Friday, October 30, 2015

5 Different Scorers, Too Much in 5-4 loss to Wild

The Minnesota Wild have been waiting for the Chicago Blackhawks all summer.  After being eliminated by the Hawks for the 3rd straight season in the playoffs, the Wild were hungry for the Hawks who were limping into Minnesota after losing in Winnipeg the previous night.

The Wild jumped on Blackhawks goalie, Scott Darling early, as Jason Zucker whipped a wrister passed him just 18 seconds into the game.  Shortly afterwards, the Hawks found themselves down a man as Viktor Svedberg was called for interference.  Jonathan Toews took things into his own hands, shocker, as he whipped a short-handed shot past Wild goalie, Devan Dubnyk to tie the game at 1.  Six and a half minutes later, on a Blackhawk power play, Brent Seabrook blasted a shot from the point, which was deflected by a Wild player, and into the net, giving the Hawks a 2-1 lead.  Ryan Carter then tied the game, after a Patrick Kane turnover lead to an odd man break as Carter beat Darling high stick side.  Just as the period started with a Wild goal, the period ended with a Wild goal with just 11 seconds left as Charlie Coyle deflected a shot from the point and into the back of the net mercifully ending the period with the Hawks down, 3-2.

The Wild picked up in the second period where they left off.  Three minutes into the period, Jared Spurgeon got by Trevor Van Riemsdyk and snapped a shot off the shoulder of Darling to extend the Wild lead, 4-2.  Midway through the period, Toews started an odd man break, and scored his second of the game on a wrist shot from the top of the far slot, bringing the Hawks within a goal at 4-3.  Just under 3 minutes later, defenseman, Erik Gustafsson, making his NHL debut for the Blackhawks, fed Artem Anisimov a 120 foot pass, and Anisimov back-handed a shot trough Dubnyk to tie the game at 4.  The period would end that way.

In the third, the Hawks were without the services of Marian Hossa, as he did not return after having a reported, lower body injury.  The Wild, once again, jumped on the Hawks early, as Nino Niederreiter jumped on a loose rebound and buried the puck behind Darling and put the Wild back in the lead just 32 seconds into the period.  As the period went on, the Hawks had golden opportunities from Ryan Garbutt and Anisimov, but both missed the net.

Notable mentions: Brent Seabrook extended his scoring streak to five games with his power play goal in the first period.  The Blackhawks went nearly 13 periods without scoring an even strength goal before Toews' 2nd period goal.  Garbutt had been moved to the top line with Toews and Hossa and was making his presence known.  Then Hossa got hurt.

Three Stars Of The Game
1st - MIN - Mikko Koivu (3A)
2nd - CHI - Jonathan Toews (2G)
3rd - MIN - Jason Zucker (1G 1A)

Next Game: Monday, November 1st, Home, versus the Los Angeles Kings, 7:30 P.M. CT


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hutchinson, Jets Cool Off Blackhawks, 3-1

Sometimes there are just some goalies that own another team.  Michael Hutchinson is just that to the Chicago Blackhawks.  Hutchinson and the Winnipeg Jets took down the Blackhawks 3-1, Thursday night.  Hutchinson came up with 45 saves and and answer to almost every shot the Hawks put on net.

It started well for the Blackhawks as Patrick Kane got them on the board early with a power play goal just 1:26 into the game on a nice cross pass feed from Artemi Panarin.  From there, it was all Winnipeg.  Blake Wheeler got the Jets on the board at 8:12 of the first right off of a faceoff win by Bryan Little with a wrist shot that went past Corey Crawford.

In the second period, after Jonathan Toews' second penalty of the game, ex-Blackhawk,  Andrew Ladd capitalized on a rebound attempt after a nice initial save by Crawford.  The Hawks peppered Hutchinson with 18 shots in the period, but couldn't get one passed him.  Crawford made some very good saves to keep the game 2-1 after 40 minutes.

The Jets got an insurance goal midway through third period as Mark Scheifele wristed a shot past Crawford after David Rundblad got caught pinching in the offensive zone.  Marian Hossa had a chance on a breakaway in the period, but Hutchinson once again shut the door.

Notable mentions: Hossa had 8 shots on goal but couldn't find the back of the net.  Tanner Kero made his NHL debut tonight for the Hawks.  He played 11:40 TOI and had 4 shots on goal.  Bryan Bickell found himself back in the lineup tonight for the first time in 4 games.  He was a non-factor getting the smallest amount of ice-time among all Hawk players (8:15) and having just 1 shot on net.  Jet goalie Michael Hutchinson, now in 5 career games against the Hawks, is 4-0-1, 1.19 GAA, .966 SV%, 1 shutout.  Corey Crawford's shutout streak ended at 141:46 minutes of scoreless hockey, when Wheeler scored in the first period.  He ended the night with The Blackhawks have now gone nearly 236 minutes of ice time without scoring a 5-on-5 goal.  They need to find the back of the net as they will be facing a tough Minnesota Wild team tomorrow night.  Scott Darling will be in net for the Hawks.

Three Stars Of The Game: 1st - WPG - Michael Hutchinson (46 Saves, .978 SV%), 2nd - WPG - Mark Stuart - (9 hits, 21:16 TOI), 3rd  WPG - Bryan Little (2A, 19:24 TOI)

Next game: Friday, October 30, against the Minnesota Wild, 7:00p.m.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Toews' 2nd Straight OT Winner Makes Blackhawks Winners Again Beating The Ducks, 1-0

The Anaheim Ducks have not started the season like anyone had thought they would.  Many had them favored to win the Western Conference this year.  Coming into tonight they sat in the basement of the Western Conference (1-5-1), eight points out of a playoff spot.  They've managed only 6 goals in those 7 games.  They've been shutout 4 times.  No one had more than 1 goal.  No one had more than 2 points.  This had all the signs of a trap game for the Chicago Blackhawks.  But the Hawks prevailed as Corey Crawford had 39 saves, and Jonathan Toews ended the game for the second straight game, with an overtime winner.

The game started with the referees not allowing much of anything as 4 penalties were called within the first 8 minutes.  The Blackhawks had two chances in the period with odd man breaks, but one too many passes denied them a possible goal.  Anaheim had the better chances in the period along with the shot advantage, 9-6.  Hawks are just not getting pucks to the net, but, they weathered the storm of a desperate team trying anything to get a goal.

In the second, Corey Perry had an early chance for the Ducks with a breakaway, and he rang one off the post.  The Ducks had a few other prime chances, but when you are in a rut like the Ducks are, bounces are not going to go your way.  The Blackhawks had little pressure put on Duck goaltender Frederik Andersen in the period except for a good chance on a power play and at the end of the period, but the score remained scoreless after two periods.

The third period opened with scoring chances for both teams.  Perry stymied by Crawford.  Andrew Shaw grazes the crossbar on a rebound attempt.  Hampus Lindholm lofts a puck from the blue line that Crawford never saw, and it bounces off the top of the net.  Anaheim peppered Crawford in the 3rd with 19 shots in the period, but Crow stood up to the test.  With just over 5 minutes left in regulation, a bizarre play occurred when Andersen, after going post to post, kicked the net off the moorings as Artemi Panarin buried a shot into an open net.  The goal was disallowed as the puck passed the goal line after the net was dislodged.

So...overtime again.  For the second straight game.  Tied at 0-0.  So...for the second straight game, Jonathan Toews ends the game with an overtime goal worthy of a highlight reel as he wristed a shot in the upper right corner of the net over Andersen's shoulder, glove side.  Did I mention Toews was the best Captain in the NHL?  No??  Hmmm...well...he is.

Notable interests: It took until game 9 of the regular season before the Hawks played a team in the Western Conference.  The Blackhawks were horrible at the faceoff dot losing 34 of 58 draws.  The Ducks have now been shutout for the 5th time in the last 8 games.  A feat that has not been threatened since 1931.  Corey Perry had 8 shots on goal and still does not have a goal this year.  Corey Crawford in his last 4 games (4-0-0, 0.75 GAA, .970 SV%, 2 shutouts).

Stars Of The Game: 1st - CHI - Jonathan Toews (1G), 2nd - CHI - Corey Crawford (39 saves), 3rd - ANA - Frederik Andersen (24 saves)

Next game: Thursday, October 29th, Away, against the Winnipeg Jets, 7:00 PM


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blackhawks Defensemen Coming Up Big Without Keith

The Chicago Blackhawks came into the year with some question marks at defense.  The loss of Johnny Oduya to free agency where he signed with Dallas, the acquisition of Trevor Daley into a new system, the sophomore year of Trevor Van Riemsdyk, the rookie year of Viktor Svedberg, the re-signing of, still injured, Michal Rozsival, and the hopeful thought of a better David Rundblad asks a lot of questions to the bottom half of the defense of a reigning Stanley Cup Champion.  Now with the injury to Duncan Keith and the absence of him in the lineup for the next 4-6 weeks, the defense will be put to the test.  Let's breakdown what we've seen so far, granted it has been early.

Van Riemsdyk has played in all 8 games this year.  He has 2 points (1G, 1A), a +1, 11 blocked shots, and an impressive 18:29 TOI.  In the two games with Duncan Keith out, TVR has seen his TOI move up to an average of 22:44.  He's also seeing a lot more time on the PK, spending over 4 minutes a game killing penalties.  He's joined the rush in some cases creating scoring chances (one of which, resulted in TVR's first NHL goal).

Svedberg has played in 7 games this year.  He has 1 goal, a +1, 13 blocked shots, and a 16:32 TOI average.  This is Svedberg's rookie season and we know how much Quenneville feels comfortable with playing rookies.  They are usually lucky to see 10 minutes a game.  Svedberg is still learning, but considering this year is his first in the NHL, these are impressive rookie numbers.  It's not all about the points.  We all know how important minutes are for a defenseman remembering how many minutes the defense had to play last year in the playoffs.  16:32 is a huge amount of time.  He averages 1:53 of that time killing penalties.  He's made mistakes, but he seems to get better as the season goes on.

Daley has not settled in quite yet with the transition game that the Blackhawks play.  We've seen this with other veterans as well (Richards, Vermette).  Defense is what Quenneville wants his team to be based on.  Daley is an offensive defenseman and will need more time to adjust.  He's made some mistakes, but that happens when you are second guessing of where you should and shouldn't be on the ice.  He has 1 assist in the first 8 games this year, but he has helped anchor the power play unit averaging nearly 2:30 minutes per game.  Overall he is averaging 17:28 TOI a game, but that time should gradually increase as the season goes on.

Rundblad is in his 3rd year with the Hawks.  He has only played in 3 games this year, 2 of which have come now that Keith is out.  He is going to be heavily relied upon to be a steady player in Keith's absence.  The last two games played, he is averaging 14:43 TOI and 3:26 on the PP unit replacing Keith.  He hasn't found the score sheet yet this year and is a -1.  He still makes more mistakes than what you would like to see in a defenseman with 57 games with the team, but we can hope he will get better.  Even though he has been in the league since the 2011-12 season, he has only played in 107 total games in the NHL and has been with 4 different NHL teams.

The grunt work of the defense is going to come from the two players that have 3 Stanley Cup rings with the Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Seabrook has already had a busy year with earning himself worthy of wearing the "A" as alternate captain with the departure of Patrick Sharp.  He also agreed to an 8-year contract extension, keeping him here till hopefully he retires as a Blackhawk.  In the first 8 games of the year, he has 5 points (2G 3A), 15 hits, and 11 blocked shots.  He's spent time on both the power play and penalty kill.  His new contract doesn't kick in until next year, but if there was ever another defenseman the Blackhawks should lock up for life, he was it.  Let's just hope that his hefty salary cap hit starting next year ($6.875mil) won't make things more difficult for GM Stan Bowman down the line in keeping other key members of the team's future.

Hjalmarsson has been one of the most underrated defenseman in the NHL for quite some time.  He's a puck-eater and it shows.  Almost every game he is taking at least one shot that seems to cripple him as he wobbles back to the bench, only to hop back onto the ice for his next shift.  In the 8 games so far this year, he's registered 1 assist, but 19 blocked shots, which leads the team.

Rozsival, who is still recovering from the injury he received in the playoffs last year, is still on long-term injured reserve.  he's scheduled to return in late October or early November.  When he returns and gets back to speed, he will most likely split duties with Rundblad.  Rozsy is entering his 4th season as a Hawk.  Over that time, he has played in 134 games with 33 points (2G 31A), and is a +33.  He's averaged 17:00 TOI over that time.

The Hawks will have to hope no other injuries occur until some players get back from their injuries or they will have to dig deep into their Rockford players, namely Erik Gustaffson Ville Pokka.  Regardless, the defense has done a superb job as the Blackhawks are averaging 2.00 GAA, good for 2nd in the NHL.  Let's hope Coach Q keeps them focused.


Blackhawks Shutout Lightning, 1-0, in Stanley Cup Rematch

The Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning faced off in a rematch of the Stanley Cup Finals from just over 4 months ago.  That entire series, until the last 5 minutes of Game 6, never had either team with more than a one goal lead.  This game would be no different.  The Blackhawks beat the Lightning,1-0, in overtime thanks to a highlight reel goal by Captain, Jonathan Toews and the goaltending of Corey Crawford

The first period  was a very defensive-minded game.  The Lightning play a very similar game to the Blackhawks.  Both teams only had 9 shots on goal.  Being off  for four days, while the Lightning played just last night, advantage should have gone to the Lightning, but the Hawks came well prepared (like Quenneville wouldn't have them that way).  Both goalies played well to keep the game scoreless.  Crawford, and the 23 year old Latvian rookie playing in just his 2nd career NHL game, Kristers Gudlivskis made sure of that.

The second period was more of the same.  The Blackhawks had more pressure and more chances in the period, but either they couldn't find the net or Gudlivskis was there to slam the door.  The Kane/Panarin/Anisimov line had some great chances again and continues to be the team's best line.  Crawford had his share of point blank saves as well.  The Blackhawks outshot Tampa Bay 10-4 in the period.

The third period?  Yep, more of the same as both goalies were on their game and the shots were near even (11-8 in favor of the Hawks).  Crawford made a diving glove save on Erik Condra with 2:34 left in the period to send the game to overtime.

Seventeen seconds, (ring a bell Blackhawk fans?), into the overtime, Toews showed once again why he is the best Captain in the NHL. It was his first goal of the season, but the way he got it, was amazing.  Toews, captured a pass at the Tampa Bay blue line, splits the defense and rushes to the net while having his stick hooked, which was going to draw a penalty.  He had the puck poke-checked by Gudlivskis, but still managed to get off a rebound shot before sliding the puck through the legs of Gudlivskis.  Similar to how he was "willing" goals into the net at the end of the regular season last year and in huge playoff games, Toews was not to be denied as he once again delivered to seal another Blackhawks victory.

Notable mentions: Crawford, after having a milestone game last game against the Columbus Blue Jackets where he captures his 150th career win, along with his 4th career assist, collected hist 13th career shutout against Tampa Bay.  Niklas Hjalmarsson is a puck-eater.  Plain and simple.  He took a blast from Lightning defenseman, Jonathan Drouin, and hobbled off limping, yet came back on his next shift.  The guy is underrated and a very important cog to this team.  He had 4 blocked shots tonight.  Rookie, Vincent Hinostroza, played in his 4th straight game.  Although the kid has not made it to the score sheet yet, he's been playing some real good hockey.  The Lightning were limited to just 21 shots on goal with nothing finding the back of the net.  If the Blackhawks defense were in question with Duncan Keith out, this was a quality effort to answer that question.  Viktor Svedberg played 19:25 minutes with 5 blocked shots and Trevor van Riemsdyk played 22:53 minutes and 3 blocked shots.  Huge numbers for those young kids.

Stars Of The Game: 1st - CHI - Corey Crwaford (21 saves, 1.000 SV%), 2nd - CHI - Jonathan Toews (1G), 3rd - TB - Kristers Gudlivskis (32 saves, 0.969 SV%)

Next Game: Monday, October 26th, Home, Versus the Anaheim Ducks


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Blackhawks Power Past Panthers, 3-2.

The Chicago Blackhawks took on the Florida Panthers after having four days off.  In the that time, the team found out that they will be without the services of their two-time Norris Trophy Winner, Duncan Keith due to a torn meniscus.  He will be out of commission for 4-6 weeks.  The Hawks beat the Panthers 3-2 with the help of eight power plays.

It didn't take long for the Hawks to get the scoring started as Artem Anisimov made a power move to the Roberto Luongo for his 3rd goal of the season.  It took the Panthers only 34 seconds to tie the game thanks to Vincent Trocheck, who battled in front of the net to whack a puck past Corey Crawford.  That was all the scoring that would occur in a period where the Hawks controlled the period out-shooting the Panthers 12-4.
net and slipped one around Panther goalie,

The second period saw the Blackhawks get two power plays within the first four minutes.  Five power plays for the period.  It was Brent Seabrook who put a shot on net that was deflected by a Panther while on the power play that went past Luongo to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead early in the second.  Shortly after, Crawford showed some MAD leather, as he robbed Jaromir Jagr with the save of the game to keep the Hawks ahead.  The Hawks couldn't do anything with the other 4 power plays.  They had puck movement, but not enough shots at the net.

The third period started with the Hawks having a little time left on the power play.  It didn't take long as Patrick Kane streaked in on a partial breakaway and roofed one, top shelf, over Luongo to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.  The Hawks made things interesting as they found themselves killing a 5-on-3 power play after Marcus Kruger clipped Trocheck earning a 4-minute double-minor.  Shortly after, Niklas Hjalmarsson shot a puck into the crowd and earned himself a delay of game penalty.  With 10 seconds left on the 5-on-3, Jagr stuffed a puck past Crawford to bring the Panthers to within 3-2.

Notable mentions: Brent Seabrook stood out huge as the anchor on the defense without Keith with his performance tonight.  he lead all skaters 26:00 TOI.  Corey Crawford earned an assist on Patrick Kane's game winning goal.

Three Stars of the Game: 1st - CHI - Brent Seabrook (1G 2A), 2nd - CHI - Patrick Kane (1G 2A), 3rd - CHI - Artem Anismiov (1G)

Next game: Saturday, October 24, home against the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 P.M.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hawks, Hossa, Keep Columbus Winless, With a 4-1 Victory

The Chicago Blackhawks entered tonight's game trying to break a 2-game losing streak against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who come into the United Center starting the season 0-5.

The first period saw the Blackhawks take two penalties to the 3rd best power play in the NHL.  They were able to kill both penalties although this is a continuing problem that needs to stop.  Their scoring troubles need to also stop as it continued to be non-existent as they failed on at least three occasions to do the simple thing, shoot the puck at the net and see what happens.  They managed a feeble 6 shots to the Jackets' 9 and only 1 scoring chance.  That is NOT going to get it done.

The second period saw three power plays for the Blackhawks.  Not much came from the first two.  The Hawks finally got on the board when Artemi Panarin patiently waited and fed a pass to Artem Anisimov who back-handed a shot past McElhinney.  Sixty-five seconds later, on the Hawks' 3rd power play of the period, Teuvo Teravainen put a centering pass in front of the net that bounced off Columbus' defenseman, Dalton Prout, and found the back of the net to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead, heading into the second intermission.  The Hawks limited Columbus to just 3 shots in the period.

In the third period, Columbus' frustration started to show as Andrew Shaw's accidental high stick was not called, but a retaliatory cross-check and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty put Columbus short-handed two men.  Marian Hossa made them pay with a sizzling wrist shot for his first goal of the season, putting the Hawks up 3-0.   Jack Johnson finally found a way to get a puck past Crawford as he threw one at the net that had eyes.  Then, Patrick Kane with an open net, received a pass from Panarin, and reluctantly scored  the empty-netter.  He wanted to give the pass back to Panarin.

Notable mentions: Vincent Hinostroza, a Bartlett, IL native, made his NHL debut tonight in front of friends and family.  He played just under 10 minutes and was noticeably present when he was on the ice.  he had a solid game.  Hidden throughout the game, was the play of Corey Crawford.  the game was closer than the score tells.  He made some great saves to keep the game either scoreless or close.

Stars of the Game: 1st - CHI - Marian Hossa (1G 1A), 2nd - Corey Crawford (22 SV, .957 SV%), 3rd - Artem Anisimov (1G)

Next game: Thursday, October 22nd, Home against the Florida Panthers, 7:30pm CT.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blackhawks Shutout in Philly, 3-0.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers faced off on NHL's Rivalry Night.  Let's say right now that their idea of a "Power Play Cam" or whatever God awful crap they want to call that drone camera angle, sucks.

Now that we've got that out of the way, a nice pre-game ceremony for Kimmo Timonen was held celebrating his NHL career where he played seven of his seventeen year career with the Flyers while ending his career with the Blackhawks and his one and only Stanley Cup Championship.

In the first three games of this young NHL season, the Blackhawks were short-handed a grand total of 4 times.  They surpassed that tonight in just over one and half periods.

In the first period, the goalies and both defenses were the story as the teams skated to a scoreless tie.  The Hawks were whistled for two penalties, but were able to kill them off.  A total of 14 shots were split between the teams (Flyers-8, Hawks-6).

The second period saw the Blackhawks earn 3 more penalties within the period.  One of them cost them as Ryan Garbutt received a 2 minute high-sticking penalty.  On the ensuing power play, Sam Gagner scored on a slapshot that Corey Crawford never saw, to put the Flyers up 1-0, 5:35 into the period.  With 3 minutes remaining, the Blackhawks with a bad line change saw Claude Giroux in front of the net by himself to put back a puck past Crawford to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead into the third period.  The Blackhawks were outshot after 2 periods 23-15.

The third period saw the Blackhawks play hard, swarming the Flyer net only to have pucks bounce off of their sticks or the wrong way.  They had seven scoring chances within the first half of the period.  They had a 5-on-3 for 23 seconds, but did not move the puck around to even generate a shot.  Flyer goalie, Michal Neuvirth had an answer for every shot taken and earned his second shutout in as many games.  With 2:35 left in the game, Matt Read, somehow, was able to get around 4 Blackhawks, pick up a rebound in front of the net, untouched, and buried a shot past Crawford to give the Flyers their final goal of the night and end the game 3-0.

The Blackhawks streak of not winning a regular season game in Philadelphia continues yet for another year.  Their last win was a 4-1 victory.  In November, 1996.  One can't complain too much.  They did win two very important games in June, 2010, one being the clincher in their first Stanley Cup Championship that ended a 49 year drought.

Notable Interests: Viktor Tikhonov played the third period on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.  He looked better than Garbutt, but still couldn't dent the net although he helped create scoring chances.  Toews won 15 of 20 faceoffs.  The Blackhawks ended with 6 penalties in the game.  They were 0 for 5 on the power play.

Three Stars of the Game: 1st - PHI - Michal Neuvirth (30 saves) , 2nd - PHI - Claude Giroux (1G), 3rd - PHI - Sam Gagner (1G)

Next game: Tomorrow, Thursday, October 15th, at Washington Captials, 6:00pm CT

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Blackhawks Dominate Islanders in 4-1 Victory at the UC to Complete Sweep

The Chicago Blackhawks completed a two game, home-and-home sweep of the New York Islanders with a convincing 4-1 victory at the United Center.  Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane, both, had 1 goal and 2 assists.

 The Blackhawks got on the board 4 minutes into the game as Trevor van Riemsdyk followed a Kane shot to the net, picked up the rebound, and patiently back-handed a shot over sprawled Islander goalie, Jean-Francois Berube for his first career NHL goal.

In the second period, the Blackhawks' second line put on a show.  Panarin scored his second career NHL goal in just his third game as he was left alone in the slot.  Kane intercepted a pass behind the net and found Panarin and he buried a wrister passed Berube to put the Hawks up 2-0.  Then, towards the end of the period, the Hawks kept control of the puck in the offensive zone for what seemed minutes.  Kane finished with a tip-in shot from van Riemsdyk to put them up 3-0.

In the third, the frustration on the Islanders showed as they received an interference call on Marek Zidlicky, and an Unsportsmanslike Conduct penalty on Captain, John Tavares.  Tavares also received a Game Misconduct as well.  While on the 5-on-3 power play, Brent Seabrook buried a one-timer from Teuvo Teravainen putting the Hawks up 4-0.  While still on the power play, Cal Clutterbuck poke-checked the puck away from Kane and wristed the lone Islander goal past Scott Darling, who had a great game stopping 28 of 29 shots, with just 2:05 left in the game spoiling the shutout bid.

Notable mentions: Darling made his first start of the season and made some point blank saves using every inch of his 6'6" frame.  Bryan Bickell had 4 hits, but did not have a good game.  He was slow and could not keep plays alive in the offensive zone.  Trevor Daley led all Blackhawks with 22:01 TOI.

Stars of the Game: 1st - Artem Panarin - (1G, 2A), 2nd - Patrick Kane - (1G, 2A, 7 shots), 3rd - Scott Darling (28SV, .966SV%)

Next game: Wednesday, October 14, at Philadelphia Flyers, 6:00pm CT


Friday, October 9, 2015

Blackhawks, Kane, Ruin Islanders First Game In Brooklyn, Win 3-2 in OT

The Chicago Blackhawks played their first NHL hockey game in Brooklyn.  They left with a 3-2 win in overtime against the New York Islanders.  Patrick Kane scored two goals including the game-winner. 

Artem Anisimov scored his first goal as a Blackhawk with an unassisted short-handed goal to get the Hawks on the board.  Coach, Joel Quenneville, wanted the team to start better, but it took a while as the Islanders started the game out-shooting the Hawks 9-3, but it was Anisimov who drew first blood.  

Islander captain, John Tavares, evened the score with a strong individual effort in front of the net and pushed a rebound shot past Corey Crawford.  Kane got his first goal of the year from a no-look, behind the back pass from Jonathan Toews who was being checked against the boards behind the Islander net.

In the third, the Islanders quickly evened the score at 2 when Marek Zidlicky slapped a shot from the point that found its way through traffic and into the net just over a minute into the period.  It stayed that way for the rest of regulation as both teams played their first 3-on-3 overtime period.

After a penalty from ex-Blackhawk, Nick Leddy, the Blackhawks power play came through as Kane threw a shot at the net that deflected off Islander defensemen, Johnny Boychuk.

Notable mentions: Viktor Tikhonov played his first NHL game since the 2008-2009 season when he played under then-coach, Wayne Gretzky.  Tikhonov played 10:31 TOI, 3 hits, 2 blocked shots, 1 shot.  Viktor Svedberg made his NHL debut and played well, 16:19 TOI, 2 shots, 2 hits, 2 blocked shots.  The Blackhawks did not fair well at the face dot winning 27 and losing 40.

Three Stars of the Game: 1st - Patrick Kane (2G, 5 shots), 2nd - John Tavares (1G, 3 shots), 3rd - Artem Anisimov (1G, 3 shots)

Next game: Saturday, October 10th, vs. New York Islanders


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Rangers Hold Off Blackhawks' Late Rally, 3-2, On Banner Raising Night

The Chicago Blackhawks started the night by raising their 3rd Stanley Cup championship banner in the last six years.  The New York Rangers spoiled the celebration by defeating the defending Stanley Cup champions 3-2 at the United Center.

Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Klein, and Derek Stepan each scored 1st period goals to give the Rangers an early lead which they needed in order to hold off a third period press by the Blackhawks.  Artemi Panarin scored his first career NHL goal on a nice saucer pass from Patrick Kane to get the Hawks on the board as they trailed the Rangers 3-1 at the end of the first period.  Teuvo Teravainen played on the top line tonight and added a second period goal to bring the Blackhawks to within one at 3-2.  In the third period, the Blackhawks threw 14 shots on New York Ranger goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, but could not put one by him to get the equalizer.

Noteable mentions:  The line consisting of Panarin, Kane, and Artem Anisimov, was impressive.  Panarin and Kane played catch with one another on a number of occasions and will be a line to be reckoned with as the season progresses.  Anisimov seemed a bit slow, which is a worry based on if he was going to be able to keep up with the speed of the Western Conference.  Unfortunately David Rundblad's play matched his play from the previous two seasons.  It was not pretty.

Three stars of the game: 1st - NYR - Kevin Klein (1G, +2), 2nd - NYR - Oscar Lindberg (1G, +2), 3rd - CHI - Artemi Panarin (1G)

Next game: Friday, October 9th, at New York Islanders, 6:30pm CDT