Blackhawks Burned On The Road Again

The Blackhawks lost their third consecutive game to begin the second half of the season, this time falling to the Calgary Flames.

Despite losing the game, Ray Emery may have won the starting job.

Emery made a number of big stops to keep the Blackhawks in the game, but Chicago spent too many critical minutes short-handed. In total, Emery made 29 saves against 32 shots, but his effort all night was superior after he was asked to relieve Corey Crawford in Edmonton the night before.

Michael Frolik took a back-breaking four-minute double minor for high sticking late in the second that resulted in the game-winning goal from Jay Bouwmeester. Steve Montador then spent four big minutes in the box in the third period.

Viktor Stalberg played an outstanding game all over the ice but didn’t factor in the scoring. Brent Seabrook scored the Hawks’ only goal off a pretty cross-crease pass from Patrick Kane late in the first period. Bryan Bickell played his most physical game in weeks, tying Seabrook for the team lead with three hits.

Chicago managed only six shots in the second period and only eight in the third.

The Blackhawks have lost five in a row, and their last road victory was on Dec. 14 in Minnesota. Chicago has been outscored 14-7 in the first three games of the nine-game road trip. On a positive, however, the Hawks have killed 10 of 12 penalties on the trip; the cloud surrounding that silver lining, however, is that those 12 penalties have come in the last two games.

Chicago’s next game is in Denver on Tuesday night.

25 thoughts on “Blackhawks Burned On The Road Again

  1. When is Q going to light a fire under these guys . this season is over . Bring up the kids and dump Scott and Bickel . Clean House —- especially behind the bench .

    Get rid of Q& Kitchen. There is nothing special about the PK & PP on this team .

    They look SO lost . It’s gonna get worse until we get a coach who can lead , inspire and hold players accountable .

  2. man that was a tough game to watch. hawks looked like they were in slow-motion. lost most of the faceoffs, lost almost all the puck battles in the corner, d pinched when they should have hung back, the passes were not crisp or handled well, the power play looked disorganized and anemic, the penalty kill was hanging on for dear life.

    emery and stahlberg (and kanes one good pass) were the only redeeming qualities. please call up stan bowman with your GM ideas; this team needs a shot in the arm before the trade deadline.

    i say this as a kid who grew up in Toronto in the 90’s. the pat burns slump in 1995-1996, we cannot let this continue in Chicago or we may be inviting an awful period possibly marked by leadership from mats sundin…

  3. Tab, did you read Bowman’s comments to Jesse Rogers before the game tonight?

    * Crawford has been fine, will be fine
    * Current group of forwards with the addition of Morrison will be fine
    * Would like to add another DMan but teams are NOT selling so we are going to have to look within to fix our problems…

    There is a blind statement, in many ways, telling fans what most of us knew all along…it was always about next year…and that is a tough sell in a win now league.

    I can imagine there will be a number of angry fans responding to these remarks.

  4. Thank you, Frolik!

    Way ta go buddy. Don’t put that stick too high now.

    How did this guy score 20 goals? Seriously, I just don’t see it!

  5. The way this is going I’m actually coming round to us becoming sellers this year. Somebody posted us being sellers about two weeks ago and I thought it was crazy at the time. That person appears to have been right. The question I have now is what to sell. I would think you want to trade Hjarmlson, Hossa or Sharp for some top prospects and picks then pay huge cash for a top line defender in the offseason. Thoughts anyone?

  6. More and more it’s looking like a trade or two isn’t going to solve anything. Let’s dump the crap and bring up some prospects and start grooming them for next year…

  7. It appears that the majority of the wins coming from this team come from superior talent over the opposition. Way too many times this team either doesn’t play a full 60 minutes, or doesn’t show up at all.

    Last year’s team, with lesser talent, did the same thing. The win-loss record was an indicator of that.

    If one goes back 2 years, once again, the same thing happened. For the most part, the Blackhawks out-talented the opposition and won the Stanley Cup on superior talent.

    I put the blame squarely on the coaching staff for not having the team properly ready to play and the lackadaisical efforts that happen way too often.

    If it weren’t for the “miracle” victory in Game 5 vs. the Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Nashville would have eliminated the Blackhawks.

    Is there any way we can get Barry Trotz to coach this team?

  8. Here are some harsh comments and realities from last night:

    From Jesse Rogers:

    “So where were the chances? Other than a Brent Seabrook goal and a couple of other decent looks, Miikka Kiprusoff had a relatively easy night.

    The notion of sacrificing offense for defense is an important point. The last time the Hawks really bore down and focused on defense was in a 1-0 loss to San Jose in November. Again, good defense but no offense and a defeat.

    If Quenneville is preaching that playing well in the Hawks’ end will lead to offense, and victories, yet it doesn’t play out like that, what is the next logical step? The Hawks will abandon their defensive ways and go back to running and gunning.

    Mentally, they seem a mess right now. When they play to their strength, they lose and when they shore up their weaknesses, they lose. The balance and ability to play great and consistent hockey isn’t there.”

    This team is a mess and who must take the responsibility for that??? The coaching staff who allowed them there in the first place and can’t get them out of it, and the GM who put this entire team together, coaches and players.

    This is from Chris Kuc last night:

    “There’s no immediate help on the horizon for the struggling Blackhawks.

    Before dropping their season-high fifth consecutive game, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Flames on Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, general manager Stan Bowman said he was not close to any trades that could help the Hawks turn their fortunes around.

    Specifically, he has nothing going to shore up a defense that has been consistent only in its inconsistency.

    “I think (any GM) who says they’re close to a trade is kind of full of it at this point,” Bowman said before the Hawks fell to 0-2-1 on their nine-game trip. “There’s just nothing happening. I talked to some GMs (on Friday) and (one) said, ‘What are you hearing?’ And I said, ‘Nothing.’ He said, ‘I know, there’s nothing going on other than teams looking to get players.’

    “There’s nobody giving them up. It’s a big log jam. Until teams fall more out of the race, we’re not going to see anything happen.”

    Bowman tried to play things coyly this summer, trading Campbell without an actual plan to replace him, signing “character” guys for little money and short contracts, and leaving the bulk of the money to improve the team before the trade deadline…and now that they have been exposed no one in the league will be rushing to help Bowman out either…he HIMSELF has BACKED himself into a corner, and to get out of it he will have to OVERPAY big time.

    That is why the best thing Bowman can do is sell and not buy. Lick your wounds, stick to your guns and proceed.

    Keep your core, but get rid of the bad contracts like Frolik and Montador. Bring up the kids and let them play!

  9. I say keep the core and bring up the kids as soon as they are ready. If we can get a great deal by selling a piece we have to look at that. We are not going to get better by paying 2 million for Brunette after letting better players go over money/cap issues. We are not going to beat Colorado. Its just not going to happen. Bowman had better hit with these kids coming up he drafted. If not, he needs to be fired.

  10. Q cannot coach this team . He says the same thing after each loss . I am tuning out and so are his players .

    Bring up the kids and dump the 6 or 7 crappy players on this roster .

    Bring in a coach who doesn’t need a far superior roster to win .

    This is pathetic .

  11. Well, thats just gay. lol

    Seriously, tho’…call it for what it is… a true and true slump. 10 goals in the last 5 games. Many of the stars have gotten quiet productively.

    I’m sure we’ll see everything shuffled. I really would like to see Sharp as the second line center. He still produces in that position and he actually qualifies as a true second line center.

    Goaltending. Ride Emery the rest of the way with Crawford spotting as backup. We’ve seen Emery take the Sens to the finals and altho’ I’m not saying that will happen, I am saying that he’s a true fighter.

    I’d probably break up Keith and Seabrook too.

  12. Glenn, I am happily married…

    As to what KC Hawk said, we are hearing the same things from Q again and again, but nothing is changing…even Jesse Rogers went off on that the other day…Q has spent 52 games chastising the players over the same mistakes and problems and NOTHING has changed…and as Jesse Rogers put it so well last night, going into a protective cocoon to prevent a lot of goals against is HARDLY an effective decision. When we have done this to ensure low scoring games, we don’t score and we don’t win, so what is the point?

    I think Roger’s article last night pointed the finger squarely where it belongs right now and that is on Quenneville…other coaches in NY and St. Louis (and elsewhere) are getting a TON more out of their rosters with a whole lot less talent. But then again, since when does talent ensure that you will win anything???

    When we won in 2010, we had a team…a deep team from top to bottom, but a team nonetheless…Tallon built that (at a high price), not Bowman. Thus far Bowman has not added the key elements of team…and money and talent are not the main features of team, character is…and this is where his draft classes come into play…he has not only drafted talent, but across the board he drafted character…and that is why I think Bowman should not BUY at all costs, and should think about selling and promoting from the minors, which are filled with high character guys like Andrew Shaw.

    But after Northern Alberta, Q’s job can no longer be considered rock solid. Everyone is beginning to notice a pattern here.

  13. I think these posts have all confirmed what I was saying from the getgo. They should have basically kept last years team,(minus Kopecky and Brouwer) added Mayers and developed younger people from the minors to fill in and add to the team when they were/are ready to contribute. Of course, that’s 20/20 hindsight since all the additions failed and the kids coming up look good. I admit that I didn’t know they were bad moves at the time because I don’t follow the rest of the NHL etc. My general concern is that Bowman just wanted to dump salary so he could play GM and make it “his team” not Talon’s.

  14. The latest from Jesse Rogers, and it is bang on…

    “The problems on the blue-line have been well documented. There isn’t enough clearing of pucks or men in the crease. But again, that defense isn’t built to play in its own zone. Other than Brent Seabrook, the unit is undersized. The success they had in 2010 was built around team defense and puck possession. So what about the forwards? They seem less committed than anyone to playing defense.

    And some of the sacred cows of the team — Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland – should be faulted. The Hawks possess three of the pre-eminent defensive forwards in the league, each of whom plays on a different line, but the team’s defense has been subpar.

    One great example of the Hawks’ lack of commitment to keeping pucks out of their net comes on their atrocious penalty kill – the league’s 27th ranked unit. There are too many pucks getting to the net.
    Chicago’s penalty kill is designed to allow shots and actually prevent forwards from blocking them. Point men are pushed to the faceoff circles by the forwards to seemingly bad angles. But in reality, those shots aren’t so bad when they have a clear path to the slot with traffic in front of the net. Bolland and company simply won’t block shots for fear of getting hurt, hence the strategy of the forward pushing the D-man over instead of simply getting in front of the shooter as most teams do.

    Without Michael Frolik in the lineup in Edmonton and other times, Bolland leads the Hawks in blocked shots with 25. That is 100th among forwards in the league. Even with Frolik, he’s ranked just 67th. Do those numbers scream going all-out to win a game? When is the last time a Hawk forward blocked a shot at the point giving them a short-handed chance the other way?

    This strategy is making their D-men — and subsequently their goalie — look bad. Obviously the coaches approve of it or it would change, but here is the bottom line: Maybe that strategy is alright because it’s keeping Hawk stars healthy. But come playoff time, they must lay out, and odds are, they will.

    Now here is the bad news: This season the Hawks have proven they can win only one way. With offense. Goaltending hasn’t won them much and neither has team defense. Their dynamic offense will most assuredly win them many more games the rest of the way. But at this moment, they are a one-trick pony. When they even try to play defense, it takes away from their offense because they don’t know how to find that balance.

    It’s hard to imagine all of the bad defensive habit will just disappear because the calendar turns to April. Haven’t all those poor defensive teams that made the playoffs over the years wanted to tighten up in the postseason?

    After the all-star break, the Hawks said the final 30 games were going to have a playoff feel to them. Though the performance in Vancouver was fine, after three games, observers are still waiting.”

    While you can argue that the right mix of players isn’t on the ice, clearly the mix that they have on the ice isn’t committed to winning at all costs…and I think that attitude stems almost singularly from Patrick Kane…but here is the bigger question…what kind of coach tolerates this kind of attitude and effort???

    There is only one answer…one that is interested in keeping his job at all costs…but when you let the inmates run the asylum, you will find out quickly enough, that there is no room at the top! These remarks indicate a serious problem with this hockey club!

  15. Brad, once again agree w/ most of what you write… the only thing I somewhat disagree w/ is “Blues and NY getting more out of less talent”. I have stated this before- IMO some of are “Core” guys are overrated- and therefore overpaid-
    Kane for one, but I have also contended that Keith was a Norris winner because the 2010 team kept the puck in the O-zone for 3/4 of the game some nites! Once again, they are both very good- but if you truly want depth… perhaps two 3 Mill. players are worth more than 1 – 6 Mill. player— or four 3 Mill. players are better than two 6 Mill. players.

    Regardless- you are right on about the “Character” guys (we lack and 2010 had). Furthermore, I have said this before- we have too many CHIEFS and not enough Indians- we have too many 5 + Million salaries (some without character) and not enough “worker bees”! That is the difference between Hawks and Pens, Bruins, NY, Blues, Preds– we have more FAT CATS!!!

    Agreed- Bowman really appears to draft- Character- (Captains, Olympians, Overacheivers)– Hope they come up sooner than later- hope we sell and get even more character!

    2010 Hawks won because they had a few High IQ character guys in the 2-3 million range + some cheap high skilled kids….

    If they are going to win another cup in the next few years… they will have to do it w/ several cheap High IQ/Character kids… Unless they dump a big name or two!!!!

  16. With all due respect to Jesse (emphasis on “due respect”), his comments come across as lazy and uninformed, especially from a guy that gets his hands on much better resources than a simple box score. Indeed, the argument that forwards not blocking shots is the cause of the problem is a laughable premise. Last night in Calgary, the Hawks got five blocked shots from forwards, including one each from Toews and Hossa (two of his “sacred cows”).

    Here’s where I call bullsh** on Jesse’s so-called brilliance: the Blackhawks currently rank 19th in the NHL in blocked shots as a team (672). Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Well, consider some of the teams ranked below Chicago:

    21. Detroit (665)
    22. St. Louis (665)
    23. Boston (663)
    29. Vancouver (616)

    Are so-called “experts” complaining that forwards in Detroit, Boston, Vancouver and St. Louis aren’t blocking shots enough? No. The Blackhawks, as a team, actually allow FEWER shots on goal per game (29.5) thank Nashville (30.8), Vancouver (30.9) and Boston (31.2). What you quoted from Jesse is a pathetic crutch argument when you can’t explain poor performance.

    What Jesse doesn’t tell you is that the Blackhawks are 2nd in the NHL in takeaways as a team (530) and fourth in the NHL in faceoff win percentage (51.9%).

    When Mark Twain allegedly said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics,” he missed the fourth type of lie: when statistics are abused by idiots. Shot-blocking is not a problem with the Chicago Blackhawks right now.

    With that being said, Brad & everyone else, the comments about the Blackhawks being closer to the Tin Man than the 2010 Champs is true. This group, whether it’s after a soft goal or a bad turnover, look at their skates and wonder “what’s next?” instead of getting a determined approach to their next shift and coming back.

  17. With the Hawks struggling as a whole and the defense playing particularly bad the time has come to shake up the roster with a bold but painful move. A few days ago an article was posted that told us how and why we should get Ryan Suter. I agree that we should go after a Predator defensemen but it should be Shea Weber.

    I feel that Weber corrects most of the Hawks defensive problems. First, He hits. It seems that our defensemen are just reluctant to hit. I dont mean just mean rubbing a guy off into the boards. I mean big, solid checks that cause opposing forwards fear and give them something to think about. Weber fixes this problem without doubt.

    Secondly, Weber fixes our power play woes or at least gives other teams penalty killers something to think about. Imagine a Hawks power play with a talented player who can shoot the puck 106 mph. Not only does it make the point shot a true threat it also opens up the front of the net and the ice down low for Toews, Kane and the other Hawk forwards.

    What will Weber cost the Hawks? Well he definitely wont come cheap. Weber has a big contract and is an RFA at the end of the season so we would have to open up salary. Plus the Preds are going to want talent in return. With that in mind I would suggest that Seabrook or Keith be made available. They are both popular and talented but lets face it neither is as talented as Weber. Both are under contract and cheaper than Shea making it possible for Nashville to resign Suter. Over the last 2 seasons neither has played so well that they would be considered off limits for trade. The Hawks would probably have to offer propects as well , unless draft picks would do it but thats unlikely. But with the key piece of the trade being one of our top 2 d-men the prospects that would be given up may not have to be top tier and maybe we hold on to Morin, Saad and others.

    The third benefit in getting Weber would be the shake up that it would cause. Any Hawk player who is feeling too comfortable would now realize that there is no player untradeble and might spark a better effort.

    Im sure that there are circumstances I havent considered that make this trade much more difficult but it would be something to really consider

  18. I agree that Weber would be a great addition .

    But the way to shake up and wake up the Hawks is to fire Q and bring in a coach who will lead and demand effort for 60 minutes EVERY game and not tolerate the lazy play we have seen all season . Q is our problem . He has to go .

  19. This why Tab I recommend the addition of the Rockford players…they are character kids, high energy and eager to improve…they won’t look down at their skates when a goal goes in, rather hustle to line up and make up for what happened.

    I see a way for us to dramatically improve as an overall team, by bringing up a significant number of youngsters…why Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen are not playing in the bigs is beyond me…

    But I think 2 CORE moves need to be made as well…

    1) Trade Patrick Kane


    2) Sign/trade for a legitimate Top 3 DMan

    Now both of these things could occur simultaneously or not…but as I have been repeating for a while now, Kane’s attitude, style of play, and effort are Luxuries that this team can no longer afford to keep.

  20. -Brad- You have been really spot and pretty fair with your analysis, but I wouln’t say we NEED to deal Kane. I think we can afford his “luxury”, but we also must be open to the idea of dealing him. However, If we do turn into sellers I think Bolland and Hjalmerson might be the best guys to go. You dont blow up the top 6 (Hossa, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Seabrook) . Olsen replaces Hjalmersson, Kruger replaces Bolland as the 3C, and you can resign Mayers or bring up Pirri for the 4C role.

    Tab actually had this though in an article a little while ago that through. I’m thinking Bolland was with a nice package of picks and a prospect for a 2C. Think LaLonde, a 2nd and 3rd. This was only if we were able to if we got a 3C replacement for the time being (and we did in morrison). Then think Hammer, Frolik, Bickell, McNeil and a 2013 First for Suter. This upgrades us now… and for the long term by making room for our young guns.

    Bolland and Hammer are good players who could be difference makers to a team making a push and I think the outcome of those two trades makes us VERY dangerous.

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