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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 50

Day-50 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
INKTIME on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

ATTENTION ALL BROADCASTERS: Now that we are three games into this Series, will all please take note that the Bruins and Blackhawks are playing in the STANLEY CUP FINAL…not the Stanley Cup Finals. This drives me crazy. Have you watched a single period of play? It says FINAL right on the ice!

Now, if we can only convince Hall of Fame Announcer Doc Emrick that you cannot “further” a puck. However, a puck can travel “farther”.

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AND THAT’S A POWER PLAY?: The Blackhawks have amassed one, that’s right, (1) shot on goal during their last 5 Power Plays. How do you have a man advantage and yet there seems to be two Bruins in pursuit of a loose puck to every one guy for the Blackhawks? And have you ever seen a Power Play more reliant on the guys at the point than what the Blackhawks are telegraphing right now? With guys like Kane, Toews, Sharp and Hossa (hopefully, he will return for Game-4 from “an upper body injury”), how is it that the Power Play cannot seem to work the puck into a shooting position from the top of the circles down?

No wonder Tuukka Rask was able to toss his third shutout of the Playoffs in Game 3!

BTW, Rask will bring a shutout streak of over 166 minutes on home ice into Game 4, which is scheduled for Wednesday night in Boston. Better turn the “Power” back on, Chicago!

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HOME…HOME ON THE RANGE(RS): You just knew, that when former Canucks Coach Alain Vigneault withdrew his name from consideration in Dallas that he was bound to land somewhere. Now, several sources are saying that he will be introduced later this week as the new Head Coach of the New York Rangers.

It is said to be a 5-year contract worth about $10 million.

That’s along time to be saddled with a guy whose team lit-up the Regular Season (313-170-57 over 7 seasons with Vancouver), but failed miserably in the Playoffs with a mark of (33-32).

Vigneault replaces John Tortorella–was fired by the Rangers on May 29. Several sources are saying that Tortorella has had one interview with the Canucks, and that he will be brought back for a second interview.

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UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen

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TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE:

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 49

OK Coach “Q”…WE GET THE POINT: Sometime Coaches coach and sometimes Coaches out-coach themselves. Why Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville has decided to “Healthy Scratch” Viktor Stalberg –arguably the fastest skater in the Chicago line-up–is beyond me?

He did it in the Detroit series and got completely burned in Game-2, when the Red Wings returned to United Center following a few days rest with fresh legs, and won every race to a loose puck and climbed back into the Series. Then, Coach Q’s Hockey-IQ kicked-in…Stalberg was eventually re-inserted…and just ask the Red Wings–who blew a 3-games-to-1 Series lead–what that meant???!!!

So, what does Quenneville do when the Hawks reach the Final? He pulls the same stunt!!!

Why? To match the Bruins toughness. Are you kidding me? At one point during the Bruins Game-2 Overtime victory, the “B’s” were out-hitting the Blackhawks 39-13! Guess what? You’re probably not going to out-hit ‘em!

Furthermore, please allow me to take you back to Daniel Paille‘s GWG.

It was the Blachakws Brandon Bollig who failed to get to the half-wall in time, allowing Boston’s Adam McQuaid to seal the point and keep the play alive. That 1-1/2 to 2-stride difference between Bollig and Stalberg would have made all of the difference in the world.

Now, fans of Bollig and fans of Stalberg may point to the Stat’s:

Stalberg has zero goals, three assists and a minus-one rating in 15 playoff games this season. He had nine goals and 14 assists in the regular season.

In Game-1 v. Boston, Bollig played on the 4th-line and had 25 shifts and 14:24 of ice time with three shots on goal, nine hits and a zero plus/minus rating in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 3-OT-victory. In Game-2, Bollig played 14 shifts and logged 8:42 of ice time, with zero shots on goal, zero hits, two giveaways and a minus-one rating.

Granted, neither guy its tearing-it-up offensively in the Post Season. But this comes down to an intangible–SPEED! And if there is an asset that Chicago has over the Bruins it is SPEED…and oh, how speed, compliments SKILL.

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THE NUMBERS ARE WITH BOSTON: By virtue of their OT victory to knot the Series at a game apiece, the Bruins took away home ice advantage. And the B’s enjoy playing this Post-Season at Boston TD Garden. Boston is (7-2) on their Home ice in these playoffs and has won six straight…meaning…they haven’t lost a game at Home in over a month! (Last loss: Game 5 of the Opening Round against Toronto on May 10)

Furthermore, roughly 75 % of the teams to win Game 2 of finals series since 1939 went on to hoist the Stanley Cup. (But, then again, roughly 77% of those teams that win Game-1 win the Cup!)

BTW,The Bruins will also host Game-4 on Wednesday night.

MEANWHILE: Three times the Blackhawks have played Game 3’s during this Post Season… ..and 3-times they have lost (Minnesota, Detroit, LA).

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SEATTLE COYOTES?: Tomorrow marks a big day in the history of the Phoenix Coyotes. The The City Council of the City of Glendale will decide if they can “bridge the gap” between the actual budget established to run the Jobing.com Arena and the desires of potential new owners–Renaissance Sports and Entertainment (RSE) , the ownership group headed by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc.

Reportedly, the City has budgeted $6-million…RSE is reportedly seeking $13-15-milion.

“IF” and that is a big IF…a deal cannot be reached, the decision by the Vancouver Canucks to move their AHL affiliation to Utica, New York may be a big clue as to where this team may headed. Sources have indicated that the Canucks were told Key Arena in Seattle (which makes total sense for Vancouver from a proximity standpoint) “was not available for hockey”.

Another report claims the Mayor of Seattle has confirmed that he has had discussions with officials from the NHL.

Hence, a “Plan B” may be in the works, should the Glendale deal go south…and that is to go North to Seattle.

According to Hockey Night in Canada’s Glenn Healy, if the the City of Glendale, fails to come through by July 2nd, then they would move the team to The Emerald City. Furthermore–according to Healy–former NHL-er and current NBC Analyst Jeremy Roenick, who be part of the ownership group and would help run the hockey operations department.
And you thought things ON THE ICE were interesting…and competitive?

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UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen
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TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE:

2013 STANLEY CUP FINAL

CHICAGO AT BOSTON 8:05 EST
(Series tied 1-1)

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 44

Day-44 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

INKTIME  on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

It was just over 6 weeks ago that we started this journey and my initial prediction remains the same.  Granted one-half of my Finals match-up failed to live up to expectations (the Penguins), but that doesn’t deter me from my original INKTIME ON RINKTIME Stanley Cup Final Pick to win it all:  The Chicago Blackhawks.

Both the Boston Bruins and Hawks overcame earlier scares on this journey.  The B’s had to mount an improbable comeback in Game-7 of their Opening Round Series against Toronto.  But that was just 1-game.  The Blackhawks not only had to win 3-straight games to overcome a 3-games-to-1 deficit to Detroit in the Conference Semi-Finals, AND then, had to plow through the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Kings.

Now granted, NOBODY saw the Bruins blowing through the Penguins in 4-games…but I also believe it is safe to say that they are about to face a Blackhawks squad that has ALREADY proven that they have the RESOLVE that it takes to win.

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THE PLAYERS SEEM READY:  Like the timeless Jaromir Jagr of Boston…

…and Chicago’s Patrick Kane seems willing to adjust…

…Tuukka Rask is ready to climb out of Tim Thomas’s 2011 shadow…

…while Corey Crawford prepares to take his place alongside Antti Niemi from 2010…

BUT TALK IS CHEAP:  The Blackhawks are (9-1) at home in the playoffs and have won 5 straight at The United  Center.  And, their commitment to the defensive side of the puck is best evidenced by the fact that they have allowed 2-goals or less in 8 of those games…and that will be pivotal in trying to contain Boston’s David Krejci who leads all Post-Season performers in points.

Chicago can reap the rewards of being the President’s Trophy Winner…and that’s Home Ice Advantage.  How important is this opener?  The team who wins Game-1 has gone on to win the Stanley Cup 77% of the time!  But regardless of tonight’s outcome, I believe this Series is going the distance.

So, that brings me to my INKTIME ON RINKTIME PREDICTION:  Blackhawks in 7 games.

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UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen

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THE SCHEDULE:

2013 STANLEY CUP FINAL
SERIES O TIME (ET) #1 vs. #4 Networks
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2013 8 p.m. BOSTON AT CHICAGO NBC, CBC, RDS
SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013 8 p.m. BOSTON AT CHICAGO NBCSN, CBC, RDS
MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2013 8 p.m. CHICAGO AT BOSTON NBCSN, CBC, RDS
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2013 8 p.m. CHICAGO AT BOSTON NBC, CBC, RDS
*SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 2013 8 p.m. BOSTON AT CHICAGO NBC, CBC, RDS
*MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2013 8 p.m. CHICAGO AT BOSTON NBC, CBC, RDS
*WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26, 2013 8 p.m. BOSTON AT CHICAGO NBC, CBC, RDS

 

* If necessary

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 43

Day-43 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

INKTIME  on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

HISTORY LESSON, PART II:  When the Blackhawks and Bruins drop the puck for Game-1 of the Stanely Cup Final tomorrow night in Chicago, it will mark the first time a pair of Original-6 teams will vie for the Cup since 1979 when the Montreal Canadiens upended the New York Rangers.

I’ve had a chance to chat with some pretty staunch Bruins fans since unveiling yesterdays’s history of the Boston franchise and I was pleasantly surprised to hear these words:  “I didn’t know that…”

Today, I hope to do the same, and in some small way convey to you the men who had a vision, the details behind each team name, and the players that are part and parcel of two of the most “dyed-in-the-wool” fandoms in all of sports.

TODAY, I CONTINUE WITH THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS…Or, SHOULD I SAY “BLACK HAWKS”  (details forthcoming):  The Hawks are two years younger than the Bruins franchise.  Boston grocery tycoon Charles Adams unveiled the “B’s” in 1924 and Chicago was part of what was consider the first “wave” of expansion the National Hockey League would experience two years later.

Apparently, folks in the food industry were influenced by Mr. Adams endeavor, because Chicago’sfirst owner was coffee tycoon Frederic McLaughlin, who outbid grain magnate James E. Norris for the franchise.  Others involved during this growth spurt were the Detroit Cougars (now known as the Detroit Red Wings) and the New York Rangers.

However, in sharp contrast to Boston’s approach, Frederic McLaughlin elected to be his club’s Owner AND General Manager and decided to field the first NHL team sporting an all-American-born lineup.  However, Mr. McLaughlin was also apparently a very impatient man…he made 18 coaching changes in 18 years.

Mr. McLaughlin’s wish to own a franchise was granted on  September 26, 1926…reportedly for a $12,000.00…reportedly, $3,000.00 less than what Charles Adams had to pay to get the Bruins into the League.

THE NAME:  Owner Frederic McLaughlin had been a commander with the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division during World War I.   This Division was nicknamed the “Black Hawk Division”, after a Native American of the Sauk nation, Chief Black Hawk–who sided with the British in the War of 1812.

For many years, the name was spelled “Black Hawks.”   In fact, as a kid growing up in Chicago, many items like hats, stickers, etc, would have the spelling as “Black Hawks” while other items would spell it “Blackhawks”.  This ambiguity was finally put to rest in 1986 when the club “officially” decided on the one-word version–BLACKHAWKS– based on the spelling found in the original franchise documents.

THE LOGO:  This was the first:

 

TALK ABOUT COMING A LONG WAY BABY:  This is what the players are wearing today…
THE PLAYERS:  When I think of the Blackhawks, the names that immediately come to mind are Hull, Mikita, Hall, Pilote, Stapleton, Esposito, Savard, Larmer, Wilson and sooooooo many more. Today, fans are treated to the incredible talents of guys like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson–just to name a few.  So instead of trying to appease all in Blackhawk Nation, allow me to instead recognized the chosen–those who have had their number retired by one of the most storied franchises in NHL history:
Chicago Blackhawks retired numbers
No. Player Position Career No. retirement
1 Glenn Hall G 1957–67 November 20, 1988
3 Keith Magnuson 1 D 1969–80 November 12, 2008
Pierre Pilote 1 D 1955–68 November 12, 2008
9 Bobby Hull LW 1957–72 December 18, 1983
18 Denis Savard C 1980–90, 1995–97 March 19, 1998
21 Stan Mikita C 1958–80 October 19, 1980
35 Tony Esposito G 1969–84 November 20, 1988
99 2 Wayne Gretzky C - February 6, 2000 [
WHEN BLACKHAWKS FANS HEAR THIS SONG, THEY THINK OF HAWKS HOCKEY:  Check out this video.  It’s a slick little history of the franchise, and starts off with a Bobby Hull milestone called by Hall of Fame Announcer–and longtime Blackhakws voice, Lloyd Pettit, too…

WHY THIS SONG?:  “Here Come the Hawks!” is the Official fight song of the Chicago Blackhawks and was written by J. Swayzee, an avid Blackhawks fan.  The version you just just heard was produced by the Dick Marx Orchestra and Choir in 1968.  And to this day, following each period at the United Center you can hear a spirited version pounded-out by long-time team Organist, Frank Pellico.

THE BUILDINGS:  Then…

…and now…

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IT IS MY HOPE:  That this stroll down memory lane raises your level of appreciation for the genuine treat that every genuine hockey fan is in for…the Blackhawks v. the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.
As a kid growing up in Chicago, Hawks home games were NOT televised–so I was hooked by the radio call of Lloyd Pettit who created call after call that sparked my imagination and ingrained a love of the game and team that took me all the way to the Mighty Ducks TV Play-by-play booth–and that STILL exists in me today.
My calling allowed me to spend time with many of the players I idolized as a kid and my childhood dreams came true when I called my first-ever NHL Game in the old Chicago Stadium for Hockey Night in Canada–and then, of course, I can vivdly recall a sparsely populated United Center during my final season with the Ducks in 2002–my, oh my, how times have changed.  Just try to get a ticket now!
To this day, I hope that with every word I write you can feel my heartfelt appreciation for those who had a vision, took the risks and played out the games that created the moments that will forever be wonderfully seared in my mind…

My sincere “thanks” to ALL who have played their part in Chicago Blackhawks history.

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THE NUMBER OF STANLEY CUPS WON BY THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS:  4  (1934, 1938, 1961, 2010)

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TOMORROW ON  INKTIME ON RINKTIME:  The prediction for the Stanley Cup Final!

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UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 42

Day-42 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

INKTIME  on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

HISTORY LESSON, PART I:  As soon as the Blackhawks dispatched of the Kings in Double Overtime to set the stage for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, immediately the media starting pumping the fact that this should be a classic confrontation of two of the Original Six teams.

True, Chicago and Boston are just that…but behind two of the best uniforms in sports, lies a story…and a history worth delving into.  Over the next two days, I hope in some small way I can convey to you the men who had a vision, the details behind each team name, and the players that are part and parcel of two of the most “dyed-in-the-wool” fandoms in all of sports.

TODAY, I BEGIN WITH THE BOSTON BRUINS:  And in order ot properly begin today’s lesson, let’s start by defining the other five members of the Original Six franchises…the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

But before there were Six, one had to make its way South of the Canadian border.  And that inspiration came from a man who knew a thing or two about feeding peoples desires…and that man was Boston grocery tycoon Charles Adams.  Adams was said to be so intrigued after watching the 1924 Stanley Cup Final between the NHL champion Montreal Canadiens and the WCHL champion Calgary Tigers that he convinced the National Hockey League to grant him a franchise for Boston.

Mr. Adams’ wish was granted on  November 1, 1924…reportedly for just $15,000.00

THE NAME:   Charles Adams may have known the food business, but when it came to hockey he left that up to former star Art Ross–who served as General manager.  But the team needed a name and Ross was instructed to come up with with a nickname that would portray “an untamed animal displaying speed, agility, and cunning.” Ross came up with “Bruins”, an Old English word used for brown bears (from the Dutch ‘bruin’ meaning brown) in classic folk-tales. The team’s bearlike nickname also went along with the team’s original uniform colors of brown and yellow, which came from Adams’ grocery chain, First National Stores.

THE LOGO:  This was the first:

And this is what the players are wearing today:

The Boston Bruin “B” with the spokes stands for the Hub. The city of Boston is often referred to as the Hub of the universe or Hub, by Bostonians and others.

THE PLAYERS:  When I think of the Bruins, the names that immediately come to mind are Shore, Orr, Bucyk, Esposito, Sanderson, Cashman, Cheevers, Bourque, Neely and sooooooo many more.  Today, fans are treated to the incredible talents of guys like David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, and Tuukka Rask–just to name a few.  So instead of trying to apease all in Bruin Nation, allow me to instead recognized the chosen–those who have had their number retired by one of the most storied franchises in NHL history:

Boston Bruins retired numbers
No. Player Position Career No. retirement
2 Eddie Shore D 1926–40 January 1, 1947
3 Lionel Hitchman 1 D 1925–34 February 22, 1934
4 Bobby Orr D 1966–76 January 9, 1979
5 Aubrey “Dit” Clapper LW, D 1927–47 February 12, 1947
7 Phil Esposito C 1967–75 December 3, 1987
8 Cam Neely RW 1986–96 January 12, 2004
9 Johnny Bucyk LW 1957–78 March 13, 1980
15 Milt Schmidt C 1936–55 March 13, 1980
24 Terry O’Reilly RW 1972–85 October 24, 2002
77 Ray Bourque D 1979–2000 October 4, 2001
99 2 Wayne Gretzky C - February 6, 2000

WHEN BRUINS FANS HEAR THIS SONG, THEY THINK OF BRUINS HOCKEY:  Check out this video.  It’s a slick little history of the franchise, too.

Why this song?  Boston television station WSBK-TV began broadcasting Bruins games in 1967.  As the story goes,  the producers of the games were in search of a Theme Song.  Some say they were inspired by the Boston Ballet‘s annual Christmas performance of The Nutcracker …and coupled with The Ventures‘ version of the Nutcracker’s overture, known as “Nutty”, it became a staple for the opening piece of the Bruins telecasts.  And keep in mind that after nearly a half-century of ownership, the Adams family sold the Boston Bruins to Storer Broadcasting in 1972-73…which owned  WSBK-TV (Channel 38).

THE BUILDINGS:  Then…

…and now…

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IT IS MY HOPE:  That this stroll down memory lane raises your level of appreciation for the genuine treat that every genuine hockey fan is in for…the Bruins v. the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.
As a kid growing up in Chicago, I hated (I “hate” using that word, but I can’t think of any other way to describe it) the Bruins–hated the Bruins!  But as I grew older and actually got to spend time with many of the players and had the privilege of calling games in BOTH buildings, I came to realize that my love of the game grew out of an appreciation for those who had a vision, took the risks and played out the games that created the moments that will forever be wonderfully seared in my mind…

My sincere “thanks” to ALL who have played their part in Boston Bruins history.

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THE NUMBER OF STANLEY CUPS WON BY THE BOSTON BRUINS:  6 (1928–29, 1938–39, 1940–41, 1969–70, 1971–72, 2010–11)

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TOMORROW ON  INKTIME ON RINKTIME:  The history of the Chicago Blackhawks

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UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE LACE ‘EM UP AND HIT THE ICE!–Chris Madsen

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