Friday, November 14, 2008


So our time here at this site has come to an end...

Because Sam and I are joining up with SportsBlog Nation and will be posting from now on over at Second City Hockey.  

This site will now fade into bolivian along with countless other blogs throughout these internets

There's a ton of cool features that Sam and I will be learning how to use but it should really make this new site way better than anything we could have done here.  The hockey blogging god that is James Mirtle is putting together a great community of hockey blogs over there and we're honored to join up with him.

I hope you will all come over and join us at Second City Hockey along with all the other great blogs on that site.

Go Hawks

A tale of two cities..

The last time these two teams met the Hawks had just killed lots of the goodwill they built up with the ridiculous firing of Savard after starting the season 1-2-1. The Blues were 3-1-0 and were playing beyond everyone's expectation, especially on the power play which was scoring every other time they had the advantage.

Now - then the Blues remembered they were.. well.. the Blues and have rightfully dropped to last place in the West. Their power play has also dropped to scoring only 26.7% of the time which is still good enough for 2nd overall. The scum from Detroit have the top power play and the Hawks are 7th overall, by the way.

The Hawks meanwhile have been playing like we've hoped they would and now stand at second in the division behind the aforementioned scum. They've gone 6-1-2, compared to the Blues 1-7-1, since the last meeting and all is right in the world again.

The Hawks are rocking a 5 homestand right now and are 2-0-1 on it, while the Blues are ending a miserable a 5 game road trip tonight, they've gone 0-3-1 on this trip and hopefully will end it all without a single 2 point game. Paul Kariya is coming back after missing the last 3 games.. Legace hasn't won in his last 4 starts but he has pretty good outing against that Hawks..

My suggestion is that we offer up some free transportation from the Hotel for the Blues..

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Only Good Thing To Come From Boston Was The Cars. Everyone Knows This: Bruins at Hawks Preview

An actual Original 6 match-up this evening, though that may not mean all that much any more. But it does to me, and to others, I think. Especially when the Bruins or Canadiens are the opponent, because we've never seen them that much and hardly at all these days. Still pretty sexy.

When the Hawks look at the opposing bench tonight, they will see a team that's in just of a blistering form as they are. The B's have won 6 of 7, and are hot on the heels of their long time-nemesis, Les Habitants. The Bruins have been stingy as a Scotsman, allowing only 17 even-strength goals all season, and are 3rd in the league in Goals Against per Game. Head Coach Claude Julien is cut from the New Jersey cloth, so the Bruins are suffocating all over the ice. They aren't all that exciting, but it is effective.

Boston is also equipped with strength down the middle that we can only envy. Savard, who's become a complete player while no one was looking, mans the #1 slot. A now healthy, and we assume non-dizzy. Patrice Bergeron slots behind him. It's hard not to root for Bergeron. He was a complete player about ready to make his stamp on the league before he was assaulted by Randy Jones of the Flyers. Bruins fans will tell you he's not all the way back, but the things he's lacking--timing, feel--will come with more games under his belt. We hope he gets there. The third center is David Krejci, who's having a breakout season.

The wonderous passing display the Hawks put on Sunday will have to be in evidence again tonight. The B's are designed to strangle space, fight for loose pucks, and win board battles. They do it well too. The Hawks may catch a break as Boston plays Montreal tomorrow night, so they may not catch Tim Thomas, whose play has been so good it could be described as defying the lord.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Last night's cartoon from The Committed Indian

(click to enlarge)
We were quite proud of this one, so we thought we'd share it with you here.

Coming from Western Canada? That's a paddling: Hawks 6, Flames 1

That's the only way to describe last night's Hawk victory. Though it was reported by TSN that the Flames have a case of the flu in their ranks, you can only play who's on the ice opposite you that night. I am trying to remember a night when the Hawks' passing was as crisp as it was last night. I haven't come up with anything yet. But I'll let you know. Certainly in the post-lockout era, that's as good as it's been. Seems a great way to counter a team that wants to bang and grind, like the Flames do. It also utilized the Hawks speed, which few teams can handle. For anyone who questioned the Coach Q hiring, last night was a prime example of why you should have worried. With 5 days off, the fear of coming out sluggish was not insigificant. Instead, they came out playing their prettiest hockey. Where Hawks teams before have let leads slip in the 3rd, 3 of the past 4 have seen the Hawks step on throats. Even the 4th line was contributing.

A mention of the Hawks special teams must be made. They have been, well, groin-grabbingly good lately. The Flames barely generated a chance on a 4-minute kill in the 1st, which very well may have been the game last night. The PP, while throwing in a clunker here and there, then looks lethal the rest of the opportunities. Bodies and pucks move, and there seem to be plenty of open shots. The Hawks also have options. If you take away down low, Barker, 51 Phantom, Seabrook, and Bufyglien will bomb from the points. If you try and stop that, Kane, Toews, Versteeg, and Havlat will make a play down low. Pick your poison.

Our 3 stars:
1. Havlat
2. Kane
3. Versteeg

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Finally: Flames at Hawks preview

I know the Hawks needed it, but we sure didn't. Man it's been boring without them. We tried to get worried about Kirk Heinrich's injury. But then we remembered the Bulls are going to suck with or without him. We tried to get worked up about Rex replacing Kyle. But then we remembered that the Titans are a much better team anyway. So let's get back to hockey.

The Flames "played" last night, but you'd be hard-pressed to call it that. They were poor. 12 penalties, multitudes of turnovers in their own zone, little created at the other end. It's hard to imagine they could play that badly twice in two nights, but man would it be good to see. The Hawks will see Kiprusoff in net, as their backup, McElhinney, came out last night, saw his shadow, and now it'll be two more months of Kipper. The Flames are always a tough test for the Hawks. They're big, nasty, and not especially slow. But the Hawks, under Q, have found ways to deal with this against similar teams this year, like Vancouver and Columbus. As long as the Hawks limit their mistakes, the Flames can't create much on their own. Usually. Plus, with their samba line to the penalty box, the Hawks will get a few chances to trot out their gatling gun of a power play.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chicago in the news

What a great night in Chicago last night - I don't want to bring politics to the site or to sports (more than I have the last few days) but I was lucky enough to attend the rally in Grant Park last night and haven't stopped smiling yet. Regardless of your political beliefs I hope you can join me in saying it was a special night for America.


Now back to what we all love - hockey.

Registration for all us poor non-season ticket holders officially opened today. On the official site you have until 10:59 a.m. CT on the 28th to register. You'll find out if you're one of Rocky's chosen few by Dec. 8th - which automatically makes Rocky better than Santa Claus in our eyes.

If you are chosen, you'll only have the option of buying up to 2 tickets - So there goes the idea of getting all your friends together, unless you all get really lucky. Good luck all.

Finally, I'm sure we've all made jokes about how being a Hawks fan is going to be the death of us someday.. but jesus chirst..

My heart and thoughts go out to the Kuhlman family... but, what does "the state of California's Midwest office" actually do?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lots of time off

No more Hawks games til Sunday... so there's no excuse for not voting today. Go do it.

Hawks training camp 2.0 starts today - They're playing great and Q should have plenty of time now to really start working on his system with the team.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Game 12: Quenneville's Revenge

So I guess Budaj starts in net after all... doesn't matter both of them suck.

So even though I actually own a black sweater (A Ruutu one too - goddammit) - I really have to say that after a year of not seeing the Hawks in Black unis I'm not used to it and I don't like it. I'd much rather see the Hawks in white at home, red on the road and some newer sweater if they actually need a third one. I know it's a big marketing ploy, but they can do better. I was a sucker and just don't like wearing red... fuck it

The Avs came out in this game pressing... they force a big save from Khabby just 3 minutes into the game.

5 minutes in Old Man Sakic takes a hooking penalty but the Hawks can't capitalize on it... it's killed.. solid PK from the Av's.

Just about 8 minutes in just after the Hawks waste power play they end up taking their own penalty.. To borrow (read: steal) a favorite joke from PensBlog:

Too many men on the ice

Early in the first they show a picture of the Kane Calder Trophy figurine and it looks frightening. They cut to a shot of Burish in the locker room who says it looks like a mix between "Harry Potter and David Letterman" which is actually pretty much spot on...

Sharp takes a penalty for hooking but the Hawks kill.. solid job.. great job shutting off both the passing and shooting lanes. It looks like the Hawks have another great PK game going.

Just over 4 minutes to go in the period Guite brings the puck down the boards and takes a weak shot on goal - Khabby unfortunately over-reacts and kick saves past the puck. It bounces off the inside of his leg and weakly bounces into the goal... 0-1.

First period ends...

Early in the second period Ladd gets a great chance but the puck bounces a round... Bolland picks it up and gets it behind the net and puts it up to Buff.. Buff takes a shot but Budaj gets it.. Ladd grabs the rebound and knocks in it... 1-1.

Campbell takes a nice shot off a bouncing puck and knocks Budaj in the head - eat a dick

Finally 8 minutes in there's a fight Chicago doesn't exactly lose.. although they don't win either. Eager and Laperriere drop the gloves and throw a few punches before Laperriere ends up swinging, missing and falling with his back to Eager. Eager takes the classy move and doesn't take any more swings ending the fight. I'd need to see a good replay but I think Eager was the only one to land a good punch.. Depending on Hockey Fights says I'd have to maybe call that for Eager...

Barker goes for a big hit but misses... Ladd tries to get one in but it goes to the back of the net to Buff who gets it to Kane.. figurine boy takes a great shot but it ends up as a better save for Budaj

Sharp holds McCormick behind the net and joins Eager in the box.. Hawks on the kill again with about 10 minutes left but luckily the Av's are 0-2 with only one shot on the power play

There's a big open net miss.. Hawks get lucky and kill it.

Close to 13 minutes in Burish finally gets into another fight this time with McLeod. Both seem to hold their own - Burish ends up bleeding near his left eye but gets in some good punches and McLeod's nose seems to be bleeding too.

5 minutes later Sharp gets the puck near the blue line and takes a shot that bounces off Brouwer and hits the post. Brouwer is able to grab the rebound and knocks it in... 2-1 Hawks

Hawks draw a penalty for the last 39 secs but can't do anything with it..

End of the Second...

An opening shot of the second shows Burish with a black eye and a few stitches..

While on the power play the Hawks get a delayed penalty and they work the puck around but don't good chances... it seems they'd have been better off just giving up the puck and getting a set play with the extra skater. Instead they will have a two man for 22 secs...

Wasting the first 22 seconds, Campbell gets the puck dead center to Barker gets the slapshot in.. Unfortunately the first penalty had just ended.. so the Hawks end up even strength 3-1 Hawks

It ends up being a good thing too.. because Hejduk brings it in.. beats Khabby stick side.. post and in.. 3-2

I cant being to explain how much I hate Sopel this year... The douche clears it to center directly to an Avs player who barely misses the net to tie it.. Luckily the Hawks clear the puck without any real damage. Sopel continues his campaign to be the player waived once Wiz returns to the team.

Ladd takes a holding penalty but the Hawks kill it - just out the box Ladd gets the puck and brings it across the blue line. Toews comes with him and gets the puck - He's able the silence those idiots who think he's not ready to earn the "C" by holding the puck long enough to pass to Sharp who knocks it home. 4-2

Great example of tic-tac-toe hockey here, especially since Toews easily could have shot the pass from Ladd to try and break his goal-less streak. Instead he gives up a chance to feed a teammate with a better opportunity. That's exactly what you want from a captain.

Beautiful play on the Hawks end.. at least 60 secs without the Avs touching the puck..

16 minutes in we see some great work from Buff behind the net.. Off a pass from Bolland he hold the puck long enough to open a chance for Ladd who puts it top shelf right stick side over Budaj - 5-2 Hawks...

McLeod can eat a dick.. Fraser gets a penalty too 16 and a half in... I didn't realize it til after the game but Burish grabs a 2 minute minor for roughing McLeod plus a 10 minute misconduct...

I ended up changing the channel for a second to watch the Monday Night Football game (just as a sidenote, I grew up around the DC area and the only team I ever actually was involved with was the Redskins.. I guess I have an affinity for slightly racist teams, Skins being way more racist than the Hawks)... anyways.. I end up missing the Sharp goal originally but catch the replay seconds later. Kane brings the puck in and flips around backwards to see a wide open Sharp who knocks it in with 2 and half left... 6-2 Hawks (This ruined my prediction on Blackhawk Zone by the way which would have been my first correct one of the year)

Another great solid game from the Hawks though - Great defense, Penalty Kill looked great, Khabby came through with some big saves (despite letting in one soft goal) and the offense really seemed to be clicking. Both the forecheck and backcheck was working and the Hawks beat a team that will be competing with them for one of the final playoff spots. A great game by the men of four feathers, and another great game from a goalie. A perfect way to start this big home-stand.

I hope you all bought your copy of The Committed Indian - You'll be able to do it again next sunday if you didn't already.

Your Three Stars of the Game:

Brouwer (1G)

Sharp (2G, 1A)

Ladd (2G, 1A)

Go Hawks.

And I'm sure I'll have more to say about it tomorrrow - but GO FUCKING VOTE

Q's old team: Take 2

So we all know that when Q faced one of his former teams with the Hawks, things didn't go as well as we had hoped. Once again tonight though, he faces off against a team he used to coach, only this time - he coached these guys less than a year ago. Q didn't officially leave the Av's til early May of this year after they announced they wouldn't extend his contract. He hadn't coached the Blues since '03, when they were a totally different team. How much does Q know about the Av's still? I guess we'll see.. but there's no questioning he now has a better feel for the Hawks now that he's got a few more games under his belt with them.

This year the Av's started off pretty lame with three straight losses, started to heat up with 5 wins in a row but now have 3 more losses in a row. Lets hope they don't keep up a 5-3, 5-3 pattern... The big problem them so far has been their goalies. Budaj is 28th overall in GAA at 3.13 and 34th in save % at .882. (Which blows for me since I have him as a goalie in an incredibly deep fantasy league, I know.. I know.. you don't fucking care - sorry)

Even worse news for the Av's is that Budaj probably isn't starting tonight - Raycroft (3.75, .839) is likely to take the ice since they Av's played just last night against the Sharks.

Khabby is starting in net tonight for the Hawks after playing well in Friday's game. The Hawks will look to keep up their special teams units and hopefully Toews can remember the moves from last year's highlight goal and finally break his scoreless streak. The Hawks were 3-1-0 against the Av's last year even though they dropped their final preseason game to them in OT. They've played well at home and I don't see that stopping tonight.

Also, remember to pick your copy of The Committed Indian before the game tonight - tonight is the first night it's going on sale and Sam will be out there before the game. Say hello to him and pay your measly $3 for it..

Go Hawks

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Winning Ugly

The Hawks really had no business winning a game like this - but when you play a team like the Blue Jackets I guess you don't really have to be on the top of your shit. The Hawks looked tired and sloppy all night playing back to back games against a rested Columbus crew. The most obvious example of this being the 10 trips to the penalty box throughout the game. When you're tired, you're more likely to do something stupid.

Luckily our PK teams continue to play well and only allowed one power play goal. The too many men on the ice penalty in OT was particularly scary - I know the Jackets suck but you can't keep giving a team an extra man and expect to win, especially in OT. Fuck it though, the Jackets are 26th in the league with the extra skater at only 14% while the Hawks are 4th on the kill, not allowing a goal almost 90% of the time. Sometimes you just get lucky.

Huet finally had a good game last night too - stopping 48 of the 51 shots against him, and also stopped all three BJ shooters in the shootout. He did exactly what you want a highly paid goalie to do - pick up a tired team every once in a while. When your team can only get together half as many shots as your opponents sometimes you just need a hot goalie. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the net again Monday just to see if he can ride the hot streak.

You could say Toews had the winning goal since he was the only one to score in the shootout - take that as proof that he'll be alright for the year and the goals will start coming in actual game situations. He's perfect in the shootout so far this year evidently having traded places with Kane from last year. Getting the winning shootout goal and being named the #1 star might even break his curse and transfer to monday night's game (hopefully anyway).

Once again the Hawk that decided to drop the gloves probably would have been better to just have kept them on. Fraser took on Tollefsen in the first and immediately took 2 or 3 big shots to the chin then looked like he was just trying to hold on after that - it was ugly. Fraser also looked like he split his head open a bit on the fall. This team really needs Wiz back or at least maybe for someone to take on Burish instead, even though Burish sucks at fighting too.

An ugly win still counts for two points and normally you don't want to give someone in your division the extra point for OT but the Jackets won't be a threat to make the playoffs so it doesn't matter. The next 5 games are all at home where the Hawks have played much better and they're 4-1-2 under coach Q. They've also jumped into a tie with Nashville for second in the Central and have enough points that if the season ended today they'd make the playoffs. Obviously the season doesn't end today though and there's a long way to go - Keep getting points boys.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Starshine: Stars 2, Hawks 5

We're going to go ahead an nominate this for performance of the season, though we get the impression there'll be many more. Frankly, the Hawks were all over the Stars last night, causing havoc in the neutral zone and pretty much dictating play, except for maybe, maybe the 2nd half of the 1st period. And if it wasn't for Steve Ott, of all people, capitalizing on a bad bounce for a breakaway goal, this contest would have been over after Kane's strike.

At first, I though Buff had a really good game. Then reading some of the message boards, apparently I was the only one. What I thought I saw was a player creating turnovers and earning his fair share of chances, and finally getting one, though in lucky fashion. In fact, the entire 3rd line of Buff, Ladd, and Bolland was excellent, being matched up with Brad Richards. Or at least I thought he was, I'll have to guess because I didn't see Richards all night. Probably busy counting his money. It happens. Regardless, this line has been doing their part, and finally got some rewards for it. Hopefully Bolland will be the next one off the shnide. Or schnide. Or however you might spell it.

A tour-de-force from Kane last night. Best player on the ice by far. But pretty much everyone was putting in a good effort. Khabby only had one or two tough saves to make, the Stars were forced, or content, to mill about the outside like a 6th grade dance.

More of the same, please.