Archive | February, 2013

Hockey Ratings are Up

18 Feb

from sbnation:

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Hockey Day in America returned for it’s third year on NBC, and the numbers were, overall, up from last year.

Both the early game (Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo) and the late game (Los Angeles vs. Chicago) drew 1.3 overnights, meaning Hockey Day’s six-hour average (1.3) was up a tick from last year’s (1.2). The Penguins vs. Sabres game’s 1.3 overnight was down a tick from last season’s early window (1.4), but don’t forget, that window had the benefit of three regional games featuring a lot of large NHL markets (Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, St. Louis) so drawing a 1.3 in the 12:30 p.m. ET slot is pretty impressive. The game is the second-highest rated 12:30 p.m. ET game of the season, behind Philadelphia vs. Buffalo on Jan. 20.

The late game, Los Angeles vs. Chicago, drew the highest ratings for the 3:30 p.m. ET Hockey Day game ever, and was up 30 percent from last year’s entry, Boston vs. Minnesota (1.0). The Chicago market drew a 6.7 rating, which made it the highest-rated regular season game in the market aside from the Winter Classic. We’ll look into getting more local ratings as the day goes on.

Through six telecasts, The NHL on NBC is averaging a 1.3 overnight, still well ahead of last year’s average at this time (1.1, not counting Winter Classic). Overall, it’s good to see more and more growth for Hockey Day in America, and the early game showing barely any ratings drop is huge. Be interesting to see how NBC tries to grow it from here.

Viewership numbers for the third game of the day, Capitals vs. Rangers on NBC Sports Network, should be available tomorrow.

2013 NHL on NBC overnights

Jan. 19 – Regional Coverage (PIT/PHI, CHI/LA): 2.0

Jan. 20 – Philadelphia vs. Buffalo: 1.4

Feb. 3 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 1.2

Feb. 10 – Los Angeles vs. Detroit: 1.1

Feb. 17 – Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo: 1.3

Feb. 17 – Los Angeles vs. Chicago: 1.3

Hockey Day in America overnights

2011

12:30 p.m. ET – Regional Coverage (PHI/NYR, WSH/BUF, DET/MIN): 1.2

3:30 p.m. ET – Pittsburgh vs. Chicago: 1.2

2012

12:30 p.m. ET – Regional Coverage (PIT/BUF, SJ/DET, STL/CHI): 1.4

3:30 p.m. ET – Boston vs. Minnesota: 1.0

2013

12:30 p.m. ET – Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo: 1.3

3:30 p.m. ET – Los Angeles vs. Chicago: 1.3

Hawks Keep Rolling

18 Feb

Yes it got a little frantic at the end of the game but the Hawks held on to win the game and remain unbeaten in regulation.

The Blackhawks (12-0-3) matched the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the league’s second-longest streak, and are one away from the tying the mark set by Anaheim in 2006-07.

Who do they play next? The much hated Vancouver Canucks. What a time for those jerk-stores to come to town. Could it get any better then beating them? Of course I’m sure they are saying something similar about being the team to beat the Hawks and keep them from making history. Should be a fun one.

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The Hawks got a good start and an early lead on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. Up 3-0 and that was enough. Nice to see Sharp get a goal. He went nearly a month between tallies. He was still productive and was racking up the assists but goal scorers like to get goals. Imagine if that guy heats up.

Ray Emery was solid all night. Looking like a legit number 1 goalie instead of a number 2 or a guy on his last legs….or last hip in his case.

The 2 goals that the Kings scored were power play goals that Ray Emery was screened on. Full marks to the Kings. The earned those goals and grabbed momentum off of them. Hey Blackhawks did you hear that? The Kings scored power play goals by having a man in front screening the goalie. It’s not rocket science guys.

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”What’s important to us is getting home-ice advantage, making the playoffs,” Toews said. ”Those are our goals. Once you get there, the real season starts. When you get to that point, no one really cares or remembers those streaks at the start of the season.”

”I thought we had a great first 40 minutes and they got some momentum off their power-play goal early in the third,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. ”They had a great third period. We had 40, they had a great 20, and the clock ran out, which was nice.”

”We probably didn’t play well enough to win this game,” Richards said. ”The slow start kind of cost us. We gave them a lot in the first period with penalties and some turnovers and they scored some goals, which put us behind the 8-ball pretty quick.”

Before the game, Quenneville said Crawford was ”progressing” and is day-to-day. When asked if Crawford’s condition might be long-term, Quenneville replied, ”I don’t foresee that yet.” Crawford – who has a 7-0-3 record, 1.65 goals-against average and .935 save percentage – has not skated since sustaining his injury, apparently in a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim last Tuesday. It’s alleged that Bobby Ryan injured Crawford when he ran into him in that game. With no penalty called for some weird reason.

TTS

Crawford is Hurt – Concussion

15 Feb

According to Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald:

Corey Crawford is day-to-day with an upper body injury, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after his No. 1 goalie missed Friday’s morning skate.

Henrik Karlsson was recalled from Rockford to be Ray Emery’s backup on Friday against San Jose. The 6-foot-6, 209-pound Karlsson was acquired from Calgary on Jan. 21 for a seventh-round draft pick in 2013.

Crawford is believed to have been hurt late in Tuesday’s shootout loss to Anaheim when he was run over by Bobby Ryan. It’s believed he suffered a concussion.

“He didn’t feel great after practice (on Thursday),” Quenneville said. “I don’t know if that was it or (if it happened in) practice. I don’t know if there was a defining blow.”

The 29-year-old Karlsson appeared in 26 games in his Flames career, going 5-9-8 with a .905 save percentage. He was 2-2 at Rockford with a 2.23 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

“It’s always a little bit weird when a guy gets injured, but this is where I want to be,” Karlsson said. “Obviously I’m a pretty big guy so I just want play a modern style of goaltending, try to block as many shots as possible and be square to the puck.

“I’m just happy Chicago wanted me (because) I needed to move from Calgary. I had two great learning years there. I’m just glad to get a fresh start here. I don’t want to be no bad excuses or open any bad doors, but it was a tough situation (sitting behind Miikka Kiprusoff). I learned a lot and came out of it a better goalie.”

Quenneville wouldn’t say if Crawford would be available to play Sunday afternoon against Los Angeles at the United Center.

Revenge is Sweet

8 Feb

Patrick Kane had another big night and the Chicago Blackhawks won again.

The fact that they exacted a bit of revenge on Raffi Torres and routed the Phoenix team that ousted them from last season’s playoffs only made it sweeter.

Kane had two goals and an assist, and the Blackhawks remained the only NHL team without a loss in regulation this season by beating the Coyotes 6-2 Thursday night.

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What could make it better? How about seeing Mike “give the academy award to” Smith head to the bench. Yeah sit down on the bench and think about how you suck Smith. Stupid crybaby. But hey at least he didn’t throw a tantrum this time like he has so many times before. Smith has now given up 12 goals in 2 games this year to the Blackhawks. In last years playoffs Smith gave up 12 goals in 6 games. Don’t you just love that? I know I sure do.

Did somebody fight Raffi Shithead Tores? Check, nice job Mayers. Patrick Kane said after the first period that the fight, which happened right in front of the hawks bench, gave the whole team chills. Got them really pumped up. It showed as the Hawks left the first period up 4-0.

How sweet.

Have you ever seen a Dave Tippett coached team lose their cool like this? Not when he was with Dallas, not with the Coyotes. They took stupid penalty after stupid penalty. Giving the Hawks two 5 on 3’s in the first. The Hawks made them pay both times for that. The Hawks are rolling right now and brimming with confidence. Do you really think it’s a good strategy to give them two 5 on 3’s? No it’s not.

Sorry former Winnipeg Jets, Current Phoenix Coyotes, future Quebec Nordiques.

”We feel good right now,” coach Joel Quenneville said. ”We’ve been consistent in our games. We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys. It seems like the chemistry and the mood of the room is as good as you can get, and it’s reflected in our play.”

”A good fight there,” said Patrick Sharp, who had three assists. ”It definitely fired us up and got us going.”

”When you give up five power-play opportunities, you give up one soft goal, two 5-on-3 goals and one where we had nobody willing to cover anybody anywhere close,” coach Dave Tippett said, ”and you put them up by a score like that, it makes it kind of an uphill battle the rest of the night.”

Cheered on by their usual boisterous fans in Phoenix, the Blackhawks outshot the Coyotes 17-4 in the first period. It almost looked like a Hawks home game.

”I hope that’s a blip on the radar screen,” Tippett said, ”because there’s a lot of stuff right there that is not going to be happening on our team.”

NOTES: Chicago wraps up its season-high six-game road trip Sunday in Nashville. … Kane is 13 short of 400 career points. … Phoenix’s Rostislav Klesla missed his ninth straight game with a lower-body injury. … Kane entered third in the NHL in points (15). … Smith has allowed 12 goals against Chicago and eight against every other team he’s faced.

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TTS

Hawks beat Sharks and tonight they get to visit Sh**head Raffi Torres

7 Feb

What a game Tuesday night. Two of the best defensive teams in the league had a run and gun shoot out in the first period. Both teams scored 3 goals in the first 20 minutes. After that, both teams buckled down and the free for all calmed down.

Give Joel Quenneville credit. I would have yanked Crawford. He didn’t. He called Time out. The Sharks actually called their time out too with both teams having no time outs after the first period. But that third goal Crawford let in was typical. You know the kind you can’t let in. The ones you have to stop. But after that goal when the score was 3-2 TTS favorite Andrew Shaw scored 8 seconds later to tie the game. Plus, too Crawfords credit he did settle down and didn’t let in any more goals.

Congrats to Saad for getting his first NHL goal. Well deserved as the kid has been playing outstanding but wasn’t getting rewarded for his efforts. That goal was nice to see.

In the second period Toews and Kane put on a show. It was just those 2 and 4 sharks in the zone when Toews stole the puck and fed it to Kane to bang in a one timer game winning goal. Kane would later add an empty net. It was good SHarks players too. Jumbo Joe was on the ice so was Havlat. I don’t remember the D men but it was guys that should never allow something like that. 4 players against 2 and you let the 2 steal the puck from you and score. Score what turned out to be the game winning goal? You go to the bench and feel shame.

Now was this game a sign? Maybe. But the schedule could have had something to do with it too. The Sharks had played 3 games in 4 nights and had just lost a tough game to Anaheim the night before. At the same time, the Hawks had the same thing and came away with a victory against the Flames a few days ago so….is it an excuse? I read online that the Sharks fans want to blame this on the refs. Saying that was an unfair penalty for the hit on Mayers. Was it the worst hit in the history of the NHL? No. Did he leave his feet? Yeah a little bit. That’s what did it. It today’s sports world head shots will not have any wiggle room. You hit a guy in the head and leave your feet in the process will get you big penalty minutes. The NFL is leading the way and quite frankly…they should. Why do we have to tolerate career ending injuries and hits that threaten a persons quality of life. We all love big hits but we can’t have guys leaving their feet for a hit. Even if it’s just a couple inches off the ice. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that when you leave the ice for a hit, even just a couple inches, it makes a devastating head shot.

Speaking of leaving your feet for devastating head shots.

The Blackhawks get to visit the Phoenix Coyotes tonight. Guess who is back from his suspension for a dirty head shot. That’s right, the leagues biggest shit head, Raffi Torres. Go F*** yourself Raffi.

The Hawks played in Phoenix earlier this year, the second game of the season as a matter of fact. The Hawks beat them soundly. Now there is nothing more that Hawks fans want to see other then some justice. While I never can sponsor that type of activity, I maybe wouldn’t mind it against a serial repeating offender like Shithead. I mean Torres. This guy won’t learn. Tigers can’t change their stripes and Assholes cant stop being assholes. Just a fact of life. The best revenge for the Hawks would be to play their game and get the 2 points. It’s a short season and both teams need it. The Coyotes need the 2 points more then the Hawks do at this time of year so that would be sweet revenge. Plus the Hawks are rolling right now. Why spoil that by getting off your game just looking for revenge? Just play and win baby. Let that fuckface play for a losing team. He can stay at home and watch the Blackhawks in the playoffs.

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Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew Girls

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TTS

Hawks Badly Outplayed but Still Won

4 Feb

The Hawks had no business coming away with 2 points from the Scotiabank Saddledome but they did. They were badly outplayed. You could see the fatigue from playing 3 games in 4 days. The game against the Canucks the night took a lot out of them. Coming from behind before losing in the shootout. Remember the game before that was a shootout loss to the Minneasota Wild. The Hawks legs were tired. But good teams find a way to win. Even when they shouldn’t.

That’s what the Hawks did. Hats off to Ray Emery. Wow what a performance. 45 saves and 30 of them were good scoring chances. That’s the kind of performance Hawks fans have been begging Corey Crawford to give them. We’re still waiting. Crawford is good but is he I can steal you a game in a 7 game playoff series good? No. Or at least the jury is still out because we have yet to see that happen. Remember last year Crawford was the only starting goalie in the NHL without a shut out. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Patrick Kane continued his red hot offensive play by scoring early in the third. The start of the third came with the Flames coming at the Hawks like an out of control locomotive. The Hawks weathered the storm and even got the games first goal. Despite being badly outplayed and outshot.

The Flames tied it up and even took a 2-1 lead with 35 seconds left in the third. It didn’t look good at all. But these never say die hawks did just that. They didn’t die. With 3 seconds left Marion Hossa tied the game up. Crazy! Then after 5 minutes of 4-4 over time Ray Emery stoned all 3 Flames shooters and the Hawks won. Kane scored in the shootout, the guy is just red hot, and Emery stopped all 3 shooters. Just fantastic.

So do you give Emery another start? He is the back up and this is Crawfords net. However when a guy plays that red hot, don’t you have to give him the net for another game? It is a short season and you want to ride the hot hand don’t you?

Isn’t that what San Francisco did with Kapernack? He got in because of injury but a golden rule in football is that no one loses their job to injury. But that’s exactly what happened there. Now it looks like this is the kids football team and the original starter is going to get traded in the offseason.

Also don’t ever ask me who to pick. I did well in the regular season but I was just terrible in the playoffs and super bowl. For example I picked against the Ravens every week in the post season including yesterdays game. Shows what I know. My next door neighbor was begging me to make a 20 dollar bet with him taking the 49ers and the points. So there you go, I could have an extra 20 bucks in my pocket today but I’m a dummy. Oh well.

NOTES: Tanguay earned his 500th career assist. … Going back to last season, Calgary’s Jarome Iginla has gone nine games without a goal. He has only one in 17 games. … Chicago C Dave Bolland (lower body) didn’t play after getting hurt Friday in Vancouver. … Calgary D Cory Sarich was a healthy scratch for the first time. … The game’s only fight featured Tim Jackman and Brandon Bollig in the first period. The Flames entered the night as the only NHL team without a fight.

Next up for the Hawks is a battle tomorrow night against the San Jose Sharks who are all kinds of red hot this year. Should be a great game.

Oh and since my girlfriend loves when I put pictures of hot chicks up on my blog let me just put Marissa Miller up in a nod to the Super Bowl.

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Go Hawks.

TTS

Back to Back Shootout Losses

2 Feb

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That picture pretty much sums it up.

Crawford played good. Not good enough to win. How confident are you in him when the hawks go to a shoot out? Yeah I’m not very confident either. For his career he is batting .500
Not bad, but not great. Not great as in he can win a game for you. You play well enough in front of him he will keep you in but he did not match Roberto LOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUongo last night.

I am probably in the minority here but I don’t think Luongo is a bad goalie or a choke artist. Usually when things blow up in a hawks – canucks game it’s the team in front of him that’s letting him down. Not the other way around. But he’s in net and that’s who people blame. Interesting story unfolding here as the Canucks have him on the trade block but the team is playing better in front of him rather then in front of Schneider.

It was a good game last night against the Canucks but it didn’t really feel like a full blown rivalry game. Just two good teams playing hockey. I suspect the rivalry only exists in the fans minds now.

At least the Hawks took a point out of their building which is always a tough place to play. The Hawks were down and could not solve Lou he played very well. Then a great play happened. Andrew Shaw appeared to fill in for Dave Bolland who went out with what appears to be a right knee injury, and he filled in quite well. Grabbed the puck in the corner off a turnover and fed the puck to Patrick Kane in front of the net in the third period to salvage a point.

I don’t have a problem with going for Nick Leddy as the 4th shooter in the shootout. Apparently he does really well in practice. Other then Kane and Toews, no hawk has a good shoot out percentage. Sharp is only shooting at like 20% career wise. They never use Hossa. He must never score in practice.

Oh well, the Hawks still don’t have a regulation loss and now they go to another tough building in Calgary. The saddledome will be clad in red tonight. Should be a good battle. Hopefully the Hawks come away with 2 orat least 1.

Since back to back shootout losses don’t leave you with a good feeling I’ll leave you with this.

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TTS