Ain’t but three things in this life worth a solitary dime, Old dogs, children and watermelon wine. - Tom T. Hall
By Rich Lindbloom
Our family has fostered quite a few four legged beasts for South Suburban Humane Society. It’s messy, time consuming and as my daughter would put it, “This house smells like a kennel.” And then she’d pick up one of the critters and talk to it as if the puppy could understand her. “Come here my little Do-Do head or Taco bird, you’re just a little fatso,” and many other endearing terms that emanate somewhere from the soft spots of her heart. I’m fairly certain the puppy has no idea what she’s saying, but the tail wagging like a wind shield wiper in a downpour would seem to indicate the beasts seem to know they’re loved. (Can you imagine a dog without a tail? So much is communicated with so few words.) Read more »
Saturday night at the UC showed how a resilient Hawks team can play and dominate a hockey game if they seem so fit to do so. The word elimination is still lingering around as the Hawks travelled back to Joe Louis Arena to continue this series and look to force a game 7 back at the UC on Wednesday night.
Jonathan Toews finally got his first 2013 playoff goal. He scored it in fashion, ripping a shot from the side of the net off Jimmy Howard. The captain’s roar was so loud even the hockey Gods heard it.
You can tell the Hawks were playing with urgency. During both power play goals the puck was moving around the ice with speed and crisp passing. This was something that was missing in earlier games. Read more »
This game needs no introduction! The Chicago Blackhawks are on the ropes playing game 5 at home in the UC trying to stave off elimination, trailing 3-1 in the series. The Detroit Red Wings have stifled the Hawks’ offence, forcing frustration on the face of Jonathan Toews, who took 3 penalties in game four. It was time for the Hawks to show why they were the best team in the NHL through the regular shortened season.
Coach Q loaded up his line up and put Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp together. Marian Hossa found himself playing with Michal Handzus and Bryan Bickell. Andrew Shaw centered Viktor Stalberg and Brandon Saad. Dave Bolland was on the fourth line, not playing center but the wing alongside Marcus Kruger and Michal Frolik. Read more »
The Chicago Blackhawks are officially on the brink of elimination following a Game 4 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit takes a 3-1 series lead after beating the Blackhawks 2-0 Thursday night.
Jimmy Howard won a goalie duel with Corey Crawford, stopping all 28 shots Chicago threw at him. The Red Wings got a Jakub Kindl power-play tally that stood up as the game winner.
Coach Joel Quenneville had his random line generator on full power, sending out a myriad of combinations to try and strike upon a favorable matchup. Jonathan Toews had a 2-on-1 opportunity in the opening minutes via a hard-won board battle by Bryan Bickell. Toews came up the left side and had a clean shot on Howard only to see him handle the attempt. Read more »
*Note: At about the 53:00 mark, our sound board crashed and the show goes silent for a little over a minute and returns. Last week it happened just as we were about to start. So, its becoming a weekly occurrence, I guess.
Al Cimaglia of MyFoxChicago.com and Sirius/XM Radio joined me tonight for the latest edition of TheThirdManIn’s PuckChatter~Radio.
Al and I dissected the fallout from the Blackhawks second consecutive first round elimination, this time coming to the Phoenix Coyotes.
We analyzed what general manager Stan Bowman spotlighted as the areas his team faltered and also what he didn’t say. We took a look at the supposed “core”, the Hawks’ inexcusable power play futility, Marian Hossa’s future, Phillip Danault, Dave Bolland, who is gone, Corey Crawford, if the goaltending should be upgraded and potential changes to the roster.
All this and much, much more in this sixty minute show.
Phoenix closed out their first round series win over the Chicago Blackhawks in front of a 39-save shutout by Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith. The ‘Hawks out-shot the visiting Coyotes 39-20 in the game but fell by a final score of 4-0. Rookie defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson opened the scoring in the second and assisted on another goal to help Phoenix pull away with three third period goals.
The Blackhawks dominated play in the opening period but came up empty on the scoreboard. They out-shot Phoenix 16-2 in the opening 20 minutes, winning foot races and board battles with consistency. Andrew Shaw, back in the line-up after serving a three-game suspension, had one of the best chances of the period by driving to the net and redirecting a pinpoint saucer pass from Patrick Kane.
Despite the one-sided opening frame, the teams dropped the puck for the second period scoreless. The ‘Hawks again carried play with prime scoring opportunities by Jonathan Toews on a strong drive to the net, Brendan Morrison with a weak one-time opportunity, and Niklas Hjalmarsson sending a heavy blast that Smith had trouble controlling. The Coyotes’ goaltender managed to snuff out each chance and soak up the rebounds. Read more »
All the traditional jerseys were worn and all the superstitions acted upon as the Chicago Blackhawks tried to stave off elimination in the 2012 NHL playoffs. Captain Jonathan Toews took his team aside after the morning skate on Saturday with no coaches involved. The message was quite clear, they needed the win from this road game and needed the stars to pick up their game and get a win, preferably in regulation.
The last four games have gone to overtime with Mikkel Boedker winning the last 2 in Chicago with two weak goals getting by Corey Crawford. Whispers were in the air of veteran Ray Emery possibly getting the start for game five. Coach Q made the announcement that they were sticking with Crawford. Mike Smith was automatically in for the Coyotes.
Earlier in the afternoon it was decided that Raffi Torres would sit in a suit for 25 games. He was suspended for his hit on Marian Hossa during the first period in Game 3. Read more »
It was the same story for the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal with the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. The Hawks rallied back late, this time from a late two-goal deficit to send a fourth consecutive game into overtime. However, it was the Coyotes who once again found a way to pull out the game, prevailing 3-2. Phoenix now holds a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with a home game coming up Saturday.
As has been the case in this series, the Hawks were active early. Dave Bolland’s line had a nice shift in the second minute. Bolland got a puck on the doorstep thanks to a failed shot attempt by Bryan Bickell, but Mike Smith came up with a save. Shane Doan interfered with Patrick Kane at the 2:12 mark of the first, but couldn’t take advantage. Read more »
Here’s the video of Raffi Torres hit on Marian Hossa
[Update: 12:00pm 04/18/12] The NHL has announced Raffi Torres has been suspended indefinitely pending an in-person hearing in New York on Friday. Torres could waive his right to an in-person hearing and conduct his hearing via teleconference today but chose instead to meet with Brendan Shanahan face-to-face on Friday. In-person hearings are typically only offered to players when the discipline is going to be in excess of three or more games.
As you can see, Hossa put himself in a bad spot in stopping and cutting back into the path of the hard Phoenix backcheck, last supplied by Torres. However, Torres leaves his feet and makes direct contact to Hossa’s chin to which there is no excuse for. Had Torres not jumped into the collision, there would have been nothing wrong with the play.
According to various reports, Hossa left Northwestern Memorial Hospital last night under his own power before the conclusion of the Blackhawks-Coyotes game with what was rumored to be a fractured jaw and is now resting at home.
Considering the severity of injury to Hossa, the probability that Hossa will miss some games and that Torres has been suspended twice in the past thirteen months, you would expect Torres will get whacked by the NHL’s czar of discipline, Brendan Shanahan.
Four months ago, Torres was suspended two games for leaving his feet to check Minnesota’s Nate Prosser in a game on December 31. Last night’s check on Hossa came a year to the day Torres, then a member of the Vancouver Canucks, knocked Brent Seabrook silly with an ugly hit in Game 3 of last year’s conference quarter finals at the United Center. Torres was not suspended for that play even though it was his first game back from a four game suspension incurred during a late regular season game when he took a run at Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle.
Torres is expected to have a disciplinary hearing with Shanahan as soon as this afternoon. Game 4 is tomorrow night (Thursday) at United Center.
Here’s the video of Torres hit on Seabrook a year ago. Read more »