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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