Tag Archives: Jonathan Toews

Looks like Coyotes + Toews update

9 Apr

So it looks like the 6th seeded Chicago Blackhawks will take on the 3rd seeded Phoenix Coyotes/Quebec City Nordiques/Seattle whatevers.  The Blackhawks, who had more points than the Coyotes in the regular season, will be considered underdogs.

Most of the hockey worlds “experts” are picking The Coyotes to win.  They have cited things such as:

  • Home Ice Advantage
  • A Red Hot Goaltender
  • Winning the regular season series 3-1
  • A system that can frustrate the Hawks

All those items are true.  However, crazy things can happen in the playoffs.  It’s why they play the games.

Let’s address those issues.

Home Ice Advantage- Have you watched a Hawks – Coyotes game on TV?  It looks like a home game for Chicago when they play in Phoenix.  Over half the crowd is dressed in Chicago Red.  Not Coyote red which is a few shades darker.  Only the line matchups will favor Phoenix as the Hawks will have plenty of fans with huge lung power.

A Red Hot Goaltender- True.  He is burning up right now.  The team is playing well in front of him and more importantly…they believe in him.  This will be a huge challenge.  However the Hawks do have the firepower necessary to make him look human.  It all depends on if they Hawks can stay patient, not get frustrated and take advantage of their opportunities.

Winning the Regular Season Series- Throw that out the window.  Regular season stats mean di** in the playoffs.  Also don’t forget that the Hawks played Phoenix 3 times before the Johnny Oduya trade.  The Hawks are much more solidified on the back end now.  Plus Andrew Shaw only played in one game against the Coyotes….and you know that guy is fired up and ready to go.

A system that can frustrate the Hawks.  This is the biggest area of concern for the Hawks.  They did get frustrated against the Coyotes system which is designed to smother the life out of a run and gun offense.  The Coyotes are trying to channel their inner New Jersey Devils of 10 years ago.  However, if the Hawks can stay patient and not get frustrated then they will be fine.  They have the talent to pounce on their opportunities when they present themselves.  Just keep their cool and it will be fine.  They can beat these guys.  They have more depth on offense, and with Oduya on defense too.  The only advantage Phoenix has is in goal.

According to 650 AM today, Jonathan Toews did a regular practice on the first line today.  He centered a line of himself, Patrick Kane and Marion Hossa.  Hey Phoenix it looks like Toews is playing in the playoffs.  Good luck on that.  The team was playing really well and now you add that guy.  A guy who can win a game on his own sheer will.  Have fun matching that up Tippett.

The 2nd line was left alone having Sharp play with the two Swedes, Stalberg and Kruger.  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  Leave that line alone.

Dave Bolland and Andrew Brunette also returned to practice today.  Both should be playing in Game 1.  It appears everyone should be back for the Hawks except for Steve Montador.  I’m real happy to hear about #36, that guy has an extra gear in the playoffs.  He’s like a current Claude Lemieux.  That’s going to help the Hawks out a lot.

“This is a fun time of year,” Hawks center Patrick Kane said. “When you’re coming into the first round of the playoffs, you feel you have a good team and you feel you have a chance to go far in the playoffs. Hopefully, we can do some special things. I think we can with this group and have a long postseason.”

Game 1 is Thursday at 9PM Central Time.  In Chicago the game will be on CSN, the rest of the US will have the game on NBC Sports.

Prediction – Hawks win the series in 6.  I know I’m biased, but I think the “experts” are forgetting what this team can bring.  Not to mention how well they were playing at the end of the season without their best player.  The cup core is still here.  They know what it takes and the team is healthy.  Hawks in 6.

TTS

See you tomorrow with picks on the rest of the matchups.

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Keith and Hawks – Preds preview

25 Mar

5 games seems a bit excessive.  After all precedent has been set.  Shane Doan, a repeat offender mind you, was suspended for 3 games for an elbow to the head.  3 games!  This was the day before Keith was suspended.

What happened the next day?  Did the marketplace establish a new price on elbows to the head?

Keith is a first time offender.  Usually the league shows a little lenience on first time offenders.  Not this time.  Even though they have shown that a REPEAT offender gets 3 game for an elbow to the head, they decided to suspended Keith for 5 games.

Typical NHL.  No consistency at all.  Of course there are some special circumstances.  This is an American based club against a Canadian based club.  Who is going to get the preferential treatment?  As we’ve seen time and time again, the Canadian club gets things their way.  If you try this argument against a Canadian they will strongly refute it but you know what?  Actions speak louder than words.  Pay attention and you’ll see, they league will always give a better ruling to a Canadian based club.

When you have this situation, and a club that cries and whines louder than any other team in the league, and they will get what they want.  I guess the squeaky wheel gets the oil.  3 games for Doan a repeat offender and the very next day Keith- a first time offender gets 5 games.  Both suspended for elbows to the head.  Makes perfect sense. In the words of Homer Simpson – ppffttt

Look I’m not saying he shouldn’t have been suspended.  He should have.  He temporarily let his emotions do his thinking for him.  You can’t do that.  But remember he had only 22 penalty minutes last year (that’s lady bing material) and this year only 42.  Not much.  But it’s hard to keep your cool when the Canucks repeatedly take cheap shots at you.

In Other News:

Toews skated for a 5th straight day and is encouraged by his progress.  He is tempering his enthusiasm as he has been here before only to have another set back in his recovery from a concussion.  Jeez Toews has a concussion that will cause him to miss his 16th straight game.  No suspension for Joe Thorton.  I guess the Hawks don’t whine enough.

After the last meeting between Nashville and Chicago, a 3-2 loss on Feb 14th, Predators coach Barry Trotz told reporters several Hawks were “cheating” defensively with their positioning and not playing a full 200-foot game.

“Kane had no speed and thank God because when he gets rolling he’s hard to stop,” Trotz said Feb. 17. “I was actually happy that he was cheating.”

“When it first comes out you’re kind of taken back by it a little bit because of the success we’ve had as a team the past couple of years,” he said. “It was almost like (Trotz) was telling us how to play the game. Hopefully, we’ll prove him wrong (Sunday) and show him his words aren’t true.”

Rookie center Marcus Kruger practiced Saturday but won’t play against the Predators because of concussion symptoms. …he was given that injury in the game against the Canucks.  How many Vancouver players were suspended for that?  None?  Hmm, that’s fair.

Veteran defenseman Steve Montador (concussion) has been cleared for contact and is close to a return to the lineup.  He wasn’t playing very well before he went out with an upper body injury” but with Keith out, the Hawks will need his help.

TTS

Toews not traveling with Hawks, Emery to start in net

2 Mar

Jonathan Toews did not travel with his teammates to Ottawa to face the Senators tonight.  Coach Q didn’t rule out the possiblity of Toews playing on this 3 game road trip saying that Johnny is progressing.

“He’s getting the proper attention,” Quenneville said after practice at United Center. “He’s working with our trainers. He’s doing his routine. He’s progressing.”

“Hjalmarsson felt really good today, so he’s going to come on the trip,” Quenneville said.

Victor Stalberg didn’t practice with the team after taking a hard hit into the boards Wednesday night, but Quenneville said he was “fine” and would travel with the team on its road trip.

Ray Emery will man the nets tonight.

“I think it was the right move,” Crawford said the day after being pulled. “Wasn’t prepared for that one. I didn’t come up with the key save at the right time. I don’t know how to explain that.”

That’s not a guy brimming with confidence is it?

“I thought Ray played a real good game in L.A.,” Quenneville said. “He came in relief. I thought he did a good job Wednesday and I thought he was good in Anaheim so he’s coming off three good games and deserves a chance to keep going here.”

“As far as goaltending is concerned, you need solid, consistent efforts,” Emery said. “You need to stop the ones you need to stop. That’s my mindset every time I go in there.”

They’re still talking about Lepisto’s save from the other night.

“I had to lose my stick in the corner there,” Lepisto recalled on Thursday. “I followed the play and thought, ‘This might be a bad situation here.’ I just threw my pads at him and luckily I hit the puck and [it] went over the net or in the corner.”

“I guess that’s what you have to do, try to be a goalie,” he said. “Just make yourself big. I got lucky there.”

The lucky part may have been losing his stick. Both he and Emery think having it would have tempted Lepisto to go for a poke-check and possibly miss completely. Without a stick, Lepisto played it more desperate.

“All I heard afterwards, going to the bench, was Ray yelling, ‘good save,’ so it was cool.”

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

Toews, Hjalmarsson and Montador not traveling with Hawks on 2 game road trip

25 Feb

Jonathan Toews will miss his third straight game with an “upper body injury” and did not travel with his teammates to Southern California.

Also not making the trip is Niklas Hjalmarsson.  Niklas played in the Hawks last game a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars but apparently suffered a set back.

Steve Montador has missed eight consecutive games with an upper-body injury. On Thursday, Quenneville did not rule out the possibility of Montador not returning this season with the injury suffered Feb. 7 against the Avalanche.

LA Kings coach Darryl Sutter indicated Carter would be playing right wing on a line with center Mike Richards. The close friends and former teammates in Philadelphia rarely played together with the Flyers.

Chemistry is an elusive thing, and Sutter steered away from timetables regarding how quickly Richards and Carter could click.

“You know what? I’ve never seen any of us be right in that,” Sutter said. “The bottom line is sometimes it happens quick, sometimes it takes time. And that’s the most important part of what we’re looking at. We want him [Carter] to come in and play well and play his game and then go from there.”

Richards, who said he didn’t think it would take long to establish that chemistry, has been exchanging text messages with Carter since the deal was completed Thursday night, and they’ve kept in regular touch since they were both traded from Philadelphia.

“He’s playing well right now,” Richards said. “I’ve watched the last couple of his games. He had a hat trick against San Jose the other night. He had a little bit of injuries earlier in the year, but he’s back right now and he’s feeling healthy and excited to get started. He’s a motivated kid coming in here and it’ll be good.”

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

Blackhawks’ Toews in car accident – with pictures

23 Feb

 


Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said he was OK after being involved in a car accident on Lake Street on the Near West Side on Thursday morning.

Contacted via text by the Tribune, Toews responded by saying, “It’s nothing serious at all,” and added, “I’m good.”

The Blackhawks released a statement saying, “Jonathan Toews was in a minor one-car collision in downtown Chicago this morning while driving himself to the United Center. He was not injured.”

Toews was not scheduled to play when the Hawks face the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at the United Center, the second consecutive game he’ll miss with what coach Joel Quenneville called an upper-body injury.

At 9:22 a.m., Toews was behind the wheel of a car that was southbound on Garvey Court when he turned left onto eastbound Lake Street, according to a police report. He had no passengers.

The car clipped an “L” support beam, causing front-end damage, the report said.

Toews was not injured and no citations were written, according to the report, which said the wreck caused property damage.

After the Hawks’ morning skate Thursday, Quenneville gave an update on Toews’ upper-body injury, which could be related to concussion symptoms, saying, “Toews is OK. He’s progressing. I guess we’ll say that’s where we’re at.”

When asked if Toews would be on the team’s charter to Los Angeles on Friday afternoon for Saturday’s game against the Kings, Quenneville said, “we’ll see.”

 

The accident was first reported by Selfish Indulgence, which had a co-editor near the scene to snag some images.

According to Jay Zawaski of 670 The Score, the accident happened near a parking garage close to where Toews resides and that fans were asking him for autographs before he left.

TTS