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Category: Chicago-Blackhawks

Niemi Ready As Can Be

from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,

Asked when he would be able to forget the disappointment of giving up a game-winner with home ice throughout the Western Conference playoffs on the line in order to focus on the Predators, Niemi didn’t blink.

“Today, tonight, before tomorrow,’’ Niemi said. “I am almost as ready as I can be.’‘

A hopeful hockey city can think optimistically along with Niemi, but truthfully nobody really knows for sure. Experience removes doubt and Niemi has none. His playoff start in Game 1 Friday will be his first.

To say Niemi is the biggest factor in how long the Blackhawks’ postseason lasts is like saying April showers are key to May flowers. Nothing has been more obvious about this 112-point season since coach Joel Quenneville installed Niemi as the goaltender March 28 after Cristobal Huet lost his confidence, then his job.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi

Pressure Is On Chicago

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

Last season, the Blackhawks’ resurgence was one of the feel-good stories in the NHL. Dragged screaming into the 21st century after epitomizing the era when marketing was considered to be making sure the beer taps worked, the franchise went through an amazing turnaround on every levelfrom the ice through ownership.

The Hawks’ run last year to the Western Conference finals, where they fell to the Red Wings, was exciting and a boon for the league.

Now, with the Blackhawks again a marquee act in the nation’s third-largest market, the attitude and expectations will be different in this postseason.

The pressure’s on.

Chicago, which finishes the regular season at home today against Detroit, went into the final weekend of the regular season still fighting San Jose for the conference’s top seed.


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

Chicago Season Ticket Holders Hit With Price Increase

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Blackhawks season ticket-holders will feel the impact of the team’s success in their pocketbooks next season.

In a letter sent to those holding season plans, the Hawks — who are battling for the top spot in the Western Conference after setting franchise records for victories and points — announced the average price for seats for next season will increase by an average of 20 percent.

The largest increase will be for the most inexpensive seats (6 percent of the tickets), which will go from $12 to $20 (67 percent). For all other tickets beyond the $20 range, the average increase is less than 12 percent, according to the team. All price levels experienced some increase.


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

Olczyk Flying High

from Bob Verdi at ChicagoBlackhawks.com,

You can wonder what Eddie Olczyk does with all his money. I want to know what he does with all his miles. As television analyst for the Blackhawks, NBC and Versus, he will wind up broadcasting 125 or so games by June. Granted, when working locally for Comcast or WGN, Olczyk travels on the team charter. But otherwise, he is on his own, a very frequent flier.

Take, for example, Olczyk’s itinerary during his Olympic “break.” After seven double-headers on national TV, capped by the Canada vs. United States Sunday afternoon gold medal finale in Vancouver, he really should have gone to bed. Instead, he went to the airport for a flight to Los Angeles, then a red-eye to Tampa to resume the NHL regular season Monday night.

Is he crazy, or does he just like eating peanuts at 30,000 feet?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eddie+olczyk

Bowman Says Watch Out For The Red Wings

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province at Faceoff.com,

On Wednesday, Scotty Bowman was just wrapping up his time in Florida, where he lives most of the year, on his way to Chicago to join the Blackhawks as they attempt to win the Western Conference and their first Stanley Cup since 1961.

His insight is always more than you expect and, as always, delivered in the stream of consciousness that was his trademark as a coach, and the sign of a mind that never rests and is as bright and as clear as ever:

“Detroit is a team that would scare me because they had eight guys out at one time, and they’ve got those two great defencemen in [Nick] Lidstrom and [Brian] Rafalski who make so many great plays for them. You know, how many points they [the Red Wings] would have had if they’d been healthy all year? 115 maybe. The way the game is played now, with so much room in the end zones now, that they’ve taken room away from the neutral zone, so much depends on your defence.

“Ninety-five per cent of your teams have decided they’re going to protect the area right in front of the net. That leaves the guys with the most time and space, your defencemen at the points, and those guys Lidstrom and Rafalski, they make so many plays from back there. And [Niklas] Kronwall, he’s not as good as those two but he’s a great No. 3 with [Brad] Stuart.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hossa Hurt

via the CP at TSN,

Chicago forward Marian Hossa left the Blackhawks’ game against the St. Louis Blues early in the second period Wednesday night because of an unknown injury.

Hossa appeared to have sustained the injury after being hit and knocked to the ice by St. Louis left wing Brad Winchester at 8:07 of the first. Hossa continued to play, but left after one shift in the second period.

This time of year, it is doubtful we will hear much on the injury.. Get ready for the day-to-day updates.

added 11:40pm, via a Chicago Blackhawks tweet,

Coach Q postgame on Hossa: “Nothing serious, should be fine.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Time To Pick It Up Boys

from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,

Joel Quenneville of the Blackhawks, Bruce Boudreau of the Capitals and Dan Bylsma of the Penguins share a common woe: Their respective teams fared well enough to clinch a playoff berth earlier than lower tenants, which is fine and dandy to a point.

But, in each case, it’s safe to say that once in the comfort zone, the players subconsciously ease off their A game and the results have been obvious.

The trick now is for Joel, Bruce and Dan to rev up the playoff engines before the rust sets in and we view an upset or two that certainly will displease their respective owners.

more hockey notes from Stan…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line- Part 2

“It’s fun to be part of history, it really is.  Seventeen years … I was four years old the last time they won the division, so it’s been a long time coming for Blackhawks fans. It’s fun to beat out the Red Wings, a big rival.”

-Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks after winning the Central Division.  More on the Blackhawks from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

Blackhawks Continue To Stumble

from Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,

So it’s come to this for the reeling Blackhawks, trying to find positives in a loss.

That’s so five years ago.

“That was a major progression from the last two (losses) for me,” coach Joel Quenneville said after Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Blues.

The Hawks have lost seven of their last nine games and right now don’t look like a team that’s even going to get out of the first round of the playoffs.


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

Chicago Trying To Avoid 3 Game Losing Streak

from Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago,

If the Hawks need further motivation for Tuesday night’s contest against the Blues, how about this: They are the only team in the NHL this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, not to endure a three-game, regulation losing streak. In other words, they have not gone three games this season without getting at least a point. That could end Tuesday evening.

Joel Quenneville continues to mix and match his lineup, though he will leave his top two pairs of defensemen unchanged from last game. That means Brent Sopel and Duncan Keith will skate together again, though they were minus two against Columbus on Sunday. Sopel has taken his fair share of criticism and is an even player for the season. That’s worst amongst the Hawks’ defensemen.

“One thing about Sopel, I think he’s a pretty smart player,” Joel Quenneville said in defense of the veteran. “Defensively, his positioning is always in the right spot. I think his smarts puts him in a lot of great spots. I was fine with his game.”


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

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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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