Blackhawks Shutout Blues

It only took 12 seconds for the Blackhawks to put the game out of the Blues’ reach on Thursday night in St. Louis.

Blues

The Hawks faced a little adversity when starting netminder Corey Crawford left the game after stopping all six St. Louis shots in the first period. He was replaced by Ray Emery to begin the second period, but the song remained the same for the Blues: zero goals.

St. Louis presented the most physical opponent the Hawks have faced to date, and openly wanted to take the action to Chicago out of the gate. But Jonathan Toews put home the first goal of the game only 12 seconds into the game.

And that proved to be all the Blackhawks needed on the night.

Brandon Saad started the game on the Hawks’ top line with Toews and Marian Hossa, and was credited with the primary assist on Toews’ game-winning goal in the opening moments. But as the game progressed – and became more physical – coach Joel Quenneville rotated Daniel Carcillo onto the top line.

That flexibility, and Quenneville’s comfort level with all 12 skaters, continues to pay dividends as the Hawks continue to roll.

In the game, Carcillo was credited with only one hit in 10:15 and, most importantly, stayed out of the penalty box. For his evening, Saad skated 13:20 and was credited with one takeaway with his early assist.

On the blue line, Chicago once again spread out the ice time well.

Duncan Keith led the way, but only skated 23:05 in the game; he was credited with only two shots on goal. Brent Seabrook skated 22:48 and led the team with five hits with two blocked shots.

Niklas Hjalmarsson led the team with three blocked shots in 21:05 while Johnny Oduya skated 21:31 and blocked one shot. Hjalmarsson and Oduya skated 4:44 and 4:51, respectively, on the penalty kill on Thursday night.

That penalty kill, that has been so impressive to date, handled all four of the Blues’ opportunities in the game.

Equally impressive, the Hawks allowed only 15 even-strength shots on net in the game.

Early in the third period, Andrew Shaw converted another pretty pass from Bryan Bickell to extend the Hawks’ lead to 2-0, and Toews added a second goal a little over four minutes later. For Shaw, it was his fifth goal of the year.

Hossa was credited with assists on both of Toews’ goals in the game, and Leddy had the primary apple on Toews’ second goal in the game. Toews and Hossa remain tied with 17 points each, and have identical records of nine goals and eight assists.

There was one rare statistic for the Blackhawks in the game: Patrick Kane failed to register a point.

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21 Responses to Blackhawks Shutout Blues

  1. Sr. Brad says:

    Just an outstanding effort across the board…this was not going to be an easy game for the Hawks, but they came out hard and not only matched St. Louis’ intensity they outworked, and outhustled the Blues all night…

    Good goaltending, excellent defence, and fantastic back checking by the forwards created this shutout. Players like Stahlberg, Shaw and Kruger are doing so many little things well, that it makes it difficult for the opposition to mount much of any pressure…and the Hawks commitment to taking the body this season, is really paying dividends in their own zone…great compliments to the coaches who have the entire team playing consistent, unselfish hockey…

    Tab that was a great point about Q’s use of Carcillo…as the game got a little more physical and chippy, Q put Carcillo on the top line and that “encouraged” the Blues to back off the stupid stuff against Teows and Hossa…having Saad and Carcillo who can skate in the spot is indeed quite a luxury…BTW, Saad showed chemistry on that opening goal…

    Finally, Andrew Shaw just continues to impress (as does the 3rd line)…its official now, that Hawks got an absolute steal in the 5th round drafting this young man, and he is going to here for a long time!

  2. Sr. Brad says:

    BTW…Nick Leddy just continues to impress…he is becoming such a complete hockey player, and is demonstrating lots of smarts…

  3. George says:

    Tab, we know how to read boxscores. I really appreciate all of the breaking news you post to twitter or fbook. But your post game analysis are lacking.

  4. Brian Easley says:

    George,

    I respect your opinion, but disagree. Maybe you can provide specific details or some constructive criticism that can be of more use?

  5. George says:

    There is no analysis to his post game reports. All he is doing is just telling us about the boxscore. Saying things like how good the 3rd line was able to cycle the puck tonight, or the fact that the goaltending was helped by great back-checking.

  6. Tim G says:

    The Hawks have been playing a great team game this year. So i got curiuos… I scanned 3 top teams from each conference for number of players who have 7+ points.
    Chicago- 14
    Mon -11
    Ana- 11
    Van- 9
    Pit-9
    Bos- 8

    If wee keep everyone involved… we will go far! Another great game.

    Just hoping we dont get trapped by CLB looking towards Det on Sunday…

    To George- Maybe some of us dont look at the box score. 9 times out of 10, I come here before i go to ESPN the day after a game…

  7. NJ Dave says:

    This team has been so strong defensively, it’s hard to believe it’s basically the same team as last year. I can’t remember the last time the Hawks gave up 3 goals in a game. I don’t know what changed, but I have to give a lot of credit to Q and his staff for changing the mindset of the team.

  8. wall says:

    NJ Dave… this is not close to the same team as last year.

    1.) Bruno and OD- two of the slowest Hawks to skate the ice in last several years are gone!
    2.) Leddy is not forced to play 20+ every nite
    3.) Kruger is the 4th line center not Mayers
    4.) Kruger and Saad are 1st rate defensive players-respectively –The Hawks legitimate 1st rate defensive minded forwards all over the ice. Toews, Bolly, Hoss, Frolik, Kruger, Saad, Shaw- even Stalberg has been incredible on back check w/ speed! And yes most of these guys were here last year – but now we have 1 or 2 of them on every line!!!!
    5.) Oduya- and Rosey… Rosey is very smart and a true pro!!! Perhaps Bowman realized how good he was when Yotes choked our O last year in Playoffs.

    6.) Bickell is playing like he is in a contract year and wants to Quadruple his salary!
    7.) Last but not least- Kane is skating like 2010!!! But please note- he cannot play the whole year w/ Kruger at Center— he needs a finisher- to stay interested and make the dazzling plays!!!!!

  9. McKay says:

    1st game of the 13-19-81 experiment in the heart of 2013.

    Pro: Hawks win the game with combined individual achievement and solid team effort.

    Con: I don’t think Carcillo added anything to the 19-81 line other than a guy who will absolutely tear your head off on a moment’s notice. Did he make a nice pass? Did he move the puck in traffic? Did he create space in anyway? Did he have a net presence better than any other Hawk does? I didn’t think so.

    Backus and the Blues are probably as skilled and tight checking a team we’ll see in the West this year. I’m glad to see us get a gritty win. However, the Blues are banged up.

    Re: penalty kill—happy to see it working but extremely unhappy to see all the stupid penalties. Did we need to take any of those penalties tonight? No. The Hawks need to realize two things: 1) they don’t get the benefit of the doubt. They’re the best team in the league. Refs will look to light them up. 2) The NHL is calling EVERYTHING this year. If you’re hand leaves your stick or you impede anyone’s progress, you’re sitting for 2. This isn’t sustainable; they need to work that out of their game.

  10. McKay says:

    P.S.

    @George thank you for your constructive criticism of the blog and your amazing insight on the Hawks’ cycling scheme and team philosophy to back-check hard against quality NHL opponents. Truly brilliant contribution.

    Feel free to go back to the Second City Hockey thread at any time.

  11. JS says:

    Carcillo was on the second shift with Hossa and Toews and that line immediately became mediocre. I don’t know how people could have watched that game and thought Carcillo was doing good things for that line… unless you think being out of position, losing board battles, and making bad passes is doing good things. If he is out there to “protect” Hossa and Toews, why was Backes (I think) following Hossa around and slashing him for an entire shift? He also didn’t change the line when things became chippy, it was the second shift that first line took and he said after the game that was the intention all along. Stupid. Q you are making me Saad (rimshot!)

    That third line is ridiculously good at cycling the puck and Shaw has shown such great ability and instincts I’m constantly raving about intelligent little plays he makes. Now if he could stop with the dangerous hits, that would make me happy.

    The fourth line really lacks without Kruger at center. I thought Bollig played pretty well when he wasn’t trying to punch people. He’s a smart player and he has really good instincts… now just stop punching people.

    I hate the style Hitchcock plays. Awful, awful hockey to watch. Good to see the Hawks have a way to attack it though.

    Great game by the Hawks, I hate Q for putting Carcillo on the top line.

  12. Tab Bamford says:

    @McKay – I’m not sure I would call this the first game of 13-19-81 quite yet… Carcillo only skated 10 minutes last night, and really only spent about half the game shifting w/ Toews & Hossa. However, I do think it’s worth noting that Quenneville has no problem moving him up to that top line in a physical game to, as Troy Murray put it during the postgame, “keep the flies away.” I would expect Saad to be back up on the top line tonight when Columbus is in town.

    One other thought: the refs apparently broke up the would-be fight between Bollig & Reeves “because it took too long” for them to actually get after it… which is a load of bs imo. They never let them actually get to dancing, and we’ve seen dozens of fights this year where they circled like sharks for 10 seconds before actually engaging. They didn’t want a couple idiots clowning a competitive game, and broke it off early. Why Bollig was hit w/ the extra minor is questionable to me as well.

  13. wall says:

    McKay, I thought Cbomb made 1 nice quick read/pass to Toews who was in way too tight… but 13 is no where near 100% and won’t be for weeks (assuming he doesn’t re-injure)

    But the best thing is w/ one of your best Defensive forwards (16) playing on 2nd line…
    the 4th line is much stronger on both ends w/ Saad… furthermore, Saad and 16-67 on 4th when 36 is back… will be a MUCH stronger line on both ends!!!!! And this has been my point all year!

    IMO- it would give the Hawks four lines that could be #2 lines for around half the league!!!

  14. Tim G says:

    BTW for anyone who hasn’t seen, O’Reilly had his offer from Calgary matched by Colorado, so he can’t be traded for a year. If we are going to go all in on a 2C (which im not sure we need to anyway) we will have to go to plan B.

  15. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I’ll admit it has a Hawks fan I’m spoiled! Granted we did suffer through a decade of Mark Bell, Kyle Calder and Steve Passmore,…. yikes!!! 12 seconds, thats how long it took for the Hawks to establish how awesome they really are. I’m not sure if I am the only one who felt this way; but was this game every really in doubt? Did STL ever really threaten the Hawks? Were the Hawks ever on their heels? I never felt that way and then in the 3rd Shaw snapped a wrister and it was all over! Game set match! I love this game! Go Hawks!

  16. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    One more point since everyone loves to comment on Saad V Carcillo. Saad’s PK where he made a stop right inside the blue line, stripped the puck and fired it down was a thing of beauty. Carcillo could NEVER make that play. Saad and Carcillo and completely different players on the ice.

  17. NJ Dave says:

    Wall – while I agree with all of your assessments, the bottom line is last year’s team would chase as awful lot. The positioning and coverage is so much better in their own zone. How many goals were scored last year with a Hawks d-man trailing an open winger? This year, that just hasn’t happened. I believe the team has bought into a defensive minded responsibility first and then stretch/tranisition to offense quickly.

    Whatever it is, it’s quite amazing.

  18. Chris Spieglan says:

    @ George: If you are going to criticize the content of this website,

    POST SOMETHING BETTER.

    Directly quoting you: “All he is doing is just telling us about the boxscore. Saying things like how good the 3rd line was able to cycle the puck tonight, or the fact that the goaltending was helped by great back-checking.”

    Show me ANYWHERE in any box score statistics on cycling the puck, or how goaltending is helped by back-checking.

  19. Sr. Brad says:

    Saad is the better option on the first line, but moving Carcillo up during the game is NOT a bad thing…not matter what anyone else is saying right now, Carcillo is not out of touch with Tazer and Hoss…he is not at their level, but he knows where he needs to be, and plays physical…

    I think that Saad is going to be a very good NHL’er and the more the Hawks can give him experience on the first line, the faster and the better his development will become. In fact, right now, Saad is a pretty good NHL’er…

    All the time Bolly has been out is a concern to me…its the one thing (along with CC’s concussion for the 2nd time) that is THE concern for the Hawks…I really believe that Bowman needs to be aggressive and get out there and get us that 2nd line centre…e.g. Derek Brassard, Columbus (who is out right now with his own concussion like symptoms).

  20. Tails says:

    @JS

    Ok this is totally off topic, but I saw you write rimshot, and I was thinking “That noise is totally not a rimshot.” Then I looked it up, and apparently some people call that a rimshot. As a drummer, that’s really weird to me as a I think of a rimshot as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJbqRA4fSrM
    Which is totally different.

  21. jeff says:

    Man, another solid W.

    Is this great or what!

    Saad/Carcillo…..blah blah blah. I’m thankful we have both of em.

    Guy’s were all lucky to be hawks fans! Amazing.

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