Some insight into Bryan LaHair and his start with the Cubs

No one is surprised at the numbers Bryan LaHair has produced during April.  The test is whether he can maintain a similar level of consistency as the 2012 season unfolds. LaHair logged a terrific April for the Cubs, closing with the month with a .390 average, five home runs and 14 RBIs.  He drew 10... Read more »

The issue with NHL justice

Does anybody remember the suspension NHL sheriff Brendan Shanahan handed out during the preseason to Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski? Wisniewski was suspended for the remainder of the preseason and the first eight games of the regular season for elbowing Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck. That sent a shock wave around the league.  Shanahan... Read more »

NHL scouting report on newcomer Oduya

Here’s a quick scouting report from one of Johnny Oduya’s former NHL coaches. “I really liked him.  He’s strong on the puck down low.  He’s smart; an excellent skater.  He’s got more offensive ability than you think.  I’m not sure why he’s had such a tough year.  He’s a solid No. 4 or No. 5... Read more »

Are there some parallels between Joel Quenneville and Ken Hitchcock?

There’s nothing that makes a coach look worse faster than bad goaltending. Let’s take Ken Hitchcock as an example. Since taking over the St. Louis Blues early in the season, Hitchcock has piloted the team to a 21-5-6 record and a spot near the top of the Western Conference. Hitchcock led the Dallas Stars to... Read more »

Can the Blackhawks solve their needs at the trade deadline

There was an item from TSN’s Bob McKenzie (he’s always required reading) about the Toronto Maple Leafs that got me thinking. McKenzie wrote that “there is a very real chance” Leafs GM Brian Burke doesn’t make an impact move before the February 27 trade deadline. That’s big because Burke is a guy who likes to... Read more »

Blackhawks' issues a factor of puck possession

Are the Blackhawks weaker defensively or do they simply have the puck less? “One of our big strengths is puck-possession.  You look at some of the forwards that can hang onto the puck, even the D that can move the puck up, it should be better.  Why it’s not?  There’s really no answer for it,”... Read more »

Canucks game shows what Blackhawks need at the deadline

There’s no question the Blackhawks did lots of good things in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime loss in Vancouver. Ultimately, puck management and play without the puck determined the outcome. That’s been a theme for the Blackhawks throughout the season and underscored during a 5-5-3 January. While the issue doesn’t rest solely with the group on the... Read more »

Blackhawks skid goes beyond goaltending

When I talked with Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman on Sunday (I’ll run the interview Tuesday night before and after the game), he made the point that the recent bulge in goals-against is a team issue. Corey Crawford gets the bulk of the criticism, which is understandable because he’s the last line of defense. The... Read more »

Flyers go through goalies like cheesesteaks

The memories will come flooding back for several Blackhawks on Thursday when they set foot in Philadelphia, the site of their 2010 Stanley Cup clinching victory … and the place where goaltenders come and go quickly. Since Ron Hextall departed in 1999, the Flyers have used 17 different goaltenders, which includes plucking Michael Leighton from... Read more »

What kind of Blackhawks team do you want?

What kind of Blackhawks team do you want? I’d like a team that wins the Stanley Cup or, at the very least, challenges for the Cup every year. As well as the Blackhawks have played this year (first overall after 36 games), lots of fans haven’t embraced the team because they aren’t physical enough. I... Read more »