POSTED ON Saturday, 06.1.2013 / 5:51 PM CT
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog

There are 26 NHL teams that would rather be using hockey sticks instead of golf clubs while the Blackhawks and their three counterparts continue the battle for the Stanley Cup. Chicago became just the 21st team in NHL history to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to move on. Of course, the triumph came with some controversy, when Niklas Hjalmarsson's goal with 1:47 remaining in regulation was negated by a referee's whistle while two players were fighting near the Detroit bench. Fortunately, Brent Seabrook's goal at 3:35 of overtime has helped ease that angst as the Hawks have moved to the conference finals.

I don't want to mislead you, because besides the work I do for the team, I am a Blackhawks fan! It is easy to criticize a referee's call. All you have to remember is Game 6 at Detroit, when I'm sure most of the Red Wings faithful questioned the penalty shot call that resulted in Michael Frolik's game-winning goal to tie the series.

I was fortunate to be sitting in the first balcony at the Stadium on April 4, 1959, for Game 6 of the playoff semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal was up 3-2 in the series against Chicago, which was making its first playoff appearance in six years and facing the defending champs. Red Storey was considered the best referee in the league; it wound up being his last NHL game.

The Hawks kept taking the lead, but the Canadiens tripped Ed Litzenberger once, then scored to tie the game.Then two more times, Bobby Hull was tripped in the third period, and both times the visitors took the puck up ice to score and win the game 5-4 in the final 90 seconds, and ultimately the series.

All three times, Storey failed to call a penalty against the Canadiens, and fans showered the ice for more than 30 minutes. When the game ended, two fans ran onto the ice trying to get at him, but were halted, one by the stick of Montreal's Doug Harvey. NHL Commissioner Clarence Campbell was at the game and was asked about Storey's officiating. He told the press that "Storey choked!"

So while the whistle prevented Hjalmarsson's goal last Wednesday, Seabrook eventually came through. Remember, the referees try to call them as they see them, and hopefully their decisions don't affect the final score. Go Hawks!

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POSTED ON Friday, 05.31.2013 / 3:51 PM CT
By Leah Hendrickson - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each week, the Blackhawks Blog will give you five stats you need to know about the Blackhawks this season.

1. Brent Seabrook is one of four defensemen to have scored an overtime goal in a Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7.

Darius Kasparaitis (PIT, 2001), Brad Park (BOS, 1983), and Leo Reise (DET, 1950) are the only defenders to lift their respective teams in an extra frame of Game 7.

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POSTED ON Friday, 05.31.2013 / 2:46 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

The dramatic roller-coaster ride of the Western Conference Semifinals has come to an end, and the Blackhawks were the team left standing. Not content to be dumped from the postseason by their oldest and fiercest rivals, Chicago recovered from a 3-1 series deficit to Detroit by winning Games 5, 6 and 7, despite the best efforts of Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings. The Blackhawks Blog created an overview of the series that takes a look at who controlled play, who scored and when, and which players made NHL history.


Click image for a full-sized version (PDF)

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POSTED ON Friday, 05.31.2013 / 1:17 PM CT
By Leah Hendrickson - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Every week, the Blackhawks Blog will feature fan tweets that reply to our official Twitter account @NHLBlackhawks mixed in with the tweets from some Blackhawks themselves! Send us your thoughts on the Blackhawks’ players, games and more, and you could be a contributor to our next Tweet Sheet.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 4:18 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Blackhawks prospect Mac Carruth makes a save during the Memorial Cup Final against Halifax. (Derek Elvin)

When three league champions and a hungry host team clash, anything can happen. Elite talent can expose even the most leak-proof defenses, and so went the Memorial Cup, where three of the nine contests reached double digits in combined goals. The WHL-champion Portland Winterhawks, with Blackhawks prospect Mac Carruth between the pipes, were the victims of two such results, losing to Halifax 7-4 in round-robin play and then falling 6-4 in the final rematch.

To get to the final game, the Winterhawks needed to shut down the high-powered London Knights, who had scored 14 goals over their first four games. The semifinal game produced plenty of scoring opportunities for both teams, but Carruth turned in his best performance of the tournament, allowing just one goal on 35 shots. The 2-1 result was the lowest-scoring game of the Memorial Cup, leaving no room for 2011 seventh-round draft pick Alex Broadhurst to add to his point totals. The New Lenox native finished the tournament with four points (1G, 3A) in five games, sharing third on the team.

If the Winterhawks wanted to reprise their shutdown performance in the title game, the QMJHL champions had other ideas. The Mooseheads put the puck past Carruth five times, then resisted Portland’s comeback attempt that made it 5-4 late in the third, adding a sixth goal with 23 seconds left and the Winterhawks net empty. Carruth finished the tournament with a 3-2 record, a 3.61 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 3:46 PM CT
By Leah Hendrickson - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Every week, the Blackhawks Blog will feature fan tweets that reply to our official Twitter account @NHLBlackhawks mixed in with the tweets from some Blackhawks themselves! Send us your thoughts on the Blackhawks’ players, games and more, and you could be a contributor to our next Tweet Sheet.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 2:52 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

The Blackhawks' 4-3 victory in Game 6 at Joe Louis Arena made up their series deficit against Detroit to set up a Game 7 showdown tomorrow night at the United Center, but it wasn't easy. Down 2-1 after two periods, Chicago turned their fortunes around in a span of 8:52 to begin the third period, beginning with Michal Handzus' first tally of the playoffs and ending with Michael Frolik's second career penalty shot conversion, one that set an NHL record and stood as the eventual game-winner. Elsewhere in the lineup, the coaching battles continued, as Head Coach Joel Quenneville utilized quick line changes after faceoffs to gain a more favorable matchup for his top center.


Click the image for a full-sized version (PDF)

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.28.2013 / 10:12 AM CT
By Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
Getty Images

With their stirring 4-3 win Monday night, the Blackhawks forced a Game 7 against the rival Detroit Red Wings, which will take place Wednesday at the United Center. Before that game gets underway, the Blackhawks Blog uncovered some facts and figures from Game 7s past.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 11:49 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

With their backs against the wall against a tenacious Detroit team, the Blackhawks hit the ice with renewed purpose in Game 5, dominating the Red Wings from puck drop to the final horn. The 4-1 victory reaffirmed Chicago's goal-scoring depth, with Bryan Bickell picking up the first tally of the game and Andrew Shaw chipping in with the first two-goal playoff game of his career. An even better sign was the contribution of team captain Jonathan Toews and the reawakening of the power play, which broke an 0-for-13 drought with two consecutive conversions in the second period. The team's complete performance was reminiscent of Game 1, but featured new configurations on both the forward and defensive lines. Here's the Blackhawks Blog's take on the changes that sparked the Game 5 resurgence:


Click the image for a full-sized version (PDF)

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POSTED ON Friday, 05.24.2013 / 3:01 PM CT
By Leah Hendrickson - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each week, the Blackhawks Blog will give you five stats you need to know about the Blackhawks this season.

1. With back-to-back goals in Games 2 and 3, Patrick Kane now has 60 points (22G, 38A) in 60 career postseason appearances.

The 2013 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy finalist logged a postseason-high 23:24 of ice time in Game 3 on May 20 and ranks second on the team behind Patrick Sharp with eight points (2G, 6A) in nine playoff games in 2013.

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