Kukla's Korner Hockey
STAMFORD, Conn. – March 2, 2014 -- NBC’s primetime coverage of last night’s NHL Stadium Series game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks (8-11:15 p.m. ET) from Soldier Field in Chicago registered a 2.1 overnight rating, making it the highest overnight ever on NBC for a non-Winter Classic NHL regular-season game, according to metered market data from The Nielsen Company.
For a 4-year-old, Nicholas Skretkowski handles being on the blades like a pro...
from Austin Knoblauch at the Chicago Tribune,
Hours before the start of the Blackhawks’ 5-3 win, Kane learned that his grandfather, Donald Kane, had died.
As difficult as it was for Kane to play, he put on an inspired performance against the Kings, scoring two goals and assisting on another to lead the Blackhawks to their third win this season over the Kings.
After the game, an emotional Kane said it was difficult playing knowing that the man who played such an important role in his life was gone.
read on and below, watch Kane post-game...
from Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago,
It was a rather forgettable month for the Blackhawks, who went 5-3-6 during it. They couldn’t have ended it much better, though, scoring five unanswered goals in their 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. It got the Blackhawks back on track after a rough outing in Calgary, and they sit at 1-0-1 heading into the next part of this road trip....
This team is not struggling. January wasn’t their greatest month but they got points in 11 out of their 14 games. Two seasons ago around this time of year, the Blackhawks had a nine-game winless streak (0-8-1). That was struggling. This is a hiccup, a blip on the radar, and in an 82-game season it’s going to happen, even to an elite group such as this. Hey, if you’re going to have some rough moments, might as well do it right before the break. The Blackhawks came out so strong, so determined to show they weren’t suffering a Stanley Cup hangover that they were bound to bump into a wall. It’ll be OK, my young grasshoppers.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Perhaps no team in the NHL boasts as many elite skill players as the Blackhawks do. Four-on-four hockey — with its wide-open ice and propensity for odd-man rushes — seems perfectly suited to the likes of Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews.
Yet the Hawks have played in 17 overtime periods this season, and haven’t scored in any of them.
And nobody can quite explain it.
“Yeah, it’s a good question,” Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said following Wednesday’s shootout loss to Detroit. “I don’t know the answer to that. You try to make plays, and you try to hold on to the puck and have possession, but you want to be smart at the same time. You want to create chances, but you don’t want to give up too many chances. We don’t really get scored on in overtime much, either. But I don’t know what it is. I have no idea.”
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The defending Stanley Cup champions are “struggling’’ — i.e., they no longer have the most points in the NHL (Anaheim does), are 4-1-5 in their last 10 games and have dropped to 4-6 in shootouts.
With three weeks until the Sochi Olympics begin and three months until the playoffs start, much of the fretting is devoted to an old, apparently comforting standby — the Lack of a Second-Line Center. This “failing” is the reason for all that has ailed the Blackhawks the last few years, not that there has been much ailing. The Hawks can win a game 6-0, and someone will bring up the deficiencies of Michal Handzus, Marcus Kruger or Andrew Shaw centering the second line.
Still, it has to be a relief to goalie Corey Crawford, who used to be everybody’s target practice. Can’t win a Stanley Cup, they said, until he did. Not tough enough between the ears under pressure, they said, until he was.
But people move on to the next victim. It’s like a bored kid playing with his food.
Without a stick, Crawford makes the leg pad save after giving up a rebound.
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin underwent successful surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. The procedure was performed at Northwestern Memorial Hospital under the supervision of Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry.
“Nikolai underwent surgery today on his right shoulder,” Terry said. “He had a rotator cuff injury which was becoming increasingly symptomatic that we repaired. The procedure went very well and I anticipate a full recovery. He should be able to return to hockey in four to five months.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Not sure if it's because we've all become so used to them winning -- twice being Stanley Cup champions since 2010 -- but has a first-place team ever gone without less fanfare than the Chicago Blackhawks?
A 3-1 win over Nashville pushed their league-best record to 25-7-5, the reigning Cup champs laughing in the face of the so-called Cup hangover that beset other former champions over the past decade.
Rookie netminder Antti Raanta, 24, improved to 7-1-1 for the Hawks, and while he's been impressive, don't you think Santa himself could be in net and the Hawks would still keep on winning? Just saying.
The Western Conference is a beast, and the likes of L.A., Anaheim, San Jose, St. Louis and Vancouver, among others, will have a mighty say in whether the Hawks can become the first repeat champions since the 1997-98 Red Wings. As one Eastern Conference GM recently told me, "The road still goes through Chicago, no matter what anyone says." True that.
more notes from the hockey experts at ESPN...
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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