Andrew Brunette

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Round 1: Blackhawks edge Red Wings, 3-2

Five more of those please!

The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings put on sixty minutes of playoff-like hockey in front of a season high 22,166 at the United Center Friday night and the Hawks prevailed in the end with a 3-2 victory.

For sixty minutes, it seemed as though the only stoppages in play were for the two intermissions. The game opened with five or six minutes of continuous, back-and-forth action before the first whistle was ever blown.

Justin Abdelkader gave the Red Wings the early lead half-way through the first period after a big rebound was given up by Hawks goalie Corey Crawford. It seemed to sit there in the slot forever after the initial Drew Miller ...

Isles Fall To Blackhawks in Shootout 5-4

Friday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks was arguably the most exciting game the Islanders have played in all season. The Islanders came into this game looking for their third straight win but came out with a well deserved point.

The Chicago native Al Montoya was the one chosen by Jack Capuano to start for the Isles. Montoya, playing in his third straight game, made some unbelievable saves throughout the whole matchup. Facing the Islanders was the 26 year old Corey Crawford.

But enough about the goaltenders, let's talk about the offense. It was a real positive to see the Islanders scoring creative goals. Poking at rebounds and capitalizing on special teams. In past games, the Isles have used the dump and chase method, which obviously has not been working. It was great to see players go to the next and try to make a play instead of players just throwing the puck at the net and hoping for the best.

Chicago's penalty kill has not been the best this season and the Islanders definitely capitalized, scoring two goals with the man advantage. But the Blackhawks had their share of capitalizing on special teams as well. Chicago was able to score a powerplay goal and a shorthanded goal against the Isles.

The goalscorers for the Islanders tonight were Kyle Okposo, Matt Moulson, PA Parenteau, and scoring his first goal of the season was Nino Niederreiter. Focusing on Okposo, it really seems as if he is in his required game shape. He is making plays and hustling much better than he had in the beginning of the season.

The Blackhawks offense never quits either; with goals coming from Andrew Brunette, Ben Smith, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Sharp.

So it came down to a shootout. Jonathan Toews was lone scorer and was able to claim victory over the New York Islanders, 5-4.

If the Islanders can play the way they have played in the last week for the rest of the season, they will be in good shape.

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Game Day: Chicago Blackhawks @ Phoenix Coyotes

The Coyotes saved very little visible emotion for their former selves on Saturday, shelling the Jets' opposition with 34 shots compared to only 19 in return on their way to a 4-1 win.  Now the 2-1-0-1 'Yotes face off against the 2-1-0-1 Blackhawks, who are coming off a shootout loss against the Boston Bruins.  Half of the four matchups between Phoenix and Chicago last year went to a shootout.

While their records through the first four games are identical, their power plays are not.  Chicago even allowed a shorthanded goal on Saturday, and their record sits at 11.8%  compared to the Coyotes' 23.8%.  Last year, the Blackhawks went for a combin...

How the Chicago Blackhawks are shaping up as training camp approaches

Chicago fans were disappointed in April when the Blackhawks couldn't make it past their hated rival, the Vancouver Canucks. But even in the face of the loss, there was a lot of positive things to take away from the postseason for the Hawks.

The most important thing was the Blackhawks' performance in games 4-7 of the first series. Despite Vancouver looking like the stronger, healthier team going to the series - and they were, having cruised through the final weeks of their schedule as Chicago battled down to the very last wire in the effort to hold on to their playoff berth - and even despite the Canucks practically skating circles around t...