Mamas’ Boys: Blackhawks Try To Stop The Bleeding In Los Angeles

The Blackhawks held a team meeting on Monday, likely to discuss the three game losing streak and the most recent loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night. We will never know exactly what was said at the gathering, though we will get the usual barrage of cliches and platitudes: “Our best players have to be our best players,” and other meaningless Yogi Berra-isms.

But what *should* they be saying? Is it time for a Come To Jesus Meeting about defensive responsibility? Should Coach Joel Quenneville start separating the men from the boys, call out the kids to start stepping things up and show them one-way tickets on the Rockford Shuttle? Should Captain Jonathan Toews start naming names of vets who aren’t pulling their weight and reaming them a new sphincter?

Or, should the team just invite their mothers to the meeting?

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STATS Game: Blackhawks vs. Kings

THE FACTS

The BLACKHAWKS are …

… 20-17-3 (T-4th, Central)
… 8-7-3 on the road
… 4-5-1 in their last 10 (Lost 3)
… 6-4-1 against the Pacific Division
… 16-7-2 when scoring first
… 16-3-1 when leading after 2nd period

The KINGS are …

… 22-15-1 (4th, Pacific)
… 13-4-1 at home
… 5-5-0 in their last 10 (Lost 3)
… 4-5-0 against the Central Division
… 17-4-0 when scoring first
… 12-0-0 when leading after 2nd period

THE MATCHUP

POWER PLAY: Blackhawks, 24.8% (1st) ; Kings, 17.7% (14th)
PENALTY KILL: Blackhawks 79.0% (25th) ; Kings 84.4% (8th)

» The Blackhawks have won the last two meetings in L.A., including a 2-1 victory Nov. 27
» The ‘Hawks haven’t won three straight in L.A. since winning two in 1996 and another in 1997

» Victorious Boxing with ‘Hawks/Kings: Oct. 27, Nov. 27, Dec. 19

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Click the jump for more STATS

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Sorry, Mom: Boxing with ‘Hawks/Ducks

"I didn't get my ass kicked like this when I was playing offense. WTF, man?!" (Chicago Tribune)

This time, the Blackhawks’ mothers got to witness the ‘Hawks fall into a last-place tie in the Central Division. How sweet of the kids.

The Blackhawks’ 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks offered some good things to take away from it. However, despite the fact the ‘Hawks outshot the Ducks 40-19, that disparity is a bit deceiving.

Yes, the ‘Hawks controlled the puck for damn near all of the third period when they held a 19-2 shot advantage. The problem is that most of those 19 shots didn’t offer many quality chances. Rather than being impressed with the ‘Hawks puck possession, I’m inclined to give the credit to the Ducks being able to keep the ‘Hawks from the net for most of the period.

Viktor Stalberg had the game tied when he put a wrister toward an open net from just a few feet out with Jonas Hiller sprawled across the crease. Then  Dave Bolland, who saw Hiller down and watched Stalberg get ready to put the puck on the net, decided an attempt at a re-direct to fool the goaltender who wasn’t there. I can understand Bolland being in the moment, but I can’t remember the last time I saw someone attempt to re-direct a shot taken from that close. Stalberg put his arms up thinking it was a sure goal, then realized what happened. That fucking sucked.

To the ‘Hawks credit, they tried to do everything they could to get another one past Hiller, who played outstanding. Hiller even made a ridiculous initial save on Bryan Bickell’s goal before Bicks poked it through.

As you’ll notice in Boxing, the ‘Hawks were murdered at the dot. The chance of Jonathan Toews playing against the Los Angeles Kings becomes much more needed after witnessing that shit show.

There’s a mystery why Jake Dowell got benched in the third period, and hopefully Q gives us an explanation. Not a mystery? Tomas Kopecky has been playing like a pile of dog shit.

The Blackhawks’ 20-17-3 record puts them at exactly .500 and in last place while the rest of the division has games in hand. The official midway point of the season is tonight, and the ‘Hawks are currently looking up the ass of 10 teams in the Western Conference. I’m not going to hop in front of a Blue Line train just yet, but it’s also time to start realizing our Stanley Cup champs have to fight for a playoff spot in the second half.

Hey, at least we got a break from the sack of nipples that is Nick Boynton.

Without further ado, here’s Boxing. Click the images to enlarge

Click the jump for Boxing with ‘Hawks/Gordon Bombays

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/3/11)

"Man where did all these people in the UC go? Oh wait, thats right I'm in Atlanta where no fans ever come to the game."

In 8 games played last night there were 15 former Hawks that took the ice, with 13 of them being forwards. The two goalies split decisions while the skaters posted eight points, with three goals scored and five helpers. A hot-headed blue liner also stayed hot by adding a couple tallies. Enjoy. I am unsure if there will be an Espo tomorrow due to myself  my 3rd knee surgery in the past three years today at 2 pm. If I am stable enough to do it, I will have it posted. Hopefully the Hawks can pull a win out tonight too…

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

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Bring A Barrel: Blackhawks Arrive In Anaheim for Shooting Practice

Tonight in Anaheim we will witness a meeting of two leaderless hockey teams. The Anaheim Ducks have lost Captain Ryan Getzlaf after he took a puck to the face in the Ducks’ game against the Coyotes on December 28th. He has been diagnosed with multiple nasal sinus fractures, and is listed as being out indefinitely.

Blackhawks’ Captain Jonathan Toews fell awkwardly into the boards with a man on top of him during the Blues game a week ago, and suffered a shoulder injury. He is listed as day-to-day, and was skating at practice on New Year’s Day — a nice present for ‘Hawks’ fans to start 2011. Turns out Captain Serious is also Captain I Dare You To Try To Stop Me From Skating.

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STATS Game: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Anaheim Gordon Bombays

“Bombay was a Hawk?”

Not in real life, thank the higher power. We’ve got enough problems with injuries that an alcoholic attorney with a bum knee wouldn’t quite fit in.

Here’s another edition of STATS Game, breaking down some facts regarding today’s matchup in Anaheim. Enjoy

THE FACTS

The BLACKHAWKS are …

… 20-16-3 (T-3rd, Central)
… 8-6-3 on the road
… 5-4-1 in their last 10 (Lost 2)
… 6-3-1 against the Pacific Division
… 16-7-2 when scoring first
… 16-3-1 when leading after 2nd period

The GORDON BOMBAYS are …

… 20-17-4 (4th, Pacific)
… 12-6-1 at home
… 6-4-0 in their last 10 (Won 2)
… 1-8-1 against the Central Division
… 16-3-2 when scoring first
… 12-0-2 when leading after 2nd period

THE MATCHUP

POWER PLAY: Blackhawks, 25.2% (2nd) ; Ducks, 21.0% (8th)
PENALTY KILL: Blackhawks 78.5% (26th) ; Ducks 79.9% (23rd)

» The Blackhawks are 3-13-0 with 2 ties in the last 18 AT Anaheim
» One of those wins was a 4-1 victory Nov. 26

Click the jump for more STATS

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/2/11)

"Wow where did this performance come from?"

There were 11 former feather heads on the ice last night. Nine of which were skaters who amassed seven points. Six of those were by teammates who decided to suddenly emerge and combine for three goals and three assists. Also a drunk goalie played well but his offense screwed him again, and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Goalie stood on his head. I have included a little more after each guy in this segment since there were some interesting facts. Hope you enjoy!

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

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Your Turn Again: December Mail Bag

There were a rousing lot of questions from you BlackhawkUP-sters last month, here’s a sampling…

The Blackhawks seem to be teetering in and out of a playoff spot. That’s not good. What’s the problem? — Chris, Grand Crossing

The Blackhawks got off to a worse-than-average start, and are only now starting to play the kind of hockey we expect from the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Last season they took the “best defense is a good offense” approach, and it worked wonderfully — because they had nearly a dozen credible scoring threats and the most consistent and stingy top-four defensemen in the league (arguably).

They tried to continue with that strategy this season, and it bombed. Neither the offense nor the defense was delivering. In the 15 games starting October 15, the Blackhawks won only 6 of them. Out of the most recent 15 games, they won 9. So essentially we’re playing far better, and just cleaning up the mess we made earlier this season. They keep improving like this, and not only will we make the playoffs, we’ll start on home ice.

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The Daily Phil Esposito (1/1/11)

Happy New Year Kiddies, last night there were 15 former hawks who took the ice, scoring 8 points, 4 of which were goals and the other 4 assists. Including a three point game from a ex-hawk who was just recently traded. Enjoy! Who are you rooting for today? Crosby or Ovechkin?

Click the jump for updates from the 12/31/10 games

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No Other Way To Put This: End The Shootout, Or Else

I have just watched another catastrophic nightmare ending to a critically important hockey game, as Canada and Sweden went to a shootout in the IIHF World Junior Championships. Tied 5 – 5 through overtime, these two undefeated teams then subjected themselves to a skills competition, essentially a slightly more dramatic coin-flip, to decide who won the game.

Yes, I’m from Canada. Yes, the Canadians lost. That’s immaterial. I have this same reaction even when I’m watching a game where the outcome is of zero consequence to me or the teams I cheer for. The utilization of the shootout in ANY hockey game is a tragedy, and an irrefutably heinous marriage of convenience and short attention spans.

The shootout must be banned from any and every league and tournament across the entire spectrum of hockey, from the tiniest Mite house league up to Juniors, College, minor leagues, as well as the NHL and Olympic Games. This must happen without further delay.

Why? One simple and indisputable reason: it is not hockey. Hockey is a game played with five skaters and a goaltender on the ice for each team, a ticking clock, referees, and a puck. Shootouts have few of those characteristics, and in removing the primary elements from the equation it no more resembles hockey than it does a tuna fish sandwich. When fans go to a HOCKEY GAME, they expect to see HOCKEY. They expect the team that they cheer for to play HOCKEY. And most importantly, they want the decision of which team wins or loses to be determined exclusively by the outcome of a game of HOCKEY. It is becoming evident that actions must be taken to ensure that this is the only way in which hockey games are played.

What can be done? Lots. Countries should lobby the IIHF and other international governing bodies to remove the shootout from any sanctioned tournaments. If they do not, they should refuse to send their teams. Fans can call their local NHL and AHL teams and complain, then put their money where their mouths are and make it clear to the teams that their refusal to attend games is exclusively because of the shootout. Colleges and universities can petition the NCAA to abandon the shootout, and fans can vote with their pocketbooks there as well. Finally, parents with kids in hockey leagues should get involved at that level and make it clear that the shootout is an unacceptable way of determining the outcome of a hockey game.

I’m dead serious about this. Football, baseball, basketball, none of them end tie games with a skills competition on any level, amateur or professional. Hockey is disgracing itself merely by considering the possibility of such nonsense; the fact that it has actually been implemented at nearly all levels of the sport — most of whom look to the NHL for guidance in implementing such things — is a loathsome and humiliating disgrace for the sport.

The shootout must go, immediately, from all levels of hockey. If the leagues won’t do it, and the teams don’t care, it’s up to the people who are passionate about the game of hockey to make their voices heard and bring this issue to the forefront.

The fact that the game of hockey is tarnishing its long and storied reputation with such an execrable and treasonous display speaks to the vile nature of those running the sport. They should be ashamed of themselves, and passionate traditionalists should strive at every turn to let them know that.

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