Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Links for the Day, and a Dash of News

-I'm getting ready to start a facebook group called "Alex Burrows needs to enroll in a manliness seminar" or something to that effect. His hair-pulling antics will hopefully not go unnoticed by the NHL disciplinary people, but knowing the luck the Hawks have with those guys, Duncan Keith will probably get suspended for having a flowing mane.

-Chris Kuc weighed in with his opinions, and honestly, the comments at the end of the post are far more interesting. Either way, check it out here.

-Apparently, my articles on The Hockey Writers have given me some interweb cred, according to a Vancouver sports blog. They featured a mini-rant about Dustin Byfuglien from my piece yesterday about the game. Check that out here.

-Coach Quenneville had mostly negative things to say about the team's effort on Sunday in this piece in the Sun-Times. Well, at least we know where he stands. Power to the Q.

-Matt Walker might play Tuesday, and will likely be back by Wednesday at the latest. Thank goodness. On another note, Troy Brouwer, who left yesterday's contest with an injury, will likely miss at least two games.

-Speaking of tomorrow, Cristobal Huet will be in net for the Hawks when they take on the Canadiens on Versus.

-Puck Daddy, a very good hockey blog on Yahoo!, led off its afternoon hockey headlines segment today with the Duncan Keith hairpulling fiasco. Check that out and other hockey news here.

Be sure to check out my recap from the game tomorrow, as well as a link to my preview of Wednesday's date with the Blues on UC ice. Until then, good night Hawks fans.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, Bloody Sunday Leads to Canucks Thrashing Blackhawks

Hopefully the above link works and you can see the fight that pretty much summed up the game for the Hawks tonight. Words cannot accurately describe what happened in this game, so I will merely transcribe a couple of thoughts from my notes taken at the game, and provide you with a link to a more definitive recap.

-The early exiters from the United Center numbered in the thousands. It was a silent testament to the brutality they had just witnessed, coth during the fight and in the complete lack of passion shown by their home town Blackhawks. This crowd, which had been so vibrant and loud at the beginning of the game, was rendered useless by the ineptitude of the Hawks.

-This fighting should have happened a long time ago. The Hawks never quite got the gears spinning right, and a scrum like this could have saved the ship, but alas, too little too late effort-wise for the Hawks.

-If Dustin Byfuglien tries to feed the puck into Patrick Kane one more time, even though Kaner is double covered in front of the net, I'm going to throw an ice crew member at him. F-ing idiot.

-Adam Burish should be suspended for his idiocy during the melee, Ben Eager should get a medal for clocking Kevin Bieska, and the refs should all get pink slips for not assessing Alex Burrows a misconduct penalty for pulling on Duncan Keith's hair, but Keith somehow ended up with a misconduct himself.

-I'm beginning to wonder if the Hawks players have late April tee times that they want to make. Effort like this will certainly ensure that they will be in carts instead of penalty boxes in a month.

For a full recap and more ranting and raving, please click this link.

Good night Hawks nation.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Couple of Stories to Check Out

Here are a couple of links for those of us fool-hardy enough to be up at this late hour (or early hour depending on where you are).

-Everyone in Hawk-world has been looking at this game for about a month now. Well, it is finally here: the showdown with Vancouver. The Chicago Sun-Times did a great job previewing the game and conveying the importance of it for those of you who are unconvinced.

-As shocking as it sounds, the Chicago Tribune reports something that hasn't happened to Aaron Johnson the entire season, that finally occurred on Friday.

-This article is more Chicago-centric, but it deserves attention anyway. Dave Dameshek and Marc Silverman ranked the best and worst jerseys to wear in Chicago. If I EVER see another Mark Prior jersey, I will beat somebody.

-Finally, check out my latest piece on The Hockey Writers, detailing lessons we have taken from the lessons we have learned from rounds one and two of Gut-Check Week for the Blackhawks.

Alright. More links will end up coming, but for now, it's time for bed. Puck drop is now less than 13 hours away.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Favorite Q-Stache Emails, Part One

This post is entitled "part one" because of the fact that I have a feeling we will be hearing more from the Q-Stache lovers in the world in the future, and I want to keep adding on to this.

To start, I have to thank John Buccigross for his outstanding work on his hockey columns on espn.com, and I enjoy everything about them, from his weekly tribute to Jack Falla to his picture captioning contest (this week's is Patrick Sharp jumping into the glass, so go vote!).

However, my favorite part of his columns are the inevitable emails challenging the supremacy of the Q-stache to other fantastic facial hair contenders. Since practice was boring and uneventful today, I'm going to share a few of my favorites with you.


As an avid Sharks fan, it pains me to even raise the issue, but I think George Parros' mustache would dominate the Q-Stache. My son, an avid Ducks fan for no good reason, and I are always talking about what Parros' 'stache could do on its own.

Chad Mahoney
San Jose

The Parros 'stache is stylish. But, to me, the Q-Stache has an experience and an IQ that would take advantage of the Parros mustache's nemesis -- namely, density and coarseness. The Parros 'stache does shampoo commercials. The Q-Stache sells chainsaws and jackhammers."


The Q-Stache may be exceptional, it may be a wonder of the world all its own, but there is another. Who in the NHL has the mustache to unseat your precious Q-Stache? Why, the Detroit Red Wings' own Paul MacLean. You cannot deny the power of the MacStache. His Wilford Brimley-esque 'stache not only can make oatmeal on its own, but it could also fight off even the most staunch offender of 'stache.

USFC: Ultimate 'Stache Fighting Championship. Q-Stache versus MacStache. A battle for the ages. A battle for the ages.

Matt Amberg

Paul MacLean has a tremendous 'stache, but I'm sorry, it falls short of the Q-Stache. The Q-Stache is like Bo Jackson in his prime -- a freak-of-nature mesomorph. I see the MacStache more along the lines of an endomorph 'stache, and that just can't compete. That's like an NFL guard trying to chase down Bo Jackson. Ain't happening."


I think the obvious, epic mustache battle has been overlooked. Which 'stache wins in a battle between Joel Quenneville and Lanny McDonald?

[+] EnlargeLanny McDonald
Steve Babineau/Getty ImagesLanny McDonald ... in his own 'Stache World.

David Jones

I have received countless e-mails on this matchup. It is clear the people want to see this pay-per-view event soon. Here is what would happen in this battle:

The Mac-Stache would come out cocky, that much is clear. His massive amount of Heatmiser-stache hair would simply overcome the Q-Stache by simply choking the life out of him or by sheer intimidation. But how many times do I have to tell you that the Q-Stache combines size and strength? The coarseness is something the 'Stache World has never seen since Groucho Marx. These kinds of 'staches come along once every other generation.

The Mac-Stache would suffer hyperextended follicles, torn ligaments and an assortment of injuries while trying to deal with the Q. And just think -- if it were raining, the Mac-Stache would be a mess. All matted down and stinky. The Q-Stache is like a United States Marine Corps member's hair. Tough, coarse and free to operate under any conditions. The Q-Stache versus the Mac-Stache is like Larry Holmes beating on Gerry Cooney. C'mon, people! Can't you see that?!"


Earlier this month, I took my son to see the Blackhawks in Atlanta. We just happened to stay at the same hotel as the team. I could not help it, when I saw Coach Quenneville, I just had to ask him if he saw the story you wrote about him. Sorry to say, he did not read it, but he got a good laugh when I told him some of the lines from your story. He thanked me for sharing and was gone. The mighty Q-Stache had some Thrashers to beat!

Sam Woodside

Not before the Q-Stache stopped at Waffle House and carbo-loaded with 27 waffles. And yes, the Q-Stache bathes in maple syrup."


I work in a large office building in downtown Chicago. Yesterday, as I was heading out on an errand, I turned the corner after getting off the elevator and -- BAM! -- there it was, literally less than two feet from my face ... the Q-Stache! There was no doubt about whether it was the genuine article since I could feel it peer into my soul and let me know that I was weaker than it. As a Blues fan living in Chicago, I could tell the Q-Stache sensed this, so I quickly scurried along my way, glad to have survived the close encounter.

Dave R.

That's not weakness on your part, Dave. That's wisdom. Well played, my brutha, well played."

I'm sure that there will be more emails like this, and when they come, I will continue to share them with you. Check back tomorrow for my reactions from the Canucks-Hawks showdown in Chicago.

Hawks Exorcise the Demons, Beat Devils 3-2

Even though the Devils gave the Blackhawks a million chances to win the game on Friday night at the United Center, it wasn't until Brent Seabrook hit a slap shot passed Martin Brodeur in overtime that the Madhouse on Madison could finally explode with joy.

Seabrook's goal in overtime gave him a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, assist, and a fight in the same game), and Martin Havlat and Kris Versteeg also notched goals to back up Nikolai Khabibulin's 28 saves in the 3-2 win.

Chicago ended a 12-game winless streak against New Jersey by winning the game. Since beating the Devils 5-2 at the United Center on Oct. 10, 1998, Chicago had eight regulation losses, two shootout losses and two ties against New Jersey.

The victory also kept Chicago in fourth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Vancouver.

"It was huge," Seabrook said. "We needed these points. Vancouver is looking at it the same way."

Vancouver, who notched a 4-1 victory on Friday night, will visit the United Center on Sunday night in a tilt that could either give the Blackhawks a nice four-point and game in hand cushion, or give the Hawks, merely a game in hand and tie the two teams in points.

I'll have a full practice report tomorrow afternoon, and I will also have a game recap on Sunday that will be a little better than usual, because I'll be attending the clash at the UC with the huge playoff implications.

Random Musings:

-Dan Aykroyd dropped the ceremonial first puck, and looked like he would rather be virtually anywhere else other than on United Center ice. Reminds me of a guy who is merely shilling a product, or who is tired of the spotlight. I could see either being the case with Elwood.

-The Devils committed a ton of first period penalties, and it's a shame that only one of those resulted in a Blackhawks goal. Yes, we won in the end, but it would have been nice to build an early 3-1 or 4-1 lead.

-It bothers me that Brian Campbell, who hasn't scored a goal in 35 games, is getting paid $1 million per goal this season. For a guy who is supposed to be a power play catalyst, he certainly seems like a pair of cement shoes rather than a nice pair of Pumas.

-Dustin Byfuglien needs to be locked in a steel cage anytime the Hawks are on the power play. His lack of puckhandling ability is even more painful than Campbell trying a spin move that looks more like a rickety washer than a tornado of scoring. I'll be glad when Walker and Eager come back and this clown can ride the pine.