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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Roundtable: Blackhawk Up, SCH, Hockee Night, Fifth Feather, TTMI

Matt McClure of Second City Hockey sent out a few questions for us idiots to discuss now that we have just passed the midway point of the season. The answers come from myself, Forklift of Hockee Night, Sam Fels of The Committed Indian, SCH and NBC.com’s Madhouse Enforcer, the Fifth Feather and Chris Block of The Third Man In. Enjoy, ya’ll.

McClure: All right men, it’s been far too long since we’ve done one of these. It seems like it’s a decent point in the season to do one so let’s get at it, shall we?

1) What do you see as being wrong with Duncan Keith to this point in the season, and can it be fixed?

Forklift: I’m hoping it’s something as simple as him being a little overwhelmed at being paid $8 million, and is trying to do too much. You can see where he’s just not simplifying his game – looking for that one extra pass, shooting where there’s no lane, playing with the puck too much. All things that are not part of the Duncan Keith game. 

I’m envisioning the solution being R. Lee Ermey walking into the Hawks’ dressing room and yelling at him “What’s the matter with you, boy? You’re DUNCAN KEITH!!! Start playing like you’re DUNCAN KEITH!!! Do you understand me???”

Fifth Feather: At this point in the season, other than blasting shot after shot off shin guards, he’s been alright.  His start to the season is what everyone remembers now, but the mistakes Keith has been making lately (poor angles, firing the puck away without looking, etc.) are all things he’s been doing his whole career.  So I’m not sure those things will ever be wholly rectified.  

The difference between last year and this year was his shot finding the back of the net with a bit more regularity and his mistakes weren’t as glaring because when he did make them, it was Huet’s fault or the opposition didn’t capitalize on them.

Bartl: I’m inclined to side with The Feather here, because a lot of his mistakes are things we’ve seen before. The difference seems to be they’re happening a lot more frequently than last season. Maybe he’s over-thinking, trying to anticipate the opponent’s forecheck rather than than reacting to what it gives him to work with. The blind passes are more frequent, and when he does hold possession, he seems to be holding it too long. Far too many times he’s been caught dilly-dalying with the puck as the opposition moves on in him force a turnover or at least slow down the ‘Hawks attack. Then there’s the obvious blind shots without finding a lane before firing. Whether or not it can be fixed depends on him dealing with the mental side of getting over his mistakes, in my opinion.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/11/11 Weird)

HAHA Thats cute...

4 Games last night, in which 6 former featherheads played. One point was recorded which was an assist from Kris Versteeg. Oh and Detroit *Spitting Noise* lost, making me a very happy guy. Enjoy folks…

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

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/10/11)

"Well this sucks... I have only won 6 games that weren't against the Blackhawks...".

In five games last night, there were 11 former hawks to take the ice. T10 of them were skaters who scored three points, one goal and two assists. The points were scored by guys that were part of the same deal, one to bring him to the hawks and the other to send him to Carolina, Tuomo Ruutu and Andrew Ladd. Both of them are on a pretty good streak. Enjoy the post as well as the Hawks beating two teams that they should have, glad that they annihilated the Islanders last night. Happy for Corey too.

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

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Better than your worst: Twice the Boxing with ‘Hawks/Senators/Islanders

As usual, Mondays after two weekend games gets you a double dose of Boxing. Boom

"That's my puck, baby! Don't you EVER touch my puck!" (Chicago Tribune)

I can sit here and say, “Yeah we got four points, but look at the competition,” but I may be in the minority of people who say the Blackhawks could be turning a corner.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s because the ‘Hawks played spectacular in Friday’s 3-2 shootout win against the Ottawa Senators and Sunday’s 5-0 win against the New York Islanders. They didn’t.

The reason I bring up the possibility of a stretch of improved play is simply because of momentum. Sometimes, a couple of crappy wins can turn out to be the saving grace for a struggling team. The reason? The players remove the word “crappy” and look at the bare basics: A win is a win.

There won’t be any bold predictions from me guaranteeing this, nor will I say it cannot happen. But I’m leaning more on the side of this weekend being good for the Blackhawks’ 2011. Maybe it’s just the meatball in me.

Patrick Kane looks like he’s finally fully healthy. More importantly, he looks like he cares. His Give A Fuck has been broken for most of this season, so hopefully that got repaired along with his ankle.

The penalty kill still blows, though they killed their one against the Isles. That ended five straight de-pants-ings on the kill.

And how about dat der Corey Crawford guy der. First shutout of the season Sunday, and it was well deserved.

Not gonna waste a ton of time going over two games you’ve already seen, so here’s Boxing. As always, click the images to enlarge.

First up, ‘Hawks/Sens from Friday…

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Sens, followed by ‘Hawks/Isles

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/9/11)

"Yea... I"m a dick"

Eleven games last night with sixteen former hawks taking the ice, resulting in five points. Two were goals the other three were assists. Not a lot of comments today, just a couple tid-bits and an update on Benny Eager. Enjoy. Have a good end to your weekend. Lets get a W tonight and take all four points for this weekend.

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

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/8/11)

"I am on FIRE!"

There were seven games that took place last night, with 13 former feather-heads, one was a goalie, the other 12 were skaters. There is lots in store in this version of the Daily Esposito. I have a lot of side comments on the players so I will keep this short. Just glad the Hawks got a win last night, made me a happy guy. Hope you enjoy today’s post!

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

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Quorum Call: Hawks Try To Filibuster Senators

"Two more years of this shit..."

Go to the Senators home page, click on “News.” You’ll laugh your ass off.

“Senators Working Towards Major Turnaround.” “Alfredsson: We believe that we can be better.” “Sens GM Maintains Belief Turnaround Is Possible.” “Senators Carrying Optimism Into Season’s Second Half.”

Translation: “We know we suck, we’ll try to do better.”

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/7/11)

"Do you dare me to take my shirt off?"

There were 15 former hawks to take the ice last night, 13 of which were skaters who amassed four points, two goals and two assists. The two goalies split their matchups. Good game in Montreal between the Canadians and the Penguins. Both goalies stood on their heads which led to a shoot out, where there were 0 total shots taken, and only one goal…

Click the jump for updates from the 1/6/11 games

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