Tag Archives: Predators

Hawks blow 4-goal lead then edge Preds 5-4

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks gave up another two goal lead in the third period and lived to tell the tale, taking two points against the Predators in regulation with a 5-4 win in Nashville. Brent Seabrook tallied the go-ahead goal at 8:19 of the third period to give the ‘Hawks just their second win in six games against the Predators this season.

With the win, the Blackhawks clinched a playoff spot and drew even in the standings with Detroit (off Saturday, now has a game in hand on both teams) and one point behind Nashville for fourth in the Western Conference.

The first period featured action at both ends of the rink with Chicago leading 16-12 in the shot column. The Blackhawks struck first on an early power play opportunity when Patrick Sharp got a fortunate bounce off a defenseman at 3:25 of the first period. Sharp picked up a loose puck and attempted to cross it to Patrick Kane. The pass instead deflected off Hal Gill as he attempted to fill the lane and past Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne to give Chicago the early 1-0 lead. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio e.103 w/ Al Cimaglia of XM Radio and MyFoxChicago.com

By Chris Block

Tonight on PuckChatter~Radio we were joined by Al Cimaglia, Blackhawks writer at MyFoxChicago.com and also the Chicago correspondent at XM Radio Home Ice.

Al joined me for the first 50 minutes to give us his take on the 5-game suspension league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed down to Duncan Keith last week for his flying elbow smash on Canucks’ star Daniel Sedin, whether it was fair and Al’s ideas to improve the suspension process in the future.

We take a look at that inept Blackhawks’ power play, standing in front of the net, whose to blame and the roll-down effect problems with that special teams creates.  We also discuss Corey Crawford’s recent performances, good and bad and Joel Quenneville’s handling of the goaltending position.

All this and much more on this edition of Puck Chatter. Same show, new name.

Thanks as always for listening.

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Blackhawks lay down for Predators

By Brad Gardner

The Nashville Predators have had a way of bringing out the worst in the Blackhawks this season. That trend continued on Sunday as the Predators won a convincing 6-1 decision over the Hawks in Chicago. The Hawks finished with more shorthanded chances than power play shots as they stared down a multiple goal deficit for much of the contest. Nashville has now taken nine of a possible ten points against Chicago this season and has a four point lead in the standings as both teams have six games left to play.

Corey Crawford started the game but allowed four goals on 15 shots in 42 minutes before he was pulled in favor of Ray Emery. The veteran Emery allowed two third period goals on nine shots. The six goals against was the most for Chicago since February 2nd when they gave up eight goals to the Oilers while deep in the throes of that nine-game losing streak. Read more »

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9 in a row: Hawks come up short in Nashville

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks turned in an improved effort as they continued their road trip in Nashville Tuesday night. However, the result was the same as their previous eight games.

The Blackhawks fought back to tie the score twice in the Music City, but another late goal lifted the Predators past their Central Division rivals. Chicago came up on the short end of a 3-2 final score to lose their ninth consecutive game.

The opening period saw both teams committing infractions, starting with Dave Bolland’s hooking penalty in the third minute. Mike Fisher was called for tripping 90 seconds later. In the fifth minute, Jonathan Toews ran into Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, ending Chicago’s shot at the man advantage.

Fisher missed a wide open net late in the resulting power play, but for the most part the Blackhawks were successful in filling the shooting lanes.  Nashville killed a Martin Erat holding penalty at the 9:03 mark. This was followed by the two teams taking turns at Rinne and Ray Emery. Read more »

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Costly turnovers send Hawks to break on losing streak; Predators 3 – Blackhawks 1

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks last game before the All Star break took place Tuesday night at the United Center.  They played host to the pesky Nashville Predators who they lost to just three nights ago in Nashville 5-2.  That game saw the Hawks captain leave with a wrist injury.  Jonathan Toews joined his teammates Patrick Sharp and Dan Carcillo on the injury reserve list.  It was also mentioned that Toews would forego the All Star festivities this coming weekend due to the injury.  With Captain Serious watching from the press box Rockford superstar Brandon Pirri was recalled to hopefully ignite the Hawks.

Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne was looking for his ninth straight win on Tuesday with his second start in as many nights.  The Preds beat Columbus 4-1 on Monday in Nashville.  Although Corey Crawford was pulled during Saturday’s contest, he did get the start for the home team.  Read more »

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Predators 5 – Blackhawks 2, Hossa strikes twice, Crawford pulled, Toews left arm in question

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks saw their seven-game point streak snapped after a sluggish game in Nashville against the division rival Predators. Despite two goals from Marian Hossa, a flurry of goals from the home team in the middle period turned out to be the difference in Chicago’s first regulation loss since January 6th.

The opening period was characterized by chippy play from both sides. Nashville out-chanced the visitors, but Marian Hossa managed to put the ‘Hawks on the board first on the team’s second shot of the period. Andrew Shaw dropped a short pass to Hossa at center ice, who gained the zone with enough speed to beat Shea Weber to the outside. He protected the puck as he crossed over and beat Rinne inside the right post for his 19th goal of the season.

Craig Smith drew the Preds even just over two minutes later with a power play goal. Rookie defenseman Ryan Ellis had an open lane from the blue line and Smith provided both the traffic in front of Blackhawks’ starter Corey Crawford and the finish on the rebound to make it a 1-1 game going into the first intermission. 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

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Enjoy.  And thanks to everyone as always for listening.

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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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NHLPA Player opinion poll on franchises, coaches, rule changes and peers

Less than half of current NHL players recently participated in a voluntary poll presented by the National Hockey League Player’s Association and the CBC television network in Canada.  Of the 318 players who did return surveys, 11% identified the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they’d most-like to play for.  And 7% choose the United Center as their favorite arena to play in.

Duncan Keith, the reigning Norris Trophy award winner, finished 5th in the category of toughest defenseman to play against.  Keith received three percent of the votes in that query.  Patrick Sharp ranked 3rd in the most-underrated player category, tied with New Jersey center Travis Zajac with each receiving 3.5% of votes.  That’s something of an arbitrary category.  Frans Nielsen, who got the 2nd most votes for most-underrated, is a sneaky-skilled player but he’s not in the league of Sharp or Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson, who led the voting by a slim margin over Nielsen (5 goals, 16 assists, 43gp).

In Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks have the league’s 5th most desired coach, according to players polled.  Quenneville received 6% of votes tallied, behind Guy Boucher (8%), Dave Tippett (8%), Mike Babcock (18%) and Dan Bylsma (21%).  Bylsma was obviously aided by how well he came off in the HBO 24/7 series.

Here’s the entire list of questions and top vote getters: Read more »

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