Blackhawks Lose To Wild In OT

Thursday night’s game in Minnesota exposed what can be good and bad about this year’s Blackhawks.

The game started with Jonathan Toews’ line dominating action, as it has done often early this year. Ten minutes into the game, Toews battled his way through a defender and got a pass to an open Alex DeBrincat for an easy shot.

Less than three minutes later Toews was in a sharing mood again. This time he set up Dominik Kahun and the rookie slammed home his first career NHL goal.

DeBrincat picked up the second assist on the Kahun goal, giving him (and Toews) two points in the first period.

Cam Ward came out strong and kept the Hawks in the game. But, if we’re honest, the Hawks got away with some incredibly sloppy play in their own end that they survived because Minnesota simply couldn’t find a way to finish.

At the end of 20 minutes, the Blackhawks held a 2-0 advantage.

The sloppy defensive play continued in the second period but Minnesota remembered how to finish. At 13:19 Jason Zucker set up Eric Staal for a goal. Staal returned the favor, setting up Zucker who tied the game with less than three seconds left in the period.

Chicago got outworked the entire middle 20 minutes and paid the price. The game was tied at two after 40 minutes, and could have been worse if not for some more good work by Ward.

Two minutes into the third period Chicago got a power play. At that point in the season, the Blackhawks had yet to score with the so-called advantage.

DeBrincat ended the drought off a nice feed from Patrick Kane.

DeBrincat’s fourth of the season gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead that they were able to maintain until there were 23 seconds remaining in regulation.

Short-handed with the goaltender skating to the bench, Ryan Suter picked up a loose puck on the doorstep with everyone in white paying attention to the opposite side of the ice.

And for the fourth time in as many games to start the new season, the Hawks went to overtime.

Ward faced 43 shots in regulation, allowing only three to go in (with very little help from his friends).

Chicago opened OT with 45 seconds of power play time left on the clock, but did nothing during the 4-on-3 time.

With under three minutes left in the extra session, Kane and DeBrincat got a breakaway and Kane made a beautiful move that was somehow stopped by Devan Dubnyk. The Wild streaked the other way and got a great chance only to get stoned by Ward.

With 95 seconds left in overtime, Zucker won the game after Suter stripped Brandon Saad at the other end of the ice.

The result was unfortunate for Ward, who was the best player on the ice for the visitors on Thursday night. He deserved better but the Hawks’ sloppy defensive play cost them a second point against a team that was struggling offensively coming into the game.

In his NHL debut, Alexandre Fortin skated 8:49 and was minus-two with one shot on net, one hit and one takeaway. He showed good speed up and down the ice, reminding us why we’re angry Chris Kunitz is on the roster. Kunitz skated 9:06 and was minus-two as well with just one shot on net.

Toews had two assists and won 15 of 25 faceoffs. DeBrincat had three points and finished tied with Kane for the forward lead with four shots on net. Duncan Keith led Chicago skaters with five shots on net in his 999th career regular season game.

Rookie Henri Jokiharju finished second among defenseman in time on ice at 22:18.

63 thoughts on “Blackhawks Lose To Wild In OT

  1. No way to sugar coat it, the Hawks blew this game. A goal very late in the Second, and then a short handed goal against in the last half minute. Their play inside of their own blueline is terrible. It’s got to get better simply because it can’t get worse. Good effort by Ward and the Captain looks great. Saad with two great chances late and…nothing.

  2. Positives-Saad elevated his game (no luck) and Fortin has speed and a great forecheck-the people on this site who like him were right. Ward played better.
    Finally Kahun has hockey sense, as well as some nice skills.

    Oh and yes, let’s put D-Cat in as part of a trade. I hope those people realize how ridiculous that thought was.

    Negatives- bad defensive coverage again.

  3. The kind of year its going to be. Some good individual efforts tonight, Toews line again, Ward, thought Kane and Schmaltz both had a good game, Jokiharju still learning but playing like a vet in alot of ways too. No threat to score on bottom 2 lines except AA now and then, even when net is empty. Need to keep Fortin there for speed.

  4. Kampf on the empty net – shoot the friggin puck man! That should have been the game right there – was he going to skate the puck into the net? what was he thinking?

    Hawks were careless on the last PP in O zone to let MIN out of their end and then had 4 guys in front of the net all puck watching and no one picking up Suter – that’s minor league basics

    Why was Anisimov on at the end of OT? – was he on for the winning goal?

    At least Ward (incredibly) and Toews (again) played great

    Saad still can’t finish

    Gus is going to take years off my life – I know he’s skilled but he seems to working with a less than full tool box

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Sikura up anytime – Kunitz has no impact on the game

    Fortin’s speed alone should grant him another chance but somehow I doubt he gets it

  5. The positives, DeBrincat looks to be the real deal, I loved Kahun’s play. Ward had his best game of the season! Toews looks the be back in form, and Kane is Kane.

    The negatives, holy hell this team defence is atrocious. Pathetic comes to mind actually, Gustafson was downright pathetic in the offensive zone having two pucks go right through him leading to breakaways going the other way. Giving up a short handed goal with 23 seconds left in regulation is embarrassing. How the Hawks managed to come out of this game with anything less than two points is shocking.

    This is a problem with a decent start to the season, false hope before everything comes crashing back down to reality.

    I would say things will be better when Crawford is back but Ward was excellent tonight! The good news is this is valuable experience for the young kids.

    Saad had the game on his stick twice and blew it. What happened to that guy?

  6. Defense is and has been lacking. It’s shameful to expect a goalie to makeup for the defensemens short comings.

  7. With his promotion to the PP I was looking to see how much ice time HJ logged tonight. He was 19-20 minutes in the first three games. Tonight more. It’s a long season and at 19 he is going to wear down in the new year. Hopefully when Murphy comes back he can carry some of that load.

  8. Joki on PP with Cat in the middle were both good moves – first PP goal of the year

    Overall PP was reasonably good except the for the last one when they didn’t have to score so they stopped skating in the O zone thus giving up the puck that led to MIN tying the game

    The first PP also had a good look with Toews passing to Schmaltz

    I’m reasonably comfortable with 2-28 on the ice (even though it was them on for the tieing goal) but the other two pairs suck even though I thought Seabrook was Ok

    Can Q not give Davidson a look? please?

  9. With his Finnish games and CHL/regular and playoffs- Joki played about 100 games last year so he should be good all year.

  10. Since Bowman has his nose too far up John McD’s arse, unfortunately he’s probably safe for at least through the season, so Q is likely to get a pink slip before the Holiday season is over with. Honestly, they both should go. The defense on this team continues to be terrible, and it’s going to look worse once they start playing better teams on a regular basis. Keith doesn’t even look like a top 40 dman anymore. Gus, Rutta, and Manning are just brutal. I don’t even think Crow at 100% can get this team an 8th seed. Murphy coming back will help, but there’s just too many holes on the blue line for it to make a big difference. The bottom 6 doesn’t produce anything. Ward deserves full credit for the point, but honestly they didn’t even deserve that. Second straight game blew an early 2-0 lead. 2 goals allowed with less than 25 seconds in a period. That’s been a trend for a while now. It’s time for a major shakeup. Any one who trusts Bowman to make this team a contender again is foolish.

  11. First – the Wild outplayed the Hawks and deserved the 2 point more than the Hawks who were fortunate to get 1 point. But, they had that game in the bag and played stupidly which cost them the game. Kampf should have shot the puck to ice the game – obviously – but at least they got a PP out of it. So basically all the Hawks had to do was play keep-away on the PP to win the game in regulation. But no, they don’t intentionally play keep-away so naturally they don’t keep the puck and the Wild tie it up and sent it to OT. Then, the Hawks start the OT with a 4-on-3 PP for 43 seconds … and what do they do but have Keith set up for a one-timer – KEITH – you know they guy who has the weakest and most inaccurate shot in the league – yeah, that guy. So he takes the shot and of course it has no possibility to go in and there goes the 43 second PP. Then the Hawks have 4 unforced which is essentially insisting the Wild take the puck and try to score with it which is what they eventually do. They had a chance to win this game but played stupidly and lost – that’s frustrating.

  12. Ward outstanding. Kudos to him.

    Panarin 4 point night tonight… Sorry to mention…

    Even troy brouwer scored a goal tonight, wow…. I didn’t know he was still in the league….

    Zucker nice combo of skill & speed, can he give Saad dose of confidence? Zucker has the Hawks’ #…. Anyway we ‘ll take the point.

  13. Didn’t see game.
    Based on what you guys said, no matter how bad the defense is, were just to good on offense. We donot want to win too much, if were to get another top high end player at draft. Were not going 10-0-2, but we are undefeated in 4 games/that were against two top 5 teams and a top 10 team and OTT.

    Be funny to see a 41-0-41 record.

  14. Good thing Panarin is coming back, if he wants to.
    I guess if we add Nylander, then that would mean another trade needed.

  15. “Incredibly sloppy play in the defensive end?!” is a compliment!!
    Seriously Stan- if this DOES NOT get addressed ASAP, this season will only get worse- and while some of the defence men are atrocious, the forwards – yep, nearly ALL of them- don’t know how to “break out of” or “check someone” in their own end!
    46 shots on Cam Ward?! If and when, Crawford comes back next week- and he has the same game in front of him as Wardo- he will WANT to go back on the DL!
    C’mon Stan- address this shit now so we can have some hope of getting to the post season- isn’t that what it’s sll about??!!

  16. This defence…ayiyi. Worse we are stuck with it. I don’t see any teams going “Hey lets trade a top 4 defenseman to Chicago!”

    We can try Davidson as someone pointed out but does anyone here think that’ll solve the problem on the backend?

    I do think Connor Murphy will help but the d really does need a top 4 dman.

    Crawford? Nope. So much has been heaped on him. The great savior. He hasnt played in what seems like forever. Cam Ward actually played well and lost. Crawford isnt saving this team.

    That Hossa trade frustrates me to no end. Wtf was the point of trading him? I would rather have Hinostroza on the third line than having Kruger. Now Kampf is pushed over and doesnt really fit. Hes like an extra piece.

    To the Kunitz bashers…yea, I agree.

    But Fortin…I disagree. Send him down. Hes not quite ready.

    5 mllion in cap space and we cant get a player without amother team asking for Schmaltz. Sigh

    And Schmaltz? Practice your damn faceoffs!

    I need a drink.

  17. Sadly, this is the fate of a non playoff team. You cannot have a power play with one minute left, up by one, and allow the other team to score. As a result, Minnesota got 2 points, when they were thirty seconds from gaining none, the Hawks got one point instead of two. So ultimately a 3 point swing in Minnesotas favor. The stuff that matters in late March/early April when these two teams are vying for wild card spots.

    On a positive note, the Hawks are 2-0-2. I had them pegged at 1-3 a week ago.

    And one more : Stan should be listening to all offers on Saad. He cannot play on a team’s third line and does not produce enough to play on the top two lines.

  18. One flashy save does not make Ward a good golaie. All 4 goals he let in, he was terrible. He is too small and too weak.
    Manning and Rutta are terrible as well.
    JOKI should not have been on the ice the last minute or so. Lack of experience as he lost the puck behind the net and then Ward was brutally soft in his crease.
    Fortin needs to stay, call up Highmore and Dalhstrom.
    Manning on waivers along with Kunitz.

  19. Fortin has very little offensive upside likely, needs to improve in his own end, get in line for that one. He brings needed speed on bottom 6 and relentless forecheck. Digging the puck out and passing to AA gives a chance to score. If Si?ura needs more time then another Fortin type speedy buzzsaw on the otherside, Kampf maybe, Highmore would give resemblance of somebody who can score besides AA. Kunitz , i understand why he was put there but is doing nothing

    Jokiharju still learning and with a little time he will be fine and it should show on Keith’s play as well . His 40 game mark is at New Years and they will have to then to decide on him, as that is when year counts towards ufa status.

  20. Disagree that Fortin needs to go back down-his speed was noticeable and he needs to be given a chance (not sure it will happen however), to see how he does in the NHL.
    I agree Dalhstrom will be more responsible but there is a reason he isn’t up yet-slow feet and not physical for his size.
    It was stated last night during the game-too many d-men looking for the puck and the players on other team sitting in the crease not being touched-this team is in desperate need for a big, quick/mobile guy that puts a little fear into the bigger forwards on the other team. Can we clone a Seth Jones?

    At least this team has an unusual amount of practice time at the start of the year-Q and coaching staff????

  21. Did Q comment on Fortin in his post game presser?

    I thought he did OK, although he was a -2. He got in on the forecheck and engaged to fight for the puck but also got out-muscled a few times. He had a couple nice passes in close but no one scored off them. He pad that partial breakaway but Dubnyk made the save. Not bad but nothing special either.

  22. It was Fortin’s first NHL game why not let the kid play and see what we have.
    He is young and he is fast and he will only get better.
    I would much rather see the Hawks bring in the youth and weed out the old guys.
    Young guys will probably only get better old guys will definitely only get worse.
    Just a question.. Does Duncan Keith look look like he is running around like a
    chicken with his head cut off?

  23. Ok everyone, repeat after me “Who gives a shit?” We will get used to this. While it was a pity to see the extra point pathetically given away last night, they did get a point in a game where Ward basically stole that point for the Hawks. Hapless Wild could not bury grade A chances, and Ward was there to keep the Hawks in it. At least these games are entertaining, which is kind of why we watch isn’t it?

    It is stunning to see such bad team defense from the Hawks in their own end. I blame the forwards for much of this although the present corps is certainly less than a stalwart group. Coaching??Apart from horrible positioning, is it so difficult to actually put bodies on opposing players and finish checks? This has been a growing problem for years. Zero physicality along the walls and in front of the net. When was the last time ANY Hawks plastered an opposing forward camping out in front of Hawks keepers? It’s as though they are being told not to engage! It doesn’t help when most of your d men are not larger guys either. We all know the Hawks roster is one of the lightest weight wise in the NHL. That’s on the guys drafting young talent and SB. The Hawks are Smurf city.

    That said, some positives were there last night. Kahun is really coming along. Fortin is very fast and should get more ice time as we look to the future. Dcat continues to snipe with accuracy and a lightning fast shot release. The Cpt looks like he’s on a mission from God. Krugs at least working hard at playing a defensive role. Hayden is playing hard every shift. Schmaltz speed is a threat as is ability to pilfer pucks in a blink from unsuspecting opponents. Needs some face off progress..Ward kept Hawks in it, but he is not the answer between the pipes.

    Is Brandon Saad walking around trapped in some sort of alternate reality? How did Torts put him there??

    Hope they beat the Blues in regulation tomorrow.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  24. Did Rutta forget how to stand on skates on the Staal goal can anyone at Rockford manage not to fall down half the time, he’s brutal I cringe when he’s on the ice.

  25. It was another ‘no shit Sherlock’ game. The Hawks simply broke down defensively but also mentally this time. Q even had 2 D men on the ice during the Hawk PP where the tying short handed goal was scored.
    Mini didn’t win this game, the Hawks lost it – gave it to them!
    There can be no excuse for this loss though, none at all. This was the worst so far.

  26. Hello all, new poster here but been reading for a long time.

    Can someone explain to me the love for Duncan Keith? I get it, he used to be a great player, helped lead the Hawks and the defense to 3 cups, has 2 Norris trophies and a Conn Smythe but the guy is atrocious and has been for a few years now. Not sure he would be a top 4 defenseman on many (if any) teams in the league. He is lazy, terrible positioning, and is flat out soft out there!! Yet he still plays way too many minutes and can’t even help keep the puck out of the net or at least get inside positioning to make an effort. It’s not like he provides any offensive upside anymore either. I get that the defense sucks this year, but why not let some kids learn instead of wasting time on a washed up veteran? Even Seabrook looked better than Keith last night!!!!

  27. So on the tying goal we have 4 players basically covering 1 Wild player and our defensive coverage breaks down. Boys, these KIDS need to learn coverage in our zone. That’s teachable.

    You can’t teach speed, toughness and goal scoring. We have all that with these kids.
    We need them to get playing time so they can learn the important things at the NHL level, like defensive zone coverage.

    You can go over it in practice all you want but the best thing to do is to get these young kids game experience. Gonna be a long season.

  28. Went to the game and have a few simple observations:
    -First; agree with all that the D is very leaky. 44 playing with no confidence, Gus makes head scratching plays over and over and 2 looks lost or old. I think 23 plays ok he’s just not a top 4 guy. 28 makes me excited about the future, been our best dman so far but it’s a small sample size and having a 19 yr old be your best D on this team is very troubling.
    -Schmaltz has all the tools to be an elite forward in this league but just seems to lack something, maybe hockey IQ or lack of grit and is horrible at the dot.
    -14 can probably help on the room but has done nothing on the ice and if his ice is at he detriment to 84 getting ice time, that’s a problem. Loved 84’s speed. He needs to develop and even with his mistakes, at least you are building something.
    – I’m a huge 19 fan and always have been even though like many I ripped his play last year so it’s very comforting to see him play the way he has first 4 games.
    -Finally, I will say that 4 years ago I predicted 20 would become an elite power forward and when we reaquired him, even at the loss of 72, I was very excited. WOW, what the heck has happened? Without any report of injury how does a guy depreciate so quickly and reverse course so drastically? He still plays smart most of the time but has completely lost his hands, touch and finishing skill. He used to “run a clinic” on taking the puck to the net! Now he’s just kind of there and when he does get great chances like he did last night, where he previously was a closer, he has no finish at all! I sincerely don’t get what has happened to him.
    Expectations are overall lower this year so I am happy and entertained this far this season but I do see some potential to be a surprise team this year if we just clean up on D and get the most out of our stars, especially 20&8.
    Go Hawks!

  29. Phil, that’s the spirit Reg.
    We need to talk about whats best for roster and development of younger guys.
    But remember that whenever we donot do good, who cares, because were getting better developing and can get rewarded with another top high end pick. That’s got to be the formula for when were deep again in a yr and a half-2.

  30. Well, that sucked.

    To the new poster, Duncan Keith is a lock hall of fame defensman. Only a few defenseman in history have ever won both the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP, and the Norris Trophy as best regular season defenseman, as Keith has. ALL of them are in the Hall of Fame.

    Keith was drafted as a mobile undersized defenseman. He is a work out freak who built himself up enough to endure the punishment of playing NHL hockey but his game is built on quickness and stickwork defensively, not layout out people with huge body checks. There is more than one way to play effective defense depending upon what kind of player you are.

    He is also a warrior and a champion, who can snap to defend himself. When a Sedin from Vancouver elbowed Keith in the back of the head while checking him, Keith returned the favor and elbowed him in the head back and gave him a concussion. When LA’s Jeff Carter took some liberties with Keith in a playoff game, Keith followed him up ice and used his stick to filet Carter’s face knocking several teeth out. In the Stanley Cup Finals, Keith took a puck to the face knocking out several teeth in front on top and bottom, and had the trainer just shoot pain killer into his gums and returned to the game and kept playing effectively. It looked like a firework went off in his mouth.

    Duncan Keith is one of the greatest defensemen of his generation. He is on the back end of his career, and is still effective at his age, he is still mobile. But he won’t put up the offensive numbers he used to, and is not as dominant due to a knee injury and surgery robbing him of some of his speed. But you won’t find a smarter, more competitive defenseman anywhere, and any team in the league would be happy to take him off our hands. He also has a very cheap cap hit.

  31. I’ve been checking Powers’ twitter line about every 30 minutes expecting to see the dreaded message that Martinsen is healthy and therefore Fortin has been sent back to Rockford. I really hope I’m wrong and Fortin gets at least another game or two.

  32. I am not taking anything away from what Keith has done in the past!
    But to believe that he is half as good as all the thing you just mentioned seems to have tunnel vision for a guy that just isn’t there. He seems to still think he can play like he did 5 years ago, and with that I will argue about his hockey IQ and awareness as of this day, that just aren’t up to par. He gets caught in bad pinches, thinks he can keep but with the youthful legs that continually blow by him, can’t get position in front of the net or stick check the guys that are standing on top of the goalie. His speed, reactions, and thinking are a thing of the past. He needs to adjust his game to play smarter, not harder. I am not taking anything away from him as a competitor. But in order to provide the most for the team he needs to play smarter and spend less time trying to do the things he used to be able to do. The guys that can play until they are 40 quickly learn and adjust, the adjustment needs to happen now because the rest of the league is blowing by him. When this happens, which is does many, many times a game the hawks become very vulnerable. Look at the goals from last night, 3 of them Keith is lost… Years ago he may have been able to recover but not anymore.

    Been a Hawks fan my whole life and will continue to be, but relying on older players to play like they did 5 years ago will make it tough for this team to win championships. Older guys don’t often get better, they regress. The younger guys will get better. They need to learn from Keith and he needs to mentor, not put the young guys in bad positions trying to cover for a guy trying to do to much.

  33. Fortin- is Fast/Great fore-check player… little finish

    Hawks best Bottom 6 forwards/guys -with SPEED and a little skill…. are NOT on current Roster… and NOT in Rockford…

    Kurashev/Soderlund/Kayumov/Altybarmakyan/Barratt/Wise– are all quicker/more skilled!!! ( maybe Sikura-even though I say he is more of softer/skilled top 6 guy)

    How soon – will they get here??? Kurashev/Soderlund- imo- could play NOW,
    rest of group- might take 2-3 years

  34. Noel- I forgot to mention… slowed down last year due to early injuries-legs.
    Was really impressed – this camp with his skating/speed/agility

    Kid- is a fantastic skater/checker… kind of like Fortin… can either score??? Not yet-
    but surely- both – make the game faster/more fun to watch

  35. Reg agree a teaching these young guys defense this year is what needed, can still be entertaining at that same time.

    Hereismike well said about Keith. Also as Jokiharju learns and improves hopefully that enables Keith to look more like the old Keith.
    Phil couldn’t agree more getting bent out of shape about wins and losses this season is not worth it.

  36. Fortin looked good with his speed but it seem doubtful he will ever have the hands and all around game to produce. Seems like we had a guy with speed that could score a half point a game and we game him away to get rid of the Hossa deal, which we are not using the cap space anyway…

    New guy…..you raise some good points about how players have to adjust when they are aging. The problem is that even though Keith is reduced by age, he is still by far and away the best defenseman we have….which should point your focus into the GM chair.

    No one can make chicken salad out of the chicken $#%! that is the poor talent level of the Hawks defense core. All three games to start the year have been embarrassingly bad from a defensive coverage and defending the area in front of the net standpoint. And you can’t blame the coaches, because we used to be one of the best teams in the league at this. It’s not like they are telling them to suck, they do that all on their own.

  37. Best chances for a 3rd line with AA as offensive threat is Sikura and Ejdsell with him but they aren’t ready yet for NHL.

  38. I thought I played pretty well yesterday. I’m not going to stop every breakaway. Someone said I should have had my stick on the ice. Say that to my face and we’ll see a stick on the ice.

  39. Duncan Keith looks exactly the same as last year, not very good. Toews and Seabrook both had down years but came back stronger with the will to compete. Keith looks just as disinterested today as he did last year. This is a what have you done for me lately league not boy were you good back in the day. Those ceremonies are for when you’re finished and he may be done with the Hawks.

  40. The Hawks should have lost that game last night. That they were in a position to win the game was more a result of how poorly the Wild played than how well the Hawks played. That said, it should sting a lot the Hawks lost that game. When a team tries to give away the game and you can’t finish that is on you.

    That said the top line is fun to watch. Kahun, is a lot more skilled than I anticipated, not Panarin-esque, but he fits on that top line great. DeBrincat is doing exactly what I hoped he would do this season and that is build off the success of his rookie year.

    Outside the top line, Kane and Jokiharyu (on the blue line,) this team leaves a lot to be desired.

    Keith and Seabrook have not had the Renaissance that Toews has and quite honestly it is showing in the overall play of the defense. The days of Keith playing almost 30 minutes a night like he did in the 2015 SC are over. Seabrook is effective when he can use his size, the problem is that his lack of speed hurts the team more often than his size helps it. The rest of the blue line consist of a bunch of guys who don’t make much of an impact. How do the Hawks get better on defense this season? Are Murphy and Forsling going to suddenly become top 4 talents when they return from injury? (Hell does Forsling even make the NHL roster?)

    As far as the bottom 6, I’m still waiting to see something crafty from Kunitz who is supposed to be the crafty veteran… I like what I see from the likes of Hayden and Kampf, but someone needs to add some tertiary scoring down there, anyone!

    That said, this team is still really entertaining to watch (for good and bad reasons) and that is not nothing. I fully believe that the second line will start to produce, they have too many shifts dominating possessions to not have that start to translate into goals. I also have faith that someone from Rockford cracks the lineup this season (Sikura, Ejdsel, Hillman…) and brings a little jump to the lineup like a shot in the arm..

    A flawed but entertaining Hawks team that has some work to do to get better. I can live with that for now.

  41. After a slow start, Shalunov has picked it up and scored the game tying goal late in the 3rd and the game winning shootout goal. It seems like Shalunov has been in the conversation for quite a while but he’s still only 25. Hopefully he comes over for the 2020/21 season as planned as he will be a solid top-9 guy and at 6’3″/215lbs is not the typical Euro munchkin.

  42. Both are true, Keith was a warrior and star, as well as still one of the best d-men we have-the problem is that doesn’t mean he’s a top 3 on most teams (he isn’t) He’s a 4 moving to a 5/6 at 35 and he deserves to be held accountable and not get a free pass.

    I like the 4th line from ER’s report but you have a 6 million dollar man on that line and the 3rd line is questionable compared to many in the league. 3rd line’s in the NHL today can fly, chip in here and there and are pests to play against. This team just doesn’t have the depth of teams like the Jets and Leafs up front but that is to be expected and may or may not change in time to support Toews/Kane.

    I’m good with Hayden being a 4th line guy that creates some havoc.

  43. In 2 or 3 years time when being a cup contender again is possible how nany on current roster are locks to be there.
    Goaltending needs answers, with Ward gone and Forsberg no going anywhere. Crawford xan’t be counted on, next year needs to show sonething there.
    On defence Davidson, Rutta gone, and quite likely Gus and Manning too. Murphy if Seabrook ( have to believe it happens) not in picture is possible and by then Keith be like Orpik as 3rd pair guy who kilks penalties. Jokiharju hopefully will be and the other young skilled guys be here. Need a shutdown guy or 2 to compliment them.
    Kane will be leading offense still, Toews a valuable member Debrincat and Schmaltz likely still around. Don’t see any other locks there for but some strong possibilities.

  44. I’ve had time to think about last nights loss. This is a team with youth and still gelling. Should Q have called a timeout and given the guys a moment to focus on what was needed? I’m not thrilled with the play of Kruger. He’s not winning a lot of FO. Yes, he has a goal. Right place. Right time. Schmaltz is not an NHL center. How about putting Fortin on that 1st line, Drop Kahun to 2nd line center and put Schmaltz on the LW of that line? This game was lost because of loss of focus. Focus by the players and the coaching staff. THAT needs to be addressed as much as anything. As for Saad…his confidence is shot. I’m not sure what needs to be done. He’s a damn good player that has lost his confidence. Maybe Toews and Kane should do some extra work with him. Maybe Kane should get that “A” over say…Seabrook. Not that Seabrook is a bad guy…BUT…I think Kane has done more than enough to have earned it. Just my thoughts. Carry on.

  45. I keep having this feeling that if Saad could just snipe one goal his confidence would receive a major boost and he could go on a tear but it’s unlikely that’s going to happen with Kruger and Hayden on the 4th line

    Other than losing confidence in his ability to finish I don’t know what’s happened to him – he’s still young so I’m guessing it has to be a mental/pychological thing

  46. Here we go again, Coach Q dumping SAAD on the 4th line. Why? Let him get out of it. The 3rd line should be benched entirely but then again, there is no talent there. But let’s not be coy, the reason for COACH Q benching SAAD is for losing the puck in OT last night.

  47. Dumping Saad to the 4th line is probably just a temporary thing (I hope) but it doesn’t seem like he’s a good fit with Schmaltz and Kane so I’m not sure where he best fits in the Hawks lineup. Even a couple seasons ago before Saad hit this “slump” he was more of a north/south player which isn’t the best mesh with Kanes east/west game. That’s not to say it wouldn’t work because Kane is such a talent that he can still produce regardless who he’s skating with – just that it isn’t ideal. If Saad would use his north/south speed to be an effective forechecker to disrupt and get the puck back he would probably help that line but it doesn’t appear he’s interested in doing that so what exactly is he doing to help that line? It’s almost like he’s suffering long term effects from concussion where he doesn’t engage as much as he used to and his hands and puck handling are not as good as they were. It’s like he’s having the same type of reduced play as Toews was having before he got back to normal this season.

  48. I think he’s playing with Kruger and Kampf as to give him faster linemates than the others available can. Just trying to help him get going and take advantage of Fortins speed when he’s up and use him on 2nd line, may last for period, game or 2 who knows but not long.

  49. stan boman is a proud guy his father is hockey royalty. stan would never seek to bring panerin back, because he didnt know the true worth of bread man, and overestimated the talent of saad thus he was hornswagled by torts

  50. Good post by Miroslav. Right after the loss, I was pissed that they would so completely blow two points against a Division rival. More than a day later, I realize that there will be more losses like that this Season. It is just where the Blackhawks are at right now. And they are exciting.

  51. Looks like Q was running a Manning-Davidson pairing at practice with Rutta as 7th D

    I realize Davidson is not Bobby Orr but I feel like this will be an slight improvement and any improvement to the Hawks D corps is welcome

  52. If Stan can make a hockey trade involving Saad for a defenseman, he should do it.
    If not, he should see if he can move him at the deadline. Option A would benefit this team now. Option B would mean hopefully clearing some of Saad’s bloated $6 million dollar salary off the books.

  53. Here is mike, wanted to say that’s kind words about Dunks. I am a proud Scotsman and Dunks is a warrior. I am proud of him to. Taking the reffing into his own hands, when the refs tuck tail and run. You donot fuck with Keith or you pay the price.

    And I think that stupid selfish play by that Sedin sister, is what kept him out for awhile and part of the reason why VAN did not win that yr they were top team in 11.

    That’s why you play clean (so you donot leave your team shorthanded, suspended or get payback and lose a top player during playoffs/for playoffs) and if your going to nail someone you do what Hammer did. You layout Kornwall, smear him against the wall, clean not borderline. One of those alligator checks, were his arms and legs go wobble because you hit him clean and square.

  54. ER, let’s look at when Saad was most successful. His first year in Columbus. He had Alex Wennberg as his center. Wennberg collected a ton of assists. Nick Schmaltz is a playmaker. Saad needs to just plain work harder. That’s what a good power forward does. Work hard. Forecheck. Park your butt by the blue paint. We’ve seen him do it

  55. Miroslav, good post.

    Saader was abducted by aliens when in CLB.

    Ian, that’s why not to complain about certain players because only so many will be on 23man when were deep again in 2 yrs.

    Kaner will be A when 7 or 2 are not here. Not until then. 7 ahd to wait until 10 left. The seniority guys get it first. BOND.

  56. Mo, that call on Hammer was pathetic – it was a good clean hit, It changed the way Hammer played from then on. He was still a great d-man for the Hawks but think how he could have been even better if he was allowed to play with that snarl that they took away from him. Oh well – 3 Cups later, all is good.

  57. SAAD had great success playing with RICHARDS and KANE in the last CUP run. This is all about SAAD’s confidence being blown out the door by COACH Q. Leave him there. He still provides space for #8 and #88. They need a big body to play with. If we had a talented 3rd line then he could still play and score 20 plus goals. But why aren’t we talking about AA? Her has always been a 3rd line centre who has very average speed. Nice guy but not worth all that money BOWMAN gave him. And if we trade SAAD it is not for a dman whom Bowman has drafted a dozen the last 3 years but a straight left winger for left winger trade. Sign Rick Nash to play with TOEWS and CAT.
    Drop Kahun to play with Fortin and AA. Trade SAAD for Nylander, but then he wants 8million so not a good idea.

  58. None of that happens, if the refs blow the fucking whistle for icing, before the Schmaltz penalty. Game should have been 2-0 or 2-1 after 2nd.

    This yrs going to be crazy stuff good and bad, but we cannot even get 82 evenly reffed games during our two transition yrs. That is more pathetic then anything were bad at.

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