Tag Archives: Marion Hossa

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.

BCDU-N7CAAA1q99 marisa miller

Go Hawks.

TTS

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Misc Blackhawks news, notes and thoughts

25 Apr

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, seen here

Thinks Marion Hossa will be just fine with a full recovery in time for next season.

“We’ve had a lot of similar type injuries with players in the past,” Bowman said Wednesday. “It’s too hard to predict the recovery time on these things. There is no reason to think he’s any different than any other player that has that type of injury. We’re very optimistic that he’s going to be back.”

“We don’t approach that any differently than a different injury,” Bowman said. “We’re here in April and training camp doesn’t open until September. That’s a lot of time to be rested and prepared and training in the offseason.”

Bowman also concedes that the goaltending for the Blackhawks was not good enough.

“Our goaltending in general was not our strength,” Bowman said on Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s fair to lay the blame on one player. You win as a team, you lose as a team. I think we need to be stronger defensively and that includes our team commitment to defense, not simply the goaltending and not simply the defensemen.”

As far as looking for help on the free agent market:

“You don’t rule anything in or out,” he said. “We’re always trying to improve our team.”

Bowman also indicated that there would be no changes to the hawks “core” players.

Coach Joel Quenneville seems more open to some changes.

“You have a nice core here, a nice group of guys here,” he said after Bowman spoke to the media. “They give you a chance every year to win a championship. Whether it’s a tweak or you want to do more than that, but that’s something good to talk about.”

Here is where things get interesting.  Despite the fact that most hockey experts, the majority of Hawks fans and general NHL fans all agree that the Hawks need a 2nd line center…..Bowman doesn’t.  He seems to think that # 88 is a great fit.

“Our team’s best record, and it coincided with Patrick’s best performance, was when he was in the middle,” Bowman explained. “Patrick carried our team the last month or five weeks of the season. He kind of put us on his back and got us into the playoffs. He stepped up and was our No.1 center for all those weeks. … I think the notion that he can’t play center or isn’t good at center has been dispelled. Not only did our team play well when he was in the middle, he played well. He had his most productive time when he was there.”

Remember when he would talk about Patrick Sharp that way?  He would remind all of us that they won the cup with Sharp as a number 2 center.  Of course that was when our team was so deep it didn’t really matter.  We’re not that team anymore and now for some reason Kane has become the new Sharp.

When asked if he would look to the free agent market for a center Bowman said

“Kane in the middle is certainly better than any other center that’s available.”

TTS will explore free agents that are available in a later post.

What about the relationship between GM and Head Coach?  Plenty of eyebrows were raised when director of pro personnel Barry Smith was added to help the coaching staff for a while.  He was on the ice helping run drills.  Jobs normally done by the coaching staff.  He ran a lot of special teams drills too, an area that plagued the Hawks all season.  Barry used to be Scotty Bowman’s right hand man during his coaching days.

“We have great communication back and forth,” Bowman said. “We see things similarly in terms of things that need improvement. … Our relationship wasn’t strained at all. … Obviously there was a challenge when we had the long losing streak — if anything we came together as a unit.”

Coaching changes are up to Quenneville according to Bowman.  But he doesn’t sound happy concerning the special teams.

“The results speak for themselves,”  “They were a huge disappointment this year. It’s unacceptable to have the caliber of players we have and not have it work. Ultimately we have to improve that.”

They sure do.  How can that “core” be so poor at the power play?  If the Hawks were better than 1-19 in the first round against Phoenix then they would probably be playing in Nashville in round 2.

Expect Duncan Keith to play in the World Championships for Team Canada this spring.

“I’m really excited to go there and play,” Keith said. “I would have liked to have gone last year.”

I’m hoping that Bowman is using a poker face by not saying more about obtaining help for the goalie and center positions.  It wouldn’t be prudent to come out and say yeah we need them bad.  As a buyer, that would put him at a disadvantage.  However, he said Sharp was fine at center and that he wouldn’t get one and he didn’t.  He just put a different Patrick in the slot.  How many more Patrick’s are on this team to try at center?  Aren’t they running out of them?

Question:  How many Patrick’s does it take to fill in the 2nd line center slot for the Blackhawks?  If you know, let me know.

Back with more soon.

TTS

PS, quotes are from ESPN

Hawks are Furious Over Vicious Hit

19 Apr

“We’re all angry today, me included,” Quenneville said Wednesday.

“There’s no remorse at all with a guy like that,” Toews said of Torres. “(He) probably doesn’t feel bad about it at all. That’s not hockey to me.”

Quenneville said there is no change in Hossa’s condition and that he has been ruled out of playing in game 4.

“They lose that guy and take out one of our best players,” Toews said. “That’s a pretty good trade for them.”

The fact that the NHL has suspended Torres indefinitely “sounds like a good start,” Toews said.

He’s got a point though.  What a great win for the Coyotes.  Who would you rather have playing on your team?  Torres or Hossa?  Exactly!  The Coyotes win no matter what happens.

“Hopefully, they come up with something that’s satisfying for us but the most satisfying thing for our team and for Hossa would be to get our team back on our feet and just make sure Hossa is all right,” Toews said. “The rest is kind of out of our control.”

The Coyotes seem to have a different view of the play.  They really don’t think there was anything wrong with it.

“It’s a high-paced, contact sport,” forward Ray Whitney said. “If you don’t want to get hit, if you don’t want to get hurt, there are other sports you can play. Yes, we don’t want to injure people. But if you don’t finish your checks and you don’t play hard, you’re probably not going to play.

“We certainly don’t want the best players in the league getting injured. But there is a certain way you have to play in the playoffs and finishing your checks is one of them. It’s just kind of the nastiness of being in the playoffs. Nobody said winning the Stanley Cup was ever going to be easy. … It’s not like we’re out there trying to hurt each other. But we are out there trying to hit as hard as we can and play as hard as we can.”

I used to consider Ray Whitney a class act.  I’m not so sure anymore.  How can he say that?  You know it’s funny that he is lecturing the Blackhawks on what it takes to win the Stanley Cup.  I think they know what it takes.  You know what else I think?  I think they did it without head hunting anybody.  They didn’t seriously injury anyone nor risk a player’s career with a vicious dirty hit.

Said Hawks veteran Andrew Brunette: “It’s obviously something we don’t want to see in our game. As a hockey club, losing a player of (Hossa’s) skill level and what he means to this hockey team is tough. The way that we lost him isn’t the way the game should be played. It hits all the criteria of what we’re told not to do.”

Exactly!  Well said Andrew who is a class act.

The Hawks will take the high road.  They won’t get revenge by head hunting anyone.  Instead look for them to get revenge by winning the game and more importantly tie up the series.  You don’t want to let these goons go up 3-1 in the series and head back to Phoenix.  Where is the justice in that?

“The way the rules are set up you can’t,” Hawks forward Jamal Mayers said. “What are you going to do? There’s an instigator (penalty) so you can’t do anything. If you do a similar type of thing you run the risk of hurting your team and the next thing you know you’re down … killing a penalty for five minutes in a playoff game.”

The Hawks will have to rebound without one of their best players.

“Hossa is probably your best player all year,” Toews said. “He’s one of our most consistent players. It’s (tough) to lose him He’s a big penalty killer (and) a big guy on the power play — just an all-around solid player. (We’re) going to miss him but we have to find a way to step up and make up for that void.”

But we see last year when Torres did a dirty vicious head shot to Seabrook and the Hawks rallied around that.  They were down 3-0 to the Canucks but won the next 3 to push the series to game 7.  They went to OT before Campoli gave the game away.  He’s not here this year.

Hopefully Crawford is ready for any shot.  Especially when the puck is in the Hawks end.  No softies!

Phoenix will be ready.  They have a good coach who will make sure they are focused.

“The one thing our group is very focused on is making sure it doesn’t overshadow everything,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “We’re a focused group. Today we had zero talk about what the league is doing with suspensions or this or that. Our focus is on what we have to do to play better [Thursday night] in Game 4.”

Now 2nd round pick Brandon Saad gets a chance to play.  He lit up the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) but there is a huge difference between the OHL and the NHL.  Plus this is the playoffs.  It would be a great time for an inspiring story from the rookie.  His 2011-2012 stats are:

He played for the Saginaw Spirit.  Regular Season games:  44 games 34 goals and 42 assists.  That’s 76 points in 44 games.  Not bad at all.  In the playoffs he had 8 goals and 9 assists for 17 points in 12 games.  That’s encouraging but like I said this is the NHL playoffs.  The best players on the planet.

Let’s drop the puck and see what the kid can do.  Torres won’t be there to end his career.

TTS

Brandan Saad to take Hossa’s place in line up

18 Apr

The loss of Chicago Blackhawks star Marian Hossa has opened the door for the hottest prospect in the organization.

Brandon Saad, a 2011 second-round pick, is set to make his playoff debut on Thursday in Game 4 of the Hawks’ quarterfinal playoff series against the Phoenix Coyotes. He arrived in Chicago from Rockford where he was working out Wednesday morning and is excited to part of the action.

“It would be awesome,” Saad said. “It’s what I dream of. I want to make the NHL and play. I got a taste of it at the start of the season. Playoff hockey would be awesome to be a part of.”

Saad impressed everyone around the Hawks with a stellar training camp and made the opening night roster as a 19-year-old. He played two games after signing a three-year contract before the Hawks sent him back to his juniors team, the Saginaw Spirit. He dominated that league, amassing 76 points in 44 regular season games.

“Well [Saad’s] got some skill,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Just looking at him physically today, it was a remarkable difference in him from training camp and the stint he had at the start of the season. How he’s filled out, how he’s grown, he looks bigger, and he had a pretty remarkable year and a great playoff [in the OHL].”

Those are lofty comments considering Saad had an NHL-ready body back in September. He’s listed at 6-foot-2, 211 pounds and has the complete package to become a bona-fide player. Now he just has to put it all together — starting in the middle of a heated playoff series.

“Being here helped me tremendously with my season,” Saad said of playing two NHL games already. “I went back and led the way there and glad to be back now.”

Expect Saad to play on one of the top lines, possibly with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. He lined up there on opening night back in October.

From ESPN Chicago

TTS

Tyson Nash is an IDIOT

18 Apr

Nash, a former player and current broadcaster with Fox Sports Arizona, called Torres’ hit on Hossa “as clean of a hit as you’re going to get” during Tuesday’s game.

They played the audio on 670 am Chicago today.  It’s just crazy on how he gushes about what a great clean play this was and Phoenix is doing a great job setting a tone.

As clean of a hit as you can get?  I’d really hate to see a dirty one.

The hit sparked an intense reaction from Blackhawks fans. Coyotes announcer Tyson Nash, who once played for Quenneville on the St. Louis Blues, told “The Waddle & Silvy Show” Wednesday on ESPN 1000 that he received death threats for calling the play a clean hit.

Nash recanted those remarks after viewing more replays of the incident.

TTS

Raffi Torres Taking Out The Blackhawks One Dirty Head Shot at a Time

18 Apr

What a disgrace.  How is Raffi Torres still playing in the NHL?  How many head shots can he get away with before the league gets serious?  On the one year anniversary of his dirty head shot to Brent Seabrook (a play where he was not suspended) he celebrates by taking another dirty cheap shot at a Blackhawks players head in the playoffs.

Why shouldn’t he?  If the league won’t punish him, and really punish him, then why should he ever stop?  Does someone have to die before the league wakes up?  Does someone have to go into a coma?  What is it going to take?

Here is the hit from last year.  At least on this one he doesn’t leave his feet, however he hits Brent Seabrook who never touched the puck.

You can take the player off the Canucks but you can’t take the Canucks out of the player.

Torres is a repeat offender. He was fined $2,500 in December for elbowing Jan Hejda and suspended three days later for two games after charging Nate Prosser. You’ll recall he was banned for the final two regular season games and two playoff games at the end of last season for elbowing Jordan Eberle in the head.

Like I said.  What is it going to take?  When will the NHL remove this goon?

They didn’t seem to have a problem suspending Andrew Shaw who has never been in trouble before for 3 games.  On a superb acting job by Mike Smith.  It’s funny, I saw Smith being interviewed after the game and he seemed perfectly coherent to me.

But Shanahan, league disciplinarian has been very inconsistent.  He’ll probably let Torres get away with it so he can do it to another player.

How frustrating is it for the Blackhawks?  How can all 4 officials not see anything?  Especially when you know this repeat offender is on the ice and Hossa has to be taken off by stretcher.  The really insulting part is that Torres got to finish the game and the refs gave Phoenix a power play.  Great job Torres, here is your reward….a power play for your team.

Watch that replay again.  You’ll see a linesman right in front of it.  How can he say he didn’t see it?  How is that possible?  Is there a conspiracy theory?  Does the league want Phoenix to win so bad that the refs are rigging the series?  Do they need Phoenix to finally win a playoff round so jobing.com arena can sell some tickets to look more attractive to potential buyers so someone will finally buy that stupid team?  Typically I’m not one for conspiracies but all of this just makes no sense.  I can’t find any logic with how they are calling this series.  The refs have been a joke and so has Shanahan.  I’m just in shock over the whole thing.

Give the Hawks credit.  They kept their composure rather well during the game.  Nobody lost focus too bad in trying to go after that Piece of Sh**.

CSN Chicago said in the post game that Hossa was able to leave the hospital under his own power.  He got in a car and went home and the Blackhawks are monitoring him.  They expect a full recovery but the time table is unknown of course.  How could it be?  He was knocked unconscious and most likely has a bad concussion.  Something the league, allegedly, is trying to get out of the game.  Vicious cheap shots to the head.

The Ball is in Shanahan’s court.  Now is the time to make an example of this goon.  This repeat offender.  A guy who has shown he has not learned any kind of lesson and will continue to make dirty cheap shots to a guys head.  We have seen guys get suspended for leaving their feet on a hit and making contact with a guys head.  He has to be suspended.  He must be.

How can Torres not give a sh**?  How can he have no sympathy towards his fellow man?  Hockey is just a game.  Hossa is a family member, a son…a husband.  How can Torres not take that into consideration?  He has no respect for his fellow humans well-being.  He just doesn’t care.  Why should he?  Until the league really gets serious and makes a very long suspension.  Now is the time for a statement suspension.  Get the playoffs back to hockey instead of scenes from Slapshot.   This isn’t the “federal league”  it’s the National Hockey League.  Let’s get back to that.

In addition to this nonsense there was a hockey game.  A game in which the Hawks lost.  They lost by making a few mistakes.  Poor coverage on 4 on 4 let Phoenix in the game and Corey Crawford letting in a weak one in OT.  That is a shot that Crawford has to stop.  He wasn’t ready.  Can’t blame the loss on Crow he was great for most of the game.  Unfortunately his one bad play came at the worst possible time.  The Hawks will have to regroup and win game 4.

All 3 home teams lost last night.  Home teams are 8-17 in this years playoffs.  What happened to home ice advantage?

That was the 5th straight playoff game to go into overtime for the Blackhawks going back to last year against the Canucks.

Speaking of the Canucks they play game 4 tonight.  If they lose, they will be swept out of the playoffs.  In the Words of Eric Cartman “Go Kings Go!”

TTS

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.