The past two seasons were a struggle for the Blackhawks. Although they qualified for the playoffs both years, neither route was ideal.
In 2011, gutted post-Cup victory, they backed into the playoffs based on the Wild's win over the Stars in game 82. The battle leading up to the playoffs left the team battered and tired - yet they still pushed the Canucks to Game 7 OT in the first round.
In 2012, they had a bit more of a cushion, but 101 points in the ultra-competitive West was only good enough for 6th place. Although the Blackhawks pushed the Coyotes to five OT games, and then lost to Phoenix 0-4 in Game 6 on home ice.
When considering the game in Nashville tonight, it might have seemed a coin toss who would win. The Blackhawks were on the final game of a six-game road trip that covered 5,300 miles since January 29th. The team would be headed home to Chicago after the game, and you have to think that weighed on their minds.
In the meantime, Nashville shut out the defending Stanley Cup champs 3-0 on Thursday night and then played a tough game in Minnesota on Saturday night, where the Wild beat them 2-1 in overtime.
The team that looked more fatigued on the ice on Sunday night? The Predators.
By the end of the first period, the game remained scoreless, although the Blackha...
The Minnesota Wild took to the ice on fire against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night, scoring within 90 seconds of the puck drop. The relentless physical demand brought out the best of both teams, ending in a shootout and a Wild victory 3-2.
It wasn't their prettiest win of the season, but the Chicago Blackhawks played well enough to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in a physical game on Saturday night. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford played another strong game en route to his fourth win of the season, stopping 24 shots on 26 attempts. Columbus started fast against their Central Division rival, controlling play for much of the first period as they outshot Chicago 8-1 over the first ten minutes. Their early tenacity was rewarded when Blue Jackets forward Mark Letestu opened the scoring at the tail end of their first power play on a mad scramble in front of the net. After a flurry of in-close sa...
Marian Hossa scored his fifth goal of the season in the form of an overtime game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks rallied from two goals down to defeat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday night. Hossa’s goal came on Chicago’s seventh power play of the night off a beautiful behind-the-back backhand feed from Patrick Kane, pushing the team’s record to a league-best 4-0-0.
For a while it looked as though Chicago might not be able to solve Dallas net-minder Kari Lehtonen, as the Finnish-born former Thrasher frustrated one attempt after another from the Blackhawks as they outshot the Stars 12-6 in the first period to no avail.
Cup hangover for the Kings? No - the time spent in the lockout eliminated that possibility for the Kings.
So perhaps it was simply the huge anticipation and emotional output that a team faces, raising a Stanley Cup banner to the rafters.
Two years ago, the Chicago Blackhawks stood in the Kings' shoes - except for the Blackhawks, the emotion of the moment was all the more poignant due to massive summer roster turnover. The Kings had almost none, beyond a player being traded this past week, and one of their assistant coaches who is now standing behind the bench for their Opening Night opponents.
The Hawks have been there, and were able to channel that kn...
As the season is about to begin, the TCL team of Blackhawks writers give their predictions for the abbreviated (2012-) 2013 season. (Writers are listed alphabetically.)
CHERYL ADAMS (@HockeyBroad)
Central division will finish: 1) Blues, 2) Blackhawks, 3) Nashville, 4) Detroit, 5) Columbus
This is going to be an interesting year in the Central. The Blues have proven persistent and should look to repeat from last year. It's a tough call between the Preds and the Red Wins, but the Preds are hungrier for the Cup and will look to prove themselves after finally breaking into the second round. It's a rebuilding year for the Wings after losing their ...
The CBA has been hammered out, the MOUs have been signed, and teams across the NHL welcome fans back into their buildings starting on Sunday as training camps open for the league.
It's long overdue for a lockout that should not have happened to begin with. While the fans eagerly flock back - as the league knew they would - they should not be taken for granted.
In Chicago, a number of Blackhawks supplemented by players like Mike Brown (TOR), Al Montoya (WPG), Ben Eager (EDM), and Troy Brouwer (WSH) have been skating at least three times a week since the lockout began. Kenny McCudden, skating and skills coach for the Chicago Wolves (AHL), has worked with the players at least...