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Friday, September 26, 2014

Planes, Trains and Automobiles


Well, that was a fun evening wasn't it?

The Blackhawks attempted to travel to sunny tropical Detoilet yesterday, to face the Read Wings in a game that no one in Chicago will ever realize happened, because it wasn't televised. Clown shoes ensued....


I have MANY issues with the way this shitshow went down, so let me begin:
Travel - The average flight from Chicago to Detroit is an hour and twenty minutes, plus time to get through security and all the normal air travel shennanigans. The average travel by bus would be somewhere around four hours and thirty minutes. To make a long story short, the Blackhawks were delayed, for whatever reason, and didn't end up at "The Joe" until roughly 7:35 PM local time. The game was schedukled to BEGIN at 7:30PM, so right there, you can see a problem. Once they actually arrive, they have to get in the lockerroom, get the gear sorted out, and actually warm up. In 40 minutes. Now I'm not sure if you ever saw the CSN specials about just what goes into getting a team moved around, but this is a near impossible feat. Props to the Blackhawks equipment guys for even getting the team on the ice. Anyhow, this is a professional team that needs some kind of game preparation. Warm-ups; stretching; maybe just more than five minutes to throw their gear on. This isn't mens league. When all was said and done, the team was able to start the game at 8:15 local time, with hardly any warmups. It's amazing they didn't lose 10-0.

Lesson - The moral of this sad tale is that the Blackhawks should not have relyed on air travel, on a Thursday afternoon to get to a Thursday evening game in Detoilet. They skated in the morning, so we know they couldn't have been flying out until roughly noon. WHY TEMPT FATE? Scratch the morning skate, throw the kids on a couple charter busses and sent them away in the morning. Anyone with a brain should have realized that.

TV/Radio - Every year I throw a tantrum about this, and every year it happens again. Two of the six Blackhawks preseason games are not carried on any visual media.

In 2014

The Blackhawks cannot manager to even STREAM the game.


This gets better.

Not only are we supposed to be happy with listening to this game on the radio, but the channel we are supposed to listen to (87.7 The Game); cannot be tuned to on a decent portion of modern radios.

"No problem", says The Game. "Use our wonderful smartphone app", they proclaim. But don't use it while driving, because operating your phone while driving is illegal.

All that aside, when trying to tune into The Game's handy dandy fancy smartphone app...it crashes. When it doesn't crash, the stream won't connect. The game had already begun by the time the app was fixed. So the Blackhawks, a professional sport franchise that was once fluke game seven goal from playing in their third Stanley Cup Final since 2010, were playing a game, pre-season albeit, that no one in Chicago knew anything about, unless they got updates through Twitter. WHAT. THE. FUCK. BLACKHAWKS.

THE CONTEST - Yes, the game was actually played. The Blackhawks lost 3-2, and I'm not wasting my time breaking down box scores of a game that no one in the Blackhawks organization cared if we saw. They came out as flat as you would expect; to a Joe Louis arena that was virtually empty.


"Shut up, it's only the stupid preseason", the twatterverse proclaims. Well, I care and so do many other Blackhawks fans. Maybe I wanted to see what Garrett Ross looked like. Maybe I wanted to watch Victor Svedberg. I care about preseason, so shut up if you don't.

The real kicker to all of this is that the Chicago FAA radar headquarters had a fire early this morning. As I type this, the beat writers are all stranded in Detroit, because all air traffic in and out of Chicago has been halted.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Uncle Bob and the Warm-n-Fuzzies

Sounds like a bad 70s cover band, doesn't it? Well, it's not what you think...

or is it????

and not this Bob McKenzie...


this one...


Anyhow, Right before yesterday's preseason opening game against the Detoilet Red Wings, TSN's very own Uncle Bob McKenzie mentioned, in his Insider Trading segment, that the Blackhawks had made it aware to several teams that Nick Leddy was indeed available. This is info that most in the Blackhawks community are pretty well aware that Leddy is one of the reported salary cap solutions. He also mentioned that Stan Bowstink "reportedly" wants any team that takes Leddy to also take Versteeg as part of the deal.

This is music to most of our ears.

It is pretty apparent that the major piece of any movement to get under the cap will be a defenseman. The three eligible candidates are Leddy, Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsíval. Ideally, you'd love to see Rozsíval and Versteeg get sent somewhere north of Siberia, but there has to be a desire for said players. There is not. Oduya still has some tread on his tires, and Leddy has a lot of youth, talent, and potential.

We'll see how it plays out in the coming weeks......
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PreSeason : Blackhawks vs Red Wings
2-1 OT Win

Through Oblivion



The Blackhawks opened up their pre-season, last night, in a pretty boring manner. After CSN plus learned to light up the Hawks feed and after it became very apparent that the United Center organ was broken, the Wings and Hawks took the ice for a sloppy and extremely boring first period. Of course, that first period yielded one of the least exciting goals we will see this year. The second period was only slightly more entertaining because the Blackhawks were able to tie the score. The rest of regulation was just as boring as the first period, which led the game to overtime. The Blackhawks eventually won early in OT, which meant that we would have to wait to see these new 3-on-3 OT rules. This was good, because the quality of play with more room to trip and fall would have been ugly.

The Good

  • Crawford saved 13 of 14 shots, and was relieved by Scott Darling just over halfway through the second period.
  • Speaking of Darling, he was perfect and looked much better than the scrimmage the night before. He looks ENORMOUS out there.
  • With just over 2 minutes left in the second period, Deuce, Brad Dickards and Crazy 8s put together a little end to end rush that resulted in a Kane break-a-way and eventually the game tying goal. Gustavsson didn't stand a chance and every fan watching knew it was going to be a goal when Kane picked up the puck at center ice. Nice to see Richards fitting in with his new weapon.
  • Roughly halfway through the third period, Marian Hossa led a magical shift where the Blackhawks toyed with the Wings, deep in their zone, for about a minute and a half. If you have only been watching the Blackhawks for a few years, you're taking his talent for granted. The guy and his talent are amazing.
  • Brandon Saad nearly ended the game in overtime with an impressive knife right up the gut and then the ensuing backhand shot off the post. Saad is going to be scary good this year.
  • Just a few moments after Saad almost won the game, Duncan Keith took a Toews faceoff won and beat Mrazek with a long low sot for a Blackhawks win. EDIT - The goal was eventually given to Toews on a slight deflection
  • The Hawks continued their great play at the dots, with only rookie Dennis Rasmussen getting worked over.
  • I didn't notice much about Dahlbeck, Rasmussen, or Danault, but that probably has to do with the collective sloppy and terrible pace. From what I saw of Danault, he could step in for Kruger at any point. This is good news, with Kruger going to RFA at year's end. Dahlbeck and Rasmussen did not look out of place, even though they did not stand out.
The Bad
  • Just over 5 minutes into the game, Luke Glendening tipped Danny DeKeyser shot past Crawford in a pretty vanilla play. It was a stupid fluke redirect, about 6 feet in front of Crawford. The Wings 3rd liners skated through the middle of the Hawks top pair who looked none too interested.
  • The Hawks were outshot 12-4 in the second period and won the middle frame 1-0. The Wings out shot the Blackhawks overall, 22-19 thanks to that big but futile second period.
  • Manshitter and Bass split the team low TOI with 7:37 and 9:19 respectively. These guys show me nothing. If you are going to tell me that EITHER of these fucking hammer throwing clowns give you more than Jeremy Morin or Ben Smith, you are out of your meathead mind.
  • Rozsival was terrible all night. He looked slow and was turning over the puck relentlessly. His time might be done.
The Ugly
The Lines

Sharp-Toews-Hossa
Saad-Richards-Kane
Carey-Rasmussen-Morin
Mashinter-Danault-Bass

Keith-Seabrook
Dahlbeck-Hjalmarsson
Cumiskey-Rozsival

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Training Camp Yuck Yuck Festival


Blackhawks Training Camp came to an end last night with a loud dull thud, as the Kevin Dineen coached White Team faced off against the Mike Kitchen coached Red Team. This was just another event to bilk Hawks fans for money, and for the McDonough empire to whip its phallic member out for everyone to kiss. Mission accomplished.

There wasn't much action at all with most of the top players coasting along at roughly 75%, but the possible fourth line of Jeremy Morin, Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith each had 2 points. That is good news for the bottom of the Blackhawks lineup if Quenneville doesn't force a worthless face puncher into the mix; which he will, just to add to the coaching difficulty level.

Other than the possible fourth line combination, Cam Barker scored for the Red team, to break the shutout. He is just pissing all over good things this fall. First, he injures the wonderkid, and then he ruins the Raanta/Carruth/Leighton shutout. Next thing we can expect is for him to set fire to a box of puppies in front of the Mikita/Hull statues after drinking and driving while sending dick pics to underaged girls. What the hell, man?

As far as the Goalies go, Most of them looked decent until the Shootout. That is where Scott Darling put on his display of suck. He only saved 1 of 5 attempts and looked pretty overmatched doing so. He may end up in Indy before all is said and done.

Tonight is the Blackhawks and Detroit on CSN+. GAME ON!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

And We're Off...The Race Begins


Twenty days until real hockey. That is what we have to look forward to, fans.

Here at the Puckin Hostile headquarters we have some brand new things, for the poor people that follow us. Those of you that took the summer off to lay out in the hot sun drunkenly watching the terrible Chicago baseball teams, are starting to get yourselves into fall/winter hockey mode. That means long sleeves, knit caps and, well, still beer. But throw in a little whiskey to warm your innards, because the journey to the 2015 Stanley Cup begins this weekend. Those that took the summer off will notice a few additions to the Puckin Hostile arsenal which are the, now regular, biweekly Puckin Hostile Shoutcast and the latest sucker to join the ranks, Patrick Stankus. These two additions have already helped take this silly dream of mine to yet another level. You might have the option to purchase official Puckin Hostile swag in the near future, as well. Going big time, I know.

All formalities aside, it is almost time for that frozen sport we all love. With that comes the endless speculation and analysis of what could have, or could not have, been. Who better to get this show rolling than one of the points of contention, Bryan Bickell?

Last summer, we were all sure that Bryan Bickell's playoff performance was going to write his ticket out of town to somewhere like Florida. I have no problem admitting that I did not think there a chance in hell Bickell would be back, especially for the salary that he was going to command. Then Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman did the unexpected, and talked Bickell into taking a bit of a discount to continue to the part of this core, and take a couple more shots at the Stanley Cup in Chicago. I was not exactly doing the happy dance. This was a deal that was going to take at least a year to simmer, and it has. So, lets take a look at the Bryan Bickell contract as compared to others with the same general skillset:

Bryan Bickell
28 years old
4 years for $4 Million per year
Games 59, Goals 11, Assists 4, Points 15, PIMs 28
Playoffs 19, Goals 7, Assists 3, Points 10, PIMs 8

Nathan Horton
29 years old
7 years for $5.3 Million per year
Games 36, Goals 5, Assists 14, Points 19, PIMs 24

Ryane Clowe
31 years old
5 years for $4.85 Million per year
Games 43, Goals 7, Assists 19, Points 26, PIMs 33

David Clarkson
30 years old
7 years for $5.25 Million per year
Games 60, Goals 5, Assists 6, Points 11, PIMs 90

These are the three other prized "power forwards" that were in Bickell's class. I think you get my point here.

Initial reaction was to say "WHAT?!?!?!", but if you compare to others with a similar set of skills, Bickell is younger, cheaper, and has a shorter contract. In this day and age, that is a win. We all joke that you can't teach size, but you certainly can't teach size that can consistently produce in the playoffs. Meatballs in Chicago are still clamoring for the fat jelly filled ass of Dustin Byfuglien because he had size and one decent playoff run 4 years ago. There is always the argument that he has averaged roughly 50 points per season playing defense, since he left west Madison, but these was for some really bad teams. He wouldn't be any better than a 3rd line wing or 3rd pair defender on this talented team, and he would be lucky to put up Bickell numbers.

Granted, this could all go to hell if Bickell has another 15 point regular season, but he has the potential, when healthy, to tally 35-40 points with the right linemates. Let's give him another full season with stronger knees, and see what he does. If he completely chokes, he still won't be the worst failure on the market, and the Blackhawks can launch him into he black abyss.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 11


Gatekeeper and Pat wade through the slow September NHL news, Blackhawks Rookie tournament, the release of NHL 15 and much more. In this episode's Back In Time, they revisit Trent Yawney's post lockout 05-06 Hawks.


For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
http://www.figsigarts.com
http://www.facebook.com/FigSIGArts
Portions of his profits go to the Ronald McDonald House Chicago.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 11 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blackhawks Rookies Leave London Ontario 0-1-2


The Blackhawks rookie team attended the "London's Source for Sports" and "Warrior" 2014 NHL Rookie Tournament, in London Ontario, this past weekend. The results were not exactly what the Hawks would want, but this is more of a showcase than an actual tournament. The details are sketchy, and there is a full recap of the Sunday game over at The Third Man In. Here are a few notes:

Saturday the Blackhawks faced the Maple Leafs rookies team
-Elmhurst native Garrett Sparks got the win, 4-2.
-Ryan Van Stralen had both Hawks goals.
-Danault had a bad turnover but also created both Hawks goals.
-Teravainen and the Leafs Nylander were all over the ice.
-Mac Carruth took the loss.

Here are some highlights:

Sunday the Blackhawks faced the Penguins rookie team
-Blackhawks rookies fall to Tristan Jarry and the Pens 5-4 in a shootout.
-Ken Appleby took the loss.
-Hawks came back from a 4-1 deficit on goals by Dennis Rasmussen and Phillip Danault.
-Matt Carey tied the game with 1.5 seconds left in regulation.
-Broadhurst was the only Hawks to score in the SO.
-The first Hawks goal was by FA signing Brett Welychka.
-Turbo Teravainen and Mark McNeill sat for this one.

Here are some highlights from Sunday's game vs Pittsburgh:

Danault Goal

Appleby Two Fer

Rasmussen Goal

Last Second Tying Goal

Broadhurst Shootout Goal

Monday evening the Blackhawks faced the Senators rookie team
-The Hawks lost in another shootout 5-4
-Teravainen had 3 assists including this sweet no look pass to McNeill.
-Speaking on McNeill, he had 2 goals and an assist. This is bad news for Blackhawks opponents in the coming years, as well as maybe Bryan Bickell. McNeill also had the only Hawks goal in the shootout.
-Our favorite enormous defenseman Viktor Svedberg had a goal and assist.
-Brett Welychka continued to impress with another goal.
-Mac Carruth took the loss for the baby Blackhawks.
-
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 10


Gatekeeper and Pat Stankus talk about the slow August in NHL news and the fact that camp is right around the corner. In this episode's Back In Time, they rifle through one of the worst Blackhawks teams in recent memory, the 03-04 Hawks


For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:
http://www.facebook.com/BlackAndTanSports

Check out Mike Figueroa at:
http://www.figsigarts.com
http://www.facebook.com/FigSIGArts
Portions of his profits go to the Ronald McDonald House Chicago.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast - Episode 10 MP3 Download

You can listen below on the Talkshoe player:
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