March 13, 2012

Here is to Hoping the Blackhawks Won’t be Singing the BLUES tonight at the UC

Well it has come to be that Jonathan Toews will not play tonight against the St. Louis Blues; he is still not cleared by the Blackhawks medical staff and trainers for contact. He did skate on Friday Morning and again on Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday was an off day for the Blackhawks as they had a team event where they had lunch and were handing out scholarships in Oak Brook for Blackhawk charities. It was announced at this event to the media that Daniel Carcillo was signed for a two year contract at $825K a year. Carcillo said he was one of the happiest men in Chicago because he felt some security knowing that the Blackhawks Organization wanted him to stay and play after he is healed from him ACL surgery. Carcillo said he is sure by summer he will be 100% and ready for the 2012-2013 Season. When asked what he has felt watching his team play as of lately he stated “There were a few times that I have yelled at the TV.” Wonder what he was yelling, he was asked to which he said he did not wish to repeat. His teammate Marion Hossa, said that Carcillo was missed on the ice and in the locker room where his energy was very always welcome.

Getting ready to plan the Blues was something that was being discussed around the tables as lunch was being served. “We are looking forward to playing them; “we are looking forward to bringing our A Game and taking what we have recently learned about ourselves as a team and apply it out there on the ice.” When I asked what they felt that had mostly recently learned they simply stated, “Some Hard duty Team Work.” With Toews out, and the power play not being what they want it to be, it will be a struggle. The playoffs are on their minds already and they are talking about and thinking of ways to make them what they want them to be. “We know there are things we need to focus on, we know there are people out there demanding trades and thinking they know what is best for our team, we have faith in the Blackhawks management and at times we do feel like we our letting our fans down. It is hard on us as a team to see a win being taken away from us, we are re-building from the inside out and working on doing what we can do best which is playing Hockey.”

The St. Louis Blues are first in the Easter Division and in the Western Conference, and the League. That is a lot of firsts. They are usually a good team to play and the rivalry is always there. They play hard and very competitive. The Blues get out on the ice and shoot the puck from the beginning of the game to the final horn, they play rough and they take penalties kills to their advantage. The Blackhawks have to hit the ice and play defensive from the start. There are two types of defensive players, there are offensive defensive players who protect the net but play the puck, and then there are defensive defense players who protect the net and the players. The Blackhawks have more of the offensive defensive player; they play the puck and pass it. There is nothing wrong with that kind of player but when push comes to shove they have to be able to play both types. They have to play in front of the net, giving Emery or Crawford view of the puck and not be afraid to get into the middle of things and get the puck out of their zone. The offensive play is great when they are ahead but the defensive play needs to step up and stop letting the opponent score within the first few plays of the game. In Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings it was like playing catch up continuously and it was great seeing Emery save some of the hardest hits goals I’ve witnessed in a long time. The shoot out that lasted six rounds was just mind boggling and questions were raised would it be different if Toews was healthy and playing. It may have been but, I think they played with hearts and really were doing everything they could have done to get the Win. A point is a point and it is better than no point at all. For tomorrow night’s game against the Blues I will be sitting with some of the Blackhawk staff and I plan on keeping my ears open so I can report back on their take on the game. I heard a rumor that Toews and some of the injured players may also be in the same area as me. I know these guys as acquaintances, but have never watched a hockey game with them because they are usually playing. It will surely be interesting and a great experience.


  • Hawkeye Girl

Just in : Toews did not skate again today, has been suffering headaches, being re-valuated and hopes to return to the Ice very soon. Montador was on the ice but will not play still not cleared for contact. No time line given.

March 12, 2012

Kings Keep the Hope Alive

Just when you begin lose hope and "let go," the Kings bring you right back where you started.  After an abysmal loss to the depleted and injury plagued Detroit Red Wings, many of the Kings faithful entered panic mode and/or threw in the towel.  It's true, there are still quite a few games to play, but giving up 4 points in the process thins your chances by a large margin at this time of year. 

The Kings came in tonight having blanked the Blackhawks in the last two meetings (4-0 and 2-0) and lost two of their last games on the road.  One thing was about to change.  On one end, Chicago losing the third meeting in a row after being shut out twice didn't seem a likely scenario.  On the other end, Kings losing three games in a row didn't seem believable either.  One streak was about to be broken… luckily, it ended up in the Kings' favor. 

The Kings came out of the tunnel firing on all cylinders.  Right from the drop of the puck, the Kings created an excellent scoring chance and Emry, who has not yet lost at home in regulation, came up big.  About one minute later, the Kings skated three on one, Justin Williams made a perfect pass to Slava Voynov in the slot, who put the puck behind Emry for a 1-0 lead.  Mid-way through the second period, Marcus Kruger tied it up at 1-1 after Drew Doughty fell into Jonathan Quick, saved a shot from Patrick Sharp, but couldn't keep out the rebound. Jeff Carter answered at the end of the period to make it 2-1 after Dwight King put the puck right on his stick in front of the net. Viktor Stalberg was awarded a penalty shot after Rob Scuderi pulled him down on a breakaway but was stopped by the Kings' keeper. The Blackhawks clawed their way back to tie the game at 2 a piece when Patrick Kane speared the puck underneath Jonathan Quick and into the net.  The Kings protested, but the referees claimed they could still see the puck loose.  After seeing the replay from different angles, I have to say, either the referees have x-ray vision… or I need to see an optometrist.  Jeff Carter had a chance to put the game away on the power play with just a little over 2 minutes to play, but failed to convert shooting the puck across the crease behind Emry.  Regulation and overtime ended in a 2-2 tie after some incredible goaltending shown by both, Quick and Emry.  The goaltenders continued their duel as the shootout went deep into 6 rounds when Mike Richards put in a beautiful wrester.  Marcus Kruger tried to keep the shootout going, but Jonathan Quick poke checked the puck to seal the deal.

With the big win, the Kings move up to 76 points and 9th in the Western Conference.  They return home to play the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night before heading back out to play in Anaheim on Friday. They have 13 games remaining in the regular season (7 home 6 road).  The Kings win the 4 game season series against Chicago 3-1.

Mike Torosyan

March 11, 2012

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