Blackhawks Hammer Rangers, End Losing Streak

With an incredible first ten minutes that included four goals, the Chicago Blackhawks have ended a painful losing streak with an emphatic 4-2 victory of the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers.

Jonathan Toews opened the scoring 65 second into the contest with a penalty shot goal. Nick Leddy put a blast from the point home just 62 second later. Patrick Sharp made it 3-0 exactly four minutes into the game, and Marian Hossa added a tally at 9:38 to blow the doors completely open.

Dylan Olsen had a strong game on the blue line with three hits and three blocked shots. Brent Seabrook had two assists and four blocked shots in the contest. Chicago had 12 blocked shots as a team, with two coming from forwards (Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger).

Kane, Toews and Dave Bolland each had two takeaways, while Kruger was the only Blackhawks player to win more than half of his faceoffs.

Corey Crawford stopped 22 of 24 shots in the game and did a much better job both tracking and clearing the puck.

The Blackhawks killed seven (7) Rangers power plays in the game, and have killed all 11 in their last three games.

The two points guarantee Chicago stays in sixth place in the Western Conference for another night. This weekend the Blackhawks have two big matinee games, with an early afternoon start in Columbus on Saturday and a late-morning start against St. Louis at the United Center on Sunday.

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42 Responses to Blackhawks Hammer Rangers, End Losing Streak

  1. Pete says:

    Great game. Very exciting hockey. Go Hawks.

  2. Bryan says:

    HOORAYYYY!!!!!

  3. Dominic says:

    Even so, it is time to acknowledge that we need serious help. Preds have $52 million in cap space and they are better than us. Blues have $36 million and they are better than us. We got only $17 million to work with to get a whole lot better by the deadline. Bowman doesn’t look so great right now, that is for sure.

  4. Tab Bamford says:

    Dominic: WTF are you talking about?

  5. Dominic says:

    That we are 4th in our own division yet have the higest payroll….

  6. Dominic says:

    Moneyball, you could say. But apply it to a puck, not a baseball. We appear to be quite awful at it…

  7. Tab Bamford says:

    Some teams, like Nashville & St. Louis, have self-imposed spending limits that are not at the salary cap where the Blackhawks & Red Wings can afford to spend. So saying the Preds & Blues can add a truckload of money isn’t completely accurate. And your comment about Bowman indicates little/no perspective

  8. Tab Bamford says:

    Moneyball? Clueless…

  9. Tom Jaremka says:

    We looked alot better, tonight. Everyone complains about Sami Lepisto, but the guy can skate well and he doesn’t take undo risks. He played well, too. I know everyone is complaining about Crawford, but the fact is that he has not been able to work with goalie coach Stephane Waite. When your on the road for 9 games, you cannot take the extra time to work on the subtle things that make your game simple. I’m sure that he will work on some things, next week, that will make his game a little simpler and a little better. He is fighting everything, right now. He’ll be better in the next week.

    With a four goal lead, I think the Hawks just worked on their defensive game the best they could. The PK looked good and the PP moved the puck well. Let’s hope we don’t let down against the Jackets on Saturday. Let’s have a little momentum for the Blues, on Sunday.

  10. Dominic says:

    For your reading enjoyment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moneyball

    Basically it is about putting together a winning team without spending a lot of money. Doing that is the General Manager’s – in this case Stan Bowman – job. Or you can win by spending a lot of money, which we are trying (and failing) to do. Either way, the idea is to win. We are 4th in our own division, and barely clinging to a playoff spot, and spend more money than Detroit, who is first, and WAY more money than the Blues or Preds.

    So, from a Moneyball perspective, our GM is not doing a good job. Or maybe coach Q has just lost the team. I don’t know. All I know is we are 1 – 8 – 1 in our last 10….

  11. Tab Bamford says:

    I’ve read the book, Dominic. And you’re still clueless.

  12. Dominic says:

    Ummm, OK then. Thanks for the reasoned response.

  13. Pete says:

    What I really enjoyed was watching us make the Rangers power play completely anemic and I think they have the most points in the league. Puck possession was awesome for the hawks and we hung in there when they tried to get physical. I thought our defenders played great. Lepisto and Olsen showed some heart and you can tell that Hossa and Sharp really want to win. Kruger gets hammered constantly but he keeps getting back up.

  14. Dominic says:

    I really enjoyed that they won their first game in ten. HOORAY!

  15. Pete says:

    I’ve been critical of some of Bowman’s decisions on this site, but I can’t go negative tonight. That was a great game by the Hawks.

  16. Let’s see if we can sustain, to begin with, and progress now. I think we’ll know by the end of the Blues game Sunday if we’ve (hopefully) snapped out it. No matter how bad we’ve looked over the past weeks, we’re alot better than we’ve shown…one more thing to everyone tossing out all the trade suggestions on many of Tab’s posts…stop talking about moving Sharpie…with all due respect to my friends who bow to the beloved Indian Head as I do; you’re absolute idiots. No matter what happens through the rest of the year let’s keep some relative sanity here.

  17. Ryan says:

    Dominic – Moneyball, when referencing a stick and puck sport? Since baseball is a stick and ball sport then maybe “Moneypuck” would be better.

    Can’t we enjoy this win? Yes. In fact I am right now.

    Better yet, taking a forward thinking approach, I think the team enjoys this a lot as they should? Wait enjoy? I just way over-simplified it….

    I, as a fan, am enjoying the win tonight. However, those players and coaches live it, breathed it and earned it. I believe, that as a fan, I am rational enough to say that “this one wasn’t about us, the fan”.

  18. Ryan says:

    Completely agree Greg. The top 2 lines have played at a different level the last 2 games. It may be over-simplifying, but this team top down plays better when Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp play better, the team is better. Also they were physical tonight, which I hope continue moving forward.

  19. Ryan says:

    Greg I have mentioned trading for Nash, but I don’t want to give up Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp…..

    You’d actually be right in calling me insane, or at least irrational, for thinking we could get Nash for what I would be willing to part with right now.

  20. Ryan says:

    Dominic – WAR or Wins Above Replacement is probably the most telling Sabermetrics category, in terms of projecting or placing a value on a given player.

    High WAR players are rare and come from organizational depth or spending money. This is where I believe your argument loses traction.

  21. KC Hawk says:

    I agree with Dominic . Bowman has done a crappy job in building this team .

    We have a lot of useless parts . To say Dominic is ” clueless” is an ignorant comment on your part , Tab . You must have a thin skin because whenever someone disagrees with you , you make it personal . That certainly doesn’t encourage people to share their opinions .

    You are obviously knowledgeable when it comes to hockey , but you are not God . Even though think you are.

  22. Tab Bamford says:

    With all due respect, KC, to say Bowman has done a “crappy job” because you don’t like Andrew Brunette, Sean O’Donnell & Sami Lepisto is short-sited and naive. And this isn’t the first time I’ve said this (isn’t the 100th…).

    Bowman inherited an organization that was over the cap and has been forced to make tough decisions with regards to NHL personnel. If your vision of what he’s done to build the organization, there is a lot more that needs to take place from an educational perspective than there is room in these comments.

  23. The Molitor Lizard says:

    It might be worth mentioning that Billy Beane’s sh*t doesn’t work in the playoffs and Moneyball is necessary for small town baseball teams and not large city hockey teams. It might also be worth mentioning that Tab doesn’t think he is god. God knows Adam Burish is bad.

    Bowman has not done well in building the kind of team the Hawks should be but by no means has he done a bad job. The team should be better on defense and should have built toughness by adding talent. More Jamal Mayers, less Daniel Carcillo and no John Scott. The Hawks’ farm system is one of the best in the league and has kept the core of great hockey players that won the Cup yet some fans still are blinded by the house-cleaning that HAD to take place in the summer of 2010.

    Stan Bowman is not the best GM in hockey but he is above average. This loss does not solve all of Hawks’ problems and the team needs help on D. The Hawks are in good hands with Bowman and with his dad on hand, fans are short-sighted to want him launched.

    Keep writing, Tab. The blog is great.

  24. The Molitor Lizard says:

    *makes more sense if talent is replaced by talented players with toughness.

  25. KC Hawk says:

    Tab: putting aside your condescending comment about my lack of education re the Hawks , tell me who Bowman added last summer that has made this team better . Please . Jamal Mayers is the only new player that has added value to this team this season.

    Do you think that Brunette, Carcillo, O’Donnell and Montador were good additions ? Bowman had money to spend last summer . He didn’t spend it wisely . He traded Campbell’s bad contract . I agreed with that move. It he didn’t replace him . Montador is not an adequate replacement –he’s a number 5 or 6 defenseman .

    Then we have Frolik, Bickel , Scott & Kruger .That’s a total of 8 players who are not contributing to the team . That is more than a third of the roster . Add in 2 goalies who are , at best , well below average , and you have a team that cannot compete because it has such a weak roster ( despite the presence of several terrific players like Toews,hossa & Sharp ) . Poor job of building a team .

    If you disagree, Tab , please don’t attack me personally .Instead, why not explain why u think I am wrong . You may be right . I want to understand why you disagree. .

  26. Tab Bamford says:

    You’re right, KC. I’m being condescending about your lack of education re: the Hawks. Why?

    On Feb. 3, I presented a realistic, detailed picture of what Bowman did last summer. Here’s the link: http://committedindians.com/blackhawks-problems-are-they-stan-bowmans-fault/ – you, KC, might actually remember this piece. You commented on it twice.

    There is something called context in this world, and it’s required to make a valid argument. You do a wonderful job of ignoring context, which is why I continue to try my best to provide it. For the sake of you not feeling slighted, I’ll answer your questions in a way that, hopefully, you don’t feel is condescending.

    Do I think Brunette, Carcillo, O’Donnell and Montador were good additions? There is the idiot’s answer – a blanket “no” – and there’s the answer that requires more than a box score. Were there holes on the Blackhawks roster at the end of last season? Yes. Did Bowman need to address glaring weaknesses? Yes. Did he try to do that? Absolutely. Have we received contributions from those four guys that we would have liked to see? No.

    But now let me ask you the context question: what would you have done differently? In the free agent market in which Bowman was shopping, what would you have done, KC? Because if you’re going to bash the man’s job, let’s make the argument complete. If you don’t like the guys he brought in, explain how you would have done it better. In the article I linked here, on which you commented twice, I outlined how Bowman spent vs. the guys that could have been here. You know what all of Bowman’s perceived “mistakes” have in common? With the exception of Montador, they’re all off the books in ONE YEAR. Do you want to go back to July and pay Joel Ward $3M per for 4 years so he can put up Bickell-like numbers, or do you want Brunette for ONE YEAR and $2M?

    If you’re going to bring up Bickell’s performance, that’s fine. But don’t blame Bowman for Bickell sucking this year. He scored 17 goals and had the 2nd-highest hit total among Blackhawks forwards last season, all for barely above the league minimum. Indeed, when last season ended, there was a legitimate case being made around the NHL that Bickell was one of the better bargains in the NHL based on what he did for the Hawks last year. Bowman didn’t sit him down and say “Hey, Bryan… could you do me a HUGE favor and take the months of November and January off? That would be great!” Get real! It isn’t the GM’s fault Bickell sucks.

    re: not replacing Brian Campbell, who on the free agent market was he going to replace Campbell with? There was one marquee d-man on the free agent market last summer, and the Sabres gave Christian Ehrhoff 10 years and $40M. Do you want that paper on the books?

    If you’re saying Kruger does nothing, you either don’t own a television or refuse to watch Kruger play. He’s 21 and this is his first year playing in North America, and he’s getting under opponents’ skin the same way Dave Bolland does. Are his offensive numbers huge? No. If that’s all that matters to you, good luck w/ that.

    Let’s talk about the goalies. If you look back at the end of last season and the postseason series vs Vancouver, there is one reason A) the Blackhawks were even able to back into the 8th seed & B) able to drag the Canucks to 7 games: Crawford. So the organization gave him a new contract… for $8M over 3 yrs. Would you have preferred 9 yrs & $51M to Bryzgalov? If you’re going to say Brian Elliott, I’ll gently remind you that Elliott had a save percentage under .900 last year, and his record was 15-27-9 between Ottawa and Colorado… and he was viewed as a back-up at best. Nobody except Elliott and his agent thought he’d be an All-Star this year; how do you think Jaroslav Halak feels splitting starts?

    Again, if you hate Crawford this year, that’s fine. I agree with you that he hasn’t been ideal. I agree with you that Brunette, O’Donnell, Lepisto, Carcillo have all been less than fantastic. I agree that Frolik has disappointed. And I agree that Bickell has sucked. But we need to look at what Bowman has done in proper context if we’re going to make sweeping statements like he did an awful job putting this team together.

    Finally, if we’re going to evaluate Bowman’s job, we need to make a complete statement of what he’s done. Which is more than just his free agent additions and trades. He took over a franchise that ranked in the bottom third of the NHL in prospect depth, and is now in the top 10 (if not top 5). Look at the top prospects link on this site. 13 of the 20 skaters and all 3 goalies were either drafted or acquired in a trade by Bowman. Teams all over the league are now envying the Hawks’ organizational depth, and that has come because of Bowman (and his team) working hard to find talented youngsters in the draft and in trades.

    That, KC, is why I disagree. I am in no way attacking you personally, and my previous comments were never intended as attacks. The reason I write pieces like the one linked in this comment is so that we can have educated discussion on these topics. My hope was that someone that commented on that article twice took the time to read it, digest the information in it, and used it to add perspective to future dialogue.

  27. Cord says:

    Or KC, you tell us what moves you would’ve made last offseason with what money was left. 2011 not 2010.

  28. Cord says:

    haha. tab, great minds….

  29. Dave Bonnema says:

    First, the Hawks are not on Nash’s list of 10 teams. And Tab has pointed out how he is trending south, not north. Second, Tab has also mentioned in a previous article about the UFA’s that signed with other teams last summer (Max Talbot, for example), and see how it’s working out for them.

  30. Dave Bonnema says:

    The Hawks PK was great tonight, even with Scott’s cementhead play early in the 1st. But the PP is still a fright.

  31. James M says:

    Olsen here to stay? Don’t know what we could do when Hammer and Monty return. How has Lepisto been? Could we dump him?

  32. Tim says:

    Slow Clap for Tab on that one… And what a great win. Taking down the top team in the east, on the road, in an original six matchup, is just what we needed heading back home next week. We are only 5 behind Nashville, and 10 behind St. Louis (which is’nt unreasonable when we play them 4 times).

    To comment on the build of the roster, like tab said, not every move has panned out. Was Carcillo horrible? no. He pestered other teams and helped open space for Kane. Bruno hasnt been ideal, but for one year as a hold over for Hayes or if Beach could get healthy it was an ok contract. Im would not have minded a guy like Erhoff on a 3yr for 15 mil contract, but thats not the contract he wanted. he wanted 10/40. Monty was much more reasonable, and if im thinking correctly, his contract is front loaded so his cap hit drops every year, opening up more cap space down the road. We aren’t out of the woods, and i think we can still benefit from making a move. Either a middle of the road one like getting Kubina (our best bet IMO), or make a splash and dealing Kane. Trading Kane isn’t ideal, but I think we can survive without him if we get the right players in return. All that said, we are in great shape for years to come. We have the core locked up, and a farm system in great shape.

  33. Mark L says:

    If you want to see the opposite of Bowman, see Jerry Angelo. He made a splash in free agency/trades now and then (Peppers, Cutler), yet failed MISERABLY at building organizational depth. I am aware the NFL has no “developmental league”, but they do have much larger rosters and practice squads. Angelo drafted very few prospects, missed on MANY draft picks, and left the new GM with an old defense and few play-makers.
    The Blackhawks may struggle in some areas this year and possibly next year, but at least the future is VERY bright, especially as young as the core players are (minus Hossa, possibly Sharp). As a lifetime Bears and Blackhawks fan, I am happy to know that the Hawks will be relevant contenders for many years to come, while my poor Bears are going to have to rebuild for a while with their new GM (don’t get me started…). So grade Bowman out once his young talent has started to mature.

  34. McKay says:

    why, oh why, is the Hawks PP broken?

  35. James M says:

    Tab – What are your thoughts on the rumor that Bowman denied trading Saad for the Stars’ Grossman. I’m glad he didn’t. Sounds to me like the Stars thought they could exploit the ‘hawks’ desperation and need.

  36. Bryan says:

    No response from KC? Disappointing, I was really enjoying the back and forth banter. Especially “Dominic’s” comments….Great stuff!

    Looking forward to the Columbus game tomorrow. Anyone have any news on Hammer or Montador?

  37. Pete says:

    I was done with this argument but KC and Tab brought it back up so I will comment. To me the question over the offseason was whether to trade Campbell or not. If you keep Campbell I think we could still have signed Mayers and in hindsight would that have been a better choice than trading Campbell and adding Brunette, O’Donnell etc. To me thats the current issue to be discussed on Bowman’s decisions. I agree its not a complete analysis until we see what he does with the cap space. It appears that Bowman is good at drafting but we will have to see. So far I have said that I would have kept Campbell, signed Mayers and brought up the youngsters as they were ready. I hope he uses the cap space to make us better so I can be wrong on this point.

  38. Brad says:

    Hey Tab,

    It’s probably too soon to start believe in the PK, but it seems like the Hawks have found a formula over the past 3 games to keep the puck out of net. Based on what I’m seeing, they are doing a much better job of stopping-and-starting, staying in passing and shooting lanes, and not getting totally mesmerized by passing at the top of the umbrella while ignoring the backdoor pass. How much of this is attributable to Dylan Olsen, who has been logging considerable minutes shorthanded? Or, does the answer lie mostly in the approach, one that’s clearly allowing their killers short shifts?

    On a related note, have we found a legit, in-house 4th defenseman in Olsen? And, what are your thoughts on d-pairings when Hammer and Monty are back?

    Thanks!

  39. Kurt says:

    Its been 3-games… but Olsen has held up his own. I do see him finishing his checks, but he has also lost an edge several times as well as fumbled the puck almost leading to bad turnovers. He is a big body who seems to be a stay at home D-man.

  40. KC Hawk says:

    I’m out of town on business and can’t respond right now.

    Hoping for a win tomorrow.

  41. Tab Bamford says:

    Convenient.

  42. Cord says:

    Yeah !! You tell him , Tab . You really showed him .

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