After one of the shortest off-seasons in pro sports history, the Chicago Blackhawks are opening their training camp on the road.
Spending a lot of time on the road early in the abbreviated 2013 season didn't seem to hurt the Blackhawks; after all, they not only set a league record to open the season, but went on to win both the President's Trophy and the Stanley Cup. The players seem eager to prove that this year, there will be no "Stanley Cup hangover".
With a shortened summer and just a few days before pre-season games get underway, having training camp at Notre Dame allows the team to focus on camp without the distractions of home, and allows for the ...
The Chicago Blackhawks open their championship-defending season on Tuesday, October 1st versus the Washington Capitals. Needless to say, that game will be the number one ticket on Blackhawks' fans lists when regular season single-game tickets go on sale Monday morning, as Chicago has earned the right to raise a handful of banners that night - tops among them, the 2013 Stanley Cup banner.
Three years ago, Capitals forward Troy Brouwer stood on the Blackhawks side of the ice, part of the 2010 Cup-winning team. Now he will return on the visitors' side, as part of a team that is still chasing their first Cup since being founded in 1974. The team will be hungry to mak...
The game ending could have been lifted from some hockey movie.
It had seemed like everybody had predicted the Boston Bruins would win the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks wouldn't stand up to the Bruins' style of play, it was said. Although Chicago held the 3-2 going into Game 6, Boston had proven themselves solid at home. Anticipation was high for a return to Chicago for an epic Game 7.
The game unfolded that way, too. The Bruins grabbed the lead early, on a Chris Kelly goal 7:19 into the first. Boston was controlling the game, dominating the first by a wide margin.
Jonathan Toews got Chicago on the board 4:24 into the second, tying the game as Chicago...
In 2010, the Blackhawks were headed into Philadelphia for Game 6, up 3-2 in the series against the Flyers. In 2011, it was Boston at home, down 2-3 versus the Presidents' Trophy-winning Canucks. Both teams won their respective games.
These aren't the same Blackhawks. These aren't the same Bruins.
Both teams have a number of core players who were on their Cup-winning teams before. Those players know what has to be done and have to lead the way for the rest. Nobody can doubt that any player on other team doesn't have the will and desire to do whatever needs to be done to close out the series.
The Blackhawks knew they had to be far better in Game 4 if they wanted any hope of salvaging the series, and they came out swinging from the very first faceoff, which they won.
After a penalty call was given to Johnny Oduya for interference, a team converted on Boston's power play - but it wasn't the Bruins. Chicago got their first goal at 6:48, a shorthanded goal by Michal Handzus off a feed by Brandon Saad.
The two halves of the first period looked very different; after dominating much of the first half, the Blackhawks allowed the Bruins to start having a lot of pressure in their end. During a Bruins powerplay, Saad would bobble a clearing attempt; Rich Pev...
The injury rumors are starting to fly thickly now: that Hossa may be nursing a neck or hip injury; that Toews may have injuries of his own. Marian Hossa not playing in game three, and Jonathan Toews taking enough ice time to be well-down the TOI chart in the same game lends weight to those rumors.
Game four of the Stanley Cup Final is in Boston on Wednesday night. Right now, the Bruins feel they have the upper hand. They're playing the way they want to play, punishing the speedy Blackhawks, living up to their historical moniker of "the Big, Bad Bruins". Beyond that, they're playing for a noble cause, a cause that's bigger than all of them and even bigger t...