Sunday, October 17, 2010

Huge Night for the Sharp Shooter and the Hawks

Chicago Blackhawks @ Columbus Blue Jackets 
Final Score: 5-2 Hawks
Scoring Summary 
1st Period
9:37-CHI-Viktor Stalberg [1] (Jack Skille [1], Nick Boynton [2])
10:40-CHI-Marian Hossa [4] (Tomas Kopecky [5], Jassen Cullimore [1])
2nd Period
1:11-CBJ-SHG-R.J. Umberger [2] (Derek Dorsett [1])
9:46-CHI-SHG-Patrick Sharp [2] (Jake Dowell [1])
11:48-CHI-Patrick Sharp [3] (Troy Brouwer [3], Bryan Bickell [2])
3rd Period
00:15-CHI-Tomas Kopecky [1] (Hossa [4])
13:39-CBJ-Kristian Huselius [3] (Umberger [1], Rostislav Klesla [1])

After a tough loss to Nashville, the Hawks were looking to bounce back with a victory over Central Division rival Columbus.

Before the halfway mark of the first period, the Hawks got on the board first, courtesy of one of the new faces on the team.
After Jack Skille sprang him on a partial breakaway, Viktor Stalberg pushed the puck out in front of himself and used his great speed to break through Jakub Voracek and Fedor Tyutin to get free in the slot and, from the left hash marks, get a quick shot off that beat right catching Jackets goalie Steve Mason glove side for his first goal as a Blackhawk.
"It was a good pass by Jack," Stalberg said, "I got a little break between the d-men there and I was able to keep them on the backside."

Just about a minute later, the Hawks struck again.
Rookie defenseman Nick Leddy showed great poise with the puck as he kept the puck in at the left point and walked along the blue line with it until he found Marian Hossa open at the top of the left circle. Hossa gave it back to Leddy, who was at the middle of the blue line, and Leddy found veteran defenseman Jassen Cullimore at the right half wall. With Tomas Kopecky providing a screen in front of Mason, Cullimore shot it and it bounced off of Kopecky right to Hossa, coming into the slot, and he put it topshelf, glove side for the two goal lead.

Early in the second period, on a power play no less, Columbus closed the gap to one with a shorthanded goal from R.J. Umberger.
Derek Dorsett picked off a Duncan Keith pass just inside the Hawks' blue line and found Umberger coming into the zone. He  handed it off to him and Umberger and he walked in alone for the most part and got a backhanded shot off in close. The puck somehow ended up off the end boards and Umberger got it and flipped it past Hawks goalie Marty Turco from below the goal line.

The Hawks answered back with their own shorthanded goal about 8 minutes later as Columbus had started to gain some momentum.
Patrick Sharp stole the puck at the right point of his own zone and gave it to Jake Dowell in the neutral zone and they had a two on one going for them. Dowell gave it back to Sharp at Columbus' blue line and from the left circle, Sharp let one sick wrister fly that beat Mason blocker side.

Sharp wasn't done yet though.
2 minutes and 2 seconds later, he potted another one for his 3rd goal of the year.
From below the left circle, Troy Brouwer took a shot on net and Mason gave up a rebound right to Sharp, who was cruising the slot. Sharp shoveled it home as Mason started to slide to his left.

The Hawks made it a four goal lead 15 seconds into the 3rd period.
Hossa took the puck in the neutral zone and walked all the way into Columbus' zone, near the bottom of the right circle. He backhanded a pass to Kopecky, who was coming into crash the net and Kopecky got a backhanded shot off. Mason gave up a rebound, and was down, and Kopecky corralled it back to his forehand and got it into the wide open cage for his first goal of the year. 

The Jackets added a goal to change the final score at the 13:39 mark.
From the right circle, Rostislav Klesla backhanded a shot at the net and Umberger collected the rebound and got it into the slot for Kristian Huselius to put it home glove side of Turco, who went down in a double pad stack save mode, but didn't get a piece of it.

All in all though, it was the Hawks' most complete game of the young season.
"It was really good," Turco said postgame, "The guys played a great game tonight. I think the score was indicative of how we played. It was a great road win. It took a lot of guys to block some shots, penalty killing, all that stuff you need to be successful. But it was also a little tighter at times, especially early on before we got a couple of goals."

"I wouldn't say we were there, but it was definitely the game we need to play," Kopecky added, "It was a typical road game and that's how we need to play, simple and good sticks, good positioning. The more simple we play, we're gonna have more success."

"I thought it was a pretty good game from our team," Sharp also said, "I think that right from the first shift, we were skating in good five man groups out there, and thought our D had a great game controlling the play and having good sticks and that was a big key in the play tonight."
On a personal level, Sharp said: "It's always nice to score, especially early in the season and it's nice to get a couple in a win. Who knows what's gonna happen. I always say you never know when you're gonna score the next goal but I think if we get every line contributing like we did tonight, we'll be okay."

Kopecky also said about his own play recently, and his linemates': "For me it's just [that] I'm playing my game. I know what I need to do, I just go in front, stop in front, and look for rebounds. Obviously [Hossa and Jonathan Toews], they just make things happen. When I have [my] stick on the ice, I just drive the net and stop in front. Tazer is so good in the corners. Hoss is a great shooter and it makes it easier for all of us. We kinda know what we can expect from each other."

Patrick Sharp had 13 shots on goal. Yes, count them. 13 SHOTS ON GOAL. It was a new franchise record.
-His shot percentage from the game was 15.4%.
-He now leads the league in shots with 25.
-Tomas Kopecky had the second most shots on goal in 6.
The Hawks outshot Columbus 40-32.
-The Hawks' power play went 0-2 and the Jackets' went 0-4.
-Columbus won 33 faceoffs and the Hawks won 27.
•The three stars of the game were:
1. Patrick Sharp
2. Tomas Kopecky
3. R.J. Umberger
•The Hawks' scratches were:
-Brian Campbell [on IR]
-Patrick Kane [He was sick.]
-Niklas Hjalmarsson [Still suspended.]
•Brent Seabrook led the Hawks in ice time with 24:21.
Nick Boynton had 5 blocked shots.
The Hawks' centermen's faceoff percentages were:
-Patrick Sharp: 66.7%
-Jonathan Toews: 52.6%
-Jake Dowell: 42.9%
-Dave Bolland: 14.3%
•Marian Hossa led the Hawks in shifts with 26.
•Jassen Cullimore was recalled from Rockford to fill in for Patrick Kane's roster spot. Cullimore had an assist and was +1 on the backend as he was paired up with Nick Leddy and also sometimes Nick Boynton throughout the night. John Scott was moved up to forward and only had 3 shifts, and a total amount of ice time of 2:32. 

Tomas Kopecky celebrates his early third period goal with Hawks Captain Jonathan Toews.

Viktor Stalberg takes the shot that ended up being his first goal as a Hawk.

Brent Seabrook greets Patrick Sharp after Sharp scored his second goal of the night.

Marian Hossa celebrates his first period goal with Jassen Cullimore and Jonathan Toews.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Extremely Late Penalty Costs Hawks Against Nashville

Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks 
Final Score: 3-1 Preds 
Scoring Summary 
1st Period 
4:48-CHI-PPG-Patrick Kane [2] (Jonathan Toews [2], Patrick Sharp [2])
6:37-NSH-Steve Sullivan [2] (Cal O'Reily [1], Ryan Suter [2])
16:58-CHI-Jonathan Toews [1] (Tomas Kopecky [4], Marian Hossa [3]
2nd Period 
3rd Period
4:43-NSH-Colin Wilson [1] (Kevin Klein [1], Marcel Goc [1])
19:33-NSH-PPG-Joel Ward [1] (J.P. Dumont [2], David Legwand [1])

 After coming off of their first win of the season on Monday, the Hawks were looking to get back on track again with a victory over the Nashville Predators.

The game started out good, with the Hawks grabbing the first goal at 4:48 of the first period.
Patrick Sharp pinched in from the point while the Hawks were on a power play to keep a play alive. Jonathan Toews picked up the puck behind the net and then sent a pass over to Patrick Kane near the right circle. Kane walked up the boards a bit, then into the circle and he let a wrister fly and it beat Preds rookie goalie Anders Lindback high glove side for his second goal in two games.

Just about 2 minutes later, the Preds came back with a four on four goal by Steve Sullivan.
After Ryan Suter's shot from just inside the blue line was blocked by Brent Seabrook, he collected the puck and walked into the bottom right part of the left circle. His shot on net was denied by John Scott's sliding shot block and Colin Wilson, from his stomach, poked the puck to Sullivan in between the hash marks. He made his way into the right circle, and sent a wrist shot past Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford's left shoulder and into the back of the net.

With 3:14 left in the period, Marian Hossa came flying in out of nowhere and picked Patric Hornqvist's pocket in the neutral zone. 
He skated down the left wing boards, and then back up them and to the end of the "NHL Faceoff" logo where he tossed the puck over to Tomas Kopecky at the bottom of the right circle. 
Kopecky sent a touch pass over to Jonathan Toews at the left dot and Toews was able to sneak the puck under Lindback's right arm and into the back of the net for his first goal of the 2010-11 campaign. 

And in the words of Pat Foley: "What a passing play set up by the brilliance of Marian Hossa, who was one against five and they couldn't get it away from him! It wound up in the net!"

The second period was relatively quiet, but in the third, Nashville really came on.
Kevin Klein sent a blue line to blue line pass to Marcel Goc at the left point. Goc entered the zone and, from the top of the left circle, found Colin Wilson in the slot and passed it to him. Wilson one timed the puck from the slot and it grazed Jordan Hendry as he went down to block the shot, which allowed it to beat Crawford high blocker side. 

At 17:47, Nick Boynton took a delay of game penalty for shooting the puck into the crowd from his own zone.
The Hawks almost had it killed off, with less than 30 seconds to go in the game and with 15 seconds left in the kill, Joel Ward was waiting backdoor for a J.P. Dumont pass from the the other side of the net and he put it home into the wide open cage for the game winning goal of the game.

 "I think the puck was flat and as I went to shoot it, it rolled up, at least that's what it felt like," Boynton said after the game about his penalty, "Obviously it wasn't my intention to do what I did. But it happened.
"Stuff happens."

Even though it did cost them a chance at getting a point in overtime, they didn't play their best game.
"You can't let any team in this league hang around, they've got good players and we gotta bury teams," Boynton added, "We just didn't captialize on our chances and when you let it go down to the final two minutes anything can happen."

"Give them credit, they played hard," Kopecky said, "We can't play only 20 minutes a game. We gotta play a whole 60. It's disappointing. We gotta take 5 minutes, learn from this, and get ready against Columbus.
"They played good, but I think we beat ourselves. We stopped playing after the 1st period. Every team right now is going to take advantage of you when you stop playing. We just gotta keep playing hard and play in thier zone."

Kopecky also talked about the way they had been playing.

"Sometimes we gotta play a little bit more simpler. We try sometimes too much. That goal [that his line with Toews and Hossa scored], it was nice but it didn't help us to win. All 3 of us, we know it's our job . Obviously we would like to help more. We have to find a way to win and that's what the good teams do, they always find a way to win."

•Nashville outshot the Hawks 27-25.
-The Hawks only had one power play, but they did convert on it. Nashville's power play went 1-3.
-Both the Hawks and Nashville won 27 faceoffs.
•The Hawks' centermen's faceoff percentages were:
-Jonathan Toews: 63.6%
-Dave Bolland: 61.5%
-Patrick Sharp: 40%
-Jake Dowell: 14.3%
Troy Brouwer, Jack Skille, and Duncan Keith each had 2 hits.
Duncan Keith led the team in ice time with 32:52.
-Rookie defenseman Nick Leddy was on the ice for 19:50.
Fernando Pisani and Jake Dowell led the team in shots [3].
Nick Leddy had 5 blocked shots.
Duncan Keith led the team in shifts with 30.
Marian Hossa's 3 goals are 4th in the league. His 3 assists are 7th. His 6 points are 2nd and his +/- rating of +5 is first.
-Tomas Kopecky's 4 assists are 2nd in the league. His 4 points are 10th and his +/- rating of +4 is 4th.
•The Hawks' next game is Friday night in Columbus at 6 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet.

Post Game Interviews 
Nick Boynton
Tomas Kopecky
 •Corey Crawford
Coach Q
Game Highlights

Patrick Kane celebrates his power play goal with Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, and Brent Seabrook.

Jonathan Toews celebrates his goal in the first period.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hawks Earn First Win of the Season in Buffalo

Chicago Blackhawks @ Buffalo Sabres 
Final Score: 4-3 Hawks
Scoring Summary 
1st Period
00:14-BUF-Drew Stafford [1] (Derek Roy [1], Jordan Leopold [1])
2:43-BUF-Derek Roy [4] (Jochen Hecht [1], Stafford [1])
7:44-CHI-PPG-Patrick Kane [1] (Duncan Keith [1])
2nd Period
4:08-CHI-Nick Leddy [1] (Nick Boynton [1], Tomas Kopecky [3])
18:47-CHI-Marian Hossa [2] (Bryan Bickell [1])
3rd Period
3:36-CHI-Marian Hossa [3] (Unassisted)
5:24-BUF-Tim Connolly [1] (Steve Montador [1], Tyler Ennis [4])
The Hawks were looking to stop a two game slide Monday as they were facing the Buffalo Sabres.
The game didn't start out very pretty for the defending Stanley Cup Champions though.

14 seconds in, Drew Stafford scored first for the Sabres on rookie goaltender Corey Crawford, who was making his first start of the season.
Derek Roy brought the puck into the Hawks zone down the left wing boards and passed the puck to Stafford in the left circle. Stafford let a wrist shot go and it beat Crawford glove side.

It didn't get much better after that. 1:29 later, with the same top line for Buffalo out there, Stafford beat Brent Seabrook to a puck just above the red line and came around the net and sent a centering pass to the slot. Jochen Hecht picked it up and fired a shot on net. Crawford gave up a rebound and Roy, lurking out in front, got to it and managed to shovel it home to give the Sabres a two goal lead.

The Hawks closed within one at the 7:44 mark with a goal from hometown boy, Patrick Kane, on the power play.
In the high slot, Duncan Keith dropped a beautiful, behind the back pass for Kane. Kane picked it up and walked in to the top of the circles and let a wicked wrister go that beat Vezina trophy winner Ryan Miller topshelf, blocker side.

It spiraled back down for the Hawks after that when defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson got a five minute major for boarding and a game misconduct after he dropped the hammer on Jason Pominville.
Pominville was along the left halfwall of his own zone, waiting for a pass from a couple of feet in front of him. He looked over his shoulder to see Hjalmarsson coming in for the hit. Instead of moving for said hit, he put his head down to look at the pass in his feet and got his world rocked. The hit was shoulder to shoulder, or shoulder to shoulder blade and Pominville hit his head against the glass and crumpled to the ice.  Hjalmarsson was then jumped by Sabres defending their teammate.
Following that, Hjalmarsson was tossed, the Sabres got no penalties for jumping him--for lack of a better word--, Pominville was taken off on a stretcher, and the Hawks had to kill off a five minute Buffalo power play, down a key, shot-blocking defenseman.  
The hit was a touch from behind, yes, which many people argue made it dirty, whereas others say it was a clean hit with an unfortunate ending.
"To me you can argue that it was even a penalty," Coach Joel Quenneville said, "I know that you don't want to see anybody go down and get hurt like that, but he wasn't even looking at the guy. He was playing the puck and just hit him. The way he went in, he was compromised, but there was no intent at all on the head."

The Hawks successfully killed it off and gained some momentum. At the end of 20, they were still only down one goal.
"I think that was the turning point, definitely," winger Marian Hossa said after the game, "Obviously to kill five minutes is not easy, but I think we did an excellent job. Everybody went [out] there for a short time and we kept rolling, I think, three or four units and that was great to see."
The Hawks tied the game up 4:08 into the second period with help from one of their youngsters.
Nick Leddy got his first career NHL goal with a slapshot from the high slot that deflected off of Shaone Morrisonn's skate and into the empty cage with Miller facing the other way. Hawks Captain Jonathan Toews made sure to pick up the milestone puck to give to Leddy.
"[It was] nice to see the kid get a goal," Quenneville said.

After Leddy's goal, Marian Hossa took over.
Hossa gave the Hawks their first lead of the game after Bryan Bickell sent a pass from the right halfwall over to him, waiting at the opposing blue line. Hossa walked in on the breakaway and from the slot, he faked a slap shot, and then wristed one past Miller, five-hole, for his second of the young season.
"I think they forgot about me. It was a late change," Hossa said about the goal, "I saw we had the puck so I kinda hanged up there and had a chance on the breakaway.

Hossa continued to tear it up and at the 3:36 mark of the third, added an unassisted goal for the Hawks' first two goal lead this year.
He stole the puck in the neutral zone and walked in along the left wing boards of Buffalo's zone on a two on one.
From the bottom right of the left circle, Hossa sent his quick wrist shot past Miller, glove side.

Not long after that though, Buffalo got one back with Tim Connolly's first of the season.
Connolly was waiting backdoor and put home a crosscrease pass from Steve Montador. Crawford really had no chance on it.
But the Hawks were able to hang on for their first win of the year, with some big saves from Crawford down the stretch.

After the game, Hjalmarsson had this to say about the hit:
"Everything happened so fast. But I thought it was a hit shoulder to shoulder. Everything went so fast out there and my intention obviously wasn't to hurt him. I heard our doctor [say] he's up walking so, that's a big relief. It's never fun seeing a guy lay on the ice like that."
On Tuesday, the league took disciplinary action against the young defenseman and handed him a two game suspension for the hit in which gave Pominville a concussion.


•Buffalo outshot the Hawks 35-30.
-The Hawks' power play went 1-3 and the Sabres' went 0-5.
-The Sabres won 32 faceoffs and the Hawks took 21.
•The 3 stars of the game were: 
1. Marian Hossa
2. Derek Roy
3. Nick Boynton
•The scratches for the Hawks were: 
-Brian Campbell [on IR]
-Jordan Hendry [healthy scratch]
•The Hawks' centermen's faceoff percentages were:
-Jonathan Toews: 56%
-Dave Bolland: 33.3%
-Patrick Sharp: 30.8% 
   -Jake Dowell: 0%
Marian Hossa had 6 shots on goal.
-Patrick Kane had 5.
Marian Hossa's 5 points [3G 2A] are tied for the league lead.
-Tomas Kopecky's 3 assists are tied for 3rd in the league.
Duncan Keith was on the ice for 31:42.
-8:12 of that ice time was shorthanded.
-Keith also had 4 blocked shots.
Brent Seabrook had 3 hits and lead the Hawks with 32 shifts.
•The win was Corey Crawford's second of his career.
•The Hawks' record is 1-1-1 with 3 points.
•The Hawks' next game is Wednesday night at 7:30 at the United Center. They play the Nashville Predators on Comcast Sportsnet.

Nick Leddy holds his first goal puck.

Patrick Kane celebrates his 1st period power play goal.

Marian Hossa celebrates with Bryan Bickell after Hossa's first goal of the game in the second period.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hawks Beat Pens in Preseason Action

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Final Score: 5-2 Hawks
Scoring Summary 
1st Period
2nd Period
4:20-CHI-Fernando Pisani [1] (Dave Bolland [1], Bryan Bickell [3])
13:47-CHI-PPG-Tomas Kopecky [ 1] (Patrick Sharp [1])
3rd Period
00:18-CHI-Marian Hossa [2] (unassisted)
5:56-CHI-PPG-Patrick Kane [1] (Sharp [2], Duncan Keith [2])
10:40-PIT-PPG-Alex Goligoski (Mike Rupp, Andrew Hutchinson)
18:42-PIT-Craig Adams (Pascal Dupuis, Goligoski)
18:59-CHI-Marian Hossa [3] (Brent Seabrook [3], John Scott [1])

Friday night, the Hawks were facing the Penguins for the 2nd time in the preseason of the 2010-11.

The Hawks had a couple of good scoring opportunities in the 1st period, and one particularly great one came off of the stick of Viktor Stalberg.
Jake Dowell entered the zone, and from the top of the right circle sent a pass over to Stalberg in the slot out in front and Stalberg had Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury beat, with Fleury sliding to his right. Stalberg managed to get the puck by him, but it hit the left post. 

At 4:20 of the second period, Fernando Pisani tallied his first goal of the preseason in a Hawk uniform. From the top of the left circle, Dave Bolland sent a nifty pass over to Pisani in the right circle and Pisani sent a soft one timer towards the net and beat Fleury glove side.

The Hawks capitalized on a power play opportunity in the second as well. Patrick Sharp picked up a loose puck above the right circle and blasted one on net with Tomas Kopecky screening Fleury. Kopecky got a piece of it and it went glove side.
"It really wasn't that special of a shot," Sharp said after the game, "just hard and in the middle of the net and Kopy got his pants or his stick on it and it went in. When you got guys blocking the goalie's eyes like that, they're gonna find a way in."

18 seconds into the 3rd, Marian Hossa sped into the Pens' zone down the right wing boards and beat Simon Despres to a loose puck just above the right hashmarks and just under the right circle, he beat backup goalie Brent Johnson with his quick, little wrist shot, blocker side.

On another power play, the Hawks increased their lead to 4-0 with a goal from Patrick Kane. 
Sharp blasted a shot on net from the right circle and Johnson gave up a huge rebound to Kane underneath the left circle and Kane just shoveled it home into the empty cage for his first of the preseason.

The Pens closed the gap to 4-2 with a power play goal from Alex Goligoski just under 11 minutes in and then about 8 minutes later, Craig Adams, a former Hawk, got on the board as well.

Hossa put the dagger in the Pens' coffin 17 seconds later with his second of the night. Brent Seabrook sprung him with the pass and he split the Pittsburgh D and went backhand and then forehand and beat Johnson over his right shoulder with a wrister from close in.

The Hawks were 2 for 5 on the power play and Hossa says it's key that they get the PP rolling early for it to be effective in the regular season.
"That's what you're going to need during the whole regular season, you know, get the power play and penalty killing, [those] special [teams] going because that's what's mostly going to win the games. [Friday night] I think we did a good job."

Corey Crawford started and played the whole game in net for the Hawks, and made 26 saves. 
"It was nice," Crawford said, "I felt like it was just a matter of just holding this team close, with this offense, it's only a matter of time that they score a couple goals. I think [they did] a really good job, I think, of getting pucks out when they tried to get in our zone. We weren't in there too long and we were able to go on offense pretty quick, so I think that was pretty key."

 On their 5 goals, Sharp also said, "It was nice to put a couple in. I think we can still have some room for improvement. There's lots of good puck movement out there, but it's always nice to put a couple in."


•Even though it was a pretty good night for the Hawks, they lost a key piece of their Stanley Cup winning defense Friday night. In the second period, puck moving defenseman Brian Campbell went down with a sprained right knee after a collision with a Pens player along the right wing boards. It came out Saturday that he's going to miss 4-5 weeks, including the home opener on October 9th [obviously] when they raise the Cup Banner against Detroit. 
-Head Coach Joel Quenneville said that rookie Nick Leddy will get a chance to be Campbell's replacement. He's slotted to play with Campbell's normal partner Niklas Hjalmarsson in Sunday's preseason finale against the St. Louis Blues.
•The Penguins outshot the Hawks 28-26.
•The 3 stars of the game were:
1. Marian Hossa
The Hawks' right winger had 2 goals, including the game winner.
2. Fernando Pisani
The Hawks' winger continued to his good preseason with his goal in the first period.
3. Patrick Sharp
The Hawks' centerman had 2 assists in his 3rd game of the preseason.
The Hawks' centermen's faceoff percentages were:
-Jonathan Toews: 69%
-Dave Bolland: 62%
-Patrick Sharp: 46%
-Jake Dowell: 44%
John Scott led the team in hits with 5, and Bryan Bickell and Troy Brouwer each had 4.
Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews each had 4 shots on goal.
Nick Boynton had 6 blocked shots.
Duncan Keith led the team in ice time with 26:29.
Brent Seabrook led the team in shifts [25].
•The Hawks' next game is Sunday at 5 p.m. at the United Center against the St. Louis Blues. It will be broadcast on WGN in the Chicagoland area and NHL Network nationally.
-Marty Turco is scheduled to start in net for the Hawks.

Post Game Interviews 
  •Coach Q

Patrick Sharp celebrates after Tomas Kopecky tipped in his shot on the power play in the second period.

**There would've been more coverage on the Penguins' goals, but I didn't see any highlights anywhere so I couldn't report on what I didn't see, just so everyone knows.