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
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
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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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