In Quenneville We Trust: Bring on Game 6

It’s do or die for the Blackhawks tonight as they go into Game 6 with the Coyotes leading the series 3-2. Coach Quenneville and his Hawks are coming back to Chicago. After Saturday’s dramatic overtime win (as every game in the series has gone to overtime), the Hawks absolutely have the momentum, especially coming to play in front of their fans at the United Center. The Yotes took both games at the UC earlier in the series (games 3 and 4) and this time the Hawks need to capitalize on their home ice.

After his game-winning overtime goal in game 5, captain Jonathan Toews said Sunday, “You can imagine the feeling they have now; they didn’t want to come back to Chicago, they wanted to end it there. Any time we can keep pushing it to another game, they’re getting that feeling it’s theirs to lose. We’re trying to put the pressure on them and playing hard. We want to do that again tomorrow night, just like we did last game.”

Andrew Shaw returns to the team tonight after serving his three-game suspension for hitting Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith. We’re hoping he gives the Hawks an additional boost of energy. On a negative note, the Blackhawks will be without Marian Hossa, who is still recovering from his nasty hit from Raffi Torres (did I mention that punk was suspended for 25 games). Quenneville said there hasn’t been a change in Hossa’s status since the hit in game 3.

Here’s what the Hawks need to do tonight: they need to score quick and early. The Coyotes are NOT a better team offensively, and they’re basically just playing “keep away” with the Blackhawks. If the Hawks can find their intensity early on, the Coyotes don’t stand a chance. Kaner – I’m looking to you to get in there and score some goals – you too Sharpie.

The Blackhawks have avoided elimination once. We can win tonight and force the series to go to game 7!

Once a Canuck, Always a Canuck: Raffi Torres Suspended Indefinitely

Raffi Torres, a Coyote player who’s name wouldn’t sit well with any Blackhawks’ fan at the moment, has been suspended indefinitely for his dirty hit on our beloved Marian Hossa.

During the first period of game three of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series, Torres left his feet and slammed his shoulder into Hossa’s head, who did not have the puck at the time. Totally illegal. Hossa laid motionless on the ice for what seemed like forever (it was about 5 minutes) and was then carted away on a stretcher. He was taken to the hospital, but reports state that he left on his own two feet after undergoing some tests.

The best part, “none of the officials saw the hit” – there was an official standing RIGHT THERE. Because this massive hit went unnoticed, Torres did not receive any sort of penalty during the game.

First things first, Hossa we hope you’re okay. #WinItForHossa

Second, Torres is a dirty rat and I hope he’s suspended for the rest of the season. I know hockey is a rough sport and there are obvious risks you run playing a dangerous sport. Don’t get me wrong I love the fighting, but a hit to a player’s head is unnecessary. Torres has an in-person hearing scheduled for Friday with the NHL. Because the hearing is in-person means he could face a six game suspension or more.

After game 3, Torres told the Arizona Republic that as far as the hit goes, he felt it was a “hockey play”. Blackhawks’ Captain Jonathan Toews didn’t like that much, “Well, that’s obviously the way he thinks,” he said. “I said it before, it’s the same when he was with Vancouver last year. There’s no remorse at all with a guy like that. You pretty much take him out and have a guy carried on a stretcher and he probably doesn’t feel bad about it at all. That’s not hockey to me.” That’s why we love you Toews.

The Coyote forward doesn’t have the cleanest track record either. Last April, it was a hit on Brent Seabrook from Torres during the Vancouver- Chicago first round series. He was not suspended for this hit, but had been previously in the 2011 season. Like I said, once a Canuck, always a Canuck.

It seems like this year’s run to the Stanley Cup has been violent all over the league. I’m a little worried what will happen in the next rounds when things heat up even more!

Brent Seabrook Saves the Hawks – Until OT

You may have thought all hope was lost for the Blackhawks in game one of their playoff series with the Phoenix Coyotes, but in came Brent Seabrook to save the day with a clutch goal tying the game 2-2 and sending it into overtime. He just happens to be my favorite.

“Kaner did a great job getting the puck to the net and like I said I was just in the right spot at the right time,” Seabrook said afterward.

Unfortunately, the Hawks went on to lose 3-2 in overtime. It’s still a great highlight, win or lose.

Here We Go – Hawks Playoff Matchup Released

The Chicago Blackhawks will be heading to the desert to play their first-round of this year’s NHL playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes. Because the Coyotes won the Pacific Division (even though the Hawks had WAY more points, more regulation and overtime wins) they get home ice advantage.

The Phoenix-Chicago matchup is missing the “story-lines” of recent first round opponents, there isn’t animosity that oozes from every Vancouver game, they don’t have one of Chicago’s past goalies tearing it up in the net like San Jose, and there isn’t any deep rooted historic rivalry that lives with the Detroit Red Wings. Perhaps the Blackhawks and Coyotes can create their owns subplot this series – everyone loves a juicy rivalry.

With Blackhawks’ Captain Jonathan Toews status still questionable, and after sitting so many games he will be a little rusty on the ice, Chicago will be looking to another star, Patrick Kane, to keep up his play. He has truly stepped up his game at the end of the regular season with the loss of Toews. Kane may not have a “C” on his jersey, but that boy can score.

Phoenix will host Games 1 and 2 Thursday and Saturday. Unfortunately, the Pacific Time zone is not in Chicago’s favor as both games have 9 p.m. central time starts (damn west coast). The Blackhawks will host Games 3 and 4 at the United Center on April 17 and April 19. Game 3 is slated for an 8 p.m. start and Game 4 for 7 p.m. Game 5 will head back in Glendale on April 21. Game 6, if necessary, is April 23 in Chicago; Game 7, if necessary, is April 25 in Glendale.

Get your Blackhawks gear ready, it’s Stanley Cup playoff time!

Toews Not Playing in Season Finale

After much consideration, Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews will not be playing in the season finale against the Detroit Red Wings. He said he just doesn’t feel right on the ice, and he’s hoping to be back active for game one of this year’s playoffs. I think he needs a puppy or something to cheer him up.

The Red Wings are never an easy game for Chicago as they are a long time rival, but today they will take the ice with authority after their loss Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils left a sour taste in their mouths. Hopefully Kaner will be swift with his stick today and let that bad taste resonate in their mouths a little longer.

Blackhawks’ Andrew Burnette knows the Hawks won’t take this game lightly, “You play [to win] and see what happens,” Brunette said. “That’s life in the Western Conference. Every team that’s in is scary.”

After tonight’s game the Blackhawks’ playoff positioning will finally be  secured and they will know their first post season opponent. Honestly, it doesn’t matter WHO they are playing it’s always about HOW they are playing. Because when the Hawks are on, they can beat anybody.

When Will Toews Return?

I am really starting to miss Jonathan Toews and his handsome face. Word had spread that he could potentially play in Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild after the Blackhawks captain was cleared for contact, but that hope was shot down today.

When asked why Toews is still out after being fully involved in practice this week Coach Joel Quenneville said, “it’s all part of the process.”  He will miss his 21st consecutive game and last played Feb. 19 against the St. Louis Blues.

Toews just seems so sad, I felt bad for the hockey star (and then I remembered he’s still making millions so I don’t feel that bad). Luckily he will be able to go on the road with the team, “That’s step one,” he said. “It’s better than staying home and sitting around by myself. It’s not fun to be home watching on TV in my living room; guys go on the road and you miss out on a lot. I feel like I’m a little bit closer to being in the picture again and it’s better than nothing. Hopefully that means I’ll be playing soon.”

We could still potentially see Toews on the ice against the Detroit Red Wings this weekend.

Do not fret, there is still one positive to Thursday’s game. Duncan Keith is a free man now, his five-game NHL suspension is over. It was essentially more of a refresher course than anything, he recharged his legs, regained even more strength. Welcome back #2!

Keith Suspended 5 Games

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended Friday after elbowing Canucks star Daniel Sedin during Wednesday night’s game at the United Center. Keith’s suspension will be five games with no pay – his cheap shot will cost him $149,688 reports ESPN Chicago.

“I respect (the suspension) and I’m going to serve five games and I’m looking forward to getting back,” Keith said. “I’m not going to sit here and question things or wonder how they came to the decision. I respect what they decided was fair and I’ll serve my time.”

If you ask me, Sedin deserved it. The Canucks are absolutely one of the dirtiest teams in hockey and just minutes before Sedin hard checked Keith into the boards, but his hit went unpenalized. The league would not comment publicly if the referees should have called a penalty, but spokesman Gary Meagher simply said: “It did not rise to the level of needing supplemental discipline.” Yea…uh huh. The Sedin brothers need to get shaken up every once in a while. Sedin missed the Canucks’ Thursday victory against the Stars because of a suspected concussion, his injury played a big part in Keith’s suspension as well.

Hopefully the Blackhawks can tough it out without Keith tonight against the Nashville Predators. Blackhawks have won five consecutive games, a win tonight would be their longest winning streak since last season.