Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
“Every guy’s merits are stronger than others, and Shawzie’s argument is as tough as you’re ever going to get, because he brings so much to the table that you appreciate,” Quenneville said as the vanquished Blackhawks went their separate ways on Wednesday. “He’s irreplaceable in that regard.”
Quenneville might not have much of a choice. While everyone (including Shaw himself) would like the feisty winger to return next season, the odds are slim.
Shaw will be a restricted free agent on July 1, and as a two-time Stanley Cup champion, a former 20-goal scorer, and a proven playoff performer, he’d have to leave millions on the table in order to stay with the cap-strapped Hawks. A qualifying offer, which would keep Shaw from being an unrestricted free agent, would be worth $2.5 million. On the open market (or maybe even in arbitration), he could command more than $4 million.
While Quenneville deemed Shaw “irreplaceable,” Bowman was far more measured with his words as he awaits the official salary-cap number.
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 26, 2016 – Monday night’s Game 7 presentation of the Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues on NBCSN averaged 1.353 million viewers to rank as the most-watched first-round game in the network’s history, as the Blues defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 to win the series and eliminate the defending Stanley Cup Champions. The game peaked at 2.0 million viewers in the final full quarter hour (11-11:15 p.m. ET). Digitally, the game finished with 11.6 million minutes streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra to rank fourth all-time among NHL games.
Locally, CSN Chicago’s presentation of Hawks-Blues Game 7 delivered a 19.1 HH rating in Chicago to rank as the most-watched telecast ever in the history of the network, dating back to 2004. Last night’s rating shattered CSN Chicago’s previous all-time high of a 13.7 HH rating for a Bulls-Pacers first-round NBA Playoff telecast (April 21, 2011).
In addition, NBC’s presentation of Game 6 of the Blackhawks-Blues series on Saturday night (8-11 p.m. ET) averaged 2.822 million viewers to rank as NBC’s most-watched first-round game in four years (BOS-WSH, 4/22/12; 3.519 million), and the fourth-best on record.
Through 13 days, the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs on cable have averaged 500,000 viewers (38 games), up 5% vs. 2015 through the same period (474,000). Digitally, the Stanley Cup Playoffs have produced 753,000 uniques and 126.4 million minutes across all Live Extra platforms, increases of 33% and 99%, respectively, vs. 2015 (566k uniques; 63k minutes).
via Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup three times since 2010, the Kings twice since 2012. Neither were able to repeat as champions. But the Blackhawks claim to the word "dynasty" remains strong, while the Kings seem suddenly adrift.
In Chicago, there's a great deal of faith in GM Stan Bowman, who is able to remake his team each year around his core. The master of the salary cap world. He may have a couple of issues to deal with: the ages of Brent Seabrook, who has a lot of miles for a 31-year-old, and Marian Hossa, who at 37 may not be around much longer.
In Los Angeles, there is less faith in GM Dean Lombardi, who squandered his chance to make Mike Richards a compliance buyout a few years ago -- i.e., get him off the salary cap altogether. Instead, by waiting, Richards will cost the Kings $1.32 million in cap space until 2020. The Kings are a cap team with an aging core. Their time may have past.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Sometimes hockey is indecipherable. Monday was one of those times. How do you explain the Hawks looking so sluggish and the Blues looking so invincible in the first period? How do you explain the complete role reversal in the second period?
You don’t. You just say, “That’s hockey,’’ and it will suffice. Two great teams playing hard and momentum wildly swinging back and forth.
There were a lot of compliments flowing afterward.
“You find yourself on bench just in awe of some of the things they can do,’’ Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of the Hawks.
For the Hawks, it was win and advance, or lose and listen to the sort of analysis normally reserved for geopolitics. The three Stanley Cup titles in six years will be forgotten temporarily as people scream about the team getting older, about Quenneville losing his touch, about the roster lacking depth, about Toews going scoreless against the Blues.
Sometimes the easiest answer is the right one. This wasn’t about what was wrong with the Hawks. This was about everything that was right with the Blues.
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,
The handshake line beween the Blues and Blackhawks and below, it is a game of inches and bounces.
Game 6- Anaheim at Nashville 8:00 PM ET | CNBC, TVAS, SN, FS-TN, FS-W
Game 7- Chicago at St Louis 8:30 PM ET | NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, FS-MW, CSN-CH
If Nashville wins, game 7 will be Wednesday in Anaheim.
The comment section is your place to discuss the games tonight.
from Jose de Jesus Ortiz,
Whether they like it or not, the Blues will surely be reminded often over the next two days of the disappointing 2014 playoffs against the Blackhawks.
The Blues won the first two games of the 2014 series before losing four in a row to Chicago. A collapse this time around might be even more deflating because they had taken a 3-1 lead in the series after winning Game 4 at United Center to move within a victory over the Western Conference semifinals.
The Blues can still finish off the Blackhawks in Game 7 to advance. Until then, however, one must wonder if these are the same old Blues.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
I don’t want to say it’s over, but how do you like your Blues cooked? Well-done? Charred around the edges? Or bloody?
If you go by all the signs that point to one team asserting itself over another, then you know this first-round series is over. And you should go by those signs because they mean something. They mean something to the Blackhawks. And they most definitely mean something to the Blues.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
Dale Weise has been a member of the Chicago Blackhawks for 58 days. He wasn't part of their Stanley Cup teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015. But he feels it.
He felt it even before the Blackhawks defeated the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Saturday, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead during a dominant second period, transforming the silent United Center back into the "Madhouse on Madison," setting up Game 7 in the Western Conference First Round on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-CH).
"I've said it from the time that I got here: This is a special group," said Weise, whom the Blackhawks acquired Feb. 26 in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens. "It's just an unwavering confidence. No matter what the score is, like, we come in there …"
Weise laughed, sounding almost exasperated.
"We get down, and it just doesn't seem to matter to this team," he said.
Game 6, Blues lead the series 3-2.
Puck drops around 8:15pm ET so if you have nothing else to do on a Saturday night, feel free to join in on the discussion.
Network coverage is on NBC, CBC and TVA Sports 2. Calling the game on NBC are Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
The St. Louis Blues pushed. Boy did they push. They had all the jump in the first overtime after a third-period rally got them there. The Chicago Blackhawks players could feel it on the ice. This was a group of players from St. Louis that had the defending champs on the ropes and wanted desperately to end it. The crowd felt it. The players felt it.
And the Blackhawks weathered it.
That's just how this postseason is going to have to go for Chicago -- a lot less dominance than in the past, a lot more savvy.
"It's kind of a bend but don't break mentality," said Hawks forward Patrick Kane, who scored the 4-3 game-winner in double overtime that narrowed the Blues series lead to 3-2. "We just had to stay alive and wait for our push."
They stayed alive in the game, they stayed alive in the series and, with the series shifting back to Chicago, they continue to prove that they're the toughest team in the NHL to send home for the summer.
Game highlights are below...
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.
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