Bartl

Editor/founder of Cheer the Anthem, season ticket holder in Section 326 and full-time sports writer who lists June 9, 2010, as one of the greatest days of his life. Contact him at jeffrey.bartl@gmail.com.


Posts by Bartl

STATS Game: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Anaheim Gordon Bombays

“Bombay was a Hawk?”

Not in real life, thank the higher power. We’ve got enough problems with injuries that an alcoholic attorney with a bum knee wouldn’t quite fit in.

Here’s another edition of STATS Game, breaking down some facts regarding today’s matchup in Anaheim. Enjoy

THE FACTS

The BLACKHAWKS are …

… 20-16-3 (T-3rd, Central)
… 8-6-3 on the road
… 5-4-1 in their last 10 (Lost 2)
… 6-3-1 against the Pacific Division
… 16-7-2 when scoring first
… 16-3-1 when leading after 2nd period

The GORDON BOMBAYS are …

… 20-17-4 (4th, Pacific)
… 12-6-1 at home
… 6-4-0 in their last 10 (Won 2)
… 1-8-1 against the Central Division
… 16-3-2 when scoring first
… 12-0-2 when leading after 2nd period

THE MATCHUP

POWER PLAY: Blackhawks, 25.2% (2nd) ; Ducks, 21.0% (8th)
PENALTY KILL: Blackhawks 78.5% (26th) ; Ducks 79.9% (23rd)

» The Blackhawks are 3-13-0 with 2 ties in the last 18 AT Anaheim
» One of those wins was a 4-1 victory Nov. 26

Click the jump for more STATS

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STATS Game: Blackhawks vs. Sharks, By the Numbers

Let me know if I should keep doing this or not …

Well, it’s the regular season and that means  Joe Thornton may actually be visible on the ice tonight. And unless you’ve been preoccupied with your plot to murder Nick Boynton, you know that Jonathan Toews won’t be suiting up for a couple weeks.

So, before the Blackhawks take on the Sharks for the third time this season after dropping the first two at The Tank, let’s breakdown the matchup with some statistics from the recent regular season history between the two teams.

THE FACTS

The BLACKHAWKS are …

… 20-15-3 (2nd, Central)
… 12-9-0 at home
… 6-4-1 in December
… 6-3-1 in their last 10 (Lost 1)
… 6-2-1 against the Pacific Division
… 16-7-2 when scoring first
… 16-3-1 when leading after 2nd period

The SHARKS are …

… 19-13-5 (3rd, Pacific)
… 9-8-2 on the road
… 8-5-1 in December
… 5-4-1 in their last 10 (Lost 2)
… 5-4-1 against the Central Division
… 13-2-3 when scoring first
… 15-2-2 when leading after 2nd period

THE MATCHUP

POWER PLAY: Blackhawks, 24.6% (1st) ; Sharks, 23.1% (6th)
PENALTY KILL: Blackhawks 79.0% (26th) ; Sharks 82.3% (13th)

» The Blackhawks are 0-for-20 on the power play in the last 7 vs. the Sharks
» The Sharks are 7-0-2 in their last 9 visits to the United Center

Click the jump for more STATS

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Hits just keep on comin': Blues take it to ‘Hawks as Toews gets hurt

NOTE: Sorry, but there won’t be any Boxing this morning. My usual box score I use through my big-boy job wasn’t accessible because of a system error and I didn’t want to use another one. Boxing will return Thursday.

"Either you guys are a bunch of pansies, or Kaner banged Lady Luck and never called her again." (Tribune)

Welcome back, Patrick Kane. Goodbye,  Jonathan Toews.

There hasn’t been an official word as of 8:33 a.m. regarding the status of the Captain, but it’s hard to imagine having Tazer suit up Thursday after watching him go down clutching his shoulder.  It pains me to say it, but I’ll stick by my stance when I mentioned last night on the Facebook fan page that  Matt D’Agostini’s hit wasn’t dirty.

Unfortunately, the Toews injury has to be the story after that shitshow that was a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues that dropped the ‘Hawks to eighth in the conference. When the whole squad is finally healthy and then Toews goes down, it’s starting to look like Lady Luck wants to be a fucking bitch this season.

Marty Turco’s performance in net is the only goddamn reason the Blackhawks didn’t lose 10-1. I don’t know what it is about the ‘Hawks, but when No. 30 gets between the pipes they forget how to play hockey. At one point, the Blues were out-shooting the ‘Hawks 25-8 and were dominating in a fashion I haven’t seen in quite some time.

Oh, and this was on a night when the Blackhawks got what we thought was a belated Christmas gift when  Ty Conklin got the nod instead of  Jaroslav Halak. Unreal.

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Turco’s turn: Solid performance, Hossa’s return, Boxing with BJs

"Oh, nice. The meatballs didn't attempt to fill my water bottle with diarrhea tonight. Sweet."

"Oh, nice. The meatballs didn't attempt to fill my water bottle with diarrhea tonight. Sweet."

Before  Corey Crawford’s bandwagon breaks an axle, I’ll get it out of the way that this post isn’t me clamoring for  Marty Turco to get more starts in net. However, this is me solidifying my position when I state fans shouldn’t immediately gasp when he gets the nod.

Turco’s 26-save effort in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 win against the Columbus Inappropriate Acronyms won’t earn him any Vezina votes, but I also have a strange feeling it won’t get him any more beats from the fading hearts of his naysayers. It’s unfortunate, though most likely true.

While Turco sat on his ass as Crawford won over the fanbase in a city so fond of the “backup,” he maintained his stance of being a consummate professional in every sense of the label. He’s said and done all the right things while he watched a kid outplay him and take a job he specifically came here to do and succeed at.

That may not seem valuable to those who kill themselves with each loss and resurrect with the smallest glimmer of hope. What’s lost is that Turco’s professionalism, patience and team-first attitude specifically led to his performance in net Sunday night. That, and a better defensive effort in front of him.

Keep in mind, Turco has face 107 more shots than Crawford in only three extra starts. Though Crawford has indeed played better than Turco, being outplayed isn’t so bad considering the facts.

Click the jump for  more recap and Boxing with ‘Hawks/Inappropriate Acronyms

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How do ya like us now?: Boxing with ‘Hawks/Predators (12/22/10)

Cash. Money. Hoes. (Chicago Tribune)

Three straight wins, two against opponents above the Blackhawks in the Central and another against a team the ‘Hawks should have fits with.

Oh, and all that was done without  Marian Hossa and  Patrick Kane.

Wednesday’s win against Nashville wasn’t exactly exciting — is anything against Nashville ever exciting? — but it’s two more points heading into a short Christmas break earned without two of the Blackhawks’ best offensive weapons. Pretty impressive to say the least.

Remember last season when the ‘Hawks were playing well around Thanksgiving and Hossa returned with a two-goal performance? A new season, a different holiday and another return is coming up. Would be nice to have a repeat of that shit.

One quick note: Jack Skille and  Dave Bolland each played a hell of a game. (Bartl limbers up, sits back, takes deep breath, inserts foot directly into mouth.)

And onto Boxing we go…

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FanSided and Site5 team up for Holiday Charity Drive

The holidays are upon us and the FanSided Sports Network is thrilled to announce a charity drive to get in the spirit of giving.  We’ve teamed up with our outstanding host company Site5 in an effort to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of America.

In case you’re not familiar with the Boys and Girls Club of America, they’re an outstanding organization aimed at helping young boys and girls.  Is there any group more deserving of your generosity than kids in the holiday season?   The mission of BGCA:

To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Core Beliefs

A Boys & Girls Club Provides:

A safe place to learn and grow…

Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals…

Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences…

Hope and opportunity.

So what can you do to help?  Visit the official charity drive page and help us reach our goal of raising $5000.  Any amount will do.  Even a couple of dollars will help us reach our goal!

Tale of two defenses in one year’s time

I had planned to come home and write this anyway, but Chris Kuc’s story regarding the Blackhawks’ gap control gave me even more reason.

The problem I have with this article isn’t that it was written, but more so in the way it was written and where the focus of the story lies. The Blackhawks have always emphasized controlling the gap and taking away opponents’ easy entries into the offensive zone. They’re not just starting to put more time into practicing it, it’s simply that they’re doing it better over the past two games.

The story seems to be written as if this is a new thing the ‘Hawks are becoming good at doing. When a topic like this comes up, there’s no question it has to be compared to the way it was done during a championship campaign.

Last season,  Duncan Keith won the Norris Trophy disrupting zone entries.  Brent Seabrook did a hell of a job at this as well.  Brian Campbell and  Niklas Hjalmarrson were solid at the blue line, and even  Brent Sopel played his part when he wasn’t getting caught flat-footed, though his strengths blossomed when the puck had already been in the zone.

Once again, it’s not a matter of the ‘Hawks just starting to talk about this. I don’t attend practices or hang out in the locker or film rooms, but I can put in a safe guess this has been a topic of discussion all year. The Blackhawks simply aren’t going to forget one of their main strengths which helped them win the Stanley Cup.

If a defensive unit — and back-checking forwards — can disrupt the opposition’s entry into the zone and force more dumps than controlled entries, the game can become a battle for the puck along the boards — another thing the ‘Hawks excelled at winning last season. More dumps, more board battles and less controlled entries leads to fewer shots for the opponent, simply because the offense has difficulty getting into a rhythm and setting up its offense.

Through 35 games last season, Blackhawks goaltenders faced 842 shots on goal. This season? 1,016. That’s a whopping difference of 174 shots, which averages out to roughly five more shots per game. While the latter stat may seem minuscule, remember it only takes one shot to put the puck in the net — as simple and stupid and obvious as that may sound to you.

More statistics after the jump

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Two for the show: Weekend recap, Boxing with ‘Hawks/Communists/Kings

"Excuse me, Fatass? Hi, yeah, see, I'm gonna stop it anyway. Just give it up." (Chicago Tribune)

Beating a bitter rival rather convincingly while undermanned is one thing. Following up that performance two nights later against another contender is downright beautiful.

Without  Marian Hossa and  Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks have held their own through a stretch when points in the competitive Central Division are becoming a necessity. The ‘Hawks gained four points on Detroit this weekend after the Communists fell to Dallas on Sunday night.

Sexy stuff.

The ‘Hawks have a golden opportunity to continue picking up points on the division when Nashville visits Wednesday, but we’ll get into that over the next couple of days.

After three straight losses and picking up only a single point against Western Conference foes San Jose and Colorado, the Blackhawks needed to respond with the Communists and Kings visiting the United Center — where they’ve played like dog shit at times this season. They’re now 6-2-0 in their last eight at home and giving the crowd something to cheer about after losing four of five at the UC previous to this stretch.

Jonathan Toews continues to play like an animal.  Brent Seabrook and  Duncan Keith are playing better, and  Corey Crawford keeps impressing. It’s a shame Crawford’s success is linked with the meatballs’ version of  Mary Turco’s so-called failures because Crawford is making a hell of a name for himself with his play this season. I wish we could all just shut up and be happy the Blackhawks have two solid goaltender to go to at any given time, but I keep forgetting this is Chicago. Silly me.

Going along those lines and knowing there’s no in between when it comes to either jumping from the Whatchu Talkin’ ‘Bout Willis Tower or celebrating like the ‘Hawks have repeated already, I’m taking this weekend in stride and sitting in the middle like I’m hoping most of you are.

Two wins against top conference contenders are fabulous, especially because the Blackhawks continue their dominance of the Kings this season. However, there’s still those farts against the Sharks and Big Falling Snow Pile that resonate. Much like I didn’t down a bottle of Advil following those losses, I’m not going to start having celebratory sex with Kaner’s leftovers. I’m strapping in for the rest of the homestand and preparing myself for a more thorough evaluation after the 1st of the year.

With that being said, here’s your “Boxing” from the weekend. First, it’s ‘Hawks/Wings. Then, scroll down for ‘Hawks/Kings. Click the images to enlarge. For those viewing on the iPhone, attempt to enlarge your screen with your fingers like you would for anything else. The reason I say this is because Spinner got an email regarding this, and I want to make sure I can help those out having trouble viewing. If you are, comment here and I’ll figure something out for you.

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Wings and ‘Hawks/Kings.

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The Storm Before the Calm: Boxing (again) with Blackhawks/Avs (12/15/10)

Here’s to hoping the big shit cloud hovering over the beginning of the week rolls out of town with the passing days.

Once again the Blackhawks urinated through another game, dropping their third to Colorado Big Falling Snow Pile 4-3 on Wednesday night. However, there are more positives that came out of tonight’s trail of stinky skid marks than from Monday’s.

The ‘Hawks outshot the Avs by a large amount — 38-23. Problem is,  Craig Anderson decided he wanted to stop damn near everything, unlike Monday.

While I’m damn pissed off about this loss, which dropped the ‘Hawks to 16-14-3 and into 10th place in the Western Conference, I’m not about to start robbing old ladies of their handbags. The ‘Hawks didn’t play a phenominal game, but they didn’t exactly leave road apples on the bed either.

The obvious turning point came on the phantom call assessed to  Jordan Hendry, who was simply battling for the puck when Daniel Winnick skated directly into his elbow. There was blood, and Hendry got four minutes in the box when he shouldn’t even gotten two.

Tomas Fleischmann then proceeded to score on both ensuing power plays with Hendry in the box, then added another later to complete his third-period hat trick. Tomas. Fucking. Fleischmann.

Corey Crawford did his best  Marty Turco impression tonight by flopping all over the crease and getting caught out of position. The Avs should’ve had another goal on an empty net with Crawford sprawled out, but  Brent Seabrook made a block to save his ass. I have a feeling, however, that the meatballs won’t be clamoring for Turco to start Friday because, well, Turco didn’t start the season as the backup. To get more on the goaltending shit, check out Fork’s little write-up.

Onto your latest edition of “Boxing.” Enjoy.

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Avs

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Blizzard of ineptitude: Boxing with Blackhawks/Avalanche (12/13/10)

"Hey guys, thanks for this rubber disc I'm about to go put in the net now. You've all been so generous tonight." (Denver Post)

What an absolute horrendous loss to have to deal with. I would make the whole team walk home if it was up to me.

Four possible points and the ‘Hawks come away with one on a two-game trip, mostly because the defense couldn’t figure out how to do a goddamn thing in a dog-shit-eating 7-5 loss to Colorado. To make matters worse,  Craig Anderson was on fucking fire coming into the game, the ‘Hawks put five in against him, and then they still proceeded to lose.

Before I get to “Boxing,” I have some other thoughts.

I want to know why  Brent Seabrook and  Duncan Keith decided to do Jager shots before the game. Seabrook especially was so fucking bad that I can barely type this sentence without my fingers shaking. He seemed so mesmerized by the puck carrier that he completely lost men crashing the net. You’d need a calculator to count the number of Avalanche skaters open in the slot tonight. Pathetic.

There are some  Jack Skille fans out there, but I’m not one of them. Yes, he got a goal. But the Avs first goal is directly on him for not just chipping that puck out of the zone while deciding to fuck around with it. What’s more is that the guy just looks like he’s skating around the ice without a thought as to what his next move is going to be. Everything is reactionary, when sometimes you need to have a logical plan as to what is going to happen. He just seems too stupid to have that type of brain capacity.

If you said one word about  Marty Turco being a bad goalie because of tonight, you didn’t watch the game. Turco didn’t have a chance on those goals, and his defense left him hanging.  Denis Savard said in the studio after the game that it’s possible the Blackhawks were “holding their sticks tighter” hoping to get a win for Turco because he hasn’t played much. Whatever the case, the ‘Hawks played like hell in front of him. But, the meatballs are going to keep on him mainly because…

√   Corey Crawford played well replacing him. Crawford made some big saves and did play a better game than Turco did. He deserves each minute he’s getting right now, and you’re not going to hear me complain about Crawford continuing to start. However, Turco really isn’t playing horrible either. Rather than bitching about Turco and licking Crawford’s ball sweat, you should be happy the ‘Hawks have two very serviceable goaltenders who can each play when asked.

√   Paul Stastny’s goal was impressive, batting the puck ahead of him with his stick and putting it in the net. Give him credit despite the turnover the ‘Hawks made which helped lead to it.

All right, I’m gonna let “Boxing” do the rest.

Click the jump for “Boxing”

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Clever headline regarding getting bitten by a shark

Sorry loyal readers, but there won’t be any “Boxing” for the Blackhawks’ 2-1 loss to the Sharks on Saturday night. I was part of a world-record crowd in Ann Arbor during that day for The Big Chill at the Big House to watch the Michigan Wolverine manhandle my Michigan State Spartans, then had some internet issues on Sunday.

To be very brief, the loss wasn’t all that bad to swallow. Sure, things could have gone better. However, the Blackhawks ran into a very good  Antti Niemi and  Corey Crawford played very well. Sometimes the amount of goals just don’t work out in your favor.

Jordan Hendry got on the scoresheet and — for a brief moment — out of Q’s doghouse, but that was more out of necessity than anything.

Viktor Stalberg got robbed of a goal and the officiating was suspect all night, but that is one of the few complaints I have.

Oh, and the dipshits who constantly boo  Brian Campbell because he played six minutes in a Sharks uniform.

Once again, I apologize for the lack of “Boxing” or more in-depth recap, but that will be coming tonight after the Avs game.

Spinner will be along shortly with the weekend Espo and Tim will have your preview for tonight’s game around 3pm.

Till then…

The Daily Phil Esposito (12/9/10)

Brandon Spinner will be all set up later today and will post The Daily Espo under his own name tomorrow. Here’s his second edition recapping former Blackhawks’ performances from last night.

"Hm, I used this tongue on that blonde in the fifth row back in May." (Chicago Tribune)

Only a handful of former Hawks were in action, combining for just 1 goal and 2  assists. The return of well-loved Adam Burish to the Madhouse proved to be nice. He received a loud cheer when he started his first shift, but that’s the only noise that was associated with him.

Click the jump for updates from the 12/8 games

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Boxing with ‘Hawks/Stars (12/8/10) and Crawford’s legit tirade on refs

Let’s get down to brass tax here — Dallas Stars coach  Marc Crawford laid into the refs following the game and had a very legit gripe. Whether or not  Brent Seabrook meant to throw his stick at the puck carrier makes no difference. It should have been a penalty shot for Dallas. I’m not even going to attempt to deny that.

Here’s Crawford’s postgame press conference:

While understandable for Crawford to go nuts, he may want to look deeper at his team, which fell behind 3-0 before deciding to play. Then it was too late. The Stars are lucky to have made the comeback in the first place. And I’m sure he’ll realize that once he looks at the tape and takes a step back from the heat of the moment.

Of course, I could say the same thing about the ‘Hawks giving up a goal-against immediately after going up 3-0, then giving up two goals in just over a minute to allow Dallas to make it interesting heading into the third period. The ‘Hawks have been notorious for placing the opposition’s collective mouth on the curb, then forgetting to stomp.

Everything else I have to say is done through “Boxing.” Click the images to enlarge and, as always, enjoy.

Click the jump for “Boxing”

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The Daily Phil Esposito (12/8/10)

I’d like to introduce  Brandon Spinner, who will be updating you on your former Blackhawks each day. Brandon will be posting under his own name soon and will have The Daily Espo up every morning. You can follow Brandon on Twitter @branman111289.

In other site news, FanSided has teamed with SeatGeek, which is a StubHub-like operation where tickets to sporting events are sold. If you’re looking for seats for ‘Hawks games, click on the SCHEDULE tab on the top of the page and find the game you’re looking for. Remember to buy the short blonde guy sitting in Section 326, Row 12, Seat 11 a Bud Heavy when you arrive. Thank you for your cooperation.

Also, you can now “Like” each specific story by clicking on the headline from the main page, then clicking the button in the upper right. You’ll also find an easier way to send each story to Twitter next to it.

All right, enough bullshit. Here’s Brandon’s first edition of The Daily Phil Esposito:

"Damn, there were a lot more empty seats when I played in here." (SportsBlink.com)

Quiet day for former Indian Head Sweater Wearers, in which all scoring came from one guy. A Flame-r…

Click the jump for updates from the 12/7/10 games

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20 cents for your thoughts: Injured Patrick Kane out for three weeks

"Welp, see ya later." (CSNChicago.com)

The news  Patrick Kane will be out for up to three weeks with a left leg injury came without much of an uproar. The general consensus seems to be: “It looked worse than that. Three weeks isn’t so bad.”

Hmm, interesting. It’s funny how we all panic when  Marty Turco lets in a soft goal, yet we’re relatively calm when the Blackhawks’ point-per-game winger will be shelved for nearly a month. If you can figure that out, well, you’re a step ahead of me.

Fact is, a day without Kane is a day too many. There’s been times this season he’s been clearly absent from the game while his Give A Fuck is in the shop. However, at least he’s been on the ice. We all know when Kane decides he’s going to do something spectacular, it happens more often than not. I’d rather have Kane roaming the ice without a care in the world rather than have him watching from the press box.

The It’s-Not-So-Bad mentality may go away quickly tomorrow when the Blackhawks take the ice without both Kane and  Marian Hossa for the first time since Hossa signed with the ‘Hawks. They missed games separately, but not together.  Jonathan Toews put the Blackhawks on his back Sunday against Calgary, and we’re going to be hoping he can do that again for however long it takes Hossa to return.

As I stated after Sunday’s game, the Blackhawks are already dressing  John Scott at forward. Since Scott has the offensive talent of Dennis Rodman, losing both Kane and Hossa — along with Fernando Pisani still out — the attack is considerably less intimidating.

While  Chris Kuc says  Jeremy Morin should be back with the ‘Hawks tomorrow night against Dallas, my assumption is  Ryan Potulny will get his I-Pass and make the trip up from Rockford. Imagine if someone in your fantasy league offered you Morin and Potulny for Kane. You’d probably laugh yourself into a coma.

Maybe I’m not being optimistic enough, or everyone else is lacking the pessimism necessary to be a realist.

But three weeks without Kane? Sounds as fun as a fart in a 100-floor elevator ride to me.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

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Too Many Men on the Site

PUCKCAST: Tim and HOCKEENIGHT get their Nick Boynton on

Plus a bunch more. Have a listen and get a laugh rather than killing your boss while you hate your job today.

Injury-riddled Boxing with Blackhawks/Flames (12/5/10)

Prognosis: Negative. (Chicago Tribune)

It’s pretty unfair to  Jonathan Toews to talk about  Patrick Kane’s injury right off the bat, seeing as Tazer put the Blackhawks on his back in their 4-2 win Sunday against the Calgary Flames.

However, the potential long-term absence of Kaner is pretty damning. With  Marian Hossa and  Fernando Pisani already out, losing another offensive weapon like Kane for a team already dressing  John Scott at forward could send the ‘Hawks up Shit’s Creek without a paddle.

Coach Q said he’ll be “out for a bit,” but that it’s “nothing very serious.” I’ve seen on Twitter some NHL media have heard 4-6 weeks. Did he sprain his ankle? Tweak his MCL? Hopefully by the time you read this, we’ll know.

Whether it’s a week, two weeks or more than a month, any time without Kane is going to be a detriment to the offense. Everyone is going to have to step up a notch, and hopefully  Dave Bolland keeps removing his head from his ass.  Patrick Sharp is already carrying more than his weight, but the ‘Hawks will need even more handsome firepower.

Toews showed right away what he means to this team, and you’re bat-shit insane if you don’t think he watched Kane go off the ice and said, “OK, time to beat some fucking ass.” The Blackhawks will need more of that mentality.

Corey Crawford pretty much solidified himself as the No. 1 with his sixth straight win. I know that  Marty Turco hasn’t been playing awful and has the heart of Mother Teresa, but he’ll have to sit and watch until the kid shits the bed.

On that note, here’s your Monday morning edition of “Boxing.” Click the images to enlarge and, as always, enjoy.

Hit the jump for “Boxing”

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The Daily Phil Esposito (12/3/10)

This is a new quick-hitting feature I hope to publish each morning updating a good majority of former Blackhawks playing around the NHL with their performances the night before.

Why the name?  Phil Esposito was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1967 in one of the most lopsided trades in league history. Seems fitting to honor one of the most famous former Blackhawks who had his best years while not playing for the franchise. Hope you enjoy.

"I don't drink ALL the time. Assholes."

A pretty slow night for the former Four Feathered Men, who combined for one goal and one assist. However, a drunk guy stopped a bunch of shots.

Click the jump for updates from 12/2

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Boxing with ‘Hawks/Blues (11/30/10)

All right, it’s really late so you’re not going to get any analysis from me tonight other than what’s in the “Boxing.” However, be sure to check out today’s Daily Esposito below this post to catch up on your former Blackhawks.

Click the images to enlarge and, as always, I hope you enjoy it.

Click the jump for the BOX SCORE

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The Daily Phil Esposito (12/1/10)

This is a new quick-hitting feature I hope to publish each morning updating a good majority of former Blackhawks playing around the NHL with their performances the night before.

Why the name?  Phil Esposito  was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1967 in one of the most lopsided trades in league history. Seems fitting to honor one of the most famous former Blackhawks who had his best years while not playing for the franchise. Hope you enjoy.

"See? I told you I was good." (SI.com)

Well, the meatballs would have a good case tonight. Three Stanley Cup-winning former Blackhawks combined for two goals and three assists. And there’s other stuff.

Hit the jump for udpates from the 11/30 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (11/30/10)

This is a new quick-hitting feature I hope to publish each morning updating a good majority of former Blackhawks playing around the NHL with their performances the night before.

Why the name? Phil Esposito was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1967 in one of the most lopsided trades in league history. Seems fitting to honor one of the most famous former Blackhawks who had his best years while not playing for the franchise. Hope you enjoy.

Nothing that will blow your skirt up over last night’s performances. Eight former Blackhawks combined for one point, a minus-4 and a made-up drunken-driving offense.

Click the jump for updates from 11/29 games.

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“It’s not rocket surgery”: Crawford to start, Boynton hurts Hossa

"I got this." (Chicago Tribune)

The clamoring for  Corey Crawford to get the nod in net Tuesday has come to fruition. Unfortunately, so has the official confirmation that  Nick Boynton is a worthless piece of shit.

CSN’s  Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) reported a couple of nuggets on her Twitter account today. First, Boynton and  Marian Hossa collided in practice and Hossa was sent back to the locker room to be looked at. No word yet on Hossa’s condition. However, if Hossa is out for an extended period of time yet again, Boynton and his lisp are going to be swinging from a building somewhere.

Myers reported later that Crawford will get his third straight start Tuesday night against St. Louis. He’s 4-0-0 with a 1.23 GAA in his last four starts, including three road victories. Giving the kid a start at home riding a hot streak should’ve gone without saying, but it was good to see  Joel Quenneville announce it early.

The only time Crawford faced the Blues was Feb. 2, 2006 in a 6-5 shootout loss. Crawford gave up five goals and made 34 saves in a brief call-up.

It should also go without saying that Q needs to ride Crawford as long as possible with the way he’s been playing. A loss shouldn’t immediately relegate Crawford back to the bench if he plays well. For a Blackhawks team seemingly lacking a spark, Crawford resembles the closest thing to a pick-me-up at the moment.

And on top of all that,  Marty Turco is the class act we all knew he was. According to Brian Hamilton of the Trib:

“Corey’s going to play, I think, and he should,” Turco said. “He’s been playing great, he’s been playing great all year, has won a few in a row. We want to get on a roll. I’m here to win, no matter what.”

Either Tim or I will have updates on the Hossa injury as we get them. Check our Facebook fan page or our Twitter for the the quickest info.

End of the Circus: Boxing with ‘Hawks/Ducks and ‘Hawks/Kings

Hey dude. You're, like, bleeding and stuff. (Chicago Tribune)

Well, Corey, it looks like it’s your show — for now.

A couple of very solid performances and an overall above-average season so far is good enough in my book to give  Corey Crawford the keys to the Blackhawks’ ride. McClure of Second City Hockey said it best:  Marty Turco is owed nothing here. He’s a hell of a guy, came here to win a ring and hasn’t played all that bad.

Crawford, a product of the ‘Hawks system who has paid his dues with the franchise, is playing to his capabilities and expectations. His 5-4-0 record may seem modest, but his GAA is a sparkling 2.07 in eight starts and nine total appearances. He made key saves in both games against Anaheim and Los Angeles and didn’t give up a single even-strength goal in either contest.

If Turco gets the start Tuesday, Coach Q should immediately have his head examined. There’s no reason not to go with Crawford.

With all of that said, let’s make this clear: There is no goalie controversy — yet. While Crawford has played well, he’s simply the guy who gives the Blackhawks the best chance to win right now. It’s too early to say he’s the one who gives the ‘Hawks the best chance to win for the rest of the season. Turco still holds that title, in my opinion. It’s not to say that can’t change, but Crawford has to do it for an extended period of time — like Antti Niemi did last season.

If Crawford gets his starts and continues to show he’s the right guy for the No. 1 job, the worst thing that happens is the ‘Hawks have a damn good veteran backup in Turco. That’s a good position to be in, especially given the  Cristobal Huet situation in which we thought Dr. Phil would have to intervene.

So, with that being said, I’ll let “Boxing” do the rest of the talking from the weekend. First is the ‘Hawks 2-1 win against the Kings, followed by Friday’s 4-1 victory against the Gordon Bombays.

Click the jump for “Boxing”

More >

Thanksgiving Boxing with Blackhawks/Sharks, 11/24/10

What. Do I got a boogy hangin'? (Associated Press)

Well, not much to be thankful for after that shit. I’d have rather eaten my roommate’s toe jam.

I know this may sound vague, but that game was just bad to watch. At no point did I feel confident about a ‘Hawks victory. And if any of you clowns start talking about  Antti Niemi and how the Blackhawks got a first-hand glimpse of why we miss him, I may hang myself with dental floss.

Granted, he played well. However, a few other goalies who haven’t been in net when the ‘Hawks won the Stanley Cup have also played well against us this season. So, let’s move on from that.

It’s quite clear  Nick Boynton needs to remove his penis from  Jen Patterson long enough to play some serviceable hockey. What has  Jordan Hendry done to be in QStache’s dog house? Why does he continue to troll Boynton and  Jassen Cullimore on the ice when Hendry hasn’t done to warrant the constant healthy scratches? It’s starting to become mind-boggling.

More dipshit penalties, such as  Bryan Bickell’s absolute comeback killer with a holding-the-stick call, then a follow-up unsportsmanlike conduct for a double minor which is the clear result of him being a fucking whining bitch. Sit in the box and shut the fuck up. You already did something stupid, don’t do more stupid stuff.

The best thing was  Patrick Sharp’s awesome deflection past Niemi. Good to see him back in the groove with three goals in four games. Neato stuff there.

Marian Hossa got another assist, giving him four in two games. However, he’s scored one goal in 12 games. That needs to end soon.

Oh, and did the ‘Hawks leave  Patrick Kane in Vegas to pick up hookers and drink his own piss hoping to drink the same 39 beers twice? It would be nice to see some consistency. Games like his 1 G, 2 A performance against Vancouver are too few and far between. Kane has 22 points, which is one off Sharp’s pace, but imagine if he played every single game like he played last season when he was trying to overcome the “20 Cent” label. Christ Almighty.

I have some more stuff in a Turkey Day edition of “Boxing.” Sorry again for the delay in these, and thanks to those who enjoy it so much to send messages telling me how much you love it. As Tim said yesterday, sometimes life gets in the way. You’re alive and reading it now, so you’ll be fine.

Click on the images to enlarge. See you again Friday for Gordan Bombay Appreciation Night.

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Nothin’ tricky about it: Boxing with Blackhawks/Oilers, 11/18/10

"Um, Marty? Why are you poking me with your stick?" (Reuters)

Finally, the roles were back in order. It took two shit-bomb performances against the Edmonton Oilers, but the Blackhawks took two points from those pesky fucks and won their first game on the Circus Trip in convincing 5-0 fashion. Boom.

Jonathan Toews played like he was out to lead by example, rather than tell the media what the ‘Hawks need to do to get this season turned around. His hat trick did all the talking, and Tazer’s constant push toward the net should be a lesson to the rest of the ‘Hawks.

Toews,  Patrick Kane and Viktor Stalberg looked like badasses and played a huge role in a 20-4 SOG advantage after the first period. Toews’ third goal was a snipe from the slot, which was something rarely seen out of Toews so far this season. He’s had his chances, but even in that split second from when the puck hit his tape on pass from Kaner to the missile he put into the twine, you could just tell he had the look that said, “This fucking thing is going to the back of the net, and there ain’t shit Khabby can do about it.” And he was right.

Congrats to  Marty Turco on his first shutout in the Indian-head sweater. The Oilers played like the pile of shit they are tonight — finally — and posed no real threat to Turco.

Oh, and  Patrick Sharp is a very handsome man. Beautiful shorty move on Khabby to break his eight-game scoreless drought.

It’s late and I’m tired, so here’s your latest edition of “Boxing.”

As always, there’s two separate images — one for the game summary, and one for the actual box score. Click on the images to enlarge.

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