Tag Archives: ray emery

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

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

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

 

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

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 beat Senators in impressive fashion

3 Mar

“I said to the guys after the game I think it’s our biggest win,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. “It’s exactly what we wanted tonight. We had everybody going. We had short shifts, we had good energy, we had purpose. And we needed a great start to this trip and that’s the type of game we wanted. It was a great game by us. You look back over the year — I said biggest win — that may have been our best game.”

The Hawks carried their “TEAM” play into Ottawa after showing it a couple nights before against the Maple Leafs.  That was the Hawks best performance of the year.  They carried the play, they controlled the puck, they dominated in the shot totals…they almost looked like…dare I say it…like the cup winning team.  That’s how good they looked.  They played with purpose and confidence.

Patrick Kane had a spectacular night again.  How many point blank chances did he give Brunette, talk about snake bitten.  Brunette had a few prime scoring chances off sweet feeds from Kane but couldn’t bury them.  The Hawks will need Kane to play like this especially with Toews out.

Former Senator Marion Hossa had the game winning goal on a nice wrap around.  Hossa’s 27th goal of the year was almost stopped by Lehner but crossed over the goal line and stood up as the game winner.

Lehner played great for Ottawa.  If not for him, the Hawks could have won 6-1.  The 6’3″ 20 year old played like a confident veteran instead of a rookie.  He has been playing terrific for the Senators since being recalled from Binghamton of the AHL.  Normal Starter and Chicago native Craig Anderson is out in a bizarre accident when he cut his finger with a knife cooking dinner at home.

“They were flying from the start,” Lehner said. “It’s too bad we came up short. I think we came back real good in the third and had some good chances. We have to move forward.”

Lehner wasn’t the only goalie to have a great game.  Ray Emery has pretty much taken the net away from Corey Crawford.  Ray was terrific, made timely saves, gave the Hawks stability on the back end and more importantly gave the Hawks a chance to win.  The Hawks don’t need amazing goal tending, they just need good enough goal tending.

“It feels great,” Emery said after the victory. “We’re in a battle and we know they are, too. We needed that one, especially our last few games on the road we’ve had a tough time and to come out and outplay them like we did in the first two and then really hunker down defensively in the third.

“It’s a good game and I think we played the right way to win it, too, so that’s important.”

A huge road win for the Blackhawks against a tough opponent.  2 very important points in the standings.  They way they played the game should give them confidence heading into two very tough buildings in Detroit and St. Louis.

Andrew Shaw played great especially in the third period in the Hawks end.  You gotta love that guy.  Nice to see Patrick Sharp get 2 assists after he had gone 5 games without a point.  Would have liked to have seen him score on the penalty shot but Lehner read him all the way.  It would have been nice if Shaw scored on his breakaway to put the game away.  I’ll give him a break as he had a strong overall game and that breakaway was at the end of a shift and he was out of gas.

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