Tag Archives: Dallas Stars

Blackhawks are 4-0 to start the season!

25 Jan

Well this is pretty fantastic.

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What’s great is that the Hawks are getting strong play from their best players. You need that if you want to make some noise. Getting off to a good start is key in a short sprint of a season like we have here.

If you haven’t seen the highlights, make sure to catch the OT winner. Kane’s no look behind the back – basketball type- pass was incredible. He totally froze Lehtonen who could not get over to stop Hossa’s one timer blast. Great points if you have Hossa on your fantasy hockey team. Power play game winning goal. Hossa is on fire with 5 goals already. He is a horse of a man. No sigs of last seasons crushing concussion from Piece of Shit Raffi Torres. Keep sitting on that bench Raffi. Dick.

”First really big test coming from behind and I think we didn’t quit,” Hossa said. ”Huge goal by Toews at the end kept us in the game.”

The Blackhawks, who matched the franchise’s best start set during the 1972-73 season, overcame a 2-0 second-period deficit. Corey Crawford made 21 saves and stopped Ryan Garbutt on a penalty shot.

”We just kept sticking to the same play, kept going, and our guys did a great job not getting frustrated,” Crawford said. ”All the missed opportunities or big saves sometimes gets to you. But tonight was great. We got some big goals and an amazing play by Kaner at the end there.”

”We’ll talk about that one for a long time, like he had eyes behind his head,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of Kane’s pass. ”He saw Hoss and everybody thought it was on the left side, including me, and then he pulls that off and Hoss doesn’t waste it and buries it. It was a special ending.”

Chicago’s high-powered offense, which racked up 14 goals in the previous three games, needed the man-advantage to score all three Thursday night.

Part of that was due to an outstanding performance by Lehtonen, who made 38 saves after coming within 3.4 seconds of a 39-save shutout Tuesday in a 2-1 win at Detroit.

”If Kari isn’t there, there is no game tonight,” Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas said. ”There’s no chance we get a point. We just got lucky that we hung in there for that long. We’ve just got to tighten up defensively. You can’t play like that all the time.”

Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan was not happy with the performance of his team, which was outshot 41-23 and fell to 2-1-1.

”Lost battles and turnovers,” Gulutzan said. ”If you lose one-on-one battles all night, and if you turn the puck over all night, then you’re going to be on the wrong end of things, and that’s what we did.”

With Eric Nystrom in the penalty box for boarding, Toews tied it at 2 with 5:53 left in regulation on a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Lehtonen over the blocker.

The Stars had a prime opportunity to win when Niklas Hjalmarsson’s tripping penalty with 1:18 left in regulation gave them a chance to end it on the power play. But even though the man-advantage carried over into overtime, they were unable to capitalize.

Ray Whitney’s second goal of the season midway through the second period gave Dallas a 2-0 lead, but the Stars continued to get into penalty trouble, allowing three goals on their last four trips to the box.

”We didn’t change too much of our approach,” Quenneville said. ”We didn’t get away from our game, just tried to get on the offensive side of things, drew some penalties, and the power play cashed in. It was a real solid game for us.”

Loui Eriksson put the Stars up 1-0 with a short-handed goal on a spectacular effort with 1.4 seconds remaining in the first period. He fought his way around defenseman Brent Seabrook at the Chicago blue line and fired a wrist shot that Crawford initially appeared to stop, but the puck came loose and slid just over the goal line.

Garbutt was awarded his first career penalty shot early in the second when he was pulled down from behind by Seabrook on a breakaway, but Crawford made a glove save on his backhand attempt.

Following a turnover by Michal Rozsival, Whitney found himself alone in front and his point-blank backhander over Crawford’s shoulder gave Dallas a two-goal lead at 10:41.

The Blackhawks finally solved Lehtonen on a power play at 15:57 when Sharp attempted a pass through the crease that was inadvertently deflected in by Dallas defender Trevor Daley.

”To us, it was almost fun to watch how good he was playing,” Kane said of Lehtonen. ”Just making acrobatic save after acrobatic save.”

Dallas forward Jaromir Jagr, who had two goals and two assists on opening night but has been held off the scoresheet since, left with an undisclosed injury late in the third period.

”I don’t think it’s anything big, but I haven’t spoken to our training staff,” Gulutzan said.

NOTES: During the game, the Stars announced that they signed restricted free agent center Jamie Benn to a five-year contract worth $26.25 million. … The last time the Blackhawks opened the season with at least three straight victories was back in 1972-73, when Hall of Famers Tony Esposito and Stan Mikita led them to a 4-0 start en route to the Stanley Cup final. … Dallas has allowed just one goal during 5-on-5 play through its first four games.

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Ratings Records and Hawks off to 3-0 Start!

24 Jan

Ratings across the United States and Canada have shown record setting ratings for NHL games. So much for the fan backlash from the lockout.

CBC in Canada had record ratings for Saturday night. St Louis reported it’s higher ever ratings for a blues game which was a Tuesday night Shootout thriller against the Nashville Predators. Here in Chicago, the story is the same. From the Chicago Tribune:

CSN delivered its highest Hawks regular-season game rating for its coverage of Tuesday night’s home opener against the Blues. The 5.40 household rating means approximately 188,169 households tuned in for the entire game and eclipsed the previous mark of 4.35 set March 5, 2010 against the Canucks.

Also, NBC’s coverage of the NHL on Saturday produced the league’s most-watched regular-season broadcast in 14 years, excluding Winter Classics, according to The Nielsen Company.

Regional coverage of the Hawks taking on the Kings and also the Penguins facing the Flyers was watched by 2.77 million viewers (1.6 household rating).

Hawks off to a great start.

Hard to believe but the Blackhawks are off to their best start since 1972-1973 season. Can you believe that the Hawks have not had a 3-0-0 start in the last 40 years? Not even the 2010 cup winning team did that! Crazy eh?

The Hawks themselves have said their is a feel to this team that’s similar to the cup winning team. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves but i’m pretty happy with what I’ve seen. Not that there aren’t things that can improve. Plus I expect LA and Phoenix to have a better showing the next time we see them. Especially from their goaltenders who both gave up a couple of week ones. However beating the blues was impressive. The Blues smoked the Red Wings 6-0 the first game of the season and then won a shootout against tough divisional rival the Predators.

From the Hawks themselves:

“It’s a good start but you can’t think about it too much,” winger Patrick Kane said. “One of the things about this season is you’re playing so many games in a short amount of time so it’s almost like you win one, ‘all right, think about the next one.’ If you keep doing that you’re going to have a good recipe for success.”

“It was a lot of tough opponents right out of the gate, but I liked the focus of our team,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’re happy, but let’s keep trying to get better.”

Added defenseman Duncan Keith: “It’s definitely a good feeling but we know it’s three games and it’s all about what have you done for me lately.”

Tonight, the Hawks face the Dallas Stars who have been a bit of a surprise so far in the early season.

TV/radio: 7:30 p.m. Thursday; CSN, WGN-AM 720.

Series: First meeting.

Last meeting: Hawks won 4-1 March 16, 2012 in Dallas.

Probable goaltenders: Hawks, Corey Crawford, 2-0-0, 2.00 goals-against average; Stars, Kari Lehtonen, 2-0-0, 2.00.

Team comparison

Averages per game (NHL rank)
HAWKS (3-0-0) CATEGORY STARS(2-1-0) 4.67 (3) Goals for 2.00 (20) 2.67 (17) Goals against 1.67 (7) 23.1 (17) Power-play pct. 20.0 (19) 90.0 (3) Penalty-kill pct. 83.3 (11)

The Hawks will look to continue their strong play on the road after opening the season with victories in Los Angeles and Phoenix. Marian Hossa (four goals, one assist) and Patrick Kane (two goals, three assists) have come out of the gate strong to lead the Hawks’ high-powered offense. The Stars are led in scoring by 40-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who has two goals and two assists. Lehtonen has stopped 36 of 40 shots over his two starts.

Blackhawks come out flying, take down Stars in Dallas

17 Mar

“We’ve had poor starts the last three or four games,” Quenneville said. “It’s something we’ve been talking about and it was nice to see the results.”

It sure was nice.  Dave Bolland scored 10 seconds into the game as the Blackhawks came out flying against the Stars in Dallas.  Queneville has been preaching the mantra of getting off to a fast start to his club and for whatever reason it hasn’t been happening.  But not last night.

After Bolland scored 10 seconds in, Patrick Sharp ripped a wrist shot over Lehtonen’s shoulder at 1:42 of the game.

Hawks up 2-0 less then 2 minutes in.  This against a team that the Hawks have struggled against.  This against a goalie who was coming off back to back shut outs!

Sharp and Marion Hossa added goals in the opening two minutes of the third period to put the game out of reach.  Chicago is now 6-1-1 in its last eight games.

Jamie Benn ended Crawford’s bid for his sixth career shutout with 5:50 remaining for his 22nd goal of the season.  Normally that might make me upset especially considering that the Hawks are the only team in the NHL this season without a shut out and this was a good chance to finally get one.  But, I have Benn on my fantasy team so for selfish reasons I’ll not complain.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots for the Stars before a crowd of 19,099, the largest since the team moved to Dallas in 1993. The count was swelled by about 600 standing-room tickets and a loud contingent of Blackhawks fans.  You gotta love Hawks fans, unless maybe you’re a Stars fan.

With the loss, Dallas remains at 83 points which is only 2 ahead of Phoenix.  They wanted that win.  This could have been considered a trap game for the Stars as it’s the first game of a home stand coming off a road trip.  Those can be tricky for the home team for some reason.

Nice to see that effort from the Hawks against a very possible playoff opponent.  “Anytime you play a team with a potential playoff matchup, you want to make sure you give your best effort,” Sharp said. “But that’s so far down the line. We just want to get as many points as we can to secure a playoff spot and then worry about who we’re playing.”

This team is playing as a team without their leader.  With the win the Hawks split the season series with the Stars.

Patrick Kane, doing an impression of a pink flamingo, took a shot off the inside of his knee.  He was down on the ice, a scary sight for Hawks fans, for several minutes.  He did get up and skate off on his own.  Taking a shot there hurts bad.  You have a lot of nerves down there.  Anybody that has played can tell you how much that hurts.  It hurts even when you take a shot right off the shin guard.  I’ve had huge painful bruises on my leg, even with protection.  A puck is hard, it’s a vulcanized rubber disk flying at speeds up to 100 mph!  Even with protection it hurts.  Kane got it in a spot that doesn’t have great protection.  He’ll be sore but should be fine.  With Toews out, the Hawks can’t afford to lose Kane too.

Nice game from Crawford.  He only had to face 22 shots but he looked good again.  It can be tough when a goalie doesn’t see too many shots.  They can get cold.  He didn’t, he looked pretty good.  The Hawks recalled a goalie from Rockford, Carter Hutton,  since Emery was out with the flu.  Good thing Crawford didn’t need to be pulled.  Also interesting is that Salak was not the goalie recalled.  If you remember in preseason Hawk nation was calling for Salak to get the back up position instead of the experienced Emery.  Good thing Hawks brass didn’t listen.  He was just passed up by a goalie you’ve never heard of.  Apparently he’s been playing really well so remember his name.  This probably won’t be the last we ever see of him.

Good game from Andrew Shaw too.  He got an assist on the opening score and had 4 blocked shots.  He’s quickly becoming a favorite around here.

Next up for the Hawks – Sunday evening on a nationally televised game (NBCSports) when Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals come to town.

TTS

Stars – Blackhawks preview

16 Mar

The Chicago Blackhawks visit big D to take on the Dallas Stars tonight at the American Airlines Arena.

This is a huge game.  Points are at a premium this time of year and both teams want the 2 that are available.

Something for you to digest is that this is a very possible first round match up.  If the season ended today Dallas would host Chicago in the first round.  Both teams have played 71 games so far this season and the Hawks have 84 points and the Stars have 83.  Yet Dallas is in 3rd place and the Hawks are in 6th.

The Stars have given the Hawks fits this year.  They like to play the kind of physical hockey that has troubled the Hawks throughout the season.  The Hawks will need to bring the kind of game they brought the last two games if they want a chance to win.

They also need to play at the start of the game.  Something they haven’t done a whole lot.  They like to start playing in the second period, usually down a goal or two.  The Hawks will have to do without Toews and Hjalmarsson again.

It’s a double edge sword having that kind of talent on your team.  They know they can come back.  Just think if they could come out and play a whole 60 minutes.

The Stars are 8-1-1 in their last ten games and the Hawks are 5-4-1.  Goalies for tonight should be Lehtonen and Crawford.  Lehtonen is coming off back to back shutouts.  Crawford has struggled lately but sure looked good in relief of Emery in the last game.

TTS

Blackhawks rally, beat Blues in shootout

14 Mar

Quite a change of pace from last week when the Hawks got manhandled by the Blues in St Louis.  Last night the Hawks didn’t allow themselves to get dominated.  Even though the first period ended 3-1 Blues the Hawks never quit.  They fought back.

That actually dominated most of the game and stat totals.  In the first period the Hawks scored first and out shot the Blues 13 to 6.  Problem was the Blues left the period up 3 to 1.  That was all for Ray Emery.  In comes Corey Crawford to start the second period.  The Blues would not score again.  It wasn’t that Ray played that bad.  I would say only 1 goal was really his fault but the Hawks sure played better in the 2nd, 3rd, OT and shootout.  Shot totals were 46 to 24.  When was the last time the Hawks out shot someone by that far of a margin?  When was the last time the Blues gave up that many shots?

The best stat from last night was in the hit totals.  The hits were 29-29.  A far cry from last week when they were out hit 27-11.  They also lost that game 5-1.

Not this time.  The Hawks, as they’ve shown in the last few games, have some fight in them.  They were not going to get pushed around by the Blues again.  They were not going to allow the Blues to have their way.

The biggest hit, as far as momentum, must have come from Patrick Kane.  Yes…number 88 delivered a huge hit on David Backes.  Backes is usually the one knocking the Hawks around.  But the Hawks, playing as a team, had everyone contributing.  When Patrick Kane is joining in the hit parade you know this team is all pulling on the rope at the same time in the same direction.

Kane has really picked up the mantel of Leader on this team in Toews’ absence. Oh yeah, and Kane was the only skater who scored in the shootout for both clubs.

“I was talking to (Marian) Hossa on the bench and said, `I think I’m going to go backhand top shelf.’ He said, `No, go backhand, five-hole,”’ Kane said. “I listened to Hoss. He knows a thing or two.”

You guys still want to trade him for a past his prime goalie?

At this time of year points are at a premium and to take two points from the league leading Blues is H U G E.  The Blackhawks passed a huge test last night and this team is rounding into form.  Good time of year for that to be happening.  There are still holes on this team but at least we’re seeing some fight from them.  That’s encouraging.

Even when down by a couple of goals against the best defensive team in the league they fought back and won.  That’s not easily accomplished against teams coached by Ken Hitchcock.

The Blues were going for a record of 53 consecutive kills of a power play.  The Hawks scored a power play goal leaving the Blues 2 short of the NHL record.  Sorry.  That will make any Hawks fan warm and fuzzy inside.  Want another fact to make you feel better?  The Blues have now lost in their last 6 visits to Chicago.

I’ll tell you what.  Back in the old Norris division days this was a pretty nasty rivalry.  The last few games have indicated that this feud might be back on boil.  Nothing wrong with that.

Next up for the Hawks – a trip to American Airlines Arena to face the red hot Dallas Stars.  Even if the Stars weren’t red hot right now (they have won 6 in a row and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games) they have given the Hawks fits this year.  Tough match up but the Hawks have shown a lot of fight recently.  Hopefully the bring their A game at the start of the game.

TTS

Hawks play 40 minutes and forget there is a 3rd period

24 Feb

The Hawks played great hockey for 40 minutes.  They held the Dallas Stars to only 10 shots after the first 2 periods.  Then they took their foot off the gas.  What happens when you do that in today’s NHL?  You lose!

We see good Marion – bad Marion.  Kind of like we used to see good Rex – bad Rex on the Bears.  Hossa scored our only goal and couldn’t clear the puck in the third which led to Dallas’ game tying goal.  After that, Dallas seized the momentum of the game and never let go.  They didn’t take their foot off the gas.  In fact they floored it!  In the last 10 minutes of the third they scored 3 goals.

“We can’t give up that play,” Joel Quenneville said of the Stars’ first score. “That’s a goal that can’t happen and they got some momentum off it. From there we weren’t very good.”

“Little mistake. I couldn’t clear the puck. They got a lucky tip,” -Marian Hossa on his failed third-period clearing attempt.

It was very obvious to anyone watching that it was coming.  Dallas simply outplayed the Hawks in the third.  Being shut out the first 50 minutes of the game didn’t deter them either.  They kept coming and coming.  The Hawks, for whatever reason, didn’t learn (or forgot) the lessons they learned during the 9 game losing streak.  No game is easy, never get outworked, keep a commitment to team defense and never let a team take the game away from you in your own barn in the last 10 minutes.  Especially when you have the lead!!!

This is the first game the Hawks have lost all season when leading after 2.  The Hawks were not called for a penalty the whole game either.  That’s the 4th time this season that has happened.

The Hawks were outhit 41 to 15 in the game. All but three Stars players were credited with at least one hit.  That’s pretty telling right there isn’t it?

Jonathon Toews status is still up in the air.  The rumor mill is saying that his “upper body injury” is a concussion.  Probably received on the 9 game road trip, specifically against the Sharks.  The Sharks sure roughed him up in that game.  It might explain why Johnny couldn’t see a stationary pole that holds up the train tracks above Lake Street.  Maybe that’s just Karma biting Johnny in the ass?  You’re taking a paycheck from the folks at Chevy.  Their whole marketing campaign on TV, radio and billboards around the city say “Drive what Toews drives”  So Johnny if you’re taking a paycheck from them to promote their cars then maybe you should drive a Chevy?  Yes Mercedes is a fancier car then a Chevy but so what?  You knew that when you made the deal.  I can’t imagine the Chevy guys like seeing the fact that you were driving the Benz instead of the car they are paying you to drive.  Plus I have to imagine a Chevy truck would not get so smashed up against a pole.  Also I have to think that a Chevy would be much cheaper to fix then an AMG Mercedes.  I know he makes the big bucks so money isn’t an issue but come on….who wants to spend big $$$ to fix their car?  Not you, not rich guys……nobody!!!

Next up for the Hawks…..the LA Kings with the reunited Carter and Richards on Saturday in Los Angeles.

TTS