The Nashville Predators sit in a 4-way tie for the 5th through 8th spots in the Western Conference, with the Blackhawks nipping at their heels only 2 points behind. A win for the ‘Hawks tonight puts them into that pile as well, with momentum on their side. Put simply, it’s another must-win game. Just like the last one, and like the other 21 left to be played after tonight.
I’m investing in a defibrillator. This is getting ridiculous.
Before I get into this, I would like to first say I know the difficulties that come with being a beat writer for a team. I’ve done it professionally. There’s a very thin line between being accepted and being banished, and it can often be extremely hard to tight-rope that line.
Never do you want to overstep your bounds. However, you also cannot let certain things detract from your job: Bringing the public to the forefront of issues going on within the team. There’s a reason journalism is competitive in terms of being “first to report.” Every ad for a big-market journalism job, especially in sports, says candidates must have the “ability to break news and develop sources.”
It’s just the way it goes. Do your Blackhawks beat writers do a good job overall? I’d say yes. Can they go deeper and ask tougher questions? Without a doubt.
Are they afraid of being banished by John McDonough? It’s something we’ll probably never get a straight answer about.
Welcome to a special follow-up edition of Behind Enemy Lines. Today we get the perspective of St. Louis Blues beat writer Jeremy Rutherford, who covers the team for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Jeremy had a busy weekend and it gets busier tonight, with the Blues playing their fourth game in five nights. He was kind enough to answer a few questions.
Click the jump for the Q&A with Jeremy Rutherford
Apparently, Jonathan Toews agrees with Blackhawks bloggers and tells the team things the beat writers should be asking about.
After a rather horrible first period, The Captain did his job and spoke up. The result? Four points in roughly 24 hours and a five-way tie for the No. 7 seed. Here’s what he had to say, according to the Chicago Tribune:
“Maybe I got after the boys a little bit too much, but we saw the guys responded to it,” Toews said after the Hawks’ 5-3 victory Monday over the Blues.
“What’s frustrating (is), we say things before the game that we have to do and we go out there and play the way we did in the first 20 minutes. It was unacceptable and the leaders in the locker room held the rest of the team accountable and everyone stepped up to the plate in the second 20 (minutes).”
Here’s what Bartl said in “Boxing”
Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Penguins/Blues
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The St. Louis Blues will have a much different look about them when they take the ice this afternoon for a Presidents’ Day tilt with the Blackhawks. Despite the trades involving marquee players on the east coast garnering all the media attention, the Blues have easily been one of the most active teams in the last week.
Absent from the Blues are former 1st-round draft selection defenseman Erik Johnson and forward Jay Clement (shipped to Colorado) and the Blues’ CAPTAIN Eric Brewer (traded to Tampa Bay). Added to the lineup are forward Chris Stewart and young defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the Avalanche. 2010 3rd-round pick defenseman Brock Beukeboom was also acquired from the Lightning, but is not NHL-ready.
There were eleven former feather heads that took the ice Friday night and they were all skaters. Also they were able to net two goals and add two assists.
On Saturday sixteen former ‘Hawks took the ice. There were two goalies who both recorded impressive shut outs. One was in his debut after being traded the day before. There were two points recorded which were both goals coming from Former Stanley Cup Champion Hawks, Ladd and Byfuglien.
Sunday, “Hockey Day in America”, there were nine former Blackhawks to take the ice. They tallied four points which were all goals. Rene Bourque had a game to remember in the Heritage Classic. Really carried the flames to victory. Every game was competitive and exciting on “Hockey Day in America” and I was just happy to see the ‘Hawks pull one out.
Sunday was former Blackhawk, Phil Esposito’s 69th birthday. Esposito’s 18 year career started here in Chicago midway into the 1964 season. In 1965 he started the season centering future Hall of Famer Bobby Hull.
In 1967 he was traded to the Boston Bruins where he flourished. He led the league in points five times during the years 1969, 71, 72, 73, 74 when he recorded 126, 152, 133, 130, and 145 respectively. He also scored a career high, 76 goals in the 1970-71 season. He is considered one of the best players to ever play the game. Obviously I could go on about Esposito, but I will just continue with this weekend’s game action. So lastly, Happy Birthday Phil, we would have loved to have you in Chicago for your entire career, but we now have this post in your honor.
Click the jump for updates from this weekend’s games
How is it possible these Blackhawks make the playoffs?
Tell me. I want to know. How is anyone supposed to have any sort of faith in a team that hasn’t played up to its talent at any point this season?
Oh, and our Stanley Cup-winning goal scorer is once again a being thrown out there as a drunk piece of shit. I don’t care if these pictures are from over the summer, nor do I care if they were from three years ago. Patrick Kane’s immaturity is so ridiculous it’s beyond wonderment how or why Jonathan Toews hasn’t literally beat the shit out of him yet. Like Fels of SCH said, this story isn’t going away.
Kane can deny it all he wants, but there’s too much evidence against him for me to give him the benefit of the doubt. Why? If you need more reason, Andrew Ladd has more goals than him this season.
Anyway, to the game recap:
The Blackhawks sucked. Here’s your Boxing, where I’m more descriptive.
NOTE: Don’t forget to check out Bartl’s Q&A with Columbus Dispatch beat writer Aaron Portzline
The Columbus Blue Jackets arrive in Chicago on a hot streak (5-1-1 since we thumped them on Feb. 1) and looking for a little payback. Last time out we made their goaltenders look like ice dance partners as we let loose a little beat-down in a 7 – 4 win. Rest assured, the Blue Jackets have not forgotten that.
Far be it from a Blackhawks’ fan to back down from a fight. So when Mary O’Malley, lead writer at the Fansided Network’s Fire That Cannon blog came knocking, I wasn’t about to let her walk away.
After all, she’s not just a Columbus Blue Jackets fan, she’s a GIRL!
So we shot a few e-mails back and forth, and here’s the result.
Aaron Portzline, the beat writer for the Columbus Dispatch, was kind enough to answer a few of Bartl’s questions before tonight’s Blackhawks-Blue Jackets matchup at the United Center. Much like Wednesday, playoff positioning is the story as we get into the stretch run. You can check out Aaron’s coverage on the Puck-Rakers Blog on the Dispatch’s website. Enjoy!
Click the jump for the Q&A with Aaron Portzline