Blackhawks Lose Outdoors (Again)

On Monday, the Blackhawks put their annual outdoor game loss in the rear view mirror.

Chicago traveled to St. Louis and broke at least one trend: they scored first. And early.

Playing at Busch Stadium, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Hawks put home the first goal of the game only 65 seconds into an intriguing first period. Michal Kempny received a pass from Artemi Panarin and… “blasted” home a knuckleball.

The shot, and the pass that set it up, weren’t incredibly crisp – something everyone was watching when the game started. Regular rain throughout the day and warmer temperatures had many players and fans wondering if the ice would hold up. To the credit of the league, the ice surface wasn’t to blame for the Hawks loss.

Patrik Berglund tied the game 7:45 into the second period and the two teams made it through 40 minutes in pretty good shape. The Blues out-shot the Hawks 23-17 over the first two periods but both goaltenders were seeing the puck well.

The wheels fell off for the Hawks in the third period, though.

Vladimir Tarasenko beat Corey Crawford twice in a span of 1:53 to blow the doors off the Winter Classic. His 17th and 18th of the season gave St. Louis a lead the Hawks’ couldn’t overcome; Alexander Steen’s fourth of the year and the fourth of the game for the Blues came into an empty net to finish the job.

Jordin Tootoo skated eight shifts (4:37) and led the Blackhawks with four hits. He was also credited with one takeaway and was minus-one in the loss.

In relevant Blackhawks player notes:

Jonathan Toews won 11 of 22 at the dot and finished tied with Patrick Kane for the team lead with three shots on net. Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook had two blocked shots each to lead Chicago. And Crawford made 31 saves in defeat.

With Marcus Kruger missing from the lineup, Artem Anisimov won eight of 15 faceoffs in a new mix at center for the Hawks. Tanner Kero won five of 12 as three skaters took the overwhelming majority of the Blackhawks’ draws. Andrew Desjardins (0-2) and Vinnie Hinostroza (0-1) took the other three faceoffs for coach Joel Quenneville.

Kempny skated 16:55 and scored for the second time in as many games. He was also credited with two hits.

25 thoughts on “Blackhawks Lose Outdoors (Again)

  1. the camera crew should be fired! a. they used the wrong camera most of the game and couldn’t follow the play and b. the lens had so many water droplets on it, couldn’t tell the drops from the puck sometimes ?! Regardless of the score – which sucked- Hard to enjoy the game with such poor camera-work!! let’s get into the 21st century with the newer technology!

  2. I just thought the team looked soft, slow, and passive today. Really disappointing to see them like that on such a big stage.

  3. One goal on a bad bounce-they need Steve Larmer to make a come back.
    On a positive note Kero fits his role well.

  4. Hammer tells it how it is, the ice in CAR was fuking not good. Puck bouncing all over the place.

    Thanks god were almost threw this stretch games before and after a longer break then normal and these wknd 12/noon or mid afternoon times ‘put on a pedestal’ by league games. After the BUF game we can settle back in and play hockey the way we do when we do. Without Krugs we really need Hoss to settle our lines to our standard patent. Didn’t deserve to but the 4th 10 game segment not that shitty as it seems.

    7-3-2 (7-1-2 after first 2 bs)
    6-3-1
    6-2-2
    4-4-1 (one more) then we can go with the 5th.

    Only one not good segment in the 1st 40 games. That’s good.

    Bog Picture is what we care about/whats meaningful.

  5. Not very good right now, would love to see them play for a full 60 min. Superstars need to be super not ordinary. They just don’t show the desire that they once showed and that’s unacceptable at least in my world.

  6. Kane not shooting enough. Passive as hell. He’s not creating enough scoring chances for himself even though he’s always hanging at the blue line while the puck is in our zone. Seriously 11 goals at this point of the year? Should have 17-20 By now. He’s not finishing. He’s gotta step up.

  7. The camera work left me a little disenchanted with the broadcast as well. That, along with the woeful fact that Doc E. can still NOT (or will not) pronounce Hjalmarsson’s name correctly.

    I’d better be careful about what I say on here though, and not post too much. There’s been a Troll lurking lately who has a crush on Craig Nigrelli and has been attacking posters. One key statement is that anyone aged 60 or over should not be posting on message boards …… for some reason that’s just not acceptable. I’m 6 years behind that hallmark status so I’m reaching the age of hockey senility. Oh shoot, I am rambling after all. Better get off here and leave it to all you truly entitled whippersnappers!

  8. Fabbri with 2 a’s…. I think he has as many points as the $10.5M Toews….

    Ironic- Crow and Toews back in the line-up… and Can’t string any wins…
    when Darling played a lot more- Team- played well???

    I think someone here posted earlier- that the “Real schedule” would come soon… and then we should talk TDL/sellers/buyers… of course Hawks are still a PO team…
    But- not serious Cup contenders with 19/ not playing like $10.5M man.
    and a bunch of Rookies.

    SB- needs to make a ballsy move- and move a Contract $6M or more…
    OR- get luck and sign/draft a couple of Saad/Shaw types….

    Seabrook

  9. With DH8 on his observations. Kane soooo passive after he continuously loses the puck trying to dance w it. Entire team not shooting nearly enough. Yesterday perfect example all around. STL outshot Hawks 2-1. Shoot the puck, it’s the only way to score. Go Hawks!

  10. The first St. Louis goal was a great example of why Tootoo should not be anywhere near an NHL hockey rink. He was at least 50 feet behind the play because he was too slow to get back and help his D. He was stapled to the bench after that play and managed a big 4.37 of ice time. Now we are back to running only three lines. Schmaltz on his worst night is better than Tootoo on his best night.

  11. Haw!!! Ok “Big (Dumb) Indian / Sigh / The Truth Is … / Craig Nigrelli” …
    I knew that would draw you out to play! No worries here at all :). I’ll continue to post with no apprehension, and like some of the others appear to be doing, I’ll put you on my personal ignore mode.
    This is still a good message board with some good insights from many folks who enjoy the game of hockey and conversing with each other. No age limits, no qualifications …… an occasional beef here and there, but that’s all in the spirit of good debate!

    And Craig Nigrelli, if it really isn’t you with the multiple doppelgangers I apologize for lumping you in with the trollers. It’s just that you acknowledged the troll’s kudos so I thought there might be a chance it was you. Hopefully no hard feelings if it’s not. For that matter, no hard feelings if it is.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! Here’s hoping for more fruitful and interesting discussion on the Blackhawks and NHL for the rest of the coming season!
    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  12. Disappointed by yesterdays results but an empty net and a fluke goal aren’t the worst thing in the world.

  13. Just a thought:

    The sky is falling all over Chicago on Jan. 3. The Blackhawks are on a downward slope and will barely make the playoffs. Only one line can score. Their power play is fugly at best and their penalty kill will be their demise. They suck and the world is nearly over.

    Meanwhile

    The Blackhawks have the top point total as a team in the Western Conference. They’re third in goals scored (109) and fourth best in goals against (98). They’re one of five teams in the West w/ at least 10 road victories. They have the third best goal differential as a team in the West. And only one team – Minnesota – has more ROW.

  14. Tab are you happy with the direction the team is going right now? All we’re saying is this type of effort is what leads to first round exits come playoffs. The 60 minute effort has not been there for some time and when a player is paid like ours are that’s just not acceptable to the fans or management for that matter.

  15. Can look at any bad stretch during the 82 games as worry about something. We play in the playoffs like we do during the good stretchs of the 82 games not the ones were not really playing/Blackhawks hockey.

    Even with 3 lines, Schmaltz can play if the 2nd 40 games if hes ready and you know we going to add a good FW at deadline. That’s 2 guys, another on make an entire line. With Krugs for as much of games 40-60 when he comes back it will be like getting a entire line for depth. These guys are our 5th line guys but part of the team, we need everybody at diff. times throughout as we go along.

    Need to play good. and Blackhawks hockey. Father time 81 is the stabilizer.

  16. Thanks Tab for reminding people that the Hawks are still a good team. No team goes 82-0 nor plays all 82 game with a 60 minute effort. I know it’s frustrating to watch as a fan but it’s human nature and it’s a long season. That game was pretty even until the third. I agree that shooting more would create more chances and the over passing drives me crazy but I’m not worried yet. So Wall you want Fabbri over Toews or Kopitar ( as he is struggling too)? I take captain serious when playoffs come. Btw nice cheap shoo by Fabbri on Hino

  17. Big Al – let’s talk about “the direction the team is going right now.”

    The Blackhawks lost a game in not-normal circumstance (outdoors, rain) against a good team (St. Louis) without their leading goal scorer (Hossa) and one of their better defensive forwards (Kruger).

    If you’re questioning the 60 minute effort of a team playing without key players, forcing others (Desjardins, Rasmussen, Kero) into more significant roles, then sure. Ignoring the context of injuries, I’d be happy to say they didn’t look good as a group. But the fact is, the group that played in the Winter Classic was missing 2 significant players.

    Everything I listed about the Blackhawks being on top of the Western Conference has been achieved with Toews, Crawford, Hossa & Toews spending time on IR already this season. And we aren’t yet half-way into the campaign. When these Blackhawks are at full strength, they have 2 very good scoring lines and they aren’t nearly as reliant on the rookies.

  18. Last I checked, the Hawks are 3rd in PDO in the NHL. Unsustainable. 15th in CF% 5v5. Not nearly good enough. We are not as good as W-L record, GF, GA, etc indicate. Ask the 13-14 Avalanche.

    Yes, we suffered injuries to key possession drivers. Say those injuries didn’t happen. Where would the Hawks be then? 13th?

    This team relies heavily on rookies… just more heavily when key players are on IR. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that the kids need to drive possession better — much, much better — if we’re going to seriously contend this year.

  19. Well I see that Columbus, Montreal, Minnesota and Washington have higher PDO and Pittsburgh is close to Chicago, so is theirs unsustainable too? Columbus has won 16in a row if any team is bound to cool off it’s them

  20. to Travis’ point re: relying too heavily on rookies – when you spend the better part of a full month w/ at least one of Crawford/Toews/Anisimov/Hossa/Kruger out of the lineup, yes. You’re going to rely on secondary roles players too much.

    My point is the Blackhawks have been able to stay on top of the West while missing significant pieces up front (AND rotating thru 8 defensemen, at least one of which should be retired). I could argue the Blackhawks would be better in some of the categories Travis listed if their top tier stars had been 100% for 40 games.

  21. GB – Yes, PDO has historically been unsustainable for any team. Especially if your goalie’s name isn’t Price. Very rarely you’ll see a team go an entire season without regressing to the mean, i.e. Toronto in the lockout season and the Avs in 13-14. But regression is inevitable if that’s how you win hockey games.

    Tab – I agree that the Hawks would be better in possession if their monster drivers were healthy. But how much better? 13th? 12th? I still don’t think it’s good enough as it stands.

    You may argue that the Hawks would be even better in your categories given better health. I can also argue that they are good in those categories because of chance. The truth is somewhere in the middle… we’re a good team that’s also getting lucky. To be a contender, the secondary players must improve.

  22. Before we all start to open the window and get on the ledge I think we need to remember a few things about the Hawks this year (Tab, I may reiterate a couple of your thoughts):
    1. Toews is hurt. He is still not 100%.
    2. Injuries have plagued some big names this year, so far.
    3. Our D men are deep, young and inexperienced.
    4. The ENTIRE team has been inconsistent in their play all year.
    5. Our puck possession time is terrible.
    6. Our faceoff % is terrible.
    7. Our PK is terrible.
    8. Our PP is inconsistent.
    9. Our young forwards are inconsistent, but learning on the job.
    10. Our transition game is not where it should be.

    BUT THIS TEAM IS IN FIRST PLACE.

    We need to let the season play out. We need to let these young kids learn the NHL game and make their mistakes and learn from them. We need to trust the coaching staff and SB and let them get these guys ready for a playoff run. When April comes, this team needs to be healthy and ready for a playoff run.

  23. I think its fair to say the Hawks have over achieved this year as to this point. Is this team a Stanley Cup contender, well yes based on points. Is this a contender based on the on ice play/roster? That im not sure. This team seems just as likely to lose in the 1st round as they are to win another cup.

    There isnt a dominate team in the West or really even the NHL for that matter. I know Columbus is on a historic roll but Im not sold on them either. Heck if you look at the teams with the longest winner streaks all time is about 50/50 that those teams hoist the cup at the end of the season.

    The Hawks have banked enough pts barring a complete collapse to be a playoff team and give themselves a chance to lift the cup again. This is far from a perfect team.

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