Blackhawks Overcome Officials, Wild In OT

Rarely do the Blackhawks players and coaches sell a game in early February as their “biggest of the season.” But Wednesday night’s game in Minnesota against the first place Wild received that level of hype from Chicago players, and the game backed up their words.

Both teams brought playoff intensity right out of the gate. The stars were playing hard, and the Blackhawks’ youngsters made an impact right away. Each team put 10 shots on net in the opening 20 minutes, with one getting past a goaltender.

Vinnie Hinostroza carried the puck into the offensive zone and made a perfect pass to an attacking Ryan Hartman for his 13th goal of the season.

Corey Crawford had a strong first period, and needed to come up big in the second just to keep his teammates in the game.

Jonathan Toews set up Nick Schmaltz for a second goal from a Blackhawks rookie.

Schmaltz’s fourth of the season gave the Blackhawks a two-goal lead, but that margin lasted only 37 seconds. Chicago’s trend of allowing goals within a minute of scoring continued as Jared Spurgeon beat Crawford.

After the Spurgeon goal, the Wild dominated the play for almost ten minutes. Crawford made big stop after big stop, but he eventually gave up a second goal to Zach Parise.

But no playoff-level game in the NHL can happen without the officials crapping all over the contest, and they were on center stage after the Parise goal. Chicago challenged the play and the officials reviewed the play – on an iPhone – for what felt like a half hour.

This, apparently, was inconclusive.

The lengthy review took the wind out of the Wild’s sails and leveled the playing field a bit, and the play over the second half of the second period was closer with the teams trading scoring chances. Crawford and Darcy Kuemper were good, but the Hawks were able to beat Kuemper once more in the second.

Toews picked up his second assist of the night on Richard Panik’s 12th goal of the season.

When the dust settled after 40 minutes of hockey, Chicago held a 3-2 lead on the scoreboard but were being out-shot 29-20.

The third period saw a focused Blackhawks team blocking shots in front of Crawford and continuing to get exceptional play between the pipes. Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook each had big blocked shots as the Hawks tried to improve from allowing 19 shots in the second period.

Chicago’s defense held strong for 17 minutes, but another hard rush by the Wild finally beat Crawford. Aided by Eric Staal blocking Hjalmarsson in the back at the blue line, Erik Haula was able to put a shot past Crawford to tie the game at three with 3:03 on the clock.

This went uncalled:

Had the officials done their job, the score would have been 3-1 in favor of Chicago. But the Wild once again had momentum in a tie game. Joel Quenneville will never use poor officiating as an excuse, but this game was clearly, significantly impacted by two blown calls.

And when the officials took the night off, why not play overtime?

Ryan Suter was sent to the box half way into overtime after he used Marian Hossa’s face as part of a swim move. On the power play, Toews deposited the game-winning goal to give him a three-point night and move him past Jeremy Roenick on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard. Toews now sits alone in ninth with 597 regular season points with the Hawks.

Crawford was magnificent, better than the three goals against would indicate. He made 35 saves in the win.

Toews, who many have offered to drive to the airport over the course of this season, was dominant. He won 13 of 26 faceoffs and put five shots on net in 18:49 on the ice. He now has 11 points in his last seven games.

Seabrook and Hinostroza led Chicago with two hits each. Hjalmarsson blocked a team-high five shots, while Marcus Kruger was credited with three blocked shots up front. Kruger only took one faceoff in the game; Tanner Kero won five of seven and Artem Anisimove won six of eight at the dot.

Keith had two assists and Panik had an assist with his goal for a multi-point night. Patrick Kane had two assists and led Chicago with six shots on net, but he was minus-two in the game.

44 thoughts on “Blackhawks Overcome Officials, Wild In OT

  1. The entire officiating crew should be sent back to the minors. That was absolutely brutal. Why bother with video review if you are going to take “forever” and still not get it right? The NHL has no future if its officials can’t do a better job than we saw tonight.

    Congrats to the Hawks for overcoming such incompetence.

  2. How could there not have been an interference call on the Wild’s third goal? Horrible officiating in every regard.

  3. I normally choose to leave the officials out of the game outcome scenario, but COME ON …….. that “inconclusive” call was blatant garbage, and the lack of a call on the interference that led to the final MN goal was just as bad. The refs acted like they were soiling their pants throughout the decision making process on the inconclusive offsides. That was just stupid.

    On to brighter things … the youngsters had a strong night for sure! Really like to see Hinsostroza and Hartman together and the chemistry they have. Schmaltz is taking a beating at times but is staying tough and getting rewarded for it. Toews was possessed with non-stop hard nosed play and keen instincts. Love it!

    Minnesota is one tough bunch. Millbury and Jones say they have the edge over the Blackhawks at this point in time. Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t. But I was really glad to see the Blackhawks get on their horse and go toe to toe with a team they’d struggled against, at least from a points standpoint, over the last several meetings. Let’s hope tonight’s play for the Blackhawks is contagious and something to build on going forward.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  4. Totally agree with the Refs sucking!!!!! Absolutely pathetic on the no off sides and interference. The replay totally showed Staal lining up Hammer to take him out of the play. Off sides was more than proved in the replays.

    Glad we got the win. Oh, and Suter crying to the refs after the game. Geez

  5. The heart of a champion. The hawks go on a winning streak and the clowns and negative jerks disappear like they always do. Remember the head clown said the hawks would be sellers at the trading deadline! LOL.

  6. Two thoughts-one stunning incompetence and two the Wild are a tough team to beat as they push and push and win the battles.
    Another big win but Crow made a few crucial saves to make it possible. The first line played like a top line.
    (Oh yeah Stewart, who might be their slowest skater, made 7 look slow)

  7. They “should” be sellers ( but they won’t- that would piss off to many Ticket holders spending that silly money for Tickets)….

    The bad-

    Seabrook- slow and bumbling
    TvR- Never seen him cough up the Puck that much in one game… Looked Runblad-like ( and I usually like TvR)- but he was looking over his shoulder all nite.

    The good-

    Wild- were better than the Hawks… Had umpteen shots from the slot area on great passes from behind the net,,, Hawks better figure that out… or they will not beat Wild- if they meet in PO’s

  8. Can’t say it wasn’t entertaining. Both teams laid it on the line. I thought Crow kept the Hawks in the hunt despite a ridiculous number of quality Wild scoring chances. Minnesota are a dangerous team moving forward this season and would be a tough 1st round opponent for any team. Hawks needed these 2 points bad and they grabbed em despite being outplayed overall imo. A win like that though might plant seeds of doubt within the Wild that they don’t own the Hawks anymore. I’m sure they remember being blanked in playoffs a few years ago.

    Toews looked very focused tonight as one would expect in a marquee contest. I thought Schmaltz and Kero were also very good and Hartman continues to impress.

    Yes, the refs were pretty bad in this one. They not only screwed up badly the correctly disputed offside that gave the Wild a goal, but that Staal pick on Hammer that was missed also resulted in a Wild goal. Sure Hossa interfered with Suter in OT which was not called, but to see Suter then lose his cool and grab Hossa was just stupid. After Hawks scored the winner Suter was out there bitching at the refs. Coyle wrongly whistled off for goalie interference was a bad one too. Stewart running Kero long after the puck was gone wasn’t called. In the end, this crew sucked.

    This was a good win tonight. Despite more deadly giveaways in the d zone the Hawks prevailed in a game where there were some valuable points out there.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  9. I’d like to know what percentage of puck battles Panik wins. It would be very high. He is so strong. Stan absolutely stole this guy.

    Nice effort all around tonight. I don’t care what the numbers say, we won a lot of shifts tonight.

  10. That was a really good game by both teams and deserved to win 3-1 in regulation. Bottom line they the 1 seed its because of their last 9 games, they deserved 6 regulation loses and only got 3.

    Maybe we should sell, its very frightening and I am afraid that league/refs will let certain teams get away with 5min major boardings from behind, with nothing (RAG) and have their favorites with normal reffing. The instant replay officiating. Well that is black and white, you cannot miss one.

    I still am receiving shock treatment for the Hoss goal to put us up 4-0 against ANA in game 7. Its good treatment though, where I take a beer shower and relive moments.

    Now with this, even the salty east coast bias media, admits they made missed one and do that every once in awhile. Everybody knows they did it on purpose. What they need to admit is the refs did what they could, bullshit penalty on Mooser for a hard stick check that’s not a tripping penalty and let them get away with a pick play, that knocked Hammer down to ice, that was an interference penalty that they scored on. that goal should have been whistle/penalty for interference.

    It would be nice to talk about the good game, that we deserved to win 3-2 (or 3-1) in regulation. This just proves that they are doing these things on purpose. The instant replay officials need to be replaced with computerized 3d tennis review. That system gets it right every time.

  11. Young guys played great and that looks like the Toews we all know and love. Fun game to watch.

    On Hartman’s goal, Hinostroza’s speed made the initial turnover in the neutral zone and then his speed led to enough time and space to make a great pass. Fantastic goal.

    Schmaltz, Kero, Hartman, Rasmussen, Panik and Hinostroza all looked like they belonged to me. That’s pretty impressive against a very good team.

  12. Instant replay officials are fixed, theres no other explanation.

    I really liked Hartman making 2 or moar good nifty plays with puck. Starting to get a little swagger this guy.

  13. I was working while the game was on ,but i caught the ticker more than once .
    Up 2 zip then tied 2 all , more of that same old ,.,.,Had the old gut feeling with 4 mins to play where the game was going . Crow `s win ,.,.,nice to see the young guns working hard ,and producing . Captain seems to be back in full giver mode,.,., We came out on top ,.,.over came some tough officiating for sure , Big Win . .,.,I think we need a solid 4 -`5 D man at Deadline,.,.,.,., how much can that possibly cost us ? Did i say Crows win .

  14. I personally think the bottom D are fine. My concern is that Seabrook and Keith are not as dominant as they used to be. Hopefully they are well rested for the playoffs and can crank it up a few more times.

  15. My take on the review… something went awry. Have you ever seen an official use an iPhone before? Did you see him use the tablet? I saw it there, but I don’t remember him actually looking at it. I think video and/or communications failed them. Unable to actually see for themselves they had to call it as it was called on the ice as “the war room” leaves it up to the officials.

    Offside was definitely called quicker after that. The Staal pick wasn’t the only thing questionable. Rough night for the zebras.

    Minnesota was better. Crawford has to have at least one of those. That Seabrook penalty. Campbell was on for a 1:04 shift from when the puck was dropped in the offensive zone until the penalty. Re-watched him specifically. Sure it was a long shift. But the whole shift he looked either gassed or disinterested, the shift prior to that wasn’t that stressful for him. He could have busted his ass in a straight line towards Crawford. Instead he let up and made a little loop to let Seabrook pass to give him a push with his stick.

    Kempny was for the most part unnoticeable. Not necessarily a bad thing. Only once or twice I noticed him out of position. Would like to see 38-16-81 for 3rd line.

    Is Toews earning his money yet? Freakin bum. Get him a wing to drag his 10.5 million dollar ass around the ice!

    Pass the peyote Wall. 2nd in the west and you still want to sell. TVR did lead the team in giveaways…with 2.

    Rick Bowness of the Lightning tied Scotty Bowman (who received the Order of Hockey today) for most games as a head or assistant coach. 2,164 total

  16. Great pace to the game. The Wild sure look for real – lot of depth in their lineup. Wall – agree with the comment on TVR. I like him more than most but he had a few brutal shifts. Schmalz has made impressive progress since early in the year – it would be great if he can help keep Toews going strong. Regarding the horrific calls, there was a great camera angle that showed Staal watching Hammer as he got in position to take him out. After breaking the losing streak to the Wild let’s take out the Jets to end another.

  17. Let’s assume 1st and 2nd round picks are off limits… what do the Hawks have to offer in the form of prospects that are attractive to a selling team? Something to be said for chemistry. Think pk first 2 weeks of the year.

  18. Yeah the goal scoring play was offside. Yeah the Staal pick led directly to the tying goal. But the Hawks won so we’ll take the 2 points and move on.

    The Hawks played pretty well against a very good team. That’s the takeaway.

  19. Ernie – my answer is “not much”. I wonder if Ville Pokka is available and, if so, what could he get us for a rental.

  20. Suggestion for a rule change. If it is inconclusive the challenging team doesn’t loose the time out. If it is black and white current rules apply.

  21. I think hockey people knew something was wrong with Toews in the first half of the season. An undisclosed injury, whatever. The kid is healthy and is as dangerous as I’ve ever seen him.
    The kids are doing so well. A few coachable errors in the game, tonight. But They are adapting and giving the hawks a dangerous 3rd line.
    Defensively, teamwise…that mental chip is still there. They have to figure out how to overcome it. At this point, it’s mental. They are expecting it.
    The defensive unit isn’t great, but it’s not horrible.
    These are the horses that we’ll see in the playoffs. I don’t expect a big trade. We’ll see about that.
    Good win despite the officiating.

  22. This game might not have meant a lot in the standings, but I think it’s nice for both the team and the fans to know the Hawks can win against one of the best teams in the league, even if they were outplayed much of the game.

    I really like that 4th line and hope it sticks for a while. It will probably get overlooked by a lot of opponents, and there’s a lot of speed and good offensive instincts there.

    Caps-Pens, Wild-Hawks conference championship matchups are seeming the most likely. What a great post season that would be.

  23. Dominating performance by the Toews line. The Captain played like a man possessed. Schmaltz sure has soft hands. I like the way Hartman attacked the Wild zone last night. Kempny had a couple of gaffs but played better. I think he is the short term answer over Forsling but I still like Forsling better long term. Did Kruger play? As everybody said terrible officiating. How can professional refs and the war room screw that obvious offsides up. Rasmussen’s penalty was questionable also. Nice bit of acting by the Wild player. Wonder which game Darling gets this weekend.

  24. 1961- spot on about a few things… Kempny better than Forsling today- Forsling will be better… Kruger-MIA- Is he nursing something??? Moose looked tired- and this is making Hossa a non-factor in the O-zone (81 is basically a HOF checker with those 2 guys)…

    I have always been a big Kruger fan… but he is looking tired and worn down this year (much like Toews did- until last 10 games or so)… I hope he is just nursing a nagging injury- and He finds his health/game again…

  25. Regardless of what excuse they use for that offside that officiating crew should be in another league and not the nhl. Big win and thought it was a great effort by everyone, funny how tvr makes a couple of giveaways and everybody all over it and makes a couple of nice blocks and they don’t count go figure. Toews line looking fantastic especially the captain, congratulations on his milestone. Think the 4 lines look pretty decent like 38 and 67 together and 48 seemed to compliment them and if your chasing the lead maybe stick 81 in there for a spark. Great game for crawford.

  26. Would love to see a playoff series between these two teams. Minnesota speed vs Chicago skill.

    I can see why that offside challenge was inconclusive. You can’t tell if the puck was actually on the defensemen’s stick from the blue line camera angle. Probably was but probability doesn’t count. In a way it helped the Hawks because the ridiculously long review slowed the Minnesota momentum down considerably and Chicago caught their breath and played better.

  27. One central theme (and I know it happens to all teams) for this year has been the inability during key parts of the game, such as the last few minutes of a period, to get the puck out of their own end.
    Last night was classic Crow-might let in one he shouldn’t but battles and makes the key saves, at the right time. Let’s face it he needs to be really good for this team to win the whole thing.

  28. I thought the most encouraging aspect of last nights game was the emergence of 4 lines playing consistently better. Clearly, the Hawks and the Wild left it all out on the ice. Wild also had a pretty balanced attack too.

    It appeared that the Wild were targeting Kero and Schmaltz and to a lesser degree Hinostroza with aggressive hitting. All those guys just bounced back up and got back into the play. It has been apparent since when he first came up that Nick Schmaltz has really quick hands. the guy is like a pick pocket taking pucks away and moving the play forward. His shot release is improving as he gets more confident. Speaking of quick shot release, Hartman really gets it.

    I continue to cringe watching Hawks struggle with zone clears, but I also give the Wild credit for keeping pucks in that should have been cleared.

    While Seabrook appeared to be skating in sand at times, I loved the late game behind the knee whack he gave Stewart a former Blues sluggo. To his credit Stewart had a good game by his standards, but the WTF look he gave Seabs while down on the ice was hilarious.

    Crow played large in a big game when it counted. I would take Corey over Dubynk any day when the pressure is turned up.

    The Cpt. had that familiar steel eyed look last night. No one should ever doubt his will to win motivation. Pucks are going to start going in for him as the quality opportunities increase.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  29. Panarin- frustrated?

    Excluding the One game versus lowly Yotes… 72 has looked a little off in last several games.. and seems to be getting into scuffles – more and more

  30. Doesn’t matter whether you agree or not on offside, the way the review was handled plus how the rest of game was officiated looked 2nd rate. Would like to go back and see how many review offsides would not have been called if the no assumed possession policy was used. Fact is you don’t change how your calling a situation in midseason in a big game. Agree kruger looks to be hurting not taking faceoffs, playing more deliberate than usual.

  31. It was offside. However, take another look at the goal. What the heck was Keith doing on that play? Glad that wasn’t Kempny or he would be sitting for 5 more games.

  32. We just don’t have the overall forward quality and depth to suggest a deep playoff run in the Western Conference. Keith, Seabrook and Campbell have all lost a half-stride this season too. First or second round of the playoff exit in a transition year.

    Sorry, but I do not want the Hawks to be buyers at the deadline. I think that would be too shortsighted. We are at the inflection point where adding to a depleted system of young prospects is way more important than leveraging those assets (to include draft picks) for veteran rentals.

  33. 1961 spot-on re: Kruger, what else is new. If he is injured, he shouldn’t be playing. If he isn’t injured, he is a virtual non-entity out there. That’s been the case most of his career excluding the couple of seasons he played w/ Frolik (and Frolik has established himself as a solid two-way player generally worth his high salary cap hit). Playing Hossa w/ Kruger & Rasmussen (who takes all the faceoffs now, 15 for him and 2 for Kruger last night) is an utter waste of Hossa’s offensive skillset. If Hossa scores six more goals to get to 25 playing w/ those two guys the rest of the season, it will be a miracle.

    Campbell & Van Riemsdyk together isn’t cutting it whatsoever. We all saw Campbell play w/ Keith earlier in the season and he was a two-way force. Kempny and Forsling are NOT top four D-men, yet they are slotted in the top 4 by default as Q has had Campbell & TVR playing together for quite awhile now. Let’s hope at playoff time the top 4 D-men will be Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmersson & Campbell in whatever combination Q uses them.

    Minnesota has improved, but they do not concern me come playoff time. How far has Dubnyk ever taken a team in the playoffs? Didn’t the Hawks own him in the ’15 playoffs? Minnesota’s D is, as Q likes to say, “O.K.”. Lastly, who is their coach now? Give me a break. It will be a tough series, but barring injuries to Hawks’ core, Crawford owns them in the playoffs, he is a proven money goalie 2 Cups over. The mere sight of Q on the opposite bench leads Boudreau to extra trips to the pre/post game buffet table during the playoffs.

    The only team in the West that has a chance to beat the Hawks in the playoffs is San Jose — they broke thru their mental block last year — as their goalie has proven he can handle the pressure, Burns is a difference maker, and 8, 12 & 19 are on a mission for the Cup. That being said, I still like the Hawks.

    The cartoon characters — I mean referees — in the game last night were Chris Lee & Kyle Rehman.

  34. Bread man seems to be getting into scuffles ? They are playing hockey right ? And last night they played against I.M.O one of the sneakier ,dirty ,hard working ,gritty teams around . That,s not frustration , that,s playing with some fire under his ass . Minny is a team built on speed ,grit ,and balance , they play with an edge, Great to see a guy like Panarin, who,s not been putting the puck in the net lately ,getting fired up !

    Let,s blow out Winnipeg .

  35. Everybody including myself at least had the thought Toews was beginning to concede the battle to father time. A lot of guys here had written him off. The contract is an albatross. I wasn’t at that stage yet. A little sarcasm directed at the guys who completely wrote him off

  36. Bread Man is taking the player bonuses to heart. He doesnt want to hurt the team salary cap situation for 18, so he is having a 10 or so (20 would do it) games were he doesn’t score much pts.

    That way we have that 1.75m to use for another caphit (or if cap stays same, which it always goes up about what they originally estimated, after people spread rumors of staying same or even going down a little).

    Once Bread Man is in the clear, its frog soup time.

  37. Part of bettmans gloom and doom on the cap is he’s negotiating a new contract with the players in the press instead of at the table. Thats what weasels are best at.

  38. The truth is that any team has peaks and valleys–the Hawks have been at a tremendous peak for a long time, about seven years. The team has three choices, continue to re-load, stand pat, or sell.
    They won’t sell as its ridiculous to think (IMO) that this team can’t be a factor in the West this year, and most of the fan base and the ownership want to stay near the top. I think that they will make a small deal or two involving lower picks to add depth/character.
    The second truth is that some of an amazing core are aging–at least from a hockey perspective. You can’t stay on top forever–I guess you can stay close like the Red Wings did–but is that the best option?
    2 more points out of these next two would be great and I will officially ‘eat my words’–don’t underestimate a champion!

  39. “Everybody including myself at least had the thought Toews was beginning to concede the battle to father time.” – NOT everyone. and the contract is not an albatross. But the sky is falling after 6 weeks with a bad back…

    Sorry for being short, but I’ve been exhausted with the “Toews is washed-up” talk for a couple months. The same people bailed on Crosby annually for 3 years. Toews is one of the top 2 captains in the NHL and is worth his contract. Having a couple wings consistently helps anyone’s production, and Toews isn’t immune to his production being impacted by the Q blender.

  40. With all due respect, some could make the argument that his play drop off wasn’t just the first 6 weeks and that it’s been a year in the making. I was the one that brought up his world Cup stats and how they were 3rd I believe playing tougher minutes than the guys ahead of him. I never thought his contract was an albatross but more than a few people here thought so. Those are the ones that don’t understand how difficult a wonky back can be. Look at Tiger Woods.

    I’ll continue to enjoy the ride however long it is.

    Did Morrison really just say Panarin is playing bad on purpose to help the Hawks cap next year?

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