Blackhawks Fall To Canucks To Begin Roadtrip

The Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks played a great, playoff-caliber hockey game on Tuesday night to begin the home stretch of the season. The game was as close as the final score indicated, and the action was intense for more than 60 minutes.

But when the dust settled, the box score makes little sense.

Where do we begin with the anomalies from this game?

The Blackhawks rank third in the NHL in faceoff win percentage (52.0 percent). Vancouver ranks right behind the Hawks (51.9 percent). But in the game, the Canucks won 42 of 62 faceoffs with Henrik Sedin winning only eight of his 17 attempts.

In an important overtime game against a key Western Conference opponent, Jonathan Toews skated 19:10, Patrick Sharp skated 19:09 and Patrick Kane skated 19:02. Marian Hossa, meanwhile, skated only 16:52 in the game. But the ice time leader among Hawks forwards: rookie Andrew Shaw, at 21:51.

Four Blackhawks forwards were credited with a blocked shot on the night (Shaw, Dave Bolland, Michael Frolik each had one, while newcomer Brendan Morrison, who had two).

Chicago finished January winless in games in which Nick Leddy skated more than 20 minutes (0-5-3). In the three previous months, the Hawks were 20-6-2 in games in which Leddy was over the 20 minutes mark.

Just as the Leddy ice time stat seems odd, Corey Crawford’s save percentage as an indicator of win probability is even more strange. Tuesday night was the fifth time in 10 January appearances for Crawford that his save percentage was over .900, but the Hawks were only 2-1-2 in those games.

And yet, even with all of these seemingly strange numbers popping up in the loss, the Blackhawks did have a few positives to take away from the loss.

Crawford was outstanding, playing as well as he has this calendar year. Indeed, both goaltenders earned the regulation point for their respective teams.

Viktor Stalberg scored his 15th goal of the season. He now has 30 points on the season, blowing away his previous career bests.

And Morrison looked at least adequate in the heaviest ice time total he’s skated since October. In fact, he hadn’t crossed 17 minutes on the ice since Oct. 20.

Everyone knows this is a critical road trip for the Blackhawks, and they certainly left one point on the table on Tuesday night. Clearly they need to dress six defensemen in the remaining eight games of the trip (read: no more John Scott), and they should probably look for someone not currently on their roster to fill the spot wasted on Scott in Vancouver.

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22 Responses to Blackhawks Fall To Canucks To Begin Roadtrip

  1. Joe says:

    I agree the game had a playoff type intensity to it. I’m wondering if the additional ice time allotted to Shaw was in part due to the fact that both Toews and Sharp were just coming off injury and maybe not yet 100%? That’s not to say that Shaw didn’t deserve his ice time because I thought he had yet another very strong game. I love the way this kid forechecks and is unafraid to go to the net.

    I agree completely that Stalberg is impressing more and more as the season progresses. It’s great to see. He adds a dimension to our offense that is somewhat unique: Size and speed in addition to the ability to finish. It goes to show that sometimes you just need patience to allow certain players to develop.

    I think the Hawks can take away a lot of positives from this game. Apart from their struggles at the dot, I thought they outplayed Vancouver from the second period on and really, if it wasn’t for some fantastic goaltending by Schnneider, the Hawks would have walked away with 2 regulation points.

  2. wall says:

    Bruno was invisible out there! Just more evidence that he should not play in a game when skating is required…
    By the way… Oilers and Avs are young and both can skate… please pass that along to Q. The only line I have liked Bruno on this year is when he played w/ Hayes…

    Sharp looked very rusty- (for good reason) just hope it is the time away and not the wrist/ongoing…. Morrison looks like he will help.

  3. Cord says:

    Bruno had some great board play in the 2nd. but yes he cannot skate.

  4. Pete says:

    Sharp was very rusty. We should have won the game. Whats up with that non call on the obvious slash in ot against stahlberg.

  5. Cord says:

    By the way Morrison should’ve buried that open netter in the 2nd. Come on!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP_9zH9Q44o

    [youtube]SP_9zH9Q44o[/youtube]

  6. Logan Reilly says:

    This team isn’t going deep in the playoffs.

    It just isn’t.

    Crawford, no matter how well he plays in big games, he comes up short. Alot. He’s only went to the third round once in his career. He was outdueled by Schneider. He was outdueled by Rinne. He was outdueled by Howard.

    The defence. Everytime Leddy and Hjalmarrson are in the d-zone and the opponent has the puck, it seems like forever before they get it back. This is not good!

    Viktor Stalberg. Yea, he’s definitely getting points this year but I’ll put hard cash down that if they are the top line in the playoffs, they’ll get smothered. The second line still doesn’t have a second line center. Brendan Morrison? Good Lord no. Another guy that turns invisible come playoff time. He’s another experiment that will definitely fail and he’ll find himself scraping for a job next fall (if theres a season). At least he was low risk.

    My money is on Vancouver and Detroit in the conference final as long as both teams are healthy. I’ve watched both these teams on various occasions this season and both have shown that clutch win performance.

    Remember back in 2010…there always seemed to be a Chicago player coming thru in the regular season. I remember Seabrook scoring in OT or Byfuglien flying down the wing to score a game winner. I’m not seeing it from this team. They’re giving the effort. Toews move was awesome in OT buuuut…he didn’t score, did he? No…they did.

    The good news at least, is they get to clear out a lot of dead weight with these players. Say goodbye to Brunette, Scott, Lepisto, Morrison, O’ Donnell and hopefullly, HOPEFULLY Carbomb.

  7. Pete says:

    We played 5 defenders in the third because he could not risk putting Scott out there. I am troubled by this whole idea of some trade deadline “magic”. We should have stood pat from last year and developed our younger players. Other than adding Mayers, who we could have added anyway without trading Campbell.

  8. wall says:

    Logan, I agree that this team will not go anywhere in playoffs… as is.

    Too soft, and not enough depth… I am still optimistic on Stalberg (growth + low cost, Hawks should have tried to steal him for 3 years at that rate).

    That is why I kept begging for Hawks to bring up youth for “experience” factor… In my eyes they should dump Bruno and free up more $$$$ if they really think they can win (assuming they make some nice aquisitions down the stretch).

    Kane- I just don’t see him as a big contributor unless he is playing with two “true power forwards”.

  9. Pete says:

    Wall I don’t know how you can say Kane was not a huge contributor. His passing is incredible and it breaks down the defense and sets us up for offensive opportunities. Not just in the offensive zone but also coming out of our own end. He is the key to our team.

  10. Sean Murphy says:

    Tonights game was an interesting example of coaching strategy. Q obviously knows his team will end up in the playoffs and he knows there is a strong possibility the Hawks will end up facing Vancouver. Q knows how his top lines will respond. What he needs to gauge is how the players currently sitting on the third and fourth lines will respond. So, the strategy for this game was to allocate ice time in such a way that this no longer remains a question.

    This is also an indication Stan is not done moving players yet.

    In the meantime, congratulations Mr. Shaw.

  11. robinson says:

    We need to fix/get better at things everyone has been talking about for the past 2 mths… Better get those 2 more players (for picks mostly!) and w Shaw, Hayes and Morrison, plus 2 more we get, but still need to do it/fix our weakness. Good point on seeing what players will respond…in the type of games that will be playing when it matters. Every player we add thats good/better pushes out our weakness/weaker players. Giving us complete pairs/stronger lines/proper amount of playing time for perticular players… The team will be stronger then and have the depth we didnt have last yr (and we still played vancouver in game 7, only boston did as good/better than that). This year reminds me of 2009, when we were +22 (46-24) and we did pretty good in PO.

    Yes as well as us needing to fix/tweak a few things/players. 9 of last 19 games (other team 1/19 total) we have been screwed by refs w no-call, etc.(that made the diiference in those games) There no excuses, it is what it is and when the refs start screwing at a ratio of 5to5 were right where we were all season (games 1-40), in 1st seed. When the 9 times are 5 times are record is not 0-3-2, its 2-0-3, which equals 31-12, not 29-15. Theres 3 loses that are ties and 2 ties that are wins (like the game the refs threw to det, thats a regulation loss to them (puts them at +16, not 18) and a win for us. Those types of ref games are so bad looks like they were paid and is all/can be the difference in winning the hardest divison or not).

    The refs are not the reason were arn’t in 1st seed, but they have made a big difference in us being 29-15 instead of 31-12. We need to fix our own problems and get those 2 other players. Then hopefully we get a 5 to 5 ratio on calls/screwing. No matter what seed we end up, we dont have to be the higher seed in order to win a series. I just want to see us with the better road record (compaired to the others)by games 82.

    I think were going to have a good road game run. I look for us to start to play really good and at some point in the next 11 games hit our stride and play our best when theres 10-20 games left at the time it matters the most.

    No team in the history of NHL has ever won the stanley cup without being at least 6 games over .500 on the road.

  12. wall says:

    Pete, fact is Kane is a one-dimensional player shooting a terrible %– great vision, yet our PP struggles (because it is completely predictable, and we don’t score “the dirty goals”)

    Like Logan- I don’t see this team going anywhere (without big aquisitions) this year…
    Logan mentions secondary scoring… I have mentioned “this high powered Offense that can’t score in 4-4 hockey!!!!! or on PP!!!!”

  13. Pete says:

    Wall, when I watch the game I see Kane as the guy with his passing that sets up our whole offense. I remember a particular play last night where he grabbed the puck in our defensive zone and flicked a perfect pass to a teamate going the opposite direction at the blueline that completely caught the canucks off gaurd and we moved right up the ice and had a great scoring chance directly from that. I see that all the time during the games. Perhaps your undervaluing that?

  14. Brad Stevenson says:

    Blame this loss on Stan Bowman…he knew we had this Centre and Defence issue during the summer…he chose to deal with it by hoping 2nd grade FAs and rookies would fill the roles, and then having the luxury of making a trade closer to the deadline. Well, he still hasn’t, and the losing continues with sloppy Defence play and an overworked top 4…and forcing Leddy in over his head.

    Bowman also created this situation by signing Montador, who is fast becoming a WASTE…he barely played in the 3rd period versus the Canucks, which wore down Keith and Seabrook, and meant that Leddy was on the ice WAY too much…plus the Hawks dressed Scott, and he skated 5 minutes.

    We have 4 of the best players in the world…we have some young, improving talent who are going to be good players, but we have an average to BELOW AVERAGE Defence.

    And we can all pin this one on Bowman…he still hasn’t pulled the trigger on a new DMan, and we just had the all star break. The OT loss in Vancouver tonight can be chalked up to 2 things…Vancouver’s goalie and Stan Bowman.

    I have supported Bowman a lot, but it is time to call it even…he has done some very good things, and he has made some very bonehead moves. Not properly addressing our Defence during the summer is all on Stan.

    And now, word is, Wirtz is not giving Bowman the go ahead to make any deal for a contract that continues after this season. Look for a MINOR move and look for the Hawks to begin to fade out of it during this road stretch.

    Brutal loss tonight…that is a game we should have won!

  15. Logan Reilly says:

    Concerning the Defensive depth:

    I really, really do not get why John Scott is on this team. I really don’t. Most times he plays its 4/5 shifts at 5 minutes ice time. So why even bother? Put in 7 forwards then. Hell, make one of the 7 forwards play 6th D-man (I kid) but stop wasting a spot and this illusion that John Scott is a piece of the puzzle. He’s not. Cut the cord already. You’re just burning out the other 5 defenseman.

  16. Brad Stevenson says:

    Kane IS a one dimensional player and when he does not score, or the people he sets up do not score, we are in trouble…re watch the OT…the Sedin who scored was Kane’s man…go back and look at the last 4 OT losses, and each time it has been when Kane was on the ice…

    That is why OT is so exciting when the Hawks play…the first shift Patrick Kane is on the ice we either win it or lose it…and last night you saw yet another example of Kane’s effort in his own zone…as I stated before, Kane’s style of play is a luxury that this team CANNOT afford!

    We need more Andrew Shaws…

  17. Shane Chaves says:

    I’m sadly going to have to agree with most of you. This team, as is. Doesn’t have the tenacity nor killer instinct to make a deep playoff run.

    Our goaltending is not strong, or defence is not nearly physical enough. And the play in our own zone is terribly weak. We struggle to get pucks out & with our goaltending, any extended pressure usually ends up in the back of the net.

    On the bright side, our offence is great. We get producers from all over the team (some lines obviously more than others) & moving forward. I think we’ll have a potent offence for years to come.

    Without a drastic move that I doubt is actually coming. Another first, or maybe second round exit is imminent. Call me cynical but it’s realistic.

  18. Kyle says:

    Brad… Any team would love to have Kane for his price tag, including the blackhawks. This whole “Kane is the problem” thing that has manifested lately is absurd. He’s in a funk, I’ll give you that. But he IS STILL one of the best players in the leauge and he is still 23. He’s got ten more years in the NHL before he becomes Hossa’s age! Did you ever think that he might get better? or maybe he’s having a bad year? The scary thing is.. He’s good enough on a bad day. if you want to point fingers, Point to the D and goal tending. Kane is not going anywhere, nor should he.

  19. Brad Stevenson says:

    Kyle, I am not saying that Kane isn’t a very talented player, he is…and he also scored the game tying goal versus Nashville in game 5 and the SC winner in 2010. I know all of this. But Patrick Kane is NOT one of the greatest players in the NHL…he is one of the most talented but not one of the greatest…he would not have even made the All Star team this year, had the NHL not stepped in…

    He is what he is…if you think we need him versus say Rick Nash, then maybe you know something I don’t…because what you have to remember is this, Kane is one of the most recognizable faces in the league, that makes his trade value VERY HIGH to teams in smaller, or tougher markets…that is how you are able to pry away a player like Nash or Corey Perry, even though they are better all around players.

  20. wall says:

    Kyle, what do you mean for “his price Tag”????

    You are only supporting my position… I would rather have Marchand (similiar stats, complete player) for 1/3 Kane’s salary… so know I have 4 million to get another quality player! I could have Paciorrety and Ladd for less than Kane!

    Or in another direction- I could have a Parise, or Nash or Perry or etc. for the cost of Kane.

  21. pete says:

    When I watched the olympic gold medal game against Canada it was very clear towards the end of the game that USA could not score unless Kane was on the ice. You guys are way off attacking him.

  22. shamrock says:

    I dont really have much to say about the game itself but I do wonder if the Hawks sent the right player back to Rockford. I think Jimmy Hayes should still be skating with the Hawks and Shaw should have been sent down . I am not trying to say thats why they lost last night but I think Jimmy brings more to the table right now and come playoff time could have a bigger impact in more ways than Shaw. With his size and skill set I see Hayes as being a player who can at least use his size to wear opponents yet he can skate and has decent hands. This could be a factor in the playoffs when,in a 7 games series, the puck is dumped in and he gets to hit opposing d- men. Not mention the wear it put the opposition to wrestle with him when he set up in their crease. Skating with the Hawks now gets him ready for these battles. I see Shaw as probably being a player who is somewhere between Bolland and Kruger as far as talent. Right now though he seems doesnt really do a good job of protecting himself from taking big hits and could use his time at Rockford and the offseason to getting bigger.

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