Chicago Blackhawks

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Flyers get Game 3 win in overtime (4-3) to make series Blackhawks 2, Flyers 1

Unlike regular reason hockey, if a Stanley Cup Final (or playoffs) game goes into overtime, overtime consists of a full 20-minute sudden-death period. It makes for THE most exciting, heart-stopping wins in sports; who can score first? In Game 3 in Philadelphia, the Flyers won their first game of the series, 4-3, in OT. The game started off solid, with the Hawks looking sharp and clean, playing their kind of hockey: fast. They looked really good for the first ten minutes or so; they had some solid shots on goal, including one by Kane that managed to clang off the post. Then the Flyers started turning up the physicality, and unfortunately the Blackhawks responded in the wrong way, r...

The Cup is halfway full - Chicago heads to Philadelphia for Game 3 with a 2-0 series lead

Game 1 felt more like going to a basketball game and having a hockey game break out. Not surprisingly, in Game 2, it was like watching a defense clinic for the first period. The Hawks took 9 SOG; the Flyers took only 3. Period turned into a goalie clinic as the defense lightened up a little and offense finally surged; SOGs went 13 for Chicago, 15 Philadelphia. How fitting that the first person to score - 17:09 into the second period - would be Marian Hossa. Although Hossa described his goal as a "garbage goal", the joy and relief at having finally scored again in the playoffs was written large across his face in the moment. His teammates were happy and the fans were ecstatic. M...

Despite sloppy play from both teams, Chicago pulls out game 1 victory over Philadelphia

When the nearly-full moon rose above Lake Michigan late on Saturday evening, it was Blackhawks-red. Even the skies above were celebrating the Blackhawks' wild win over the Flyers that night at the United Center. The 2009-2010 NHL season is going to be memorable for a lot of reasons - and perhaps most of all for the playoffs. There has been a lot of talk on both sides of the ice of both Chicago and Philadelphia being "teams of destiny". Chicago, an "Original Six" team, currently holds the longest Stanley Cup drought in history - 49 years. In fact, they've been waiting to hoist another Cup longer than the Flyers have been in existance (1967). The Blackhawks last won a Cup when the li...

Looking back at game 4, Chicago vs Sharks - a clean sweep

Game 4 of the Blackhawks vs Sharks game was incredible on so many levels, the best of which was that the game sealed the deal - with a sweep, no less - that would send the Hawks to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1992. The youngest of the Blackhawks stars, Patrick Kane, wasn't even in kindergarden yet the last time that the Hawks got a good look at the spotlight. As a long-time fan (11 years and counting) of the Blackhawks, I felt fortunate to go to a decent amount of games this year, especially during the playoffs. Round 3, Game 4, is a game that will remain in my memory a long, long time. Going into the game, everybody seemed to feel the Blackhawks would sweep the Sh...

Blackhawks up 3-0 in series over Sharks; Niemi posts another 44-save win

The questions loomed large again on Friday night: Could the Blackhawks play the same game at home that they have been playing so great on the road? Could they stretch the 2-0 lead into 3-0? How much of a factor would the UC home crowd be? Could the Sharks come up with a win to put themselves back into the running? No matter what happens in this series, this much is true: the San Jose Sharks have not choked. Any writers suggesting otherwise clearly hasn't been watching this series. No - in fact, the San Jose Sharks have given the Hawks a serious battle throughout the series, and games 1 and 3 certainly could've gone either way - if it wasn't for a rookie goaltender from Finland who has sh...

Chicago Blackhawks head back to the UC with a 2-0 edge over the San Jose Sharks

The question going into the third round for the Western Conference final was who was going to come out on top after the first two games: the Chicago Blackhawks, with their outstanding record in playoffs road wins, or the San Jose Sharks, defending an at-home record? Or would they split the opening two games? We know the answer now, of course: the Blackhawks now lead the series 2-0 and are headed back to the UC in Chicago for game 3 on Friday night. Sunday's game was all that a fan could want out of a playoff game. It was fast-paced, strong, thrilling; a tight 2-1 victory, with a standout performance by the goalies at both end of the ice. But it was Tuesday's game that was a little more...

Antti Niemi shows why he's the "Finnish Fortress", makes 44 saves in 2-1 win over Sharks in game 1

From start to finish, it was the kind of exciting, heart-stopping, high-pressure hockey game that you want to see in the playoffs. Ultimately, however, the Antti Niemi stopped 44 of 45 shots for a .978 save percentage, and the Blackhawks scored twice to win over the San Jose Sharks, 2-1, in the opening game of the Western Conference final series. It took 11:19 in the first period until somebody scored - Jason Demers of the Sharks, on the second San Jose power play, slapped one that appeared to hit Duncan Keith in the sleeve or hip, and it spun off the top pipe into the net behind Antti Niemi. Despite a few near-whoops moments in his efforts to play the puck behind the net, Niemi otherwise...

Blackhawks win 5-1 over Vancouver to advance to the third round; will face San Jose

On the anniversary of the Hawks eliminating the Canucks out of the second round, the Blackhawks came to Vancouver and did the same thing again, on the road. The opening period was a goalie clinic, with both teams working hard and fast on the ice, shots on goal flying, and both teams coming out with 0-0 at the end of the first. Antti Niemi of the Blackhawks and Roberto Luongo of the Canucks came out with nearly even SOGs - 13 and 12, respectively. The edge on defense went to the Hawks, who were able to scoop out a save when Niemi was out of position after a sliding save. At 8:37 through the first, Troy Brouwer took the first penalty of the night - high sticking; but the Canucks couldn't...

Canucks come out strong to survive in the series 3-2; Hawks lose 1-4 at the UC

With shades of game 1 in tonight's game, and looking like the opposite of games 3 and 4, the Blackhawks lost 1-4 to the Vancouver Canucks at home in the United Center to make the series 3-2. Now the series goes back to Vancouver for game six. Tonight, there were a lot of angry fans up in the 300s. The difference between fans being angry and being disappointed is simple enough: the team has to show hustle and a full team effort on the ice. A loss is easier to swallow if you feel the home team brought their "A" game. They certainly had plenty to upset about. If your team is 3-1 and can clinch the series with the next game, you expect that team to give it their all, play the type of gam...