Last week I took a look at a possible Team Canada roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Today I’ll take a look at a possible Team U.S.A. roster.

Let me know what you think, perhaps throw your own roster out there if you have the time.

Forwards

Patrick Kane – Ryan Callahan – Zach Parise

Phil Kessel – Ryan Kesler – Bobby Ryan

Dustin Brown – Joe Pavelski – David Backes

Max Pacioretty – Paul Stastny – James Van Riemsdyk

Justin Abdelkader

In the mix: T.J. Oshie, Derek Stepan, Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, R.J. Umberger, Blake Wheeler and Nathan Gerbe

Pretty deep and solid forward lines but after the top 13 guys it drops off a bit.

Defence

Ryan Suter – Kevin Shattenkirk

Keith Yandle – Jack Johnson

Dustin Byfuglien – John Carlson

Ryan Mcdonagh

In the mix: Erik Johnson, Tim Gleason, Ryan Whitney, Nick Leddy, Matt Carle, Alex Gologski, and Keith Ballard

Solid group of D-men here, E. Johnson, Gleason or Keith Ballard could also easily step in.

Goalies

Jonathan Quick

Ryan Miller

Cory Schneider

In the mix: Tim Thomas, Craig Anderson, and Jimmy Howard

If Craig Anderson keeps his stellar play up from this year through next year, you may see him jump right in there, possibly as the #1. Blue Jackets, you mad about the trade? I would be. If Tim Thomas plays next year and has a Vezina type season, he might make a push as well.

All in all, could the States take home the gold medal? Absolutely they could, they have all the tools to win in a short tournament and they’re really not weak anywhere. Are they as deep as Team Canada and as full of big names? No, but they definitely have the talent to win and beat any team out there.

Hat tip to Zimbio.com again for the use of the photos.

Thanks for reading,

TK0N

 

 

 

It was a great game played by the Chicago Blackhawks today in the first game of the NHL regular season, defeating the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings 5-2.

Patrick Kane scored the first goal of the year and added an assist later in the game. Jonathan Toews, coming off a bout with the flu, was arguably the best player on the ice which is incredible considering the lingering after effects having the flu. Toews also added a goal and an assist. Marian Hossa, in his first game back from his concussion, had a great game adding two goals and one assist. The highly criticized Michael Frolik got off to a good start by scoring for the Hawks, too.

Another often criticized player is goaltender Corey Crawford. Crawford played extremely well. Goals scored against him were basically unstoppable, the first goal he was screened on and the second goal he was pushed over in his crease. Crawford was always in position, square to the puck at all times and his movement was very fast. This is what we want to see from Corey from now on and with it only being one game after his sub-par season, he’s definitely on the right track.

There was some bad news with the Blackhawks victory tonight. Dan Carcillo was caught in a “collision” as a lot are saying with Kings star D-man Drew Doughty and ended up injuring his leg in the process. Head coach Joel Quenneville expects Carcillo to be out for a lengthy period of time.

How do the Hawks replace Carcillo? It’ll be tough as Carcillo was out there as a player who could protect superstars Toews and Hossa. With “Carbomb’s” presence it allows Toews and Hossa to do more freewheeling on the ice, as seen in today’s game, plus he can actually play not too bad compared to a lot of so-called “goons” out there.

It sounds like rookie Brandon Saad will replace Carcillo on a line with Toews and Hossa. Saad is an unproven rookie with big upside (which we’ve seen with many young Hawk players); he notched eight goals and twenty one assists in Rockford and has played two games with the Blackhawks last season before being sent down. One can understand the excitement for Saad to play but people need to remember he’s just a rookie and he may not blow people away like Andrew Shaw did last season. Saad also doesn’t add much of a “toughness” factor so we could very well see “open game” on Toews and Hossa as early as tomorrow night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

All in all it was a great start for the Chicago Blackhawks and it’ll be a tough test tomorrow night against the chippy and defensive Phoenix Coyotes.

Thanks to Zimbio.com for the photos.

 

 

Some call him a kid (idiots) and most realize he’s a man. Patrick Kane, 23, is a forward for the Chicago Blackhawks who has been widely made fun of because of incidents in his past such as the cab driver incident and excessive partying during the off-season.

Yes, Kane needs to improve his professionalism off the ice but being a young adult that is in the spotlight, more so for his highlight goals and over the top skill level, will surely turn into the professional that “everyone” expects him to be. I, for one, want the kid to just bring it every single night there’s a hockey game and be himself and keeping the partying on the down low to keep his critics silent. One has to hand it to Kane as he doesn’t let any of these fans/media who are desperate for him to do something stupid so they have something to talk or write about and he keeps on playing at a high level night in and night out.

To the people who think Patrick Kane should be traded for some Tom, Dick or Harry just for the hell of making a trade, let us remember what Kane has brought to this Chicago Blackhawks franchise.

How about this Stanley Cup winning goal? Remember this?

Here’s one where Kane undresses Jimmy Howard.

This could be the most sick of all his goals.

Anyone remember his first career hat trick that just happened to be against the Canucks in the WCSF?

Shit, the “kid” can pass, too?

Here’s a nice compilation of Kane courtesy of BauerHockey. Some repeats from above.

To top it all off, here’s a video showing how fun these Blackhawks past & present are.

 

If there is one thing Patrick Kane is good at it’s causing a boat load of shenanigans. The man went out on the town last night with Jack Johnson the Third. Wait a second. That’s not Jack Johnson. I can see how one would get confused. I mean, come on,  the man on the left is wearing a plaid shirt, a Bauer hat and looks very American. If I had a whole case of beer and a bottle of Jameson I too would think he was Jack Johnson. Sorry man, the only thing you have right about this picture is the fact Jack Johnson is a “Good Dude”. I hope one day you get to meet the real Captain AmeriJack.

 

This next installment of “Hockey Shots” is dedicated to my first love. It is dedicated to the men who stole my heart when I was just a wee youngin. To the men who know how to bust a move during a Jimmy Buffet concert and the men who publicly tweet instead of direct messaging about their dates.  So drink up Chicago because these shots are for you.

Don’t drink and ride the Red Line.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS SHOTS

Lemon Tazer
This shot is a body shot but instead of salt and a lime you use sugar and a lemon wedge.
2 parts Stoli Limonnaya
1 part Sprite
splash of sweet and sour mix
Lick sugar off designated body part, shoot, and FIND THE LEMON ;)

 

Chicago Carbomb

1 part Lions Pride Whiskey
1 Part Jeppson Malort
drop in a glass of Old Style and chug-a-lug

*best not to order this at the local mob spot they may take it as an invitation to start a ruckus*

 

Kandy Kane
Submitted by Dave Cottone
Rule submitted by Me

1 part Peppermint Schnapps
1 part Baileys
1 park Kahlua

*RULE:  If you’re in a limo the shot must be taken shirtless.

 

Good luck in the playoffs boys! The longer you stay in the playoffs the more shots I make!

 

To answer the above question; one would think so. With impressive victories over the New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and the St. Louis Blues respectively, Chicago seems to have turned the page on a ghastly nine game losing streak. The Blackhawks outscored the aforementioned opponents by a combined score of 13-5 and have quieted the critics plus Chicago fans bellowing of a certain downfall on their way to missing the NHL playoffs.

Over these past three games, Chicago has improved greatly on the penalty kill, scoring, goaltending and overall team defence. These are four of the five issues that needed to be vastly improved for Chicago to turn their impending free fall in the Western Conference around. The last matter to be rectified was the power play; however, improving four of the five issues over the duration of a three game winning streak is most certainly a great start and has surely given these Blackhawks a ton of confidence going into their next game against their number one rival, the Detroit Redwings.

Blackhawks Positives

  • Corey Crawford is 3-0 with a 1.33 goals against average and a 0.954 save percentage in his last three games.
  • Blackhawks all-star forwards Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp are firing on all cylinders and playing extremely well at both ends of the ice.
  • The newly employed penalty kill system has worked perfectly thus far
  • Rookie defenseman Dylan Olsen is showing signs that he is ready for the NHL. Excellent skater, good size and makes smart and safe decisions.

  • John Scott has been surprisingly good for Chicago even if his minutes are limited. When he plays, he’s making the most of them playing a good physical game and like Olsen, making smart plays with the puck in both ends of the ice. He has also been filling in at forward and on defence in all three games.
  • Sami Lepisto who has hardly seen the ice this year has been playing remarkably well. He did get benched against Columbus because of a wayward pass that led to the Blue Jackets only goal but recovered nicely by scoring that same game, Sami was also solid against St. Louis on Sunday afternoon.
  • With the improved play of defenseman not named Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook; the ice time for both Keith and Seabrook have been cut back marginally which is huge for both of those guys to have anything left in the tank for a playoff run.

With the trade deadline now just a week away, one would expect the Blackhawks to attempt to make a couple deals to help solidify their team to keep them into the playoffs and hopefully make a good run at Lord Stanley.

If we were to predict who would be coming to the Blackhawks via trade?

  • Paul Gaustad
  • Bryan Allen

Of course everyone knows how predicting NHL trades turns out but we’re taking a stab at it anyways.

On a final note:

Don’t buy into any Patrick Kane trade rumours, they’re false and are only racking your brain up of something that will not be happening.

Your starting goaltender for the upcoming NHL playoffs will be Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks may look at adding a back-up goaltender, not a starter. More than likely what you see is what you get for Chicago’s goalies this year.

Thank you for reading,

TK0N

 

The Chicago Blackhawks are in somewhat of a down fall currently and it raises the question of how good are these Hawks especially compared to last season.

The Blackhawks comparable records from last year and this year are:

  • 2010/2011 27 wins 22 losses 4 OT for 58 points
  • 2011/2012 29 wins 17 losses 7 OT for 65 points

A 7 point improvement compared to last year’s squad at this time last year clearly indicates improvement, obviously.

  • In 2010 the Blackhawks were sitting in 11th position in the Western Conference and 18th in the NHL.
  • In 2011 the Blackhawk are sitting in 6th position in the Western Conference and 8th in the NHL.

Let’s take a look at their goal differential:

  • In 2010 the Blackhawks had 170 goals for, 145 goals against and a +25 goal differential
  • In 2011 the Blackhawks have 169 goals for, 158 goals against and a +11 goal differential

It’s a mystery isn’t it? While the goal output is virtually identical, the Blackhawks goals against is up by 13 goals from last season and the goal differential is up 14 goals. Just by looking at the 2010 statistics one would think Chicago would be near the top of the standings yet they were in 11th position in 2010 after 53 games and in regards to the playoff race the Hawks were on the outside looking in.

So does this mean team statistics are misleading to say the least? Well, according to the above statistics they most certainly are.

Perhaps the competition in 2010/2011 was a lot stronger than it is in 2011/2012?

  • In 2010 there were 6 teams that did not have 60 points at this point (Hawks were one of them)
  • In 2011 there are 8 teams that do not have 60 points after 53 games.

Keep in mind we’re not comparing the exact same Chicago Blackhawks team as they have currently.

So have the Blackhawks improved a lot compared to last year? Still tough to say at this point and ” a lot” maybe a stretch but many fans feel they have improved immensely.

It seems they’re playing in a weaker Conference compared to 2010 and sitting much higher in the standings yet their team statistics are not nearly as good this year.

Chicago‘s removed players from 2010:

  • Tomas Kopecky
  • Troy Brouwer
  • Brian Campbell
  • Jake Dowell
  • Jack Skille
  • Fernando Pisani
  • Jassen Cullimore
  • Nick Boynton
  • Chris Campoli
  • Ryan Johnson
  • Jordan Hendry
  • Marty Turco

Chicago’s additions in 2011

  • Andrew Brunette
  • Steve Montador
  • Marcus Kruger
  • Jamal Mayers
  • Daniel Carcillo
  • Andrew Shaw
  • Jimmy Hayes
  • Brendan Morrison
  • Rostislav Olesz
  • Sami Lepisto
  • Ray Emery

Intangibles to think about comparing last year’s team to this year’s team.

  • Corey Crawford was lights out last season; in 2011 he’s been sub-par. Outstanding at times yet in other games he’s been mediocre at best.
  • Rookies Shaw, Kruger, and Hayes (now in Rockford) have been a pleasant surprise.
  • Ray Emery has been very good this year; last year Marty Turco was not.
  • It’s tough to replace what Brian Campbell brought to the team with youngster Nick Leddy and veteran Steve Montador along with John Scott, Sami Lepisto and Sean O’Donnell.
  • This year’s Blackhawks team has the top four defenseman playing heavy minutes while the bottom defensive pairing hardly get any playing time at all.
  • The team defence has taken a big step back compared to last season and a huge step back from the 2009/2010 season.

Moreover, the Blackhawks are marginally better. Stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are more seasoned and Marian Hossa is having an outstanding year plus with the emergence of Viktor Stalberg along with the impressive rookies it is helping to carry the keep these Blackhawks in contention for 1st overall in the Western Conference.

Is Chicago a true Stanley Cup contender? Sure, but the chances of going all the way with this current team are slim to none. Changes need to be made and not only on the personnel side of things.

Kudos to Zimbio.com for the photos.

Thanks for reading as always,

TK0N

 

Crash the Net has compiled a list of current Chicago Blackhawk MVP candidates thus far this season along with who would be the Studs and Duds. Do you, the reader, agree with these selections or disagree?

Blackhawks MVP candidates

Marian Hossa

Marian is on pace to having his best year as a Chicago Blackhawk and has amassed 20 goals and 33 assists in 52 games thus far. While producing at a high rate offensively, his two-way play is still proving to be amongst the best in the NHL as he often has in his career. Marian has not lost a step since arriving on the NHL scene back in 1997-98.

Jonathan Toews

Toews is almost a carbon copy of Hossa except for the difference that Toews plays center and Hossa plays the wing. Both players are excellent at both ends of the ice scoring at a rapid pace while still being the first forwards back, on most occasions, when the opposition attempts to bring the puck back into the Blackhawks end. Toews is an excellent penalty killer, like Marian, and while this is not an excerpt of comparing the two players, well, the similarities can’t be ignored. Jonathan has 27 goals and 25 assists in 52 games. Toews domination at winning face-offs has been quite remarkable as well.

Brent Seabrook

This was a close battle between Seabrook and playing partner Duncan Keith. Both are fairly close in point production and Seabrook seems to be turning it up on the offensive side of late along with being a solid defender at the same time. Duncan Keith has better offensive numbers, albeit marginally, Seabrook has been slightly more consistent in the overall game than Keith has.

CTN’s MVP pick: Jonathan Toews.

Honourable mentions: Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane

Blackhawks Studs

Patrick Sharp

On a point per game basis all year and has come up with timely goals game in and game out and is as pure a sniper as any in the league. If it were not for Patrick missing several games due to an injury, Sharp could easily be leading the Blackhawks in scoring.

Viktor Stalberg

He’s been on the first line and he’s been on the fourth line, yet Viktor continues to produce and now has 15 goals and 15 assists in 50 games. Stalberg continues to keep his positive attitude even if Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s continues his abomination of line juggling.  Not only is he scoring but he’s using his incredible speed to drive the net more often rather than just skating up the ice and taking a shot from the side boards as most Blackhawks fans remember from last year.

Patrick Kane

11 goals and 33 assists are still very good numbers for a player who had to adjust to the center position for a large part of the season only to find him adjusting back to the wing again. While most Blackhawks fans feel that Patrick should be a sniper, well, he really has never been one in his hockey career and has never scored more goals than assists. Patrick Kane is a play maker with the ability to score 20 plus goals a year and that’s the bottom line. What he also brings is second to none puck handling skills and the ability to create open ice for the rest of his line mates while defenders flock towards him as Kane mesmerizes them with his stick handling skills. While many disagree, CTN feels Kane has had a very good year.

CTN’s Stud pick: Patrick Sharp

Honourable mentions: Dave Bolland and Duncan Keith

Blackhawks Duds

Michael Frolik

Unfortunately the Blackhawks list of duds may outweigh the studs this year which is not a good sign. Frolik is the first dud on the list and was brought to Chicago to add a spark of offence to a team that was fishing for some more offensive depth, well, he has failed. Michael has played 49 games and currently has 5 goals and 8 assists on the year while being a healthy scratch more frequently of late. While many Blackhawks fans were excited for the past years of Frolik’s 20 plus goal seasons, well, this proves that being a top scorer for a lesser team really means very little coming to a championship caliber team.

Bryan Bickell

Coming off an impressive first full season with Chicago last year netting 17 goals and his hit numbers were very high, Bickell has diminished in with his scoring capabilities and with his physical willing. While still possessing a lethal snap shot, they seem to all come from about 40 feet away and Bryan no longer drives to the net using his hulking size to his advantage.

Steve Montador

After signing a 4 year deal worth $2, 750, 00 per year, Blackhawks fans probably had thought they finally had a solid 5th defenseman on the team that they’ve been searching for since their dismantling of the club after their Stanley Cup victory in 2009/2010. Montador was signed in hopes of him bringing a nasty hard hitting defensive style while still producing offensively occasionally. Steve has shown signs of what the Blackhawks originally wanted from him but it has been sparse at best.

CTN’s Dud pick: Michael Frolik

Honourable mentions: John Scott and Sami Lepisto

We hope you enjoyed this compilation of MVP candidates and studs and duds, if you agree or disagree please let us know. Would enjoy hearing from you!

Thanks to zimbio.com for the use of the photos

Thank you for reading as always,

TK

 

Chicago Blackhawks vs Vancouver Canucks

There is no surprise what is forthcoming when these two teams meet up as the rivalry between the two is quite a heated one to say the least. It seems that the rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins is slightly more hostile compared to the Chicago rivalry simply because of the heartbreaking loss the Canucks had last year in 7 games in the Stanley Cup final.

The hatred, however, will be renewed once the puck drops Tuesday evening in Vancouver and it’s a guarantee it will be yet another intense game filled with drama. The hatred is one of respect between the two clubs if players, management, media or even fans for that matter like to admit it or not, respect of the skill on both sides, of course.

While the Blackhawks dominate in all time statistics as seen later in the blog, the times have certainly changed. Vancouver narrowly defeated a Chicago team last year in the playoffs in a 7 games series but looking at this year’s comparison one would have to give an edge to Vancouver statistically as the Canucks are near the top of the league in almost every statistical category.

Most people do know that you can pretty much throw statistics out the window when these two clubs meet because the intensity is raised to a brand new level and is quite close to a playoff atmosphere.

Blackhawks fans are waiting impatiently to hear if injured superstar Jonathan Toews and sniper Patrick Sharp will be returning to the line-up for Tuesday night’s clash. Expect Corey Crawford to start in goal for Chicago and newcomer Brendan Morrison to start on the second line centering Marian Hossa and more than likely rookie Andrew Shaw unless Sharp is ready to go. Morrison, 36, was acquired via a trade with the Calgary Flames over the All-Star weekend and had his best years with the Vancouver Canucks. Cory Schneider will be starting for Vancouver.

Here are some all-time statistics and notes on the Chicago Blackhawks vs the Vancouver Canucks.

Game will be played at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia

Current records:

Vancouver              49 GP 30W-15L-4OT for 64pts 158GF 122 GA

Chicago                  50 GP 29W-15L-6OT for 64pts 162GF 144 GA

All-Time head to head for Chicago vs. Vancouver

  • 169 Games played
  • 78Wins
  • 64 Losses
  • 22  Ties
  • 5 OTL
  • 538 Goals For
  • 458 Goals Against
  • 3.18 GF/G
  • 2.71 GA/G

Chicago Leading Scorers

  • Marian Hossa 53
  • Jonathan Toews 50
  • Patrick Kane 41
  • Patrick Sharp 40
  • Viktor Stalberg 29

 

Vancouver Leading Scorers

  • Henrik Sedin 52
  • Daniel Sedin 51
  • Alexander Edler 34
  • Ryan Kesler 33
  • Alexandre Burrows 32

Chicago News and Notes:

  • Just came off 2 losses to the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-2 & 3-1 respectively
  • Hawks are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games
  • Hawks are tied of 2nd in the NHL with 162 goals scored
  • Hawks are 22nd in the NHL with 144 goals against
  • +18 goal differential on the year ranked 9th in the NHL
  • Tied for 8th  overall on the Power Play scoring at a 19.0 %
  • Ranked 28th overall on the Penalty Kill defending at a 77.9%
  • Corey Crawford is 18-12-4 with a 2.86 GAA and a .902 sv%
  • Ray Emery is 11-3-2 with a 2.57 GAA and a .907 sv%

 

Vancouver News and Notes:

  • Vancouver is coming off a 3-2 shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers
  • Vancouver is 6-2-2 in their last 10 games
  • Vancouver is 5th  in the NHL with 158 goals scored
  • Vancouver is 7th  in the NHL with 122 goals against
  • +36 goal differential on the year to rank 3rd  in the NHL
  • Ranked 1st  overall on the Power Play scoring at a 23.0%
  • Ranked 6th  overall on the Penalty Kill defending at a 85.4%
  • Roberto Luongo is 20-10-4 with a 2.39GAA and a .918 sv%
  • Cory Schneider is 10-5-0 with a 2.30 GAA and a .927 sv%

Enjoy the game as it will be a great one.

TK

Thanks to Zimbio.com for the use of the photo.

  © 2012 crash the net

Privacy Policy