Chicago Blackhawks News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/6/14: The Blackhawks get a lot of love from the league in playing in outdoor games. The team previously hosted the Red Wings in Wrigley Field and last week hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Stadium, home of the Chicago Bears, as part of the NHL's Stadium Series. Hawks and Pens, outdoors, sounds great on paper. It even looked great on TV with a constant snowstorm falling. However, only one team showed up as the Blackhawks overwhelmed the Penguins 5-1. It was also the first time that stars Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby played against each other, though both have been in the NHL for close to a decade.
2/27/14: The Olympics are different in that national allegiance overrides pro team devotion. For the Blackhawks, their two best players, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, played for rival countries, Canada and U.S., respectively. There is also a bit of good-natured joshing that goes on, like when Kane said that U.S. linemate Phil Kessel is the best he has ever played with. Toews took that with a grain of salt, considering he and Kane play together and have been pretty successful with a pair of Stanley Cups. Canada won gold, and the U.S. failed to medal after losing the bronze game to Finland.
2/20/14: Not many hockey players, whether pro, semi-pro, amateur or youth, can relate to T.J. Oshie (St. Louis Blues) and his amazing shootout performance. Oshie took six penalty shots in the shootout victory over Russia and became an instant U.S. Hockey legend. Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks can kind of relate. The Blackhawks and Team Canada captain scored three shootout goals in three attempts in the 2007 World Junior Championships. While there is a big difference between the World Juniors and the Olympics, both are amazing feats that do not come around all that often (and should be enjoyed when they do).
2/13/14: To show how dominant the Blackhawks have been over the past several years, one does not have to look any further than a stat that came out last week. The Blackhawks were shut out 2-0 by the Phoenix Coyotes. It was the first time in almost two full years that Chicago was denied a goal. That means that they can consistently put the puck in the next. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith made the 29 saves to earn the blanking, so he deserves some credit here. Chicago heads into Olympic break tied with the Blues in points for the top spot in the Central Division, though St. Louis owns the tie-breakers.
2/6/14: Chicago has struggled of late, and there is no guarantee that they will win the Western Conference points title, or even the Central Division. That does not mean that they should be discarded yet, though. The Blackhawks are still the betting favorite to not only win the Stanley Cup, but also repeat their championship. That makes sense. All teams rise and fall during the grueling 82 game regular season. But the Hawks have a ton of talent, great coaching, and experience to get through the playoffs and to the promised land, again. To be fair, once in the playoffs, anything can happen.
1/30/14: Chicago is the presumed Central Division champion, seemingly having been crowned by the experts before the season started. But the Blackhawks may be feeling some pressure from rival St. Louis now. The Blues are only one point behind Chicago in the standings, but have three games in hand. Chicago has lost their last three games (to Detroit, Minnesota, and Winnipeg), so they are not a lock to win the division at this point. That being said, the Blackhawks are loaded with talent and great coaching, and, even if they do not win the division, will be a force in the playoffs.
1/23/14: The Blackhawks are the second best team in the NHL according to the standings. While they are first in the Central Division, the Anaheim Ducks are just a bit better. Chicago made a statement by beating the Ducks 4-2 last Friday - led by a strong defensive effort. The Ducks came into the game having won 18 of their 19 previous games, and only had suffered eight losses all season. The Hawks won the vast majority of faceoffs, allowing them to control the puck. They also limited the Ducks to 21 shots on goal for the game. This easily could be a preview of the Western Conference Championship, with the winner earning the right to go to the Stanley Cup Finals.
1/16/14: The Blackhawks and their fans cannot be blamed if they are asking what just happened. What happened was the St. Louis Blues have snuck into first place in the Central Division, courtesy of a seven game winning streak. Many experts have already crowned the Hawks as division champs, but they are now tied with the Blues in points, but lose the tie-breaker as St. Louis has won all three games this season, and still has three games in hand. No worries, though. There is a lot of time left in the season and both teams should make the playoffs.
1/9/14: The Blackhawks are still in first place in the Central division, but the St. Louis Blues have been gaining a lot of ground over the past few weeks. The Blues have narrowed the gap to just three points and have three games in hand due to scheduling. Even more discouraging is that Chicago has not beaten the Blues this year, losing all three games. Good news is here, though. Starting goalie Corey Crawford returned from a lower-body injury. Chicago sent veteran Jason LaBarbera to the AHL to make room, keeping rookie Antti Raanta as the backup.
1/2/14: Tough loss for the Blackhawks last Saturday, as the St. Louis Blues rallied three times to win 6-5 in an overtime shootout. While the Blackhawks are at the top of the NHL in points (battling it out with Anaheim for the best overall record), they cannot seem to solve St. Louis. The Blues have won all three meetings this season, and did it this time without two of their top offensive weapons in Alex Steen and captain David Backes. Chicago had two goal leads three times in the game, so this one is rather disappointing. No matter, the Hawks still look to have a top playoff seed and may see the rival Blues in May or June.
12/26/13: The Blackhawks look like they are coasting right now. They have 56 points in 38 games. They are in first place in the Central division and just one point behind the Anaheim Ducks for first place overall in the Western Conference. But the Blackhawks cannot sit back and let the division come to them. The St. Louis Blues may be four points back, but have three games in hand at this point. St. Louis beat Chicago twice earlier this year and currently hold the tie-breaker. As the stretch run for the playoffs begins, it will be interesting to see how the Hawks approach positioning and the Blues.
12/19/13: Former Blackhawks power forward Jamal Mayers opted to retire last week, bringing an end to his 14 year career. Mayers was never a goal scorer, his best season came in 2005-06 with the rival St. Louis Blues when he scored 15 goals. However, he was a gritty forward and was never afraid to go into the corners to battle for a puck. He retires with over 100 career fights, if that is not proof enough. Always classy, Mayers thanked his mother, step-father, and even former Blues GM Larry Pleau for his opportunities. Good luck with the rest of your life, Jamal.
12/12/13: Things are not going great at the moment for the defending Stanley Cup champions. They have lost three in a row, including a shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Their goaltending depth is getting severely tested as well. Starting goalie Corey Crawford is out with a lower body injury while backup Nickoli Khabibhulin is on the shelf as well. The team recalled Kent Simpson from the AHL for some short term relief. The Blackhawks are still in first place in the Central as the St. Louis Blues have stumbled of late, but expect them to rebound soon, as it is a long season and they have loads of talent.
12/5/13: Rookie goaltender Antti Raanta got a win in first ever NHL start by downing the Calgary Flames 3-2. Raanta made 20 saves and shut out the Flames in the third period. That after battling nerves before his first game. Raanta claimed he had nightmares during his pre-game nap. Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp both came up big in the third period as well, with each scoring a goal to cap off the come from behind win. Kane had nothing but praise for Raanta after the game and said he was their best player on that night.
11/28/13: The Blackhawks are right where they want to be - leading the Central Division and scoring at will. Chicago just doubled up the Jets in Winnipeg, showing that they do not play down to their competition. Jonathan Toews had a goal and three assists in his return to his hometown. The Hawks also got Marian Hossa back. Hossa missed three games with a lower body injury and had a goal in his return. Other scorers included Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, and Ben Smith in the 6-3 win. Chicago is in a tight race with St. Louis, Colorado, and Minnesota, so every point helps.
11/21/13: The Blackhawks are still an elite NHL team and lead the Central Division at the quarter mark of the season. However, it has not been the cakewalk thus far like last year, and the Hawks have considerable pressure coming from the Blues, Avalanche, and Wild. Corey Crawford remains the starting goalie, but the team recalled Finnish prospect Antti Raanta to replace backup Nikolai Khabibulin, who was injured in a 7-2 loss to Nashville last week. Khabibulin's best days are behind him and he has struggled all season. The injury could be a blessing in disguise for Chicago as it allows them to get younger at a key position.
11/14/13: The Blackhawks have basically picked up where they left off last season. Through 18 games, the team is 12-2-4, good for only second place in the Central Division of the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane continue to be the heart and soul of the team and the Blackhawks are determined to keep both of them after their contracts expire following next season. The Hawks built their team and two Stanley Cup championships around the two and look for both to be lifetime players. Chicago should certainly make the playoffs again and a long playoff run with their two stars.
11/7/13: Lost in the early season success of the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues is that the Chicago Blackhawks (who are the defending Stanley Cup champions) are 8-2-3 and in second place in the Central Division. The Hawks could use some improvement in a few areas. Their backup goalie, former Cup winning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has struggled and there may be a change in the near future. They could also use a number two center now that Dave Bolland is with Toronto. But these are minor problems and the Blackhawks are well positioned to defend their title in six months.
10/31/13: The Blackhawks are finding out (again) how tough it is to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. They have a big bullseye on them and every team is ready to give their best effort. The St. Louis Blues have beaten the Blackhawks twice already this year, which is sure to stir up emotion in both fans and players alike. The Tampa Bay Lightning did not give the Hawks any respect this past week as they took down the defending champs 6-5 in overtime. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both scored for Chicago, but Martin St. Louis scored in overtime to seal the win for the home team.
10/24/13: The Hawks know that defending a Stanley Cup title is very hard - every team will give you their best game every night. It is more difficult when your long-time archrival is the opponent and they are just as good as you are. St. Louis beat Chicago two weeks ago in St. Louis when Alex Steen scored the game winner with 21 seconds remaining. The Hawks wanted payback this payback on home ice, but the Blues rallied twice to send the game to overtime and then a shootout. Blues winger T.J. Oshie scored for the Blues and the Hawks could not solve Blues goalie Jaro Halak, making for 21,000 unhappy Blackhawks fans (Blues won 3-2).
10/17/13: The Blackhawks went 22 games without losing in regulation last season. History did not repeat itself. The Hawks went down to St. Louis to meet a Blues team that has Stanley Cup aspirations this year. It was a hard-fought game, complete with the requisite fights between the teams. But the Hawks did not end up on the winning side this time. The Blues' Alex Steen scored with 21 seconds left to break a 2-2 tie, giving St. Louis the two points and sending the Blackhawks away empty-handed. The teams will meet up a few more times this season and none of those games should be missed by NHL fans.
10/10/13: The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues have been at each other's throats since the Blues joined the league in 1967. But things are getting more and more heated. Detroit is now in the Eastern Conference, so that rivalry will likely not be as strong. But this year is different. Not only do the Blues and Blackhawks (and their fans) despise each other, and not only is the Blackhawks' coach Joel Quinville - who got his head coaching start for the Blues - but this season both teams are considered Stanley Cup Contenders. Oh, and they face each other for the first time this week in a must see game for any hockey fan.
10/3/13: Chicago left the league in awe last season. They set a record for most games with a point to start a season and simply continued that play through the rest of the shortened season and into the playoffs. They rolled through the playoffs and won their second Stanley Cup in four years. The Hawks are primed for another run and return their core. It is not a question now, but Chicago is committed to some big contracts next year, so this may be the last time to catch this group in their whole before the salary cap breaks them up.
9/26/13: The Blackhawks are gearing up for to defend their Stanley Cup title and the Western Conference is still the tougher of the two. Of particular concern should be the rival St. Louis Blues. The Detroit Red Wings are now in the Eastern Conference, but the Blues and Blackhawks have a long-standing hatred of each other. The Blues should be improved over last year as they have more experience and kept their core together. The Hawks will try to be up for the challenge and it should make for great theater throughout the upcoming season and beyond.
9/19/13: With training camps underway and preseason games already starting, teams face the never-ending challenge of getting their players in shape yet avoiding injury. The first big name to get press on an injury is Chicago's Jonathan Toews. He did not participate in a team scrimmage due to a lower body injury. Toews will be a free agent at the end of the season but the Hawks seem determined to keep him, even though they already have $41 million wrapped up in seven players. For his part, Toews admits that it would be tough to leave Chicago, where he has won two Stanley Cups.
9/12/13: There are not many holes on the Blackhawks' roster. They set a record last season with the most games to start a season without losing, until they finally succumbed to Colorado. That makes it tough to make the roster. Chicago has a young defensive prospect named Adam Clendening that will push for a shot in the NHL this season. He was a second round pick in 2011, and though he is not big, he is an offensive weapon. He posted 9-37-26 in the AHL last season and seems like a natural on the powerplay. He may not get his chance this season, but Hawks fans should be looking for him in the future.
9/4/13: Many Blackhawks fan will remember Andrew Shaw taking a puck to his face during the Stanley Cup Finals this past season, and now they will have the opportunity to re-live that moment again. Shaw donated the stitches he received to the V Foundation and it was purchased for $6,500 by Grant DePorter. DePorter is the CEO of Harry Carry Restaurant Group and has purchased a number of Chicago sports memorabilia such as the infamous Bartman baseball and Sammy Sosa's corked bat. The difference is that Chicago won after the stitches but did not fare as well with the other two.
8/22/13: There is an interesting debate going around the Internet on who to keep, Toews or Kane. The argument is heated and insightful, but the Blackhawks are lucky they do not have to make that choice right now. The two stars have combined to provide not one but two Stanley Cup Championships to Chicago. There may come a day when the team has to pick one due to salary cap reasons, but they have the luxury (at least for the time being) of being able to keep both on the roster and go after yet another championship.
8/15/13: Training camp is still a little ways away, but the pressure on the Blackhawks is already mounting. Chicago was by far the best team in league during the shortened season, and even set a record for going the most games in history without losing a game to start a season. Their dominance - and there really is no other word for it - continued in the playoffs and they finished the season hoisting the Stanley Cup. The question is if this was a singular event or are the Blackhawks poised to become the next NHL dynasty?
8/8/13: When you win the Stanley Cup your fans get to do things like this: Blackhawks fans were incensed a few weeks ago when photos surfaced that diva Justin Bieber both touched the Stanley Cup and stood on the Blackhawks logo in the locker room. Yes, this is silly teenage stuff, but Hawks fans have that mentality sometimes. They have taken to standing on photos of Bieber in an act of revenge. Several photos have been posted on social media of the newest craze in Chicago. Well that certainly seems mature and appropriate, and money well spent.
8/1/13: One of the great things about hockey players is that they rarely stop playing in the case of injury. Word is coming out now that three key members of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup winning team were very hurt during the playoffs. Forward Michal Hazus has had two surgeries since the end of the season, and Bryan Bickell's thumb basically exploded following the Finals. He had to have a tendon removed from a finger and attached to his thumb. A far cry from baseball players who get a hangnail and are on the DL for two weeks.
7/25/13: Say what you want about Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews, but he does know how to have fun. According to tradition, every member of the NHL champion team gets at least one day with the Stanley Cup - one of the greatest traditions in sports. Toews took the Cup to Winnipeg for a day of waterskiing. It brings back memories of the old ESPN commercial where a player who had the Cup for a day locked the Stanley Cup and his keys in his car. Its good to see that hockey players both revere and enjoy their time with the greatest trophy in all of sports.
7/18/13: The Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks traded forward Daniel Carcillo to the former Stanley Cup winning L.A. Kings for a conditional draft pick in 2015. It is not likely that the Blackhawks will miss Carcillo that much. He has been injured for a lot of time the past several years. Even this year, he only played in 23 regular season games, tallying two goals and an assist. The Hawks only used him in four games in the playoffs - perhaps fearing he would get too many penalties. It is a minor deal, but does give the Hawks a little more cap flexibility and a pick in the future.
7/11/13: Several Blackhawks players and fans took to Twitter to admonish teen pop star Justin Bieber for standing on the Hawks logo in the locker room while he was taking publicity photos with the Stanley Cup. There is an unwritten rule in hockey to never step on the logo in the locker room. Another is to never let the sweater (jersey) touch the ground or floor. It is doubtful that Bieber did it intentionally. What is more questionable is why these hockey players are following Justin Bieber on Twitter. That just does not seem like proper protocol.
7/4/13: The Chicago Blackhawks are the Stanley Cup champions for the second time in four years. Chicago had a three game to two lead against the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins going into game six. It looked like the Bruins were going to force a game seven, taking a one goal lead into the final minutes of play. But 17 seconds changed history. Tukka Rask, the Boston goaltender who had played so brilliantly, let not one goal, but two goals in at the end of regulation, giving the Blackhawks a one goal victory and the league championship. Chicago was easily the best team in the NHL this season, and deserved to win it all.
6/20/13: Now that three games have been played in the Stanley Cup Finals, many experts are on the Bruins bandwagon. The Bruins play a much more physical style of hockey, the type that is needed in the playoffs. Also, Tuuka Rask, Boston's goalie, has been sensational. He outlasted Corey Crawford in game 2, and shut out the vaunted Blackhawks offense in game 3. The funny thing is that all the experts were on the Hawks bandwagon after they won game 1 in triple overtime. Marion Hossa is expected to be back for game 4 - so this could well go seven games.
Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals Tickets
The 2013 NHL regular season wasn't long thanks to a lockout, and the summary of the Chicago Blackhawks is short and sweet. They dominated the Western Conference from day one, including a half-season streak of games where they earned a point. Their historical start to the season got them out in front, but it took a great deal of character and leadership by the likes of Captain Jonathon Toews to keep the Blackhawks out in front, sights set on another shot in the Stanley Cup Finals. They finished the regular season with some hardware - the President's Trophy for most points in the entire league - but it's Lord Stanley's Cup that they'd like to see again.
After such a hot start, people have been looking for cracks in the Chicago Blackhawks' game - the kind of flaws that led to disappointing early finishes in the NHL Playoffs that ended their campaigns in the last two seasons. Since their Stanley Cup Finals victory in 2010, the young, well-rounded core of the Blackhawks has dealt with pressure and high expectations every day; despite their NHL Playoff pedigree, youth like that is often met with skepticism as one-hit wonders until they can achieve consistent, sustained playoff results. This year, the Blackhawks are driving toward another Stanley Cup Finals to prove that their core is as good as any in the league and that the 2010 title wasn't a fluke. Any team, including division champion Los Angeles Kings, doubting them in the playoffs is doing so at a very high risk of their own failure.
Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals Run
In 2010, many of the same players you would see in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals for the Chicago Blackhawks won a Cup with the team. Their President's Trophy campaign in this shortened season has many people expecting another long run in the NHL Playoffs with plenty of big games at the United Center.
|Stanley Cup Finals||Flyers||Won||4-2|
Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals Highlights
Much of the Chicago Blackhawks core is still in tact from their Stanley Cup Championship in 2010. The last two seasons' first-round losses have fueled this young group to overcome their recent failure to return to the glory many of them realized by winning the Stanley Cup Finals.
Chicago Blackhawks Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Chicago Blackhawks First Game 2013
Chicago Blackhawks Regular Season Last Game 2013
Chicago Blackhawks Preseason Beginning 2013
Mar 6, 2014 Columbus Blue Jackets 1 - 6 Chicago Blackhawks Mar 4, 2014 Colorado Avalanche 4 - 2 Chicago Blackhawks Mar 1, 2014 Pittsburgh Penguins 1 - 5 Chicago Blackhawks Feb 27, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks 1 - 2 New York Rangers Feb 7, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks 0 - 2 Phoenix Coyotes Feb 5, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks 2 - 0 Anaheim Ducks Feb 1, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks 1 - 2 San Jose Sharks
Mar 9, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Buffalo Sabres Mar 12, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Colorado Avalanche Mar 14, 2014 Nashville Predators vs Chicago Blackhawks Mar 16, 2014 Detroit Red Wings vs Chicago Blackhawks Mar 18, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Philadelphia Flyers Mar 19, 2014 St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks Mar 21, 2014 Carolina Hurricanes vs Chicago Blackhawks Mar 23, 2014 Nashville Predators vs Chicago Blackhawks Mar 25, 2014 Dallas Stars vs Chicago Blackhawks Mar 27, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Boston Bruins Mar 28, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Ottawa Senators Mar 30, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Pittsburgh Penguins Apr 3, 2014 Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks Apr 4, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Columbus Blue Jackets Apr 6, 2014 St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks Apr 9, 2014 Montreal Canadiens vs Chicago Blackhawks Apr 11, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Washington Capitals Apr 12, 2014 Chicago Blackhawks vs Nashville Predators Apr 17, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks Apr 18, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks Apr 25, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks Apr 27, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks May 3, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks May 10, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks May 18, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks May 25, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks May 27, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks Jun 1, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks Jun 3, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks Jun 10, 2014 TBD vs Chicago Blackhawks