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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What, YOU again? Hawks visit Canuckleheads

"I'm telling you, it's KEH-sha! Not KEEE-sha! And she's (*OOOF!*) HOT!

Canada is known for its pacifism, however if you wear a Blackhawks jersey in downtown Vancouver you’re likely to get the snot beaten out of you. Mention the Canucks in Chicago, and the response will likely be, “Yeah, we’ve had their number for years.” Mention the ‘Hawks in Vancouver, and you’re likely to get spit on. They HAAAAYYYYTTTEEE us up there. And with good reason.

We bounced them out of the playoffs the last two years in a row, when they were convinced that they were going all the way.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (2/3/11)

"New team... Still a dick"

There were eleven former Feather-heads on the ice last night, with one being the Stanley Cup winning goaltender. That goaltender got his 14th win to put his record above the .500 mark for the season while the other goal tender would be better off in the jail cell he deserves to be in…  The other nine skaters were able to score one goal and one assist coming from unlikely players. I have included some comments about the league and other teams as well as tidbits on some of the players. Enjoy.

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

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The Snowy Daily Phil Esposito (2/2/11)

"Thank you Nick Boynton for being a douche bag and letting me shoot at your face. By the way, thanks for letting it go in the net too!"

There were 22 former Hawks to take the ice last night, which is as many inches of snow as some of our area has seen over the last 24 hours. The two goalies got no decisions, while the 20 skaters were able to produce three goals and five assists, amassing eight points. Hope that everyone is safe and sound in their house and this epic snowstorm didn’t destroy any of your property. As a Meteorology major I have been watching the development of this storm since Saturday and it is a truly amazing storm. Just be safe out there and dont shovel too much. Hopefully you can get out of this mess! Enjoy the Espo, hopefully it warms you up a little!

Click the jump for updates from the 2/1/11 games

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Blown away: Boxing with ‘Hawks/BJs

Hey, did anyone realize it’s snowing outside? I wasn’t sure until every single person’s Facebook status told me. My windows that are clear and easy to look out of must be broken.

At least the Blackhawks got their six-game road trip off to a good start, even if they didn’t play like they’ll need to Friday in Vancouver.

The penalty kill continued to shine, the ‘Hawks actually took advantage of a 5-on-3 and Jonathan Toews was, well, Jonathan Toews.  The 7-4 victory wasn’t always a walk in the park, but Marty Turco’s big stop on Jakub Voracek to keep the game tied 3-3 was all I needed to validate a rather surprising start.

I’m going to let Boxing do most of the talking tonight, as it makes it’s triumphant return. Without further ado…

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Blue Jackets, 2/1/11

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Enough Putzing Around: Blackhawks Visit Columbus BJs

Didn't want to draft me, huh Kaner? Wait until we get back to Chicago...

Sure, the Blackhawks had a great time down in Raleigh rubbing elbow pads with the rich and famous. Sure, Patrick Sharp was named MVP of the All-Star Game with a goal and four (that’s right, I saw the replays, FOUR) assists. Sure, Patrick Kane tossed a did-he-just-do-that saucer pass to former mate Dustin Byfuglien that he buried so deep in the net the refs had to use repelling gear to retrieve it. Sure, Jonathan Toews did a spin-o-rama move before potting one of his own. Sure, even former Blackhawk Martin Havlat had a decent night, and every current and former Blackhawk on the ice on Sunday ended up on the scoresheet. And sure, aside from all the shenanigans in Dixie, Brian Campbell got engaged.

Hopefully our arms aren’t still sore from patting ourselves on the back, are they boys? Because vacation’s over. Enough putzing around. It’s time to go to work. Now listen up.

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The Daily (All-Star) Phil Esposito (1/31/11)

"Coz' every girl's crazy 'bout a Sharp Dressed Man"

There were two former and four current Hawks to take the Ice in the All-Star game and they all played for team Lidstrom except for Patrick Sharp who was the All-Star Game MVP.

Click the jump for the update for the All-Star game

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Hello, Hockey World. My name is Patrick Sharp

"Quick. Come see how good looking I am!" (AP)

Most of  Patrick Sharp’s popularity stems from his good looks.

Now, he’s the most handsome All-Star Game MVP there’s ever been.

This award wasn’t for his victory in a random Internet Sexiest NHL Player contest, nor did Sharp Dressed Man play after any of his accomplishments on a national stage — a goal and two assists. It just so happens his star shined brighter than any other Sunday in Raleigh.

Not bad for a guy who gets roughly the fifth-most attention on his own team.

It’s no secret Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa are the most talked-about Blackhawks. The fans voted in the first three, despite Sharp having a better season when the ‘Hawks needed it most with the departures and injuries.

Hell, Sharp wasn’t even on the damn ballot.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/27/11)

"Man, I can't stop a nose bleed... oh man I am drunk"

18 former hawks took the ice last night, and the only point was a goal by Mr. Energy Adam Burish. The three goalies lost all their games. Hope you enjoy your last edition until after the All-Star game.

Click the jump for updates from the 1/26/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/26/11)

"I scored a game winning goal? Take that Crosby!"

There were eleven former featherheads on the ice last night and they combined to score two points which were both goals. Tonight is the last night which there will be games before the All-Star break until games start back up next Tuesday. I will have an All-Star Espo for former Hawks that do play in the game out next Monday.

With this being the All-Star break, I will put out my two cents of the Hawks this season. First of all after watching last nights game I am sick to my stomach. The inconsistency is killing me. The defense seems to have bad habits of being out of position and have left Corey and Marty out to dry a lot this season.

Another thing that I have beef with is that Kaner needs to put on his big boy pants and step up. He has been better of late but still needs to start racking up points. All season I have listened to Bartl bad mouth Skille and I kind of disagreed with him until the last couple games. He had showed a lot of hustle but he makes dumb mistakes and he looks like he is trying to hard to make things happen and that has led to many mistakes. On top of that Stalberg needs to start playing like the guy that Bowman said he was. Nick Boynton sucks. Lastly Dave Bolland who has been playing well of late, needs to start being consistent on face-offs and act like he cares.

I have a lot more to say but I will leave the rest of the analysis to Bartl and Tim for now. I just wanted to get my frustration of my chest. Hope you enjoyed my rant and the rest of today’s edition of the Espo.

Click the jump for updates from the m/d/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/25/11)

So the picture up loader wouldn’t upload the image today sorry, so you will have to mentally picture Tim Brent.. Don’t know what he looks like? Ehh most of us dont.

There were eight former feather heads to put on the skates last night, and they were able to produce four points; two goals and two assists. Three of the points came from an unlikely source, TIM BRENT.  Enjoy.

Click the jump for updates from the 1/24/11 games

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The Daily (Weekend Edition) Phil Esposito (1/24/11)

New team... Still a Dick. Do have to admit, would love to have his offense this season though.

There were four games Friday night in which just four former hawks played in. The scored two points all coming from the DICK, umm I mean James Wisniewski who is having a career year, while he is playing musical teams.

On Saturday there were twenty-two former feather heads to take the ice. Three goalies had a 1-2 record. The one win came from the net-minder that took 2 mil to go to San Jose, rather than to stay with the Hawks. The other nineteen skaters produced just four points, with two of goals and assists.

Sunday there were four former hawks to take the ice and one wanna-be hawk that took the gym floor. The former hawks were unable to produce a single point, but the hopeful hawk put his first goal in the back of the net in his first game of the season. For more information on that scroll down to the bottom. I have mixed feelings for the hawks performance this weekend… Played great on Saturday but not so well Saturday. Kind of two face-ed. Hope you enjoy weekend edition of the Espo!

Click the jump for updates from this weekends games

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Stanley Cup Rematch: Chrissy and Company Visit The Champions

Nice gams, ya poodle molester...

Has it really been seven months?

Seven months and twelve days, to be exact. The rosters have changed somewhat, the puck is still missing, and Chris Pronger is still a consummate fucktard. Philadelphia still has goaltending problems, Chicago is still relying on a rookie netminder to carry the load, and I think we’ll see later today that these two teams still hate each other’s living guts.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/21/11)

Man do I miss this guy even if he didn't produce many points...

In twelve games last night there were nineteen former feather heads to take the ice. The two goalies split there decisions, while the skaters scored eight points; one goal and seven assists. I hope you enjoy the Espo today, and I will have this weekends wrap up on Monday. Enjoy the two Hawks games this weekend hope they an get four points!

Click the jump for updates from the 1/20/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/20/11)

"I taught Madden everything he knows."

There were seven former hawks who took the ice last night totaling three goals and two assists to total five points. All of the points came from Wild men… Enjoy.

Click the jump for updates from the 1/19/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/19/11)

"Wow... 5 goals in two days? I always imagined what it felt liek to be Stamkos..".

former hawks took the ice two being goalies wile the other 13 were skaters. One goalie extended an impressive losing streak, while the skaters added eight points, 4 of each goals and assists. One former Hawk recorded a hat-trick added to an impressive last two games. Also a bit on how a former Stanley Cup Champion Hawk changed jerseys yet again. Hope you enjoy.

Click the jump for updates from the m/d/11 games

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Sin And Redemption: Blackhawks Split Weekend Series

"Nice of you to join us, there, Toewsy!"

Another third period collapse cost the Blackhawks a point on Saturday, and it was only due to remarkable goaltending on the part of Corey Crawford that they managed to keep it to one. But the story was different on Sunday, as the Blackhawks erupted for four goals in the third period, turning up the gas and stuffing the previous night’s loss down the Predators’ throats.

Additionally it was a weekend that showed some of the areas of weakness the Blackhawks need to work on: between the two games their superstar forwards scored only one of the ‘Hawks’ eight goals; penalty killing was heinous; and the predictability of the Blackhawks’ shootout participants means everyone but the greenest of rookie goaltenders knows who is shooting, in what order, and where they will be aiming for.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/18/11)

"Its been a while since I actually did something positive!"

There were 13 former hawks to take the ice last night amassing a total of just one goal and one assist. The on goalie won his second game in a row and his name is Antti Niemi. Hope you enjoy this edition of the Espo. I don’t know what I am going to do this week without any hawks games… Might actually do homework for once…

Click the jump for updates from the 1/17/11 games

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The Daily (Weekend) Esposito (1/17/11)

"Holy shit... I actually did something? Maybe coach might make me captain again... Nahh I still suck"

This edition of the Espo has the games from Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday the former hawks had a good night. Antti got his first win in a while and the skater had ten points scoring three goals and seven assists. (Pretty good production from these guys.) On Sunday there were seven ex-Feather heads to take the ice. The two goalies split their decisions. The one win came from the goalie who is playing his ass off this season and the other one got a DUI in the crease… The skaters produced four goals totaling 14 points for the weekend, seven of both goals and assists. Hope you enjoy this edition and had a good weekend. Was a loooong weekend for this college kid… But at least the Hawks got 3 of 4 points possible.

Click the jump for updates from this weekends games

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Into The Lions’ Den: Home-And-Home With Nashville

I heard you used to me good, old man...

The Chicago Blackhawks have an important two games this weekend with the division rival Predators, who just had a six-game win streak come to an end with a 3 – 2 loss to Florida. We know this team and their strategy well: aggressive two-man forecheck; three-across modified trap defense; and stingy — but not impenetrable — goaltending.

The Preds are 2nd in the league in goals against, but 24th in goals scored. Their leading scorer Patrick Hornqvist has a whopping 13 goals. Patrick Sharp has 25 goals, and the Blackhawks have 6 players with 10 goals or more.

So the key for this weekend will be breaking out of our zone, smashing through their defense, and pummeling their goaltender. Also mission-critical: ZERO mistakes in our own zone. Having Nick Boynton out of the lineup should help to minimize that problem. We lost the first two games to these guys this season, but took the third in a definitive 4 – 1 victory at home on December 22 — battering goaltender Anders Lindback with 35 shots. Repeat that performance, and we’re golden.

So that’s the Predators in a nutshell: now on to more important matters. There are several things to be on the lookout for with the Blackhawks, first among them rookie goaltender Corey Crawford. Craw-daddy has a 120+ minute shutout streak going, and will start again tonight in Nashville.

First up, let’s dispense with the “gotta be a record” talk. The modern era record is 323 minutes set by Brian Boucher with Phoenix in 2004. But the longest shutout streak in the history of the NHL is held by Alec Connell of the Ottawa Senators back in 1927 — 461 minutes, 29 seconds. Seven and a half games.

But the really interesting talk involves a certain trophy that starts with a ‘C’ that is given to the top rookie in the NHL. This, to my way of thinking, is the Chicago media types getting WAY ahead of themselves and creating something fun to write about.

After all, when Steve Mason won the rookie of the year back in 2008-09 he racked up 33 wins. Corey Crawford is currently at 15, and there are 37 games left in the season. Assuming he gets 4 out of 5 starts, he’d have to win 18 of those 30 games to meet Mason’s mark. Not that 33 wins is the minimum requirement, I’m just saying — it’s a long shot. Let’s be happy that we have a hot starter with a strong, veteran waiting in the wings, and hope it continues.

The other thing to keep an eye on will happen when the puck drops, and will be invisible to the naked eye. Rookie defenseman Nick Leddy is playing his 10th game with the Blackhawks tonight. The minute the puck drops, Nick Leddy is likely to be with the Blackhawks for the rest of the season.

The ten-game threshold is the point at which the team “burns” the first year of Leddy’s entry-level contract. That means that the team has decided that Leddy is ready for the NHL, and is willing to back up that opinion by tossing aside a half-million dollars. From a practical perspective, the team would not breech this limit without a firm intention to keep Leddy in Chicago for the remainder of the season. No sense in blowing 500 large if you aren’t going to get your money’s worth.

Get used to seeing Nick Leddy as the fifth D-man with the Blackhawks. A welcome change.

Game time is 7:00pm tonight in Music City. TV is Comcast SportsNet, broadcast radio is WGN AM-720, and XM subscribers can find the game on channel 239.

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Too Many Men on the Site

The Daily Phil Esposito (1/15/11)

"Hello Cap-tioon." - Martin Laurenc, Bad Boys ll

There were nine former hawks to take the ice last night. Eight of them were skaters who only were able to produce one goal, which was by a fine Ladd-y. The one goalie to play decided to get off his ass and start playing… and put up an impressive performance.

Click the jump for updates from the 1/14/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/14/11)

Shout out to my boy Snoopy.

There were 12 former Hawks to take the ice last night, and they were only able to record one goal… it came from a Tropical Cyclone. (Get it? Hurricane? Sorry it’s a Meteorologist thing…) Interesting that Kris Versteeg didn’t play, could not find out why. Have head some trade rumors with Kris Versteeg going to a couple of places, and I will keep you updated on that. Hope you enjoy!

Click the jump for updates from the 1/14/11 games

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/13/10)

"I stayed on the bull for the full 8 seconds!"

Very busy night for the former hawks last night, in that there were only two skaters to take the ice. On his off night, John Madden went partying but managed to keep his shirt on, while Khabibulin got drunk and drove home. No big deal. The two former hawks that did take the Ice did as much as the two who were in the United Center last night, which is nothing. The two Av’s players didn’t play, they watched the Hawks shut them out, and how bout that? Our boys look like they make have figured some things out. Killing penalties and scoring on different lines, Ill leave the evaluation to Bartl, but I think he might actually be happy with this outcome. Enjoy!

Click the jump for updates from the 1/13/11 games

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Bumbles Bounce: Avalanche Make Final Visit To Chicago

The Colorado Avalanche are an enigma. They are 3 – 5 – 2 in their last 10 games, the most recent of which were a win over Detroit and losses to the Islanders and Phoenix. But the start of the season they were on a tear, and they currently sit one point ahead of Chicago in the Western Conference standings.

There is simply no telling which Avalanche team is going to show up on any given night with this bunch. They could skate circles around the team leading the league in points, or they could give up 6 goals to some cellar dweller.

However, we know one thing: they’ve beaten the Blackhawks three times already this season, including back-to-back defeats in a home-and-home in mid-December. So the four-game season series is blown: now we’re just playing for the two points, and pride.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/12/11)

"Holy Shit! I actually Did something tonight! LETS PARTY!"

There were 19 former feather heads to put on a different jersey and take the ice last night, recording two goals and four assists. The two goalies lost both of their games and continue with their bad losing streaks. Tuomo Ruutu has been a beast lately. Enjoy!

Click the jump for updates from the 1/2/11 games

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