to the Hawks’ preseason slate after a one year absence.  The two teams will also play a home-and-home series as they did in 2009.  The Blackhawks other exhibition game will be a neutral site contest against the Oilers in Sasaktoon.

Here goes….

Tues Sept 20 (in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) vs Edmonton Oilers @ Credit Union Centre – 6pm*

Thur Sept 22 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (Consol Energy Center) 6:00pm

Fri Sept 23 vs. Washington Capitals (United Center) 7:00pm

Sun Sept 25 @ Detroit Red Wings (Joe Louis Arena) 3:00pm

Wed Sept 28 vs. Detroit Red Wings (United Center) 7:30pm

Fri Sept 30 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (United Center) 7:30pm

Sun Oct 02 @ Washington Capitals (Verizon Center) 4:00pm

*Not sure about the time on that Saskatoon game, but that’s what is currently listed.  I’d bet that is a mistake (taken from the Hawks’ official press release).  All other times appear to be central.  Saskatoon is on central time (UTC-6) year round.  So that would mean either mean a 6pm start in Saskatoon and 7pm in Chicago, or a 5pm Saskatoon, 6pm Chicago scenario.  I don’t know why it would be anything other than a 7pm or later start in Saskatoon?  I’d go with that (8pm Chicago). The building holds less than 15,000 and is the home of the Saskatoon Blades (WHL).  Pearl Jam plays the Credit Union Centre the night before.

Last year’s preseason began with a trip to Winnipeg for a neutral site game with the Lightning.  Comcast SportsNet-Chicago gave that game a broadcast because it had the added element of being captain Jonathan Toews’ homecoming.

The September 30th game will be a chance to see about as close to the Hawks’ Opening Night roster as you’re going to get prior to the opener.  Fat chance you’ll get a look at Sidney Crosby in person that night however.

NHL SALARY CAP FLYING HIGHER AGAIN

– Positive news for the top revenue franchises looking to keep their star players, bid on free agents and spend to the cap.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting that when the salary cap is officially set and announced next week, the upper max will come in at $64 million.  The “upper limit” was previously rumored to be anywhere from 62 to 63.2 million for the upcoming season.  Each of these figures would figure in the NHLPA’s escalator option to automatically push the upper limit up by five percent.

Of course this news also greatly impacts franchise on the other end of the spectrum as well.  The CBA mandates that the lower end, or “floor” (minimum a team must spend on their NHL roster) will be $16 million less than the upper limit.

This year’s “floor” will thus be $48M, an increase of $4.6M from last year’s $43.4M lower limit.

Florida, Phoenix, Dallas and the Islanders have some work to do.  All teams already bleeding money, by the way.  Funny how the system works.

In Chicago, this development likely means Stan Bowman will be in the game on bidding for anything but the few top-level free agents if he’d so choose to.  The extra two or so million also should eliminate any ideas of moving Niklas Hjalmarsson for the purpose of freeing up cap space and maneuverability – Which is a good thing for his regular defense partner Brian Campbell.  Still, that defense needs some tweaking and with Leddy and Campoli in the mix there isn’t a space to plug in another defenseman.  There will be a need for a seventh defenseman, but that won’t be an expensive slot.  Some have suggested Brent Sopel could be brought back but that should only be if he is willing to accept less than a million on a short term agreement. He’d also need to know that he’d start seventh on the depth chart.  If John Scott’s on the NHL roster he’s an emergency forward or defenseman, or specialty option against select teams.  If his skating can improve and he can provide more, great, but it shouldn’t be counted on.  There’s a need for a blue line penalty killer, preferably with some jam to his game that can take some of that responsibility away from the over-taxed Duncan Keith.

– While a decision is said not to be imminent, the Winnipeg head coaching job is down to Blackhawks’ assistant Mike Haviland (Cheveldayoff) and AHL-Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel (True North).  Sitting “Thrashers” head coach Craig Ramsey is no longer sitting.  After interviewing for the job he held during the 2010-11 season in Winnipeg on Saturday, Ramsey was informed he wasn’t getting the job.  As was former Oilers’ bench boss Craig MacTavish.

– Wanted to make mention – Since the last game of the Finals was played on June 15th, the CBA dictates that the league-wide moratorium on new player contracts would not go into effect until 48 hours after the conclusion of that game.  The actual wording is “the later of June 15th or 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals.” Why new contracts continue to come out five days later (Nicklas Lidstrom) is anyone’s guess.  Its not that teams and agents cannot negotiate, its a moratorium on paperwork filings that make those new SPC’s official.  So perhaps its semantics or the league could be making up new rules and overriding the collective bargaining agreement when they deem fit as they go along?

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Bold, perhaps foolhardy 2011 NHL Playoff picks

There were some very long, tough deliberations going into a few of this year’s opening round matchups.  Its difficult to isolate a ‘Cinderella’ this year because every one of those teams have gaping holes; major issues.

If the Nashville Predators were facing almost any other team but the Ducks in the first round, I’d pick the Preds to finally solve the first-round victory equation.  The Preds must jump all over Anaheim at Honda Center in games one and two to have a chance.  Pekka Rinne is due for a coming out series and the Ducks will have to get by with Dan Ellis at least for the initial game or two.  It will be a long series though and the Ducks have too much firepower to bet against.  I’m already planning on regretting this, but…. Ducks in 7.

(1) Vancouver over (8) Chicago – 6 games

(2) San Jose over (7) Los Angeles – 5 games

(3) Detroit over (6) Phoenix – 7 games

(4) Anaheim over (5) Nashville – 7 games

The Canucks are deeper up front and their blue line will outperform the Blackhawks defensive six.  Corey Crawford had to start the Blackhawks’ final 27 consecutive games out of necessity and showed signs of wear in the last week.  If the Hawks do get under Roberto Luongo’s hair, the key to the series then becomes Alain Vigneault’s trigger finger.  In Corey Schneider, Vigneault has possibly an equally as good goaltender to Luongo in the back up position.  But if Vigneault waits too long to flip the card, the series’ tide could turn and it could be too late.  The Hawks are 18-10-1-3 versus Western playoff teams and five of those losses overall came to Vancouver and San Jose.  If they can somehow work their Van-magic again and pull past the Nucks, the Hawks could go on another run.  But the Canucks are too deep; special teams are too good and they’re primed to take this series.  In both previous Blackhawks’ postseasons, home ice in the first round was a pivotal factor and they don’t have it here.  Canucks in 6.

Phoenix gave the Red Wings all they could handle last season and now have another chance to pull off the upset.  The difference this year being Detroit has the home ice advantage.  Detroit struggled down the stretch and will start the series without Henrik Zetterberg (knee).  Jimmy Howard has been just ‘okay’ and he stares down the other end of the rink at Ilya Bryzgalov, who is capable of winning three or four games on his own.  Phoenix relies on him and a balanced scoring attack.  The Red Wings need Johan Franzen to get going again and guys like Lidstrom, Stuart, Rafalski and Kronwall must be better than they were in March and April.  Home ice will be a major factor.  Dave Tippett and Mike Babcock are two of the best coaches around.  Experience edge goes to eventual series winner… Red Wings in 7.

San Jose were the league’s best team during the second-half of the season.  Antti Niemi regained his 2010 playoff form and finds himself now behind another deep and top-end talent rich 2-seed.  Los Angeles will be without top center Anze Kopitar.  While Kopitar didn’t do much in the Kings’ opening-round loss to Vancouver last year, his absence is a stinger.  The season-series between these two teams did split 3-3, but the Sharks needed a shootout to win two of those games.  Jonathan Quick and Antti Niemi will wage an epic battle, so the games will be tight.  Which is where Kopitar’s loss looms bigger at a position the team isn’t strong at.  San Jose has two lines that can score every night and a third that will pitch in too.  The Kings secondary scoring line is now its first and thus draws the top checking assignment.  If LA is to win this series, they’ll have to do so with a string of 2-1, 1-0 type victories.  They can pull it off once or twice, but the Sharks are too explosive to shut down four over seven…. Sharks in 5.

(1) Washington Capitals over (8) New York Rangers – 7 games

(2) Philadelphia Flyers over (7) Buffalo Sabres – 6 games

(3) Boston Bruins over (6) Montreal Canadiens – 5 games

(5) Tampa Bay Lightning over (4) Pittsburgh Penguins – 6 games

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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