Marian Hossa

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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#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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chicago-blackhawks-vs-st-louis-blues

Bring on the Blues

Folks, online the NHL playoffs are finally here; let the quest for the repeat begin. After an incredible, healing season, it’s time for our beloved Blackhawks to get down to business, and bring Lord Stanley back to Chicago once again. Let’s face it, Stanley likes to party in Chicago.

Yes, the Blackhawks had another exciting season going 46-21-15 and finishing third in the Central Division. However, as the saying goes, it isn’t how you start but how you finish. As we have seen many times before in the NHL playoffs, regular season records will get you good seeding in the playoffs, but do not guarantee a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Blackhawks are the third seed in the Central Conference and unfortunately don’t have first round home ice advantage; that goes to the Blues. Their first round opponent is the second seeded St. Louis Blues, who the Blackhawks went 2-1-2 versus during the regular season.

Continue on for the must know details and players of this first round matchup.

What You Need to Know:

  • The Blues lost their final six regular-season games. They were outscored 22-5 during that span, #woof. They had a seven-point lead on the Colorado Avalanche in the Central as of April 7. They wound up finishing second in the Central and many aren’t even taking the Blues as a threat.
  • St. Louis Blues

    St. Louis Blues

    In the Blues defense they were without EVERYONE… David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Patrick Berglund, Barret Jackman, Brenden Morrow, Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo and Vladimir Sobotka all sat out due to injuries in their regular-season finale. The Blues are expected to return some of their stars for Game 1 Backes, Oshie, Jackman, Pietrangelo and Sobotka are all listed as a go.

  • The Blackhawks will welcome back both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane…Can you say YAHOO?! Both have been out due to injuries the last few weeks of the season. Kane has been skating for more than a week while Toews returned to skating on Thursday. The whole city of Chicago is excited for these two to be back.
  • Brian Bickell & Andrew Shaw

    Brian Bickell & Andrew Shaw

    When everyone is out there, the Blackhawks are loaded. Toews and Marian Hossa are as good as they come in terms of two-way forward play. Patrick Sharp had one of the best seasons of his career. And you know guys like Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell will score big goals at some point in this postseason.

 Goalie Matchup:

  • Blues goaltender Ryan Miller has lost his last five starts. He had a 3.60 goals-against average and stopped 107 of 125 shots for a .856 save percentage in that span. He was on fire when he was first traded to the Blues from the Sabres. Blues fans are hoping he returns to prime form.
  • We all know the story… Goaltender gets hot and grows bigger in his net. Once a team gains energy, it can tilt the ice against their rival and skate to the crapper. Corey Crawford had a solid season going 32-16-10. His goals-against average was an impressive 2.26. If Crawford can get in the zone early. He is one of the hardest goalies to beat in the league.

Key Players to Watch on the Blues:

  • David Backes

    David Backes

    Center; David Backes: Backes has been missed by the Blues. He is a dominating force on the ice. Frankly, no Hawks fan can stand Backes. You hate playing him, but would love to have him on your team. He is a big defensive-forward and he makes his presence known with some serious hits. Note to our guys… Keep your head up when Backes is on the ice.

  • Right Winger; T.J. Oshie: The Sochi Olympic sweetheart is
    T.J. Oshie

    T.J. Oshie

    another Blues player that has been bitten by the injury bug. He is listed as day-to-day. Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock is confident that Oshie will play in game 1. The Blues are better with Oshie on the ice. This season he had 21 goals and 39 assists. He is one of the most skilled right wingers in the league. He can create space and make a shot happen when you think there isn’t one. Look for the Blackhawks to try and get Oshie off balance with Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

  • Jaden Schwartz

    Jaden Schwartz

    Left Winger; Jaden Schwartz: One of the many reasons the Blues were so lethal when they were healthy was the depth of their offensive ability. The upsurge of Jaden Schwartz as rapid scoring threat off the wing gave them a element they did not have in last spring’s first-round exit against the Los Angeles Kings. Schwartz must continue his strong sophomore play against the Blackhawks. If he can, he is going to be one you need to watch in this series.

Key Players to Watch on the Blackhawks:

  • Patrick Sharp

    Patrick Sharp

    Left Winger; Patrick Sharp: We have come to expect the clutch performances from Patrick Sharp; he has once again proved how valuable he is. He led the team with 34 goals during the regular season, including 10 power-play markers, and 78 points. His play elevated down the stretch when Kane and Toews went down. Look for Sharpie to elevate his game this series and be a one not to miss on the ice.

  • Defenseman; Duncan Keith:
    Duncan Keith

    Duncan Keith

    Keith is having another fantastic year. He is once again in the conversations for Norris Trophy winner (best defenseman) and he should be. Six goals, 55 assists and a +22. Keith is crucial to the Hawks repeating. There is no better assist man in the league and he is dangerous when he has the puck. The Blues need to be worried if Keith gets hot.

  • Patrick Kane

    Patrick Kane

    Right Winger; Patrick Kane: We can finally say that Kaner is back! Kaner, one of the two franchise forwards is integral to getting past the Blues. We all know the Hawks have depth, however when Kaner went down. The Hawks defiantly were in a funk. Kane loves the big games and series, weather the NHL Playoffs or Olympics. If he finds his grove, the Blues better watch out.

First Round Schedule:

Game 1: Thursday, 7 p.m.; Blackhawks at Blues (CSN)

Game 2: Saturday, 2 p.m.; Blackhawks at Blues (NBC)

Game 3: Monday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.; Blues at Blackhawks (CSN)

Game 4: Wednesday, April 23, 8:30 p.m.; Blues at Blackhawks (CSN)

Game 5 (if necessary): Friday, April 25, 7 p.m.; Blackhawks at Blues (CSN)

Game 6 (if necessary): Sunday, April 27, 2 p.m.; Blues at Blackhawks (NBC)

Game 7 (if necessary): Tuesday, April 29, TBD; Blackhawks at Blues (CSN)

What’s Next:

Get ready for playoff beards to pop up all over our city and the Blackhawks bandwagon to get very crowded once again.  It’s time for the Hawks to put together another magical Stanley Cup run just like last season.

The injury situation makes predicting this series difficult. On paper the Blackhawks have the upper hand versus the Blues who are coming into the playoffs with a mental block. However, playoff hockey goes to another level, and if there is anything to get a team out of their funk it is a chance at hoisting Stanley.  This series is going to be a good one; I mean a knock down drag out one. Full of physical battles left and right. I predict the Blackhawks will win this series in seven games. Let’s get rowdy again Chicago… because it’s the Cup! Go Hawks!

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The Blackhawks (39-15-15) return to home ice tonight after losing last night 3-2 in OT versus the Flyers. The Blackhawks played tough and physical and made big plays, sick but they still couldn’t pull off the W. However, ambulance all of that needs to be forgotten as the Blackhawks look to figure out the St. Louis Blues (47-14-7) after three one-goal losses against their Central Division rivals.

I know everyone’s focus has shifted to their brackets and the madness begins tonight. However, viagra top it off with some original black and blue hockey. You won’t want to miss this one.

What You Need to Know:

Since the Olympic break the Blackhawks have gone 4-5. Not great. but not awful. Yes, the Blackhawks are still in third place in the conference looking up at St. Louis and Colorado. Who just can’t seem to lose these days. However, no one should push the panic button. This team is built for the long haul. The team with the most points heading into the playoffs rarely wins the cup. In my opinion sitting third in the conference and fifth in the division is fine with me.

This is the third meeting between the Hawks and Blues and unfortunately the Hawks haven’t won a game versus the Blues this year and this is starting to become more of a rivalry and that makes us all winners.  The Blues have won three in a row overall and are on a nine-game points streak.

Who to Watch For: The Blues

  • TJ Oshie: We all remember and fell in love with this former HAM during the Olympics. Oshie leads them with 17 goals and 37 assists. The right winger is big and powerful and hasn’t made it easy on Hawks defenders. Oshie is a big reason the Blues have 101 points and are considered one of the best teams in the league. Look for Coach Q to stick super defenseman duo Ducan Keith and Brent Seabrook on Oshie.
  • Ryan Miller

    Ryan Miller

    Ryan Miller: Miller was acquired by the Blues in the trade deadline and has found his Vezina (he won the top goalie award in 2010) stride. Since the trade he is 7-0-1 with a goals against average of 1.61. He is a huge reason the Blues are peaking at the right moment. The Blackhawks are going to have to fight for every goal tonight. Miller doesn’t give them up often.

Who to Watch For: The Blackhawks

    • Marian Hossa

      Marian Hossa

      Marian Hossa: Hossa came back from another injury on Sunday versus Detroit and made an instant impact. His impact was present last night versus the Flyers netting one assist. Hoss is due for a hot streak. I think he will log more ice time tonight and look for him to continue to shoot the puck on net. In a game like this “garbage” goals could determine the outcome.

    • Corey Crawford: When your opposing goalie has a hot streak going you need to bring your “A” game. Crawford has always performed well under fire. With all the talk surrounding Miller and his play, look for Crow to rise to the occasion.

Your Take Away Piece:

“It’s a BIG game folks. It will be a tough and physical game. The Hawks need to come out and score first and engage the home ice crowd. If the Hawks can keep the Blues playing on their heels. As well as bombard Miller with tons of shots the Hawks can finally win one against the Blues this year.”

What’s Next:

The puck drops at 8:00pm on NBC Sports Network. Head to your local watering hole to watch the early March Madness bracket games and stay for the game. Or head to the United Center tickets are still available HERE. Either way it’s a great Wednesday night sports night in Chicago. GO Hawks.

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kings_blackhawks

The Blackhawks are back on home ice tonight to take on the LA Kings after a heartbreaking shootout loss in St.Louis on Saturday. This is the final Blackhawks game of the year.  A win tonight could earn the Hawks two points and could possibly break the points tie between them and Anaheim Ducks.

What You Need to Know

The 25-10-4 Kings are 6th in the league with 54 points.  This is a team the Blackhawks have only seen once so far this season and, patient after being beaten 3-1, I’m sure the Kings are looking for some revenge.  As always, I’m going to share with you which team members to keep your eye on so let’s get to it.

Mike Richards

Los Angeles Kings: We’ll start with the obvious, Anze Kopitar (AHN-jay KOH-pi-tahr), the Kings’ points leader.  He has 33 points, 12 goals, 21 assists, and great net presence.  Look for Kopitar to post up in front of the net and try to sneak pucks by Raanta.  Next we want to look at 27 point, 6 goal, 21 assist Mike Richards.  Aside from being a King’s points leader, Richards is pretty hot too, which certainly helps when watching the opponent.  Lastly, we’ll take a look at L.A.’s goalie, Ben Scrivens.  With Jonathon Quick still out, Scrivens has stepped in and earned himself a .938 save percentage and 1.76 GAA.  Based on that, I imagine L.A. is pretty happy to have him.

Chicago Blackhawks: Why don’t we start with the obvious here as well?  Patrick Kane, baby!  With an impressive 53 points, 23 goals, and 30 assists, he’s just behind Sidney Crosby on the league’s leaderboard.  If you ask me, this kid can’t be stopped.  Next I want to talk about one of my favorite Blackhawks, Marian Hossa.  Big Hoss has 34 points, 14 goals and 20 assists.  He’s a seasoned player, he’s consistent and I expect nothing but good things from him as the season progresses.  Of course I have to talk about Antti Raanta!  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a big fan of his and I think he’s proving himself in Crawford’s absence with a .906 save percentage and 2.38 GAA.  I say keep up the good work buddy!

Your Take Away Piece

“The Blackhawks can put themselves ahead of Anaheim in the league standings with a win over the L.A. Kingstonight.  They continue to play good, solid hockey with a stacked roster of amazing players.  I’d like to see them end the year on a high note.”

New Stadium Series Blackhawks jerseys from Clark Street Sports: $225.00

What’s Next

You can catch the game either at the United Center or on Comcast SportsNet at 7pm.  The Blackhawks will have two days off to celebrate the New Year before they return to the ice on Thursday in New York to take on the Islanders at 6pm.  Happy New Year, Divas!  Have fun and be safe.

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Coyotes vs. Blackhawks

The Phoenix Coyotes (13-4-2) are heading into town to take on the Blackhawks (12-2-4) tonight at the United Center.  Both teams have won 4 of their last 5 games and are playing solid hockey. The Coyotes have won six straight games against the Blackhawks, unhealthy including three during the 2012 Playoffs when they eliminated the Hawks. They’ve historically played well in the United Center, so the Hawks will have their hands full.

What You Need To Know:

  • The Coyotes have won 7 of their last 8 games and are playing pretty well. They’re coming off a 3-2 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues and are sitting in second place in the Pacific Division.
  • The  Hawks are in second in the Central Division and are riding a seven game point streak. They last played Sunday, beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-4.
  • Both teams have scored 14 Power Play goals, and are tied for 5th place in the NHL
  • There’s been some bad blood between the two teams in the past. Remember Raffi Torres’ hit on Marian Hossa? (Yeah, of course you do. He was suspended 25 games for it) Last season Jamal Mayers stepped up and dropped the gloves. Look for Brandon Bollig to step up to the plate if things get out of hand this time around.

Players to Watch: Coyotes

    • Goalie Mike Smith: Smith is tied for second (with Crawford!) in the NHL with 11 wins. So far, he’s got a .917 Save Percentage, and stopped 37 of 39 shots in his last games. Oh, and he’s also scored a goal before. Your move, Corey Crawford.
    • Social Media Superstar Paul Bissonnette: The self deprecating forward has become a social phenomenon. He might not play a lot of minutes, but he’ll be hilarious to watch if he does. He’s not afraid to get into it with his opponents (he was recently suspended for leaving the bench to join an on ice brawl) or social media followers. He and Bollig have also tangled before.

Players to Watch: Blackhawks

Both our picks on players to watch are coming off awesome weeks: Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa.

  • Marian Hossa and his wife Jana welcomed their second daughter, Zoja (pronounced Zoya), this week. Hossa has a two year old daughter, Mia. Congrats to the Hossa family! Big Hoss has had a strong start to the season, one of the team leaders with 8 goals and 6 assists. Despite ending the season with serious back problems, Hossa has been consistent and healthy, which is exactly what the Hawks need him to be.
  • Earlier this week, Andrew Shaw was signed to a two year, $2 million contract extension. The gritty forward is signed through the 2015-2016 season. After being passed over twice in the NHL draft, Shawzer was drafted by the Hawks in 2011. He has 4 goals and 7 assists so far this season, and his chippy nature will come in handy against the physical Coyotes.

    Retro Brand at Clark Street Sports: $39.99

Your Take Away Piece:

“The Hawks have really struggled against Phoenix in the past, especially in the United Center. If the Hawks can continue to improve their penalty kill and score early against the Coyotes, they have a great chance of winning this game.”

What’s Next:

Puck drops at 7 PM at the United Center. This one will be gritty. Be sure to tune in.

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