Blackhawks Come Up Short In Columbus

Even dressing an extra defenseman couldn’t help the Blackhawks penalty kill on Friday night.

With Marian Hossa hurting and Vinnie Hinostroza struggling, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville opted to have seven defensemen in his lineup against the Blue Jackets. Trevor van Riemsdyk, rumored to be on the trade block, dressed for the first time since opening night; Brian Campbell, who was rumored to be in line for a night off, dressed as well.

The first time the Hawks were short-handed, Columbus took advantage.

Zach Werenski scored 24 seconds after Michal Kempny was sent off to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. Columbus out-skated Chicago badly in the first period, out-shooting the Blackhawks 17-10 despite having to kill off two penalties of their own.

Tyler Motte, who played with Werenski at the University of Michigan, tied the game early in the second. The goal is the first of Motte’s NHL career.

But the penalty kill bit the Hawks in the ass once again barely two minutes later. Richard Panik went to the box for dropping William Karlsson and Nick Foligno scored on the advantage to give the Jackets the lead once again. Karlsson got payback for Panik’s suplex nine minutes later with his first goal of the year, extending the Columbus lead to 3-1.

Chicago was stronger with the puck in the second period, however. The Hawks out-shot the Jackets 13-7 in the middle stanza and kept the puck in the offensive zone for almost the entire final two minutes of the period. Unfortunately, all of that puck possession amounted to nothing and the Jackets carried their two-goal lead to the final 20 minutes.

During the second period, van Riemsdyk went into the goal hard trying to break up a scoring chance and appeared to injure his arm/shoulder. He dropped his stick while favoring his right side skating to the bench and went straight to the room. He did not return for the third period. TvR skated 9:24 with two blocked shots and one hit before the injury.

Panik made amends for his penalty in the second by scoring his fifth goal of the season.

The two sides traded scoring chances for the next 10 minutes until Matt Calvert tripped Corey Crawford while the Hawks net minder was playing a puck in a faceoff circle. Quenneville opted to pull Crawford as the power play progressed in an attempt to tie the game.

Quenneville burned his timeout with two minutes left in regulation and the Blackhawks got a few good shots attempts but nothing got through Sergei Bobrovsky. The penalty ended without any damage. Chicago had the puck in the offensive zone with 30 seconds left but a Gustav Forsling pinched just as Nick Schmaltz passed the puck back to where he had been at the point.

Chicago couldn’t get the puck back into the zone fast enough to generate another scoring chance and Columbus has their first win of the season.

With the Hawks skating only 11 forwards, Patrick Kane double-shifted early and often. Even with the Hawks hosting the Maple Leafs in Chicago on Saturday night, Kane skated 28:48 in the loss. He only got one shot on net in all of that ice time, however.

And even with only 11 forwards dressed, Jordin Tootoo was still limited to 7:44 on the ice. He led the Blackhawks with three hits, though. So he’s got that going for him… which is nice.

Crawford stopped 25 of 28 in the loss but played much better than his save percentage would indicate. He was the best player on the ice for the visitors on Friday night.

Bobrovsky stopped 32 of 34 in the win.

The Hawks sucked at the dot again on Friday night as well. Jonathan Toews won 16 of 25, but his teammates only won 11 of 33. Marcus Kruger won only 2 of 11 and Artem Anisimov won just three of eight. To his credit, Schmaltz won half of his ten draws.

If Columbus was a handful, the Blackhawks will come home and play Auston Matthews and the young, fast Leafs in an early 6 pm CT start on Saturday. Chicago is now 2-3-0 to open the 2016-17 season.

33 thoughts on “Blackhawks Come Up Short In Columbus

  1. Motte and panik wing combo on ice for both, motte got his 1st congrats to him and schmaltz 50% on faceoffs only positives from this game toews, kane, seabrook and keith playing crazy minutes trying to make something happen and abyssmal pk again not a good night.

  2. Cap has destroyed the forward quality and depth. We can’t piece together 2 1/2 preferable lines. Tough to win in this league this way. Toews, Kane, Anisimov and Panarin can’t carry the total burden. Hossa is a shadow of himself. Kruger is being forced into a role that extends way beyond his limits of being a defensive specialist at forward. Schmaltz isn’t ready for this league. Motte is interesting but with limitations. Panik is a 4th liner benefiting from the situation by default, but there is a highly indicative problem if he is leading goal scorer. Hartman and Hinostraza are AHL journeyman material. Rasmussen is a nothing.

    Going to be a long season I’m afraid. I can’t see where we get better at forward given current options. Motte will improve but who else really has upside? And we face an offseason where Panarin shall price himself out of the ability to keep him under the salary cap.

    I keep reminding myself of 3 Cups and what I have laid witness to at the UC. Memories are a good thing right now. Used to say the same during the dark ages of the late 90s and early 2000s. Back then it was the great memories of the early and mid 80s teams, even though we couldn’t overcome the Edmonton dynasty to win a Cup back then.

  3. Too dark of a vision there RTF. Crawford, Keith, Hammer, Seabrook, all yet on our back end, all cup winners. Hart and Art Ross winner, Rookie of the Year winner, …then there is Toews and the much cliche’d Hossa “has lost a step” nonsense. This is a top 4 team, lead on by the best and brightest, would not surprise me in the least if we clean up. New guys are just fitting in…Panik a welcome and pleasant surprise. Once the winning ways surface from this unstoppable highly talented group and pass on to the newbies we will be hard to beat for the big prize.

  4. Its not the young guys who are on tbe ice on the pk when the other team scoring and forcing Q:to play catch up. Motte plays on pk but certainly can t put blame on him and its been mostly the old guard taking penalties although it was kempny and panik in the sin bin tonite both have done what was asked from them aside from some judgement lapses by kempny both along with forsling have played well. I can see steady improvement in different parts of schmaltz s game as we go along which is what you look for and hartman was playing well prior to his injury and expect he will again yeah hinostroza struggled but rasmussen has looked good for most part in his chance

  5. Having said all that it is imperative that we defeat the revamped but still lacklustre Leafs …because there are few teams I really enjoy watching the Blackhawks defeating more than the Leafs….even more so now with the smug Lamarello, Shanahan, Babcock trifecta of filthy lucre.

  6. “Kruger is being forced into a role that extends way beyond his limits of being a defensive specialist at forward.”

    The above-captioned is certainly in medal stand contention for most aburd by Mr. Rufus. Kruger is being paid big cap hit $ (his is the 5th highest paid forward), what exactly does he add offensively??? For comparison purposes, Desjardins makes 20% of what Kruger, there s not much difference b w them — other than the fact that Desjardins is a better value. Better yet, Rasmussen, who makes even less than Desjardins and has a higher ceiling.

    Let’s be clear — Desjardins & Rasmussen are average players at best. Kruger’s main role on this team is to kill penalties (strike 1), win faceoffs (strike 2) and drive possession time even strength (strike 3). He is now playing on the same line as Tootoo (even he is a better value cap hit wise).

    As it stands presently, Kruger is a detriment to this team — nevermind adding a little bit of offense to his game, he needs to work on strikes 1,2 & 3 first to reverse those trends. And expeditiously. If any forward should sit out as a healthy scratch, it should be Kruger; at least Hinostroza has an offensive skillset, and doesnt kill penalties; he couldnt do any worse. Bolland w/ his lame back like Ralph Kramden bowling episode would be an improvement.

    These are the plain facts. This large cap hit signing for a role playing forward at best is on Bowman.

  7. Agree with the Kruger assessment by Iceman. Have never understood that contract at all…outside of that loyalty thing there has to be something unknown to is mysterious. People have rationalized this to the nth degree but I’m not buying any of it. Have to think he is a prime candidate for the expansion draft maneuvering.

  8. The truth is somewhere between RTF and Mining Man–
    MM this team will not clean up, but if they get in (and that won’t be easy, as a couple of teams in the West will be better than last year), with the right path they could get to the West finals or beyond-
    Here’s hoping!

  9. High fellas , not a good night tonight ? Mon now ,.,just gotta beat the Leafs . Mummnnmmmn ya . P .K .alert ,.getting our asses handed to us .Dust off ,.,.shine up ,.,O.K . GO

  10. If it weren’t for the PK I am actually encouraged. The young guys are doing exactly what is expected. The veterans are being veterans. Slow start, no urgency. That will change.

    However, until the PK becomes normal, we are in for some losses.

  11. I agree with Mike. The pk being 42% won’t continue. This team has scored the most total goals. The only game they haven’t scored first was last nights. Eventually it will get resolved. Even if it is in the 75 percentile its a vast improvement from what theyve been getting. The law of averages will eventually bring that number back to normal.

    They have 11 pp goals against and been shorthanded 19 times. If you remove 6 goals against that would bring you to 75% and everything looks a lot better. From the record on down to goal differential. It’s not just the kill thats hurting. Its the number of kills. 6th most right now. No team in the league has more than 6 ppga. This issue is just magnified because its early

    Times shorthanded
    16/17 -6th 15/16-26th
    16/17-42% 15/16- 80.3%

  12. The criticisms of Kruger above are chuckle bait. Iceman and Mining Man have clearly never played organized hockey.

  13. I wish i knew why many of my comments await moderation-I look back on them and it doesn’t make sense?

  14. Agree with Mike and Ernie- in part… thought the hawks and the Youngsters played well… Schmaltz looked way faster than the 1st 4 games… so either he is more comfortable, or he was “paying attention” to the D side- as I am sure it was Hammered into his head by Q… either way 8 was jumping on some pucks/forecheck… also- the PK will get better- can’t get worse???

    the Bad- Toews-looks frustrated… the leagues seems to have caught on to 72/88 (except for Flyers)…

    Lastly- Crow has to be better- lot’s of rebounds, but worse yet- he is not seeing the puck from the Blue line… an alarming amount of goals are coming from there… the Polish kid- W-SKI – D man… made Crow look bad- totally lost the puck/shooter – and lobbed one into the net on 1st goal… looked like a TT/seeing IQ goal

    Crow has to be better – and is better than that.

  15. Going to the 6th game of the season and some of you sound like we are on the brink of playoff elimination. Hawks win next four games.

  16. Iceman- not a bad argument Re: Cap $$ versus production…

    Similar to the one I mentioned 3-4 years ago… What is better Business model for Stan/Hawks? Sign Kane for $10M… or get Marchand and Ladd type players/Contracts ( 2 vs 1) for that money??? I must say- Hawks have won a cup w/ Kane since My argument… BUT- that was pre-$10.5M contract… will they win Cups post $10.5???

    we shall see

  17. Under a hard salary cap where two players are taking up $21M of it, it is imperative that someone like Kruger produces commensurate to his salary cap hit; so far, it’s not even a close call to it happening.

    I like Kruger, I always have, he is a hard worker and the like. However, he is the 5th highest paid forward now. When he did produce, he played w/ Ben Smith (who at minimum salary would be an improvement), Frolik and then Shaw & Desjardins in the last Cup run. Will Desjardins’ return spark Kruger? That is highly doubtful. Will Kruger all of a sudden wake up and become Bolland Light (non-back issues)? This is doubtful too.

    The Hawks don’t look too bad overall; they’ve lost all three games b/c they can’t win faceoffs and can’t kill penalties. I am hopeful Kruger has an awakening to help rectify this seminal issue. Let us pray.

  18. Kane for sure. When desjardins gets healthy that will help out krueger who you have to wonder if his wrist still hurting. They have chemistry on pk together and he can take draws. If hossa and hartman click with schmaltz to form a solid twoway 3rd line and if schmaltz can get to the point where his faceoffs are approaching 50/50 that issue will go away. Toews wingers looked to be coming into their own and that line will come and the pak line will find its stride and hinostroza could still find his niche with his versatility as a high skilled low priced sub.

  19. Just had to share this…according to daily face-off, BICKELL was the RW on canes top pp unit. TT was RW on the 2nd unit.

  20. Kruger is a specialist, that’s it. He will never be a significant offensive contributor. That was an unusual contract and was clearly rewarding him for his loyalty the prior summer.

    Iceman hit it on the head, our record is directly correlated to performance on faceoffs and the PK. Improve there and the record is much better. Last year AA had an excuse of bad wrist for his performance on f/o’s, what’s the excuse now? Is he still having issues with his wrist?

    I u/s the rationale, but Q using the core that many minutes is ridiculous. Let the kids play in these situations now and dividends will be received later. Overuse of the core isn’t going to solve anything.

    Go Hawks!!!!

  21. Bickell still pointless. Look at the Hurricanes roster. Improving but still a ways to go.

    13% of their roster is constructed of waiver claims.

  22. I like Toews and Motte together- they should be kept together. But Kane could help Toews more offensively. Try Kane up with Toews; and Panik/Hossa with Panarin?
    I believe Desi will help Kruger and the PK and defensive lapses when he returns.
    Hossa was also absent last night.
    Schmaltz is performing better every game and no doubt will continue to do so.
    The vets and rookies have to get used to each other’s style of play. It will happen!

  23. Ernie you might get your wish with the 2 swedes paired up 2nite, hope they do a little shake up may be plus for the defence

  24. So much work to do with this roster. Poor face off numbers, horrible PK, bad puck possession, poor ability to generate shots. This team will struggle to score all season. This is a 6th-8th seed in the west this year. Far from special! Toews needs to F’ing score and put up pts. This team cant win with 10.5 million tied up for a guy who cant crack 60 pts it just wont work.

  25. Not only do they speak the same language but their game I think would compliment one another. Thanks for the Intel Ian. Look forward to seeing how it works out.

  26. Yeah! Better yet, let’s see if we can swing a deal and sell the whole damn team Vegas and start from scratch. Come on Nolan Patrick!!!

  27. Rufus/Dufus; With things as bleak,(Doom and Gloom), you may as well stay off this board and watch your favorite team. Thank you.

  28. I knew it would come up about Toews not scoring ( Southside) I supposed you would rather have Ovechkin? Toews does a hell of a lot outside of scoring. He is one of the reasons Panik is getting time and space to score. Toews has been providing great screens for others goals and has set up many other that players that can’t bury ( like Campbell last night). Has been the only FO% winner on the team. His points will come around. There is a reason he is so valuable on Team Canada and our Hawks and would I want Ovechkin over him that would be a Hell No!!!


    I wouldn’t trade Toews for just about anyone in the league. However, his bloated 10.5 million dollar salary is an issue. Without question, his salary along with Kane is reason number 1 why this team lacks the depth to be serious contenders. If he’s going to get paid to be elite he needs to put up stats period! This roster isnt good enough for him not to contribute more on the stat sheet. Faceoffs, Corsi, and strong defense are nice but not enough.

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