Marian Hossa, Blackhawks Blow Past Blues

Marcus Kruger, Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa ended personal droughts and the Blackhawks handed the St. Louis Blues a big home loss on Sunday afternoon.

Kruger opened the scoring in the first period with his first goal since Dec. 3, which also came against the Blues. Even thought he Hawks were out-shot 12-9 in the first period, they carried a one goal lead into the intermission. Unfortunately, turnovers caught up with them in the second.

With Johnny Oduya pinching and nobody back except Michal Rozsival, Vladimir Tarasenko got a breakaway and made a Patrick Kane-esque move on Corey Crawford to tie the game.

Bickell gave the Hawks a brief lead in the second period, putting home a fat rebound of a David Rudblad shot that Brian Elliott kicked right to Bickell’s stick. It was Bickell’s first tally since Jan. 11 against the Wild.

That lead lasted less than 90 seconds, as a pile-up in front of the net kept Crawford from stopping a David Backes shot that tied the game again. St. Louis out-shot the Hawks in the second again, with the shot totals finishing the period at 12-7 in favor of the home team. Crawford played a fantastic opening 40 minutes as his teammates were out-shot 24-16 but the score remained tied.

The third period was all Blackhawks.

Hossa had as many goals on Sunday – two – as he did in the entire month of January. His power play marker at 11:19 into the third held up as the game-winner, and he added an empty net tally in the final minute of the game to put the final nail in the Blues’ coffin.

In the final 20 minutes, the Hawks held the Blues to three shots on net only one of which was a great scoring chance; Crawford handled that opportunity, and the skaters in front of him put the game away. Crawford finished the afternoon with 25 saves in the victory.

The Hawks’ top line was on the ice for both of the Blues goals, but rallied for a big third period. Brandon Saad picked up assists on both of Hossa’s goals, and Jonathan Toews led a strong day at the dot for the Hawks. Chicago’s captain won 10 of 15 faceoffs and the Hawks won 32 of 56 as a team.

Patrick Kane picked up an assist on Bickell’s goal to give him, for the moment, the NHL lead with 59 points. Bickell played a strong game, adding an assist and team-leading three hits to his tenth goal of the season in over 14 minutes of ice time.

The Blues out-hit the Blackhawks 30-11. But lost the game.

39 thoughts on “Marian Hossa, Blackhawks Blow Past Blues

  1. I’m normally long winded but I will keep it simple. Absolutely a Crawford win! Biggest win of the year and a must win on the road. Crow confident and as always he gets HIT Like a rag doll with no one stepping up to protect. Tar-a-sicko in the 3rd wasn’t pushed or checked he just ROLLED CROW with no response from our D. Crow’s best game ever to me, solid, not a lot of wasted movement, amazing how he kept a slow starting Hawks in the game. I felt this was a must win and it was. They where outplayed but this is why the Hawks make for great hockey they absorb pressure and massive hits and are resilient and play team defense better than anyone. Which makes the core defense look better than it is. Toews not a factor at all sadly and shows as I whine this is a Team that wins or lose as a team. They only guy who played weak which I anticipated was Tevo but not all that bad, great recovery on the 2 on 1 but a few weak exit passes but smart kid just to thin. Plus Hawks had so many unforced turnovers, weak back hand passes, blind passed but Crawford really showed all us bloggers and NHL nay-sayer to shut the F – up. Love that poor Marcus who get beat to sh_t , got a big goal today and Bick too, under rated guys that play so hard they deserve to have a bad game or two, not TOWES who has no excuse had one rush period . . . weak effort, it’s one game and one win but a big one but also exposed Hawks weakness . . . brute force! Out played and won sort of show ya how good Hawks are.

  2. Great game to watch for us Blackhawk fans as we were all a bit apprehensive about this one. Victories against both the Jets ( skin of our teeth) and Blues ( decisive) should settle some nerves. Carcillos read and pass to Kruger was fabulous, always good when the homecrowd boos one of ours on the ice…you know we are getting to everyone. Loved TT’s rushing back and breaking up a two on one even though it was all his fault in the first place. Well he cancelled out that error in smart fashion and great effort. Backes goal was dirty and greasy with Crawford being held down. Crawford is definitly back in fine form. Now 8 at home…watch our dust !

  3. Tab, yes Towes owned the dot which is critical even in EA SPORTS hockey but did not play up to what is needed to beat the BLUES in a 7 game smack down. I felt Toews had a weak game over all. Hossa is so consistent and Kane does well considering he floats on so many lines it’s a challenge but Towes no excuse. Crow won that game, amazing game for him dont ya think, so solid, literally with a weak d in front making it difficult. Tab thanks for the work on this BLOG it is appreciated!

  4. Great team defense. Great goaltending. Great skill. The Blues tried to put the Hawks into the third row, again, but it didn’t work. The Reaves penalty is the reason the Blues cannot beat the Hawks. The Blues just don’t learn. KNUCLEHEADS!!

    Proud to be a Hawk fan!!

  5. re: Mike – Hossa was just as much out of position on the Tarasenko breakaway as Toews. And yes, the top line had a brutal opening 20. But they rallied strong in the final period and the team won the game.

  6. Tarasenko is just incredible. Super talent once he gets the puck on his stick. I liked the game Richards had today. I know there are some who think he was a bad pickup, but he’s been pretty steady IMO. I don’t think that Toews was as awful as people are saying. I saw him win some battles on the boards and keep puck possession. I was also pleased that Carcillo actually did not cross the line and do something stupid. Good all around win.

  7. Tab – but HOSSA is seldom out of position right? Ever? TEVO break away was just him giving a very blind pass which is not like him, to me best tape to tape passer i’ve seen but too light on skates in the west. I think my observation of TEVO is the physical game and how will respond or can he? I think in the playoffs in the west it will get more and more and more physical and not sure of TEVO’s role. I think another under weight forward is not on a HAWKS christmas list? I am more concerned with Towes play, Richards in contrast really played well today and that burst of unexpected speed late? Anyway a few hawks finished check today as they always do and get little credit just need to see a little more of that not VICIOUS but finish. Hawks out played but won . . . to me Crawford was as solid as ever . . . have not seen him play better while continued to get beat up with NO PROTECTION from Hawks D?

  8. That’s the type of team defense the Hawks need to play consistently because when they do they are one of the best. Passing still wasn’t as good as it can be – but better than it has been recently. Rundblad played pretty well making a real nice defensive play to go along with the strong offensive play that led to Bickell’s goal. Good to see Kruger pot one – finally. All in all a thoroughly enjoying game :)

  9. Tab -last comment – feel like Ralph Cramden Blabbbbnner mouth but my concern is not with Towes falling asleep or back checking or his effort defensively it is carrying the Hawks and Stepping up in Big games on offense, any fool knew this was a must win game for the Hawks and even his lame flip the puck over the glass penalty tells me ummmmm sort of kind of weak effort on the offensive end. Yes Backes is tuff but teams ain’t getting any weaker in the playoffs. Love Towes but really needs to step up! Rundblad held his own today I felt.

  10. First off, if you’re going to be critical of the guy who wears the C in Chicago, at least spell his name right. Benefit of the doubt when it’s once… when it’s every time, we point it out. T-O-E-W-S. Toews.

    To Mike’s comment about Toews stepping up in big games – ICYMI, Patrick Kane leads the league right now w/ 59 points. if teams want to focus their attentions on the 20-19-81 line, Kane will continue killing them.

  11. Worth noting:

    If/When Sharp & Hossa get going… look out.

  12. Looked and sounded like a game at the Madhouse on Madison

    Playoff atmosphere but Rundblad and Rozsival played better than usual. As did Oduya, except for the Tarasenko breakaway.

    Toews wasn’t as bad as everyone’s making him out to be. In the end, it didn’t even matter. The first line rebounded to win the game in the third.

    3rd and 4th lines got a goal- it was long overdue for Kruger. Hopefully Hossa breaks out even more this next homestead

  13. opppps . . . toe’s or Toews? My bad type toooo fast. I expect a lot from certain players in very big games, on a 6 game road trip out east vs. new york in november not soooo much. I think Toews is extremely skilled just looking for that balance and TAB is right take Toews out of the game then ya got 3or 4 other Hawks to face and that simply is why the Hawks are effective 4 lines that all play at the worst “well”. A few times line adjustments where tried by Blues but Hawks forced the match ups and roll that 4th line which with Car Bomb actually now carries some “punch” Go Hawks next game is more critical than today . . .

  14. Good road effort. I thought to Hawks played a good game in all aspects. Here is my thought on STL. Outside of Tarasanko they completely lack dynamic play makers. Shattenkirk will be lucky if he’s ready for the playoffs. If so that will be a big addition to the team. People and fans of Stl like to compare Toews to Backes which is laughable, even if you look at simple stats like goals, assists and points. Outside of the fact they both wear a C their games have almost nothing in common.

    The Blues problem is going to be in net, Elliot has yet to advance in a playoff series and has a sub 900 playoff SA% which really isn’t going to cut it. The Blues can win many more games in the regular season it’s not going to keep them from have to beat the Hawks or Preds in a playoff series. I don’t think Brain Elliot has the chops to lead the Blues to a cup.

    Hopefully the Hawks can string some nice wins together after this one and get in the conversation for home ice.

  15. Well the Sky isn’t falling-Whew!

    I’ve been trying to back Oduya as much as possible but his decision making today was brutal-
    Love watching Hossa play. Great team third period.

  16. Tab……check on this………I spoke to an NHL linesman, today, who told me that Toews has been playing with a hairline fracture in his left wrist. He believes it was hurt in the Pittsburgh game on January 21st, but not diagnosed until after the L.A. King game. If that is the truth, that explains his lack of production these last few games.
    At this time of the season most of these guys have bruises and injuries that they have to play through.

  17. A couple of wins does wonders for the confidence – hopefully sets us up for a strong homestand. The discussion re: Toews is ridiculous end of story. I’m now certain that Kruger’s bone structure is different from all other humans – how else does he absorb so many huge hits and keep on grinding. The number of sticks breaking in NHL games is getting crazy – hope someone is working on stronger materials – it almost cost the Hawks a couple of times today. Agree with SSHM – the Blues have a clear weakness with Elliot as their number one goalie.

  18. SMH…MtM,
    19 is possibly the best thing to happen to this organization in what seems like forever. I’ve been a season ticket holder for 15 years and would look up to the 3 dirty grayed banners and wondered if there would ever be another. He took his beating vs Philly, again vs Detroit, LA and Chara nearly took his head off vs Boston. He has never, ever backed down from anyone’s physical play and brought us 2 Stanley Cups and maybe more to come.

  19. Mook- 19 is a great player… but that puck over glass… I’d expect that from 5 or rookie… 3 white shirts… no Blues body within 20 feet… that was a brain cramp to say the least…

    Reg, I was about to post… “is 19 injured/playing hurt” he just seems a little off in the finishing area”…

    Well you can see that Q/coaches worked on some different breakouts… Hawks were really looking to alleviate pressure off boards and comeout thru the middle of their own zone…

    Also, Nice to see the PP figure out the best PP- might be to shoot the puck – quickly- and hope/play for a fat Rebound!!!

  20. Reg – Thanks for that tidbit……. I was going to mention that JT may be playing hurt….

    Watching TT, what am I missing….? I just don’t see anything special….. I’ll watch a little closer but so far I’m not very impressed….

  21. Amazing game by Hoss. I hope he can play out his contract. Awesome last 2 minutes of the 3rd period. Hawks absolutely stifled St Louis. Hawks showed their championship pedigree today. We’ll be even better with Versteeg back.

  22. @ Joey Zamboni

    For TT for me it starts w his on ice IQ. Despite not being on the score sheet much so far the guy knows where he needs to be. He’s around the puck alot, compare that to guys like bickell, smith, kruger or shaw, who arent always in the right spots. He knows how to find teamates before they are open and can pass to where they are going to be not where they are. Its the little things for him, give him some more time. He’s probably not ready yet but he’s getting there. Once the speed of the game slows down he will start picking up points. Consider that he is just outside of a top 6 role on his forward roster at 20-years old. How many guys have the Hawks tried to develop that havent panned out. Give him some time its coming soon.

  23. Oduya blamed for the Tarasenko goal? Really? I don’t think so. Oduya carried the puck behind the net and tried to make a pass into the slot just like a forward would do in that situation. This wasn’t an ill-advised pinch that caught teammates offguard. Oduya took what was given and made the right play. The problem is that the high forward didn’t recognize the play and take the defensive position which left Rozsival alone and no way Rozy can catch Tarasenko. No way Oduya should be blamed for that play.

  24. Folks crabbing about Toews or Crawford should be given 5 minutes for being clued out.
    Tazer is better than Crosby. Crawford kept this team in it from the start of the season until he got injured. Took a bit to regain his form but its back now, solid as ever. Adjustments in play are being made and its starting to payoff with big wins this weekend. Pretty quick learn on those too, as per example Toronto going 0-11 adjusting to a defensive style. Bring em on.

  25. Gritty, character win for the Hawks today playing through a tough, neutral zone clogging and heavy hitting StL team. Btw- how perfect that Reaves gets his tooth knocked out when instigating cheap trip. Classic irony.

    Still clear we need more size on both ends of the ice…

    19 is playing through injury? Makes sense. Tab is right on as the 1st line really picked it up in 3rd period. Been missing that for what seems like a while now..

    Can not ever be too impressed with Hoss. May have lost some of his scoring touch (or the scoring % stat may even out at some point), but regardless he’s such a great 2-way player it’s a pleasure to watch this guy. Good to see such an important one go in for him today.

    TT had a bad game. Has puck on stick on 3-1 break and can’t engineer or get shot on goal? That is supposed to be his forte. Further, did not pull the trigger on 2 add’l quality scoring opportunities (failed pass attempts rather that shooting), and the behind the back turnover creating 2-1 was terrible and would get many young players permanently benched in Q’s doghouse (will not happen with 86.) Get 23 back and get TT more seasoning in Rockford. Someone needs to get this guy to shoot more if he’s going to be a factor in the show.

    5 had a good game, the sit down was good for him.

    Coyotes is a trap game coming back home. Hope team is getting focused and in position to compete harder moving forward as last 2 games showed we’re attempting to re-gain resolve. Going to need it as west conf is tough through all 8 seeds.

  26. Hawks owned the 3rd period. I was delighted to see Q put the penalty kill unit plus one out there in the final two minutes, and spend that time in the offensive zone. Also PP entry and pass to Hossa was worth the price of admission. Payback hits from Hawks long overdue. Winning last two games very important and worth a 4 point swing away from the Jets and 2 points closer to the StL and Nashville. Speed and skill are supposed to beat bigger and stronger, but not when the pace of the game slows. For this game anyhow,Hawks maimtained pace through 3rd period. StL and LA want to play below the faceoff dots. Thanks to T. Bamford for CI.

  27. Fantastic game. Huge character win. 2-2, with 3rd period to go and the two time champs kicked it into another gear. It reminded me of last years playoffs. St. Louis is tough, very tough in fact, but the Hawks are better. Period.

    Kudos to Rundblad for bouncing back from the benching Friday night. rosy has also picked up his game. He is playing like a true number 5. Hawks are going to need that in the playoffs.

    Ridiculous that they have to turn around and play Monday night, after playing 2 games in roughly 38 hours.

    Hard to believe the Kings are on the outside looking in. What a HUGE obstacle is gone if they don’t make the playoffs. Having said that, still a ton of hockey left.

  28. Which game was it where Toews got crushed but never missed a shift. Went right back out for a 5on3 I believe. With his history of concussions, and admitting trying to play through them. Its always in the back of mg mind after he takes a hit like that. I remember when he tried that last time his faceoff numbers dipped to mediocrity. Prior to these last 2 games, Toews had 3 straight sub 50% faceoff games. But prior to that, against the Kings and Penguins he was above his season average. So……?

  29. A huge character weekend for the Hawks against 2 tough teams that REALLY wanted to beat Chicago in the worst possible way. As it has been shown often in the past and remains so with this Hawks team, you can beat em up, but still lose the game. I will disagree with the point made here last week. It was suggested that teams that spend lots of time playing hard physical games expend less energy playing that style. I believe that notion is false and that teams that run all over the ice trying to implode guys with the Indian Head sweaters eventually tire and have difficulty sustaining that style without giving up structure. The hard checkers often get left behind the play resulting in odd man rushes. Teams that play this style like LA Kings and Jets though are pain in the ass to play against because they force the Hawks to make hurried passes and turnovers. When Hawks make quick passes they can beat that bruising style.

    So nice to see Hoss and Krugs light the lamp. Bicks too. If the hawks can get some offensive production from 3-4 lines wins will follow. Strange to see Hoss and perhaps Toews lose coverage on Tarasenko breakaway. 92 is a real talent. Blues better hope he stays healthy. I still think the Hawks match up well with St Louis and I agree with other posters in this regard. While they did jettison one of their sluggos in Lapierre, it is still in their DNA to try and play rock em sock em hockey. Ott, Reaves and to a slightly lesser degree Backes and Jackman are bums. Loved the Reaves karma eat some skate blade payback after tripping 86. These players are not winners. I think the game last night was first time in years where Jackman didn’t employ his usual crosscheck nastiness against Kane. Man, I just love it when the Hawks beat the Blues!

    How can St Louis not sell out a game against the Hawks and still have enough tickets available for Hawks fans to snap up by the thousands? Talk about not supporting your team. Love to hear Hawks fans on the road whoop it up when we score. That has to hurt the home team to hear that. Love seeing all that red in the stands yesterday and ALL the road games.

    Never doubt the compete in the Cpt.! His game may be off, but there is probably a physical reason for it as suggested. Tazer has the heart and talent. Pray he gets to playoffs healthy. If need be, rest him now if he is hurting.

    We have a nice stretch of home games. Brutal scheduling though by NHL. I have always wondered how the schedules are determined. Anyone know for sure? I will be happy to be back at the UC tonight. Really proud the guys this past weekend. Some wins the rest of the league was paying attention to for sure. Lots of hockey still to be played.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  30. For as much “the sky is falling” as we saw the last few weeks… I would just like remind everyone… this team is +40 in Goal Diff.

    Only 3 teams are even close… and 2 of them are in our division (TB, NSH, STL).

    We will make the playoffs, and we will just have to see where things go from there. It may seem a little to relaxed/easy way of thinking, but until we are down 2 games in a playoff series, we are fine. Sure the roster could use tweeking,
    but there is no reason to think this team cant do it when it counts.
    As for me, im just going to enjoy the ride.

  31. Narrative, narrative, narrative. Everybody wants one. Teams adjust to the Hawks, Hawks adjust (I’d like it a little faster but who knows what the thinking is). Using the middle of the ice for breakouts led to so many odd man rushes for the Hawks when the Blues would have their forechecker and then use two others to pinch along the boards. Slightly riskier play to go up the middle, but you don’t have a choice when teams are taking away the boards.

    CC is good at goalie. I remember a few years ago when I cringed every time the opposing team got a shot on goal because I thought it had a chance to go in. Not so much any more.

    I hope TT is made out of the same material as Kruger because I can’t remember a time that Kruger didn’t immediately get up after being pasted along the boards (and it happens A LOT).

    That zone entry on the power play was a thing of beauty. I might just watch it on repeat at work today.

    3 shots on goal in the third period on the road. With basically the final 10 minutes of the game being in the Blues zone? Sign me up for more of that. That’s the Hawks showing they can still be an elite shot suppresion team when they need to be.

    And let us please not blame Oduya for the Tarasenko goal. Much like when Rundblad pinched earlier in the season and gave up an odd man the other way, one of the forwards has to notice that and cover for him. Hossa and Toews had a brain cramp. It happens every once in a few years.

  32. Tim – the sky is falling. There was objective analysis and everything.

    The team posted an over .500 record on a road trip that included most of the best teams in the Western conference. If you offer a 4-3 record on that trip, you take it in a heartbeat. Tip of the helmet to the boys for finishing strong on a very tough trip.

    I don’t buy into the theory that this team is finished. They have a deep, experienced team and they will pull it together for the stretch run with effort like they showed over the weekend. 2015/2016 is going to be another story entirely but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. We still have a team nobody will want to play come April.

    As for scheduling, unfortunately with the circus in the fall and Disney on Ice in Jan/Feb, the Hawks and Bulls are both forced into a couple of long trips. Don’t think this one can be pinned on the NHL.

  33. Just so I don’t get THROWN off this blog, I have never said Mr. TOEWS is not one of the top 10 players and leaders in the NHL. My simple observation was that in a few big GAMES of late, not concerned about an entire month stats against good teams great teams and bad teams BUT in a game that is CIRCLED on the Schedule as a BIG game I like to see him step up a little more. BLUES is one, JETS sort of and the WILD with a potential Sweep? Love to see him Lead on ice too with a little more get to the front of the net, a little more take it to the net and finish a check at times. Toews is great and as someone said “he might be playing and protecting” an injury which is common at this stage and at any stage of the season. Toews is great so he is “Circled” on game day but every TEAM has a few guys ya just gotta slow down or stop. So he is HURT or he is off a little. YES we are fortunate to have such a great team that is consistently this competive!

  34. Hossa’s tenacity on defense, even after just scoring, is such a treat to watch. There is not another player in the league like him.

    I love Tarasenko. That kid is a player. I loved seeing Kane trail after him and actually try to defensively harass Tarasenko on an entry. Tarasenko was able to escape Kane, and made Rozival fall down, but Kane would not have done that 3 years ago. Kane is developing into a defensively aware player…and that is a credit to him knowing that he had a weakness in the area.

    Oduya played well yesterday. We cannot blame him for the goal. He took what the defense gave him and hell, even made a move to get further into the o-zone. He was creating an offensive chance at an approriate time with the Blues in the middle of a change. One of the TWO Hawk forwards coming from the bench should have stayed back on defense. They both rushed the zone, leaving Rozy and the well out of position Oduya out to dry. The breakaway is on the forwards…not the D-men. What Tarasenko did to Crawford was well, sick. There are not many goalies that stand a chance with 91 coming down the ice.

  35. Excellent game from Richards.

    Ummmm not sure what Toews is or isn’t doing that is chaffing people. The Hawks don’t have a “shut down” line anymore and I think that has moderately impacted his stats. Now that they’ve made the appropriate adjustments to start winning games again I guess there has to be something to complain about.

    Patrick Kane is 8/1 for the Hart though Cary Price at 13/2 is an interesting bet as well.

  36. Re: 27 TO/to T-ko break away…

    well 27 turned it over… so He gets at least half blame…
    I think 81 and 19 both assumed the other guy was gonna stay back… so I give them 1/4 blame each…

    Hammer does the skate behind net too… but he either shoots, drops to another forward behind net… or throws it into crease… which are all better than what 27 attempted.

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