Blackhawks Lose To Wild – Again

Scott Darling was terrific and the Blackhawks erased a two-goal deficit in the second period, but a rare shootout opened the door for the Wild to win a feisty game at the United Center on Sunday night.

The first period looked like it might cure insomnia. Chicago got four minutes of early power play time as Zach Parise received a double-minor for high sticking Michal Rozsival but the Hawks weren’t able to get anything done on the extended advantage. The Hawks out-shot the Wild 13-7 in the first, but both goaltenders were on point and neither team was able to convert.

Scoring came easier in the second period, as both teams put two on the board.

Erik Haula, who has haunted the Hawks this year (five points in four games), opened the scoring only 50 seconds into the middle stanza. Nino Niederreiter extended the lead to two at 7:04, less than ten seconds after the Hawks successfully killed a Marian Hossa penalty.

But the Hawks fought back, led by their fourth line. Andrew Shaw had one helluva game, getting the Hawks on the board with his 12th of the season 94 seconds after Niederreiter’s goal. Shaw’s line continued to do work, and Richard Panik finished another tremendous shift six minutes later with his fourth of the season to bring the game to a tie.

That would be the sum of the offense for both teams, however.

The excitement in the third period came when Matt Dumba lit up Patrick Kane as he came across the middle of the ice. Kane’s head was down and the puck was between his skates, and Dumba unloaded with a big hit that sent Kane to the room for a few moments to collect his thoughts. Artemi Panarin came to Kane’s defense and picked up a roughing minor for his efforts. Chicago killed that penalty as well.

Damian Echevarrieta, the Vice President of the Dept. of Player Safety, weighed in on the hit on Twitter during the game.

Minnesota put 33 shots on net in regulation, but Darling was up to the task. Looking more like the Darling that came to the Hawks’ rescue in the first round of last year’s playoffs, Darling made a number of spectacular saves to keep his team in the game. He was aided by a number of Wild whiffs at an open net, including one by Parise in overtime that could have easily ended the game.

In the shootout, Jonathan Toews, Kane and Panarin all came up empty. Charlie Coyle beat Darling in the first round of the skills exhibition to earn the second point for Minnesota.

Not only did Haula score the game’s first goal, but he won 18 of 22 faceoffs in a dominant performance. His game has taken off since the coaching change in Minnesota, and he’s been a pain in the Hawks’ ass during the season series.

Teuvo Teravainen struggled at the dot, winning only three of 15 faceoffs in 12:39 in the game. Toews won 16 of 29 and was credited with four hits and three blocked shots, one of which came on a tremendous penalty kill in the overtime session.

Niklas Hjalmarsson led Chicago with six blocked shots, while Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with six hits. Duncan Keith (28:49) and Trevor van Riemsdyk (28:16) led the Hawks in ice time, while Erik Gustafsson disappeared; the rookie defenseman skated only 6:31 in the game but managed two shots on net in ten shifts.

Devan Dubnyk stopped 29 0f 31 in the win.

The Hawks host the Dallas Stars – without Tyler Seguin – in a huge Central Division game on Tuesday night.

39 thoughts on “Blackhawks Lose To Wild – Again

  1. Darling got us a point. Pathetic third period at home against a team that was playing back to back games. Top line unnoticeable. Ladd invisible. 4th line was our best. When will this team wake up?

  2. Keep at it. Win and tie, has us 2-0-1 win a win. Sometimes teams play good when they have people out. We play to opponent level sometimes (even good teams). We have moar higher gears then this.

  3. it was evident Hawks weren’t in the higher gear tonight while MN was playing for their playoff lives. It happened last year, too. MN showing the Hawks everything they got. Hawks seem ok right now to let them wear themselves out. Confident we’ll win when we have to.
    Shaw, Panik, 4th line played great!
    Dumba has taken these runs too many times and twice now that I remember on Kane– glad Panarin took him down for it. Hope Kane stays ok and no slow concussion symptoms.

  4. Hawks continue to look way out of sync. Appear to be tired, disinterested. In the third period they are getting badly out hustled. Toews does not look good . I wonder if he has an injury or is just flat out exhausted.

    Where are our top 3 lines ? This team better wake up soon. They won’t last one round in playoffs if play like they are now.

    Something wrong here. Anybody have any ideas what it might be ?

  5. The veteran players and coaches give the stand pat answer that has some wisdom-we can’t get too high or too low-just what many on this site do-from we have more/ moar gears to we’re doomed-
    this is a tired team that is being exposed with some weaknesses by hungry (good) teams-
    Hopefully they have enough left in the tank to make a run-
    I agree however that the question is do they rest some important players or fight tooth and nail right down to the last game and risk not only greater fatigue but injury.

  6. If the Hawks are going to playing at this level, mine as well rest some guys or atleast dial back minutes. Im good w opening against St, may even take in game 1 if possble! Go Hawks

  7. $20Million… Looked pretty average… Panik and Shaw were your best two players…

    So I am guessing Panik sits and Mashinter gets his spot Tuesday???

    Panik- Hits, skates with speed, goes to the net relentlessly… pretty much everything Bickell was paid $4M to ing do…

    Ladd- has lost a step or two… struggling versus speed/quick teams…

    Hawks really need some fresh new talent/Hunger… hoping two of Motte/Schmaltz/Forsling/Hayden/??? can make a difference next year.

  8. Did 52’s opportunity end last night? He got beat badly again although it didn’t result in a goal. We have to improve at the dot in the playoffs, particularly on the PK, last night was brutal. Koivu was the latest to kill us – hopefully Kruger’s return will help.

  9. Darling got us a point, but handed the second point to the Wild. He was so deep in the net during the shootout, he could’ve set up camp. He didn’t challenge the Wild at all in the shootout. He could’ve advanced or half-ass-poke-checked Coyle’s game winner but instead he backed up more and more.

    Really missed Crow in that shootout.

  10. Did Gustafsson literally disappear or can someone verify he was on the bench for the third period?

    Man Q does some crazy stuff that really befuddles my mind. Though that really doesn’t take much I suppose. I’ve get a pretzel between my ears whenever I think about the hawks line up, how little push they have and then glance at the box score.

  11. Good:
    Depth. Our top three lines can have off nights and we still get a point.
    Darling!!!
    Won 5v5 Corsi battle (somehow) (apparently).

    Bad:
    Coverage in own zone. Lots of puck watching and unchecked Wild in the slot.
    Penalty kill really struggled. No goals allowed, but that was white-knuckle.
    Power play was sad.
    No penalties drawn by pressure or speed.
    Andrew Ladd has to get going.
    Third line absent. Would have made the difference.
    Gustafsson and TVR do not look like the answer for #4 Dman. Both look tired. Particularly Gustafsson.
    Ehrhoff was scratched? We need him!

  12. To me, for more than half of the game the Hawks showed no sense-of-urgency. Is this fatigue? A couple of d-men looked pretty bad. Darling looked really good.

    “When will this team wake up?” – is a fair question. (…or, are they just pacing themselves?)

  13. Worry? Me Worry? Yes worry . . .

    Sasquatch Darling was the big bright spot again.Great Game again made the 4 or 5 great stops to keep us in the game. A few post saves and Zack missed an open open net but may have been the star of the week.

    Other Bright spot is our 3 and 4th lines that now have a WAY ( guts) to chip and chase and get to the puck, much faster game for those bottom2 line are getting some EXCELLENT ENTRY’S . . .speed and pinch and getting to the net. TNT Tevo has found a solid pair of line mates. They will begin to click soon, no worries.

    TVR is sort of here to stay . . . but CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF must be the 4th dman period or Coach Q will be impeached by me.

    The Worry . . . Our top line can not continue to just be a “Good Checking line” anymore! While NHL poser fans bash the 3 or 4th line or 5 defense man on the last pairing man off the bench which is easy. But the Critic is HOSSA #1 then TOESW #2 and sadly LADD #3. In that order, LADD still needs time . . . maybe! Our Top line with HOSS & TOEWS as the core really really really need to step it up. They are out of synch! Horrible and have been all year really. TOWES is a BEAST as good as Gordie Howe period. They are labeled this DEFENSIVE LINE and now with Hossa are really not a threat as they will need be in the playoffs. Big time! I watch a lot of hockey and we look slow at times on the top two lines. Game is speeding up!

    Go hawks

  14. Fatigue and maybe bothersome injuries, not many other ways to explain the way the Hawks are currently playing. There is far too much talent on this team to be playing this uninspired brand of hockey. The Hawks mortgaged some of their future in the hopes of winning another Cup. I know that the core knows this. It is up to the core to pull this team out of its current funk. They’ve got 4 weeks to put it together.

  15. SB- has made some great moves… But NOT paying someone to take Bickell – and thus keeping the $$$ to afford Oduya ( taking on Daley)… Might be his biggest Blunder… It seems like they were just a few $$$ off in affording Oduya???

    Most of it goes back to “Handcuffs”!!!

    Seems like the League has figured out that Hawks are vulnerable by attacking from behind the net…

    Looking like 2011 post cup year… bigger problem… the “core” is on the wrong side of 27 + years old now….

  16. Noooo. Ladd has not lost a step, too easy to say! If you watch him with Jets no speed decline at all. He is a big net front presence, but is bumping into Hoss and Toews at times, he will find his grooooove. Promise and will win 2 or 3 games flat out in the playoffs, Ladd is not the problem that top line needs to score, be more aggressive etc. Even their passing is off too! They have feed into the “Defensive Humdrum” you DO NOT PAY GUYS MILLIONS to FORECHECK.

    I can tell ya . . something , NHL 101, your speed is pre-determined by your line mates! And velocity up and down the ice is influenced by looking back, or over and waiting.. or simply not having a good feel.. LADD is off side a lot because he is fast but waiting for Hoss and Toews.

    If we watch “hard” notice how Shaw’s speed is increased lately because he is with guys that skate. Not dance around, pause, look, turn back, wait, turnover! look at Panik and Flash and Mr. Wise! Our bottom lines are solid.

    go hawks
    c

  17. Opponents are scoring on us from behind net and forechecking hard. On defense they are clogging neutral zone . As result we do not have those extremely quick zone exits and transitions to offense that we had for years.

    Face it there is something wrong with Toees — he looks exhausted . Hossa looks old and tired. Still a good player but not a top liner. Why not move Flash up to top line and move Hossa to third line ? And how long can Hawks continue with TT winning 20% of his face offs ? He is missing in action most nights — no physicality at all .

    Something needs to change quickly or it will be a long summer.

  18. A game that could have been won outright, but the Wild clearly were the more desperate team, and playing hard to get into a wild card spot. Slow start again that was offset by a thankfully strong showing from Darling yet again. I think there are always reasons to be concerned, but the issues this team are struggling with will likely to be corrected from a structural standpoint. This is especially true in the defensive zone. I would like to see more of Erhoff vs Gus, but I am sure Q will find the right mix as we get closer to and into playoffs.

    Many are questioning Ladd’s performance, but not me. Please recall when Vermette signed last year. It took him weeks before he settled in, but eventually became an important contributor. A player of Ladd’s skill and character will pay the dividends as he gets re-acquainted with line mates, and his role on special teams. Like Shaw, Laddie plays with a big heart. Don’t fade that guy. He was a huge add.

    I am really liking lines 3-4. Leave em be and let them run. Panik has some big time wheels and both Fleischmann and Weise are starting to loosen up. Kruger re-entry will stir the pot again, but we sure need some help with faceoffs.

    Big game tomorrow. The boys need to come out strong and take it to the Stars. It is an all hands on deck call up, and will likely be as close to playoff intensity as there is.
    Looking forward to being there.

    Anyone watch the end of that Caps-Pens game yesterday? Refs just lost control. Some real cheap shots being dealt out by Caps in the 3rd who were getting their asses kicked on the scoreboard. Classless crapola.

    Lets GO Hawks!

  19. Phil, Re: Pens/caps… Had same convo w/ Wife… She asked why the Hawks weren’t on at 7:30pm… I said- same thing… Caps are being D-bags and Refs have lost control… really-in games I reffed … I would have found a way to just call the game… but realizing this is “showtime”… I would have made up penalties… to make the game end sooner with less BS.

  20. Yes, I get that completely Wall. I just think the refs should have seen where it was headed when Ovi was just skating around trying to drill guys when it went 5-2. Then it was shift after shift from the Caps with the same kind of douchebaggery. Refs just lost control. For example, when Oshie was punching Crosby AND linesman with Crosby’s head without a helmet was on the ice. Oshie should have tossed for that garbage.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  21. Guys like 32 and 16 will stand out more in playoffs because of the style. Like 65 does. 16 is going to be a monster. These kind of guys are built for the playoffs, whether fast/size/heart/grit.

  22. The Wild have the Hawks number this year similar to the way the Avs did a couple years ago. Their quickness and dogged determination overwhelm the Hawks through much of 5 on 5 play. The advantage the Wild have in the regular season when they are just another game on the schedule to the Hawks will be less in the playoffs when Q can employ his match up strategy which usually proves effective in a 7-game series.

    Concerned? Yes, but standing on a ledge thinking it’s all over. The main concern I have is the passivity on special teams. Opponents have gotten better at attacking the sagging box the Hawks use on the PK and also have gotten better on how to effectively be aggressive against our PP. Special teams need to improve but I’m not sure if a systemic change is needed or better execution of the systems currently employed. One way or the other they need to improve or the Hawks will be hard pressed to advance in the playoffs.

  23. Edit for above post …

    Concerned? Yes, but NOT standing on a ledge thinking it’s all over.

  24. Good news?
    The only teams I see a lot of and go out of my way to watch, the two best teams are in the EAST.

    Florida and Caps are the only teams I see that really bring it and will be hard to beat.
    Florida size and speed is amazing, no big names, just same same thru out the lien up so quick and big to the puck and skilled i pick them! Effortless actually to see them play.

    As of today the HAWKS are as good if not BETTER than any team in the west, Kings ducks slow, stars no d . . . average at best. Preds cant score on and on. Hawks for the all the longterm problems are in good position.

  25. Does anyone think the Blues are going to beat the Hawks in the 1st round? because honestly thats all anyone should care about today! Unless some oh you think Nashville is going to pass the Hawk, which i do not. Even if that happens I’d prefer the Hawks face the Kings earlier then later.

  26. This seems to me to be a well reasoned take on our current slump:

    http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/25525638/how-concerned-should-blackhawks-be-with-late-season-slump

    Comparing the numbers from last year’s end-of-season slump and this year’s slump are a bit disturbing. But lots of new moving parts on this squad, and as I’ve felt from the start of the season, this will be Q’s biggest test as coach.

    And BTW, very happy to see Panarin jump to Kane’s defense yesterday. When the announcer said afterward that he thought it was a clean hit I almost threw a beer bottle at my Sony. Dumba is a beady-eyed little prick. There, got it off my chest.

  27. The Hawks struggle against fast teams- Nashville, Dallas & Minnesota. The Blues are a slow, physical and plodding team. I am confident we will beat them in the first round. I do worry about injuries because of dirtbags like Reeves and Backus.

  28. ….since outdoor game vs Minnesota Wild the Hawks have been in a downward spiral…hate to say anything negative or be a prophet of gloom and doom…have already made my observations over the last month or two like everyone else and believe the now three time champions will be ready for playoffs……they will need a lot of luck…lol…..still miss Sharpie….

  29. TVR does absolutely nothing well in the defensive end. Nothing. How he continues to log ice time baffles me.

  30. Steve Becht, “TVR does absolutely nothing well in the defensive end. Nothing.” – really? Do blocked shots count?

  31. 1. Hawks will NOT separate Anisimov from Panarin. Communication thing is essential for 72 so you can stop thinking of those two on different lines.
    2. Lots of teams playing for their post season lives, and the Hawks seem unwilling to invest the sort of effort to hold these teams at bay. Definitely trying to coast into the playoffs with the idea of then flipping the proverbial switch.
    3. Hossa and Ladd are very clearly playing a self preservation game to be ready for the playoffs. Painful but obvious.
    4. TVR has always been a limited skills type player. He simply overachieved the first half of the season. He’s being abused on the ice for going on 6 weeks. Destroyed in fact.
    5. Gustafson has run out of gas and suffers from the lack of skills dilemma that plagues TVR.
    6. Better hope and pray Rosival and Erhoff can be solid and log heavy minutes come the playoffs. Both will be counted upon in a big way.
    7. Toews hasn’t been the same player he’s been all season. Maybe it’s high mileage catching up or maybe it’s injury that has h at less than 100%. But he has slowed down in all phases of the game this season.
    8. Crawford will need to be team mvp once again in the playoffs. Just like he was in 2013 and 2015.
    9. A betting man would say the Stanley Cup Finals will be an epic series of the Kings versus the Capitals. But that is as of right now so we shall see.
    10. In terms of the playoffs the Hawks need to worry most about the Kings. I’m not really worried about anybody else in the West, which might be arrogant and living in denial. We shall see.

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