Blackhawks Lose Late In St. Louis

After falling behind twice to the Blues, the Blackhawks were able to quickly come back and tie the score. Unfortunately, the third and final St. Louis goal came with less than 22 seconds left in regulation, and Chicago suffered their pointless game of the 2013-14 season.

Keith Seabrook StL

The Blackhawks scored on both of their power play opportunities, spending only 22 seconds total with an advantage.

Patrick Kane scored the first Chicago goal 1:17 after Vladimir Tarasenko gave St. Louis their first lead of the night. Jonathan Toews scored the Hawks’ second power play goal of the night only 39 seconds after David Backes tipped in the Blues’ second goal. Kane and Toews were each credited with an assist in the game as well, while Patrick Sharp had two assists as well.

Other than those three players, the stat sheet wasn’t kind on Wednesday night.

Brent Seabrook and Jimmy Hayes led the team with four hits, but a poorly timed pinch by Seabrook led to a 3-on-1 rush that produced Alexander Steen’s game-winning goal.

Rookie Joakim Nordstrom skated a team-low 10:20 in the game. After he was on the ice for Backes’ goal only five seconds into a Blues power play, he forfeited the rest of his penalty kill minutes to veteran Michal Handzus. Nordstrom only skated those five seconds short-handed in the game, while Handzus skated 2:02 on penalty kill duty.

Handzus was one of a handful of Blackhawks that struggled at the dot. He won only four of ten faceoffs, while Toews won only nine of 20 in the game. Andrew Shaw won four of nine, and Marcus Kruger won four of 11.

Nordstrom led the Hawks with two takeaways. Other than the rookie fourth line wing, only Toews and Bryan Bickell were credited with a takeaway for Chicago. For Bickell, 15:04 produced only one shot on net, one hit and four penalty minutes.

On the blue line, Niklas Hjalmarsson led the Hawks in ice time (24:21) and blocked shots (three). He left the ice in pain after blocking a shot, but returned to the ice moments later and finished a good game.

Sheldon Brookbank made his regular season debut. If he doesn’t play again for a while it would be understandable; he did drop the gloves with Chris Stewart early in his first shift, but wasn’t effective when he did get on the ice.

Corey Crawford allowed three goals against 34 shots, while Jaroslav Halak allowed two against only 28 Chicago shots. Halak made a number of magnificent saves, as did Crawford, but the final shot going in against Crawford was the difference.

After the game, both Toews and coach Joel Quenneville acknowledged that the team has now let three points slip through their fingers. With back-to-back games at the United Center this weekend, the Hawks will have plenty to think about – and work on – as they come home.

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28 Responses to Blackhawks Lose Late In St. Louis

  1. Mox says:

    Tab,

    Any course for concern here? It appears that we are more or less beating ourselves. I will say this: with the extension Corey got, he has to stop that last shot by Steen. And no, I don’t think Corey is an issue. He’s just off to a slow start, and seems to be a bit off.

  2. Morrison says:

    Concern. This team, not a chance.

    These recent games will only make us stronger. Just sucks were not getting what we deserve for our play. Were outplaying the other teams, but their getting more bounces (sharpy semibreakaway)(3on1 w 28 sec. left). Cant start 10-0-2 every year, and NO other team will this year… Even if St. Louis starts 10-2, we ll be 8-4 worst case. 2 games diff. w 70 to go…

    The only thing that matters right now is that we keep on improving (our level of play) & stay healthy and fresh as much as possible.

  3. BigsmokeJ says:

    Concerned NO!
    Would it be nice if they had won all three games, sure, but this time of year is not the goal. They didn’t have that much downtime this off season. So they just need to keep improving throughout the year and be peaking come playoff time.

  4. wall says:

    Concerned- yes. Going into the season my biggest concern wasn’t the “kids/prospects”-it was/is Hossa. You can’t “just” fill in or pick up the slack for HOF player…
    Hopefully it’s still just rust!

    IMO- 81 has just played three consecutive “weak” un-Hossa like games for the 1st time in a Blackhawk’s Jersey.

    Concerned-
    Bickell looks slower and bigger-
    Hayes still can’t skate- and does not look good w/ 65 (only looks good in cycle below the Dots, Hayes/19/88? still might work)

    10/19/88
    20/26/81
    29/65/Smith

    Rather see
    22/19/88
    10/26/81
    29/65/20
    But I don’t know if 29/20 can play right wing?

    (Playoff lines can/will be adjusted per match-up).

  5. Mike says:

    BigsmokeJ, I hate to disagree but these early points are important. Last years start allowed experimentation, allowed rookies more playing time and rest for the top 2 lines. Am I concerned about making the playoffs, no. Do I have concerns, yes.

    Jimmy Hayes is not ready. His skating and passing ability needs much improvement. Nordstrom is not ready, he has played only 13 games in North America (11 with the IceHogs) and simply needs more time and minutes in Rockford.
    Brookbank is not doing our club much good and I believe the Hawks really need to create some consistancy for Leddy by settling on 2 3d line pairing partners.

    I think the Hawks have better choices in the system on both O and D and should settle on them sooner rather than later. The Hawks need 25 quality minutes from lines 3 and 4 and a stronger 3d pairing. Yes, I know, this is what every team wants and needs. I think the Hawks have this talent and need to use it. I would much rather play with a lead in the standings than have to work that much harder in Feb and March.

  6. Tab Bamford says:

    re: the Jimmy Hayes hate – I would rather Hayes be on the ice than Handzus.

  7. JS says:

    I thought Hayes had a decent game. He had a few head scratching moments where he tried to awkwardly receive a pass on the forehand instead of just catching on the backhand and adjusting… but he was pretty good on the cycle and his speed to the outside is surprising.

    I think Hossa will be fine. He had flashes of brilliance last night but you could tell his hands were still a little slow.

    I didn’t check the numbers, but I feel like the 4th line played really good. Maybe I should check the numbers to see if what I felt was reality. I loved that Bollig kept skating away from Reaves. I think Nordstrom has shown some flashes, but he’s obviously still learning on the fly. Why can’t Kruger win a faceoff? He has insanely quick hands and you would think that would be enough? How can he seem to win every board battle when he is completely outsized but he can’t win a faceoff for his life?

    Bickell has been hard to notice. Slightly concerning. Might it be time to switch 20/29?

    I think Leddy has taken the next step. He seems a lot more confident in the defensive zone and worlds stronger. While I don’t care if his d partner is consistent, I do want him getting more than 14 minutes a night.

    Wins in the beginning of the season are worth just as much as wins at the end of the season… but I don’t see the Hawks struggling for a playoff spot so I don’t see a reason for concern.

  8. Gou says:

    Wall, I agree with the Hossa eval. He is just off a little right now, but I believe he will come around. He is to doggone good.
    I would like to see Morin. I thought a good third (checking) line of Shaw, Smith, and Morin would be a nice fit. They are all grinders and have history playing together at Rockford in the past.
    To early to panic. Every team has circled Reddsteel on their schedule.
    I also believe it is a compliment to the organization they way St. Louis and Nashville have reacted to Hawks coming to their building.

  9. Negzz says:

    It’s early, but:
    1. NOT encouraging, includes:
    * Hossa is definitely not right (yet). Slow hands, missing/dropping pucks and slowish (for him). I expect this is a “getting back into shape” process and hope that his back is not going to be a longer term issue for him.
    * Nordstrom is not ready for the show. Has some wheels but lacks size/strength and clearly needs time in Rockford.
    * Faceoffs are and will continue to be a big concern (although 19 is at 54% for the year.) Perhaps the guru they brought in will pay off down the line.
    * Hayes frustrates me more because he’s not physical for his size. He seems faster/quicker than last year but have not seen anything that excites me.
    * Losing with 20 seconds in StL is NOT a good omen fellas…
    * Crawford: 2.92 GAA and .890 Save %. NOT a good start. Uggg.

    2. Encouraging observations include:
    * Nice to see the PP come alive lately, nice progress in terms of movement, quickness and propensity to shoot the dang puck.
    * Kane, Sharp and Saad look ready to roll for BIG years.
    * D is solid and deep, a bit sloppy to get started but I like the aggressive puck movement and pressure in the O zone.

    Looking forward to seeing how the new kids/ Rockford swap process will work itself out after a month or so. Assume Hayes and Nordstrom will be back and forth and we’ll see some Pirri and Morin before too long.. Agree with many posters that these games/points ARE important. Going to be a challenging year if we get off to a slow start.

  10. Mike says:

    I don’t think anyone hates Hayes but I thought he definitely out of sorts with open ice. Good board work and played well physically. But he stifled a few good chances. The line was working well and creating space but some poor passes on Hayes part, lost control of the puck in the offensive zone. Hayes will be a force one day but his development will go the way of like a Dan Cleary.

    Tab, your point about Zues is understandable. But for me I would rather have Smith or Morin than Hayes…….that’s just me. And I do think the 3d line is in for some changes as Saad works his way up.

  11. Casey Oduya says:

    Good game to watch last night, had a playoff touch for sure. Me and my dog Johnny O enjoyed it very much.
    The way Oduya moves on the ice (call me crazy), I would not mind trying him on the wing in the 2nd or 3rd line. He did play wing when he was 15 years old and played for Hammarby Hockey Club back in Sweden. Can’t hurt to try now while the season is young. Thoughts on that?
    Also, for all you Hawks fans, try the combination of an Old Style and some cheesy popcorn while watching a hockey game, I absolutely love it!

  12. JS says:

    I think Crawford’s save percentage for 5 on 5 is like 95% or so. If you fix the PK his numbers should even out. Yes, I know he is an important part of the PK but clean point shots that are deflected out front are typically pretty hard to stop. Maybe Khabi will get a 40 save shutout this weekend so we can have some sweet goalie controversy.

  13. ebonyraptor says:

    Three games, 1 win, 1 tie, 1 loss. But I’m encouraged more than concerned. I think it’s too early to make any judgements, especially with this weird 3 days off between games 1 and 2 and games 2 and 3. Now the schedule will tighten up and the players will get into a rhythm and we’ll see how things look after the next 5 or 6 games. The only changes I would make is the Roszival/Kostka/Brookbank spot and the Hayes/Smith spot at 3RW. I would leave the 4th line alone and give Nordstrom another handful of games before making a change.

    That was one heckuva entertaining game last night. Much less “chippiness” than usual which probably greatly contributed to the entertainment value.

    It’s only been 3 games, but so far, for the most part, no “Cup hangover” spottings.

  14. Dave says:

    @Mox—don’t blame Corey for that last goal. He was left high and dry after 4 Hawks were in deep, leaving the Blues with a 3 on 1.

  15. RyanDale says:

    Great game to watch. We’ve let some points slip but we are right there in the mix and I
    think 3 games in that we’re fine. Faceoffs are always going to be a concern, just like always. PK will improve. I do agree on Hossa, he is so good and a pleasure to watch, if he’s gonna struggle it will be a real problem….but I think he will come around. There’s alot to like as well. Sharp looks great, PP has been a positive, Saad is looking good too. Mixed reviews on 22, I felt he was ok last night, I would keep rolling him out there and let him build confidence. CC is fine.

    Interesting number, through 3 games opposition has only been credited with a total of 6 giveaways! Hawks continue to be good at taking it away, averaging 9 game

  16. wall says:

    JS- agree w/ hayes- good on cycle, good straight direction speed, I will add very good Hands around the goal… But the boy is awkward in change of direction/agility is poor!

    That’s why if Q/SB continue to play him – he might work better at the receiving end of 19/88.

    I am not a Crow fan- I think he is average… BUT- IMO, he has played pretty well thus far- majority of the Goals have been vs. PP – He is not an issue… I still think his contract is, and SB could have used that money to pursue the next Hossa replacement… but I think Crow has been solid!

    Don’t really understand the Nordstrom hate- I thought he and the 4th line were better than good last nite! Also, noticed that Nordstrom was acting like a Center in the D zone a few times… I don’t know if Q slotted him there… or 16/42 have just been given the choice to “Read” the play from Q… but that only means Q likes/trusts 42 (as much as I do)…

    Lastly, the writing is on the wall for Pirri… read an interview w/ Pirri… Pirri implies that perhaps he is on the wrong team… if Q really doesn’t like him, perhaps SB should have traded him when he was the AHL leading scorer last year!!!

  17. McKay says:

    ER already made the point I wanted to make… 3 games in 9 days doesn’t suit this team. Now they’re going to play every other night through the end of October. If they’re not in a groove by then, then I’ll be concerned.

  18. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Tough loss, but it happens. The Hawks were guilty of pinching in at precisely the wrong time and a good St. Louis team exploited the daylights out of the critical strategic mistake. Crow was left high and dry. Not going to lose sleep over it.

    Roster assessment?

    1. Nordstrom: I really like him but reality is he is green and there will definitely be growing pains. His hockey IQ is off the charts. And man is he good with the puck…surprisingly good. Isolate your eyeballs on him when he’s on the ice. Your jaw will drop at times. This kid has gifts.

    2. Hayes: Not sure if he is a stopgap or what, but he is an ill fitting piece on this team regardless. I think he gets maybe a dozen more games to prove he can be of distinct value or he’s on his way back to Rockford. My criticism isn’t so much with his talent but rather the “fit” with the Hawks.

    3. Brookbank: Odd that he played, so maybe he’s actually being showcased? That said, I can’t imagine any team so desperate for help that they would be willing to take on Brookbanks’s even modest salary. He’s not a full-time defenseman even on a lousy team.

  19. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    One other thing…

    Bickell looks “puffy” and a step slow. Probably just needs to round into shape having put on extra bulk in the offseason in order to withstand the rigors of a long season. Will not be surprised to see Q turn on the line blender and bump Saad up to the Toews-Kane line in the middle of some games.

  20. wall says:

    Hayes- isn’t all bad- but needs to be in cycle/around goal to be effective.

    To Rufus’s point- One of the best possession last nite was when 20/19/22 were somehow on the ice together (don’t know if that was designed or happen-stance)…
    but they cycled the shit out of one possession!

    But Hayes/65/20 isn’t working…

  21. Tim G says:

    Definetly not worrying… It would have been nice to pick up 2pts, but when push comes to shove we have seen some encouraging things (i.e.- Saad, Kane, PP coming around) and some troubling things (i.e.- Bicks/Hossa not being full speed, PK, 6th DMan).

    We will get to where we are going, and i fully expect us to take it to NY on friday and the polish off a weekend sweep on Saturday. If thats the case and we are 3-1-1, i dont think anyone will be worrying. Now, if we are 1-3-1 or even 1-2-2, I would say its time to really shake things up and maybe hit the panic button a little to see what happens…

  22. Tails says:

    This is just semantics, but I found it funny. “Chicago suffered their pointless game of the 2013-14 season.” This means that there will only be 1 pointless game this season, so the Hawks will at least tie all the rest of their games. I’d be cool with that.

  23. ebonyraptor says:

    Here’s my beef with Hayes – he doesn’t drive to the net when he has the puck. He hugs the boards all the way around behind the net and it looks to pass the puck when he comes out the other side. He should be lowering his shoulder and pushing the d-man into the center of the ice as he heads to the net. At least try it once. He talks the talk about being a power forward but he doesn’t do much walking the walk.

  24. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Tracey Myers tweets that Q has jumbled the lines in practice today.

    – Nordstrom the Center with Bollig and Smith
    – Kruger the Center with Saad and Shaw

    I REALLY like both these moves. I am unapologetic for my enthusiasm for Nordstrom. And I like Shaw slotting over to RW in combo with Kruger-Saad on that 3rd line. Plus the in-game option exists for Shaw to bump up to second line Center duties with Zeus sitting on some shifts.

  25. Ryan says:

    I don’t see why we can’t take a look at what Saad and Hayes would also be able to do on the top line with Toews and Kane.

    For as poorly as Brookbank played last yr I thought last night he played better. He wasn’t great by any means but looked better last night then at any time last yr so that is encouraging.

    Agree with others that Hossa and Zeus look slow but they were held out for much of the preseason so some of that was to be expected. However, we do need to see improvement from them.

    The PK has been frustrating at times, but Frolik meant so much that I expected us to take a step back at least initially hopefully the guys can get some chemistry going and get back on track.

  26. ebonyraptor says:

    I like those jumbled lines at practice today too. And I too am unapologetic for my enthusiasm for Nordstrom – I’m with ya Rufus. I don’t see a problem with Nordstrom’s play and he’s a natural centerman so having him play 4C shouldn’t be a problem. Sliding Shaw to wing is a good thing – let him use his natural aggressiveness to get in on the forecheck and wreak some havoc. Early in the season like this is the right time for Q to do his mad scientist experimenting.

  27. wall says:

    Rufus and EbRaptor- agree on Nordstrom…
    Can I get a stick-tap for calling Q’s trust in 42 playing D center last nite?

    In reality- Nordstrom would be better Centering 20/42/65- 42 can’t finish any worse than 16, and he is a better playmaker. I think if 42 shows Q that he is ok w/ center spot- he might be given the 3rd line at some point sooner than later!

    Skating wise… 65 and 42 are very similar- quick/agile shifty.
    But I guess 42 needs to earn more trust… and/or 16 will be given chance to earn/fail.

  28. Mike says:

    Bickell / Toews / Kane
    Sharp / Kruger / Hossa
    Saad / Nordstrom / Shaw
    Morin /Pirri / Smith
    It’s time to determine if Krugs is your 2C. 10 – 15 games should tell you what you need to know. I think Nordstrom needs more time in the AHL but you can not deny his ability and potential. Could be a good combo feeding a couple of crashers. It is also time to decide Pirri’s future with the club. But give him 10 – 15 games. Saad and Bickell can be switched at anytime.

    Kieth / Seabrook
    Hammer / Oduya
    Leddy / Kostka or Rosy

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