Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Blackhawks Head Into Vancouver With Semi-Final Series Tied 1-1

Blackhawks Head Into Vancouver With Semi-Final Series Tied 1-1
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Blackhawks tied the Chicago-Vancouver series up 1-1 Monday night at the United Center by rallying back against a charged up Canucks team to take the win; 4-2. Chicago, 2nd in the standing head into game 3 against Vancouver, 3rd in the standings after 2 fast paced, high energy duels. 

The Vancouver Canucks have started both games with the energy of 1,000 horses combined with 1,000 Spartans. The Canucks out skated the Blackhawks, out played the Blackhawks, out shot the Blackhawks, and out performed the Blackhawks when it comes to turnovers and giveaways. The Canucks could have easily won game 2 if it wasn't for the miraculous goal tending by Antti Niemi who literally was the anchor as the Blackhawks got ahold of themselves and stated playing playoff hockey.

The roller coaster post-season for the Blackhawks continues as the Hawks were caught off guard in an unmotivated and skill lacking performance in game 1. After a good ass beating the Hawks had a revelation and started to play like the Stanley Cup bound Blackhawks they were projected to be (well most of them). With some still inconsistent lines during the playoffs the Blackhawks have gaps in their performance that needs to be filled for the Hawks to take on the rest of the playoffs. One thing the Hawks know to be ready for the next 2 opponents, pending on a Hawks "W" over Vancouver, is that Niemi is our goalie and he is capable of being a Stanley Cup winner.   

A couple things the Hawks will have to fix during the remaining games of the conference semi-finals; Giveaways, Turnovers, Passing, Skating, and Positions. 

The Hawks are averaging 3x more giveaways than the Canucks during the series and Canucks have been taking great advantage over our poor judgment. The Hawks never have a problem being the faster of the 2 teams but they need to be fast and accurate, precise and aggressive, the Canucks are out for revenge after last year's meeting and they need to capitalize on every opportunity. The Hawks during the post season have struggled greatly when it comes to accurate and smart passing, to beat Vancouver's goalie Luongo they will need position themselves for more scoring chances. During mostly game 1 and the 1st period of game 2 then Hawks looked lost as Vancouver's Sedins' skated circles around the entire Blackhawks team, they need to be and stay the game controlling Hawks we saw during the regular season. Lastly, Keep aware of A)The puck but B) your position, the Canucks are great at creating real scoring opportunities and the Hawks defensemen need to be aware of who is around them, where they are, and be able to predict the Canuck's next move. 

Tonight's game will sure be action-packed and full of energy as both teams will be playing (hopefully) some real playoff hockey. So throw on your favorite Hawk's jersey, grab a Miller Lite, and join in the chorus "Let's Go Hawks!" I'm ChiN8 and I want to thank you for following Windy City Sportz. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hawks Looking for a 180 in Game 2 Against Vancouver

Blackhawks Needing a 180 in Game 2 Against the Vancouver Canucks
Photo Courtesy of

Chicago Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks tonight at the United Center for Game 2 of the conference semi-finals. The Blackhawks are behind in the series 0-1 after falling to the dominating hands of Vancouver Saturday night by a score of 1-5. Blackhawks who were a projected to win the Stanley Cup this year just under the Washington Capitals, who suffered the biggest upset of the post-season as Montreal sent them packing after a 4-3 series win, are not playing like projected Cup champs.

After the crushing defeat Saturday night coach Quenneville stated the Hawks, "can't be happy at all" and "need a response," a response is an understatement, the Hawks need to be revived. The Hawks outshot the Canucks 37-28 but that doesn't help when you have 10 give aways and fewer take aways than your opponents it's not going to be a good outcome. Kane tried to explain the disappointing performance saying, "Came in, thought it would be an easier series," but I don't know what the Hawk's were expecting while the media was hyping this re-match up and just allowing Vancouver's blood to keep boiling for revenge.

Kane showed some anger in a post-game interview, "It's not like were trying to lose game 1, but it was hard to tell," well, the Hawks had all of Chicago saying the same thing last Saturday, "it was hard to tell."

Niemi faced 25 shots on goal and allowed 5 past in the first 40 minutes. Huet started the 3rd period and only faced 3 shots denying all 3. Q-stache said in regards to Niemi's performance, "I'm not blaming goal tending at all, they had a lot of dirt, lot of second chances," even though the entire effort from the Blackhawks sucked, I do believe it is part of the goalie's responsibilities to prevent second opportunities.

The only good thing about Niemi getting destroyed in game 1, is that if history truly repeats it's self, Niemi will have a game 2 shut out. Here's hoping!

Another area to watch tonight is the role of Byfuglien entering in to tonight's game. There is a rumor going around the web that Burish will start at forward and Byfuglien will be back on D. Byfuglien says that this is not true and he will be back on forward "frustrating Luongo," so we will see.

Tonight's game starts at 8:00 CST, so throw on your favorite jersey, grab a Miller lite, and join in the chorus, "Let's Go Hawks!" My name is ChiN8 and I want to thank you for following Windy City Sportz.