Blackhawks Blast Stars In Home Finale

The Dallas Stars came into Friday night’s game at the United Center with playoff implications and the possibility of winning the Jennings Trophy on the line.

The Chicago Blackhawks skated into their home finale with pride.

On this night, pride showed out and the Stars never showed up.

Patrick Kane scored his 43rd of the year at 16:45 into the game to give the Blackhawks a one-goal lead.

Dallas didn’t look interested at any point in the first period and the Blackhawks were able to control the action for most of the opening 20 minutes.

If Dallas was lethargic in the first period, they were boring in the second.

Unfortunately Corey Crawford left the game because of a groin issue less than six minutes into the second period. Cam Ward replaced him in net. No, Scott Foster wouldn’t be needed on this night.

Dominik Kahun’s 13th of the year came at 11:11 into the second.

Chris Kunitz flipped in his fifth of the year less than two minutes later.

And with 2:09 left in the second Dylan Strome reached the 20-goal benchmark on the season.

Chicago had a 23-20 shot advantage after 40 minutes but held a 4-0 lead on the scoreboard.

Slater Koekkoek extended the lead to five just 44 seconds into the third.

However, on the radio broadcast of the game Troy Murray mentioned that the Blackhawks hadn’t been short-handed yet on the night. Less than two minutes later, Chicago found itself on the penalty kill and Joel L’Esperance ended the shutout bid because the Blackhawks PK sucks.

But Kane would close the books on a stellar home season with his 44th of the season at 16:11 and the Blackhawks would skate away the final four minutes with a huge lead.

Crawford stopped all nine shots he faced in 25:46. Ward made 25 saves the rest of the way.

As you might guess, a six-goal performance led to a generous box score.

Brent Seabrook led the defensemen with two assists. Gustav Forsling, who served Chicago’s only penalty, and Connor Murphy finished with an even plus/minus. The other four defensemen were all plus-three.

Kane had two goals. Drake Cagguila picked up two assists. Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews, David Kampf, Brandon Saad, Erik Gustafsson and Duncan Keith had one assist each.

35 thoughts on “Blackhawks Blast Stars In Home Finale

  1. As the final horn sounded, Keith could be seen retrieving the puck from the ice in the Hawk’s defensive corner. Not sure to whom he gave the puck, but likely it went to Kunitz or Ward. A class act on his part, to two guys who may never play again in the league. Most on this board didn’t like their signing, but neither embarrassed themselves on the team, and certainly weren’t the reason things went sideways most of the year. Best wishes to them both.

    Aren’t ya glad we don’t have a Pronger on our team?

  2. Ward did very good for what we needed him to be and that was not a AHL goalie like we had two of last yr and no NHL goalies. I liked the Ward ufa, even at 3m because we have the extra cap space-this yr. Anymore then 1yr contract, no. Ward/similiar should come back, for 1 yr a better caphit/or same because were not loaded yet salary cap wise. Ward I say since hes used to the team now and did good, why sign anyone else for the 1 yr/at a time way.

    Its funny even though we didnt get the win win win/3-0 in the PHI, VAN and LA games, we got 0-1-2. We did very good down the stretch other then those back breaking games standing wise.

    We went 5-0-1, 2 loses, 4-0-2. Thats 9-2-3 down the stretch. Not 15-1-1 but dang good.

    Cant wait to see who we add to this team to make roster deeper, and that before the blue chip draft players come in.

  3. Really good way to go out for the season with a bang.

    We also won 7 in a row before going 4-6, then this 9-2-3.

    Wouldnt that be something if Walls Kaliyev is the guy we get all along and becomes a good player. Can we trade for a young FW with size, since the large FW in draft will all be top 6 picks.

  4. No critiques today.

    Instead I want to just say that the playoffs will be interesting despite Chicago not in them.
    But there are two teams that are reminding me of the Hawks of 2010 and 2013.
    The Calgary Flames remind me of the Hawks of 2010. They go in with a strong team but everyone questions the goaltending. Niemi and Huet were definitely the apparent weakness on that Chi team back then but Keith was awesome and so is Giordano this season. Calgary even came back from 5 goals down this season just like Chi did back then (against Calgary )
    Tampa reminds me of the 2013 Hawks in their regular season dominance. Their points total was almost the exact same as the Hawks team after 48 games.

    I personally want both teams in the final because of this. It would also be interesting as both Tampa and Calgary met in 2004.

  5. Very glad to see the Hawks show up in this one although the same can’t be said for Dallas who could see themselves slip to WC2

    Kane – he’s back – he couldn’t shoot like that first goal for a couple weeks – I’m convinced something had to be physically bothering him – not enough to keep him out cause he’s a gamer but enough – and his goal vs STL also wasn’t happening two weeks ago either – great year obviously for him

    It would be nice to see the Hawks get a FW with size in draft but whoever that might be (unless they win one of top 3 spots) is not going to play next year in the NHL so Stan has to add some size and grit other ways and they should be players who can play well on the PK – it sucks

    KK took himself out the play on the Stars one PP goal by being overaggressive – no need for that in that situation

    Glad to see Strome hit 20 goals – I’m gonna enjoy watching him play in CHI especially if he improves his skating and strength just a bit and IMO he will as his career moves forward

    Luckily CC tweaked his groin not his brain – hope that’s the last we see of concussions for Crow

  6. Loags – I like Calgary too but not their goaltending – I can’t see them winning the Cup with those 2

    I’m leaning towards a STL/Vegas Western Final, TB/WSH in the East although CLB could be a dark horse if they can avoid TB in the first round

  7. First the bad news – after being in the 7th draft position a few weeks ago, the Hawks are now in the 12th draft position.

    Now for the good news – I don’t care because that was fun. Nothing like a 6-1 victory over stinkin Dallas to put a smile on my heart. And yeah, Kane looked more like Kane tonight than he has for the last 2-3 weeks and that was very nice to see. Now all he needs is a hattie against Nashville tomorrow and he’ll break his personal best in goals for a season.

    Only one more game to go. Hopefully it’s as much fun as the game was tonight.

  8. If the Hawks had gotten goaltending like the Stars got tonight, the message board posters would be griping and with good reason. Some good fortune always helps and the Hawks had plenty of that and their goaltending was good.

    Hard to believe it’s all over tomorrow night until October. Some message board posters are optimistic that the Hawks are close to being able to contend, but they aren’t. A lot needs to be accomplished in the off season.

  9. Wraparound: They said the exact same thing aboot Huet and Niemi. Hell, even I thought Huet and Niemi were dreadful at times during that season and so folks passed on them.

    I think StL as well. I want to lean towards Wash in their division but something keeps telling me no and I haven’t made up my mind as to who yet.

  10. Nice to see our players add to their stats. Go figure: K&T have their best goals and points season and we miss the playoffs. We have a D problem.

    If the season ended tonight, we would be drafting 12th. Would move up to 11th if the rested Wild beat the Stars and we lose to the Preds in regulation tomorrow. Before the season began I predicted to my friend, who is a pro goalie trainer, that the Hawks will improve to the 13th worst record (had the 8th pick last year). For a long while it looked like we would end up with the 3rd-5th worst record.

    Stan should draft the player he thinks has the best upside, even if at D. But no more smurfs, please!

    In the previous thread, some stated that the Hawks should re-sign Ward. Hell no! To be a contender next season, we need an upgrade, while a youngster develops to take over in 2-3 years (whoever that will be). Congrats to Cam, who became the 28th goalie to reach 700 games.

  11. Robs: I am optimistic for next year. Yes they do need changes but I do think that there won’t be a repeat of last summers signings.

    Theres always 2-3 different teams every year that get into the playoffs. The different teams in the conference this year are Dallas, Calgary and St Louis.

    I believe Chicago, Vancouver and Arizona are next seasons top candidates. Who will they replace? Going with Dallas, Colorado and San Jose.

  12. Tyler Myers and Anton Stralman are Chicago’s best options for summer signings but its easier said than done.

    Myers will probably want term and Chi can’t give that because of their prospects.

    Stralman makes more sense but he is starting to slide. He’s 32 I believe. Term could be an issue because teams need defensive dmen and odds are there is a manager who will overpay so trade may be the best option at the Draft.

  13. As much as we want the Hawks to get a really good draft pick, you can never fault Kane for carving up Dallas, even Saad(what a move on the Kahun goal).

    I have a funny feeling the Hawks are going to win one of the three lottery ball draws on Tuesday.

  14. I like CAL as well, but do not think there anywhere the dynasty Blackhakws teams. They have no 19 88 or 2. Their Goudro and D guy are good but not like 19/88/2 were.

    I like them though and think they have a good D and are deep. Just those top guys arnt the same. Their really good but not Tazer and Kaner good. Really not sure if any team has two players that elite in the league. The best teams might have one but not two of them.

    I do think NAs and WIN sit back, the whole yr for 82 games, to waste any extra energey. Those two teams really just went through the motions for 82 games. They both know they have to beat each other and have enough energy to play after the battle between the two. WIN did not know what it was doing last yr. They know now.

    I see NAS or WIN and TAM. Those are the top 3 teams, roster wise, to me. It would be good for the sport for TAM to win Cup because they have paid their dues and deserve it. After this yr, TAM, TOR CLB and prob some others are going down roster wise because of salary cap.

  15. Then it will be interesting from season 20 and on. With those top teams not as good and CAL and BOS leading the way with rising teams. Were behind those two teams in reloading but we are on our way.
    To me what would be cool is in 2 or so yrs when were deep. Its CAL and CHI again.

  16. Crow is the starter and still a top 3-5/10 goalie in league. If we trade Crow, sure, better then Ward. Otherwise whats wrong with Ward as a back up.

    I can see COL and STL playing as good as they really are next yr. Not sure if VAN or ARI are ready yet.

  17. We have this roster the entire 82 games were in playoffs. This team only got to play game 30-80 and was 11 games over .500 team. Which would be right there with the teams in 6 7 and 8 seed.

    We were 9-18 and since roster adjustments=this yrs team, are now 35-33.
    Thats 26-15 (thats the kind of team we have now, and were adding this summer).

    Now think were adding good ufas, this summer, and good draft blue chips start to be NHL ready.

    If we can add a legit top 4 Defensmen, I think its ok if they have term. We need good Defensemen no matter what the contract is/if decent yrs and caphit. We just plan o need a top Defensemen.

  18. For playoff makes and no makes for next yr. Who ever makes it, I think there will be more good teams then this yr. I expect STL and COL to play as good as they really are, and for CHI to be as good record wise as we were from game 30-80.

    It just looks like its going to be stacked again in Campbell and our division should be by far the hardest division in hockey for like every yr since division were aligned. Every team is .500 or better and every other division on hockey has Two shit teams each. Major difference.

  19. Blackhawks have 32 players currently unde contract for next season. With Mitchell, Kubalik likely to sign, maybe Barrett and a few prospects will be ufa if not signed. Ryczek most likely signed of them.
    There is 9 ufas, very possible none resigned, 12 rfas, so if 4 more prospects and 12 rfas resigned thats 48 of 50 spots filled. A backup goalie will be needed but also reasonable to think 3 or 4 rfas won’t be brought back and maybe 1 or possibly 2 spots freed up by trades. So reasonable to think that 3 or 4 spots available for fas skaters if they want them, usually run 47 or 48 of spots used.
    One hope is not an unwanted dman pto in camp be the plan to fix the defense next season.

  20. Agree with MO – nothing wrong with our goaltending this year other than CC missing games

    Ward is a good back up – it would be nice to have him for 1 year at 2 million but don’t know if that’s realistic – you don’t want a back up signed to more than 1 year and if Stan could bring down Ward’s AAV even better – probably unrealistic but maybe Ward likes it here well enough to agree to that

  21. 60 points for Erik Gustafsson, tremendous output. Safe to say Stan has essentially made up for the Nick Leddy trade with the Gustafsson signing and patience in him.

    I read a quote from Kane the other day saying the Hawks were one of the better teams in the league from January 1st, on. Sounds like a positive feeling in the locker room going into the offseason. Chemistry can never be underrated. Watching the goal celebrations from last night, it appears these guys are having an absolute ball.
    Great to see.

  22. Craig – good point on team chemistry – it goes a long way

    Already looking forward to summer additions and next year but first the playoffs

    I would like to see Tampa finish a great year with a Cup

  23. Beating Nashville tonight and bumping them to second or third would be a great way to end the year. If we can get the first one maybe they get a bit tight around the collar — who knows (over the years they’ve lost a lot more big games than they’ve won).

  24. Yea it wasnt only an easier sch the 2nd 40 games, the sch was spread out more normal. What it was was the roster adjustments, since game 30 that is This yrs team.

    Kaner said what we ve been saying the whole 2nd 40 games. If it was only due to an stretch that had an easier sch, then we would not have keep on winning, and go 9-2-3 down the stretch.

  25. We starting building chemistry and know whos emerging of the guys people gave up on too early. Remember Saader the first 10 games, he at least is a proven two way playoff beast, when roster is deep. 56 how about that. So there could be others that do not look good now and havnt, emerge later.

    This was a very good yr and we did exactly what we needed to, for this Last transition yr. The players filled in the gain in the gap in roster depth. Now its time to add what we need to get deeper. These guys this yr earned the gain and filled, so get these guys some help and the key positions were not good at.

    Were on a roll for the draft, summer, training camp, season 20 with the 2nd 40 games this yr.

    Cant wait to to see who we add this summer (or at draft).

  26. Gotta like the way big Lavoie showing up for Halifax in playoffs, 11g 7a in 8 games and 2 periods. Leader in bringing them back from 3 1 down in 1st round. Certainly making a statement for draft that some others haven’t in their playoff games. Beaudin 3a today too.

  27. Man these last 15 games are good for younger players to go through to get experience. Playoff games would be even more intense but the younger players can experience that for the coming yrs.

    What a difference it makes having a full roster depth.

  28. We usually do not have good 2nds.

    NAS hook on KoKo, no call.
    CHI trip on 19, call.
    Icing, no whistle, too many men.
    Kill both penaltys, shot you normally do not take, take before guy in box gets back to zone for 5 on 5, post and in after Ward made that many good saves. Garbage.

    They outplayed us in 2nd, and the calls were shitty.
    Could say lucky to be tied after 2nd.
    Could say blow the fukking whistle when its iceing and theres no too many men.

    We play good 3rd after not good 2nds a lot. Can see a Blackhawks win to finnish off a 10-2-3 run down the stretch.

  29. Thats wonderful.

    Ward and 2 goal lead after 1st should have won this game.

    Doesnt change anything for how good we played 2nd 40 games.

    Need more depth to play, regardless of calls/no calls, against top 3 teams.

  30. I hope Bowman is watching tonight’s game carefully. Nashiville is too big and fast for the Hawks. You can’t replace guys like Hossa and Sharp by Cagg and Kahun or Sikura. Cagg can be a useful 3rd or 4th line player at most on a good team. We need upgrades in many positions.
    Up front, we have 88, 19, 20, 12, 11, 17 (although watching Strome shy away from contact and be soft in his own zone is aggravating). But the rest is just not good enough, not fast enough and not big enough.
    Get rid of the rest!
    Sikura (too weak, too light, not fast enough, an AHL player, Bowman hype)
    Kahun (nice little story but a bad skater, too small and not tough enough, AHL player, Bowman hype signing)
    Hayden (No IQ, no speed, can’t play hockey, will be out of hockey very soon, ECHL)
    Kunitz (Good player 10 years ago, Retires, another dumb Bowman signing)
    Kruger (too slow, too weak, past his 4th line prime, Back to Sweden)
    Kampf (Can’t score, fringe player, doesn’t bring much either, AHL or back to Europe)
    Connor Murphy (a 6th dmen on a decent team, trade him away, too slow)
    KOOKOO ( Headless, has some talent but bad decisons, AHLer)
    Forsling (Good IQ but fears contact and too light, good shot, maybe if he puts on a little weight but still not a top 6 dman)
    Ward (please retire!!!)

    So, Bowman has a lot to do and not much to pick from for next season at the forward position.

    Bottom line, we need a quick rebuild up front but where do we get that? Nowhere in sight!
    Tonight, Ryan Peohling for Montreal, his first game scored a hat trick! Do we have a rookie 1st round pick at the forward position excited to see next season? the answer is NOOOOOOOOO.
    Bowman (along with Kelley) has let the organization and the players down the last 3 seasons. He’s a joke!

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