Blackhawks Fall In Toronto In OT

After two high-scoring home victories to open the season, the Blackhawks went on the road for the first time to visit the young, fast Toronto Maple Leafs. And coach Joel Quenneville decided it was time to give Anton Forsberg his first start between the pipes for Chicago.

Early on it looked like more of the same from the Hawks. Chicago out-shot Toronto 9-7 in the opening 20 and took a 2-0 lead to the dressing room for the first intermission. Jan Rutta scored his second goal of the season 3:46 into the game and Jonathan Toews added his second of the year at 7:57.

John Hayden and Tommy Wingles picked up assists on the Rutta goal while Richard Panik and Brandon Saad had the helpers on Toews’ goal.

Toronto put a ton of pressure on Forsberg and the Hawks in the second period and Chicago was able to maintain a lead. Nikita Zaitsev scored at 10:20 to cut the lead to 2-1, but the Leafs had plenty of opportunities to tie the game (and, potentially, take a lead). Toronto held a 19-6 shot advantage in the second, but the Hawks had a one-goal lead.

Panik scored a power play goal at 7:52 to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead, but the Leafs then blitzed the Blackhawks again. Connor Brown scored at 13 minutes to cut the lead to 3-2 and a James van Riemsdyk power play goal less than three minutes later tied the game.

When regulation ended, Toronto had out-shot the Hawks 40-21.

And, after the Chicago Sun-Times named him the heir apparent to the USA Hockey lead role earlier on Monday, Auston Matthews scored the game-winner in overtime to close out a solid comeback for the Leafs.

Rutta had two points – he added an assist on the Panik goal – but his two minutes in the box in the third period led to the JvR goal.

Forsberg finished the night stopping 39 of 43 shots on net.

Toews finished with one goal and tied with Saad and Duncan Keith for the team lead with three shots on net. Chicago’s captain also won 12 of 23 at the dot and had two takeaways. Without Nick Schmaltz even on the trip, Patrick Kane had only one shot on net and was minus-three on the night.

Saad took eight faceoffs in the game and lost them all. Wingels took four faceoffs and lost all of them.

The Hawks are back at it on Tuesday night in Montreal.

41 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fall In Toronto In OT

  1. I wasn’t happy with the officials kicking Toews out of the FO circle so much. It was ridiculous. Forsberg was a freakin’ beast. The guys in front of him really jerked around for the last two periods. I was shocked at how outplayed they were. Hopefully, this is just an early aberration. Give Toronto credit. They really played hard for 60 minutes.

  2. I’ve said it a million times, OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I’ve said it a lot – if the Hawks don’t pass well – they don’t win. With only a few exceptions the passing was abysmal all game long and even worse in the OT. The passes were either off the mark entirely, or off the mark enough were the pass couldn’t be received cleanly, or in the skates – like the pass from Kane to Toews that led to Matthews’ winning goal. I could probably count on one hand how many times a pass went tape to tape, with two of those few passes coming from DCat – one to spring Sharp on a breakaway that Andersen stopped and the other to put it on a tee for Anisimov to one-time, which he flubbed.

    The PP reverted to Clown Shoes with one Toronto PK forechecker stealing the puck against a couple Hawks in the Hawks d-zone several times. When the Hawks PP units managed to get it into the o-zone the passing eventually handcuffed a Hawks trying to receive a bad pass giving the Toronto PK’er time to jump him and get the puck cleared.

    I realize the speed of Toronto should be given credit for some of the ineptness of the Hawks but there were a ton of unforced errors all night long.

    Other than Toronto’s first goal through Forsberg’s 5-hole, I thought he played pretty well and would have deserved the win if his teammates didn’t spit the bit.

    Good news is they’re right back at it tomorrow. Let’s hope we see better passing against the Habs.

  3. If that officiating becomes the new normal then I will find another sport to watch. Between the terrible calls (both ways) and the ridiculous face-off charade it was a joke. Forsberg deserved better but we were outplayed pretty badly from the second period forward.

  4. Yeah, the enforcement of the faceoff rules was way over the top, but it happened to both teams. It’s up to the players to adjust and I have a real problem with the way Toews handled it tonight. I would think Toews would adjust by the 8th of 9th time he gets tossed … but no, just makes the same move and gets tossed again. Q said in his post-game presser that the linemen weren’t telling the players what they were doing wrong … OKAY … I could see what Toews was doing wrong which was moving his foot and/or stick before the puck was dropped. If Toews didn’t think of it himself, maybe a coach could have told him that with these linemen in this game – knock off the cheat move because they’re not going to let you get away with it.

    Now, obviously it wasn’t only Toews that was getting tossed so I don’t want to unfairly single him out, but he takes most of the Hawks draws and he got tossed more than anyone else tonight. He’s the captain – be smarter than that.

  5. Got a point. Took the foot off after the first and got sloppy. Maybe not so bad, in that they get a bit of a reality check early.
    With that said, when this team is focused they are tough. The first period looked good with speed, physicality, and opportunities that didn’t go in. Forsberg played well in the backup role.
    JvR has one deflect off his foot for a Toronto goal. Toews has one deflected from going in by Saad’s stick. Both of those are just hockey plays that happen. As said earlier, they can get back on the horse and try to tighten some things up.
    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  6. 5 of 6 points in first 3 games is a small sample size but a fine start. first 8 games against all playoff teams should be telling. having speed that is in the same zip code as TOR is very encouraging and unexpected.

    net front presence has been superb this year lead by saad but others too and that is a really good change if it sticks. many young players have to make mistakes to learn the game and I am all for playing them so we can have a real chance when the real games start in april.

    inability to close the deal when up a couple or more goals in games has been an issue since 2009 and continues which is too bad but I don’t see it changing.

    back up goalies are fragile till they have confidence built by teammates and we failed to deliver tonight when the backup did his part.

    overall it is astounding the bowmans can keep delivering a talented group of D and bottom 6 that are paid peanuts (1M$ or less) and can continue to produce at an elite nhl level: let’s hope Q and the coaches can do their part to keep us in the conversation come stanley time.

    how bout a showdown in june between pens and hawks going for #4? let’s hope and dream…

  7. Ruuta is everything Rundblad was supposed to be.

    Wow to step in to the NHL like he has and be a really good defenseman so quickly is impressive.

  8. MS, I donot like to blame refs because other people complain at that but I get pissed when its not fair/right. You cant have 2 slashing calls in the last 8 min or whatever, unless you call them all game long. BS. Whatever, it was a good 2-0/3-1 game and we got the tie, should be 3-0 but whatever. Still like that we are really good again/this yr.

  9. They were totally outplayed the last forty minutes, and as was mentioned earlier, the passing left a lot to be desired. The Leafs are going to have a great year.

  10. Was at the game and saw the future and the past! In many ways the Leafs are playing like the ‘09 Hawks – hungry on the puck, shoot often, skate hard- sadly the young Leafs made some of our “D” look like they were in cement (Seabrook!) … yes, it was painful watching the slashing calls and Toews and Anisimov thrown out of face-off circle but they’ve been calling these since the start of pre-season! Let’s learn from this game as this IS the new norm- and c’mon Kane, be “IN” the game 100% and be a little tougher on the puck! “Q” still has lineup work to do! Debrincat, Saad, Hayden, Panik and Rutta played hard! They ARE the Hawks future for sure!

  11. Yes, Toews getting tossed every time was ridiculous. Even more ridiculous was that no one else on this team can win a f*cking faceoff. As a result, the Leafs controlled the play consistently and the Hawks were always fighting to get the damn puck back. That was the story of the game.

    Time for Bowman to get Vermette back. Best faceoff guy for the Hawks in the past five years. Yes, this faceoff thing is that bad.

  12. Good recap Hall61-
    yes it is only one game but it was a good reality check for this year–how will the Hawks handle a quick forecheck team like it would see in the playoffs? Hopefully better than last night-
    I would think this team is somewhere between the first two games and the last two+ periods.

    I hope a couple of the faster players in Rockford will be helping out at some point this year.

  13. Schmaltz’s speed if a BIG difference maker/and was missed… Hartman plays hard- but really has disappeared without Schmaltz pushing the pace on that line…
    Hope Schmaltz- can stay healthy all year- so far he has been an unlucky victim of his own speed/pace.

    AA- Based on first 3 games… is NOT a difference maker- and his success has been directly connected with playing with 72/88 in past… AA- good complimentary player… Would rather see Kampf or Hino play with Kane/38

    Another crazy idea- 20/64/14 looked great in Preseason-
    Which allows for 38/19/88 ( this is of course- only if Schmaltz is out)

    DCat- should have several points by now-

    Hope 2-3 guys at Rock… Mature quickly- cuz it would be nice for Hayden to have some linemates

    Seabrook- showed his lack of speed a few times…
    #7 should never be allowed on PP point… great shot… but his lack of speed – will lead to Hawks being near the top of league in Short handed goals allowed – Again!!!

  14. Just like 2 games wasn’t enough to guarantee a cup neither is one enough to write them off. Does anybody think Pens still can’t win again. The young D is a concern for me but 44 and 42 logging alot if minutes and looking good contributing at both ends. Rutta definitely got talent and Forsling an assist each game and I think logged the most PK minutes last night and was solid doing it. Murphy getting more comfortable will be fine, Kempny looks good for awhile then makes some non nhl type plays, needs to get a handle on that. Agree when Kane has an off night the team suffers. Toews and Panik and Saad were the only 3 with positive possession numbers a plus for top line. Forsberg it seems will be an excellent backup and losing Schmaltz and speed against a fast team hurt too.

  15. The Leafs will never win the Stanley Cup w/ Anderson as their goalie. Tonight we will witness Price in the net for Montreal, who has never gone past the conference finals. Forsberg was solid for back-up goalie purposes. Thankfully, the goaltending hasn’t been an issue for the Hawks for years. Crawford is a bargain at $6M cap hit.

  16. Firstly the Leafs are probably the fastest team team in the league and the Hawks were in control and took their foot off the gas. The Hawks expected the leafs to give up but the Leafs just keep coming and never give up. The Hawks have a new found speed as well but missed schmaltz and the coaching staff has seen enough video to know Bouma should not have been in the lineup. By the time they got to OT Kane and others were gassed. Hino or other speed players should have been in the lineup for a game against the leafs in order to roll 4 lines.

  17. Goldenblaz – thanks very much for pointing out the blatantly obvious re: Bouma, Q already recognized as such, limiting him to slightly over seven minutes. This cuts into the ice time of an effective player like Hayden, who played a couple of extra minutes b/c he kills penalties.

  18. The worst part of watching the Blackhawks allow the Leafs take control of this game was watching it with all family members who are leaf fans.
    Leafs may look like the young Hawks of 2009 but we will see how they deal with salary cap issues very shortly.
    I want to see a rematch with Schmaltz, Hino and Kampf in the lineup

  19. The ice conditions last night must have been atrocious. Players who I know to be fast looked slow (both teams) and so many pucks flipping and hopping.
    The fact that Toronto would opt for slush against us speaks volumes to how they feel the Hawks did with getting faster this off season.

  20. Leafs brought a strong effort. That team is fast! Were it not for Forsberg it could have been worse. Take the point in a game the Hawks were outplayed much of the time. Leafs did a good job of pinning the Hawks back in their own zone with an aggressive forecheck. As correctly pointed out tape to tape passing needing to beat that pressure and to spring open players in the offense.

    Rutta continues to impress at both ends of the ice. I am also seeing good things from Murphy which is encouraging since Hammer shoes were big ones to fill.

    Despite the loss in OT it was a fun game to watch with lots of up and down rushes. The Hawks vs Habs games have been entertaining affairs in recent years. Crow has come up big between the pipes when he plays in his hometown. I think the Hawks will be sharper tonight.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  21. Forsberg add a really good game and i really think Hawks will do their best to to Get Rutta to extend for another 2-3 years …you can see that the guy fit really good with the Hawks …Dcat is playing good and he will be a player to watch very very soon ..

  22. I like Rutta. Scouts?

    Good posts. By playing hard in the 1st and taking the foot off the gas in 2nd/3rd, was trying to coast/2 goal lead because of 2in2/3in4/4in6 and that will give/well have energy to play full 60 in MON and others after that.

  23. Last night was a clear example of where this Hawks team would benefit from having Hinostroza on the roster over Bouma. Need speed, not pylons chasing hits

  24. Espo, interesting view on the ice. Fastest/one of team in league having their home ice because of us and our team speed.

  25. …..at the game and not too surprised how the Hawks reverted to their B game in the second period perfectly happy with being up by 2 goals and put it in a defensive mode…..lol….with a new goalie and half a dozen new faces on defense this is no longer an option…..they simply arent good enough….like the Leafs with similar issues Blackhawks have to get back to being an offensive powerhouse ….Hawks where outshout like 40-20…..with almost no shots in the third….Forsberg was steady and almost stole a victory for the snoozing Hawks…..

  26. I don’t buy the “took their foot of the gas” thing. It was more like they got more and more gassed as the game went on. They got run over by the leafs, mainly because they couldn’t possess the puck and ended up chasing the Leafs more as the game wore on.

    Execute passes better which increases possession time which reduces time spent chasing the puck which conserves energy to be used for all 60 minutes of the game.

    The speed of the Leafs turned the game into scramble mode for the Hawks. The aggressive PK of the Leafs was very impressive. They challenged everything and caused the Hawks to rush passes which exacerbated the effect of a sloppy passing game. The Hawks even had trouble getting out of the d-zone several times – when the team that has the man advantage takes 30-40 seconds to get control of the puck and get out of their d-zone … what is left to say?

    Hopefully better execution tonight.

  27. The faceoff issue is still a thorn in their side. AA has improved big time so far at 58% 29 of 50 and the usual Toews numbers 56.9% winning 37of 65. But the other centers Kero 37.7% just 6 of 16, Schmaltz 33.3% with 4 of 12 and Wingels 22.2% only 2 of 7. Hartman at almost 50% with 7 of 15 can and likely will help Schmaltz but the 4th line who you want taking dzone draws needs to be better. Almost see an opportunity for a callup to try to upgrade there at some point too.

  28. ER you are right on with your passing assessment! I saw only the 2nd & 3rd but the boys looked like my beer league team, fumbling all over. OT was awful. The boys better right the ship tonight!

  29. Faceoffs for 8 are prob harder because of other teams checking line center or 2nd best line of other team D wise, which usually has the better faceoff guys on the teams. Not that 15 didnt get better, thats what he had to go against the recent 2yrs. Be interesting to have every teams checking line centers faceoff numbers (and each center on each line) to match up and see where its at. Which teams have more then 2 good faceoff guys are harder to win faceoffs against. BOS was really really good at faceoffs in 2013 and with having 2 really good ones on our team 19/16 we did ok.

    They can break in the new faceoffs thing all they want by overdoing it. Then they can break in the actual penaltys (hooks holds interference) every game as well. What do they do, focusing on the wrong shit, penalty for incorrect review (and how many times do we get screwed on reviews when were right about review/they still find excuse to use to go against us on reviews) slashing and faceoffs. Seems like anything they can think of to help the teams that cheat more/bigger type teams and such.

    This league is run by, ‘bureaucratic fools’. (Indiana Jones)

    Keep get better at hockey and those things take care of themselves once we adapt.

  30. Mo go to puckbase.com/stats/faceoff-percentage and you can see everyones. The Bruins still winning like crazy even without Bergeron and Leafs winning a big amount too. As to my point our checking line is not winning at anywhere near the rate other teams are to the 2nd line situation you mentioned. Still early but seems to be a ongoing issue and not a great start in that area again.

  31. I think it’s laughable to say the Hawks took their foot off the gas, as if they had the control to do so or not-they have had a habit of having poor 2nd periods in the last year or so-yes.
    But to say this team isn’t motivated for 60 minutes against a team in Toronto is crazy-lots of guys from Canada and the eastern US get up when playing in Canada, and especially in Toronto.
    (and please no ref did this/or that stuff-wow)
    They tried to skate with a quick team and ran out of gas.

    Would love to see a quick (skating and passing) d-man added if they can this year.
    Two quicker call ups (and a healthy 8) will help and hopefully sooner, so they can play thru some mistakes.
    Ruutu might be a keeper! and D-Cat works hard, and will get his points. Saad’s terrific.

  32. Ian – spot on re: faceoffs, we’ve been harping on it since the playoffs ended last season. The aggregate money spent on Bouma & Wingels would have been approximately enough to sign Nate Thompson. I want to say he’s with the Penguins now. Tanner Kero needs a major awakening as to faceoffs. Hayden-Thompson-Hinostroza would have been nice, anyway…..

  33. Nice to hear TAB agree with dead wood needs to go and Hinostroza, as well as Kempf, Jurco and Dauphin will need to eventually be in the NHL if the HAWKS want to survive a barrage of speed and skill attacking them.

    Nice game by Forsberg.

  34. Noonan, didn’t mean to sound like I was blaming refs for 3-1 lead with 2 goals both on new slashing. Was going by what MS said that refs were terrible to both teams. Only saw parts of 2nd and 3rd. Watched Panik score then that shit. I was wrong to say gas off because I really didnt se whole game.

    For league stuff and them doing slashing review penaltys and faceoffs stuff, just want them to actually do the same for hooks, holds, interference. Seems like they want new things and forget rules/penaltys we have had for yrs.

    Ian, when I have the time, researching for work/I ll put a book cover over the laptop, and look up each teams center and who they have for checking line and 2nd check line to see head to head matchups numbers.

    Bowman and crew must have a plan, in addition to trust the players to so better, where we add a faceoff center/or rw-lw good at draws in dec/jan or at deadline. With 8 taking the another step we have a good top 6. Center good at faceoffs and Dman possibles. Prob wait until later to add. See our guys grow in the spots their in with the upside, then add what we need most then.

  35. Let us know what you find. Will say one more thing on it NYR have 4 centers at 50% or over and Dasharnais is the 4th line and he signed for 1m same as Bouma.

  36. Holy Phk-what is going on? Are we still in pre-season? split-squad? the coaches must be spastic- can’t clear the zone?! stupid, selfish , lazy penalties ?!

  37. I’m still cracking up. Hawks with 18 brutal minutes to start this game and Dcat buries s one timer followed by tick tac toe SAAD goal in what 20 seconds..,wtf????Hawks gonna get out up 2-1 in the 1st. These guys looked lost for 17 minutes. Skate boys skate!

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  38. 19 sec.

    2in2/3in4/4in6 days. 1st wasnt good, then 2nd and 3rd were. Thats what I thought could happen after 2in2/3in4 play good 1st in TOR then not in 2nd and 3rd.

    Crow.

    Decat. Holy shot.

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