The Daily Phil Esposito (2/25/11)

I think this kid has a different way of saying Detroit Sucks...

Photo: http://nopenotreally.com/tag/bullshit/

There were nine former ‘Hawks on the ice last night, pulling out one goal and two assists. Another was packing his bags and moving to another team.  How bout that win the ‘Hawks got last night! Not bad. Lets keep it up! Enjoy folks.

Click the jump for updates from the 2/24/11 games

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Blackhawks Place Nick Boynton On Waivers

Photo: AP

It has just been announced that Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Boynton has been placed on waivers by the team as of noon EST today. Boynton joined the ‘Hawks late last season and has played 41 games this season, amassing 1 goal, 7 assists, 36 penalty minutes and a +1 rating.

He and his $500K salary are eligible to be claimed by any team in the league until noon EST tomorrow.

Follow us on Twitter and keep up with us on Facebook to get all the latest news as the trade deadline approaches.

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A Smile Can Make the Pain Go Away: Boxing with Blackhawks/Preds

Credit: Frederick Breedon, NHLI via Getty Images

Put a log on whatever fire is currently lit under the Blackhawks’ collective ass.

The Blackhawks finally realized that a regulation NHL  hockey game lasts 60 minutes, rather than pretending this was Kindergarten and there was nap time after the milk gets passed out.

A few thoughts before we get into Boxing:

♦   You’ll hear this a lot, I’m sure, but Duncan Keith played his best game of the season. I’d love to know why he decided to save it for this long, but we got back our Norris Trophy winner for a night. Keith was all over the place, made smart passes and looked more aggressive and smart than I’ve seen him in awhile.

♦   Niklas Hjalmarsson played only three minutes in the third period after suffering an upper-body injury.

♦   Hi, Marian Hossa, I like when you’re awesome. Pekka Rinne  may as well have been Ray Charles  on that breakaway, because he had no chance. I like this Hossa. I want more of this Hossa. Please can I have more of this Hossa?

♦   No more bitching about calls from that Vancouver game a few weeks ago. I’ve heard people bring it up once a week since how the Blackhawks got hosed. That makes two phanton goaltender interference calls that negated goals for the opposition, and we won both games. We’re all even. Drop it now.

♦   Why Viktor Stalberg continues to see less than 10 minutes per night boggles my mind. What’s he done so wrong? This looks like another instance similar to when Q got something in his head about Jordan Hendry and he got scratch more than an instant lotto ticket for two months.

♦   Corey Crawford played very well tonight, and his save on Martin Erat right off the initial faceoff to open the game kept Nashville from taking early momentum. If that goal goes in, I might be writing something completely different tonight.

And now, Boxing:

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This Is Getting Old Already: Blackhawks Must Win in Nashville

Photo: LIFE/Getty Images

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.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/24/11)

"You guys miss me yet?!"

Photo:http://newshopper.sulekha.com/

UPDATE: The Atlanta Thrashers have traded Brent Sopel to Montreal for a minor-league prospect and fourth-round draft pick today.

There were eleven former Blackhawks on the ice last night. The two goalies pulled out wins and have been playing really well as of late. The other nine skaters which I count as seven due to one being David Koci and the other Jack Skille produced two points… One was a goal and the other was an assist both were scored by two of the hottest players in the league right now. Lets get another W tonight. Huge four point swing from this game tonight!

Click the jump for updates from the 2/23/11 games
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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/23/11)

"I'm on Fire... and now I think I'm ready to carry this team..."

Photo: http://wild.nhl.com

There were 19 former Blackhawks that played last night two of which were goalies and split their decisions. The other 17 were able to combine for three goals and four assists.

The Coyotes stayed hot beating the Flyers on the road in OT while on the other end of the spectrum the Stars lost again. The Preds, Flames, Stars, Wings, Canucks all lost which is nice because they were all ahead of the ‘Hawks in the standings. The Sharks, Wild, and Phoenix however pulled off victories and stayed ahead of the Hawks.

Hopefully we can play well over the next three games all against Western Conference opponents. Enjoy!

 

Click the jump for updates from the 2/22/11 games

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Blackhawks Beat Writers Seem Reluctant to Ask Tough Questions

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.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/22/11)

"Here we go again..."

Photo: http://www.washingtonpost.com

There were a whopping two former featherheads to take the ice yesterday. One was the newest former ‘Hawk who continued his suckiness while the other was Craig Adams, who well just like Skille didn’t do shit, but he was less crappy than Jackie… No points were scored between the two.

On a different note, the Hawks have won a game in regulation! Hope has been restored… for now.

Click the jump for updates from the 2/21/11 games

(Ha fooled ya, didn’t think I needed a jump for two guys)
Craig Adams – Pittsburgh
13:22 TOI, 5 of 15 on face-offs

Jack Skille – Florida
15:00 TOI, minus two, three shots
Jack added to his amazing plus minus as a Panther and is now a minus eight in the six games he has played for them… Whoopie!

Follow Brandon Spinner on Twitter: @branman111289

or email him at Brandon.Spinner@valpo.edu

B.E.L: Q&A with St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford

Credit: Emily Rasinski, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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

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Fourplay: Boxing with Blackhawks/Penguins/Blues

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

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

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Who Are We Playing? Mix-And-Match Blues Host Blackhawks

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.

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The Birthday Edition of the Phil Esposito (2/21/11)

Happy Birthday Phil!

Photo: http://bleacherreport.com

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

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Suckfest: Boxing with ‘Hawks/BJs

"It's over. Back up the truck. Back it up! Get the bulldozers in here and turn this place into a parking lot."

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.

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Too bad the ‘Hawks stunk, or this guy would’ve had more fun

Paul Irmen in Sec. 109, Row 14 with the help of StubHub and Blackhawk Up

Stubhub and Blackhawk Up were able to come together to give Paul Irmen a great time with two free tickets to Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Must’ve been nice not having to pay for that egg-laying of a performance.

Paul was selected in a random drawing from the Facebook fan page, which nearly 300 people partcipated in. Congrats again to Paul, and thanks to everyone who put their name in the contest. Hopefully we can get StubHub to do this with us more often.

Paul has his own thoughts on the Blackhawks, which he wrote to me in an email this morning.

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Unpleasant Outcomes: Blackhawks Host Blue Jackets

Photo: FoxSports

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.

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Blue Jacket Bashing: BlackhawkUp and Fire That Cannon Exchange Blows

Photo: AP

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.

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Behind Enemy Lines: Q&A with Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline

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

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/18/11)


"Don't worry guys, I'll carry this team..."

Photo: http://bleacherreport.com/gallery/Detroit+Red+Wings+v+Atlanta+Thrashers

Fourteen former featherheads took the ice last night with the two goalies coming up with big wins. Did Khabi have a hangover after his first win in two months the other night or did he step up? The twelve skaters netted two goals and had four assists. Two former Hawks went to the Hospital last night after getting nailed in the face by a puck and another is the Captain of his team and scored his team leading and career highest 20th goal. Lastly the lone Red Wing “spitting noise” (ask Tim would say) had a huge game as well against the Lightning.

Click the jump for updates from the 2/17/11 games

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BlackhawkUp & StubHub Have YOUR Seats for the Columbus Game

Anybody out there free to go to the Blackhawks’ game against Columbus at the United Center on Friday? How does Section 109, row 14 sound to you?!?

At midnight tonight, BlackhawkUp is giving away these two excellent tickets to tomorrow’s game, courtesy of the generous folks at StubHub.com.

Here’s what you do. Go to our Facebook page, find the status that announces this contest, and “Like” that status.

Anyone doing so before midnight tonight is eligible. We will draw a winner at random, and announce who the lucky duck is at that time. Tickets are electronic, and will be e-mailed to you shortly thereafter.

It’s our way of saying ‘thanks’ for checking us out and sharing your thoughts with us.

Good luck, and GO BLACKHAWKS!

The Daily Phil Esposito (2/17/11)

"Yup, I am the Shit. Gonna get Stanley Cup number two!"

 Photo: http://phillysportscentral.com/

There were twelve former ‘Hawks to take the ice last night, and that’s if you count David Koci as a skater. He skated for under two minutes so in my book it doesn’t count. They were all skaters and produced six points which were of two goals and four assists. Kris Versteeg picked up his first point as a Flyer as well. Oh and I am starting to agree more and more with Bartl about Jack Skille who has been terrible as a Panther.  

How bout that Western Conference? Nashville, San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas, and Calgary all have 68 points which take up the remaining five playoff spots. The Kings are a point off with 67, and then falls Minnesota with 65 then the ‘Hawks with 64. Going to be a very tight race to the finish, and I hope that our boys continue to play how they did in the second and third periods last night.    

Also, I want to have a shout out to Troy Brouwer who in my book, other than Jonathon Toews, he is the MVP of this ‘Hawks team this year. Great job kid, and hopefully Stan Bowman thinks the same and brings him back next year. Enjoy the Espo today and gear up for tomorrow night’s game against Columbus!

Click the jump for updates from the 2/16/11 games

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Winning one for the Gipper: Get Well Boxing with Blackhawks/Wild

"Yes! No curfew tonight! (Chicago Tribune)

Coming home for the first time in three weeks, having their coach in the hospital and sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference after winning the Stanley Cup a year prior seemed enough to motivate the Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

It’s about time.

At this point, whatever it takes to get the job done is fine by me. Granted, no one wants to see Joel Quennivelle in the hospital. We can bitch about how he’s handled the team all season, but his absence was still missed.

The Blackhawks’ 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild was the resurrection of sorts in a few different ways. The ‘Hawks played to their talent, beating a team they needed to beat despite getting hit in the jaw through the first 20 minutes. Marian Hossa was an absolute beast on the ice, and was simply stoned by Jose Theodore to keep him from netting a goal. Some of the shaky goaltending we’ve seen? Not tonight, as Corey Crawford single-handedly kept the ‘Hawks in the game and up a goal in that first period.

Despite all that, the Blackhawks are still four points behind eighth-place Calgary, which beat Dallas 4-2 last night. That may seem pretty bad upon first hearing that, but there’s good news. They’re also only four points out of fourth, as the No. 4 seed and No. 8 seed are all just a single point behind third-place Phoenix.

That’s tighter than Alyssa Milano during her “Who’s the Boss?” days.

And with that, I present your latest edition of “Boxing.” Get well, QStache.

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Wild

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Put Up Or Shut Up: Blackhawks Host Minnesota Wild at the UC

Photo: Getty Images

For a view on the Wild, read Bartl’s interview with Wild.com’s Glen Andresen.

The time for moaning and groaning is over. No more excuses. Sure, we’ve had a lot of illness and injuries. Sure, we don’t have a firm handle on who our “starting” goaltender is — like that designation matters. Sure, everyone’s on pins and needles because there might be another trade coming in the next two weeks. Sure, we’re elbow-deep in a tight playoff race with 10 other teams all shooting for the same five slots in a kill-or-get-killed race to an invisible finish line.

Does any of this matter? Verily I say unto thee, it does not. The name of the game is HOCKEY. Pass, shoot, score. Forget the press, forget the rumor mill, forget the standings. Forget everything but the fact that in five seconds it’s your shift, and you had better get your ass out there and give 110%. Head up, stick down, anticipate, don’t forget what’s behind you. It’s time to put the blinders on, fellas. It’s crunch time.

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Joel Quenneville Hospitalized

Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman announced at the team’s practice today that Head Coach Joel Quenneville was hospitalized on Tuesday night, having reported being in “extreme discomfort.” Details are being kept private, but Quenneville was apparently kept overnight and will undergo more tests today.

Blackhawks’ team physician Dr. Michael Terry stated that the problem was not cardiac in nature. Quenneville is apparently in stable condition, is resting comfortably in the hospital, and will undergo further testing.

Assistant Coach Mike Haviland will assume head coaching duties for the Blackhawks’ game against the Minnesota Wild tonight at the United Center.

Follow @blackhawksup on Twitter to get the latest news on the Blackhawks throughout the day.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/16/11)

"Oh no... Khabi let in another goal!?! Man this team sucks, wish I was still in Chicago... "

Photo: http://www.puckworlds.com/photos/first-nhl-goal-jordan-eberle/gallery

There were fourteen former featherheads to take the ice last night. The three goalies all had impressive wins and one even broke a long losing streak and will probably get a DUI tonight due to his celebration. The eleven skaters were able to muster up only three assists. A former Stanley Cup Champion played his first game in the uniform in which he helped defeat in the finals, while another got his pen out to sign a big contract extension. The three wild players didn’t fair well tonight so lets hope that this performance carries over into tonight’s game.

Tim will have your preview of tonight’s game which hopefully our beloved Hawks can start a nice winning streak and get into the playoff picture. Interesting fact, there are four teams in the Western Conference with 68 points, they are all ranging from seventh in the standings to seventh. Hopefully the Hawks can take advantage of this and get into that situation. Enjoy today’s post and help cheer on our Blackhawks tonight!

Click the jump for updates from the 2/15/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/15/11)

"I throw my hands up in the air sometimes... Hey remember when we kicked your ass in the Stanley Cup Finals last year? Well now I'm on your side, ok? Oh yea, Chris Pronger is still a prick."

Photo: http://www.life.com/image/101310610

There were five former hawks to take the ice last night and one was packing his bags and moving to a different team. Of the players there was a goalie the other four were skaters. The four skaters produced four points which were all assists. Vrbata continued his hot steak and Craig Anderson shit himself in a backup role against the Red Hot Calgary Flamers.

Click the jump for updates from the 2/14/11 games More >