Tag Archives: Radim Vrbata

Dud in the Desert: Hawks shut out for first time in nearly two years

By Michael Calvert

Friday night in Phoenix was the last game for the Hawks before the 3 week shutdown for the Sochi Olympics.

Patrick Kane was not available to play against the Coyotes.  Kane was on personal leave from the team in order to attend the funeral for his paternal grandfather back in Buffalo.  So, Brandon Saad moved up to the second line.  Missing Kane will never be good for the Hawks, but I doubt they will always struggle this bad offensively when down only one superstar. Read more »

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Hawks complete Circus trip with 5-2 win in Phoenix

By Brad Vandenberk

The Blackhawks finally completed their annual Circus road trip on Saturday night.  To this point, the road warriors had gone 5-1 on this trip.  The final stop was in Phoenix where the pesky Coyotes are known to give the Hawks some issues.  It wasn’t long ago that these same Yotes beat the Hawks out of the first round of the playoffs.  This time entering Jobing.com Arena, it was time to head back home packing another road victory.  The Hawks skated into this one in first place with a 3 point lead in the western conference separating them and second place.  The more points the merrier when you are on the road.

Hawks rookie goaltender Antti Raanta got the start, while Canadian Olympic hopeful Mike Smith was in the blue paint for the Coyotes.  Michael Rozsival worked his way back on the point with Sheldon Brookbank taking a seat.  Michael Kostka and Bryan Bickell were the other scratches. Read more »

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Smith, Coyotes outlast Hawks in a shootout 3-2

By Brad Vandenberk

The boards remained intact at the United Center as the Blackhawks played at home once again this weekend, finishing up a back to back, with the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.

On Friday night, they outlasted the Predators in overtime completing their season series.  This game really didn’t mean a lot, but the Hawks obtained another two points toward gaining the President’s trophy.

The Coyotes came in looking to help gain some momentum for a late playoff push.  Patrick Sharp remained out for this contest with an upper body injury.  Ray Emery was unable to back up with recently called up Carter Hutton sporting the baseball cap.  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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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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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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