Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald,
There’s no reason why the Hawks can’t make the playoffs with a tweak here and there, or even be a team that finishes in the top four or five. There’s only one dominant team in the Western Conference—the Detroit Red Wings—and the Hawks have beaten them four times already.
The Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks are strong, but after that the Hawks can be as good as anyone in the West, provided Martin Havlat returns to health, Tallon adds a veteran defenseman and a forward, and goalies Nikolai Khabibulin and Patrick Lalime play better.
The Chicago Blackhawks will name their new president today at a press conference at 12:00pm CT today.
I have been out of the loop for the last 18 hours due to a loss of internet access, so I haven’t heard much about this. Any ideas?
update 11:25am, via the AP,
Chicago Cubs president John McDonough resigned Tuesday after a little more than a year on the job and is expected to take a similar position with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks called an afternoon news conference to introduce their new team president.
Press Release from Chicago Blackhawks:
Blackhawks forward Martin Havlat underwent a strength and evaluation test on his injured shoulder today at the Cleveland Clinic. The results verified that Havlat’s shoulder continues to improve and get stronger. The possibility exists that he may return to the Blackhawks lineup on Wednesday, November 28th, when the Blackhawks host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center at 7:30 p.m.
*Previous updates on the ups and downs of Havlat’s recovery.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
So here they are, 20 games into the season, and the Blackhawks are in the midst of a five-day break, before embarking on a pivotal road swing through Western Canada that will give them a clearer idea of whether they are a legitimate playoff contender this year — or still in the throes of a rebuilding program.
Toews and Kane represent the two leaders in the rookie of the year race this season and it is reminiscent of the 2001-02 season, when the two Atlanta Thrashers prospects, Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk, finished one-two in the Calder Trophy race and turned that expansion franchise into a team on the rise. Or at least gave the organization something to get excited about.
After all, excitement has been the missing ingredient on the Chicago hockey scene for the better part of a decade.
Update 10:39pm ET:
An observation from Mike Downey at the Chicago Tribune:
Hold on to your hockey stick: Only four teams (Red Wings, Rangers, Hurricanes and Senators) in the entire 30-team NHL have won more games so far than the Blackhawks. Cool, man.
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
Blackhawks forward Rene Bourque suffered a broken thumb in last night’s 5-3 win over the Red Wings in Detroit. He is expected to be out of the Blackhawks lineup anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.
Bourque suffered the injury while blocking a shot last night in the third period. Bourque scored two goals in last night’s game, both of the shorthanded variety, and added an assist before injuring his thumb. Bourque has scored three goals this season, all shorthanded, while adding five assists for eight points in 16 games.
From Len Ziehm a the Chicago Sun-Times,
Toews was a minus-3 in a 4-2 loss at Columbus on Wednesday. The next night, he was a minus-2 in a 5-4 overtime loss at Nashville and won only one of 11 faceoffs. He was disconsolate in the locker room afterward. His teammates tried to cheer him up, but Toews wasn’t buying it.
‘‘They’d say that statistics don’t always represent how you’ve been playing, but I was on the ice for five goals-against, so obviously there’s something I’m not doing right,’’ Toews said.
On Friday he went through a video session with assistant coach Ryan Stewart designed to correct his recent mistakes, then got hit in the head with puck in practice at Joe Louis Arena. He’s now sporting a big lump and cut near his right eye, and tonight his line will play against fearsome Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
Welcome to the NHL, kid.
more… including some comments on Patrick Kane’s recent struggles as well
from Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
Judging by the amount of e-mails I received today, it seems many Blackhawks fans are upset with the team’s apparent decision to phase out long-time organist Frank Pelico.
Pelico has long been a fixture in front of the big pipe organ pounding away at the keys and leading Hawks fans in “Let’s Go Hawks!” chants.
The Hawks were off today so I didn’t get a chance to ask anyone in the organization what the deal is, but it appears from reports that Pelico has been replaced with recorded “popular” music.
continued & a suggestion for the Blackhawks, you should survey Wings fans about popular recorded music!
from the Chicago Tribune,
Comcast SportsNet analyst Ed Olczyk repeatedly called the game “a three-hour commercial.” From the top, with the crowd cheering during the singing of the national anthem, the Hawks could showcase the scene inside the United Center.
The vibe was completely different from a CSN telecast of a Hawks road game. A home game telecast carries a much higher energy level, especially one against their biggest rival.
The CSN crew definitely was pumped up. Play-by-play man Dan Kelly kept setting up Olczyk. The former Hawk was in top form, not only with his analysis but in capturing the significance of the evening.
from the Daily Southtown,
While there have been games televised locally from Chicago Stadium and the United Center in the past, tonight’s game against Detroit, to be screened in high-definition by Comcast SportsNet, is the first time it’s been the Hawks’ idea to open the electronic door since TVs had round 7-inch screens and long-gone Channel 4 was the outlet.
With that in mind, here’s a baker’s dozen’s worth of games that a generation of Hawks fans should have seen on local TV, either broadcast or cable, but didn’t - even though in many cases, the rest of the U.S. and Canada could view every second.
March 12, 1966: Goaltender Cesare Maniago is the victim when Bobby Hull’s booming 55-foot slap shot rockets into the back of the New York net. It’s Hull’s 51st of the season, breaking Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s single-season record. There’s bedlam in the Stadium for eight minutes.
from the Chicago Tribune,
It is an interactive wonderland worthy of a cover charge. It is a bedroom disguised as a virtual museum of hockey, perfectly ordered and brilliantly gleaming with trophies and plaques, jerseys and posters, a little boy’s dream documented and photographed so thoroughly and displaying such obvious success you have to assume this particular boy has gone on to greatness.
And you would be right. But it gets even better. It is history overlapping, Patrick Kane starring as Forrest Gump.
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.
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