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Phoenix Coyotes take series opening vs Chicago Blackhawks

Going into the Thursday opener between Chicago and Phoenix, most analysts were split on their predictions. Several pointed out that the Coyotes had owned the season series between the two, 3-1; but just as many acknowledged that those games were not some of the Blackhawks' best hockey of the year. Mike Smith has been the difference-maker for Phoenix, while the Chicago goalies have had their share of struggles.

At the end of the day, however, these two teams have always battled strongly against one another, their different styles making for some interesting games.

After four high-paced opening minutes, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews put the first goal of the night...

Blackhawks/Coyotes playoff preview - solving Newtons' law of motion

 

Remember back in school when you studied science and physics and learned about Sir Isaac Newton and his laws of motion? Remember his 3rd law of motion – For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Now this series will be a study in contrasts. These teams are the polar opposites. The Coyotes employ a tight defensive style of play while the Blackhawks would prefer a free wheeling offensive style of play. These will be two forces of equal yet opposite forces. 

I’m not going to spend much time talking about the regular season records these two teams had against each other because we are in the second season when everything starts fresh ...

Hawks drop final curtain on Red Wings 3-2 in SO

In game 82 of the regular season with playoff seeding on the line, what better way to determine the final seeding of teams in the Western Conference Central Division than to have the oldest rivalry determine it.  The Blackhawks could only move up to the 5th seed if they beat the Wings in regulation time and even though they could not accomplish that they still managed to determine Detroit’s fate.

By letting the Blackhawks win in the shoot out Detroit lost more than just a game and series to the Hawks, they lost home ice advantage and must now face one of the toughest teams in the West if they want to win the Stanley cup.  The Blackhawks at this point are still uncert...

Wild prevail 2-1 over Hawks in Shootout

In a game that saw the return of Duncan Keith, which also saw a much tighter defensive effort yet the Blackhawks lose this game in the last four minutes of the game. The bigger picture and more importantly was that the fourth seeding in the Western Conference and home ice advantage in the playoffs was at stake.

Not making an excuse but the Hawks lineup was fairly depleted with Toews, Montador, Lepisto, Bolland and Brunette all out of the line-up. This impacted the lines on the ice and the match ups coach Q could employ.

The Blackhawks with only gaining one point and Nashville defeating Dallas can not capture the 4th seed and home ice in the first round. They can only get as hi...

Blackhawks Wrap Up Series Vs Wild in Minnesota

The Chicago Blackhawks have an impressive record over their last ten games, going 7-1-2 over that span. Tonight, the Blackhawks will close out their four game season series with the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. 

Despite Chicago's recent formidable record and their clinched playoff position, the Blackhawks still have plenty to work on. Chicago has allowed 20 goals over the last five games to their opposition. At this point in the season, that's not a statistic a team can really feel too good about. 

The last time these two teams met three days ago, Minnesota forced the Blackhawks to chase them for the duration of the game, until Patrick Kane final...

Final Week Final Thoughts

Heading into one of the better weeks in sports as the NHL regular season winds down and playoff spots are finalized, I thought I would give some thoughts on the season and things I look forward to heading into the playoffs.

Blackhawks Rally Late, Lose to Wild in Shootout

Despite rallying late in the game to tie it up and force overtime against the Minnesota Wild, the Chicago Blackhawks were unable to come away with both points in their shootout loss tonight at the United Center. 

The United Center saw plenty of offense tonight as both teams went back and forth throughout the three periods scoring goals, though the Hawks would tie the game, only to then have to continue chasing the Wild just minutes after scoring. 

Neither goaltender Chicago goaltender Ray Emery or Minnesota netminder Josh Harding were exceptional this evening, allowing four goals on 31 shots and four goals on 35 shots, respectively. However, several players from both...

Blackhawks face the Wild in final home game of the regular season

Early in the season, the Minnesota Wild was one of the Cinderella stories of the NHL: under the guidance of freshman NHL bench boss Mike Yeo, the Wild surged to the top of the Western conference.

The last time these two teams met was January 12th, when the Blackhawks won 5-2 at the United Center. Since that time, the Wild slowly tumbled out of the top eight in the West (all the way down to 13th, 33-35-10), and the Blackhawks (44-26-9) just clinched a playoff berth. They will now face each other twice in the next few days. Last year, it was Minnesota's game 82 that made the difference for Chicago to go to the playoffs; now these final games of the season could make the diffe...

Is the Sixth Seed Detroit's Best Hope?

It may be difficult for some fans to acknowledge but Detroit is faltering in the late stages of the season and are looking less and less like a true playoff contender. Detroit is 2-6-2 in its last 10 games and has not regained its form since the return of Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Franzen and Howard.

The Nashville Predators beat Detroit easily 4-1 Friday night thanks to the strong play of Pekka Rinne and production from their recent additions. The Red Wings quickly lost their outside chance to catch the St. Louis Blues and take the Central Division title for themselves and are now one point behind Nashville and tied with Chicago, however the Wings do have a game in hand. Detroit is 2-3 aga...

Blackhawks clinch playoff spot and find power switch on their power play in Nashville

 

Sometimes things are sweeter when you have to work for them and they don’t come so easy.  As a fan of hockey, I have to say this game had it all & then some. In a game that saw the Hawks running away with the game to start and then have it come down to a nail biting finish is what hockey is all about. Who says the playoffs start on April 11th? I think they’ve already begun.

The Blackhawks held on to defeat the Nashville Predators and in the process secure themselves a ticket to the playoffs.  Unlike last year they determined their own fate and did not leave it on another team's sticks. The Hawks have learned from past mistakes which says a ...