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Category: Chicago-Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks Are On the Rise

from Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times,

A season in which the Blackhawks felt like everything was working against them, all the way down to their travel schedule, has suddenly flipped.

In an obvious league-wide conspiracy to get them in the playoffs, the Hawks are catching breaks left and right as they rise through the Western Conference wild-card chase.

Despite going into Boston on Tuesday and getting blasted 6-3 in a performance coach Jeremy Colliton criticized as unenthusiastic, the Hawks ended the night no worse off in the playoff hunt. They’re still four points out thanks to the Wild blowing a 3-1 lead and allowing two late goals in a home loss to the lowly Flyers.

“We’re much better than that,” Colliton said of the loss to the Bruins. “That’s not us. We need to respond. There’s no time. We’ve got to get back playing well.”

The Hawks’ season-long seven-game winning streak is done, but they’re well-positioned to launch a new one with games against the Devils, Senators and Red Wings — the bottom three teams in the East — in the coming week. The Devils visit the United Center on Thursday without reigning MVP Taylor Hall, who is working back from an injury.

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Why Not The Blackhawks?

from Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times,

It’s a weird concept for the Blackhawks that an early February game would have high stakes, but whether they wanted to admit it or not, the Hawks’ 4-3 overtime victory over the Canucks on Thursday at the United Center was their biggest game of the season.

The Hawks have notched 12 points in the last two-and-a-half weeks. In a surprise move, the Hawks, who seemed destined for a lottery pick just a short time ago, are now one of four teams two or less points shy of a playoff spot.

“It’s very top heavy this year,” right wing Patrick Kane said of the Western Conference. “It’s really anyone’s game. Whoever puts together a good run the last 28 games.”

And the Hawks are asking themselves: “Why can’t it be us?”

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Watch the game highlights below.

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Yes, The Chicago Blackhawks Are In The Playoff Race

from Jimmy Greenfield of the Chicago Tribune,

Resist the urge to be anything less than thrilled that Patrick Kane is playing like a man possessed, that Jonathan Toews has recaptured a prime that appeared to be gone, and that the Hawks’ power play is practically a sure thing.

Resist feeling conflicted when Erik Gustafsson is blasting overtime goals from the point like a youthful Brent Seabrook, when veteran Cam Ward and rookie Collin Delia are taking turns standing tall in the net or when Alex DeBrincat snipes another wrist shot past an unprepared goaltender.

Resist the idea that coach Jeremy Colliton doesn’t have the Hawks believing in themselves.

But above all, resist being in any way angry that the Hawks are winning. That’s the cardinal sin of fandom. Don’t go there.

I’m sorry if your dreams of drafting Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko are being interrupted by real life, but the fact is the Hawks’ charge toward the playoff is happening and it needs to be seen through. The talk of the Hawks being sellers as the Feb. 25 trade deadline approaches needs to be shut down.

read on

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Another Bad Loss At Home By The Edmonton Oilers

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

There are Oil Spills, then there are Oil Gushes.

As Taylor Hall once said as he skated through another discombobulating Edmonton season, “eventually the stink gets on all of us” so there is no sense hanging this absolute crushing two-minute collapse in the third period Tuesday on starting goalie Cam Talbot or Mikko Koskinen who came on in relief when it was 4-2

You can hang this one on everybody wearing an Oiler jersey in a game that was 2-1 Edmonton through 43:50 and somehow ended 6-2 for the Chicago Blackhawks. As Oiler defenceman Darnell Nurse said in a very quiet Oiler bathhouse later, they hung their goalies out to dry when John Hayden, then Dylan Strome, then Patrick Kane scored three times on six shots on Talbot at 3:50, 5:23 and 5:51, then did the opposite of rallying around Koskinen, allowing their former teammate Drake Caggiula to stand alone and rip one past the other goalie on the first shot he saw, 47 seconds later.

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from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

The Edmonton Oilers are now, you have to figure, turtle soup.

When you lose a seventh straight game and fourth straight at home, gassing a third straight third-period lead — this time spectacularly — in losing 6-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks, then you have to be considered out of the Great Turtle Race of 2019.

Even if the standings still suggest otherwise.

I mean, this was as ghastly as it gets.

continued

Game highlights are below.

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Schedule Takes A Toll On The Chicago Blackhawks

from Mark Lazerus of The Athletic,

I casually asked Jonathan Toews if he ever thought about the differences in travel playing in the Eastern Conference, particularly the New York area, versus the Western Conference, particularly Chicago, the second-easternmost city in the West.

“Yup,” he said sharply, as if he had been waiting for this question all his life. “A lot.”

Toews then beat me to the follow-up.

“And from what I hear,” he continued, “Phoenix is getting added to our division (when Seattle joins the league) and that just makes for a lot of back-to-back games where you’re playing at home and flying there, or vice versa. Yeah. It’s getting out of control.”

It’s easy to see why Toews is frustrated, and a little road-weary. The Blackhawks were in the New York area for the second time in 11 days, having just played the Islanders on Long Island. The Blackhawks left for that trip the day after the Winter Classic. This, after playing in Denver — more than two hours away, with an hour time difference — two days before the Winter Classic.

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The Slumping Washington Capitals

from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,

For the first time this season, the doors to the Washington Capitals’ dressing room stayed shut for just a little longer after the game, the players inside asking for more time to talk through their issues following their fifth straight loss. A team meeting such as this one probably would have happened earlier any other year, but with the Capitals still basking in their franchise-first Stanley Cup win last season, maybe the depths of this losing streak didn’t feel so low until Sunday afternoon.

“We’ve been leaning back on the fact that, you know, what we went through last year or whatever,” goaltender Braden Holtby said. “It’s time to really move on. We realize if we want to do this again, it’s going to take more hard work than last year.”

With Sunday’s 8-5 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, who entered the game with the worst record in the NHL, Washington is on its first five-game skid in nearly five years.

conitnued

Game highlights below.

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Thinking Playoffs In Chicago

from Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Pittsburgh saved a once-middling season by winning eight straight to put itself solidly in the playoff field and is threatening to win the division. The Hawks strive for a much more dramatic comeback.

“It’s one of the reasons we’re trying to play here, to get ourselves into a playoff position,” Patrick Kane said. “We know we need to go on a couple runs.”

Kane doesn’t care if mentioning the playoffs elicits snorts and scoffs as the Hawks sit one step out of the basement. They aspire to make something significant of this year and they aren’t whispering or talking in generalities. They’re targeting the postseason.

It’s a perspective shift from the glorious run in which they eyed the trophy at the start of every training camp.

After getting swept out in the first round in 2016, missing the playoffs by a lot last year and opening this season 9-18-5, this version of the Hawks is young, scrappy and just beginning to find its way.

more

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Watching The 2019 Winter Classic

STAMFORD, Conn. – January 2, 2019 – NBC Sports’ presentation of the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic ® (1-4:30 p.m. ET) across NBC, NBC Sports.com, and the NBC Sports app averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of nearly three million viewers (2.968 million), making it the most-watched Winter Classic in four years and up 20% compared to last year’s game, according to Fast National Data from Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

This year’s game was played at Notre Dame Stadium, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, with the Boston Bruins defeating the host Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2. The sellout crowd of 76,126 was the second-largest ever to attend an NHL game.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc+sports

Video- Another Winter Classic In The Books, Boston Bruins Defeat The Chicago Blackhawks 4-2

from Emily Sadler of Sportsnet,

Happy New Year, hockey fans. As is tradition, the NHL kicked off a fresh year with a good old game of (professional) shinny on a fresh sheet of outdoor ice.

This year’s Winter Classic saw the Boston Bruins host the Chicago Blackhawks in one of football’s most legendary houses, Notre Dame Stadium.

We collected some of the best images, tweets and videos from the Original Six matchup over the course of the afternoon.

Notre Dame Stadium, home of The Fighting Irish (and also Rudy) has undergone quite the transformation:

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Game highlights are below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Stan Bowman

“We don’t like where we are in the standings, but we like the way our team looks now. Now we’re more like the team we want to be.”

-Stan Bowman, GM of the Chicago Blackhawks.  Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times has more from Bowman.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: stan+bowman

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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