Blackhawks Make Statement, Beat Ducks

The Blackhawks welcomed the hottest team in the NHL into the United Center on Friday night, and played perhaps their best game of the 2013-14 season to earn a 4-2 victory. In the process, three Blackhawks ended personal droughts.

Versteeg ANA

Marian Hossa played a tremendous game, scoring two goals with two blocked shots and four takeaways. His first goal came in the first period on a short-handed breakaway after a pretty pass from Niklas Hjalmarsson to Jonathan Toews started the rush. Hossa’s second was into an empty net in the game’s closing minute, but with Anaheim making a push.

Hossa’s short-handed goal was the 28th of his career, which is tied for the active lead in the NHL. He now has 19 goals on the campaign.

Kris Versteeg scored the Hawks’ second goal of the night, also in the opening 20 minutes. The puck popped up in traffic in front of the net, and Versteeg was able to tap it past Jonas Hiller for his ninth of the year.

The goal was Versteeg’s first since December 27.

Unfortunately, Versteeg’s night was cut short by a big hit from… Bryan Bickell. With a delayed penalty coming, Bickell and Versteeg pursued a puck behind the Ducks’ net at the end of the second period. The two collided, and Versteeg stayed down for a few moments. He did not return to the bench for the third period, and will be re-evaluated on Saturday (upper-body).

At 10:13 into the third, Bickell scored his seventh goal of the season, and first since December 23.

However, Ryan Getzlaf and Kyle Palmieri scored 53 seconds apart in the third to bring the Ducks back to within one goal with five minutes to play in regulation. Corey Crawford was able to hang on and earn the victory, with Hossa adding the insurance goal to close the books for the night.

It was Crawford’s first victory since returning from injury.

Crawford only faced 21 shots in the game and the Hawks blocked 10 more as a team in a strong effort across the board. There were a few frustrating moment, including a Hjalmarsson turnover that led to Getzlaf’s goal and Palmieri’s goal was weak on Crawford’s part, but Chicago played dominant hockey for most of the night.

Bickell scored, but was limited to 8:41 on the night. Brandon Bollig was credited with seven hits in 12:23, and resisted the temptation to fight Corey Perry after the all-star boarded Marcus Kruger late in the second period. Hossa led the team with eight shots on net as the Hawks out-shot the Ducks 35-21.

Jonathan Toews was credited with an assist on Hossa’s short-handed goal and won 14 of 23 faceoffs. Hjalmarsson had two assists and two blocked shots in the game.

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36 Responses to Blackhawks Make Statement, Beat Ducks

  1. RyanDale says:

    fast start was long overdue,
    24-0-5 when scoring first
    81 = beast, …again

  2. Dave says:

    Bickel finally hit somebody and put him out of the game unfortunately it was his own teammate Versteeg D

  3. ebonyraptor says:

    Solid team effort. Right from the drop of the puck . The energy and focus were right where they needed to be to beat a team like Anaheim. With the exception of the giveaway by Hjalmarsson that led to Getzlaf’s goal and then the soft goal by Crawford 53 seconds later, that was as good or better a 59:07 than the Hawks have played all season, especially against a top tier team.

    Hossa just had a birthday a few days ago, are we sure he turned 35 and not 25? He is playing at a level that is out of reach for all players except the very best players in the world. Just outstanding. What a joy it is to watch him play.

    Kane won’t stay in this slump for long. It’s just a matter of time before he starts lighting it up again. Not surprisingly the PP has hit a bit of a lull too. He’s probably just getting his Superman Cape cleaned, hopefully he picks it up from the cleaners tomorrow.

    4th line was very good, even if they were on the ice for the Duck’s goals. Bollig with 7 hits and very good board work by Kruger and Smith. If Bollig can play that well on a consistent basis, he would be worth the roster spot. Here’s hoping he keeps it up.

    Now let’s hope the Hawks bring the same energy and focus on Sunday.

  4. Sr. Brad says:

    Great game by Hossa, and once again rolling 4 lines so that there was great team defence…CC didn’t have much to defend…he made a couple of nice saves and let in one softie, but its a win…if Q is going to move forward with Bickell, Handzus and Bollig, he must continue playing them regularly like he did tonight…Bollig had 7 hits, and thats a big help…he was also a -2 though…great games from the Hawks top 2 lines…if the bottom six can get it going again, the Hawks will be tough…

    Nice to see Hoss at the top of his game…

  5. KJD says:

    I have been reading comments on this site for years now and have always been amazed how fast some so-called fans are to jump on the cry-baby train. Coach Q an “idiot”? “Take the option or trade Hossa now”? The 3/4 girls that are always on this site bitching after a loss should shut the f#$%^ up and thank God that you are hawk fans and not cub fans.Where are you d-bags tonight? The fact of the matter is the best team in professional sports just bitch-slapped their main completion and #81 is the main reason why. Light’en up and enjoy the best team in sports and please, end the illusion that you 3/4 guys have any hockey intelligence. Stop the stupidity.

  6. ebonyraptor says:

    As with many games, it’s can be a matter of one team playing well and the other team playing poorly to some extent. There’s very few games that rise to the level of “bitch slapping” and tonight’s game isn’t one of them. The 9-1 drubbing the Ducks put on the Canucks the other night would be one of those rare games, but tonight it was more a combination of the Hawks playing very well and the Ducks not playing their best. That’s not taking anything away from the Hawks because I happen to believe the Hawks best is better than any other team’s best – it’s just a matter of which team can play their best more than their opponent.

    To me, this game showed that when the Hawks play like they’re capable of playing, they’re still a very good team capable of beating any team. But it was not a “bitch slapping” nor did it prove conclusievely that the would win a 7-game series against this very good Duck team.

  7. Mining Man says:

    Now that was a great hockey game to watch…RDS (in French…turn the sound off and listed to radio /Weideman call the game…a bit out of sync but you adjust….what a great team the Blackhawks are…Versteegs goal was a thing of beauty…the entire Duck team was all around him…all six and one lone Blackhawk and he managed to get a piece to direct it in….Versteeg is a great fit for this team….he will never be a superstar but a perfect fit working in the shadows. He did not fit with Philly, Toronto, Florida but here it is perfect. Great effort and goal by Bickell, and Hossa’s empty netter was just pure determination and power “get off my back its going in and end this game”. Crawford was and has been amazing since his return from injury. The rally and dominance after those two quick goals against us was amazing. Cannot ask for more from tonite…see how the Ducks do in the next few games as we burned them up pretty good….their defense is pretty impressive. Bring on the Bruins.

  8. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    When the Hawks play this game they are unbeatable. I was screaming for a timeout after that Getzlaf goal. The Ducks really picked things up in the last 10 minutes. Nice to see that when push came to shove the Hawks played a nearly flawless game. Great team effort!

  9. Phil says:

    Great effort and a well deserved 2 points against a dangerous team. Apart from Hammers silly giveaway and a real softy from Crow that allowed the game to get tight late, it was a dominant showing with some excellent 2 way play by the Hawks.

    I’m out of the country, but was able to watch this one online starting at around 2:00 AM. Worth the lost sleep for sure. I can catch the Bruins game Sunday at a reasonable hour too! If the Hawks bring this level of compete against the Bruins it should be another 2 points in the bank, and a note to the rest of the league the Cup Champs can still bring it when big games are on the line.

    Thanks for participating KJD. You appear to be an expert about D-bags, so keep up the good work and let us know how the research is progressing. If you feel this site has little to offer regarding intelligent comments about the Blackhawks and hockey in general it would suggest you are an idiot for spending any time at all reading this blog. Go on over and spew on SB Nation with the other trolls.

  10. Morrison says:

    Whooo is it.

  11. Mike says:

    The stars played like stars tonight. But my hats off to Bollig, who probably played his best game of the year. Smith and Kruger had yet another strong game. Bickell was better and a lucky goal never hurts…game winner as it turns out. Versteeg played with passion, good to see. Versteeg has had some trouble with his changed role but is starting to adapt. Shaw did not have his best game but played OK. And then there is Saad, what a beast.

    I read some comments on a Jets blog yesterday referring to Ladd. Their fans DO NOT want him to be traded. I suspect little will come of the talk. Ladd was my biggest heartburn from the 1st purge. Saad is like Ladd in many respects. But I doubt there will be a trade because I am not sure a Ladd for 29 and TT improves either team long term

  12. Mike says:

    KJD….oh…sorry for making a stupid post. If I could erase it I would. What am I thinking? I can’t wait to read some of yours.

  13. JS says:

    KJD, how about instead of throwing around 1960’s insults, you give your opinion on why loses happened? It’s pretty easy to call coach Q an idiot when he does things that he regrets doing. Pretty obvious it was stupid to play Handzus at 2C so long, right? That’s on Q. He “didn’t like the way” the third line was playing the other night… even though they were 27-3 in Corsi. I can go on, but you aren’t worth it. Share an opinion on the game, not on the people that use this site to try to learn more about hockey and not just wave their pom poms.

    I don’t know how that second goal got past Crawford. His legs were closed in time… was that a “shorter pads” related goal? However, Hawks score more than 2 goals, Crawford gets a win… I remember saying this against Detroit last year.

    The way Versteeg reacted after the collision with Bickell, I instantly thought it was a broken wrist.

    Don’t look now, but that third line has been playing dominant possession hockey since being put together. They are being sheltered, sure, but Handzus is actually doing things that are helpful. Amazing… Handzus can still contribute in a non-top 6 roll? No one here mentioned that… we are so dumb.

    One of the reasons I doubt the sustained success of the Ducks. Their possession numbers are not very good. I think 51% Corsi on the year, so they are barely out shooting the opposition. Their shooting percentage should regress to the mean and they’ll stop scoring a million goals. This is probably due to their bad defense which we saw the Hawks exploit last night.

  14. wall says:

    Mike- good comment on the “trade”… It probably benefits Hawks most- losing the Bi-polar/possibly injured 29 and unproven TT… for Ladd… but could be a big bust for Jets too…

    Phil-My exact thoughts on KJD-Bag!!! If 3/4 of these posts are idiots…what does that make you for actually reading it???

    KJD- I never have claimed to have played Hockey… but I have played/coached (successfully I might add) other sports… and I do have an OPINION!!! and I do have EYES… Can’t you see that 26,29 are skating like Bruno??? Don’t you believe JS when He quotes you the stats that say 88 hasn’t scored w 26 on the ice??? Did you swear at the TV (like me) when Hammer made soft backhand pass to middle of the Ducks D (which basically means – I knew that was going the other way for a great scoring chance for Ducks… and they scored… But we/I don’t understand Hockey)…

    Bollig- did make an appearance… BUT – he made a stupid/Hammer type play late in game- exiting D zone after long shift- weak 4 foot backhand pass TO (should have pushed that forward… 52 was very lucky that bounced Hawks way!!!

  15. Pete says:

    I was at the game. Crawford played really well except on the second goal and one other time he lost his net during a scramble. In watching the game I do think Bollig has the potential to be a good role player. I personally think that Rosival is a very good player. I think the drop off when they play Brookbank instead of Rosie is significant. I realize they are preserving him for the playoffs, but I was glad to see him in the lineup instead of BB,

  16. Mike says:

    Wall….my bad, your comment on Bollig is exactly right. I said he played his best game this season and that holds. But he made a huge mistake by not leaving the ice when HE signaled to the bench. That caused him to make a exhausted error.

    It has been a long long time KJD but I did play hockey at the Junior level and coached pee wees for several years. Things were a lot different then but most principles are still the same. The people who comment on this blog, which is the best out there, see, play and watch a lot of hockey. Their opinions all count. But what is even better is the diversity of those opinions. So go F*** yourself somewhere else.

  17. RyanDale says:

    did he really say bitch-slapped their main ‘completion’? I’d kinda like to see that. can i youtube it?

  18. michael petan says:

    Ducks Defense is average at best . . . lots of lose pucks again and not a lot of net presence for Hawks. But a good solid effort vs a Ducks team that was ready to run out of gas and mail it in, but even mailing it in they made a game of it. Shame it was that close “again. ” Bollig when he finishes his HITS does have a real impact on the play. Bick’s is coming around slow but sure.
    Also Bruins will beat the Hawks on Sunday as this is the “Real Test” The Wings game on Wednesday is big too. Bruins play very smart, tuff, good d and make few mistakes. If Hawks beat the Bruins then all is well, but they wont. I hope but they wont.

  19. wall says:

    TT- 2 more Assists-so far today vs. #1 team in Liiga!!!
    The Kid is on fire!!! 9 points in 3 1/2 games since Gold!!!
    So he dominated World’s best Jrs…. and now scored 5 points in 2 games vs. Liiga’s best team!!! I doubt if Hawks will burn the kid’s full year of eligibility…but if he continues at a torrid pace…IT just might have to happen!!!

  20. Sr. Brad says:

    When Bollig skates and finishes his checks, Michael, you are right, he does have an impact on the game…but he has to eliminate completely the soft turnovers in his own end…I am not sure why a guy so strong, makes such soft passes in his own zone…he just needs to continue skating and force the puck out…nothing fancy…if Bollig sticks to that, and throws his weight around, he can be a 4th line asset.

    I was remiss to not mention Saad…just an outstanding hockey player…

    And I agree, Rozy has finally come around this season, and right now he is every bit as good as Leddy…so heading into the playoffs our defence looks strong…all we have ever needed is 4 lines rolling with constant back checking from our forwards…when we do this we win…

    Again, I would love to see Garret Ross get called up…you guys are going to love this kid…smart hockey player and tough as nails…actually has a higher upside than Shaw and Shaw is an outstanding player for us.

  21. wall says:

    Brad- My thought to on Ross…assuming 23 is out for several games (wrist or shoulder)…wouldn’t mind seeing Ross get a sniff… Morin/Nordstrom would work to- But I want to see what Ross looks like for 3-6 games…

  22. Pete says:

    Somebody mentioned the possiblity of TT playing for the Hawks this year. In my opinion, if he can help the Hawks in the playoffs he should be on the roster come playoff time. Everyone knows how rare an opportunity the Hawks have this year to repeat as champs. The brain trust should do everything possible to win it even if it means bringing him up sooner than planned. Thats my view.

  23. Pete says:

    By the way, anyone notice that cross check to the head Beauchemin(sp?) gave to Toews. It was right in front of me and the fans were screaming about it in the stands. Kane also got absolutely clobbered on a play along the boards. Great Game.

  24. JS says:

    But Pete, Bollig is there to deter people from taking cheap shots at the captain! (worlds biggest roll eyes)

    Amazing how much better Leddy was last night when he played with the same partner two games in a row. I really wish Q would stop with the 3 defensemen. Give 32 most of the starts, let 17 spell him when he needs it, and send 6 to Rockford.

    Also, please call up someone from Rockford and don’t let 17 play wing in Versteeg’s absence.

  25. Sr. Brad says:

    How true JS…Leddy has been asked to deal with a lot this season…give Leddy a guy like Rozy for 10 games, and see what kind of numbers/play he can put up…its tough always having to compensate for someone…

    Pete, if TT is ready he will be here…Q loved TT in Training Camp and if TT can put on some muscle from now till May, he might just be here…he certainly has the talent for it…

  26. Travis says:

    Bickell is gonna go on a tear. The monkey is off the back, he’s skating better, and he’s starting to throw his weight around with some confidence. He finally got a break tonight and didn’t draw iron. I’m calling it… if Q plays him 10+ minutes, he’s gonna roll.

    Handzus looks fine at 3C. The 4th line was excellent tonight; neither of Anaheim’s goals can be faulted to 16, 28, or 52.

    Bollig deserves a roster spot if he keeps his game physical and simple. And shows off his wicked wristshots every other game or so.

    Hoss the boss. Wow.

    Good physical play from the Hawks tonight. We took it to a bigger team. Shaw, Bickell, and Bollig with some really good, clean shots. Great to see.

  27. Travis says:

    But still… dump Kostka and bring up another forward.

  28. Joe says:

    Petan – you seem so sure the Hawks will go down to the Bruins. Are you from Beantown or what? Give me a break.

  29. Morrison says:

    Wall, T can play in 8 games and not count as an elc year, right.

  30. wall says:

    Morrison, I believe so…but If hawks used that strategy… I don’t think he would be Playoff eligible? + I wouldn’t want to Burn 1 full yr. of “control” for just 8-10 games…
    Unless they would have him for Playoffs!!!

  31. wall says:

    KHayes- 3g,2a last nite
    Hayden-2g,1a
    TT-2a

  32. JS says:

    I’m unsure if we’d see TT in the playoffs just because (if his team qualifies for the playoffs) he wouldn’t be available to get here until April. That doesn’t leave much time to get the feel if he can improve the team for the playoffs. I think a lot of it will have to do with how well they are playing late in the season.

  33. JS says:

    Also, the NHL really needs to bring the hammer down on the Gong Show formerly known as the Vancouver Canucks. Absolute disgrace and one of the main reasons that hockey can’t find a national audience.

  34. wall says:

    JS- Tortarella would make a Perfect Chuck Berris!!!

    Speaking of Chuck Berris (and guys on crack!!!) – what ever happened to Brad Mills???

  35. RyanDale says:

    seems to me the first, second stars in Van went to each team’s player who skated the most minutes without having any PIM , lol

    still waiting for Torts to take the crown from Jim Schoenfeld, but he must have come close last night. Van is off the rails

  36. Morrison says:

    Saader played 2 reg. games then 3 in playoffs & that didn’t count against elc. This is 20 2nd elc yr, I think.

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