Chicago Blackhawks

Cheer the Podcast: Episode 31

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After dropping game 5 in OT, the Blackhawks have their backs up against the wall and Game 6 at the UC. Jeff, Jim, and Tom collectively freak out about Bryan Bickell, how the team started Game 5, and talk about what they think will happen in Game 6. Listen after the jump. More >

Cheer the Podcast: Episode 30

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On the Ed Belfour edition of Cheer the Podcast, Adam checks in from Italy while the guys talk about the longest game in Blackhawks history, the Blackhawks’ defensive issues, and what it all means as the Hawks head home. Listen after the jump. More >

Cheer the Podcast: Episode 29

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The fellas discuss how exactly the Blackhawks have turned on the jets and put themselves up 3 games to 0 on the Wild, Teuvo’s impact, and they look ahead to the next series. Listen after the jump.
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Lifter Puller: Wild 1 Hawks 4 (Series 2-0 Hawks)

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Well then.. After an uncertain 1st Round against the Preds, the Hawks appear to be rounding into Championship form this series. They’ve won both handily, the stars are shining, the supporting cast is doing its job, their goalie is solid (yes, really) and the lines and lineup are about as optimal as they can be. The Wild have not had a lead for a single second thus far and are heading back home without the smash & grab win you feel they really needed. Of course, it’s only been two games and this time last year the Hawks headed to St Paul with a similar advantage and promptly got their asses handed to them so we’ll not be getting the Corey Perry photoshops out just yet. But there’s reasons to be cheerful this morning and we’ll get to them directly.

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Cheer the Podcast: Episode #28 (Mark Bell)

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The entire stateside CtA crew got together to do talk about the Hawks vs. #perds series, what to expect against Minnesota, dream scenarios for the Blues, Q’s roster choices, and everyone makes fun of Tom for eating McDonald’s. Listen after the jump.  More >

Mini Cheer the Podcast: LOL Blues

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Tom and Jim hop on the air to talk about the Blues failures and the Jets being bad. Topics covered: Bad goaltending, sad Blues fans Tweets, is the Central Division really that good? and more…  Listen after the jump: More >

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PRESS THE BOMB!: Preds 3 Hawks 4, Series in the bag, my frents.

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This series was very much a Ugandan action movie: part entertaining, part excruciating, mostly just glad it’s over and I don’t have to look at it any more. Nashville chased Newport News, IL (or is that Lemont, Va?) native Scott Darling then blew a two-goal lead and really didn’t look like they wanted to be there, much less go to the 2nd Round (considering they’d have to visit either St Louis or St Paul, that’s completely understandable). The Hawks got it done, in regulation no less, and can take a few days off while pointing and laughing at the Blues & the Wild. let’s get into it:

 

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Uhhhh……. NASHEY COUGAR! Perds 2 Hawks 4 (Series 2-1 Hawks)

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Before we go any further, that headline refers to this which led my web-designer brother to create this .

Anyway, Nicolas-Cage based antics aside, this series is now 2-1 and the Hawks now have a chance to make the return to Nashville an elimination game (Which sounds like a tortuous setup for a urine -based pun, but I won’t go there…heh, heh).  Despite some reversals , especially in the immediate aftermath of scoring a goal, and some curious coaching decisions, the Blackhawks dominated this one for long stretches and were well worth the win. Shall we address the matter at hand? We shall.

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Too many Urkels: Game 3 Preview

Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Somehow this series is tied 1-1. The Blackhawks deserve to be opening up game 3 at United Center down 2-0 and needing to be desperate. They’re still comfortable right now, it seems. They’ve miraculously taken home ice advantage back despite being the worse team in both contests.

The goaltending “controversy” happening in Chicago is taking center stage in the media and even in the locker room. Scott Darling is getting the start this afternoon, but that’s masking the fact that the Hawks have been hot garbage in front of whichever guy is standing in the blue paint and it’s been that way for weeks.

To describe why the Hawks have been, well, pretty bad recently let’s turn to Chicago native Kanye WestMore >

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Dumbness Abounds

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You know it’s the playoffs when the Tribune’s Dumbass-In-Chief, David Haugh,  stops fretting about Kris Bryant long enough to give we mere mortals the benefit of his wisdom. Yesterday, he pinched off a real steamer about the “Goalie Controversy” ahead of Game 2. Needless to say, it’s down to his usual level of gibberish but fear not, intrepid reader, I’ve gone behind the paywall so you don’t have to.

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You’ve got Tennessee tendencies and chemical dependencies: Hawks 4 Perds 3 2OT

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Hello and welcome to Narrative Heaven.  Last night had a bit of everything, didn’t it? A first period meltdown, Roszival and Shaw being terrible, the goalie getting pulled and replaced by the “local” boy, the comeback, the fourth year in a row we go to overtime in the Hawks’ Game 1, action, drama, redemption, MOAR OVERTIME and finally Victory and a win on the road that starts this series off the Flahavans’ Way.  In addition, I was kept up until 6am by Playoff hockey.. oh, how I’ve missed that.

Let’s get into this, shall we?

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Playoff Beered II

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Those of you who were around this site last year may recall that, rather than shaving off my beard and regrowing it, I instead chose to brew a beer during the playoffs with the eventual aim of using it to toast victory. The beer turned out just fine but, sadly, was imbibed a little sooner than planned.  Oh well.

 

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Killed By Death: Blues 2 Hawks 1

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“To Piss On One’s Chips”  is defined thus by Urban Dictionary:

“…to really mess something up for yourself (rather than for someone else) with an unnecessary and/or stupid act….The origin of the expression is from the scenario in the UK of a guy buying some takeaway chips (french fries for any US readers) after an evening’s drinking.

Finding that he then needs a piss on the way home, the inebriated guy finds a quiet spot somewhere then and puts his chips on the ground nearby while he relieves himself. In his drunken state he then accidentally pisses on his chips, thus depriving himself of his meal through his own carelessness and stupidity”.

 

A better definition would be the highlights of last night’s game, with special attention paid to Michal Roszival.

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The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place: Hawks @ Jets Preview

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It gets really grim when the Blackhawks have a day off after a particularly demoralising defeat. As a fanbase we take to social media and comment threads en masse in order to tear our hair and each others throats out. Considering that this specific defeat is the third  really bad one in the last four games, the angst levels have been redlining. That’s not to say this is without good reason: losing three out of four is never a Good Thing, but losing them to non-playoff teams in abject fashion makes it far worse. It isn’t even so much the lowly status of the Stars, Flyers and Beej that stings, it’s the patheric capitulation by the Hawks in those losses (and you can include the win over the Canes in that, too: the Hawks did their level best to fuck that up as well).  just four games ago we were coming off a successful trip to New York talking about a run at the Division. Now the Hawks are (at least temporarily) in the Wild Card mix and we’re looking anxiously over our shoulders at Winnipeg.

 

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Cheer The Podcast: Episode 26

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The boys take on the last week of Blackhawks action and discuss Q’s roster usage, the effectiveness of Brad Richards, and what’s going on with the rest of the playoff picture on the Jocelyn Lemieux episode. Listen after the jump.

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Insert Neil Young Quote Here: Hawks @ Canes Preview

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This effing Hockey Team.. right after I bigged them up in relation to the Central (and by default, Western) title race, on the back of a shutout of the Rags, the Hawks go and #Cube one up against the out-of-it-even-if-they-don’t-believe-it-themselves Stars.  Guess those are the breaks. What made it doubly annoying was the Wings making it three straight losses (albeit with loserpoints involved) for the Blues. Boy, St Louis must be looking forward to a playoff series against Minnesota the way one looks forward to a proctological examination. Anyway, stuff:

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Contains No MSG: Hawks 1 Rags 0 and what lies ahead..

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OK, that one felt pretty good, despite it not being a “classic” but rather a tight, disciplined effort from both sides, backed up by excellent goaltending. Could have gone either way but Brad Richards popped up late in the 3rd and clearly greatly enjoyed his goal against the team that scratched him in the playoffs ahead of buying him out last offseason (although I’m sure he enjoys cashing the checks they’ll be writing him till the sun goes supernova more), Scott Darling earned his first NHL shutout and the Hawks leave the Empire State with four points from two games against two of the East’s best.

 

That was a short recap, hey? Let’s talk more stuff, specifically how the rest of this season looks..

 

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Cheer the Podcast: Episode 25

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It’s the Matt Carey Cam Barker Jerome Dupont episode. In the first cast since Pat Kane’s collarbone become more than one piece the guys discuss the implications of the injury, the replacements acquired to help soften the blow and of course there’s plenty of Teuvo talk after his big game against the Rangers. We do wonder if Patrick Sharp will ever emerge from urinal trough he’s been stuck in for the better part of two months however.

Audio after the jump.

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I Think I Smell A Dead Guy: Rags 1 Hawks 0 OT

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That one was annoying. Granted, the Rangers are one of the top teams out East but last night felt like a squandered opportunity to close in on the floundering Predators and the stuttering Blues, not to mention putting a little distance between the Hawks and the Wild, who are riding Devan Dubnyk right back into the postseason picture.  If there was going to be a bounce from the new acquisitions, it was going to be here.

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Dying To Play: Pascal Dupuis and Men’s Health

I know it’s deadline day, and you’re expecting analysis of trades.. however, I put this together in response to Pascal Dupuis’ article in the Players Tribune . You may or may not like it very much.

 

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Cheer The Podcast: Episode 24

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On the Bob Probert episode we chat with Sirius Chicago Blackhawks correspondent Al Cimaglia about the Hawks’ recent slide. We try and understand the roster construction, where blame should be placed, and what can be done to get the Blackhawks back to being a perennial powerhouse. Jim’s computer dies.

 

Cheer The Podcast: Episode 23

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It’s the Kris Versteeg episode of Cheer The Podcast. The guys discuss the past week of Hawks games, whether or not they have enough depth to compete in the Western Conference, and the moves that have already been made by Nashville.

 

Fuck Heroes – Devils v. Hawks Preview

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We all wanted Hossa to be a hero. He didn’t need to score the winning goal against Vancouver. He sent the game to overtime. That was enough. We hailed him for it.

Then, early in OT, Sedin offered a silent objective rebuttal to homophobes and ingrates. The Hawks lost. Hossa got a loser point and a fine harangue. We’ll call him a fucking hero.

All around the league losses are rotting on the ice. Points left behind. Some days we anoint heroes. Other days we damn them all. Who is just a loser? Who is a fucking hero.

We decide, based on nothing. Hossa is a fucking hero. Hossa still lost. So did the whole team. They all lost.

Maybe you claim Hossa as a hero because you need something beautiful to cling to in the wee hours. Maybe you claim Hossa–especially in the aftermath of embarrassing defeat–because simply accepting that even the best teams skid sucks the meaning away. I know I do.

No matter what your reason, it is selfish. It means nothing. The Hawks still lost. They still left two points rotting on the ice. But he’s a fucking hero.

And now what? After the Canucks game, Teuvo earned a ticket to Somewhere in Illinois that is Not Chicago. LIke I said in our Round Table, even the Pope admits he can’t explain how his supposedly loving God permits the suffering of innocents. Where does that leave Hawks fans, drenched as we are in pride and avarice? It leaves us with our Golden Boy clipping coupons for the Olive Garden.

Which begs the question: do we try and force meaning into this game tonight? We can hue and cry but we cannot affect the front office. We can contort a February skid into a narrative of challenge and grit. We can write off losses to a bored team that maybe, just maybe, isn’t placing hockey at the top of its daily To-Do list.

Whatever path you choose, know that it is meaningless. The season will grind on, wins and losses accumulating whether we swear blind allegiance or boycott, the end result of countless events too obscure to measure. We are powerless to affect change.

So I choose to rage against the heavens. I don’t want a fucking hero. I want a team. I want Carcillo and Shaw off my team. I want Teuvo back from Nebraska or wherever the fuck they sent him. I want whatever happened one spring evening at the penalty box door in Detroit two years ago. I will not be happy until this team’s name rings from the throats of choirs raised in triumphant measure.

You keep your fucking heroes. I want a fucking team.

That felt nice: Blackhawks 4 Blues 2

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks have been reeling for a few weeks and we haven’t seen their best hockey since before Christmas. One of the prevailing excuses for why that is has been that this is the mid-season doldrums. Maybe the Hawks have been bored. They know they’re almost guaranteed a playoff spot if they play mediocre hockey until the end of the season. But something about that seemed like too easy of an out for a team that’s struggled to score goals lately.

Today, we had ample opportunity for some evidence for that theory. A rivalry matinee game with a STL team that has been pummeling opponents lately, all coming after an OT win on Friday night. How would the Blackhawks play?

Well, they played well enough to beat the Blues on the road. A disgusting one-timer from Brandon Saad to Marian Hossa in the third period put the Hawks in the lead for good after blowing two leads throughout the game.

At moments, they looked like a team with Stanley Cup aspirations. At others, they looked like the pedestrian team that gets manhandled by Minnesota. The good news is that those moments were fleeting and the mistakes the Hawks made were mostly because the Blues are a damn good team. They force their opponents to make mistakes and Chicago showed enough resilience and effort to overcome them.

We’re podcasting later, so let’s get a quick breakdown… More >

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Now Rise, Chicago: Hawks-Jets Preview

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Now Rise, Chicago

We tithed to them when poor

We tithed to them when weak

We tithed to them in honor’s name

To lift up the arctic’s meek.

Gen’rous host, a role we played

By the Lake or River’s shore,

Bound for glory we did know

Three games we could afford.

Without a thanks they took them

And turned upon us swift.

No honor have the ‘Peggers

Who spurn such gracious gifts.

The time has gone for charity.

The time has gone for grace.

The time has come to show them

Their proper lowly place.

Now Rise Chicago, cast aside

Your kind and gentle heart.

Unsheathe your sword and bellow

Like the God of War thou art.

Now Rise Chicago, do not rest

Until the light bleeds red.

Now Rise Chicago, do not rest

Until their dreams are dead.