Patrick Kane

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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I will be the first to admit it with the hype around the Panthers I have neglected the Blackhawks. I admit it, pilule prescription and admitting it is the first step.

Well, cheap how about them Blackhawks?

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.

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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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Patrick Kane

Like it or not Patrick Kane is continuing to grab NHL headlines, buy cialis thankfully this time for the right reasons.

Last night versus the Nashville Predators (thanks to an open net), recipe Kaner extended his franchise record streak and recorded his 600th NHL point and the Blackhawks dominated the Preds winning 4-1.

The Blackhawks were already up 3-1 in the third period and many wanted to see the streak continue. Luckily with 1:36 remaining, healing Kaner crushed a shot from inside the neutral zone.

It is hard to ignore that in 604 NHL games; Kaner now has 600 points, and is just 27 years old. This puts him sixth overall in points per game among active NHL players. Since his 23-game streak started he has 14 goals and 37 points. He is at the top of the NHL scoring race and it may make some stomachs turn but he is being mentioned for the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) left and right.

You may think that, that conversation needs to stop based off of Kane’s legal issue at the beginning of the season. The investigation was closed early last month, and no formal charges were brought to Kane.

I am not going to say that when the news broke, I wasn’t one of the first people saying that Kane needed to be withheld until the investigation ran its course. Do I stand by that, I do.  Whatever happened happened and it is a serious issue in our society. However there are no moral clauses attached to awards in any of the major leagues. MVP, is the most valuable to his team and what Kane is doing is showcasing he is the most valuable to the Blackhawks at this time.

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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…

 

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Jonathan Towes & Patrick Kane

It’s hard to believe that we are already over a week into the NHL season, viagra especially when Chicago has turned ALL its focus on the Cubs! And we should, I mean the Blackhawks have three championships in six years, the Cubs on the other hand… This is our year and #WeAreGood

Enough on that.

The Blackhawks currently are 2-2 and are sitting at the bottom of the conference in sixth place. Grant it, it is early and let’s face it, does the regular season really count? Last night the Blackhawks had their sloppiest game losing 3-0 vs. the Flyers. Too many penalties and no offense sunk this ship early in the second period.

The Blackhawks have a chance to bounce back tonight as they visit the Washington Capitals.  The Capitals haven’t started off on the right foot this season. They currently are 1-1, and a “messed up” alarm clock kept super star Alexander Ovechkin out of their second game of the season, a shellacking from the San Jose Sharks. The Capitals are also without Nicklas Backstrom, who led the league with 60 assists last season but was only cleared for contact this week following offseason hip surgery. There’s no timetable for his return. Obviously the Blackhawks need to take advantage of Backstrom’s absence. Scott Darling, who has yet to face the Capitals, is likely to make his second start of the season in between the pipes. He once again stepped up to the call and stopped 28 shots in Saturday’s 4-1 win against the Islanders.

It’s only been a week, but here are a few observations of the season so far.

  • It’s been a Jekyll & Hyde week. The Blackhawks back to back wins versus the Islanders were the Blackhawks of “last season”. Loses versus the Rangers and Flyers, not good. Too many cracks in the lines, the Hawks looked lost. Its early and plenty of time to work through the lines.
  • Say what you will (and I know I have) about Patrick Kane. He is currently leading the team in points, goals and assists. His focus is clearly on the ice, and trying to fly under the radar. However, the fans on the road have been less than kind to Kaner. Chanting “No Means No” and “She Said No” to the superstar. It has to be taxing emotionally; hopefully he can continue to shine on the score sheet for the Hawks.
  • I am really enjoying watching Trevor Daly; Daly was part of the Patrick Sharp trade and was a leader in Dallas. You can tell he is getting use to Coach Q’s system, but I can definitely see him as part of our top four defenseman core.
  • Corey Crawford + Scott Darling = One Happy Hawks fan!

It’s early. A lot of work needs to be done with the lines and chemistry. However, I am really pumped for another run! #GoHawks

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