Tag Archives: Sabres

Blackhawks prevail against pesky Sabres 2-1

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came up with a third period goal from Jonathan Toews and held on for a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Sunday night. Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks, who picked up a much-needed two points on the road.

First Period-Patrick Kane gave the hometown fans something to holler about in the fourth minute. Taking a pass from Patrick Sharp at the red line, Kane weaved into the Buffalo zone and fired the puck past the glove of Jhonas Enroth. With 3:12 elapsed, Chicago led 1-0.

Brandon Saad was called for a tripping penalty at the 4:39 mark. Soon after, it appeared that the Sabres had evened the score. Corey Crawford came out to play a loose puck well in front of the crease and was kept from getting rid of the puck by Tyler Ennis. Read more »

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Hawks hang on to beat winless Sabres, 2-1

By Michael Calvert

Last night’s game started out almost laughably one-sided in the Hawks favor.  Buffalo was unable to generate any type of consistency in any facet of the game.  Fortunately, for the Sabres, Ryan Miller was spectacular.  Fortunately, for the Hawks, so too was Corey Crawford.

1st period:  The Blackhawks started the game with Brandon Saad on Jonathan Toews wing, along with Patrick Kane.  This line, up until jumbled again, was dominant on most every shift they were on the ice for.  One more interesting line change was Marcus Kruger playing second line center.  Kruger looked good in the second line center position, ending the night winning 45% of his faceoffs taken.  Read more »

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Lindbloom: “Turtle” – Pistachio and digging deeper

En Garde!

By Rich Lindbloom

Opportunity; while it’s been said it only knocks once, in reality we are presented many opportunities throughout our lives. What we do with them, of course, is up to us. Marian Hossa was presented with a golden opportunity early in the second period against Buffalo that he didn’t waste-more on that later. For now, suffice it to say Hossa obliterated Enroth’s 5-hole. Before I go into my sagacious analysis of the last few games, I’d like to tell you about an opportunity that I let slip by recently. It’s haunted me for almost two months now.

It was the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and I went to Jewel to pick up a few items. Unfortunately, the lines were about 10 people deep, even at the self checkout. To make matters worse, as the line was reduced to about 5 people in front of me, we were informed that there was a malfunction in the Visa machine and it had turned into a cash only line. It turned out I had enough to pay for the items I had and so continued to wait impatiently. As we finally approached the cashier, an older lady, who looked worrisome and worn down, put all of her items on the conveyor belt, all except a turkey. I asked her if she wanted me to put it on the belt for her and she said “Well…, yeah I guess so.” Read more »

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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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Hawks @ Buffalo Lineups and Notes

Blackhawks take their show out east tonight to take on the Buffalo Sabres (1-1-0) at HSBC Arena tonight at 6:00pm central time.

Patrick Kane will be suiting up in his hometown as a Blackhawk for the third time.  He’s posted a goal and an assist in two games there in his career.

Last December, the Hawks exhibited a lackluster effort in Buffalo during a 2-1 loss to the Sabres.  Patrick Sharp posted the lone Chicago tally.  Clarke MacArthur (now with Toronto) and Thomas Vanek scored the goals for Buffalo.

Ex-Blackhawk Patrick Lalime got the start that night and did have to make 39 saves in the win.  Cristobal Huet took the loss for the Hawks in a 31 save performance.

As for tonight’s game, Corey Crawford will make his season debut between the pipes for a Blackhawk team in the midst of four games in seven nights to start the ’10-11 season.

Chicago returns home Wednesday night to face division rival Nashville for the first time since knocking the Predators out of the playoffs in April.  Nashville will have played just one game before Wednesday’s tilt, an impressive 4-1 drubbing of Anaheim before a capacity crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

Patrick Sharp says he will return to the lineup tonight after missing Saturday’s home opener against the Wings with a slight concussion.

I’m not sure what the difference between a slight concussion and simply a concussion is?  Either you have one or you don’t.  Considering all the problems NHL players are having these days with head trauma and information we’re learning about the long-term effects of head injuries, I’m absolutely certain all parties concerned, including Sharp, could afford to sit out another game or two and rest his brain. Read more »

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