Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Blackhawks are a Western Conference contender. The Leafs, after a blip of promise last weekend against Carolina and Detroit, descended once more into maddening mediocrity Tuesday in a loss to lowly Minnesota.
Whereas not so long ago Chicago could be mocked as a historic franchise that had lost its way, today it’s the Leafs that can only report excellence in the Forbes standings, not the NHL’s. The Windy City has already been lauded for hosting a superb Winter Classic, while Brian Burke’s promises of doing something similar at BMO Field – no Wrigley, to be sure – ring somewhat hollow.
Nobody would have thought five years ago the Leafs would be sucking the exhaust fumes of the Hawks, but that’s where we are.
One franchise stood still, the other caught the gusts of a new NHL.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
Huet appears to have turned things around after his horrendous start.
Since that ugly loss to Dallas on Oct. 17, Huet has gone 5-2, allowing only 11 goals. And in those two losses, the Hawks were shutout 2-0 at Nashville and lost 3-1 at Phoenix.
Huet has improved his goals-against average to 2.21 and brought his save percentage back over .900 at .901 from a low of .844.
“I feel loose, ready to compete every night and help play the best we can and win some games,” Huet said following Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Avalanche in a shootout.
from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog,
I don’t know how much money the Hawks have under the salary cap, nor do I know whether general manager Stan Bowman wants to do the seemingly annual Forsberg fox trot, but it’s at least worth discussing for this team right now….
Perhaps the Hawks aren’t interested in the risk of an oft-injured player, but I believe they are a team Forsberg would like to consider because they have a familiar face behind the bench and play an Avalanche-type uptempo style, and they are a contender. That’s an important factor. Forsberg isn’t going to come back to play for Carolina or Toronto.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Center Jonathan Toews and left wing Ben Eager are expected to return to the lineup tonight from their concussions, which should give the Hawks a boost.
Toews has missed the last six games and Eager the last 13.
“I’m definitely feeling better,” Toews said Sunday. “I have my jump and my energy back. I definitely feel I have my rhythm back.”
Toews centered a line for Patrick Sharp and Dustin Byfuglien at Sunday’s practice while Eager skated with Colin Fraser and Andrew Ebbett.
Toews also was back on the power play, which is just 3-for-35 over the last eight games.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
What’s happened to the offense?
The Hawks have scored 11 goals in the last six games and not more than 3 in a game since Oct. 14. And it’s not all because the power play is 2-for-32 after a 0-for-6 performance in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Coyotes.
Only Patrick Sharp (6) and Dustin Byfuglien (5) have scored more than 4 goals.
Patrick Kane needs to step up. Byfuglien has looked more like the inconsistent Byfuglien from last season. Sharp is up and down. Andrew Ebbett is not cutting it by any means and could be back on waivers soon.
Many of you know I don’t watch movies, but I think this is
(it is Brendan Leonard) narrating a video of the Wings/Blackhawks Winter Classic from last season.
Good video about the atmosphere at Wrigley and please tell me if I am correct about Cusack.
Hockey writers looking to fill their columns and generate eyeballs, find few easier ways these days, than to zero in on the so-called “Cap Crisis”. Per the pundits, the sky is about to fall in on teams as their salaries smash up against a steel ceiling, their rosters set to implode as the time bomb ticks.
The Chicago Blackhawks are a favorite target for sensation-seeking scribes. The scenarios they paint have rivals licking their chops as Hawks’ GM Stan Bowman pounds his calculator furiously, trying in vain to find ways to keep his treasured stars, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith secure within the Hawkey Flock.
Prognosticators conjure up a disaster in the making, the high-flying Hawks suddenly crashing back to Earth. Discussion boards are fired up, and the fur flies as they fulminate.
But is this fact, or fiction formulated by hockey hacks and fuelled by frantic fans?
Taking a closer look at the landscape, there is as usual, a story behind ‘the story’…
from Julia Keller of the Chicago Tribune,
We think we’re enlightened. We think we’re evolved. We think we’re past all that nasty old stuff from the bad old days. We think we’re “post-racial,” to use the curious term that popped up in the wake of President Barack Obama’s election.
Then a couple of fun-loving but culturally tone-deaf Blackhawks decided to dress up for Halloween as former Bulls Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen—complete with blackface.
You can view the picture of Adam Burish dressed as Rodman and Patrick Kane as Pippen at ChicagoNow.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Quenneville had predicted that Toews’ injury would be ``short-term,’’ but two weeks might be stretching that a bit and the progress report doesn’t sound as encouraging as it once did.
``As the days go on it fluctuates a little bit, so it’s tough to say,’’ said Quenneville. ``Sometimes (recovery) takes time. That’s where we’re at.’’...
``He does basically some workouts to find out if he can ratchet it up. That dictates where we’re at,’’ said Quenneville. ``We’re still optimistic that it’s short-term. That’s why we keep saying it’s on a day to day basis.’’
General manager Stan Bowman also said he’s ``not too concerned’’ as Toews’ injury time increases. ``Hopefully he’ll be back soon, and it is a day to day thing,’’ said Bowman. ``These things can turn around quickly. Certainly if it lingers a long time you’d begin to get worried.’’
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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