Never count a defending champion out. The Blackhawks backs were against the wall a few days ago as they faced a 3-1 first-round series deficit, however like post seasons before the Blackhawks surged back to tie the series up and it all comes down to Game 7 tonight in St. Louis.
In my series preview I said the Blackhawks would win in six, but this series deserves a winner take all Game 7, it has been fantastic to watch. Is it just me or is there a pattern here? The start of every playoff series the Blackhawks play like shit and then once Game 5 hits, it’s like a whole new team.
The Hawks have an advantage with their Game 7s experience. The Hawks have played in four of them during the Quenneville era and have won two, including Game 7 of last season’s Western Conference finals against the Ducks in Anaheim, advantage Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks want to keep their hopes for another Stanley Cups alive (that would be four in seven years, not too shabby), while the Blues are desperately trying to end a three-year streak of being ousted in the first round. Blackhawks take Game 7, by a score of 3-2. Go Hawks!
The Blackhawks made their third trip in six years to the White House and the day was filled with some memorable moments.
Here are two of my favorites.
OBAMA SAYS HE’S THE BLACKHAWKS LUCKY CHARM: “Before I was President, you, the Blackhawks, had gone almost half a century without seeing this thing,” Obama said pointing at the Cup. “Now, you’ve got the hat trick, so I think it’s pretty clear the luck I’ve brought to this team.”
OBAMA TOOK TIME TO GIVE SHOUT OUTS TO TWO UNSUNG HEROES: Obama took time to specifically call out Kimmo Timonen and Scott Darling. Specifically calling out Darling’s grit and kindness, “I like to think that reflects something about our city, our Chicago. It’s a very American thing to do,” Obama said. Also in his speech, Obama applauded Timonen for sticking with hockey through everything he’s been through, and getting to retire finally winning a Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks are 38-18-5 and sit in first place in the Central Division with 81 points. Is it too early to say repeat? Patrick Kane continues to lead the Hawks in goals (34), assists (49), +/- (23), and total points with 83. Kaner has been on fire this year and after all the offseason shenanigans it’s nice to be talking about him positively. Another Hawk that I need to talk about is Artemi Panarin he scored two of his three goals in the third period for his first career hat trick as the Blackhawks defeated the Rangers 5-3 on Wednesday. This kid is really coming into his own, he is second on the team with 57 points and continues improve every agame; I can his name as a finalist for the Calder.
The Blackhawks roster looks different than last year’s Stanley Cup winning team, but that isnt a bad thing. This team is younger and still has the fight to win and the rest of the NHL needs to look out.
It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Blackhawks and to be honest I needed a bit of a break. Don’t get me wrong, viagra I love the Hawks. However, clinic every writer needs a bit of a sabbatical from their favorite team, sales to get some fresh perspective.
So what did I miss? Kidding!
One of the biggest stories of the season so far has been Patrick Kane and his point streak. The forward extended his point streak to 20 games Tuesday night versus the Wild. Kaner is the first NHL player with at least one point in 20 straight games since Sidney Crosby in 2010. Kane is one game shy of tying Bobby Hulls point streak of 21. Regardless of the outcome, Kaner has been on fire and it is nice to see him in the press in a positive light this season.
The Blackhawks annual circus trip finished at 3-1-2, not bad all things considered, but after looking at the losses the Blackhawks should have come out of the trip with a better record.
Is it just me or do we not know what to expect each night with these Blackhawks? One night resemblance to last year’s Stanley Cup team, the next a mediocre team that may not make the playoffs.
Something is just missing from this team, I can’t put my finger on it but something is definitely lacking…
Knee surgery… Chicago fans know all too well what knee surgery means to our superstars and teams, advice it’s pretty much a knife in our hearts. However hockey players are different beasts.
Fans shouldn’t worry too much about the Blackhawks announcement yesterday that defenseman Duncan Keith who is the reigning Conn Smythe winner and two time Norris Trophy Winner, underwent surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus, and will be out four-six weeks.
Keith has played a lot of hockey for Chicago over the last few years. To be honest, Keith arguably puts the most wear and tear on his body and is among the NHL minutes leaders every season. Saturday’s 4-1 victory vs. the Blue Jackets, Keith played 25 minutes, 34 seconds, that is no small potatoes in the NHL.
Keith’s injury is a blow to the Hawks, whose core defensemen have been as reliable and healthy as any other team the last few seasons. The Hawks play in one of the NHL’s toughest divisions, and every point could make a difference at the end of the year. Keith is likely headed for long-term injured reserve, giving the Blackhawks some cap relief. The team, who are already spread thin at the blue line, may look to acquire another blue liner, while Keith is recovering. Keith’s absence will give youngsters Trevor van Riemsdyk and Viktor Svedberg, who have a combined 30+ career games between them, an opportunity to show Chicago and the coaching staff what they can do.
In my opinion I think this rest both mentally and physically will help Keith in the long term, and this isn’t the first time the Blackhawks have had to move along while one of their stars is injured.
It’s hard to believe that we are approaching hockey season, check but alas… here we are.
Two days from now, viagra sale 30 of the Blackhawks on the active roster will report to Notre Dame for preseason camp. One name that hasn’t been confirmed is Patrick Kane. Blackhawks spokesperson Brandon Faber “Doesn’t have an answer to that question” as of two weeks ago.
The situation is a difficult one for the Blackhawks.
With a criminal investigation still ongoing and rumors flying that they are fed up of Kaner’s of ice behavior and are looking to move him. Sources say that many teams have contacted the Blackhawks for a possible trade. That is unlikely until the criminal investigation is over. Some say, salve Kane may be granted a leave of absence until the investigation is completed.
One thing for sure is that practices at camp are open to the public, which means Kane would be BOMBARED by the media with questions. Kane hasn’t been charged with any crime, but he also hasn’t spoken about the situation publicly since the story broke last month. I can’t imagine the Blackhawks front office, which has turned the Blackhawks into a reputable class act organization, would let him get up in front of the media and answer questions. It could get ugly.
Do I think Kane will be at camp, No, I really don’t believe he will be there. I think that the Blackhawks and the NHL will let this case run its course in a court of law. Many people have asked me, do I think he did it? Honestly, I don’t know. In fact, none of us do. The only two people that know are Kane and his accuser. Regardless, something happened that warranted a trip to the hospital and the police station. The situation is a sad one in my eyes. Kane at 26 had the world in his hands and unfortunately put himself in another questionable situation.
Aside from a certain Chicago football team (hey, viagra sale at least they won two games in a row), we definitely have a lot to be thankful for. Derrick Rose is healthy again and the Bulls are riding high at 9-5, but more importantly, our Chicago Blackhawks are 12-8-1 (2-1 in their annual circus trip). With rookie Trevor Van Riemsdyk out for three months, a new face stepped up to take center ice: 22-year-old Adam Clendening, our HAM of the Week.
Adam Clendening, http://www.bleacherreport.com
In his first NHL appearance last Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames, Clendening scored his first goal on his first shot against goalie Jonas Hiller.
The 5’11”, 195-lbs defenseman is certainly stirring up buzz, so we’ve got the 411 on the newbie:
Clendening began his career with the U.S. National under-18 team during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, both of which he was a member of Team USA’s gold-medal winning team at the World Junior Championships.
He was selected by the Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL draft–in between playing two consecutive seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12) at Boston University.
Adam Clendening, www.theahl.com
Following BU, Clendening went to the AHL and played for the Icehogs. In his first season, he was named a second-team AHL All-Star and Rockford’s Rookie of the Year, along with finishing third among all AHL defensemen scoring with 46 points. In his current season, he’s set an AHL record for goals and points by a defenseman with 12 goals and 59 points. He’s also the leading scorer in assists for the Icehogs franchise.
Flashback to 2012, when Clendening talked about his readiness with the organization:
Well, with a goal on your first shot in the big leagues (and an away game), consider us impressed.
The native New Yorker was ranked as the #2 Prospect by NBC Chicago (and Bleacher Report) this past June and is “proficient at quarterbacking the team’s power play from the blue line”. The Blackhawks have the best PK percentage for the 2014-15 season with 90.3%, and adding “Clenny” to the lineup will make that penalty kill play even stronger on the second power-play unit with co-anchor Michal Rozsival.
Though he’s taken, Clendening has the wit and charm like many of his teammates. He loves a good chicken parm and has an affinity for Lululemon clothing, and even knows how we feel about first world problems:
What did people do before cell phones and tv. Waiting for cable to be put in ur place is the worst. #boredom#allalone
The Blackhawks continue their circus trip tomorrow versus the Avalanche, Friday versus the Ducks and Saturday versus the not-so-deserving 2014 Stanley Cup Champs (yep, we’re still bitter about it). If Clenny & co pull off another stellar performance, they should have no trouble finishing strong. The team returns to the United Center Dec. 3 versus the Blues.