10 former Chicago Blackhawks going to Sochi


The Chicago Blackhawks are sending ten current players to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but 10 former Hawks will be lacing up the skates, as well.

The list is a mix of established NHL players and players not cut out for playing in the premier league in the world. Of the 10 heading to Sochi, four were Blackhawks draft picks, and four have won a Stanley Cup wearing the Indian head sweater.

Without further ado, let’s look at and enjoy (or cringe) at the names that should be familiar to Chicago Blackhawks fans once the round-robin tournament starts February 12.

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Antti Raanta improving, Corey Crawford getting healthy

Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche

When Corey Crawford left Chicago’s December 8th game against the Florida Panthers with an injury, Blackhawks fans took a collective “gulp.” A previous injury to Nikolai Khabibulin left the interim starting position in net to Finnish goalie Antti Raanta.

Raanta was signed at the end of last season after winning a championship with Assat of the SM-Liiga, as well as the regular season and playoff MVP. The immediate thought with the 24-year old was that he could be the next great unknown from Finland like former Blackhawk netminder Antti Niemi.

For those wondering, Raanta’s name is pronounced AHN-tee RAHN-tah. Now you cannot say it incorrectly.

Raanta is 8-1-2 on the season, with 7 of those victories coming since Crawford’s injury. The two overtime losses came in shootouts. Raanta showed an improvement in Chicago’s shootout loss to Vancouver last week, lasting eight rounds before giving up the second and decisive goal. His vision in net is making progress to the point that he is no longer diving and flopping in the goal crease like he had just a few weeks ago. [Read more…]




Finally, after months and months of everyone involved being morons, causing 113 days, 625 games, and the biggest outdoor hockey game in history to be cancelled, hockey fans can finally say “Game On!”  The NHL has a new 10-year labor agreement, and is set to start the shortened, 48 game 2013 season on Saturday, January 19.  Find out what you need to know about every team in the NHL for the upcoming season, this time featuring the Pacific Division.  Continue after the jump to find out where your team will finish.

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Sunday’s Three Stars: Shaw, Stalberg Shine in Win Over Sharks

Patrick Sharp has been out of the Chicago Blackhawks’ lineup for the past four games, but it hasn’t slowed them down one bit. Buoyed by performances from guys up and down the roster, the Hawks have been scoring goals, playing solid defense, and most importantly, picking up points. This weekend was no different, as they got a point yesterday against the Detroit Red Wings, a team with an insane home record this season, and they did it again Sunday night as they took down the San Jose Sharks 4-3 at the United Center.

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Once an Afterthought, Ray Emery Shining As Blackhawks Keep Winning

Coming into the 2011-12 season, the Chicago Blackhawks seemed like they finally had a guy they could count on in net. They inked Corey Crawford to a three-year extension over the off-season, and the only question was whether Ray Emery or Alexander Salak would back up the talented youngster. As has happened in previous years with Cristobal Huet, Nikolai Khabibulin, Antti Niemi, and Marty Turco, however, the Hawks’ crease was not as solidified as previously thought.

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Training Camp Primer: Recapping & Grading the Blackhawks’ Offseason

In contrast to the 2010 off-season, the summer of 2011 was a relatively quiet one for the Chicago Blackhawks. Sure, there were still trades that took place and signings galore, but the attachment that fans felt to the players who had so recently won the Stanley Cup made it more difficult to see guys like Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien go to other places.

With more fans tuning in to see what the Blackhawks are up to as they prepare for the regular season, which is only 18 days away, The Sports Bank is here to give you a quick and dirty recap of all the moves that the Blackhawks have made since Alex Burrows swiped the puck from Chris Campoli and scored the series winner that sent Chicago home.

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Blackhawks say no to Niemi, Sign Turco instead


The Chicago Blackhawks salary cap mess claimed another big name player Monday. This time it’s the starting goalie on their Cup winning team. The Hawks front office decided to pass on awarding Niemi his arbitration award; and will let him walk.

Instead they signed former Dallas Star Marty Turco.

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Chicago Blackhawks playoff winning streak ends, still up 2-1

For Blackhawks fans the sound echoing in the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia is a lot like the air rushing out of a dude after said dude has been punched in the gut. The 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers in game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals wasn’t debilitating by any means but it was definitely a wake up call that there is still work to be done.

By Peter Christian

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BlackHawks Niemi wins Game 1 battle of Goaltenders


If one thing can be said of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals match-up of goaltenders it’s this- no one expected these two (Chicago Blackhawks: Antti Niemi and Philadelphia Flyers: Michael Leighton) to be here. Cristobal Huet, the Hawks’ multi-million dollar man with serious self-confidence issues was the team’s starter up until midseason when the stellar rookie Niemi replaced him.

Leighton took over for injured Flyers starter Brian “Waterboy” Boucher in the Eastern Conference semis, and hasn’t looked back. Both goalies came into the Finals en fuego this postseason, sporting stellar save and goals against (in Canada they say “goals a-GAINst”) averages. But both struggled to a degree Saturday night in game one.

But Chicago’s net-minder weathered the storm and helped his team to a 6-5 victory.

By Paul M. Banks

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Stanley Cup Finals: The Story Lines


The Stanley Cup Finals are only a day away, media day is over and we are getting antsy! We’ve already stated why the Blackhawks will win or lose, as well as the Flyers. We’ve already shared who the top 16 players to keep an eye on in the series are and yet we still can’t stop talking about the Cup. What on Earth can we do? Another draft of sorts? Absolutely.

By Peter Christian and Bryan Vickroy

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Two Sides of the Coin: Chicago Blackhawks Edition

Dustin Byfuglien celebrates his 1st goal with Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews

The Chicago Blackhawks are competing for the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1992 and looking for their first Stanley Cup Championship since 1961. Facing off against the Philadelphia Flyers will be no easy task, even with home ice advantage and the better regular season record. Of course, there is two sides to every coin and in this match-up it’s no different as there are plenty of reasons why the Blackhawks will win the series as well as a handful of reason’s they’ll lose the Cup to Philly. We’ve got both sides of the coin listed below.

By Peter Christian

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BlackHawks’ Goalie Antti Niemi Grows Up


By Paul M. Banks

Heading into game one of the Western Conference Finals, Chicago Blackhawks rookie goaltender Antti Niemi had not faced the opposing San Jose Sharks this season. But after turning back 44 of the 45 shots he faced, Niemi showed that he has all the resolve and experience he needs.

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