mightymikeD

The Irish contingent, live from Cork. 90% of what I write will be done through a haze of sleep deprivation & alcohol. @brightblack76 on the Twitaarghs


Posts by mightymikeD

drinky

The Politics Of Time: Hawks @ Habs Preview

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I’m not one to get over-excited about the whole “Original 6″ thing, but this always feels special. The Canadiens in Montreal is one of the big red-letter days on the calendar. The Habs have 23 NHL-Era Stanley Cup banners hanging in their rafters; which is only three fewer than the Wings, Bruins, Hawks and Rangers’ combined total. Names like ‘Rocket’ Richard, Jean Beliveau, ‘Boom Boom’ Geoffrion, Guy Lafleur and Ken Dryden all created their legends with this club. The Centre Bell may not be as redolent with history as the old Montreal Forum but it’s still one of Hockey’s great arenas and crowds.

I’m looking forward to this, in other words.

 

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Taxi Feaster

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God Bows To Math: Sharks 3 Hawks 2 (SO)

That was my fault. Not the SO loss, the lack of entertainment. I made the mistake of saying, in my preview, that Hawks/Sharks is always fun: therefore we got to see the dullest 77 shot game you can imagine. It was so boring even legendary dullards like Doc Emrick and Pierre McGuire were losing interest and burbling off onto Foley-esque tangents. But I guess some stuff did happen and I suppose they pay me the big bucks to talk about it, so let’s get to it.

 

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#1 Hit Song: Sharks @ Hawks Preview

I know it’s ancient, I just love this photo

The San Jose Sha-Arks come to snowbound Chicago and they won’t even be the coldest representatives from California playing tonight. Hopefully everyone is safe and well stocked with booze because tonight should be fun. Last time these guys were here was the day of the tornadoes and I got to go to the game at the UC (thanks @Schatzipage!) at short notice. That was a 5-1 laugher as the Hawks bounced back from a humbling in Nashville. Tonight they return home after a (reasonably) successful swing to the East Coast and face up to one of the powerhouse Pacific teams, albeit one that is beaten up and stumbling a little.

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My Heart & The Real World: Hawks 5 Devils 3

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Friday night in Jersey, Patrick Sharp has a Hat-Trick, the Hawks score five and take the two points. All is well with the world, right? No, not so much as it happens. There was plenty last night that warrants some questioning, and we’ll get to that in the bullets. As it was, Sharp opened the scoring early in the 2nd Period with a mean snap shot after a nice feed from Toews. Greene tied it up for New Jersey a minute later, after a thorough blowing of defensive assignments, and that was it until things went beserk in the 3rd.

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Viet Nam: Isles Recap, Hawks @ Devils Preview

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Let’s rapidly consign that farce last night to the garbage can of history, right next to the hopes of anyone who wanted the Hawks to grab the Terminally Useless Zenon Konopka off Waivers.

 

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There Ain’t Shit On TV Tonight: Hawks @ Isles Preview

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Last time we saw the Isles it was back in October. Nordstrom got his first goal, the Hawks blew a 1st Period lead and in the end made heavy work of a 3-2 win. Back then the Islanders were expected to be a playoff contender in the East, building off their previous season. Instead they now find themselves propping up the Godawful Metropolitan Division and third-from-bottom in the league.  Which is to say, they suck.

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Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing: Kings 0 Hawks 1

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That wasn’t so bad now, was it? After the fretting about this trio of games against upper-echelon Western Conference teams, the Hawks have come away with five out of six points available, both wins coming in regulation.  After the goal-fests against Colorado and St Louis, this was a horse of a different colour: Playoff Hockey in December against the ever-punishing Kings.

The hits came hard and fast, mostly from LA and the margins for error were thin indeed. The tone was set when Colin Fraser dumped Michael Roszival over the boards between the benches. LA are one of those select few teams where leading in hits does not equate losing the possession battle: the Kings had the edge in Corsi 55%-45%. Duncan Keith was called upon to have another standout game, ending up 2nd star of the night.

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It’s Expected I’m Gone: Kings @ Hawks Preview

 

The last time the Kings came to West Madison Street the Hawks were seething after a pantsing in Toronto and made them pay the price. That 3-1 beating was somewhat deceptive, though: the Kings were at the end of a four game road trip and looked tired & disinterested. They have plenty of reason to be motivated tonight, though: they’re coming off two straight losses to the Stars and Preds, are 3rd in the Pacific and must be casting nervous glances at Vancouver steaming up behind them.  Jon Quick is nearly ready to return but it’ll likely be the excellent Ben Scrivens in net tonight.

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Calloway Me A Cab

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mike

The Other Six: Conference III’s Coaches

We all know about Joel Quenneville and his various qualities. However there are six more guys out there in Conference III, coaching their teams for better or worse (much, much worse in some cases). Here’s a quick guide, at this halfway point of the Season, to how they’re doing and whether or not they should have U-Haul on speed-dial. 

 

Mike Yeo: Minnesota Wild

Appearance: Like a High School Social Sciences teacher who has just been hit on the back of the head with a condom.

How Is He Doing?: Not so good. The Wild are now firmly on the Playoff bubble and have hit a serious skid of late, exacerbated by goaltending problems that absolutely no-one could have foreseen except people who know about “Serious Illness” “AHL-Level Goalies” and “Nik Backstrom is Old & Bad”.  Likely to be made the scapegoat for some pretty bad Front-Office decisions.

Who’s His Boss?: Chuck Fletcher, who spent 196m of owner Craig Leipold’s last remaining dollars on two players, thus necessitating the Lockout so that the poor man could afford to feed his family (of gold-plated lemurs that he keeps in the spare bathroom on his 2nd-best yacht). So not to blame for the mire that they find themselves in, at all.

Job Security: May have been fired by the time you read this.

 

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300 Level & Sinking 12/28/13

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Killing Two Birds?

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Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche

Mr. Narrator..

Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche

(Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

 

Tonight sees the Blackhawks returning to action, after a three-day break over the Festive Period, with the first of three tricky games in four nights. First up the Colorado Avalanche, former Western Conference high-flyers and still a formidable opponent, come to the UC; then Saturday sees a short trip to the Scottrade to take on another heavyweight in the St Louis Blues. There will then be a Sunday “Break” where we get to chew our fingers to the bone over Bears/Packers before the Los Angeles Kings make their second trip to West Madison. All three of these games are against Western Conference contenders of one stripe or another and all three will present stiff challenges to be surmounted.

 

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300 Level & Sinking 12/23/13

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Hello, Calgary

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300 Level & Sinking 12/22/13

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Think I’ll go out to Alberta, weather’s good horrible there in the Fall Winter

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300 Level & Sinking 12/21/13

 

 

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Alberta or Bust after the jump

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Theatre Is The Life Of You: Canucks @ Hawks Preview

Bob appears to be enjoying this a little too much..

These guys again, hey?

Last time out the Hawks escaped the Rogers Arena in Vancouver by the skin of their teeth, thanks mainly to an outstanding performance from Corey Crawford who withstood a late Nucks siege after the Hawks scored twice in nine seconds to erase an early 5-on-3 goal from Ryan Kesler. Since then both team have been hot as hell, with a successful Circus Trip for the Hawks leading onto a series of 6-goal games. The Canucks also went on a hot streak, winning 7 in a row until they lost in a Shootout to Minnesota and then got walloped by the Stars last night. Obviously, the Hawks had their own unhappy landings against Minny, Anaheim and Toronto. They also don’t have Crawford and Antti Raanta makes his 8th consecutive start tonight.

 

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300 Level & Sinking 12/20/13

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Progress is made after the jump

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300 Level & Sinking 12/18/13

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More on PlAstiKK D’avE’s Dead Pool after the Jump

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bickzilla

Cohesion: Hawks 3 Preds 1

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How Bryan Bickell stayed in shape

 

The Good News: The Hawks returned to the scene of their worst performance of the year and came out with a modicum of pride restored and, more importantly, two points

The Bad News: There are still four more games against Nashville this season.

 

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300 Level & Sinking 12/16/13

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The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts: Hawks 3 Leafs 7

Antti Raanta’s Invisible Friend makes the save..

Sod that for a game of soldiers. About the only thing missing from last night’s disaster was someone getting hurt. I’m, sure no-one wants to talk about it, so we’ll get it out of the way quickly & move on to eyeing up LA.

 

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Backes NAL

Here Comes The Weekend: 5 Things To Ponder

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David Backes is Ready for the Weekend.. are YOU?

Got that Friday feeling?  Good, us too. The Blackhawks are heading into the weekend after a run of three games where they scored at least six goals (and also won by at least four). The mood around Hawks Nation is positively buoyant, after a brief outbreak of DOOM folowing Corey Crawford’s injury. It’s going to be a busy weekend after a few days off; first a trip to the ACC to play the slumping Leafs, a game that, while it will lack the ferocity of the old Norris Division days, is always one to circle on the calendar. The following night sees one of the Western Conference’s genuine powerhouses, the Kings, roll into town for the first time this season. LA have gotten over their usual slow start and are rumbling up the standings on the back of a five-game winning streak.

I won’t go to much into the upcoming games, as each warrants its own preview; instead here are five thoughts that are rattling around in what passes for my brain after the last week of Chicago Hockey. Feel free to debate, debunk & demolish in the comments. You can also call me a ‘Thundering Flangehead’ if you like.

 

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Storm In My House: Panthers @ Hawks Preview

 

The last time the Florida Panthers were in town it required a police escort to get the visitors’ bus to the UC, due to heavy snow. That was in January 2012 and Kris Versteeg spoke of his emotion on his first sight of the Stanley Cup banner that he had helped to win. The Hawks won 3-1 that night.

We’ll that was then and this is now. Versteeg is once more a Hawk and there’s a new Cup banner hanging in the rafters. The Panthers roll into town 3rd last in the Eastern Conference, 12 points adrift of a Wild Card slot. So they’re pretty much dead and buried, then.

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