Jonathan Toews

Would we want it any other way?

The Blackhawks will start their repeat dreams and open the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues tomorrow night at 8:30pm at the Scottrade Center.

This will be one of the most fascinating series of the first round that will guarantee a legitimate cup contender is going home early.  These two teams are the big dogs in the central division. They hate each other and that makes it even more exciting to watch.

The Hawks and Blues met five times this season. Chicago won two games in the five-game season series, but recorded a point in every game as St. Louis’ three wins came in overtime.

The last time these two met in the playoffs was the 2014 series and come on who could forget that! Big hits, overtime wins and tons of trash talk, I can smell it already!

As we examine this series a bit more we can’t help but look at the Blackhawks playoff experience it is one of their biggest advantages. They have played a lot of bonus hockey the last few years and with the core group of Toews, Kane, Seabrook, Keith (will miss game 1, he is still serving his six game suspension) and Crawford their experiences is a huge advantage here.

Home-ice in this series is not going to be that big of a deal. The Blackhawks travel extremely well, and St. Louis is literally a hop, skip and a jump away. No advantage here. The Blues edge is that they are big as F*, their physical play and size are apparent in the teams previous meetings; the Blues have the edge on the offensive and defensive side of the puck. Hopefully, they won’t play dirty and try and take any of our guys out. Who can forget the hit David Backes took on Brent Seabrook in the 2014 series.

Two players that you need to know in this series are.


Vladimir Tarasenko
: Tarasenko has played very well against the Blackhawks this year. In the five games these teams played he scored five goals, not too shabby. He is also becoming a playoff animal for the Blues. He netted 10 goals in his last 12 playoff games, and in just five games in April he netted four goals. Needless to say the Blackhawks top defensive pairing are going to have their hands full with Tarasenko. He is just getting started. If the Blues have a chance, he needs to continue his hot streak for the club in the postseason.


Patrick Kane
: Where should I start?! Kane comes into the postseason even hotter than Tarasenko, with seven goals in his last five games. Kane is going to win the Hart Trophy for regular season MVP, it’s locked down.  Kane won’t slow down; look for big things from his line with Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin. Yeah, try not to confuse them either!

The schedule for this season series (All times are Central): So you don’t miss a moment of the action

Game 1: Wednesday 8:30 p.m. @Scottrade Center

Game 2: Friday 7 p.m. @ Scottrade Center

Game 3: Sunday 2 p.m. @United Center

Game 4: Tuesday 4/19 8:30 p.m. @United Center

Game 5: Thursday 4/21 TBD @Scottrade Center

Game 6: Saturday 4/23 TBD @United Center

Game 7: Monday 4/25 TBD @Scottrade Center

It’s almost been two decades since the NHL last had a repeat champion. This is going to be a phenomenal series. The hardest thing to do in the playoffs is eliminate a champion that just knows how to win in the postseason. The Blues won’t pull it off. Blackhawks in 6.

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It has been a crazy couple days in the NHL, viagra sale the trade deadline has come and gone and you may be asking yourself what did the Blackhawks do? Well, online they won the trade deadline, viagra that’s what they did.

The NHL standings are as tight as they come and making deals on Monday before the deadline wasn’t easy for the contenders. However, the Blackhawks seemed to make the most noise and as they say. The rich got richer, and the thoughts of a repeat are starting to become real.

The Blackhawks added Andrew Ladd, Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann over the weekend. When you look at the Blackhawks roster before the deals they were already one of the best playoff teams and with these additions, watch out.

Andrew Ladd should sound familiar; the winger won a Stanley Cup with the Hawks in 2010 and has spent the last six seasons wearing the “C” for the Winnipeg Jets. Ladd still has swagger and will eventually be on the Hawks top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. I love seeing Ladd back, even though his stint will be short with the Hawks. They won’t be able to keep him with the salary cap next year. In the Ladd trade the Blackhawks received Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser. Harrison and Matt Fraser are both depth players and will probably stay in the AHL. The Hawks did send a good young player Marko Dano to the Jets for Ladd; however Stan is playing to win today.

The Blackhawks didn’t stop there they acquired defenseman Christian Ehrhoff from the LA Kings in exchange for Rob Scuderi. When you breakdown this trade, it was a swap of veteran defenseman. When you look at it Ehroff is a better fit in our system than Scuderi.

When you are playing with house money, why stop there. Bowman is clearly focused on winning a fourth cup in seven years and the future, is just that; he continued to make the Hawks better by trading for Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann of the Montreal Canadiens.  Weise and Fleischmann will be secondary scorers but they add amazing depth to the Hawks forward group. The Hawks did give up prospect Phillip Danault and a second round pick for those two.

The roster has been refreshed but in Stan we trust and I am excited to see how these new additions will improve  an already outstanding Hawks roster.

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Raise your hand if you could care less that the NFL Pro Bowl is on Sunday night?! Let’s be real. Not many people on God’s green earth give a crap that the Pro Bowl is this Sunday at 7pm ET on ESPN. You know it’s going downhill when Jameis Winston replaces Tom Brady.  You add in that JJ Watt isnt playing, mind 10 Panthers are prepping for the Super Bowl and let’s face it they really don’t “play” in the Pro Bowl.

It’s kind of a joke… no seriously it is.

Since no one cares about the Pro Bowl, discount is it a surprise that the NHL will be hosting its All Star game on Sunday night as well?!? Well this is one game you should turn in for; here are a few reasons why you should.

The Blackhawks will have Patrick Kane representing them. Jonathan Toews was selected to the team. However, viagra he just pulled out this morning because of and illness (James Neal of the Predators will replace him). He will also be suspended for one game for pulling out of the All-Star game due to NHL rules. However, there are plenty of other amazing players to keep your eyes on.  I hate to play favorites, but let’s focus on the Central Division team. Including the above mentioned Blackhawks superstar Kaner, the Central division is bursting with some of the most amazing talent in the entire NHL.

Let’s start with the stacked defense. Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) and Dustin “Big Buff” Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets) give the Central two of the toughest and big guns on defense. You add in Roman Josi’s (Nashville) advantage on offense too and this defense is definitely has the upper hand versus the other teams.

On offense the talent is even fiercer; the six Central forwards have combined over 140+ goals… Say what now?! You throw in both young guys from Dallas Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn with Kane. Sprinkle in some Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche) and top it off with St.  Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko and you have a recipe for goals, goals and more goal scoring.

Your goalies between the pipes are Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota Wild) and Pekka Rinne (Nashville). These two are solid but I still feel Crawford should be there.

One of the things that the NHL All-Star Game does better than any other league is really focusing on changing the format and making it into a true competition, this year they are switching to a 3-on-3 format for the big game.

What does this mean you ask?

Eleven players have been selected from each of the four divisions of the NHL, and those divisional teams will compete for a winner-take-all $1 million prize, because let’s face it that shit goes down when you are playing for some coin….

How does this work, you may be asking?

The Central Division will play the Pacific Division in one 20-minute semifinal game, and the Metropolitan All-Stars will play the Atlantic team in the other. The winning conference in the skills competition gets to decide if it will play first or second in the semifinal. Then the winners of the semifinals will meet in the 20-minute championship game, to determine this year’s All-Star Champion.

Confused? I was as well, but with the always entertaining skills completion and the best of the best actually playing. Tune in and you won’t be disappointed.

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#RaiseTheBanner.

Yes, sovaldi Blackhawks fan’s it’s that time of a year, no rx the kickoff to the 2015-16 NHL season. Before we go into a season preview, tonight is a big night for the Blackhawks. They welcome an original six team when the New York Rangers pay a visit to the UC. They will raise the Championship Banner, get their rings and we all will once again party like its 1999. However, once that banner is up it is back to business for the Blackhawks to defend as Stanley Cup Champions.

The Season Ahead

The Hawks have one of the most coveted groups of core players in the league. These six have had their names engraved on the Stanley Cup all three times. Any team in the NHL would jump at the chance to have any of these guys. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa and Niklas Hjalmarsson. If the Blackhawks have any chance of repeating these guys will need to stay healthy and all have solid seasons. We know these guys are physically tough, but they need to be more mentally tough this year, especially with the off-ice turmoil regarding Patrick Kane. The thought of him being yanked out of the lineup due to legal proceedings is something that I am sure is in the back of everyone’s mind.

The Blackhawks have to feel good with the 1-2 punch with their goaltenders Corey Crawford and Scott Darling. With two cup rings Crawford should finally be able to silence his critics. He is truly one of the best in the game. Darling just played 14 games last season, but his stellar 1.95 GAA and .936 save percentage shows he is capable of taking a larger workload to keep Crow healthy and ready for the postseason.

The Blackhawks have some new faces and for the champs to repeat these guys have some big shoes to fill with the salary cap situation sending Patrick Sharp, Brandon  Saad, etc. to new teams. Several new faces will play significant roles this season.  Trevor Daley, Artem Anisimov, Artemi Panarin, Viktor Tikhonov and Ryan Garbutt are the new kids on the block and the must know new names on the roster. This group needs to step up to any role coach Q asks them to play, Sharp and Saad, etc. were huge parts of last year’s cup run.

Predictions

The question I keep getting, will the Blackhawks repeat? The diehard fan in me says yes, of course they will. The realist in me knows just how hard it is to repeat as champions. In the NHL the last time that happened was 1997-98 by the Detroit Red Wings. I am foolishly going to go with my heart and go out on a limb here and predict, that in fact the Blackhawks will repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. Place your bets in Vegas now! They will finish with 104 points, 3d in the Central and once again put an incredible cup run together in the post season. Can’t wait to watch this season unfold, Go Hawks!

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2014-15 Blackhawks

Hockey is back folks, for sale and I’m sorry I have been MIA the last few weeks. In between my worldly travels and FTJ (Full Time Job) I have dropped the puck on our beloved Hawks. Don’t worry; I am back and ready to get after another exciting season and run for Lord Stanley’s Cup with the Hawks.

This year, health besides the traditional game previews and recaps, we’re going to dive a bit deeper and bring you some kick ass op-ed’s, profiles, etc. more to come on that, later this season.

I am not sure about you, but I attended my first Hawks game of the year last week versus the Calgary Flames and what stared back at me was frightening.

 

Brandon Bollig As A Flame

Brandon Bollig As A Flame
(A part of me died inside)

Brandon Bollig in a Flames jersey, WTF…

It got me thinking. We have some newcomers loaded with talent. We have had to say some painful goodbyes to some fan favorites, with big personalities. And finally we have locked up our bread and butter (Toews & Kane) for many more years to come.

Here is our list of roster shake ups this year for our beloved Blackhawks.

The “Newbies”:

I can’t really say “newbies” because both of these guys have been in the league a long time and one boomeranged back to Chicago. However, it’s my article so let’s just go with it.

Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks

Brad Richards

Brad Richards: This was the Hawks BIG catch this off season. It’s been a while since the Hawks had another quality center. Richards isn’t the same high point scorer he was with the Lightning or Stars, but he has retained most of the skills that made him one of the league’s best centers in the past. Originally slated to be the second line center, Richards is currently leading the third line with Bryan Bickell and Ben Smith. Results still need to come and patience is a virtue. Hopefully he can add some life to the always “subpar” power play. When he hits his stride with the Hawks, look out Chicago he will become a fan favorite fast. #fingerscrossed

 

Dan Carcillo

Dan Carcillo

Dan “CarBomb” Carcillo: CarBomb never really hit his stride with the Hawks his first time around during the 11-12 season. The injury bug hit him early and he was never able to show Chicago what he had. Last season he spent most of the season on IR with the Rangers and Kings. However healthier and stronger, CarBomb is looking to provide energy and instigate each night. If he scores, just consider that icing on the cake. The Hawks brought him back to provide grit and toughness. He has a long litany of fines and suspensions throughout his eight-plus seasons in the league. Look for him to keep that in check this season. I for one am excited to see what he can do when he is healthy.

The Ones That Got Away:

Nick Leddy: The Blackhawks had to free up salary cap space and fast or they were going

Nick Leddy (I feel ya)

Nick Leddy
(I feel ya)

to get hit with some major NHL penalties. Unfortunately, Nick Leddy got the shitty end of the stick. Earlier this month Leddy was traded to the New York Islanders for defensemen Ville Pokka and T.J. Brennan and the rights to goaltender Anders Nilsson. Leddy, was a great fit for the Blackhawks’ third defensemen pairing and power play. He had 20 goals, 73 assists and was a plus-10 in 258 regular-season games. He also played in 54 playoff games and contributed greatly to the Hawks 2013 Stanley Cup Championship.

 

Brandon Bollig, Monica Murphy Vargas and I

Brandon Bollig, Monica Murphy Vargas and I

Brandon Bollig: This one hurt… and maybe that is because I was blindsided by this. If you have read any of my articles you know I have always had a soft spot for what Bollig brought to the table. Yes, he wasn’t the most skilled. However, he did what was asked and I had fun watching him do it. Bollig was traded to the Calgary Flames for a third-round pick on draft day in June, seeing him in a Flames jersey last week hurt. However, working in sports I know it is a hard core business and sometimes tough decisions need to be made. For whatever reason Stan the Man pulled the trigger. I guess I have to accept the fact that after winning two Stanley Cups, he may know what he is doing.  I will miss how approachable and willing Bollig always was to talk to us and we here at SDI wish him the best.

The Future:

 

Jonathan Towes & Patrick Kane

Jonathan Towes & Patrick Kane

Toews & Kane: I like to call them Chicago’s new Jordan & Pippen. Their vital significance to the Blackhawks was made loud and clear when the two veterans were locked up with long-term deals this summer, signing matching eight-year, $84 million deals that start next season and, will earn them the highest annual average salary ($10.5 million) of any player in the NHL.

Next Round is on them, eh?

Make no mistake Toews and Kane are no longer young guns, they are the leaders of this club and it makes you excited on what can potentially be the new Chicago Dynasty.

Remember change is good. The roster may be a bit different, but the goal is still the same. WIN THE CUP. Let’s embrace this and buckle up, it’s going to be one incredible season once again! Go Hawks!

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Happy #Hoctober, sickness Divas!

It’s hard to believe four months have passed since that fateful June evening when the Chicago Blackhawks were in a sudden-death Game 7 OT match against the eventual Stanley Cup winners the Los Angeles Kings.

After what seemed like forever, pharmacy the 2014-15 hockey season is finally upon us, and we can’t wait to see the Blackhawks in action.

After winning their season opener in (what else?) a shootout, the Chicago Blackhawks are off to a 2-0 start. We know there’s a lot of pressure for the team to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals (as was last season), and there’s no better way to start off the new season than with fearless leader Jonathan Toews, our HAM of the Week.

Jonathan Toews, http://espn.go.com

Jonathan Toews, http://espn.go.com

Known to Blackhawks fans as “Captain Serious” for his sharp focus on the ice and leadership skills (and that it’s truly rare to catch him in a smile), the single 26-year-old forward is hands-down the best-looking member of the team (we’ll forgive his inability to grow a playoff beard just so we can jump at the sight of those puppy brown eyes). We were thrilled when he signed an eight-year extension, because honestly, we can’t imagine the team without him.

The 6’2″, 207-pound Toews (pronounced “TAY-VES“), may be one of the more quiet members of the team (and he is not active on social media), but his dedication has led to two Stanley Cups (in 2010 and 2013, the former in which he won the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP) and four playoff appearances in his six years as captain.

Jonathan Toews, htto://blackhawks.nhl.com

Jonathan Toews, htto://blackhawks.nhl.com

The Winnipeg, Canada native was drafted in the 2006 NHL draft at age 19 (hence his jersey number) and joined the team for the 2007-08 season. But while sometimes a young age can correlate with a lack of experience (and players are often sent to the AHL affiliates), Toews proved he was a remarkable exception: he scored his first goal on his first shot in his first game back in October 2007.

The following season, he became the third-youngest captain in the league.

Toews began his career playing AAA hockey for a boarding school in Minnesota during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. The following year he played two seasons alongside former HAM of the Week (and 2014 Winter Olympics Team USA powerhouse) T.J. Oshie at the University of North Dakota.

When he’s not shooting pucks for the Blackhawks, Toews competes for Team Canada alongside the equally-gorgeous Sidney Crosby (seriously, the two could be brothers). Toews won gold medals in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

Jonathan Toews, http://www.chicagotribune.com

Jonathan Toews, http://www.chicagotribune.com

Toews may be “serious” on the ice with an undeniable work ethic, but he’s also got “serious” style off. Wearing a classic, crisp grey suit on the red carpet at Saturday’s home opener, he looked the part of the quintessential gentleman. He’d be the kind of guy to take you to a romantic dinner rather than meet for a drink in the bars of Wrigleyville. He could easily pass as the boy next door, and is the perfect example that nice guys finish first. Can you tell we can’t stop gushing about this stud?!?!

Oh yeah, he’s also fluent in French, and there’s a lake in Manitoba and a community center where he skated as a kid named after him.

We know you don’t need proof to see how beautiful he is, but just in case you need a reminder, here’s our captain doing the Ice Bucket Challenge:

We don’t care how you do it–you must make it to the United Center to see the beauty and glory that is Mr. Jonathan Toews this season. And we’ll leave you with this image of Tazer making puppy eyes with a cute puppy for teammate Bryan Bickell‘s Chicago Loves Pits charity calendar. Cue all of the feelings, stat.


via rebloggy.com

We’ll see you there! 

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