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Western Conference Final Schedule Set

Game 1: Sunday, May 17 @ Anaheim – 2:00 PM
Game 2: Tuesday, May 19 @ Anaheim – 8:00 PM
Game 3: Thursday, May 21 @ Chicago – 7:00 PM
Game 4: Saturday, May 23 @ Chicago – 7:00 PM
Game 5: Monday, May 25 @ Anaheim – 8:00 PM**
Game 6: Wednesday, May 27 @ Chicago – 7:00 PM**
Game 7: Saturday, May 30 @ Anaheim – 7:00 PM**
all times CT
** – if necessary

61 thoughts on “Western Conference Final Schedule Set

  1. Good, good….sleep in Sunday, make a big brunch, walk the dog, smoke a cigar and settle in for the game..thanks NHL for that great upcoming Sunday…I’m more relaxed just thinking about it! …plus I get out of yardwork and sundry other things. I’m pretty sure that the NHL schedulers and arena corporations use the utmost common sense and start as soon as possible. They do have to work around other scheduled events. Building and maintaining ice is an engineering marvel and an art form, especially in warmer climates.

    Rangers/Tampa Bay should be quite entertaining…looks to me like the Bolts have finally stepped up their game and tightened up the D…Kudos to the Rangers for coming out of a 3-1 hole and applying all that experience…lets get these pesky Ducks out of the way, hopefully come out of it in one piece and healthy and then roll over whomever comes out of the East.

  2. Mike, there’s a concert at the Honda Center Saturday so maybe they can’t reconfigure the ice -> stage -> back in time. I agree though it’s taking way too much time between games. I wonder who it favors more, the Hawks top 4 dmen or Corey Perry’s lower body?

  3. Got my single nosebleed seat for game one, can’t wait! Nothing feels more like hockey than noon on a Sunday in Southern California…

  4. NBC/NHL TV scheduling has been bad throughout playoffs for Western Conference teams. Late starts, why not? Who cares if Hawks fans were sleep deprived through first two rounds? At least the start times for conf finals are reasonable. Still not sure they start the east before the west given this very long layoff for west teams, but why should it make sense? In my opinion, a concert following a game day should present no logistical problems for an arena. The Sunday start game I think is all on NBC. I think the ice would be better if there was a game tomorrow instead of post concert, but none of this matters. We want hockey!

    Lets Go Hawks!

  5. I think it is dumb for the league and/or NBC to delay the start of the WCF until Sunday. The casual fan is going to lose interest…..if they have not lost interest already.

    Since neither series involve “traditional” rivalries, interest in hockey will fade quickly. Agreed that NBC has something to do with the schedule. 3 pm is a crappy time for fans but a no lose slot for NBC

  6. I think it is duck hunting season!

    I do believe the Blackhawk Indians probably ate and killed off their fair share of DUCKS!!!!


  7. I don’t recall a 10 day gap between series before – this seems like forever. Rest is good – rust is not. Oh well … no point in complaining.

    It makes me nervous to read most Hawks fans and many other fans singing the Hawks praises and being so confident the Hawks will beat the Ducks. I’m not confident at all. I won’t go so far as to pick the Ducks in this series, but I’m kind of scared that the Duck’s big bruisers are going to forecheck the Hawks d-men into oblivion, especially Timonen, Rundblad and even Oduya. Hopefully I’m just being a nervous Nellie.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  8. ER, your concerns are well justified. Ducks are big and play and rough game. They will bring a fierce forecheck that will require accurate zone exit passing. Never mind the aggressive net presence, they will employ in front of Crow. It won’t be easy to clear those big bodies. I think lineups up and down still favor the Hawks if they can impose their will, and play THEIR game. Hawks have better team speed, have better top 4 d men and are stronger down the middle through 4 lines. They also appear to be starting conf finals with a healthy lineup of core players.

    I’m a bit nervous as well, want the puck drop asap, and feel it will be a very tough and exciting series to watch. If the boys play well, they will beat the Ducks in a 7 game series. We wait all year for this opportunity to cheer on our team for a legit shot at winning the Cup. It’s there for the taking. Channel nerves into positive energy, and

    Lets Go Hawks!

  9. In Rockford news …

    Ice Hogs won 4-1 last night, they’re on the board in the series down 2 game to 1. Game 4 tonight and Game 5 Sunday in Rockford. Disappointing attendance for Game 3, less than 2,000 I would day.

    Stephen Johns had another good game, 2 points and made his presence felt physically. They’re trying to take the body on Grand Rapids star Pulkkinen as much as possible.

    If you think NHL officiating is bad, try AHL officiating. It’s like the official Ineptitude Training Ground. Ice Hogs were whistled for 8 power plays against, severel were real cheapies. Ice Hogs winger Cody Bass got tossed in the 1st with a 5 minute major for boarding – referee was standing right there, called nothing, and then the far linesman decided to consult after the whistle and then they made the call. A linesman way across the ice makes the call and the ref standing right there felt it was ok. Yeah, great.

    But Rockford killed off the 5 minute major and McNeill scored short handed ruing it, so they got momentum.

    In personnel news, they sent Calle Dahlstrom (defenseman) back to Sweden which wasn’t unexpected as they just wanted to get his feet wet. Robin Norell played in his first pro game last night and was very solid – he took the place of Robin Press who was scratched as Dent wanted to shake up the lineup after two losses. Norell can really skate and he is solid – found out he has not signed with his Swedish team for next year so his options are open for possibly playing here. He hadn’t played thus far because when he came over he had a hand injury and he was just cleared last week to play.

    Nice bounce back effort from the Ice Hogs and Leighton was better in goal. On to Game 4 tonight.

  10. @ Hof

    Thanks for the hogs updates i really appreiate those. What are your intial thoughts on the 2 Robins? I think both of them seem like solid attitions to the organization.

    As for the Hawks schedule it is what it is, both teams are rusty, no real advantage. The Hawks d can use the extra time off,

  11. First, Robin Press shoots right, Robin Norell shoots left. Both can skate quite well, I would say Norell is a little quicker but this is the first time I’ve seen him play.

    Press is pretty good sized, I’d say 6’2 and Norell looks much more solid and a bit bigger than his listed 5’10 height. Closer to 6’0 I’d say.

    They are both sound positionally and make the good first pass. Not really noticeable on the ice which is a good thing. All three of the Swedes they brought over have gotten into games now, including Dahlstrom. So it’s good they get a little experience, I like how the organization brings these guys over for a taste.

    Based on last night, the one thing I’d add about Norell is he’s really into the game, he has a high motor and he definitely competes. Didn’t look nervous at all to me, especially considering it was his first game and a playoff game to boot.

    Hoping to get back out there for tonight’s game but some stuff may get in the way.
    I’m told there were plenty of tickets left for Sunday’s game in case anyone wants to see them live. Their best defenseman has been Stephen Johns, hands down.

  12. Johns has 7 points in 6 playoff games to lead the Hogs in scoring. He’s big, he’s a right shot, he can score, he like to hit……Dare I say a Seabrook clone?

  13. Better for our Defenseman to get more rest, since its 5 or more days both teams have same amount of rust.


  14. @Hof

    Thanks for the breakdown. I walked away very impressed with the Robins as well as the Soderberg. I wouldnt be surprised to see the Robins getting a taste sooner then later.

  15. Way too much time off, not good for Crawford nor the Hawks. 3 or 4 days would have been a nice break, this is a momentum breaker and if Hawks lose the first two, we won’t here the end of the impact of this spring break vacation.

    I think this will give the Ducks an Advantage BUT the Hawks will be certainly be ready, just worry about Crow and his down time management and the Hawks jump starting the energy again.

    Go Hawks

  16. All this time off is bad for everyone. I nearly forgot the playoffs were still going on and thought maybe I drank my way through the SCF.

  17. What would have to happen for Johns to get called up to the NHL for this series?

    Is that a possibility?

    Is he eligible?

  18. Fantastic article about Saad, even though the focus was Kreider. Thanks for sharing it. Makes you appreciate how lucky we are to have him. What do you think his new contract will be worth? 3M per?

  19. The 2 scenarios that have to happen for a Johns call up. The first being the Hogs get eliminated. As of right now they’re down 2-1 in the series, and 1-0 after 1 in the game.

    The other scenario being a Rundblad/Seabrook injury. He is eligible to be recalled as a black ace, the Hawks have only recalled a couple players because they want the kids to try and win a Calder Cup.

  20. Tony, the absolute floor for Saads contract starts at 4. Hawks ask 4, agent asks 6. End up 4.75-5. It really depends on the length. If they sign him until UFA years they may pay slightly more per year than it would if its a 2-3 year deal. But the back end would be where the deal becomes better on the Hawks side.

  21. For those that care the Hog just lost in OT to the Griffins and are now down 3-1 with game 5 on Sunday.

  22. This is my first time posting. Long time Chicago sports fan but I live in California now not to far from the Honda center. Will be there to cheer on our Hawks in game one with the wife and kids. Grew up in Park Ridge lived right across the street from Bob Murray who is the Ducks gm now. Enjoy all the posters insight on this forum. I feel we have the better team and if we play like we are capable of we will win this series. Go Hawks.

  23. Ebony…I know what your saying about being scared of the Ducks, and to the others regarding the loss of take is Saad and Hossa, Bickell and Sharp…these guys come to the forefront this series and can handle the bruisers on the Ducks and dish it out. The D could use the rest and will be invigorated and refreshed. The rest could only be beneficial for Kane. Crawford is a pro,been through this and already has bounced back…he is a cool cucumber. Should things go awry at the net we have Darling. Seems those teo platoon off each other pretty darn good. Q can outflank, outthink Boudreau no problem because he’s Q. It all looked lost after the 1st period in Nashville but Q made the right decisions and turned it all around into a victory. There will be desperation from the Ducks to prove something and intentional/accidental injuries and dirty play come into focus for me. That and penalty kill, stay out of the box are my concerns.

  24. The Ducks have had a lot of time off too… Plenty of time to think about how they choked away monster regular seasons the last 2 years… Sure there are a lot of new faces, but the core, and the coaching staff remembers… They won’t do it again, will they? Mwah ha ha ha ha…

  25. Q. Stan Bowman, and Mike Kitchen at the Hogs game last night. They lost 2-1 in OT and are now on the brink. Game 5 Sunday at 4 pm. Another sparse crowd last night, only about 1600. I wonder why these AHL playoff games draw so poorly.

    Hogs turned the puck over in the offensive zone a lot, but otherwise a fun fast paced game which could have gone either way. It ended quickly in OT – Leighton gave up an unfortunate rebound and bang it was over.

    Dent supposedly not happy with the effort of a few players last night – will be interesting to see the (promised) line up changes for Sunday’s game. Norrel got lots of time on D so the brass definitely got a good look at him – he was out there on the PK too.

    Hogs at least were very physical – Matt Carey doesn’t do much but he does play the body. Danault with the only Hogs goal.

  26. Q attending the IceHogs game is intriguing, and Stephen Johns has played well enough to earn the attention of the front office & coaching staff. Would be interested to see if he joins the team on the charter flight if the Hogs are eliminated…

  27. Re: Johns… It will be interesting to see if Johns- gets the nod- (if Runblad poops his pants w/ TO’s)… Johns- is very much like Seabs… watching him w/ Irish/Hogs/Hawks camp… He Loves to step up in Rush, and Pinch… which Q/Hawks love to do… But thought – Johns- did a “little” to much in Camp- and got “caught” a couple of times…

    If Johns- has improved on his “instinct” of the right/wrong time to Pinch/Lead the rush… I am all in on Johns versus R-Bad!!! but – Alas- NHL versus AHL- little different speed!!!

    Really wish the kid was allowed to play 4-5 games w Hawks this year- just to see where he is!!!

  28. Wall, I agree with your assessment of Johns. Could be of course that SB felt the guy needed more seasoning which is why he didn’t get minutes in the show. He seems to be the guy ready to now step in, and imo will be a better defensive d man than Rundblad, while Rundblad might have more offensive upside. Ducks bring strong physical game, and a guy like Johns seems a good fit to move those bigger bodies than Rundblad. We will see….

    Lets Go Hawks!

  29. I’m anxious to see Johns too. But, not so much that I hope the Hogs lose their next game. I’d love to see them come back from 3-1 and play in the semi-final. Great experience in playoff pressure situation for all the baby piggies.

    Having said that, the Hawks are top priority and if Q thinks he’d rather have Johns in the lineup than Rundblad/Cumiskey – then too bad for Icehogs, they’ll have to try to come back from 3-1 with Johns.

  30. Ok I have said it before but will say now for the record … the reason Johns didn’t get NHL games this year was due to injuries. Every time he started getting his feet back under him he got dinged up. Concussion / knee/wrist. So it was not an option.

    He still has things to learn, in fact last night he had a bad turnover trying to force a rush into the Grand Rapids end. No one is perfect but let’s pump the brakes on this “the grass is always greener” narrative.

    It was though, as Tab notes, interesting to see Quenneville attend the game in person, and yes, I’m sure they watched Johns closely. And why wouldn’t they? They’re down to Kyle Cumiskey as an extra defenseman so it only makes sense.

  31. Has anyone heard the progress of TVR? His recovery time was set at 8 weeks back in early April… Maybe he can do a Kaner?

  32. TVR is supposedly being cleared (if all goes well) on June 2nd. He is rehabbing with the Ice Hogs and not in Chicago. Of course that might change if Rockford is eliminated the next several days.

    But, being cleared and actually being inserted into the lineup are two different things. Then there’s the issue of still playing on June 2nd which is far from decided.

  33. Hof- I agree w/ injuries being a part of not getting Johns up… just wishin the hawks made time (in spite of injuries)- (to get his feet wet)… and yes- I saw a similar Johns mistake/pinch – which led to Grade A for Texas…. in same game Johns did his Seabrook OT impression… and skated from Center ice- and finished wrap around GWG!!!

  34. Lets not forget Johns missed 7 weeks with a concussion at about the 1/3 point of the season. Had he not missed those games, I think he’s up when Oduya went down later in the year.

  35. I think any hope of TvR coming back is a stretch. He had one major injury. Prior to missing 4 months he was a fringe NHL player. Plays a handful of games and then forced to miss another 2 months. And were worried about the Hawks being off for 10 days? Rundblad is the best option at the moment until the Hogs are done or Rundblad proves utterly incapable.

    Rundblad has his deficiencies, we all know that. However, he does have strengths as well. Lower Keith’s minutes by reducing the lower stress minutes. Give those minutes to Rundblad. He’s is actually pretty good on the PP.

  36. Ernie… before TVR got hurt, he was “trusted” and given lots of ice time by Q.

    Describing his ice time and NHL game play prior to the injury as “fringe” is just inaccurate.

    All it takes is for Q to trust a player and he is golden.

  37. I hope Q, Bowman, etc weren’t at the Hogs game to check out Johns because they don’t like what they see from Runblad in practice.

  38. Just because he was trusted doesn’t make him any less fringe worthy. Kris Versteeg, Brandon Bollig anyone?

    Were talking about a player who made 18 starts with 1 assist before being injured and playing only 8 games in a 6 month span. It would unrealistic, and slightly dense to think a player with so little experience can jump right back to where he left off and play in the Stanley Cup Finals. Again, we’re concerned a team where a majority of its players have been together for 5 plus years and 2 playoff series are rusty after just 10 days. This kids essentially been out 6 months.

    If he was an established player, I could see reason for optimism. But he’s not there yet.

  39. Mudturtle… I would rather they check this out now vs. mid-way thru the series realizing they have a “situation on d” that they then need to “fix”.

  40. re: HockeyJunkie – TvR played less than 14 minutes in 10 of his 18 NHL appearances – he was a bottom pair defensemen when he got hurt. That adequately describes a “fringe” rookie; he wasn’t taking ice time away from the top 3-4 dmen. Was he earning Quenneville’s trust? Absolutely. Has he missed significant parts of the last two seasons because of injury? Yes – and that’s not only a concern but it has also opened the door for other defensemen to gain the attention of the front office & coaches.

  41. Thanks Tab… I get it.

    Unfortunately for him (us?) he got hurt. 14 minutes is still better than where Timonen is right now and the progress he was making may have allowed him to fill part of the void left when Rozy got hurt. And maybe they don’t make the deal to bring Timonen here if TVR was healthy?

    If Q and Co, had total trust in Runblad, Cumiskey or others, they wouldn’t need to be scouting the Icehogs before the WCF.

  42. 14 minutes in the regular season is way different than post season. Nick Leddy is exhibit A.

    As for them scouting the Hogs, it was a full 3 days before a game. What else should the head honchos be doing. I’d be pissed if they weren’t there, regardless of injury.

  43. Runblad may surprise everybody and make a positive contribution. He is a good skater, decent passer and has an accurate cannon shot. His hockey IQ seems to be a problem. If he can limit his bone headed mistakes he may surpass the extremely low expectations espoused on this blog. I actually think he may be an upgrade over 32. 44 is the guy that scares the heck out of me.

  44. Great stuff Hof. By comparison there were 8000 people who attended the Sioux falls vs. Muskegon game in the USHL on Friday night.

    Excellent point by Tab that the Hawks are for lack of a better term hanging by a thread on defense with Rundblad in and Cumiskey next. Think about it, they are only half way to the Stanley Cup. Potentially 2 more series, seemingly as difficult as Nashville and Minnesota. The chance of Johns actually playing seems almost “likely”.

    As for Rockford. When you look at the big picture. They got rid of TJ Brennan, Adam Clendening and Klas Dahlbeck. 3 outstanding Ahl defensemen. They added Echl player Keith Seabrook off the scrap heap, Kariil Gotovets off the echl scrap heap and Victor Svedberg from prospect oblivion.
    That is a Huge downgrade on the back end. Hopefully the flipside is those trades have turned Johns into an NHL ready defenseman.

    It’s a shame Paliotta could not go down there and play. These 2 series would have been very good for him.

  45. I think paliotta could have if he would have signed a different deal and not weaseled his way into premature NHL action.

  46. At the game: Hawks not getting outmuscled at all. Goal seemed soft, Rundblad flub leads to an open shot but Crow was screened or the puck was deflected, I hope. Lots of chances, Hawks carrying play so far.

  47. Rundblad may be cursed, his errors are never covered up. Worst case scenario at 5th dman at this point.

  48. Nice effort by 91, Playing 4 D men for now. 16 had something to say to 11 earlier, seems to have woken the 4th line up hence insertion after time our.

  49. Thanks Nick in SD…don’t think we are being outplayed but some scary moments with Ducks possession. Hammer exhausted…guys on this site will dump on Rundblad something fierce. Timo with 4 minutes! How do we address the defense deficiency going forward? Heck of a shot by Richards. We are still very dangerous.

  50. From my seat, Hawks win in every category except goals. That’s an important category though. It’s no good watching a team out Blackhawk the Blackhawks. I saw no less than five pucks slide through blue paint today, The Blackhawks needed a little luck and got absolutely zero. I can report that the Anaheim fans were very polite and respectful toward their rightful overlords. I’m going to go ahead and back off of my prediction of a sweep this series, and humbly suggest that Blackhawks win in five. Maybe 6. Whatever. The Ducks have a lot to contend with, and their announcers felt the same way.

  51. Mining man, thanks for completing the story. In my opinion, time to call an AHL guy up.

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