Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Ed Sherman at the Chicago Tribune,
You have to hand it to the Blackhawks. Considering marketing never has been their strong suit, they’re getting a ton of mileage out of airing Sunday’s home game against the Red Wings on Comcast SportsNet.
The Hawks could register twice, perhaps even three times the number of viewers they have for road games for Sunday’s game. The team’s road games are averaging a 0.4 rating on CSN this season (one local ratings point is worth 34,550 homes).
CSN likely would be happy with a rating between 1.0 and 1.5 Sunday, and would do cartwheels over a 2.0. Much of it could hinge on the Bears. The best-case scenario would be for their game against Oakland to end at 6 p.m., allowing fans to switch their channels quickly to catch the opening face-off. A long Bears game that goes into overtime will put a dent in the ratings.
from the Chicago Tribune,
“I’m making progress every day,” Havlat said. “I’m still not in place with a couple of movements to where I want to be. I still have to work on those.”
Havlat has been strengthening his right shoulder and will wear a brace during practices and games.
“We have to make sure the shoulder is strong enough, almost as strong as the other one, because when I come back I want to help as much as I can,” Havlat said. “If I come back 50 percent, I can’t be the player I can be.”
added 3:03pm, from Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
Savard said he approached injured winger Martin Havlat this morning and said: “You ready? You playing tonight?”
Havlat said not yet as he recovers from the shoulder injury he suffered during the first game of the season.
“As long as his mind is clear, that’s the biggest thing,’ Savard said. “He’s going to have to make that decision, I can’t make it for him.”
from the Chicago Tribune,
The Hawks suffered a big loss when veteran center Kevyn Adams went down with a knee injury with 8 minutes 27 seconds left in the first period. Adams, the leader of the Hawks both on and off the ice, was checked into the boards and his left knee appeared to buckle.
“It looks like the ACL and MCL, and he will be out for quite a while,” Savard said. “We lose a great leader, but it gives somebody a chance to get an opportunity. He has been awesome in the locker room.”
more on the Blackhawks
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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