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 >

Behind Enemy Lines: Interview with Wild.com’s Glen Andresen

As Martin Havlat, John Madden, Cam Barker  and the Minnesota Wild once again return to the United Center tomorrow night, I wanted to get a different perspective of the matchup other than the biased opinions that float around these parts.

So, I went to the source. Glen Andresen is the Managing Editor of Wild.com and covers the team through his fantastic blog, View From the Lighthouse. He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about tomorrow night’s matchup, Minnesota’s playoff push, the impact of the All-Star Havlat and an outsider’s view of the 2010-11 Chicago Blackhawks.

Click the jump for the Q&A with Glen Andresen

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Glass-Half-Empty Boxing: Blackhawks Drop Two More

EDITORS NOTE: Tim and Bartl put together a combo post here. Tim has the commentary, Bartl has your shortened version of Boxing from both the Stars and Coyotes games where he breaks down the summary. Enjoy, ya’ll.

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? (Getty Images)

Okay, so the characterization in this article’s title is not entirely accurate. Or is it? The ‘Hawks let two points that they could easily have taken from Dallas and Phoenix slip through their fingers. They ended the road trip with two wins, two outright losses, and two shootout losses over the six-game span. That’s not going to do it, folks.

If the Blackhawks continue this level of performance — one period of coordinated hard work and 40 minutes that look like five guys who only met each other when they took the ice six seconds ago — they are going to find themselves searching for Saturday tee times before the grass in Chicago is really even green.

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Stars/Coyotes

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/14/11)

"I am on FIRE. Can't stop me baby!"

Picture Courtesy of: http://coyotes.nhl.com/club/recap.htm?id=2007020155

This was a crazy weekend in NHL games. There were many former Hawks lighting the lamp this weekend and adding helpers. There were six goals and eight assists tallied by former Hawks this weekend. There was a game with over 300 penalty minutes, several shoot out games (don’t get me started), and several no shows. Oh and the goal tending by former feather heads wasn’t too stellar either. There is enough for you to read so I’ll stop here, hope you had a good weekend and enjoy!

Click the jump for updates from this weekend’s games

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Healing By Degrees: Blackhawks Take On Coyotes

Photo: AP

So what can you say about last night’s game against Dallas? How do you put a positive spin on that? “At least we had a good first period?” “Marty Turco was great up until the shootout?” “We managed to get a point out of it?” “Look on the bright side: we could have been playing the Islanders?”

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Chicago Pucks Cancer Fundraiser / Road Watch /Boynton Screw-up Watch

As most of you have noticed throughout the week on the Facebook page, Chicks Who Give A Puck and Second City Hockey in a joint effort are hosting a fundraising Road Watch on Saturday night. The event will be held at Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake St.). If you are in the area and don’t go, you’re an asshole.

Money raised will go to helping the Young Survival Coalition, which is devoted to helping women under the age of 35 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Since I take the stand of a close friend of mine who lost his mother to breast cancer, I agree with him that cancer “should go play hide and go fuck itself.”

I’ve decided to donate some cash, giving $5 for every Nick Boynton  fuck up in tonight’s game. If he’s scratched, then I will give $20 no matter what. If you add that on to the fact I’m donating $10 just because the ‘Hawks thankfully traded Jack Skille, that’s at least $30 from me going in the pot.

Don’t be an asshole, go visit the official page and donate and come out with all us idiots to watch the ‘Hawks beat Phoenix!

Hopefully Getting Serious: Blackhawks Visit Slumping Stars

Shit! Wrong sweater!

Wednesday was a busy day for the Blackhawks in a couple of ways. The ‘Hawks traded under-performing winger Jack Skille and two forward prospects to Florida for C/W Michael Frolik and what some say is an outstanding young goaltender now playing in Europe. Following that news, the team then took the ice and beat last-place Edmonton in convincing (but by no means impressive) fashion, stopping their losing skid at two games and pulling even on their 6-game road trip.

Hopefully these two events represent a turning point for everyone in the organ-eye-zation. The playoffs are 28 games away, and right now we’re not in them. It appears that Stan Bowman is getting serious, hopefully the team will follow his lead as they head south to take on the Stars.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/11/12)

Can't touch this... Suck it Michael Leighnton

No Western Conference former Hawks took the ice last night, but eight Eastern Conference former Hawks did. They contributed with a Win from a goalie who is having a great year with the possible to be Stanley Cup Champs, and one goal coming from a cyclone.

Click the jump for updates from the 2/10/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/10/11)

The newest Former Blackhawk

There were eighteen former Blackhawks who were skating in the NHL last night, two of which were goalies. One goalie continued to falter while the other one has decided he wants to play, and he has played pretty damn well as of late. The other sixteen players amassed  three goals and four assists. A dick head defense-man continued his career year, and a Yote has scored three goals in the last two games. Former Hawks have been lighting the lamp lately, and tonight we add another former Hawk to that list as Jake Skille has been traded. I liked the guy, but I really like the potential that Frolik adds to this team. What was Dale Tallon thinking? Enjoy folks.

Click the jump for updates from the 2/9/11 games

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Not lacking Skill(e): Boxing with Blackhawks/Oilers

Good riddance, asshole.

I’ve made no secret that I’ve never been a fan of  Jack Skille. He’s a quick skater, but he’s reckless. He can create at times, but he can’t finish. And the last time I saw him make a pass in the offensive zone was when I attended a Rockford IceHogs vs. Chicago Wolves game two years ago.

The only person willing to give up anything of value for Skille was the man who drafted him 7th overall in 2005, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. Well Dale, you can have your bust back. And thanks for the depth at center with 22-year-old, back-to-back 21-goal scorer Michael Frolik.

Don’t let the door… No, let the eff-ing door hit your sorry ass on the way out, Skille. Enjoy the giant bugs and white shoes.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Oilers

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The Comeback Trail: Blackhawks Visit Edmonton

"Duncs said what?"

The reaction following Monday’s loss to Calgary was swift and severe. Duncan Keith’s F-bomb from the post-game interview expressed the frustration felt by players, coaches and fans alike: no matter what the solution is, the ‘Hawks need to find it. Fast.

Tonight’s game will most likely tell the tale. Are the Blackhawks going to learn from this, get their shit together and start playing like they are capable of? Or are they going to fold and let the teams in the highly-competitive Western Conference relegate them to the “also-ran” category for the post-season?

Tuesday the Blackhawks were greeted at practice with what’s called a ‘bag skate.’ The precise origin of the phrase is a point of contention, but the definition is undisputed: doing skating drills so hard for so long that somebody starts shouting groceries. Watch the movie ‘Miracle’ for a classic example. In pre-season it is sometimes used to help whip summer-softened players into game shape. With 30 games to go in the regular season, this was punishment.

So the message has been sent, and received. Monday’s performance was crap, it won’t be tolerated, and the time to start playing up to expectations is right fucking now.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/9/11)

"Shut out? I thought you meant Shoot Out.."

Nine former Hawks were on ice last night in the NHL. Two points were recorded, one of each a goal and an assist. The one backstop that played picked up his second consecutive shut out which makes me sick to my stomach. There are eight games on the schedule for tonight including a big game in Detroit between the Pred’s and the Wings.  That’s all I have for today, enjoy today’s Espo and stay tuned later for Tim’s Preview of tonight’s game in Edmonton.

Click the jump for updates from the 2/8/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/8/11)

"This is normally the only time a can get a puck in the net, is during skate around. Normally I just skate around and get my ass kicked, but today I actually decided to play hockey!"

There were fourteen former Featherheads to take the ice last night. One was a goalie who continued his winning streak, while the thirteen skaters came out to play scoring six goals and four assists. We even had a Colin Fraser sighting! This is remarkable. Shout out and big thank you to Meredith Gross, a dedicated follower to the site who has contacted me with kind words. Keep the emails and tweets coming guys! Hope you enjoy today’s edition, I have added a lot of side commentary today.

Click the jump for updates from the 2/7/11 games

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Blackhawks need some luck? Look no further than eBay!

Boxing with ‘Hawks/Flames coming up this afternoon…

As the season nears a stretch in which every game is important for our beloved Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to simply make the playoffs in the airtight Western Conference, it’s never a problem to have Lady Luck kneeling down in front of you.

Or even Old Man Luck… ?

Yes, ‘Hawks fans, this “Chicago Blackhawks Official Good Luck Garden Gnome” can be yours for the low price of $22.44! And fear not if you’re late reading this post. There’s THREE available! Please do not go running each other over electronically to get your weather-resistant good luck charm as the ‘Hawks fight for a play off spot.

If you’re one of those fans who believes the Blackhawks’ playoff chances are a coin flip, then you can’t lose! Feast your eyes on the “Chicago Blackhawks Good Luck Novelty Lincoln 2010 Penny!” All your luck can be wrapped up in Honest Abe for the low, low price of $3.99!

Happy bidding, ‘Hawks fans. Another losing streak and purchasing these items may not seem so crazy.

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Scorched Earth Policy: Red Hot Flames Host Blackhawks

Yay! Now Mr. Feaster won't fire us!

The Calgary Flames lost in a shootout to Los Angeles on Saturday, ending their 6-game winning streak. In the last 10 games, the Flames are 7-1-2. That’s 16 points out of a possible 20 — more than the last-10-game stretch for any other team in the Western Conference, and topped only by Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in the East. They have earned enough points to now leap-frog the Blackhawks in the Western Conference standings by a single point. To say this team is “streaking” is like saying the sun is kinda warm.

Jay Feaster’s ascension to the GM post has had its desired effect, so it seems.

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The Weekend Phil Esposito (2/7/11)

Brent Sopel Sighting! Good to see the guy doing well, he is a great guy.

There were many former Blackhawks to take the ice the past four days. Only three goals were scored and only four assists during these games. The goalies showed some very good success but others showed some pretty shit performances which have been expected from them as of late. There was a Brent Sopel sighting this weekend as well. I will keep the talk short so you can read about the many of games and guys that have played. Also sorry for no post on Friday, my internet went out. Hope you enjoy!

Click the jump for updates from the weekend’s games

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Effort ain’t enough: Boxing with Blackhawks/Canucks

QStache said it. I’ve heard and read others say it….

If the Blackhawks play this way the rest of the season, the playoffs will be a lock and they’ll make some noise on top of it.

Me? I’m not buying that for a second.

The problem with that statement is that we’ve said it way too often. There’s a consistent thought among us fans that we need to take the positives out of a season like this, especially knowing how embarrassing it will be for the ‘Hawks to miss the playoffs after winning the Stanley Cup just last season.

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Canucks, 2/4/11

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