The Hawks/Canucks rivalry is not what it used to be or maybe the Canucks have matured and realize that regular season points are more important than shenanigans and cheap shots. Other than the constant raining of boos when Duncan Keith handled the puck the temperature of the area and on the ice was anything but heated.
The Hawks were coming into Vancouver with this being the second of back to back games and the third game in four nights and the Hawks looked tired in the first period.
Luckily for the Hawks goalie Corey Crawford who came in playing his eleventh game in the Hawks nets was not tired and fatigued and kept his team in the game.
The Hawks were looking for some young energy from rookies Adam Clendening, Joakim Norstrom and making his NHL debut Phillip Danault. Antti Raanta was supposed to be manning the Hawks nets but due to illness Corey Crawford plugged the pipes for the Blackhawks.
The captain Jonathan Toews lead the way early in the first period when on a beauty of a two on one Saad was able to find a wide open at the far faceoff circle Toews who got it past Oilers goalie at the time Ben Scrivens.
Before the announcer could finish crediting Toews with the goal Marcus Kruger scored from almost the same spot on the ice after much hard work on the boards by line mates Ben Smith and Joakim Norstrom to ...
The Chicago Blackhawks (11-7-1) continue their circus trip with a game at the Oilers tonight in Edmonton.
This season, the Oilers are languishing at the bottom of the Pacific division with a 6-11-2 record. They're having problems scoring, and more importantly, they're having problems keeping the other teams' goals out of their net: they have 3.37 GAA versus 2.53 G/G. Their power play is more like a power pffft and their penalty kill is below 80%. The Oilers have won just 2 of 10 games they've played to date in November, and they're hungry for a win - or even just points. Edmonton is 0-9-1 versus the Western Conference so far this season.
The Blackhawks (10-7-1) are starting off their ten-day annual "Circus trip" tonight with a game versus the Calgary Flames.
Historically, the late November swing - nicknamed the "circus" trip becuase of the circus which sets up shop at the United Center for two weeks, forcing both the Blackhawks and Bulls out on the road - has been a bonding experience for the team, both off and on the ice. The Blackhawks have been 17-7-1 during their past four circus trips.
Calgary has been a pleasant surprise among the Western teams so far this season, going 12-6-2 (26 points) to date, which puts them third in the Pacific, ahead of both the Kings (24 points) and ...
The Islanders (6-2-0) have proved to be a confident bunch and the high scoring offense looked to flex their muscles early on against Winnipeg (3-5-0) at the Coliseum. The upstart Isles team has played well and beaten teams that were challenging cogs on their opening schedule but haven’t faced an inferior opponent since Carolina.
The Jets came into 2014-15 without any lofty expectations to burden them. Now they are expected to do even less with an injury sidelining premiere player Evander Kane. Struggling to score goals and without any reliable sources of sustainable offense, they should be dominated by the Isles on any given night. The Isles are clearly the better team at this junction of the season in every facet of their game.
But as every fan and analyst knows, projections and predictions mean nothing when the teams step on the ice. Hockey is a game with its ups and downs built on emotion, momentum and grit. On any given night, the NHL provides a stage for teams to upset supposed better teams.
The Islanders will probably need to improve their regular season points-performance (79 or less in each of the last five years-excluding the lockout) by at least 26 points if they are to make the post-season.
With the draft approaching, the Islanders could be looking to flip their 5th overall pick to another team for a proven commodity.
Evander Kane has been swirling around the rumor mill. Recent history has not been kind to the relationship between the Winnipeg Jets and Evander Kane. The last we heard about Kane and where he thinks he will be for the foreseeable future was back in April when Kane was a healthy scratch in Toronto.
What is a player of his talent doing being a healthy scratch?
Today we look back at an individual who was nothing but a consistent scorer and a fan favorite during his 6 seasons on Long Island. Mariusz Czerkawski was part of the New York Islanders from 1997-2002 and then again during the 2003-2004 season.