Tag Archives: Patrick Sharp

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

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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 Offseason News

18 Jun

The Chicago Blackhawks have come to terms with forwards Brandon Bollig and Ben Smith on two-year contracts and goalie Carter Hutton on a one-year deal, the team announced on Monday. The Hawks also released goaltender Alexander Salak.

Bollig’s contract is a two-way deal for his first year and a one way for his second that will pay him $575,000 per season, according to a source. A one-way deal means a player is paid the same NHL salary whether he’s playing in the minors or the NHL.

No other terms for the contracts were released.

Interesting that the Hawks released Salak.  They got him in the trade with Florida for Jack Skille.  They also acquired Michael Frolik in that deal.  In the preseason of this last campaign some Hawks fans wanted the back up job to go to Salak over Ray Emery.  Salak looked good in the preseason and Emery started out cold.  Hawks brass chose to go with the experienced Emery and that turned out to be the wise move.  Big difference between preseason play and actual NHL games.

Salak ended up losing his starting job to Hutton in the AHL for the Hawks farm team the Rockford Icehogs.

Smith was all the rage in the year after the cup.  When the Hawks came back from 3 games down to force a game 7 against the hated Canucks, Ben Smith looked like the real deal.  We all thought he would be on the team last year but he barely played.  It seems the injuries, including a serious concussion, put Smith back a little bit in his development.

Bollig earned some fans this year.  He started getting ice time after the Hawks traded John Scott to the Rangers.  The guy will take on most anybody even if he is mismatched in size.  He’ll fight them with a smile on his face.  Gotta like that on your roster.  The Hawks traded off those kinds of players in the salary cup sell off in the summer after the cup win.

It looks like Patrick Sharp isn’t going anywhere.

Sharp, pictured with his dog Shooter, just bought a new house per the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp has paid $2.95 million for a newly constructed, six-bedroom mansion in the Southport Corridor of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Sharp, 30, had tried late last year to buy a new 7,800-square-foot mansion nearby but was outbid by Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations, who paid $3.25 million for that residence.

Now Sharp is the owner of a 14-room, brick-and-limestone mansion on an extra-wide corner lot. Features include five full baths, two half-baths, multiple decks including one with an outdoor fireplace, a three-car heated garage, a custom spiral staircase, a three-zone chef’s kitchen, a dumbwaiter and a butler’s pantry.

The mansion had been listed for $3.295 million.

According to the multiple listing service, Jennifer Ames of Coldwell Banker represented Sharp. She declined to confirm that Sharp was her client, but she spoke generally about the house, calling it “not your cookie-cutter house.”

“Its floor plan has a center entrance and the layout is not your conventional, rail-car format,” Ames said. “And it’s laid out nicely for entertaining, with a lower level with a wet bar and a wine cellar, plus a couple of nice outdoor decks. It really is a nice house if you like to entertain.”

Sharp’s purchase closed May 2.

TTS

 

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

….and now it’s all over

24 Apr

I can’t help but think of the end of the movie Goodfellas, when Ray Liotta utters those words.  “and now it’s all over”  He wants spaghetti and marinara sauce but now all he can get is ramen noodles and ketchup.

It is over.  Not just the season but this team.  Last year they had an excuse, the gutting of a championship roster due to the salary cap.  But not this year.  This year they don’t have that excuse.

A friend of mine called me this morning and said “ok, who do you blame?”  I said…..Stan Bowman.

None of the Hawks issues were ever addressed.  The Hawks have a roster that has too many small skilled players.  All the skilled puck possession teams in the Western Conference (Detroit, Vancouver and Chicago) are all reserving tee times and not travel plans for the 2nd round.

The Hawks need a 2nd line center.  We knew this before the season began, we knew this during the season and we certainly knew it at the trade deadline.

Then there is the goalie situation.

The Hawks have Crawford signed for 3 more years.  They also extended Ray Emery for 2 more years on the last day of the regular season.  Let’s also not forget Cristobal Huet.  That’s right folks.  He is on the books for next year as well at $ 5,625,000.  Yeah that’s right.  As bad of a need that there is, I’m guessing that the Hawks will not fix that problem.  Not until after Huet comes off the books.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves.  There won’t even be hockey next year.  Donald Fehr has hypnotized the players association into believing that the millions they make is not enough.  There will be a lockout.

Whenever the lockout ends the Hawks will need to put together a roster.  Bigger more physical players, a goalie that can win a game for you here and there (and not let in super soft weak goals in the playoffs) and a legitimate 2nd line center.

Last night during the telecast Pat Foley asked Eddie Olcyk how many top 6 forwards the Hawks have.  Both agreed that they have 4, 3 without Hossa.

During Quenneville’s post game a reporter asked him if he can give an update on Hossa now that the playoffs are over.  He said he’s not doing well and hopefully he starts recovering.  That’s not good is it?  I wonder how serious this is.  What if he can’t play next year?  What if his career is over?  I hear it’s a combination of whiplash and a severe concussion.  Possibly a broken jaw too.

Mike Smith stole that game last night.  The Hawks completely dominated the first 40 minutes.  Well except for that power play goal.  6 shots on goal and Crawford let’s one in.  I’m pretty sure Mike Smith wouldn’t have let that one in….nor the other 3 crow let in during the 3rd period.  Smith stood on his head and made 39 saves.  Crawford faced 20 shots and let in 4.  I can’t remember ever seeing a save percentage that low in a playoff game.  There probably has been but not since I’ve been watching hockey.

Yeah the Hayes penalty was bad and poorly timed but I don’t blame the kid.  I think our kids were some of our best players.  Bickell, Frolik, our boy Shaw and Leddy.  The Hayes line was probably the best line the Hawks had in that game.  Toews played pretty well but didn’t have an impact.  They only time I knew Patrick Sharp was playing was when he was giving out body checks.  He led the Hawks in hits.  That’s a pretty telling statement right there isn’t it?  Why is our leading scorer the only guy hitting people out there?  Goes back to not having enough physical players.  Hawks sure could use Andrew Ladd couldn’t they?

What did Kane do to get a 10 minute misconduct in the final minutes?  I haven’t seen anything about that yet.  If you know, let me know.

I heard from a friend in Canada that the TV announcers commended Kane for coming out for the team handshake after the game.  They said that it’s easy for a player who has been kicked out of a game where his team was eliminated to not come back out of the locker room.   Kane did and that was a class act.

So next year there won’t be any hockey and the year after that….the Hawks will probably look pretty similar to this one.  A good team, a sometimes dangerous team….but not an elite team.  Enjoy the next 49 years folks.  Go have a beer with a cubs fan. That guy has got it worse then you do.

Who to root for now?  Obviously it’s Let’s go Predators.  Take these a**holes out.  Quick too, like a sweep so Torres can sit for plenty of games next year.  Let him get hit in the wallet, since he doesn’t feel that pain in postseason suspensions.

I’m also going to root for the Blackhawks south…aka the Florida Panthers.

Gee you know that GM in Florida has put together a pretty good squad.  Lot’s of character guys who know how to win.  Why cant the Hawks have a GM like that?  Oh yeah, they did but John McDonough ran him out-of-town.  He got too much credit for putting together a championship squad.  Now we have son of Bowman.  A guy who has given us a team that is too soft and has gone out of the playoffs in the first round in consecutive years.  Good times.

I’m too depressed to write anymore.  I’ll write more later.

Per TTS policy when the Blackhawks play so poorly that they don’t deserve to get their pictures up on this site then hot chicks go up instead.  Losing 4-0 at home in an elimination game fits that description.  We’ve had blondes and brunettes but no red heads.  Not until now.  Enjoy.

 

TTS

 

Blackhawks take down league best Blues in a shootout

30 Mar

Needing a win to get closer to a playoff berth against the team with the most points in the NHL, Chicago turned to Dave Bolland.

Bolland, 0 for 3 in shootouts this season before Thursday, responded with a nice fake before scoring the only goal in the shootout Thursday night as the Blackhawks edged the Blues 4-3.

“You’ve got 20,000 fans screaming,” Bolland said. “You’re thinking of so many moves in your head. For me, it was go down and whatever came to my head, try to put it in. You’re not really sure. Should I shoot? Should I deke? Should I just bury my head and put it through him. Halak’s a good goalie.”

Actually it was 21,659 (109.8% full).

Bolland had been 0-7 in his shoot out career before this 8th attempt of his.

“The extra point was important,” said Hawks coach Joel Quenneville, who took the advice of assistants Mike Haviland and Mike Kitchen to insert Bolland in the shootout. “We … did a lot of good things.”

In regulation, the Hawks got goals from Bryan Bickell, Andrew Brunette and Patrick Sharp and looked like they would cruise to victory before they coughed up a two-goal, third-period lead when Jason Arnott and David Perron scored for the Blues.

The Hawks dominated most of the play but the Blues sure turned it up in the last 10 minutes of the game.  Shots were 40 for the Hawks and 20 for the Blues.  The Blues only had 11 shots after the 2nd.  That’s impressive play by the Hawks to keep the leagues best team down like that.

“We were outplayed bad. I don’t even know how we got a point, to be honest with you,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We didn’t compete at a high level. It looked like we wanted the game to be easier.

“We jacked it up for about 10 minutes in the third period and got two goals because of it, but . not going to win many games against that team playing like we’re playing. This is two games in a row in this building where we really haven’t competed for 60 minutes.”

But that 2nd goal.  You just can’t have that.  Crawford fell asleep on that one.  I can’t blame him on the first goal, even though I’d like to.  You really want your goalie to bail you out on that.  You score the first goal of the game and the Blues come down and tie it up 9 seconds later.  9 seconds!!!!  However, it was a hell of a shot.  A fast rising bullet to the top corner.  But that 2nd one.  Come on.  That’s garbage.  The third goal was a redirected screen shot.  Can’t fault Crow on that one.  However, if you didn’t let that garbage 2nd goal in we probably would not have seen OT or the shoot out.

But the Hawks got the 2 points.  If Phoenix would have lost last night in regulation the Hawks would have clinched a playoff spot.  But the San Jose Sharks (who were playing against Phoenix)  lost…in a game they HAD to have.  How could they?  What is with that team?  I’ll tell you what is with them.  Mike Smith.  He has been a nightmare for the Sharks this year.  He has beaten them 5 times out of 6 and shut them out 3 times.  Quebec City should love this team.  The loss dropped the Sharks to 9th in the Western Conference standings.  They were in 3rd a couple days ago.  Tight race.

Back to the Hawks.  Strong games from Stalberg, Sharp and Leddy.  Leddy is looking better and better the last few games.  Stalberg has really been rounding out his game.

Only 2 more games left in the suspension on Keith and Toews has been saying all the right things about coming back.   He has been practicing with the team and says he “feels great right now”.  We will see, he has not been cleared by team doctors for anything.

Next up for the Hawks.  Saturday night in Nashville.  The Predators have pretty much had their way with the Hawks this year.  The last time they met was at the United Center and the Preds won 6-1.  You have to think the Hawks will want to send a message.  It’s very possible the Hawks will see Nashville in the playoffs.

Until then,

TTS

Brodeur leads Devils past the Hawks in a shoot out

28 Mar

Marty was hot in net last night.  He might be getting up there in age but he still has plenty left in the tank.  He kept the Devils in it last night and allowed them a chance to win.

Sure the Hawks were terrible in the first period.  Bottom line, they were not good enough.  Not if you want to win in the NHL.  However they rebounded quite nicely and really took it to the Devils in the 2nd and 3rd.

15,074 (85.5% full) watched this game and there were plenty of Hawks fans in the building.  How bad would the attendance been if the Hawks didn’t have their faithful cheering them on?

But the story isn’t attendance.  It’s about the Hawks getting a very valuable point on the road.  They came back, against Brodeur on the road and that’s not bad.

New Jersey sits in 6th place in the East and the Hawks maintain their spot at 6th in the West.

What you really want to know is that this was a much much better effort then the other night against Nashville.  Don’t forget the Hawks are still missing Keith and Toews.  So that road point picked up looms even larger.  The IR list got shorter as Montador and Kruger returned to action.

Frolik, Hayes and Morrison were healthy scratches.

One other note I would like to point out is that in the third round of the shoot out the Hawks had to score to stay alive and Patrick Sharp nailed it.  Love to see that.  In the 5th round of the shoot out Travis Zajac scored a beauty.  Up for the Hawks is our favorite, Andrew Shaw, who actually beat Brodeur but hit the post and it didn’t go in.  Game over, Devils win.  That’s ok.  The Hawks picked up a tough road point and they looked so much better then they did against Nashville.  While missing 2 of their best players.  Not bad.

How was the Hawks power play you ask?  They went 0-4.  They also had a 5-3 for just over a minute.  ppffttt.

Next up for the Hawks- Thursday night showdown against the Blues.  Tough test.  They better be ready to play at the start of the game or it could be a long night.

TTS