Tag Archives: Sharks

Hawks drop 2-1 shootout loss in San Jose

By Michael Calvert

This matchup between two Western conference Cup hopefuls didn’t really provide much scoring opportunities, fireworks or even a  lot of chippyness, but it still was a fairly exciting game.

The Hawks had their usual top line of Patrick Sharp and Hossa centered by Toews.  Line two had Versteeg in place of Saad with Brandon Pirri in the middle, joined of course by Patrick Kane.  The 3rd line benefited from the addition of Saad.  Along for the ride was 3rd line stalwart Andrew Shaw and old man Zus at center.

In goal was current cup hero Corey Crawford vs former cup hero Antii Niemi.  Crawford and Niemi are both beneficiaries of solid teams in front of them as they both sport a sub .920 save percentage to go along with excellent win loss percentages. Read more »

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Hawks-Sharks tie, then San Jose wins shootout

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks returned to the United Center for the first time in 2014, hosting the San Jose Sharks for the second time this season. The Hawks rallied from a goal down in the third period Sunday but ultimately fell to the Sharks 3-2 in a shootout.

San Jose elected to start backup goalie Alex Stalock after Antti Niemi had a rough afternoon in Colorado Saturday. Stalock stopped 33 of 35 shots as well as both Chicago shootout attempts to pick up the win.

First Period- However, it was Hawks starter Corey Crawford who provided the first real scoring opportunity in the fourth minute. The Sharks Justin Braun picked off Crawford’s pass at the right circle but his shot struck the right post. Read more »

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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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Blackhawks re-acquire Michal Handzus, send Brandon Bollig back to Rockford; More roster notes

MichaelHandzus_Flow

By Chris Block

Chicago Blackhawks on Monday acquired center Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a fourth round selection in the upcoming 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

In 28 games this season with the Sharks, Handzus posted 1 goal and 1 assist.  He was a minus-9 while playing mostly third and fourth line minutes for the Sharks.

The pick the Blackhawks sent San Jose had originally belonged to the Sharks.  At the 2012 Draft, the Hawks and Sharks swapped 4th round picks, so the Sharks could move up and the Hawks could pick up an additional 7th round selection.  That later pick, obtained from San Jose, originally belonged to Tampa Bay which the Sharks obtained in a trade involving center Dominic Moore.  Chicago used the additional 2012 7th round pick (191st overall) to select goaltender Brandon Whitney of the Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL), the same team Phillip Danault played for at the time.

Handzus turned 36 last month.  This will be his second stint with the Blackhawks organization.  He is now the second-oldest Blackhawk behind Jamal Mayers, who is 38.

Michal Handzus previously spent the 2006-07 season with the Blackhawks, appearing in only 8 games in October of 2006 before knee surgery ended his season.  Read more »

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Blackhawks make history in defeating Sharks 2-1

By Brad Vandenberk

The time is almost upon us.  Yes that’s right, a completed Blackhawks roster.  Although the Hawks haven’t been bitten by the injury bug all that much, they have had their scares.

Steve Montador was the first victim, having his concussion symptoms come back during training camp.  Next up was Dan Carcillo, who injured his knee early in the year, saw his first game in over month tonight against the Sharks.  Michal Rozsival tweaked his knee and missed a few games.  Then Corey Crawford suffered an upper body injury just a week ago giving Ray Emery the keys to the crease.  Then, Brent Seabrook missed his first game of the year against the Canucks suffering a lower body injury.  The latest saw Marian Hossa take a forearm to the back of the head and being immediately helped off the ice, not returning to the game.  The perpetrator, Jannik Hansen, received a 1 game suspension for the incident and Hossa will not miss any action.  Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: Bickell and Ovid, Toews and Thornton, Kruger and Salvador Dali

image001(1)Metamorphoses: Basher unleashes his inner butterfly

By Rich Lindbloom

The Roman poet Ovid wrote a book called Metamorphoses about 2,050 years ago on people changing into new bodies – trees, rocks, animals, constellations etc. It’s a great read covering some 250 Greek and Roman myths, man’s feeble attempts to explain the why for and the where for of his existence. (Or as David Byrne sang, “You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”) Ovid states in his opening sentence, “I want to speak about bodies changed into new forms.” With those enticing words, the hook is set.

The transformation of Bryan Bickell this season was enough to send me to see if I could locate Ovid’s classic Metmorphoses in the attic. In its day, it was one of those books that you couldn’t put down. Who would have thought 40 years ago that I would be mentioning Bickell’s name alongside Ovid in a hockey piece?  Bickell has always been a bit of an enigma to the throngs pining for blood in the 300 section during the past two seasons. Read more »

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Hawks keep rolling, top struggling Sharks 4-1

By Brad Gardner

The San Jose Sharks came to Chicago losers of six straight games, and they met an unfavorable host in the unbeaten Blackhawks.

The home team never trailed, getting another solid goaltending performance from Ray Emery. The scoring was provided by depth players, in most cases known more for their defensive acumen than offensive game, with goals from Dave Bolland, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw, and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

It was not scoring, however, but fisticuffs that got the Chicago crowd into the game early. Jonathan Toews was whistled for a boarding penalty on Joe Thornton in the corner, and shortly after, things boiled over between Toews and Thornton and the captains squared off for a first period fight. Read more »

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Brandon Saad nets first NHL goal in Blackhawks 5-3 victory in San Jose

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks broke a four-game losing streak at the HP Pavilion, rallying from an early two-goal deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 Tuesday night. The ‘Hawks remained unbeaten in regulation this season in a game that saw rookie Brandon Saad log his first NHL goal in a wild first period.

The Sharks were physical right from the start of the contest and it paid off in the form of a pair of early goals. San Jose laid some hard hits on Andrew Shaw along the boards and Duncan Keith behind the ‘Hawks net. Keith avoided big contact, but landed hard on his back.

With Keith temporarily on the bench, Joe Pavelski knocked in a bouncing puck created by Marc Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the point at the 2:53 mark of the first.

Minutes later, Tommy Wingles got the puck entering the Chicago zone and fired a lazer over the glove of Corey Crawford to make it 2-0 San Jose just 5:18 into the game. At this point, coach Joel Quenneville used his time out in an attempt to settle his team. It did just that as Chicago struck twine three times in the span of 89 seconds. Read more »

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Blackhawks blow two-goal 3rd period lead in Detroit, win 3-2 in a shootout, finish 6th in West, await Pacific winner

By Brad Gardner

The sixth and final meeting of the season between the Blackhawks and Red Wings went down to a shootout, where Patrick Kane scored the deciding goal to give the visiting ‘Hawks a 3-2 victory. Corey Crawford played a strong game, despite giving up a pair of third-period goals, and did not allow a goal in the shootout to register his 30th win of the season.

Detroit’s third period comeback secured one point in the standings, thereby sealing up either the fourth or fifth seed of the Western Conference and a first round match-up against Nashville.

Despite the two points, Chicago settled into the sixth spot with 101 points (45-26-11 record) on the season. They will open the playoffs on the road against the winner of the Pacific Division.

The game played much like the rest of the season series. Each game between the two Central Division rivals has been decided by one goal. It was the fourth time in six games that the final score was 3-2 and the fourth time Chicago came out victorious. The ‘Hawks ended up taking 10 of a possible 12 points out of the season series against the Wings with a 4-0-2 record. 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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