Archive | February, 2012

Free Falling Blackhawks host Free Falling Maple Leafs

29 Feb

Which team wants to lose this game more?  Tough call.

The Blackhawks have lost 12 of the last 16 while the Maple Leafs have lost 9 of the last 10.  Chants of “Fire Wilson” cascaded down from the rafters of the Air Canada Center (Centre for our Canadian friends) last night during a 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers (aka Blackhawks south).

The Blackhawks will be without Toews, Hjalmarsson and Montador.  However they will have Andrew Shaw back as well as Brandon Bollig.  I saw some articles on Bollig that indicate he will be able to replace John Scott in the fighting department.  Not in the sense that opponents will just hang on for dear life as they get pummeled by Mr. Scott but in the sense that Bollig will bring the energy the Hawks desperately need.  Bloggers indicate that Bollig will stand swinging wildly at an opponent and smile while doing it.

Hawk fans and Hawk players should both feed off this kind of passion and fury.  If he is the player he is billed as then he should quickly become a Hawk fan favorite.  I sure hope so.

Hawks players are at least saying the right things.

“You see some new faces in here from the minor-league team and Johnny is in here now,” veteran winger Patrick Sharp said. “This is our team and you can feel good about that. We can move forward together, there is no doubt and no question in our minds. It’s just a matter of performing on the ice. We have 18 games left. Looking at the schedule, it’s going to be a battle to get in (the playoffs), and we’re ready for the challenge.”

The trade deadline can be an anxious time for players, and nearly all the Hawks were feeling it as Bowman worked the phones. Even Patrick Kane, about as untouchable as can be on the Hawks, called it a “sigh a relief” he was still with the team. For Kane and his teammates, the sense is that they’re glad nearly all of them are still together and plan to get primed for a run.

“With our group in here we can feel confident with where we are, especially once we get over the injury bug a little bit,” Kane said. “You put a full lineup in with our team and we’re going to be tough to beat. Obviously that’s not where we’re at right now so some guys are going to have to step up and try to take over a little bit.

“It’s a good team in here, a good bunch of guys. We feel we have a chance to do some special things. It’s going to be fun going forward.”

If the Hawks are going to do something then their best players need to be their best players.  Calling Hossa, Sharp and Kane!  Will they answer the call?

TTS

 

Toews will miss his fifth straight game

28 Feb

Toews will miss his fifth straight game on Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

From ESPN:

“Toews is the same,” coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday. “He didn’t skate today, about the same he’s been the last few days. No progress. Still day to day.”

Toews has been out more than a week with an upper-body injury, and there is no timetable for his return. The Blackhawks have gone 1-3 without him.

“We’d like to see him on the ice, then you get a pretty good idea when he’s going to be back,” Quenneville said. “He enhances our team in all areas.”

Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson skated on his own before the team practiced Tuesday, but he will miss his 10th game in the past 11 with an upper-body injury as well.

Corey Crawford will start in goal, and newly acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya is scheduled to make his Chicago debut.

Brandon Bollig, recalled from Rockford Tuesday, will make his NHL debut as well.

The Hawks also recalled Andrew Shaw from the Rockford Ice Hogs as well.

TTS

Trade Deadline has passed – how did Blackhawks do?

27 Feb

The Blackhawks needed a 2nd line center with a healthy Toews.  Toews is out with a concussion for who knows who long (Sidney Crosby anyone?).  So without Toews the need for a 2nd line center became mission critical.

The Blackhawks also needed a defenseman, which they acquired.  However if they didn’t get the 2nd line center they so desperately needed then why overpay for a rental player?  How long will he be here?  The Hawks gave up a 2nd and 3rd round pick for a guy who will be here for 18 more games and if they make the playoffs maybe a round.  The Hawks will not bring Lord Stanley’s Cup back to Chicago this year.

So why sacrifice the 2 picks?  Why not keep them and use them to acquire assets….like say a Center and a Defenseman!!!????  Oduya will walk after this season and they won’t have the picks.  How does that address the teams needs?

The Canucks, Predators and Red Wings became stronger and deeper.

The Hawks also traded John Scott to the New York Rangers for a 5th round pick.  Great.  Now who is going to fight for the Hawks?  The Sharks, Canucks and everyone else in the West will target Johnny’s head when and if he comes back.  Why shouldn’t they?  Who is going to make them pay a price?  NO ONE!!!

Hawks deadline grade = FAIL

TTS

Blackhawks acquire Johnny Oduya

27 Feb

from ESPN:

CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets for a second-round and third-round draft pick in 2013, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Oduya, 30, has two goals and 11 assists with a minus-9 rating for the Jets in 63 games. He is a former seventh round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2001. He’s played for New Jersey, Atlanta and moved with the franchise to Winnipeg last season.

He had a career high seven goals and 22 assists in 2008-2009.

Not a bad pick up.  He won’t be a power play QB.  If he is on the power play unit it would be on the 2nd group.  However he is solid, predictable and dependable as a defenseman.  Should help calm things down on the back end and provide some relief so Keith and Seabrook don’t have to log so many minutes.

I just heard him speak via cell phone to TSN and the Trade Center…or TradeCentre as they like to spell things funny north of the border… and he didn’t sound super enthusiastic to be traded.  Sounded like a guy that wanted to finish what he has been doing with his teammates.  Hopefully it’s just that he’s in a little shock and that his attitude will change once he gets here and puts the indian head sweater on.

TTS

Evgeni Malkin’s “Goal Of The Year” Candidate | Penguins vs Lightning | 2/25/12

27 Feb

Hawks finally score on power play – then lose the game

27 Feb

Patrick Kane scored a power play goal in the first period against the Anaheim Ducks yesterday to break the 0 for 39 streak they were on.

The Blackhawks came out with some fire in the first period.  They out shot the Ducks 9 -2 until just under 20 seconds in the period when the Ducks scored a controversial goal.

Cogliano tied it, but only after the referees immediately waved off his goal. Cogliano clearly kicked the puck toward the net with his right skate, but a lengthy video review at the league offices in Toronto revealed Cogliano poked the puck through Emery’s legs with his stick after Emery stopped the kick with his pads.

“I thought he kicked it and then maybe got a piece of it, or just kicked it straight in,” said Emery, who backstopped Anaheim into the playoffs late last season. “Either way, it shouldn’t count. I know they took a tougher look at it, and they must have had some evidence to the contrary. But you’ve got to work past those things.”

There was no video evidence that showed Cogliano hit the puck with his stick.  Toronto made the assumption.  That’s NOT how they are supposed to rule.  There is supposed to be conclusive video evidence.  How can they rule on an assumption with a game this late in the season?  The 2 points for this game are so huge at this time of year.  But…that’s not the reason the Hawks lost.

After that goal, things fell apart for the Blackhawks.  They could only muster 4 shots in the second period.  4 shots!  It took the Blackhawks 9 and 1/2 minutes to get their first shot of the third period.  You can’t expect to  win many hockey games playing like that.

The Blackhawks have lost 12 of 16 overall, yet still sit in sixth place in the West, nine points ahead of Anaheim.

“It seems like sometimes when we get the lead, we’re kind of satisfied with that,” said Kane, who scored the Blackhawks’ first power-play goal since Jan. 24. “But we definitely have to keep the pressure on and try to extend the lead. After the first, they pretty much dominated us in the second and third and got a lot more shots than we did.”

It was the first power play goal for Kane in 31 games.  That’s 2 months.

At least Kane did something.  Where was Hossa and Sharp?  The 2 previous games have seen some lazy play and poor decision-making by Hossa which has led directly to goals on the other team.  This guy has a reputation as being a complete player.   Where is this defensive play that we know he is so good at?

Sharp was not only a no-show but he had a poor game.  Especially late, like with 6 minutes left on a 4 on 4.  There were 2 terrible passes by Sharp.  He missed his targets by over 10 feet.  What the hell is that?  We know he can make great passes.

This team just gave up.  Where is the fight?  Where is the heart?

I’ll tell you where.  It’s spread across the league.  Andrew Ladd and Big Buff are in Winnipeg.  That team made Ladd their captain.  Why do you suppose they did that?  Big buff is an anchor for them.  That team just shot up to third place in the Eastern Conference.   Adam Burish is playing for the Dallas Stars.  A team that sure looks like they want in on the playoffs unlike the Hawks.  Even Ben Eager, who is skating with the Oilers, a team that has been a huge shop of horrors for the Hawks.

How about the god awful power play?  If only we could have some sort of quarterback on the power play.  A guy who could spring the wingers on the rush.  A guy who is second in the entire league in scoring by defenseman.  A guy named Brian Campbell who is playing for the Florida Panthers.  Oh yeah.  All the “expert” Blackhawk fans ran him out-of-town for being overpaid.  Still think he is over paid?  Do you?  I had many arguments with fans about the fact that yes he is paid more than we would like to see but we have NO ONE that can do what he does.  NO ONE!!!!!  All I heard back was how his contract was killing us.  Putting us in Salary Cap hell.  Yeah….it was all his fault.  Idiots.  How do you like the extra salary cap space we have now?

That brings us to the GM Stan Bowman.  Son of the legendary Scotty Bowman.  Today is the trade deadline but I’d be very surprised if the Hawks make a move of any significance.  Hawks owner Rocky Wirtz is channeling his father “dollar” Bill Wirtz and will not take on any salary.  He is preparing for the upcoming CBA showdown.

The Hawks had a GM that built a team and won the cup.  They fired that guy before the cup was won.  They fired him on a technicality over some qualifying offers for 3 restricted free agents.  The offers didn’t go out in the mail on time.  Isn’t that a job handled by the assistant GM?  Yes it is.  Who was the assistant GM at the time?  That’s right….Stan Bowman.  Promote that man to GM!!!

So Tallon gave the Hawks a cup and Stan Bowman gave us a team that barely squeaked into the playoffs last year and went out in the first round.  This years team might not even make the playoffs.  Frankly I am starting to hope they don’t.  Why…. so we can watch them go out in the first round?  I hope they don’t make it so we see some significant changes.  I’m not just talking players.

But I’m afraid that Stan isn’t going anywhere.  If you fire Stan then you lose Scotty Bowman and that’s not something Hawks brass wants.  They don’t want to lose that credibility.

In pro sports the GM doesn’t get fired, they fire the coach first.  Whether he deserves it or not.

So let’s have fun with the next 37 years without a cup.

TTS

That was awful!!!

26 Feb

How am I supposed to write about that train wreck that happened last night?  I’m just….disgusted at what I saw.  This team has so many holes that Swiss cheese looks rock solid next to them.

Remember after my last rant when I said We should petition the NHL so that the Hawks could decline a penalty like in the NFL?  Well did you see the Hawks power plays last night?  It’s a F’in Clown College!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The power play has gone from bad to worse to flat-out inept.  How inept? Try 39 consecutive opportunities without a score following a 0-for-6 performance.

3 power plays in the first period, including a 5 on 3 for just over 30 seconds and they generated 6 shots.  But those shots were weak.  Not a single good scoring opportunity.  The Kings had 2 power plays in the first and you know what they did?  They fired the puck on net and scored.  Amazing!!!  Make that Dustin Brown scored.

I don’t think the Kings are going to trade Dustin Brown.  The Kings captain had been the subject of trade rumors and all I could think of is why?  Why would you trade him and then go look for a guy that brings all those same qualities?  Stupid.

Brown’s third goal of the night was a shortie.  Nice way to get a hat trick.  2 pp’s and a sh.  He ended up adding an assist on the Kings 4th goal.  Great game if you have him on your fantasy team.

The rumor mill says that Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough do not want to take on any additional salary.  A big reason the Hawks have not and are not expected to make any trades this year.  They believe Armageddon is coming with the next CBA negotiations.  Count myself in with that group.  Now that the players association has hired Donald Fehr you can bet your ass there won’t be any hockey next year.  The players sat out a year last time and lost.  They will sit out much longer this time.  Being millionaires isn’t good enough for them.  They just don’t get that playing hockey for a living and making millions is a privilege.  Fools!  Let them sit out the rest of their careers.

Before that happens we still have 19 games left.  But this Hawks team is worse than swiss cheese.  Too many rookies plugged into key roles (top 4 defense, 2nd line center) too early.  Too much reliance on older, over the hill players.  Not nearly physical enough.

Next up for the Hawks is the Anaheim Ducks.  Look how that team has turned around since they hired Bruce Boudreau.  If the Ducks get in the playoffs he should win coach of the year.  Anyone notice how bad the Washington Capitals are?  I guess Bruce wasn’t the problem.  Bit of trivia, did you know that Bruce was in the original Slapshot movie?  He was a hockey player playing against the Chiefs in one of the scenes.  Check it out for yourself.

Anyway, the Ducks are playing very good hockey and the Blackhawks are a train wreck right now.  I can say I don’t even want to watch it but I will because I am a Blackhawks junkie.  Hopefully they get a little inspired or embarrassed from yesterday and pull a victory out of their ass.

Per TTS policy when the Blackhawks play so poorly that they do not deserve to get their picture up on the blog we place a hot chick instead.

TTS