With Duncan Keith suspended, Blackhawks positive momentum gone?

duncan keith

The Chicago Blackhawks have been the National Hockey League’s (NHL’s) second hottest team, behind only the scintillatingly-hot Pittsburgh Penguins who have sported a 13-0-1 record recently.  The Blackhawks have blistered their way up the NHL’s Western Conference standings at an 8-1-1 clip, including a recent 5-0-0 run, all of this being done without the services of their captain and leader Jonathan Toews, who has missed the past 14 games with a concussion.

In spite of this devastating loss, the Blackhawks are only one point out of the Western Conference’s 4th position.

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Who’s to Blame For Columbus Blue Jackets Mess Part 2

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When I wrote Part 1 of my 2-part article outlining the ills that plague the Columbus Blue Jackets, they possessed the worst record in the National Hockey League (NHL) with a record of 0-6-1.  Since Part 1 was written, the Blue Jackets have descended to even lower depths, with a record of 2-12-1.  While the Blue Jackets did win two games since that point, more recently they have been pummeled by their opponents by a cumulative score of 19-6 over their last three games.

The Blue Jackets are a team in disrepair.  They are a team with no identity, no direction and no grit, a fragile team who shows no signs of turning around the malaise, this for a team with the 5th highest payroll in the National Hockey League (NHL).

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Too Soon For Columbus Blue Jackets to Push the Panic Button?

cbj

Coming off of another disappointing season, their second season of not making the Stanley Cup playoffs after making it for the first time in their history (2008-2009 season), Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager (GM) Scott Howson realized that the recurring themes of patience, building from within, the status quo and sub-mediocrity had worn completely thin with their fan base.

The fan base exhibited their distain by staying away in droves, last season, with a 2,000 plus drop in overall attendance and the team experienced their largest financial losses in their brief history of over $25 million. The time for action and change was now.

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2011 NHL Eastern Conference Predictions/Previews

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When it comes to the NHL and its playoffs, your seeding/position doesn’t matter, particularly in the Eastern Conference – it’s all about getting in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

With that, here are Ed Cmar’s predictions (in ascending order, from 1st to 15th):

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Blackhawks Extend GM Stan Bowman 3 Years, I’m Still Not Sold

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When Stan Bowman assumed the position of Chicago Blackhawks GM in July 2009, it came at a time when the Hawks brass were looking for any excuse at all to jettison then incumbent Dale Tallon. The first day of free agency contract mailing snafus served as the perfect “reason.”

Stan’s been John McDonough and Rocky Wirtz’s “boy” ever since they took over in 2008. Dale Tallon (who actually built the Stanley Cup winning team) was specifically kicked to the curb so Stan would have the job handed to him. Might have a little something to do with the Hawks hiring of Stan’s dad, Scotty, as a hockey consultant.

You see when your dad is the most successful hockey coach of all time, Scotty Bowman, your ticket up the ladder has been punched. It’s easy to become the youngest GM in NHL history when you grow up with connections like that.

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NHL Western Conference Predictions/Previews

This is the third year Ed Cmar has offered predictions as to how the Western Conference will sort out. But unlike how he assessed the predicted outcomes in prior seasons by determining who would be in (the playoffs), who would be out of playoff consideration and who would be on the fringe, he’s modified my predictions by where I believe each team will place, overall.

While this changed method is subject to more error, when it comes to the NHL and its playoffs, your seeding/position doesn’t matter.

With that, here are my predictions (in ascending order, from 1st to 15th):

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Detroit Red Wings Announce Another Round of Cuts

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The Detroit Red Wings today announced another round of cuts. 16 more players have been dismissed from the team’s training camp roster, leaving 39 players remain in camp.

Members of both the Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) will hit the ice at Western Michigan University’s Van Andel Arena (see pic of WMU cheerleader below) later today for a Red-White intrasquad game. If you’re in K-Zoo, (or even in Battlecreek, Paw Paw, Coldwater or Climax) you may want to check it out.

The following players did not escape the chopping block and now find themselves reassigned to the Griffins:
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Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane Injures Wrist, Will Have Surgery

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RECOVERY EXPECTED TO TAKE 6-8 WEEKS

Looks like Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane will have trouble lifting his drink for the next six to eight weeks.  The Blackhawks released a statement today announcing that Kane has a fractured left wrist that will require surgery to repair.  The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, July 19.  A full recovery from the injury could take up to two months.  For more on the injury, and the full statement from the Chicago Blackhawks, click after the jump.

 

Bryan Vickroy

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2011 NHL Entry Draft Recap

 

nhl draft recap

2011 NHL ENTRY DRAFT RECAP

 

The dust has settled on the floor of the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the 2011 NHL Entry Draft has completed.  The hometown Minnesota Wild made the first big splash at the draft, trading Brent Burns to the San Jose Sharks.  The rest of the NHL Entry Draft weekend saw more trades, a lot of picks, and the loud and celebrated return of the Winnipeg Jets.  To find out everything that went down at the center of the universe, the winners and losers, continue on after the jump.

 

Bryan Vickroy

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