Friday, April 29, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Joe Lavin

               Position: Defenseman          Shoots: Left
               Height: 6'3"                       Birthday: July 17, 1989
               Weight: 200                      Hometown: Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
2      0   1      1     +1      4       0        0       3      0.0

On April 9th, Joe Lavin signed an ATO with the IceHogs for the final two games of the season after his Notre Dame team lost in the semifinals of the Frozen Four to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Lavin, ND's captain, recorded 17 points [6G, 11A] in 44 games in his senior year with the Fighting Irish while he patrolled the blue line with fellow Blackhawks prospect, Stephen Johns, who was in his freshman year with the club.

When he came to Rockford, he played pretty good in his first pro game, despite taking two penalties. In his next game, the final of the season against the Chicago Wolves, he registered his first pro point with an assist on David Gilbert's power play goal.
He's a good skater and he's got good size. He has a bright future ahead of him.

Lavin signed a two year entry level contract on April 11th, so he'll be back with the Hogs for his first full pro season next year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Jassen Cullimore

                         Position: Defenseman          Shoots: Left
                         Height: 6'5"                       Birthday: December 4, 1972
                         Weight: 220                      Hometown: Simcoe, Ontario

2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
41    2   7      9      -2      26      0       0       41     4.9 

For the first half of the season, Jassen Cullimore was up on the Blackhawks. In 36 games with the big club, he accumulated 8 points [0G, 8A] and was +4. Cullimore was sent back down on January 6th in order to make cap room for the recall of rookie defenseman Nick Leddy the next day. Back in Rockford, Cullimore was able to help the young defensemen improve their games, all while adding veteran presence to the team.
He was also recalled again at the end of the season to be a part of the Hawks' Black Aces.

Cullimore may be back next season, his contract is up this summer, but as of now, no one knows for sure. It certainly wouldn't hurt anything if he returned to the Hogs' blue line.

Cullimore in a Blue Jackets vs Hawks game on December 26th. (

Monday, April 25, 2011

Smith's OT Winner Pushes Series to a Game 7

Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Game 6-Round 1-Western Conference Quarterfinals
Final Score: 4-3 [OT] Hawks
 Scoring Summary
1st Period
2:06-VAN-Daniel Sedin [5] (Henrik Sedin [5], Alex Burrows [2])
14:57-CHI-Bryan Bickell [2] (Dave Bolland [4])
18:48-VAN-Alex Burrows [1] (Unassisted)
2nd Period
15:08-CHI-Dave Bolland [2] (Patrick Kane [5])
3rd Period
00:58-VAN-Kevin Bieksa [1] (Mason Raymond [2], Burrows [3])
2:31-CHI-PS-Michael Frolik [2] (Unassisted)
15:30-CHI-Ben Smith [3] (Niklas Hjalmarsson [2], Marian Hossa [3])  

It didn't matter what team you were rooting for on Sunday night because chances are you were on pins and needles the whole game.

For Hawk fans, those pins and needles got a tad more sharper early in the first period of Game 6.
The boys in red didn't exactly have the best start and 2:06 into the game, they were already down by one.
From the side of the left circle, Henrik Sedin sent a pass behind the net to his brother Daniel and he came to the side of the Hawks' net with a wraparound attempt. His shot bounced off of Hawk rookie goaltender Corey Crawford's pads and trickled its way over the goal line for Daniel's 5th goal of the series.

Patrick Kane had a golden opportunity to tie the game up after he had come out of the penalty box for serving a high sticking penalty. 
He was on a breakaway in all alone on Canucks backup goalie Cory Schneider, who was starting over Roberto Luongo. Kane tried to go five-hole on his backhand, but Schneider made the pad save.

It took the Hawks almost 13 minutes to respond on the scoreboard.
Dave Bolland lined up Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis and absolutely flattened him beneath the goal line. Hawks play by play man Pat Foley called it "The Bolland Blowup."
Because of that hit, Hamhuis coughed the puck up to the front of the net and big forward Bryan Bickell came in and put it past Schneider high blocker side for his second career playoff goal.
"Yeah, that was a big hit," Bolland told after the game, "It was a clean hit, too, right? So, it was satisfying and it led to a big goal as well."

With just over a minute to go in the period, the Canucks regained their lead. 
Hawks defenseman Chris Campoli had a good opportunity to clear the puck out of the zone from the slot, but he fanned on it. Alex Burrows picked up the loose change and fired a wrister over Crawford's right shoulder.

The Hawks had a golden chance to get a lead in the second period when they had a five on three power play for about a minute and a half. They had some good looks, but Schneider was outstanding and kept the score at 2-1.

The Hawks caught a break though with under five minutes left in the period.
Schneider came out of his net and into the trapezoid to play the puck and he threw it into the right corner and right onto the stick of Patrick Kane. Kane found Bolland coming into the slot and sauced it over to him. Bolland one timed it into the net.

Any momentum the Hawks took into the third period was thrown out the window 58 seconds in. Talkative Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa gave Vancouver the lead back as both teams were playing four on four hockey due to Henrik Sedin and Brian Campbell being in the box for coincidental minors.
Mason Raymond brought the puck into the Hawks' zone down the right wing boards and he had a two on one going with Bieksa who was coming down through the slot. Duncan Keith was the only man back and in position for the Hawks. Raymond shot the puck from the right circle and Crawford gave up a rebound, right to Bieksa, who poked it home.

The Hawks battled back thanks to Michael Frolik. 
Frolik had entered the Canucks' zone in the clear and was tripped up by Hamhuis' stick. The referee called it a penalty shot.
In Blackhawks franchise history, no player had scored on a penalty shot in the playoffs.
Until now.
Frolik went backhand, forehand and he got the puck past Schneider blocker side to tie the game up at 3.

"I [had] kind of a long shift before that," Frolik said after the game, "and I was a little bit gassed. I tried to keep my breath and calm [myself] down and the crowd was kind of crazy, too, so I kind of tried to focus on myself. "

Schneider was hurt on the play, which was later reported as leg cramping, so Luongo had to come in for him in relief.

The Hawks didn't get very many shots on Luongo when they should've since he was coming in cold. The Canucks seemed to handle the play for the rest of the period pretty well. But Crawford made some good saves to keep them in it.

The final horn of regulation went off and overtime was next.

Jonathan Toews had a beauty of a chance to get his first goal of the series and to win it 5 minutes in. From the top of the right circle, Kane found Toews all alone in the slot. He got the puck to Toews' tape, but Toews couldn't corral it and Luongo poked it away.

The Canucks had a couple of great chances in overtime. 
One came when Campoli tried to keep a puck in at the Canuck blue line but it slipped past him and Maxim Lapierre picked it up and brought it into the Hawks' zone on a two on one with Chris Higgins. Brent Seabrook, who was playing in his first game since sitting out with a concussion after that Raffi Torres hit, went down to block the shot, but Lapierre got the shot off and Crawford gave up a rebound that went into the slot. Higgins saw the puck just laying there, waiting to be put into the back of the net, but former Canuck Ryan Johnson came flying in from behind on the backcheck and was able to get the puck away from him and into the corner.

Nick Leddy also made a nice play not long after that when the Canucks had a 4 on 2 going in their favor. Leddy was able to get his stick in the shooting lane and deflected the shot out of play, into the netting behind the goal.

At the 15:30 mark of overtime, an unexpected hero emerged.
Marian Hossa was able to hold onto the puck beautifully as he stickhandled in the Canucks' zone through the left circle. He found Niklas Hjalmarsson at the point and Hjalmarsson sent a wrist shot at the net. Luongo gave up a rebound right out in front of him where Ben Smith was waiting and battling for position out in front with Daniel Sedin.
With Luongo down, and Sedin trying to tie him up, Smith scooped up the rebound and sent a backhanded shot over Luongo and into the back of the net for the game winner and to force a seventh game back in Vancouver.
It was Smith's third goal of the series, but the biggest one by far.

"I really just wanted to get to the front of the net," Smith told the media, "That's what I try and do, that's kind of my game is to be a body in front of the net and turn and whack at rebounds and that's what happened.
"Nik Hjalmarsson made a great, hard shot and the rebound bounced right there for me."

"He's been so fiesty. He's been doing it all," Toews said about Smith, "You never expect that from a guy that's played more postseason games than he has regular season almost. He's been awesome, scoring big goals for us. Obviously, it doesn't get bigger than that one right there."
"A few weeks ago, I didn't know I'd even be here," Smith humbly said, "It's really amazing and I'm just really thankful for all the help I've had, you know, friends [and] family supporting me and the guys in the room and all the support systems that I've had."
"They had a couple of chances [in overtime]," Crawford told the media, "A couple times they [had] great opportunities in the slot and we made a great play defensively to knock it away, one on the two on one there, a great backcheck to push it away in the corner and another one on the four on two where a guy gets his stick on it and it goes up in the net.
"Guys were sacrificing and doing everything we could to set us up for that goal."
Said Toews: "It was an unbelievable effort from the boys. We kept going down one goal a bunch of times but we stuck with it. A big penalty shot goal there late in the game [that] keeps us in it. We were just looking for that one break and we got it."
"At this point, it's nice to fight back," Crawford added, "but we still have one more. This was a great win for us, obviously [we have] a lot of momentum, but we got to keep it going. Game 7's probably gonna be even tougher. We gotta be ready."

"It's not over from here," Smith said, "We got a big challenge in Game 7 and we'll see what happens."
•The Canucks outshot the Hawks 35-33.
-The Hawks' power play went 0-4 and Vancouver's went 0-2.
-The Hawks won 43 faceoffs and Vancouver won 36.
-Chicago dominated in the blocked shots category. They blocked 31 whereas the Canucks only blocked 12.
•The 3 stars of the game were:
1. Ben Smith
2. Dave Bolland
3. Alex Burrows
•The Hawks' scratches were:
-Jordan Hendry [ACL]
-Tomas Kopecky [upper body]
-Jake Dowell [healthy]
-Fernando Pisani [healthy]
-Marcus Kruger [healthy]
•The Hawks' centermen's faceoff percentages were:
-Ryan Johnson: 75%
-Patrick Sharp: 56.2%
-Jonathan Toews: 54.8%
-Dave Bolland: 38.1%
Duncan Keith led the Hawks in ice time with 33:15.
Chris Campoli led the way in blocked shots with 6 of them.
Patrick Kane had a team high 5 shots on goal.
Bryan Bickell, Patrick Sharp, and Jonathan Toews each had 4 hits.
Brian Campbell took 44 shifts, a team high.
Jonathan Toews had five takeaways.
Patrick Kane's 5 assists are 6th in the NHL.
-Patrick Sharp is 6th in the league with 3 goals.
-Duncan Keith is 2nd in the league in goals with 4, 5th in points with 6, and 6th in shots on goal with 26.
-Ben Smith is 2nd in the league in shot percentage. His is 75%.
-Dave Bolland is tied for second in +/- with a +6 rating.
-Bryan Bickell and Niklas Hjalmarsson are tied for 4th in +/- with a +4.
-Michael Frolik and Chris Campoli are tied for 5th in +/- with a +3.
•The Hawks' next game is Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet and Versus. It's back to Vancouver for Game 7.
Bryan Bickell had surgery today to repair a tendon in his wrist.
Post Game Interviews
Coach Q 

Bryan Bickell celebrates his goal with Michael Frolik.

Dave Bolland celebrates after he scored in the second period.

Michael Frolik celebrates with the crowd after he scored on his 3rd period penalty shot.

Ben Smith celebrating with Marian Hossa after he scored the game winning goal in overtime.

Roberto Luongo after Smith scored in overtime.

The Hawks mob Smith after his game winner.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Ryan Stanton

                          Position: Defenseman          Shoots: Left
                          Height: 6'2"                       Birthday: July 20, 1989
                          Weight: 205                      Hometown: St. Albert, Alberta

2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
73      3   14   17     +9     76       0       0       98     3.1 

For being undrafted, Ryan Stanton has come a long way. The Hawks signed him to a 3 year entry level contract on March 12, 2010 and after Prospect Camp in July and Training Camp in September, he found himself a part of the Hogs' blue line.

He started out pretty shaky. He made some terrible turnovers and found himself as a scratch for a couple of games. As the year wore on, around January, Stanton really started to pick his game up. He showed more confidence with the puck, gained the trust of the coaching staff, and was provided with solid minutes game in and game out. After he scored his first goal on February 23rd against the Chicago Wolves, he started playing even better and his new found confidence was evident in the way he made plays.

Down the stretch, the former Moose Jaw Warrior turned into a very reliable defenseman and his final numbers on the year back that up and show how far he's come. His +/- rating of +9 ended up being third best on the team. During the team awards at the end of the year, he was named the team's Most Improved Player. It was a very deserving award. On April 14th, he was recalled by the Blackhawks to be one of their Black Aces for the playoffs.
Stanton will more than likely be back on the Hogs' blue line next season and he'll only improve even more.

Stanton talking to Jeremy Morin [19] during warmups on November 27th vs Peoria.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Dylan Olsen

                      Position: Defenseman         Shoots: Left
                      Height: 6'3"                      Birthday: January 3, 1991
                      Weight: 220                     Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
42    0   4     4      -18     10      0        0       40     0

The Hogs received an unexpected arrival on the blue line in January when Dylan Olsen signed an entry level contract on the first of the year and was assigned to Rockford. When he played his first game with the Hogs on January 14th, he was coming off of winning a silver medal at the World Junior Tournament where he represented Team Canada. Before World Juniors, Olsen was patrolling the blue line as a sophomore at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he tallied 13 points [1G, 12 A] in 17 games.

In his first couple of games in Rockford, it wasn't too hard to tell that jumping from college to the AHL was a big transition. He wasn't very physical at first and made some rookie mistakes, but he settled in nicely as time went on. He began to use his big frame and gradually became more physical. His ice time increased, especially when Ivan Vishnevskiy and Jassen Cullimore went down with injuries, and it was obvious that head coach Bill Peters showed more confidence in him down the stretch. He made smarter decisions with the puck and by the time the season ended, he looked much more comfortable out there.

When he was drafted by the Hawks in the first round (28th overall) in 2009, some compared his style of play to Brent Seabrook's. As he continues to develop and his physicality increases, he definitely will be a Seabrook type player, which he has shown flashes of this year.
Olsen will be back on the Hogs' blue line next year, barring a very big summer and an opening in the Hawks' top 7 defensemen.

Olsen during a faceoff on Jan. 22nd on Pink in the Rink night at the MetroCentre.

Friday, April 22, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Garnet Exelby

                      Position: Defenseman         Shoots: Left
                      Height: 6'1"                      Birthday: August 16, 1981
                      Weight: 215                      Hometown: Ste. Anne, Manitoba
2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
77    3   10   13     +7    128      0         0     81     3.7

On a team filled with young players, Garnet Exelby provided that much needed veteran presence for the IceHogs this year. On November 3rd of this season, he was named team captain and he was a solid and consistent player all year long. He showed up every night ready to play and could normally be counted on for a big hit or two. In fact, he earned the award for heaviest hitter on April 9th when the Hogs gave out their annual team awards before the last home game of the season. He had a solid year and because of it, and also because he's a veteran, he was called up to the Blackhawks to be apart of the Black Aces for the playoffs. 
His contract is up this summer and he could easily find himself in the NHL somewhere. But if no big club comes knocking, he would definitely be a guy the Hogs would love to have back with the club next year.

Hawks' Big Guns Step Up in Vital Game 5

Chicago Blackhawks @ Vancouver Canucks
 Game 5-Round 1-Western Conference Quarterfinals
Final Score: 5-0 Hawks
Scoring Summary
1st Period
5:54-CHI-PPG-Marian Hossa [1] (Duncan Keith [1], Corey Crawford [2])
6:18-CHI-Duncan Keith [3] (Ryan Johnson [1], Marcus Kruger [1])
12:17-CHI-PPG-Patrick Kane [1] (Keith [2], Brian Campbell [2])
2nd Period
1:26-CHI-Marian Hossa [2] (Patrick Sharp [1], Bryan Bickell [2])
4:47-CHI-Duncan Keith [4] (Hossa [2], Sharp [2])
3rd Period

The Hawks rolled into Vancouver Thursday night for Game 5 carrying all the momentum after their 7-2 win in Game 4 that allowed them to stay alive in their first round series against the Canucks in which they were trailing 3-0.

They were looking to have a quick start Thursday, and they did just that.
Just about 6 minutes in, and on their first power play of the night, Marian Hossa got his 4th career playoff goal in the Indian Head sweater to give the Hawks the 1-0 lead.
Hossa carried the puck through the neutral zone and into Vancouver's zone fairly easily as he maneuvered around Canuck penalty killers.  He found himself in between the tops of the circles and let let one of his wicked wrist shots fly and it beat Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo glove side.

24 seconds later, the Hawks struck again. This time it was Norris Trophy winning defenseman Duncan Keith getting his third goal of the series and extending his goal streak to 3 games.
Rookie Marcus Kruger had taken a shot on net from below the right circle and Luongo sent a rebound into the slot where former Canuck Ryan Johnson picked it up. Johnson was in the left circle when he dished a pass over to Keith, who was just inside the blue line at the left point. Keith bombed a shot and it beat Luongo up high.

With Alex Edler in the box for holding at 10:49 of the first, the Hawks found themselves on their second power play of the period and they made it count.
Patrick Kane registered his first goal of the series as he tipped home Keith's shot from in between the hash marks. Captain Jonathan Toews was providing the screen out in front.

The Hawks had a great chance to extend their lead to 4-0 with around three and a half minutes left in the period after Hossa sprung Patrick Sharp on a clear cut breakaway. He tried to go glove side on Luongo, but he stopped him. 

1:26 into the second, Hossa did give the Hawks their 4 goal lead with his second goal of the night.
Sharp was the one who sent Hossa away on a breakaway and Hossa was sure not to miss. From the slot, he went high glove side on Luongo again. There was plenty of open space up there because Luongo was keeping his glove low and close to his body.
 That also ended Luongo's night and backup goaltender Cory Schneider came in to replace him. Schneider also replaced Luongo in the third period of Game 4.

A little over three minutes later, Keith also scored his second goal on the night.
Sharp had brought the puck into the zone and from the left wing boards, sent a cross ice pass over to Hossa at the right halfwall. Hossa touched passed it to Keith just above the top of the right circle and he bombed it. Ben Smith provided the traffic out in front and the shot found its way in for a 5-0 lead.

The Canucks had a good scoring chance with 12:56 left in the second after Dan Hamhuis' shot from just inside the blue line hit some traffic in front and Henrik Sedin got the loose puck and put it on net. Hawks rookie goaltender Corey Crawford made the save and it bounced around some, but Crawford was able to spot the puck and cover it up as John Scott cleared Alex Burrows out of the crease.
Early in the third, Crawford made a big save point blank on Cody Hodgson. Hodgson was left alone out in front by the Hawks' defensemen and his one time shot was swallowed up by Crawford.

Sharp had a chance to redeem himself from his previous breakaway with a shorthanded one with under 13 minutes to go in the third period. Smith provided the pass and Sharp was in all alone again. He tried doing his normal breakaway move, backhand to the forehand and go glove side, but Schneider stoned him with the left pad.

The Hawks were able to hold on and preserve Crawford's shutout as they closed the series gap to 3-2 and forced a Game 6 on Sunday at the United Center.

"Awesome, awesome game for [Crawford]," Kane told about his goalie's 36 save performance, "We didn't really give him much help in the third period for him to get that shutout and he made a lot of big saves for himself."

"We built a lot of momentum the last game," Crawford said to the media after the game, "We played so great and it kind of just carried over for tonight. We were solid, we were hard in all areas, [we made] solid plays getting pucks out, pucks in at the blue lines and making those smart plays.
"And our guys are so skilled and we took advantage of our opportunities."

The Hawks are still going to take the series a game at a time and right now are just looking forward to Game 6.

"Let's face it," Keith said, "We're not out of the woods yet. It's still a battle and they've got a great team on that side. We know we've had a couple of big wins here. We know they're a tough team to play against and we gotta respect that."

"We're looking [forward to] next game," Crawford added, "That's all our focus is on is to come out hard again and have our best game again."

Kane was asked if all the pressure is on Vancouver for Game 6 and he replied with, "I think so, yeah. You gotta feel that way. Especially with them being up 3-0 in the series and now it's 3-2 [and] we're going back home. It seems like all the pressure's on them to win again and we're trying to make history here. We'll take it one game at a time like we said, but it's nice to get two in a row here and put ourselves back in the series."

"We knew they were gonna come out strong after last game," Scott said, "but we were ready for them and we played our game. If we keep doing that, I think we'll have more success."

"We're trying to win a series," Brian Campbell also told, "We haven't done ourselves any justice by putting ourselves here now. We'll try to make this comeback and we'll work hard to try and do it and [we'll] see where it goes."

Said Crawford:  "We'll just keep battling hard until there's a winner."

•The Hawks' 5-0 win was the largest margin of victory in a playoff shutout in franchise history.
Corey Crawford has 2 assists in the series. He is tied with Murray Bannerman for most assists by a goalie in a single post season in franchise history. Bannerman did it in 1985.
•The Canucks outshot the Hawks 36-26.
-The Hawks' power play went 2-5 and the Canucks' went 0-4.
-Both teams won 26 faceoffs.
•The Hawks' centermen's faceoff percentages were:
-Ryan Johnson: 60%
-Jonathan Toews: 53.3%
-Dave Bolland: 51.7%
-Patrick Sharp: 50%
Brian Campbell led the Hawks in ice time with 26:20 and in shifts with 40.
Bryan Bickell led the team in hits with 4.
Duncan Keith led the team with 8 shots on goal. His four points [2G, 2A] were also a career high for him in one game in the playoffs.
Niklas Hjalmarsson had a team high 4 blocked shots.
Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith each had 2 takeaways.
•The Hawks' scratches were:
-Jordan Hendry [torn ACL]
-Brent Seabrook [upper body]
-Tomas Kopecky [upper body]
-Jake Dowell [healthy scratch]
-Fernando Pisani [healthy scratch]
•The three stars of the game were:
1. Duncan Keith
2. Marian Hossa
3. Corey Crawford
Patrick Kane's four assists are 5th in the league and he is 9th in scoring [1G, 4A].
-Duncan Keith's 4 goals are second and his 6 points [4G, 2A] are 4th.
-Patrick Sharp's 3 goals are 6th in the league and his 5 points [3G, 2A] are 9th in the league in scoring as well.
-Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, and Chris Campoli are all tied for 5th in the league in +/- ratings with a +4.
-Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Kane all have one power play goal which is tied for 10th.
-Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith also have one game winning goal which is tied for second.
-Duncan Keith leads the league in shots on goal with 22 and Patrick Sharp is 2nd with 20.
-Ben Smith's shot percentage [66.7%] is second in the league.
•The Hawks' next game is on Sunday at the United Center at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet and Versus.

Post Game Interviews

Marian Hossa celebrates his first goal with Brian Campbell.

Duncan Keith celebrates his first goal with Ryan Johnson, Troy Brouwer, and Nick Leddy.

Patrick Sharp hugs Patrick Kane after Kane scored to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead in the first period.

Nick Leddy congratulates Corey Crawford after the game on his 36 save shutout.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Stalberg Provides the Heroics in the Shootout

Chicago Blackhawks @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Final Score: 4-3 Hawks [SO]
Scoring Summary
1st Period
2:41-CHI-Patrick Kane [26] (Chris Campoli [16], Nick Leddy [2])
5:49-CHI-PPG-Brent Seabrook [7] (Kane [43], Marian Hossa [30])
9:17-CBJ-Maksim Mayorov [1] (Anton Stralman [14], Antoine Vermette [26])
2nd Period
14:07-CBJ-PPG-Derick Brassard [16] (Stralman [15], Vermette [27])
3rd Period
13:22-CBJ-Sammy Pahlsson [7] (Stralman [16], Sami Lepisto [11])
14:57-CHI-Bryan Bickell [17] (Duncan Keith [36])
Maksim Mayorov-CBJ-Save
Jonathan Toews-CHI-Missed the net
Tomas Kubalik-CBJ-Save
Patrick Kane-CHI-Save
Jakub Voracek-CBJ-Save
Viktor Stalberg-CHI-Goal   

Most of the games for the past month have been must wins for the Blackhawks.  Friday night's game in Columbus was really no different.

The Hawks came out flying in the first period, and took it to the Blue Jackets for about the first six or seven minutes of the game.
There were some hairy moments before the Hawks got on the board though.  Rookies Marcus Kruger and Nick Leddy made turnovers near their own blue line and goalie Corey Crawford was there to bail them out. 

Good things happened after Leddy's turnover though.
Chris Campoli was able to collect the loose puck from the side of his net after Crawford's saves and he used the glass to get the puck up and out of the zone.  Patrick Kane was waiting at center ice and once he got to the puck, brought a two on one with Jonathan Toews into the Columbus zone.  
From the bottom part of the left circle, Kane let a wicked wrister go and beat Jackets goalie Mathieu Garon over his left shoulder for his 26th on the campaign.

The Hawks made it a two goal lead just over three minutes later on the power play.
Kane was able to show off his sweet hands again as he dished a pass from the right circle through traffic over to Brent Seabrook, who was pinching in from the point, in the left circle--where the injured Patrick Sharp would normally be waiting on the power play.
Toews was tying up defenseman Marc Methot out in front and it provided enough traffic for Garon not to see the puck and for a falling Seabrook to one time it home.

Following that goal, the Jackets seemed to gain some momentum and it resulted in them cutting the lead to one.
Anton Stralman wristed a shot towards the net from the right point and rookie Maksim Mayorov was able to register his first career NHL goal by tipping it from just below the right hashmarks.
The play was under review for a couple of minutes because it could've been called a high stick.  The ruling on the ice was a goal and there wasn't any conclusive evidence to overturn it so the 22 year old's goal stuck.

"We talked about a big start and we came out really flying tonight," winger Viktor Stalberg told after the game, "I thought we had a great start, a couple of really good chances off the bat, and you know, we get [to] two-nothing and we kind of [took] our foot off the gas a bit."

The second period was riddled with penalties--mostly on the Hawks' part. There were nine total penalties called and 6 of them were taken by the guys in the white sweaters.
They did get a good shorthanded chance while they were down a man for four minutes due to a Kane high sticking double minor.
Marian Hossa and Toews had a two on one going for them into the Jackets' zone. Passing to Toews wasn't an option as the passing lane was taken away nicely. Hossa got in too close and couldn't get a good shot away from the bottom of the right circle.
On that particular kill in general, the Hawks did a great job of killing it all off and not letting Columbus see too many chances.

Columbus was able to strike on their five on three power play though. Hossa was in the box for boarding and Niklas Hjalmarsson was in the box for delay of game.
From center ice, Stralman gave the puck to Antoine Vermette along the right wing boards to lead the rush into the Hawks' zone. Vermette gave it back to Stralman near the right halfwall. Stralman handed it over to Derick Brassard at the top of the left circle and Brassard let a bomb go that found its way past Crawford blocker side to tie the game at two with 5:53 left in the period.

Crawford came up huge in the third period.
The Jackets had a two on one rush coming up ice led by Mayorov.  He sent a cross slot pass over to Derek MacKenzie in the right circle. MacKenzie was able to one time it and Crawford came across the crease and made the save with his left arm and or pad. 
Nevertheless, he made the save.

The Jackets took their first lead of the night at the 13:22 mark of the period.  Stralman's slap shot from the point found its way onto former Hawk Sammy Pahlsson's stick and he was able to tip in the shot for his seventh of the year.

The Hawks were quick to answer back.
Just over a minute later, Bryan Bickell recorded his 17th of the year to tie it back up at three.
Bickell just threw a shot on net from the left halfwall and it somehow found its way past Garon, blocker side.

"It's kind of funny," Bickell also told after the game, "most of my goals come from about there, but I was just trying to get a rebound there, low pads, and [...] I guess [the puck] just snuck by him. Good things happen when you put it on the net."

The game went into overtime, and Hossa had a golden chance to get his 2nd overtime winner in one week.
Michael Frolik took advantage of a Jackets turnover just outside of their blue line and brought the puck into the zone down the right wing boards, with Hossa coming up on the other side.
Frolik backhanded a pass into the slot for Hossa and Hossa tipped it on net, but Garon was there with the right pad to make the save.
A shootout followed the extra five minute session and Crawford continued to prove why he should be a candidate for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year.
He was a stellar three for three, stopping Mayorov, Tomas Kubalik, and Jakub Voracek, to set up Stalberg to seal the deal for the Hawks after Toews and Kane both didn't convert on their chances.
Stalberg went to his forehand, then his backhand and put it through Garon's blocker and left pad to give the Hawks a much needed win to stay in 8th place in the Western Conference standings.

"It was nice to see Crow come up with the last save there so at least I got a chance to win it, instead of just trying to get it tied, so that helped out a lot," Stalberg explained.

On the game as a whole, Bickell said: "[The Jackets] are a run-n-gun team and we just weren't playing smart. We were just coughing the puck up too much and the rest of the opportunities they'd been getting [were from] us.
"Then they get the lead and then we come back, it's a huge two points for us and we need to keep this going."

"We can't underestimate these guys," Stalberg added. "They're a hard working team and they're going to get their chances. 
"Obviously we put ourselves in some penalty trouble tonight and we can't do it against a team like this."


Viktor Stalberg is now two for two on shootout attempts this year.
"So far so good, I guess," He said after the game. "We do [shootouts] a lot in practice. I try to score as much as I can there. Q asked me a couple weeks ago if I wanted to go if we got a chance. I like the opportunity; we haven't had any shootout games since he asked me, but it was good for us to get that win and it's a big extra point for us in the standings."
•The Jackets outshot the Hawks 34-21.
-The Hawks' power play went 1-4 while Columbus' went 1-7.
-Columbus beat the Hawks in the faceoff battle, winning 22 draws. The Hawks won 16.
•The faceoff percentages of the Hawks' centermen were:
-Ryan Johnson: 73.3%
-Jake Dowell: 66.7%
-Jonathan Toews: 45.8%
-Marcus Kruger: 0%
*Tomas Kopecky: 37.5%
The * means he took a lot of draws but wasn't playing center.
•The Hawks' scratches were: Jordan Hendry [torn ACL], Patrick Sharp [lower body injury], Dave Bolland [concussion], and John Scott [healthy].
Brian Campbell led the Hawks in ice time [31:38] and in shifts [36].
-Brent Seabrook led the way in hits [6] and blocked shots [3].
-Bryan Bickell and Tomas Kopecky each had a team high 4 shots on goal.
-Michael Frolik had 3 takeaways.
Jonathan Toews is 10th in the league with 75 points [31G, 44 A] and is 8th in game winning goals with 7 of them.
-Patrick Sharp is 8th in the league with 34 goals and is 6th in power play goals with 12.
•The Hawks' next game is on Sunday, back at home at the United Center, against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It's on WGN at 6 p.m. 

Post Game Interviews

Other Videos

Patrick Kane celebrates his first period tally with Bryan Bickell.

Brent Seabrook celebrates with the bench after he scored a power play goal.

Viktor Stalberg scores the game winning goal in the shootout for the Hawks.