Archive for the ‘Niklas Hjalmarsson’ Category

Happy Humans and Happy Blackhawks

The Blackhawks looked dejected the following two seasons after their Stanley Cup win in 2010. In fact, a smile was hard to come by. It must’ve been difficult to see teammates they knew, loved, and came up with having their contracts sold off before even sobering up from the celebration. Well, being unceremoniously traded a day after winning the Cup is sobering indeed. So it’s good to see the Blackhawks smiling again this season, even if it did take two seasons to get their swagger back. (more…)

What Doesn’t the Blackhawks’ Front Office Understand about Defense???

Did I hear those rumors right?  Are the Blackhawks floating Niklas Hjalmarsson for a trade??? Holy crap, so the Blackhawks lost Antti Niemi after they had finally acquired, like a goaltender or something, and now they are looking to get rid of Hjalmarsson, the very defenseman who rendered himself purple blocking shots for the Blackhawks’ lackluster procession of goaltenders following Niemi’s departure?  Really???

I’m having awful flashbacks to when the Blackhawks let go of Matt Walker and sent him to Tampa Bay.  You remember Matt Walker don’t you?  The guy who broke his finger in two places during the ’09 playoffs and yet kept on playing for you??? (So I’m sure it’s no coincidence that there is talk of a Hjalmarsson trade to Tampa Bay.  Apparently Tampa Bay, or at least Florida, is where the Blackhawks unload cap space.  As Yogi Berra said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”)  What does the front office not understand about defense???  Seriously, is the Blackhawks’ lack of defense any more conspicuous than when they hobble to the playoffs?  And they want to trade one of the only defensemen besides Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith who can block shots, cut off passing lanes, and backcheck??? (more…)

Jonathan Toews Crashes Mercedes into a Pole!?!?

Holy moly did I read this article right?  Jonathan Toews drove his Mercedes into an “L” support pole this morning?!?!  Who cleared him to drive with a concussion? (And yes, a concussion was the “upper body injury” Toews was/is suffering from.)  It couldn’t have been the weather.  It didn’t start to rain/snow/get slick until early afternoon.  Oh my! (more…)

Stalberg’s First Hat Trick, Hjalmarsson’s Bad Night, and Holy Instigation Batman!

Do you ever get that weird feeling that when the NHL is trying to sell a new rule that they pick certain teams to sell it on?  For instance, earlier in the season the NHL seemed to pick the Flyers’ Chris Pronger to sell the need to make visors mandatory for all players in the NHL.  Or how about when the NHL put rule 48.1 in place making checks to the head illegal and the Vancouver Canucks got called for it repeatedly.

Tonight the Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5 to 2 and Viktor Stalberg scored his first NHL hat trick, but perhaps more memorable is that the Hawks were called for ‘instigating’ twice.  So it looks like the Blackhawks will be the team that the NHL proves their instigating penalty on.  (more…)

Captain Serious Takes a Breeze…Can You Blame Him?

Holy cow (as Harry Caray would say), what has happened to the Hawks?  Dare I ask if we have a Cristobal Huet-type situation brewing in net?  Something went wrong in tonight’s game when the Hawks were shut out by the Avalanche, 4-0.  Ouch.  Are ya missing Antti Niemi yet?  How about Marty Turco?  Well, hopefully Corey Crawford finds a way out of his “sophomore slump” because I just don’t think Ray Emery is going to fly as back-up. (more…)

The Kids are Alright

To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to this year’s crop of Blackhawks new-comers.  Nobody likes change, at least not as much as there has been, and so it’s been hard these past two seasons to watch some stellar veterans go (although when I heard lackluster under-performer Brian Campbell had finally got the boot I almost threw a party).

However, in pre-season play it has been delightful to watch Brandon Pirri’s rising star.  This kid is amazing!  He almost had a hat trick in last night’s loss to the Penguins.  And while the guy in the Hawaiian shirt at the bar where I was watching the game disagreed with me, the call on Pirri for “interference” in the last minute or so of the game was in error.  Unless I missed something, it looked like Pirri was just following through with a check on the boards, though it was difficult, judging from the camera angle, to see where the puck had gone.  What wasn’t hard to miss was Pirri on the ground, on his back, getting his ears boxed by, it looked like Pens’ Zybnek Michalek.  Still, it looks like Pirri will go far.  Apparently opponents think so too or Pirri wouldn’t have become an early target.   So bang on Pirri.  You’ll get that hat trick yet!  (more…)

Hey Philly, Cut Matt Walker a Freakin’ Break!

After reading all of the undeserved criticism of Matt Walker on the net, particularly from Flyers fans, it’s time to set the record straight on defenseman Matt Walker.  It was bad enough having to watch Chicago discard Matt Walker without realizing what they had in him before the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup winning season in 09-10, but then I had to hear that the Philadelphia Flyers got Matt Walker on a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning before the 2010-2011 season had started, only to put him on waivers in January.  Unfortunately, “fans” in Philly didn’t seem to understand Walker’s role, just like “fans” in Tampa Bay and even Chicago didn’t.  (more…)

Jelly Gets a Raw Deal from NHL

I’m back to address the awful decision handed down by the NHL to suspend Niklas Hjalmarsson two games for what was clearly NOT a dirty hit on Sabres’ Jason Pominville.  (In this case, kudos should also go to Jonathan Toews, who, as ever, was first to rush in and defend his boys.  Clearly he too did not think the ensuing mêlée was merited by Jelly’s hit.)

So, as they say, let’s go to the film.

Despite the commentators in the above YouTube video obviously stumping for a suspension and purposely not seeing what was right in front of them in a slow-mo, slow-frame replay, this was NOT a dirty hit from behind.  It was a side hit, and probably a hard one, but Hjalmarsson didn’t even throw an elbow, again, despite what commentators were saying (and the commentators are suspect in this case because they knew that, upon review, the NHL would hear their comments and be swayed by them).  (more…)

How Ya Like the Hawks Now Danny Boy???

As Chicagoans have been saying for days, referee Dan O’Halloran killed the Hawks in games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  He called so many penalties on the Hawks while ignoring so many others from the Flyers that it would be safe to argue that O’Halloran alone cost the Hawks games 3 and 4.

In tonight’s game 5, it looked like Dustin Byfuglien agreed when during a check of Flyers’ d-man Kimmo Timonen at about the 10 or 11 minute mark of the 3rd period, he took out Dan O’Halloran as well.  Two goons with one hit.  It was a thing of beauty!  O’Halloran seemed to know that hit was meant for him too by the look on his face.  Karma can be tricky Danny boy.  The hockey gods don’t seem to like your intentional missed calls on the Flyers.

Finally, just to add insult to injury, Hawks’ Dustin Byfuglien scored the last goal of the 7-4 victory over the Flyers with an empty-netter in the last minute-and-a-half of the game with Dan O’Halloran having to rule it a good goal.  So sweet.  Go Hawks!  Get that cup!

P.S. Hats off to Q for taking Big Buff and Kaner off the first line and moving Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky up with Toews.  It totally threw off the Flyers.  They couldn’t put the bullseye on any one player and with Buff checking up and down like a mad man, it was discombobulating to the Flyers.  Hopefully Niklas Hjalmarsson can figure his game out by game 6 though, because we need him blocking shots.  Don’t know what’s up with him, but he has that deer-in-headlights look about him.

Blackhawks v. Predators: Super-Toews to the Rescue!

Jonathan Toews proved early on in the first period of tonight’s Hawks/Preds match-up that he’s worth every red cent of his new 5-year deal when he pulled off what we in my household call a “Superman” goal.  You know, the goals scored out of nowhere, faster than a speeding bullet, and in this instance, in midair? (And yes, Tazer’s goal may remind old guard hockey fans of that famous Bobby-Orr-in-midair photo, and rightly so.)  (more…)