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Blackhawks DL - A Chicago Blackhawks blog | Page 24

Blackhawks' Home Opener and Banner Raise Scheduled

Written by ChiBlackhawks on .

Thanks to @BenThrashers of Blueland Blog for this list of 2010 NHL home openers that the league sent out for immediate release:

ANAHEIM – Wednesday, Oct. 13, Vancouver.
ATLANTA – Friday, Oct. 8, Washington.
BOSTON – Thursday, Oct. 21, Washington.
BUFFALO – Saturday, Oct. 9, NY Rangers.
CALGARY – Sunday, Oct. 10, Los Angeles.
CAROLINA – Wednesday, Oct. 27, Washington.
CHICAGO – Saturday, Oct. 9, Detroit.
COLORADO – Thursday, Oct. 7, Chicago.
COLUMBUS – Friday, Oct. 15, Chicago.

DALLAS – Thursday, Oct. 14, Detroit.
DETROIT – Friday, Oct. 8, Anaheim.
EDMONTON – Thursday, Oct. 7, Calgary.
FLORIDA – Saturday, Oct. 16, Tampa Bay.
LOS ANGELES – Tuesday, Oct. 12, Atlanta.
MINNESOTA – Thursday, Oct. 14, Edmonton.
MONTREAL – Wednesday, Oct. 13, Tampa Bay.
NASHVILLE – Saturday, Oct. 9, Anaheim.
NEW JERSEY – Friday, Oct. 8, Dallas.
NY ISLANDERS – Saturday, Oct. 9, Dallas.
NY RANGERS – Friday, Oct. 15, Toronto.
OTTAWA – Friday, Oct. 8, Buffalo.
PHILADELPHIA – Monday, Oct. 11, Colorado.
PHOENIX – Saturday, Oct. 16, Detroit.
PITTSBURGH – Thursday, Oct. 7, Philadelphia.
ST. LOUIS – Saturday, Oct. 9, Philadelphia.
SAN JOSE – Saturday, Oct. 16, Atlanta.
TAMPA BAY – Saturday, Oct. 9, Atlanta.
ST. LOUIS – Saturday, Oct. 9, Philadelphia.
TORONTO – Thursday, Oct. 7, Montreal.
VANCOUVER – Saturday, Oct. 9, Los Angeles.
WASHINGTON – Saturday, Oct. 9, New Jersey.

We'll be the home openers for Columbus and Colorado but even better – Chicago's home opener will be against Detroit. The home opener is also usually the day that the Stanley Cup Champions decide to raise their banners to the rafters.

Checking In

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

Just wanted to take advantage of this little window of open time to update everyone on some happenings today.  First off, happy Father's Day Weekend.  Some of the dads out there may have forgotten that they have families, due to the drunken stupor since the Hawks victory.  Well dads, its time for the binging to end.  Now go play some golf and enjoy the day.

Other stuff:

  • The 2010-11 schedule comes out this week at some point if I remember correctly. It should be Wednesday.
  • The preseason schedule is already out (ticket info and times TBD):
    • 9/22 vs. TBL (in Winnipeg)
    • 9/24 at DET
    • 9/25 vs. DET
    • 9/28 at PIT
    • 9/30 at STL
    • 10/1 vs. PIT
    • 10/3 vs. STL
  • There have been quite a few trades in the last two days in the Central Division.  The Blues traded two prospects to Montreal for the rights to RFA Jaroslav Halak.  The Predators have traded Jason Arnott to the Devils for a conditional pick and Matt Halischuk.  They also traded Dan Hamhuis to the Flyers for Ryan Parent.  Big improvement for the Blues, possible salary dump for the Preds as they might make a move in Free Agency.
  • The draft is coming up this weekend.  Unfortunately, I will be working throughout the entire 2nd day of the draft.  But I'll be around for the first round on Friday.  I haven't kept up on prospects this season, since the Hawks aren't in a position to get any of the top-flight players with the 30th pick. So I won't try to BS you guys and praise some prospects who I've never heard of. We'll wait to hear some names of picks before doing the digging on the potential.
  • Last but certainly not least, we'll be doing a Q&A segment periodically throughout the offseason.  To ask questions, you can submit them via formspring (http://formspring.com/BlackhawksDL) or email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

More Hawks Memorabillia For Charity

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

As you may remember, we were pimping out some puck sets for the Make A Wish Foundation last week.  Those are really close to selling out.  So if you want one, jump on that soon.

We also have another offer for you guys with some proceeds going to a charity.  Its a 20 x 30 inch shot of Kane lifting the Cup taken by Mike Zarnek.  Only 210 copies are being made.  Some are being sold to bars, and the first of the set is being sent to Kane.  20 percent of the proceeds are going to the local Lions Club to help out some of the suburban kids.

Click Read More to see the picture, prices, and how you can order one for yourself. no comments

Thoughts on the Future, Seven Days Removed from Winning It All

Written by ChiBlackhawks on .

5 Seconds After the Cup Was Won

Click to see bigger version.

(I wish I could draw better; sorry for the quality. But raise your hand if this was what you felt last week!)

I gave it a week.

I wanted to start right away, to pull out the laptop and hack away at all the thoughts that threatened to spill out like crude oil off a leaky pipe (sorry; too soon?), from the tips of my fingers to your computer screens, but I held back.

I gave myself-- fine-- I gave myself almost a week. Sorry I'm a few hours short. But it still hasn't sunk in, and I don't think it ever will, but what is winning the Stanley Cup supposed to feel like, anyway? I'll browse through pictures and tweets and TV show appearances and there's always an undefinable, indiscriminate moment that'll spark it, a wave of "Holy fuck, we did it!" and "Forty-nine years" and "Stanley Cup Champions."

That week still wasn't enough time to savor the championship, but I figured it's time to get to work. Besides, between various Chicago media outlets intent on crowning the Blackhawks the new NHL dynasty, and various NHL bloggers intent on poaching whoever Stan Bowman needs to discard to keep the team within the salary cap (or merely watching things fall apart, as their Schadenfreudian tendencies kicked in), things can look either pretty fucking awesome or severely fucking dire. We just ended a 49-year drought--are we headed to better days ahead or is this just a temporary reprieve from a sports town that's never lacked in sources of disappointment?

Gut Check Time:

  • Here's the thing: There are going to be changes. And because the team is the way they are, these changes are going to be painful. We're going to part with a favorite or two (or three or more). The chemistry that the Hawks enjoyed playing with each other for almost two years? That'll go, and that'll be hard to get back.
  • But it won't be gone forever. We're keeping a core of Toews, Kane, Hossa, Keith, and Campbell locked up for a really long time. Seabrook will be there for the signing, presumably, when his current contract runs out next year. Hjalmarsson is an RFA and Scotty Bowman won't let his son let Chicago's favorite Swede walk. And now we have a solid enough keeper in Niemi, who is also an RFA and who the Blackhawks are trying to sign before offer sheet season arrives.
  • Who walks and who stays? It's hard to tell, and even harder to decide. The strength of the Hawks is their depth, and truth be told, many of the free agents are pretty valuable. The good news is, those free agents are mostly RFAs, and one way or another, we're getting something back for our RFAs, either in the form of contracts or trades.
  • And there will be contracts, and there will be trades. Because the Blackhawks are looking to shed salary, we would be trading down, but if Stan Bowman is as smart as advertised, and if the same scouting team that brought us-- well, almost everyone we have on the roster-- continues to do their job well, we'll likely be able to find a gem or two from the few extra draft picks or prospects that we get for our current roster players, to speak nothing of who we already have waiting in the wings. Our depth chart will continue to be replenished with young talent. It's still up to the Blackhawks to develop this talent, but it isn't as though we're running out of options.
  • I don't know yet what to expect of Stan Bowman. If Johnsson hadn't met such an unfortunate and untimely death injury, that single trade might have reflected well on him. I don't think I'm expecting a back-to-back championship for the Blackhawks-- we might lose too much of what made this team so successful this year-- but at the same time, I don't think I'd discount this team as a contender (not a dynasty) for years to come.

Now, if you'll excuse me, we just won the friggin' Stanley Cup and I would like to resume celebrating that fact. Did you know you can get all 6 games of the Stanley Cup Finals through iTunes? Yeah, guess who has two thumbs and game #6 ready to go? Until there's legitimate news to report/discuss, I'm out.

But don't forget to check out View from My Seats' 2010 Year End Blogger Awards if you're looking for great reading material this week. They're releasing NHL Awards daily this week, and Andrew was one of the voters.

NHL Network To Have Blackhawks Heavy Saturday

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

I'll be brief since I'm about to pass out from heat exhaustion from the parade.

NHL Network has a whole lot of Hawks stuff showing on Saturday.  Of course, most of it is is between the hours of midnight and 6 AM. But set the DVRs. Here's the schedule (Hawks material bolded):

Start Program Title
12:00 AM Top 10 Chicago Blackhawks of All-Time
12:30 AM Off The Ice: Kane and Toews
1:00 AM 2009 NHL Playoffs: Vancouver at Chicago, Game 6
3:00 AM Vintage Games: Toronto vs Chicago from April 15, 1967
5:00 AM Classic Series: 2002 Canucks vs Red Wings
6:00 AM Top 10 Chicago Blackhawks of All-Time
6:30 AM Off The Ice: Kane and Toews
7:00 AM Classic Series: 2002 Canucks vs Red Wings
8:00 AM Vintage Games: Toronto vs Chicago from April 15, 1967
10:00 AM Encore Presentation - AHL Calder Cup Final: Hershey Bears at Texas Stars, Game 5
12:00 PM 2010 Blackhawks Stanley Cup Parade
2:30 PM

Off The Ice: Kane and Toews

So there's a feature on Toews and Kane showing 3 times and the Kane hattrick game from last year's playoffs to cover the modern fan.  And then there's the top 10 Blackhawks and the classic Hawks-Leafs game to please all the old guys (actually, I'll  probably love watching those).

We'll have some parade stuff soon enough. Maybe tomorrow. Its been a great few days, huh?

Update to the Make A Wish Puck Sets

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

So now that the Hawks are officially Stanley Cup Champions (NO BIG DEAL OR ANYTHING), I just wanted to share the update I got on the Make a Wish puck sets.

Fans will now get the puck sets that say "Stanley Cup Champions" on them; those who ordered earlier will have that added to their sets as well.

Half of the collection has been sold as of today and these are expected to go like hotcakes now that that they're more valuable.  They come with acrylic display cases for $39.95 and benefit the local MAW kids.

Fans can order while the supply lasts at 800-345-2868 or visit www.nikcosports.com to order.

Thanks For The Memories

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

Hi, everybody! (Hi, Dr. Nick!)  Since today could be the slowest work day of all time, and I'm starting to recover from the celebration last night with a box o' joe from Dunkin Donuts, I just thought I'd say thanks to everyone who comes to this site.  Really, I'm baffled that anyone cares what I have to say.

Its been a great run this season.  Writing for the Loyola Phoenix, starting the blog at wordpress, and then the move to Bloguin, we've really risen pretty fast.  I've seen some amazing growth and I owe it all to you guys.  We don't advertise anywhere because frankly, I can't afford that.  Every person who comes here has either A) heard about it from someone else, B) found it through another hockey blog, or C) searched google for Blackhawks Down Low.  Only 2 of those options actually happen.

We're always looking to improve and make this a better experience for all involved.  Hopefully you'll continue to come back as we make you laugh and hopefully keep you informed on all the Blackhawks happenings.  We have a few features in the works currently (in the works = I've been bored at work and thinking of stuff all day) for the offseason.  We'll be covering the parade, celebrations, tracking the Cup, the draft, the convention, reviewing the season, and previewing next season.  Blackhawks hockey used to be a 7 month thing.  Now, it covers every month of the year.  So check back in periodically. We'll post everything on Twitter and Facebook, so follow us there.  Keep spreading the word if you enjoy our work. We have a blast doing this.  And lastly, Go Hawks!

Is This What a Cup-Clinching Game Recap Looks Like?

Written by ChiBlackhawks on .

We won the Cup! We won the Cup!

I'm not sure how I made it through the day, but I did, and so did the Hawks. I don't think it's sunk in for me just yet, so let me cut the introductory words and go on to the recap, or whatever this thing that gets posted post-Stanley Cup victory turns out to be:

The Game: Six Must Be Our Lucky Number

The Flyers were 9-1 at home in the playoffs. The Blackhawks haven't won in Philadelphia for 14 years (or something). The Flyers were 4-0 in elimination games this postseason. The Blackhawks were 4-0 in Game 6s since last season.

Something had to give, and that something happened to be garbed in orange and black, but oh-- not without difficulty.

The Blackhawks came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, outshooting and outchancing the Flyers yet all they could show for it was a single power play goal that was negated when the Flyers scored one of their own late in the frame. The ice was heavily tilted in the Hawks' favor, but the score didn't show it.

By the second period, the Flyers had woken up somewhat. Briere gave the Flyers a lead when he took advantage of Duncan Keith losing an edge, creating a 2-on-1 opportunity that he didn't miss. Sharp evened it out for the Hawks not long after, celebrating his goal by turning to the heavens as though to give thanks to the hockey gods. Late in the second, Andrew Ladd tipped in a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot from the blue line and the lead was Chicago's once again.

If games followed Hollywood storylines then it would seem as though the game's script writers favored the Flyers. From a Hawks-dominated first to a fairly even second, the third period became the Flyers' to dominate. For a team that made their mark as a relentless group, the Flyers battled for every inch of space and fought for every chance they could, and as the clock wound down on their season the puck found its way first to Hartnell's stick, and then the back of Niemi's net for the equalizer. Neither team would score in the third, and the Flyers' lives would extend to overtime.

I cannot remember what the game was like in overtime. There were certainly more than a few chances in the 4 minutes it was necessary, but I cannot tell you who owned those chances. All I remember was sitting-- quite literally on the edge of my seat-- and almost forgetting to breathe every time the puck came even within 20 feet of the net. When Kane wristed a shot from a steep angle to score the Cup-winning goal, it took about half a minute for the fact to sink in. My eyes were on the net but I failed to catch the puck, as Leighton also evidently failed to do, and it wasn't until the replay (I refused to believe the Hawks even as they spilled over from the benches to join Kane's celebration, half-convinced the officials would call for a video review) that it dawned on me:

The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup.

(If you're coming from the main site page, please click on the Read More button beside the "Comment" link to read the rest of this post, which deals mainly with Stanley Cup Champion storylines.)

Blackhawks Are 2010 Cup Champs!

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

It all started on October 2nd. It ended on June 9th. The Chicago Blackhawks are the Champions!

Jonathan Toews was the Conn Smythe winner. The parade will probably be Friday. We'll get you details once we're done partying.  We'll probably have a post game....maybe.

I've waited my whole life for this. I love you all. Go have fun kids.

The Game That Needs No Introduction: Blackhawks vs Flyers Stanley Cup Finals Game 6

Written by Andrew Bernier on .

The Cup will be in the building tonight. That's all you need to know about the importance of this game.  The road has been friendly to the Hawks in every playoff series but the current one.  I hope that changes tonight.

A lot of people are citing Leighton for the 6-0 home record as the key to the Flyers home success.  I think that's a load of crap.  He has a .902 save percentage in the two home games this series.  Frankly, goalie wins are like pitcher wins in baseball: absolutely pointless. It relies so heavily on every other player on the ice, that it says absolutely nothing about the goalie attached to the stat. Leighton's record at home: butterflies-rainbows.

That's not to say he was pretty damn good at the start of game 5. Far from it. The Hawks barraged him with shots until they eventually broke through with three goals in the first.  The key for the Hawks today will be bringing that same pressure right from the start again.  Don't expect them to score three in the first, even if they're able to bring it the same way.  The Flyers are facing the end of their season so they should be tighter defensively.  Just keep up the chances and eventually the dam will break.

On the defensive side of things, the Norris/Olympic gold/Conn Smythe effort that Duncan Keith has put up all year will need to be there tonight.  I don't care if he gets 35 minutes tonight. Whatever it takes to get it done.  Because if the Hawks take this one, he gets a really long rest.  Sopel and Boynton just need to be decent back there. No dumb pinches in the offensive zone. Neither is particularly fleet of foot, so the safe defensive play is the way to go.

Niemi. Niemi, Niemi, Niemi.  You've surprised me all year. I never expected you to play this well. Please, just one more night of saying no.

Versteeg, Bolland, Sharp, Ladd, Kopecky.  One of these guys needs to have a spectacular game.  Expect Toews and Buff to see a whole lotta Pronger.  Time for the deepest team in hockey to step up and contribute like we've seen time and time again.

Here we go boys and girls. See you on the other side.  Let's go Hawks.