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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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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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
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