Blackhawks Fall In OT, Keep Playoff Chances Alive (Barely)

The Blackhawks looked their dwindling playoff chances square in the eye on Monday night. Winnipeg invaded the United Center and Chicago knew that Colorado, who was in St. Louis, needed only one point more than the Hawks to end those playoff chances.

Colorado lost to the Blues in a shootout.

The Hawks came out fairly well. Jonathan Toews scored a power play goal to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

The goal established a new career-high in points for Chicago’s captain and matched his career best of 34 goals.

Unfortunately, the Jets took control of the second half of the period.

Adam Lowry scored at 10:49 and Jack Roslovic gave Winnipeg a 2-1 lead with 34 seconds remaining in the first.

The Hawks had a 12-9 shot advantage after 20 minutes but the only numbers that mattered were the goals on the scoreboard.

Toews was called for interference on breakaway by Mark Scheifele just 40 seconds into the second period but Corey Crawford was able to handle the penalty shot.

Roslovic scored his ninth of the season and second of the night at 5:11 into the second period. Chicago would need to come back hard at home if their playoff hopes were more than a dream.

Dylan Strome woke up the United Center with his 18th of the season 72 seconds later.

That would be the total of the scoring through 40 minutes. Winnipeg out-shot the Hawks 14-7 in the second period and carried a one-goal lead into the third.

Early in the third Drake Cagguila had a great chance that hit a post – which sums up this season for the Hawks perfectly. Chicago wouldn’t get another really good look at Connor Hellebuyck for another ten minutes.

Crawford continued to make big saves as the Hawks struggled with turnovers, but with three minutes left in regulation Scheifele was able to beat Crawford to extend the lead to two.

However, Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton challenged that the play was onside. Colliton won the challenge and the Hawks remained within one.

After the TV timeout that followed the challenge Chicago pulled Crawford for an extra attacked with three minutes on the clock. Toews set up Strome and the game was tied with 2:20 on the clock.

Erik Gustafsson picked up an assist for the third time on as many goals.

With 12 seconds left in regulation Dustin Byfuglien leveled Cagguila after getting rid of the puck. He then proceeded to shove Cagguila back to the ice and then throw a series of punches, a few of which landed after the officials stepped in to break up the fight. Cagguila got to visit the quiet room; Byfuglien went to the penalty box.

Both players were assessed fighting majors. Regulation ended with the score tied at three and Connor Murphy lowering the boom on a Jets skater. The major penalty meant Byfuglien wouldn’t be available for almost all of the overtime period.

Again, the Blackhawks needed the second point in the game to gain in the playoff race. Colorado had already lost.

Patrik Laine had a breakaway 70 seconds into the overtime but Crawford stoned the attempt. Gustafsson went for a change and left Laine all alone on the play. Thankfully Crawford was up to the task again.

Nikolaj Ehlers got another great look on a 2-on-1 90 seconds later but, again, Crawford was on point.

Duncan Keith turned the puck over after the following faceoff and the Jets got two more great shots on net but Crawford stopped those, too.

Unfortunately Kevin Hayes got yet another great scoring chance and beat Crawford to end the game.

Chicago’s playoff chances remain on life support, but the overtime loss doesn’t help the Hawks in the standings.

Toews skated 23:22 and finished with one goal, one assist and won 15 of 26 faceoffs. He finished tied with Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger for the team lead with four shots on net. Kane also had five shots miss the mark.

Strome finished with two goals and one assist but won only one of nine faceoffs.

Crawford stopped 35 of 39 in the loss.

John Hayden dressed. He skated 6:31 and led Chicago forwards with three hits.

Gustafsson collected three assists, two blocked shots, two takeaways and was credited with a team-high six hits. Carl Dahlstrom was credited with three hits. Brent Seabrook led Chicago with five blocked shots.

32 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fall In OT, Keep Playoff Chances Alive (Barely)

  1. I think suspending Dustin Byfuglien for about a dozen play-off games would be perfect for Big Butt for his abuse of Cagiula. Wow, what an asshole.

  2. Hope that Cagguila isn’t concussed. My guess is no, but he had a nice abrasion/knot on the old skull bone after that fight.

    Lot’s of high shots that totally missed the net. Looked like they were aiming high on Hellebuyck.

    Perlini did appear to show some life early, but was not seen much late in the game. Kane is kind of a mystery man these days ….. looks just a little bit off.

    Hope they continue to play hard the rest of the season, try and give the fans a good show for their money. Then start getting ready for next season.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!!

  3. Crow almost bailed the Hawks out in OT, but alas no. As good as Crow was tonight, I would have liked our chances in a shoot out to get that 2nd point.

    I hope Caggiulla is ok, JC seemed to indicate that he was in his comments, so fingers crossed.

    It’s ironic that the Hawks are on the losing end of hard fought games when for so long they were the ones who could outlast an opponent who played them like this.

    Looking forward to the offseason and hopefully some nice upgrades to the folks that will be leaving (Kunitz, Kruger and hopefully Anisimov…)

  4. Another point. These loser points are adding up and if the Hawks aren’t careful they could fall lower than their current 10th position in the draft. I know the players have to play to win and I wouldn’t want it any other way but enough already. They could very easily fall down to the 12th or 13th spot.

  5. Gustafsson is just scratching the surface, he is a certified weapon. Kane loves playing with him, he runs the power play from the point, and he’s equally dangerous 5 on 5 offensively as well. His D is passable on a good team, others will pick up the slack and he’ll improve. He will easily score 25 goals next season. There is no guarantee whatsoever with any of the young D men in the pipeline. Dylan Olsen anyone?

    Speaking of D men, if Forsling is on the Hawks next year, good night Irene.

    On a positive note, Caggulia is a difference maker, he has some Shaw in him, sans the stupid pills. Clean up the bottom six and solidify (that starts w bye bye Forsling) the D, Crawford looks good, the Hawks are in the mix to win the West next year. There are no dominant teams in the West. Anyone that thinks Calgary is getting out of the west with Mike Smith as the goalie is smoking some good stuff. Crawford is the best money goalie in the West, the only one arguably on par with him is Fleury.

    And this is with all of Bowman’s horrendous moves the last three years (until after he fired Q). There is hope and it’s legit. He should still be fired Monday a.m. since he wasted another year of Kane & Toews.

    Lastly, since the 1966 expansion, how many teams with two 40 plus goal scorers have missed the playoffs? Someone please let us know, look it up. Thanks.

  6. I was gonna comment, but Iceman got it goin’ on…
    My one comment…please shoot, and hit the net!

  7. Good to see Strome have a good game, hopefully he keeps it going next year. Cagguila sounds to be ok, good news, gotta love how he plays. Lots of questions heading into offseason, Debrincat and Saad should be key players as well Toews and Kane will be too. Perlini likely a depth fwd at best who can fill in as winger on a game basis anywhere in lineup and maybe score a goal or 2 doing so. Sikura can be top 9, not a pure goal scorer like Cat or next Kane but maybe find some chemistry with a couple of linemates and be a solid middle 6 line, needs to become a scoring threat though.

    Cagguila will be a fixture next year somewhere in lineup, if keeping 88 and 19 together should be there to start anyways. Kahun needs to continue his progression and Kubalik become a true top 6 at least top 9 player. Kampf likely back in middle of checking line but Anisimov is a question mark. Then whatever rookies make the team and acquisitions arrive need to make a difference.

    A top 3 deman should be priority now.
    If Gus is resigned the cost of Rfas in summer of 20 likely could be north of 20m. With 12, 17, 91 and 24 on the agenda too. Crawford looking like he is ready and should be elite again next year if healthy.

  8. Iceman-I think patience for both Gus and Forsling-Gus’ game has two nice parts (one of them exceptional)-some toughness and his ability to lead an offense, but again is in the hi-lite package of many goals as his 59 points and minus 7 shows.
    Forsling has something that you can’t teach, you either have it or you work really hard to TRY to get it-skating skills. When on he can get the puck out efficiently, and had deceptive movements. He is also on the wrong end of many hi-lites and REALLY needs to get stronger. (I think he will) Again 42 is 22 yrs old and has a good, athletic frame. What will he be like at 24?

    Now one of the young D might make Forsling unnecessary-but he would be of interest to other teams and I think the Hawks are interested. I believe JC sees potential.

  9. My last comments of the year – as this was last hockey game I’ll watch until October- seems redundant to espouse the obvious- Forsling sucks ( at least 2 goals blamed directly on him!) Nice to see Hayden in Uniform- a “playing scratch” as opposed to “healthy scratch” only 6 mins of ice time (might as well have been refilling Gatorade bottles). As an aside 6-8 mins per game for 41 games Hayden has played is 4-5 full games of ice time in a year ?! Please trade the kid Stan!! Give him hope somewhere where playing time means something!
    Cagguila great energy! Toews, Kane- what a year! Strome and DCat could be valuable next year. Crawford- 17? Straight games … looks super! The list of pilons is too long to cover but suffice to say- many, many, many HAVE to go, or we will see early golf again next season!
    Can we change the “ONE GOAL” theme?
    Jim Cornelius =MVP!
    NO outdoor games! 0 for 6??
    NBC- don’t renew Foley!!
    BYE!

  10. Forsling is a boy among men out there. Size does matter. I had the St. Louis/Colorado game on last night in between. I mean, looking at Parakyo and Burtuzzo play, we sure could use some size on our back end. Zadarov on Colorado… these guys wear down forwards.

  11. Really two goals makes someone suck? First of all NHL players are good. Pretty simple eh? Seabs has had those nights and even Keith in his career. (And if you really look on one of the two he actually made a nice play, but got an unlucky break-and on the other the goal never should have went in-bad angle goal)
    It happens.

  12. Is Forsling the whipping boy getting blamed just because he is on the ice what its come too. He majes fine defensive pkaty and poke checks the puck off one player and since no one is covering trailing Jets forward who who picks up loose puck and wrists it in, all his fault. Got his pocket picked yes, never saw that happen to anybody before and stays with Jets player afterward and forces him to shoot from goal line in the corner along boards and puck goes all the blame on him. Right what a joke.

  13. Really like Murphy’s game this year. He has been steady, physical and most importantly reliable among a sea of defensive mishaps. Good stay at home dman. Anyone know why he isn’t paired with Gus? Seems like they would complement each other nicely.

  14. Forsling is soft, but neither of those goals were his fault. The first was bad luck after a good poke check and the second was absolutely on Crow. That cannot go in. But it happens.

    It seems as though the Hawks have a propensity to pass the puck to teammates that are covered and have no possibility of doing anything with the pass if they even receive it.

    Crow is playing great. That bad softy that he let in is the first one like that in a long time. Once the Hawks are eliminated, they should play Ward the rest of the games and cut Kane and Toews back to 16 minutes.

    Missing the net with shots is frustrating because you don’t even get a rebound chance.

    The Hawks fought hard all year long. It is probably merciful that they won’t make the playoffs, as they are a mediocre team – at best. When 3 players account for 45% of your goals, that is probably not a winning formula. Rocky won’t like the playoff miss because of revenue lost.

    WGN won’t miss the Hawks. They can run some pathetic reruns and not pretend they have a sports department. I wonder if ticket prices will go up to pay for the new scoreboard at the UC. That might not be a good idea. When they aren’t talking about soft serve, the Hawks announcers have spent more time hyping ticket sales lately.

    Although not fulfilling, it was a fun season with lots of interesting things going on that made for good message board “discussions.”

  15. Agree Hawk One on Murphy’s play this year. I remember him really showing up his first game back and he has kept that up the entire year. Keeper.

    Saad has had a nice year too and continues to play hard every shift. Too bad he is perpetually playing on his own. He badly needs better linemates (and I don’t see why he isn’t playing with 19/88 at least in those situations where we need to generate something and the coach should be shortening the bench).

    Last night it was noticeable right from the start that the top line had more jump with Caggiula on it than Sikura. I just don’t buy the various Sikura spins. I think he can have a good career in a European league but I think that is his ceiling.

  16. Lots of good comments except for the trashing of Forsling – I don’t think he should be in the top 6 next year but neither of those goals last night were on him. I’m all for fair criticism but that’s not fair. Ian explained why very nicely as did others.

    Kane IMO has a minor injury of some sort, maybe a shoulder or hand – for one the power and accuracy of his shot has disappeared and he’s often passing up shooting opportunities to pass to someone in a worse position than him and for another sometimes he simply bobbles the puck or mishandles a pass which is so not like Kane – not once when he shot last night even in OT did it seem like he was going to score – it has sort of become that he shoots when he’s exhausted all passing options because he knows he’s not going to score with his shot

    Bowman has said he expects Kubalik on the roster next year – hopefully that’s a 3rd line type of upgrade on say 24 who could be a really good 4th liner IMO with the right line mates

    Hopefully Stan upgrades 3C from AA to someone with a little more speed and bite – Nelson? Kadri?

    If Kampf and Kahun are 4th liners then Stan could sign someone with size and speed to give the Hawks a dangerous 4th line

    Sikura is a bit of a tease – he does a lot of things well but as of yet no finish and he’s already 23 – 24 by training camp – if Kubalik is a legit player I don’t see where Sikura fits on the Hawks next year unless they don’t re-sign Perlini which I think they will and should – maybe Sikura gets moved in the summer

  17. Sikura, Hayden, Anisimov, Knott and Joki to Carolina for Adam Fox , Valentin Zykov and a 2nd or 3rd pick.

  18. We may never hear anything reported about it but I’m convinced Kane is injured. He’s gone through slumps and cold spells before and even looked “off” some times over his career but not for this long a stretch. His scoring has dropped off a cliff and it’s very noticeable that he isn’t handling the puck as well as he normally does nor is his shot as accurate or have the same zip on it.

    Through February – Kane had 40 goals and 94 points in 63 games (1.49 ppg)

    Over the last 15 games – he has 1 goal and 11 points (0.73 ppg)

  19. Why would any team trade for Adam Fox when it’s apparent he is going back to college for his senior year and then will wait to become a free agent on August 15th and get to choose the team he wants to play with.

  20. Kane could very well be hurt, or more likely he’s just fatigued from 22 and a half minutes a night, a full minute + than his previous season high average. Probably wasn’t very wise of JC to use Kane, who’s 30 now, as heavily as he did, but then again he didn’t have a whole lot of other options with such an awful bottom 6. They shoulda shut him down last week. Hope Kane rests up this off season.

  21. If Kane is hurt, shut him down. Otherwise, reduce his minutes to about 15/game. We are out of the playoffs so give Sikura and Hayden more time. Nothing wrong if the Hawks move up to 9th pick.

    Trade AA while you can get something. Shell out bucks for a good 3C UFA, or trade for one. Sign Perlini. Has the tools but needs to be taught attitude. Goalie situation is not settled next year because Crow is injury-prone and will be a year older. Need to sign a vet who is an upgrade from Ward. A top 4 d-man is a must.

  22. I think Gus is a very strong d-man, however he has some flaws. He is very offensive and that sometimes comes back and bites us in the rear, however has some big potential.
    While everyone criticizes the organizations front office, we have a bright future
    Potential d-pairs?
    Boqvuist-Joki
    Murphy-Gus
    Keith-Seabs (unfortunately)

    Any news on Evan Barratt next year???

  23. ORGINAL6- Sikura has already been shipped back to Rockford. He even scored a goal in his first game back there. Go figure. I’m not sold on him as an NHLer, and I’d be very hesitant to re-sign Perlini as well. Does a 2 week hot streak warrant an extension? I’m not so sure. You can’t teach players attitude. That’s something you either have or don’t. Anisimov has been a little better the last few weeks. Might help increase his trade value, but I don’t want him back. I swear, if Stan even thinks of bringing Kruger back, that might be it for me. Agreed the goalie situation will need to be addressed.

  24. Zach, Gus has a great offensive game, but he needs to be considerably better in his own end. I’m not sure how much more he can improve defensively. Remember, he’s already 27. It’s not like he’s some 23-24 year old kid. Typically, he’s at the age now where players are in their prime seasons, and once they hit 30 the regression starts. There is some good young blue line prospects (you forgot Beaudin), but they’re likely another couple years ago, and there’s no guarantee any of them will become legit top pair or top 4 dmen. I think next season Murphy has to be one of the top 2. They’ve got a logjam at dman, and 4 more years of Keith and 5 more of Seabrook. Yuck. The only way I see either one of them agreeing to waive their no movement clauses are if Q ends up somewhere else and they want to play for him, and even then Q would need to convince upper management of his new team to take them. Keith’s contract isn’t nearly as bad as Seabrook’s. I think we’re stuck with these two for the duration, and they’re just not very good these days. Seabs has stunk for years, and all the miles on Keith’s legs have caught up to him, plus he looked disinterested on so many nights this season. He’s a shell of the player he used to be. On a lot of nights, he was the worst defenseman on the ice. They seem so close to being a top 10 in some regards, and in other aspects so far away.

  25. Okie they didn’t put Keith with Gus because he was a good partner for Keith, rather he was the best partner for Gus. Somebody to play defense for both in alot of cases and hang himself out nightly to look bad because of it with little or no support to get Gus’s offense in the lineup. Keith looked rejuvenated early in the year playing with Joki and alot of hockey people noted he finally had a partner he could depend on and compliment him.
    Then after Q was fired they started screwing with Jokiharju with intentions on sendlng him to Rockford as a business move and as far i am concerned thats when management decided this season wasn’t about making the playoffs.
    Jokiharju still seems to be playing well down there so hopefully didn’t hurt hs growth. I wonder what Debrincat would be today if Q allowed that type of situation play out with him, thankfully he didn’t.
    Keith can still be a top 3 guy and Joki should emerge, add top 3 guy,with Murphy, Gus and Seabrook as 4 to 6 guys ( minutes wise) and defense will show marked improvement next season.

  26. Ian, I would say that Kieth was a top 3 defenseman. Due to the lack of competitive D men on the team he seems like a top defenseman but not a legit top defenseman and in the end never will be again

  27. Okie, you are correct about Murphy having to play a top 2 role next season however, the possibility of some of our young prospects being rushed into the league is there because of how much we lack defensively. It is probably better to have 2 rookies holding the like over Slater and Forsling, correct?

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