Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Chicago Tribune,
The Hawks have a 1-6 record and just three power-play goals in 30 chances this month….
“We get in there for some reason and, myself included, we all make the first pass way too complicated,” said veteran center Robert Lang, who has three power-play goals this season. “We have to go back to basics. Get guys in front of the net and put pucks on the net and good things happen. If you look for too major of a change it never really works. Just get the pucks on net and get the ugly goals.”
The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired defenseman Jim Vandermeer from the Chicago Blackhawks.
On the Flyers homepage, no details yet.
added 10:47pm, via the Chicago Blackhawks,
Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have obtained left wing Ben Eager from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Jim Vandermeer. “We wanted a high energy player for our fourth line and Ben Eager is that kind of player,” Tallon said. “He is just 23 years old, he can skate and heis a very gritty player.”
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Stan Bowman’s youngest son, Camden, has seen his vocabulary grow exponentially, courtesy of the family’s new lodger, Blackhawk rookie Patrick Kane.
The 2-½ year old can now say “Pat Kane,” “Go to practice?,” “Go to game?” and “Take a nap.”
The toddler may not know it, but he has pretty much summed up Kane’s life at the moment.
Sleep, practice, sleep, game, sleep.
Not far away in Brent Seabrook’s newly built home, the Chicago defenseman notices a similar pattern with his new tenant, rookie Jonathan Toews.
from the Chicago Sun-Times,
It’s just one 19-year-old rookie’s first NHL game in his hometown, but Patrick Kane has been thinking about the Blackhawks’ visit to Buffalo for quite awhile—and with good reason.
The NHL thought it was a big enough deal to schedule a media teleconference so Kane could give his thoughts on Saturday’s game. The Buffalo media sent representatives to Chicago this week to shadow Kane for a few days, and the Sabres took the unusual step of opening Saturday’s morning skate to the public so more fans can see the No. 1 draft pick skate live.
‘‘It’s not just another game. It’ll be a special night for him,’’ Hawks coach Denis Savard said. ‘‘I’ve been through it. There are a lot of distractions. A lot of people want to see you, and you want to see them—but you’ve got a job to do.’‘
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
This is not to suggest Khabibulin should be traded. That is the business of Hawks general manager Dale Tallon, who has given no indication of being either eager or willing to do it. Tallon wants to make the playoffs and likely realizes the best chance for that to happen is with Khabibulin in goal.
But what if Khabibulin’s game stays where it’s at? What if Tampa Bay comes calling offering either Martin St. Louis or Brad Richards in a deal? There has been an ownership change in Tampa, and there probably isn’t another team in the league that needs better goaltending than the Lightning.
At this point, the assumption has to be made that the Hawks are going to keep Khabibulin and let him play into next season, the last on his contract. Coach Denis Savard never misses an opportunity to back his No. 1 goalie to anyone questioning the quality of play the Hawks are getting out of the position, which is fine.
Today’s NHL teleconference call was with Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.
Patrick leads Chicago and all National Hockey League rookies in scoring with 28 points on 7 goals and 21 assists, playing in each of the Blackhawks 29 games so far this season. In some ways, his journey to the NHL will come full circle this Saturday when he will play his first professional game in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, when the Blackhawks visit the Sabres at the HSBC Arena.
Q. Are you even a little surprised how well things have gone for you this year?
PATRICK KANE: You know, I think coming into the season, probably the biggest thing for me was to try to make the team. Once that kind of happened, things started coming in. I seemed to get a little more ice team here and there, some more opportunities to play with better players and I had a good start. Before you know it, we’re playing—myself and Jonathan, we’re playing against the top checking lines. I guess you don’t expect things to happen that quick.
from the Chicago Daily-Herald,
The temptation has been there for Blackhawks coach Denis Savard ever since Martin Havlat returned from his shoulder injury.
And on Friday, Savard decided to go for it—so he put his three most skilled players on the same line. Havlat skated with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the 5-3 loss to Anaheim and the trio is expected to stay together for tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames at the United Center.
“It’s a lot of skill,” Savard said. “The three of them are great players, and I think it’s going to work out beautiful.”
Chicago Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz will be a guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.
Broadcast can be heard live online here, but not till the program is on the air.
NHL Hour broadcasts live Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET on NHL Home Ice, (XM channel 204) and NHL.com. The show will re-run on XM Satellite Radio and NHL.com, with archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
update 4:07pm, Rocky Wirtz had to re-schedule for next week. Mark Messier and Stephen Walkom wll be on the show today.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP,
Only one division in the NHL can boast having every single team over the .500 mark. Surprisingly, it’s the Central.
Widely considered the weakest of the league’s six divisions over the last few years, where Detroit has captured six straight titles, the Central has some spine this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets are vastly improved while the Nashville Predators have not tumbled badly as many had predicted.
“They’re all good teams,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told The Canadian Press this week.
from the Chicago Sun-Times,
Though Jonathan Toews has been mentioned as a future captain of the Blackhawks ever since he was drafted third overall in 2006, coach Denis Savard didn’t plan on giving the rookie center a letter designating leadership in his first NHL season.
But Savard changed his mind Monday, naming Toews and Brent Seabrook alternate captains for December. Tuomo Ruutu and Brent Sopel served in that rotating role in November, joining Martin Lapointe, who will wear the ‘‘A’’ all season.
The Hawks don’t plan to name a captain until a candidate emerges who figures to be around for many seasons to come. That will probably be Toews, 19.
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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