The lockout was really hard on all of us. I get that. It was really hard to fill our hours that are usually devoted to watching, disecting, analyzing, and talking about hockey with stuff like defined benefit pensions. Hockey is supposed to be our pleasant distraction from those boring business-y things. Sometimes that causes us all to go a bit crazy. Again, I get that.
So we all feel pretty bitter about being forced to deal with my shitty tweets and being driven to the brink of insanity. And when people get mad, they need someone to blame. The owners are an easy target because most of them are assholes and also because this whole fucking mess was their fault.
So now there's a lot of people out there who want some kind of apology or an explanation. To those people I say, "Grow up, you babies." What would an apology really accomplish for anyone? Anyone who feels they deserve an apology needs to check their ego.
Hockey fans need to realize that they are consumers of a product. As an individual, you have no power over any organization. If Starbucks got rid of their blonde roast coffee for 3 months because they were in a dispute with suppliers, I'd get mad, sure. But when they brought it back I wouldn't demand they say sorry to me and offer me any kind of discounts. I'd go and drink my damn coffee.
So please, boycott your team and free up some tickets for the rest of us. We'll keep your seat warm until you get back.
Every Monday I sit on the red line on my way down to work and listen to the Hockeenight Puckcast. If you're not already a regular listener, I highly recommend it. Seriously, go to iTunes right now and subscribe to it. I'll wait.
Alright welcome back. So this week I was listening when something extra special happened. The guys were calling dibs on which Coyotes player they would hate on during the upcoming playoff series. If Coyotes fans didn't hate Blackhawks fans going into this series, they will by the time it is over. Right after he claimed Radim Vrbata, Andrew Cieslak designated me as the Official Adrian Aucoin Hater™. Perfect.
There's been a lot of talk about what the Hawks did. While most are not satisfied with Oduya and would have liked to see more (Steve Ott's name was mentioned briefly and man, imagine him and Bolland on a line) we'll just have to live with it. Some were saying the Hawks needed a goalie (People who started wathcing Hockey in February of 2010 were saying to trade Patrick Kane for Ryan Miller) but Crawford is clearly Q's guy. Point is that the core of the Hawks remains and come playoff time (hopefully) experience will show. Safe to say last years loss left a sour taste in every body's mouth.
But how did the rest of the central fare at the deadline?
Detroit In: Kyle Quincey Out: Mike Commodore
Commodore wasn't doing much in Detroit and Quincy is a nice addition. He's a puck moving defense man with limited playoff experience (19 games) who can eat up a lot of minutes and help take the load off Lidstorm and the gang. Would have been a nice addition in Chicago. He only cost a first round pick in a draft where (allegedly) the talent pool isn't too deep. While I hardly think "OH MAN THIS GUY WOULD HAVE SOLVED ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS THAT ALL OF US HAVE EVER HAD," he would have been a good addition and it hurts to see him go to a division rival.
As for Commodore, well he's still getting paid from his Columbus buyout and now he's going to live in Florida so it can't all be that bad.
St. Louis Out: Ben Bishop
It's clear Bishop wasn't getting the chance that he thought he earned, but I'm still a little surprised they moved him and not Elliott. Yes, Elliott has been very good all year, but what if the Blues sold high on the guy? If they waited until the summer they might have been able to get more and go with Bishop as the #2. I get not wanting to throw him into the deep end at this point of the year, but the kid looks ready.
Anyway, I get why the Blues didn't bring anybody in. They're playing well and there's not a lot they need to mess with especially with the chemistry they have going.
Columbus Out: NOT RICK NASH but Jeff Carter, Grant Clitsome, Samuel Pahlsson, In: Jack Johnson, Daryl Boyce
Stevie Wonder could see Jeff Carter being traded and now with Pahlsson gone the team might never win a face-off again. The big news about the Jack Johnson trade is that we could soon live in a world where Jack Johnson, Wiz and Steve Mason are on the ice together (!!!!).
But not trading Nash is the big move, and while it's easy to make fun of Scott Howson, I think he made the good move by deciding not to trade Nash. According to The New York Post, the final offer consisted of Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, JT Miller, Christian Thomas and a first round pick in this year's draft. But would that be really a good deal? You never know how these picks will turn out and considering the apparent second coming of Christ, Chris Krider (HE SCORED IN THE BEAN POT YOU GUYS), was not involved, it really didn't make sense. I think that had you included Del Zotto/McDonagh, Krider, Stepan and maybe a pick/prospect then the deal would be a go. Keep in mind that not only would Columbus be giving up its captain and best player, but it would be giving away the face of a franchise. For a team in Columbus that is (again) struggling to fill the building and looking for an identity, it would take a king's ransom to get Nash. It will be interesting to see how the summer plays out.
Nashville In: Andrei Kostitsyn, Paul Gaustad
I'm always terrified of Nashville come playoff time. They can grind teams down with their style of play and have a tight defensive system led by two of the best in the league playing in front of one of the best net minders in the league. And honestly, who else has nightmares of game 5 of the 2010 playoffs (The 'Holy crap, I cannot believe this is actually happening,' feeling). You just felt like they were a couple pieces away from really making a push.
Well then they went out and got AK46 and Gaustad. Gaustad is near perfect for the Nashville system. He is big, gritty and not afraid to drive to the net. He seems like he could be a direct replacement (maybe improvement) on what Joel Ward gave them in the Vancouver series last year. Kostitsyn meets up with his brother down in Nashvegas and gives the Predators another scoring threat. Yeah, his 12 goals put him tied for eighth on the team right now, but Montreal struggled as a whole. Maybe he can pick it up and just needed the change of scenery. For what it's worth (not much), Kostitsyn struggled for Montreal in their playoff run a couple years ago.
But the main point with Nashville is to show Shea Weber and Ryan Suter that they are definitely showing intention like they have never shown before. It started with giving Rinne the big deal and continues now. It will be an interesting summer in Tennessee.
The point is that other teams got stronger while the Hawks filled a need and weren't aggressive. While it's easy to be frustrated, the Hawks still have a lot of talent down on the farm. This isn't a team/year that has to "go for it" (see: Nashville). I'm feeling confident about this team as they go down the stretch and the west will be wide-open come April. Plus, I think we owe this team a little respect.
Since I'm still way too busy to write regularly, our friend Elaine decided to give a preview a shot.
Game Time: 7 pm Tv/Radio: CSN / 720 am
Tonight our boys take on that creepy team down south. You know which one. They travel in a white windowless fan proclaiming they have free candy in the back. That's right you got it the Nashville Sexual Predators!! If the Hawks lose tonight, get ready to throw your hats up, throw glitter in the air and make it rain on some hoes because we will be number one. That's right we will be number one at losing. There are Blue Jackets fans everywhere rooting for Nashville tonight. Why? Because if we lose they don't hold the season losing streak record anymore. I'm also a Blue Jackets fan and quite frankly it's nice being good at something so I'm 100% fine with the Hawks winning tonight.
Also, I would like to take this moment to address superstitions. Andrew has stopped writing for this fine site that he started because he has a "life" and all. Since he has stopped writing the Hawks have won 7 of 21 games and are on a massive lose streak. He'll tell you : "Hey when I stopped writing they moved into first". Buddy you can't fight the numbers. That was just the calm before the shit storm. If they lose tonight, come back and write the next preview and see if they win. Prove me wrong.
Toews: Everyone's man crush is carrying this team on his shoulders. Hey may be captain but the team name is not the Chicago Toewshawks. Although at this juncture in the season they might as well rename the team to honor him. There is only so much Captain Serious can do before he is one of the youngest men alive to have a heart attack.
Crack Pot Line: Look for Coach Q to throw together a line that only a coke head would find acceptable.
Kane: I hope Kaner gets naked in a limo or punches a cabbie before the game. This change for the good has made his game change for the bad. Don't get me wrong I love a good guy but I also love hockey. Yes he has 3 assists and a goal in the past 8 games but we know you are so much better than those numbers. Tonight: look for kaner to be on fire or ice cold. At least he knows how to go big or go home.
Turnovers: BLACKHAWKS! IF YOU LIKE TURNOVERS SO MUCH WHY DON'T YOU OPEN A BAKERY?! If the boys don't bring their "A" game tonight look for them to get molested by the Predators.
Sharp: This man has been on fire lately with 4 assists and 2 goals in the past 8 games. I often am highly annoyed with this sharply handsome man but I'm putting all of that aside. Look for Sharp to light up the net tonight. Also look for him to draw dumb penalties shortly after he scores. Sharpie is like that guy who has sex with his wife and then tells her "yes you look fat in that dress".
Predators: I hate you Preds. I hate you so much I'm not even going to write about you. Weber and Suter your bromance makes me physically ill.
Both teams level of play has been suspect. Look for both teams to play balls to the wall.
That's all you guys are getting out of me for now. You get half a preview for a team who is playing at half their potential.
The first sign (literally) that I was in Vancouver.
In 36 hours, I was on 4 flights in 2 states, 1 province and 2 countries. On each of the flights, I traveled stand by. I’m tired and spent too much money, but it was entirely worth it.
Living in Lincoln, Nebraska it’s pretty hard for me to get my NHL fix. In September I drove 3 hours to watch a preseason game in Kansas City between the Avalanche and the Kings. I work during the afternoon and night so I miss a lot of games.
As a Hawks fan, I wanted to get a chance to see them this year. I saw them at the UC against the Ducks this year, but pretty much all I’ve seen has been on TV. It’s also hard to find a good group of people to watch games with. In fairness, I must say the Hockey community in Nebraska is much stronger than expected. The Lincoln Stars and Omaha Lancers draw well, the Tri City Storm were just subject of a behind the scenes story on the news, and Dean Blais has the Nebraska-Omaha program going in the right direction. But still, it’s not the same.
I decided for a while that I was going to see the Hawks play in Vancouver for quite a while. Why Vancouver? Cool city (when not burned), good crowd, nice arena and (for the moment anyway) a good rivalry. I had only seen the Hawks outside of Chicago once, 2009 against St. Louis, and that was only by chance. The Hawks lost 1-0.
So how did this come about and was it expensive? Well I have a buddy who is a pilot for an airline and can get his friend cheap stand by fares. So after looking at the schedule, open seats and the heavily reduced fare, I decided to go for it. I then secured tickets by digging on Craigslist and talking with a friend who lives there we found some tickets in the lower level.
I know things around here haven't been very active in the last month. However, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to get some good old fashioned trolling in from our friends at Days of Y'orr, who happen to be master haters of the Buffalo Sabres. Enjoy and follow Greg at @PezDOY!
I feel honored being able to write for Blackhawks Down Low, if only for today. So I've been given quite a large task, although I think I can pull it off. Andrew has asked me to inform the Blackhawks fan base the reasons to hate the Buffalo Sabres. Well I hope you have a good pint of ale, a comfy place to rest your ass and some time because this may take a little while. The reason being is that it's so easy to hate the Buffalo Sabres. My brain is running at 6000 RPM's right now just trying to figure out where to start, but I guess if you're going to start anywhere, you start with the "face of the franchise".
Reason #1 To Hate The Buffalo Sabres: Ryan Miller
I've never seen such a fall from grace happen in the short span of two years. In 2010, Ryan Miller led the Americans to the gold medal game in the 2010 Olympics. Everyone in the United States loved Ryan Miller. He was like apple pie, fire works, liberty, freedom, small puppies and Hulk Hogan all rolled into one. The last America was this proud of someone, George Washington had his foot atop a boat heading down a river. He was the bee's knees and although the Americans lost in overtime, it was okay. It wasn't Ryan Miller's fault that Sidney Crosby is a pretty good hockey player.
Lets jump to the 2010-2011 season. Ryan Miller is still considered to be a great goaltender, although the stats aren't beginning to support his claim. Out of 87 goalies who could register a GAA, Miller was 37th overall with a GAA of 2.59. His save percentage was a little better, registering at 32nd overall at .916. Where did the Sabres end up at the end of the year in 2010-2011? They lost in 7 games to Philadelphia and hit up the buffalo wings place by Sunday. The series was pretty good though, so many thought that Miller and the Sabres were about to turn it around and become a formidable opponent in the Eastern Conference, let a lone the Northeast Division.
Then "the hit" happened.
I would like to apologize ahead of time that you have to listen to Rick Jeanneret, who makes Jack Edwards sound like a master at his craft.
Oh God, the hit. Okay, so Milan Lucic blatantly runs over Ryan Miller. I'm not going to deny it and I didn't deny it when it first happened. He plowed into him. He ran him over. Miller tries to take a huge swipe at Lucic's legs and misses, then he lays on the ice like he's been shot. Then he plays another period and a half. Then he leaves with a "concussion". No quiet room, no eye checks, no little flashlight in the face, nothing. After the incident, the concussed superstar goalie had this to say:
Hey, that's fine by me. I'd be pissed too if some dude ran me down like I was the frog from Frogger. Here's the issue with the whole thing. Miller supposedly had a concussion without proper protocol being done. Like I mentioned, none of that quiet room bullshit. Then, after Milan Lucic hangs out with Brendan Shanahan for a little bit and doesn't get suspended, Miller changes his mind on his concussion.
"I feel good symptom-wise," Miller said after practice, according to The Buffalo News. "It was more neck and something where I aggravated a disc in my neck pretty good and we had an MRI and CT scan showing that which kind of backed that up and was the source of a lot of the tension and a lot of the discomfort. It definitely was limiting my range of motion. "I don't know for certain what it was," Miller added. "It definitely felt ... I took a good impact and definitely felt that way [that it was a concussion] but I also had some symptoms in my neck and that was proven through some tests."
Yup, that just happened. Want even more reason to hate Ryan Miller?
"That's not my decision. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen in the locker room. If you guys really think there's going to be any kind of trade made anywhere that's going to affect this team any more than we can affect it in this locker room, you guys are just … I don't know what to think, because there's no such trade. "There's not ever going to be a trade in the history of the NHL that's going to affect anything like that. There's no chance anybody comes into this team and just shakes it up or we can even move multiple players and get any kind of return … If you want to just destroy a team and just go out and be reckless and do something, yeah. "But then there's going to be new guys in here, but other than that, this locker room's going to be pretty much the same, if not completely the same, and we've got to find it from in here. [Points to chest] We can't sit and wait for somebody else to f--king do it."
In his own words: "What a piece of shit".
Reason #2 To Hate The Buffalo Sabres: Patrick Kaleta
Kaleta is Buffalo's version of the "goon" player, but he does a shitty job at it. To Kaleta's credit, he's a shit disturber. He'll pick his spots to start things, but he never backs them up. He chirps when the refs are in between people. He takes cheap and dirty shots. He headbutts people. When Kaleta does try to be a tough guy, he is shown why he's a piece of shit.
Reason #3 To Hate The Buffalo Sabres: Lindy Ruff
I fucking hate Lindy Ruff. Lets start with the aforementioned Ryan Miller hit. Here's what he had to say on it.
“I turn on TSN this morning and the goalies getting bumped almost falls in that open season category,” Ruff said, referring to the phrase he used when Ryan Miller got drilled by Milan Lucic. “… We’re in dangerous territory with some of that stuff.”
"I'm not going to comment what I had on my mind." After pausing, Ruff added: "Go out and run 'em."
That's just the tip of the iceberg with Ruff. When the Sabres played the Bruins in the 2009-2010 playoffs, Ruff complained about the referees after every game. In fact, it seems that all he does is cry and whine about something. I mean, he does it so much that we at Days of Y'Orr constantlymakephotoshops of himcrying. Constantly. It's maddening to think that a coach who is the NHL's longest tenured coach can do so without actually winning anything. Then again, it's also Buffalo so anything is possible.
There's three good reasons why you should hate the Buffalo Sabres. In all honesty, I could go into how pathetic and entitled the fan base is. I could go into how shitty the actual city is. What's the point? These things are already known. Shawn Thornton was asked if he liked playing in the city of Buffalo and what he thought of it. He waited a moment and said "Well it's not the prettiest city out there" and he's right. It's an ugly mess. It's such a mess that their own football team that's been there for decades would rather move to Canada.
I hope I did this some justice and I've given you enough reason to hate the Sabres, or at least dislike them a lot. If not, I'm sure you can search LiveJournal for Ryan Miller's diary and see the true piece of shit he is.
The Chicago Blackhawks are releasing a Christmas album complete with all your favorite holiday classics such as Bickell Bells, Frolik Navidad, and Patrick Sharp is Coming to Town. But just like legends of rock like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Miley Cyrus the best tracks aren't the ones that you'll hear on the radio. They're the ones with the 12 minute drum solos and great guitar riffs. I'm talkin about the deep cuts.
BHDL operatives were able to get their hands on a copy of the cd early, and lucky for you, we've found the real hits that will stand the test of time. Here's our top 5 from the cd.
I Dressed Up as Santa and You Saw Me Kissing Your Mommy - Patrick Kane
Kaner's response to the Christmas hit I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus finally exposes who Jimmy Boyd's mommy was kissing underneath the mistletoe. Fun fact: Both the original and the sequel have been condemed by the Roman Catholic Church, a first in music history.
Sacrebleu Christmas - Crisobal Huet
After posting a 2.86 GAA for HC Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss A League, the Man From France recorded his take on the song Blue Christmas, popularized by Elvis Presley. BHDL was able to catch up with Cris who said "You know, I taught it was appropreeeate cuz da Elvees died on da crapper, you know. And my career kinda did da same ting dere."
Olimb Got Run Over By A Freight Train - Kyle Beach
Kyle Beach's most notable moment in a jersey with the indianhead on the front (technically it was a practice jersey) was at the 2010 Prospects Camp where he beat the crap out of Mathis Olimb twice on consecutive shifts. Olimb injured his shoulder during the second fight and neither player has played with the Hawks since. Olimb has since returned to Europe, where he is playing with the Frolunda Indians. Beach, meanwhile, is still celebrating his victory with this cheerful song.
All I Want For Christmas Is You - AndrewBHDL
I'm actually a little embarassed. I'm not sure how the Hawks got their hands on this recording. The only person who was supposed to hear it was Tuomo Ruutu. Must have been when I was playing it Say Anything style outside of Rudy's window. On a related note, anyone know of a good restraining order lawyer?
I'm Gettin' Nothin for Christmas - Michael Frolik
With lyrics such as "I play like I've been sniffin' glue / I made Andrew eat a shoe / My play has been stinky poo / Somebody snitched on me" I'll be making sure Frolik doesn't get any Christmas presents until he scores 15 more goals this year.
Two years ago today I started Blackhawks Down Low. We had about 7 hits on the first post I ever put up. I thought it would just be something I did sparingly as I shouted my opinions on the Blackhawks at nobody in particular. In 2011 we had about 10,000 hits per month, a number I never fathomed we would hit. I used to get so excited if we got to 100 visitors per day. Now I expect to hit at least 100 per day.
We got to that point by growing our identity as a less formal, more fun Blackhawks blog. How many other sites could get away with a post with the premise of "What if the Blackhawks were Muppets?"
Unfortunately, nothing goes on forever and it has come time that I hang up my skates with miniature keyboards attached to them, or whatever us bloggers are supposed to hang up. Between school, extra cirriculars, job hunting, and trying to find time to see people in real life, I haven't had the kind of time it takes to devote to running a blog.
I want to thank everyone who meet and talk to and write with. I'll still be around on the twitterz so this isn't a full on goodbye.
Moving forward, I have no idea what will happen with this site. It might continue without me. It might stop. I might post once every month or so if I have any interesting thoughts (but that hasn't happened yet, so why start now?). This site has been something really special to me. I enjoyed it and I hope you did too.
And before I go, one last quote from an awesomely bad sports movie:
I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.
“Dude, dude... not the face dude. I’m trying to be the next selected for that poor man’s 24/7, NHL 36.”
Game Time: 7:30 PM TV/Radio: CSN/WGN 720 Brucey B’s New Shitbum Friends: On The Duck Pond
Just a few weeks go by and we meet again, Ducks. Now with Bruce Boudreau at the helm. Remembering back to the most recent Blackhawks vs. Ducks game where the Captain continued his campaign of only guy to give a shit on a regular basis scored four of his five points in the game in the third period.
Making his second appearance since missing quite some time with a broken digit is Ducks d-man Lubomir Visnovsky. Hiller with his under .900 save percentage is slated in net. A whole lot more of big names not doing much on the Ducks front giving results of losing two of their past five. The ageless wonder is on a six game point streak only one of those points being a goal. The Blackhawks shouldn’t take that lightly though as they are pretty keen on giving up leads or waiting until they get into a hole to start getting their legs underneath them.
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