Blackhawks Fall To Blues In Shootout

Pirri

On Thursday night, rookie Brandon Pirri scored his first NHL goal but the Blackhawks fell to the Blues in the shootout.

The Blues took a couple stupid, dangerous penalties only a couple of days after they lost Max Lapierre to a pending suspension after a stupid, dangerous hit left San Jose’s Dan Boyle unconscious on the ice.

On Thursday night, Barret Jackman received only a minor penalty for boarding Patrick Kane in the second period, while Roman Polak was given a minor penalty for boarding Marcus Kruger in the third that was accompanied by a fighting major after Brandon Bollig took exception to the play.

Those penalties, as well as a few others, gave the Blackhawks four power play opportunities that were wasted. St. Louis had three advantages, and scored only five seconds into their first power play in the game’s opening period.

In the game, the Blackhawks had the lead twice, but weren’t able to hold it for very long either time. David Backes scored the Blues’ first goal 2:32 after Pirri’s tally, and Duncan Keith Alex Steen tied the game the game again only 51 seconds after Hossa converted a breakaway.

Marcus Kruger had a nice night in loss, winning 10 of 15 faceoffs, and Pirri won four of six in the game. Jonathan Toews won half of his 20 faceoffs, and the Blackhawks were significantly better at the dot than they were in St. Louis earlier in the year.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 27 of 29 Chicago shots and Corey Crawford made 26 saves against 28 shots on the night.

The Hawks’ power play is once again emerging as an area of concern. After scoring four goals with an advantage in their first three games, Chicago has converted only once in 16 chances over their last four games.

Meanwhile, the Blues came in having issues while short-handed. San Jose scored three power play goals against St. Louis earlier this week, and the Blues had allowed six goals in their last ten penalty kill attempts. The Blackhawks weren’t able to generate anything on Thursday night, however.

After the game coach Joel Quenneville was not happy, noting that the offense is struggling and that they would “look at the lines” before Saturday. He liked the first 12 minutes and “nothing after that” from the Hawks’ offense.

Bryan Bickell had four hits and zero shots on goal in over 17 minutes of ice time. Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with six hits each, and Johnny Oduya led the team with three blocked shots. The Hawks blocked only 12 shots as a team on Thursday night.

Toronto visits the United Center for an Original Six matchup on Saturday night. The Leafs are currently ranked third on the power play (29.0) and fifth on penalty kill (87.1), so the Hawks’ special teams will be in focus this weekend as well.

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24 Responses to Blackhawks Fall To Blues In Shootout

  1. Dark Bird says:

    It’s tough to watch losses like these, we’re basically just throwing points away. Sloppy, disheartened play throughout the majority of this game. It’s no wonder Q isn’t happy, I feel like we’ve been performing like a middle of the pack team and happening to come out on the right side of things SO FAR.

    There’s not nearly as much confidence and jump in the hawks so far, and they’re not converting their chances. I’m hoping there’s just some slight chemistry issues with the new players and rust that needs to be shaken because we all know what they can play like, they should simply be winning some of these games by a larger margin.

  2. Morrison says:

    That 1st period penalty on Toews… outstanding.

    We really deserve to get hit/boarded in the back & for the other team to get rewarded on pp.

  3. goldenbladz says:

    I was really pissed after watching this game. The Hawks allowed St. Louis to come into their building and dominate the play. The Hawks were in reactive mode and allowed guys like Polak and Sobotka dominate in the their defensive zone (seriously!!!!) and were scrambling to throw pucks out of their zone. This was emabarassing and lucky to get one point. Chicago better start playing with more sense of urgency and a full 60 minutes. I have too many relatives that are Leaf fans (including my son) for them to blow it on Saturday night

  4. wall says:

    Tab, does Keith get an assist (for Turnover) as well as credit for the Goal… or just the Goal???

    Hawks missing 3 of there fastest/best skaters from last year- and the offense/team is slower than last year! Either Blues checking line is that good or the 1st line was that bad last nite.

    Last year only a few teams were able to consistently pin the Hawks in their own zone…
    this year- it is becoming a common concern…

    Only real good news- Pirri looked ok- and Hossa has gone from looking like one of the worst/old forwards on the team to probably the best/quickest forwards in 2 weeks-
    ( that actually is good and bad news!!!)

  5. Tim G says:

    Pirri was solid, very good sign (either that he might stick, or that he can up is value for the deadline).

    Bickell played his “best game” so far… but considering the rest of his work he still has a way to go.

    Saad played another good game.

    But the player I’m excited about after last night is Nick Leddy. He seems to have this gear that only him and Saad have night now. He can get the puck in our end and next thing you know is up around the opposing half-boards looking to make a play. You kinda hold your breath waiting for something good to happen…. He could mold himself into a very nice Top4 D-man.

    It would have been nice to secure 2, but for now, i’ll take the 1. Toronto has been brillant to start the year, so this could be a game where a win might help built confidence and get us chuggin the right direction for the long haul.

  6. auggie1955 says:

    It seems like Bickell never gets motivated until we’re in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Only then does he play at another level. I wish he would play like Shaw. Shaw gives everything he has each time he is one the ice. He just doesn’t have Bickell’s size.

  7. JS says:

    Toronto has actually been really bad and they are lucky to have as many wins as they do. They are constantly outplayed and they are shooting at a ridiculous percentage on the year. That isn’t going to continue and they are going to be riding the struggle bus really hard.

    I’m glad Pirri scored a goal after a linechange that put him out there with Hossa and Sharp. Good thing Q gave that line a look later in the game… oh wait. Also, why can’t Sharp always do what Pirri did? Float into the slot and get a one time feed off the boards.

    I thought Bickell had a few good shifts. I think all of his hits came from one shift in the first though.

    Shaw/Pirri/Saad had a really good shift early in the game, so it only made sense to not shift them again until the third period?

    Amazing that they had success early in the season on the PP by actually shooting the puck and crashing the net. Why in the world have they gone back to looking for the perfect pass?

    Anyway, still early in the season and I’m not overly concerned. Some of the depth players really need to step up and start scoring, and that’s going to happen eventually. The Hawks are also shooting at a ridiculously low percentage and that will normalize. St. Louis is pretty overrated and I expect them to choke pretty early in the playoffs again… then again they might just board their way to victory.

  8. JS says:

    PS, was Edzo making it obvious enough last night how much he likes Pirri?

  9. JS says:

    Just to rant about Q for a second.

    I understand that he has won two cups here, but sometimes I wonder where the hell his head is at. Bowman comes out and says that Pirri deserves a shot at 2C… so what does Q do? Says that he wants to try Saad at center… because why not move a Calder candidate to a position he has never played in his life.

    Why is Duncan Keith skating 29 minutes in the 7th game of the season? Especially when he was playing as bad as he was playing last night. This is a long season after a short offseason in which Keith is 100% going to partake in the Olympics on a team that will likely play the most games… So let’s just skate him a ridiculous amount of minutes so he can shelter Brookbank?

    I guess as a whole, why are the kids not getting more minutes? Q has a hardon for Nordstrom, we know this, so why can’t he skate more than 10 minutes in a game?

    On the same note, why did he start breaking up lines after they were carrying the tempo?

    Why has Bickell not been demoted for more than a half of a game? Guy is playing like dog shit and as long as he keeps that up, may as well try someone else skating on the top line.

  10. Mike says:

    I too hope Q figures it out soon. The mishmash that he is using every night is not working. We are the team that is supposed to have the depth but the Blues handed out ice time as if they were in control. I am not going to say that Stalberg and Frolik are the difference, they are not. This team has to play with more emotion.

    My biggest concern is the Hawks, while their record is ok, have yet to beat a team over .500. The best team the Hawks have beaten so far is the Islanders. This loss to the Blues hurts because the beat us in our building and now are 2-0-0 against us. This is not how the Hawks wanted to start divisional play.

  11. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    10 out of 14 points. For a Cup winner. For a team still probably not giving maximum effort because, after all, that’s what Cup hangover is all about. Relax. This team is playing cocky right now…like it can turn it on and off and at given moment. That’s faulty and dangerous thinking, but the fact is the NHL season is GRUELING and the psychological letdown after an intense Cup run last spring is natural.

    That said, I want Nordstrom and Kruger permanently paired together on a line.

  12. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Nobody gives a rat’s ass about winning the points battle. What matters is making the playoffs and getting one of the top 4 seeds in the Western Conference. Let St. Louis blow their wad chasing the non-important President’s Trophy. It’s the same thing Vancouver and the Sedin sisters did for multiple years and look where it got them.

  13. JS says:

    Uhh, Rufus, the Hawks chased the President’s Trophy last year and look where it got them.

    However, I do agree with you that the points aren’t that important as long as they make the playoffs. My concern is that Q IS going all out for these games. 29 minutes for Keith? Double shifting Kane? Barely any minutes for Pirri/Nordstrom/Kruger/Bollig.

  14. wall says:

    JS – to add to the PP thought… the only good 20 seconds… Hawks actually played 1-3-1 set, 19 in middle, and peppered 5-6 shots in about 20 seconds- and then the “set” disappeared ( I didn’t watch 3rd- cuz I was a little bored with Hawks lack of skating/passing/exiting the zone right now- especially the 1st line!)

  15. Reg Dunlop says:

    Let’s not forget that the Hawks are the Stanley Cup Champions and EVERY night their opponent brings everything they have to play against the Hawks. Right now, we are still healing up from the playoff run. Bickel looks slow(knee), Handzus doesn’t look 100% and Hossa is just getting healed up from his back.

    We are making terrible decisions in our own zone. Toews and Keith were trying to make impossible passes out of our zone and turning the puck over, again and again. Our mistakes are GLARING mistakes that cannot continue.

    Now, with all of our turnovers and problems, we are STILL getting points out of our games. As the season goes on we will get better. The NHL season is a grind and even the best teams in the league have their ups and downs. We need to trust our team leaders and the coaching staff. With 2 cups in 4 years, they seem to know the routine.

  16. Mike says:

    Rufus, agreed, no panic. Yes everybody is gunning for them. But their are early season statement games and last night was one of them. Winning was not as important last night as the desire, hunger and desperation to win. I do think anyone can say the Hawks looked like a team that “needed” a win.

    I am sorry but early season points are very important. I am very happy that the Hawks have 10 out of 14 possible points. And it is hard to argue that this is not successful. But like I said, the Hawks have yet to beat an over .500 team. The schedule will get harder and I am sure the Hawks will play “up” to the competition. We just do not need to be chasing points in March. Solidifying a top 4 spot (top 2 would be better) needs to be done now. I would hate to be chasing a top 4 spot down the stretch.

  17. Mike says:

    don’t think anyone can say the Hawks looked like a team that “needed” a win. sorry

  18. Phil says:

    A very frustrating game to watch last night. After a strong start the Blues started to shut down the neutral zone and began what ended up being an effective forecheck. Inability of the Hawks to make good clearing passes to get a rush started really told the story. Despite the bogged down play that characterized the 2nd and 3rd periods, it was another game we could/should have won. The power play was the big difference since the Blues took their normal share of REALLY stupid penalties. Jackman tried to hand us this game on a platter with his idiocy, yet we refused to take advantage. Some pressure, but 1 goal extra would have made the difference. These fancy Dan passing plays through coverage when great shots are available between the rings drives me nuts.

    At this point the Hawks are clearly not in sync yet. Lines are not firmly set, but familiar pairings should emerge soon. The most disturbing aspect of the early season play has been giving up goals when we appear to be on the cusp of blowing open a game, or just letting it get away in the 3rd due to apparent lack of intensity. The good news is we have been coming away with points while not playing anywhere near potential. Also we are not getting bounces around the net up to this point that will eventually come. I would be worried if we were not getting scoring chances, but they are there. We have also played against motivated keepers that want to play their best against the Cup champs. I believe the Hawks will raise the level of their game and the goals will start coming in bunches. My only other complaint early on is with face offs. We must get better numbers there.

    One cannot expect to see Frolick or Stahlberg speed immediately replaced. Nordstrom though appears to have all the tools and needs some more games to realize what he can bring to the table. I like his sense of where the game is, and he is very quick to the puck. He can be what Fro was to us last year after mid season and more games played. Stahlberg straight line speed can’t be replaced, but our overall team speed is above most teams. Stahlberg had to go.

    Bicks had a better game last night especially the first period. He must get to the net to be effective and keep working the boards hard.

    I say let NHL Network swoon over the Blues and the Avs early season. These teams, especially the Blues will burn themselves out by seasons end. The Blues have always played stupid by trying to run teams out of the building, taking dumb, selfish penalties and relying on keepers to bail them out. They lack team speed needed to beat better teams in a 7 game series. I respect some of their guys, especially some the d men and Oshe, but they have evolved into the new cheap shot all-stars of the league. The Hawks should get better. The Blues won’t.

    Early season hand wringing should be avoided. Toronto should be a fun game tomorrow.

  19. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The Hawks aren’t hitting on all cylinders and have played inconsistent hockey. THIS is what happens to virtually every Cup winner the season after, unless you were the Edmonton dynasty teams of the 80′s. Do you all remember the 2010-11 season?!? Yes I realize that we lost 11 players to salary cap hell and it was different back then, but STILL the Cup hangover affect can’t be ignored. The Hawks aren’t playing balls out right now because they know they have a grueling 82 game schedule to get through and are cocky enough to think they can let off the accelerator pedal for now. They want to have something significant in the tank and come together as a team when March and April hockey hits.

    It’s really no more complicated than that. A half-ass approach and inconsistency still has led to 10 out of 14 points, which is only going to fuel their collective mindset that they can coast for awhile. I’m not worried about it at all. Remember two seasons ago when St. Louis started the season balls afire?!? Then remember when the LA Kings crushed them in round 1 of the playoffs?!? Nuff said on the importance of a very good Hawks team feeling the need to play every game in October as if their playoff future depended on it.

    It’s a marathon for the 2013-14 Hawks, not a 40 yard dash.

  20. goldenbladz says:

    Mike I agree with you. Who knows what the team’s health may be down the road. It’s never ok to mail in a third period with no effort or take a team lightly. Win or lose I would like to at least see intensity and a compete level for 60 minutes

  21. wall says:

    Phil- good observations on 67/25… Hawks will need to replace that speed… just don’t know if its going to be replaced this year… might take 1-2 more years.

    But – hawks will miss the Rat’s IQ, Hands, and skating- not the fastest- but very agile/fluid… I know, He had to go-Cap/Injuries… but I watched several “key games” to the Cup on NHL network this summer. The Rat- shows up on several critical/BIG plays
    in the big games- Hawks will have a hard time replacing that as well…

    1.) check/interference that sprung 7 for GWG vs. Wings in game 7
    2.) goal and double deflection in critical Game 1 vs. Bruins
    3.) knocking out Richards and Jagr on checks
    4.) GWG game 6

  22. Mike says:

    Agreed about 67, 25 and especially 36.
    I too think the Hawks will play better. We need to continue to get points almost every night. The Hawks have a relatively easy schedule the next month or so. As of today, only 2 of the Hawks next 13 games are against true contenders. In fact only 2 teams have records over .500. There is no reason to give the middle or bottom teams any hope that they will be nipping at your heals in March.

  23. RyanDale says:

    Underwhelming seems appropriate for last night. But hey, Hossa sure looked good! Thought 37 did ok, I would center him with 10,88 in a heartbeat.What is there to lose? Now is the time to try. 16 had a great night at dot. The PP is back to its feeble self and I’m willing to bet it’s gonna be alot like last year. We couldnt get a sniff of the net during the 2nd and that included 2PPs that went nowhere. As bad as we looked we were right there again at the end with a chance to win so if you’re an optimist I guess that bodes well for ya. Hard telling what lines we will see vs TML

  24. Morrison says:

    Too short of sample size. Its fine that all of our wins arnt against .500 teams. Give it 40games, then look at. That will normalize, as someone put it.

    No, were not chasing the presidents, but on an epic year (one of those that only happen about 3 times every 100 years) will take it. I think the thing there is not wasting/wearing ourselves out too much, that were worn out for he middle part of the season (to the point that every game feels like its a backtoback/3in4…). We want to have the proper amount of energy/spread min., so when were playing our a or b game we have the legs/pace/speed @60min.

    Hangover, not in terms of win-loss record. Boston & Chicago were 3-7 & 8-9 those years, then both went on a tear. Were 4-1 and I am READY for us to go on a tear now. Its just going to take a good 10-20 to get warmed up to the season, even though were all ready for it last wk.

    Nice to see Hoss getting up to speed, it does take exactly 2 full wks to get timing…

    We do need some fire in us, to get it going. Speed kills.

    28-19-81
    10-37-88
    29-65-20
    11-16-42

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