Tag Archives: patrick kane

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

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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

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.

Kaner Out Partying

8 May

Hey the Blackhawks season is over so why not?  I guess he headed up to Wisconsin to do some partying.  If you’ve never done it, cheeseland is a great place to party.

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

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.