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  • NHL still grappling with concussions Jun 8, 2014 3:05 PM
    Hours before the Stanley Cup finals began, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman proudly proclaimed that concussions are down across the league and there are numbers to back him up. That does not mean the league has figured out how to prevent head injuries among its players. Or that the numbers tell the whole story. According to data from STATS provided to The Associated Press, there were 53 concussions during the regular season, a sharp decline from the 78 reported during the league’s last full season two years ago. But even Bettman said there is only so much the league can do about a player hiding a head injury to stay on the ice.

     
  • LA Kings outlast Rangers 5-4 in double OT Jun 8, 2014 12:16 AM
    Captain Dustin Brown redirected Willie Mitchell’s shot 10:26 into the second overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings outlasted the New York Rangers 5-4 Saturday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. Marian Gaborik tied it with 12:24 left in regulation for the Kings, who rallied from another two-goal deficit in their latest exhibition of clutch comeback hockey.

     
  • Credit Blackhawks’ Kane with growing up Jun 7, 2014 4:43 PM
    Without reliving the unfortunate incidents of summers not long ago, Patrick Kane now talks about using the off-season to become a better player, be more prepared for next season and mentor young players. Yes, Patrick Kane sounds like he has grown up.

     
  • Hawks feel the love from fans at Wrigley Jun 6, 2014 2:44 PM
    Several members of the Chicago Blackhawks came out to Wrigley Field Friday morning to take batting practice and meet Cubs players. Even though the Hawks lost a tough series to the Kings to end their season a few days ago, they said they feel the support from the fans.

     
  • Hawks’ Foley earns spot in Hockey Hall of Fame Jun 5, 2014 8:54 PM
    Six years after rejoining the Chicago Blackhawks and watching them awaken a city and a franchise with a pair of Stanley Cup championships, veteran broadcaster Pat Foley will receive the highest honor bestowed in his profession. The Hockey Hall of Fame and National Hockey League Broadcasters’ Association have selected Foley, the voice of the Blackhawks for 31 seasons, as the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

     
  • Blackhawks finally get rest they didn’t want Jun 5, 2014 10:13 PM
    Throughout the Los Angeles series, as was the case in the first two rounds, the Blackhawks made uncharacteristic mental mistakes, very likely the result of so many difficult and emotional games the last two years.

     
  • Williams puts LA Kings past Rangers in OT opener Jun 4, 2014 10:41 PM
    Justin Williams scored 4:36 into overtime after a turnover by Dan Girardi, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Wednesday night in the Stanley Cup finals opener. Williams was left alone in the slot after Girardi’s pass from his knees went straight to Mike Richards. Williams put his eighth goal of the postseason past Henrik Lundqvist, who made 40 saves and nearly stole an early win for the Rangers.

     
  • Toews, Kane are truly Blackhawks mainstays Jun 3, 2014 11:05 PM
    Even though he couldn’t be any clearer than saying recently that he wanted Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to be Blackhawks for life, Hawks’ general manager reiterated that point again Tuesday, saying taking care of his two superstars is job No. 1 this summer.

     
  • Leddy still bemoans season-ending bad bounce Jun 3, 2014 10:58 PM
    A couple of days after it happened, Nick Leddy still shakes his head at the way the Blackhawks’ season ended. “Words can’t really describe it — it’s amazing,” the young defenseman said of the Kings’ game-winning goal in overtime Sunday.

     
  • Blackhawks ready to make changes? Not big ones Jun 3, 2014 11:02 PM
    The Blackhawks were a bounce away from winning it all again, so hysterics are unnecessary and, yet, overreactions expected. But the Hawks don’t need a major overhaul.

     
  • A lot of pride and a little spare change Jun 2, 2014 8:36 PM
    Just this side of the glamorous, prosperous world of sports sits a proud man in a wheelchair asking for spare change or perhaps even a spare dollar bill. Outside the United Center recently his name was Willie.

     
  • 'Shocked' Hawks were one bounce away from the summit Jun 3, 2014 12:14 AM
    The road to one Stanley Cup is the hockey equivalent of climbing Everest. The attempt to repeat is akin to climbing Everest twice in consecutive days. The Hawks were a bounce away from the summit.

     
  • 10 things to watch in Stanley Cup finals Jun 3, 2014 1:27 AM
    Well, Blackhawks fans might not be thrilled about it, but the Stanley Cup finals will, in fact, go on. Ahead of Wednesday's match up of the New York Rangers versus the Los Angeles Kings, here are 10 things to watch for when the puck drops.

     
  • Special teams finally special for Blackhawks Jun 1, 2014 1:04 AM
    After going 1-for-11 on the power play and stopping just five of 10 Kings power plays in three straight defeats, the Blackhawks got back on track in Games 5 and 6, winning both games to even the series heading into Game 7 on Sunday night at the United Center.

     
  • Images: Blackhawks vs. Kings, Game Seven Jun 1, 2014 11:15 PM
    Images of Game 7 of the NHL Western Conference Finals as the Chicago Blackhawks faced the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center in Chicago.The Kings defeated the Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime and now move on to the Stanley Cup Finals.

     
  • Epic series has sad ending for Blackhawks Jun 2, 2014 12:32 AM
    Even though they’ve been in the midst of a furious battle with the Kings, Blackhawks players realize they’ve taken part in one special series againt Los Angeles.

     
  • Kings eliminate Blackhawks in Game 7 Jun 1, 2014 11:04 PM
    Alec Martinez scored at 5:47 of overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Blackhawks 5-4 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals Sunday night. Martinez’s shot went off Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy and over goalie Corey Crawford, stunning the sellout crowd at the United Center and leading to a wild on-ice celebration for Los Angeles. Leddy was disconsolate as the Kings gathered in a big huddle along the boards. Los Angeles improved to 7-0 in elimination games with its third Game 7 win on the road this postseason. It will host the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday night. “We never say die ... someone described us as a bunch of cockroaches that don’t go away,” Martinez said. Justin Williams and Tyler Toffoli each had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who once held a 3-1 lead in the series, only to have the defending champion Blackhawks come back to force Game 7. Jeff Carter scored his ninth playoff goal in the first, and Marian Gaborik had the tying goal midway through the third period. Patrick Sharp scored two goals for the Blackhawks, who blew a 2-0 lead. Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Kane had two more assists. Chicago’s loss means Detroit remains the last NHL team to win consecutive titles in 1997 and 1998. The Kings also got 37 saves from Jonathan Quick in another resilient performance for Darryl Sutter’s team. Los Angeles trailed San Jose 3-0 in its first-round series and was down 3-2 to top-seeded Anaheim in the second round before rallying each time. Gaborik, Williams and Mike Richards each improved to 7-0 in Game 7s. Sutter moved to 7-3 in such games, breaking a tie with Blackhawks adviser Scotty Bowman and Pat Burns for the NHL record for most coaching wins in Game 7s. Sharp sent a big power-play drive past Quick to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 lead at 18:25 of the second. Sharp, who has been mostly quiet this postseason, celebrated the tiebreaking goal with a big fist pump and scream as his teammates rushed in to congratulate him. The Blackhawks held onto that slim lead all the way to 7:17 of the third, when Gaborik swept in a rebound on the break for his NHL-best 12th playoff goal, sparking a celebration on the Kings’ bench and setting the stage for a frantic finish to regulation. Quick turned away prime opportunities for Sharp and Bryan Bickell before he made a terrific save on Andrew Shaw in the final seconds. Dustin Brown had a great rush to the net for Los Angeles that he nearly completed for a breathtaking score. Jonathan Toews also scored for the Blackhawks, and Crawford finished with 27 saves. The finale of the epic series between the last two Stanley Cup winners attracted a frenzied crowd of 22,315 that included NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall. And they were treated to another heart-stopping classic full of big shots and great saves by each side. Just like in Game 5, a 5-4 double-overtime victory for Chicago, the Blackhawks got off to a fast start, only to have the Kings come storming back. Kane picked up an assist on each of the first two goals, finding Saad with a slick pass from behind the net, and then getting to the right place at the right time for a lucky power-play carom that went right to Toews for an easy tap-in at 8:36 of the first. The comeback Kings, who seem to play their best the closer they get to the brink of elimination, then went to work. Carter batted a rebound out of the air and past Crawford at 16:31, and Williams scored his seventh of the playoff 51 seconds later, tying it at 2. It was Williams’ seventh career goal in a Game 7, tying Glenn Anderson for the NHL record. Williams added an assist on Martinez’s winning score, breaking Doug Gilmour’s record for most points in such games with 14. Add in Sharp’s first score at 18:25 of the first, and the five goals set an NHL record for the highest total in the opening period of a Game 7, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Blackhawks then held the Kings without a shot on goal for the first part of the second, but Los Angeles took advantage of its own lucky bounce to tie it at 3 with 9:29 left in the period. Matt Greene’s long shot went off the right skate of Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus and right to an open Toffoli on the right side of the net. The rookie poked it in for his 7th of the playoffs. Chicago wasted a prime scoring chance when it was unable to generate much action when it 46 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play later in the second, and Quick made a great stop on a streaking Shaw on a 2-on-1 with 2:45 left in the period.

     
  • Blackhawks, Kings put it all on the line in Game 7 Jun 1, 2014 6:42 AM
    Sunday night, the Blackhawks look to make some magic again in a Game 7 when they host the Kings, a team they trailed 3-1 before a pair of magical victories put them on the cusp of a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

     
  • Saad ramps up his game during 2014 postseason Jun 2, 2014 12:19 AM
    Scoreless in his last 12 regular-season games, which cost him his first 20-goal campaign. An upper-body injury that caused him to miss three games in March. A healthy scratch with four games left before the start of the best time of the year for a hockey player: playoff hockey. Brandon Saad, sad? Sadly for Blackhawks opponents, no.

     
  • Epic series has sad ending for Blackhawks Jun 2, 2014 4:49 AM
    Honestly, this epic Western Conference finals series between the Blackhawks and the Kings deserved to go to a Game 7. And that Game 7 deserved to go beyond regulation time because that’s how good it’s been.

     
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