Blackhawks Sink In San Jose

One night after a dominant victory in Anaheim, the Blackhawks weren’t able to solve Antti Niemi and fell to the Sharks 2-0.

Shaw vs Scott SJ

Niemi posted a 31-save shutout of his former teammates and kept his team ahead with some big saves in a second period that saw Chicago out-shoot their hosts 15-6.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, Duncan Keith scored the game-winning goal. Antti Raanta struggled to contain a rebound five minutes into the game and Keith, who was battling with Joe Pavelski in front of an empty net, inadvertently whacked the puck into the Hawks’ net. Melker Karlsson was credited with his eighth goal of the season on the play, and that would prove to be all the offense the Sharks needed.

Joe Thornton added an empty net goal with 70 seconds left in regulation to cap the scoring. Thornton and Karlsson had two points each in the game to lead San Jose.

The Blackhawks passing wasn’t great the entire night, a symptom of lively boards and playing their third goal in four nights. Chicago didn’t generate many great chances, but their best was taken away by a terrible call by the official. Jonathan Toews took a breakaway in on Niemi, and was trying to get a loose puck into the net as Niemi failed to secure a rebound. With the puck almost a full foot away from Niemi – who was on his back – the official blew the play dead, killing any subsequent scoring chances for Toews.

There have been a few rough nights for officials working Hawks games this year, but this night may be the worst. The exclamation point on the night’s futility from the stripes was an icing call in the third period… that was called as Niemi played the puck.

Teuvo Teravainen only skated eight shifts (6:54) – including only two shifts in the game’s final 30 minutes – and Joakim Nordstrom was limited to 12 shifts (7:25) in the game. David Rundblad only got on the ice for three brief shifts in the second period and was held to only 10:49 on the night.

After his early rebound issue let in the eventual game-winner, Raanta was solid for most of the rest of the night. He made 18 saves against 19 shots in the loss.

Coach Joel Quenneville was hoping to pick up his 300th win as the head coach of the Blackhawks on Saturday night, but will have to wait a few more nights. The Blackhawks are back on the ice Tuesday night in Minnesota.

41 thoughts on “Blackhawks Sink In San Jose

  1. …and now we got to start worrying about Calgary as well, as if Winnipeg and Vancouver were not enough…

  2. To say the Hawks passing “wasn’t great” is just covering up the stink for what looked like passing seen in a beer league. Missed passes all game long and that’s all she wrote. Players bobbling the puck so then they’re rushed to make a play resulted in missed pass after missed pass after pass in the skates, after passes jumping over sticks, after missed passes for icing.

    When the Hawks don’t have enough focus to execute crisp passes they can’t win unless the other team plays poorly. Maybe they were looking ahead to their little Las Vegas mini-vacation.

    Oh, and way too many fly-bys tonight where the Hawk players swatted at the puck as they skated past the net instead of stopping and trying to score a greasy goal on a rebound. Toews and one or two other guys are the only ones who go to the net and stay there even though they’re getting whacked. The rest of the Hawks fly-by like they’re afraid to break a nail or something.

    /rant

  3. Mining, were going to be fine, can still win division/2seed. These 8 wks coming will be good sch. wise and then 2 hard wks to get to game82.

    LOS is the team that needs to worry about WIN, CAL, DAL, MIN and COL. If two of these 5 teams are ahead of them, they do not get in. (VAN & SAN as well)

  4. Hey guys. I attended the North Dakota/Omaha game tonight in college hockey. Managed to get through the snow. For what it’s worth, here we’re my impressions of the hawks prospects :

    Schmaltz, small and skilled especially in tight spaces. Made some good moves to get away from a few checks in the corners. Also a decent passer in tight spots in the offensive zone. However, he does dominate his shifts or really stand out as “the best player on the ice” when he is out there. He is only a freshman and will need time to develop for sure.

    Luke Johnson, excellent college hockey player. His positioning is excellent, wins a lot of board battles, gets himself into prime scoring positions. He took 2 penalties. Both for being overly agressive. Plays important minutes and clearly has been well coached. Will that translate into being a good pro ? I don’t know but he plays hard. Lot to like here.

    Nick Mattson. Played important minutes on the back end. Not quick and doesn’t have that burst, but he has a huge trunk. Big big butt and legs. Makes very good short passes and good decisions on the left point. Very sound positionally. His upside is a third pairing Ryan Stanton type defenseman. Nothing wrong with that. We shall see if the hawks decide to sign him.

    Luc Snuggerud, plays a lot of minutes fo Omaha on the back end. Pivots very nicely and his natural skating is very noticeable at this level. Calls for the puck a lot on the power play and is not afraid to fire it much like the video of forsling. He will need a couple more years though to become an impact defenseman at the college level. He is in a 6 man rotation and unlike Paliotta in Vermont, he is not the top dog yet.

  5. Just read this after posting. I meant to write Schmaltz Does Not dominate his shifts as the best player on the ice. Sorry this I pad that I am pounding on sucks.

  6. Craig N- thx for the report… Luke J- is one of my sleeper prospects… he doesn’t do anything great… but does a lot of positive things/plays smart/ and seems to have a good motor… I think he is a Danault type… but better.

    well SJ… kinda figured out how to “play” the Hawks…

    1.) do not think offense first
    2.) clog up blue-line with 4/5 players forcing Hawks to dump/chase (or clog up neutral zone)
    3.) counter-attack (SJ – didn’t even need #3)

    TT played poorly… waved his stick w/ his head down and eyes closed on several plays… He was the equivalent of Randy Moss catching a slant with Ronnie Lott coming down on him… Thanks- but no Thanks…

    I don’t know if you can “teach” a person Not to turtle!!! Or grow some balls!!! really discouraging… I do not expect TT to check/hit someone off the Puck… but really has to learn to use the body to take-away position or just jam a passing lane…
    Watch Hoss… the guy will jam his body on boards – then play puck w/ stick… 81 knows where guys are attempting to move pucks…kane does it too w/o hitting anyone.

  7. The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

    The Blackhawks dominated the Kings, Ducks, and Sharks for long stretches and could have easily ended up with 6 points. They didn’t, such is January hockey.

    Are there areas of concern, sure. But the Hawks are going to make the playoffs and end up playing either Nashville or St Louis. Both very good, but beatable teams.

  8. Tab- luv the photo

    who do you think enjoyed that more- Scott or Shaw?

    When was the last time – A Hawk scored the only goal of the Game- and They lost???

  9. That is an eye opening photo and a wicked sense of humour Tab…hope it does not portend of things to come. Calgary is the best third period team in the NHL…many comeback wins for Calgary and methinks they will grab a wild card spot. Would like to see pesky Vancouver out of the wild card but who knows. In any case a very small losing streak or a string of win/lose, win/lose could put us seriously fighting for a spot against Calgary, Winnipeg, LA, SJ, which is not desirable. Big homestand around the corner coming up and an excellent chance to show some teams our dust.

  10. Random musings: I’d say that was first bad game for TT. I believe he still sticks, but it will be interesting to see if Q does something to him now… I’m sure everyone heard the news about Jeremy Morin. Hope he is well, Praying for a clean bill of health and full return to the ice. I’ll go ahead and say what many are surely thinking, we sold at the top (sorry, its cruel)… Keith played like crap last night. It’s not true to say ‘as 2 goes so go the Hawks’, but it is true that when he sucks we’re in trouble…Hawks Nation is really impressive on the road, in the “relocation” cities of SoCal, in Phoenix, Dallas, San Jose, a few others. Attended the game in Anaheim Friday night, it was amazing. Honestly, 40% to 50% Blackhawks fans no exaggeration. I talk to everybody. I used to think that all these people were Chicago expatriates (like me), but a lot of them have never been to Chicago or even lived in cold weather and they just became Chicago Blackhawks fans. Lots of ’em from various parts of southern CA and a lot from Las Vegas. And they really love the Hawks

  11. If the Hawks passing is off which it was last night the Hawks have zero room for error. Here is my biggest gripe with this roster is when they are off they don’t have enough size to to dump the puck in and go and get it. I am not saying the Hawks should play dump and chase but the Shark scored and then played in a defensive shell for most of the game. Their lack of size and toughness is a a concern because of who they are going to go up against. Blues, Preds, Winnipeg, Ducks and to lesser extend play a heavy game and that doesn’t bode well for these Hawks, especially guys like Keith, Oduya and Runblad.

  12. Agree with Red Top and SouthSide…size, a new kind of toughness combined with speed and skill are taking over in the NHL…could we even get past Winnipeg? I’m sure the brass are figuring out some kind of counter defense or else Tabs photo for this piece says it all. …and besides, its a strange sports world across the whole spectrum this year….something weird will happen several times in a row creating controversy and history such as we witnessed in the Super Bowl and the games before that. Just that kind of a year.

  13. Wow-now we can’t get by Winnipeg? How the mighty have fallen.
    The team that wins the last game in the playoffs wins the Cup-other than that we’re just guessing.

  14. Side note to the weekend: I caught a little of the Blues/Caps game from last night… is there a bigger d-bag in the NHL than Backes? How is that guy a Captain?

    He is so dirty its not even funny…

  15. Every year we go through the whole Hawks don’t have the size crap. Come up with something new because that obviously isn’t a problem for them come playoffs.

    The next time the 4th line pots a goal might be the first one I remember from the season. While I think they do well in a checking role, they need to score at least every once in a while. Nordstrom still skating while TT watched from the bench made pretty much no sense to me. While TT didn’t have his best game, he’s still a threat to make a play every shift. Nordstrom? Not so much. While Nordstrom is much improved at getting the puck out of his own zone this year, he can’t do anything of value through the middle of the ice/offensive zone.

    It would be nice for the Hawks to go on a little streak here at some point, mostly so people can stop talking about the sky falling.

  16. JS- agree on 4th line… and MUCH Improved getting out of own zone… I think His Neutral zone play has been OK… but looks to have taken step back n O zone…

    then again 16 will never be finisher… so that doesn’t help…
    42 w/ McNeill or a Motte/Hayden in next couple years should be better… cuz all of those guys can actually finish…

    The problem WILL be trying to replace 10 and 81’s production in 2-3 years… assuming a decline in play/production from age…

  17. Wall- Phil, AJ and I had another outing for Friday nights game. You really have to try to attend one of these by the end of the season. Good times with a lot of fun hockey thoughts.

    One of the things that I brought up was that almost every team is going to be in a lot of trouble if the Cap doesn’t go up significantly next year. Most of the top teams on both sides are right up against it (can’t be too sure now that capgeek is no more). So while the Hawks will certainly have to move a contract or two, many teams will be in the same boat.

    I find it hard to figure out how much value to put in Kruger. He’s great at the dot, great on the PK, great at drawing boarding penalties, but has the hands of Captain Hook. If he had any sort of finishing ability he’d be making huge money somewhere.

  18. @ noonan96

    I don’t think its unrealistic to think that Winnipeg would be a bad match up for the Hawks. Add to the fact that Rocky had to set Hutchinson up with an office at the UC since he OWNS the Hawks.!

    Can the Hawks beat Stl, Peg and Nashville in the playoffs yeah most likely but the margin for error is so slim. Ultimately, to go through all those teams is going to be a meat grinder and I’m not sure I believe this team after all the hockey this core has played is going to be able to get through 3 black and blue western conf series. Some of these guys have ALOT of extra games on them. Minus 2 1st round extra against Phx & Vancouver this team has played alot of hockey. I’m just not seeing a long run with alot of 30 yr olds in the lineup.

    In my opinion this team comes out hot every year because their talent allows them to beat less talented opponents then that talent gap evens out because hockey is a rough sports, guys get beat up and get tired.

  19. Thank you JS, I was wondering when someone would address Nordstrom. Yes he has played decent in a checking role but man he is absolutely no threat to score and the fourth line is non existent offensively. I realize that if you are relying on the fourth line to win games you are in trouble but they should at least pot a few hear and there to ease pressure off the top two lines. Is there not a better option? Why not give Rasmussen a try.

  20. The worst thing to give a Chicagoland sports fan is a Championship.

    There are reasons why we sit 5:1 without any company. Mostly it’s because we’re talented, experienced and have a lot of heart. Still.

    Metrics made easy.

  21. Teuvo isn’t ready for full time NHL duty. I have been generally disappointed in what I have seen so far. Yes, he is obviously learning on the job and acclimating to ruggedized NHL hockey. I get that. But there are troubling signs with his game, and I can’t get over how slight he is. How exactly is that going to work in the Western Conference over the long haul? Especially on an undersized team like the Hawks? Bottom line, the kid needs more developmental time in the NHL. At least for right now, I don’t buy into the hype machine for Teuvo. I just don’t. Transferable skills to the NHL aren’t apparent to me. Great skills in some regards? Yes. But the rough comparisons to Patrick Kane are insanely stupid.

    If it’s me, then Teuvo goes back down to Rockford and the Hawks gut it out with Rasmussen and Carcillo until Versteeg is ready.

  22. Rufussssssssss… please tell us what parts of his game you don’t like.

    Obviously he isn’t strong enough on the boards, but his defensive positioning is great. He makes passes that his teammates still don’t know are coming (it would behoove him to not play with Shaw and Bickell since Shaw typically has his stick above his head and Bickell has hands of stone when it comes to receiving passes). He still needs those XP points until he’s a NHL Star, but I can definitely see it.

  23. I do like TT in the long term, but like JS said, playing with guys like Shaw or Bicks or Nordstrom wont do him any favors. And while Rufus is correct that TT probably isn’t NHL ready, I personally think, now is the time to get him NHL ready. its February 2nd, and we are a little banged up as is, so just let him go play.

    If we get healthy and we are fighting for posistioning in the playoffs, maybe he’s not the best guy (as is), but let him take some lumps and go for it. we have 3 more months to build chemisty, so maybe he clicks in and become the valuable piece we want.

  24. One of the things many young players have difficulty with is consistency game to game. TT disn’t have a good game Saturday, was that because he isn’t physically strong enough to handle bach-to-back games or lack of consistent focus. We don’t know, just like there’s a lot we don’t yet know about TT because he’s played only 11 games. I think it’s clear certain parts of his game are ready for the NHL and certain parts of his game my not be. But I think the notion that playing a young player in the NHL before he’s ready could ruin him does not apply in TT’s case. Therefore my vote is to keep him up with the Hawks so his confidence and consistency will get better – not only for this season but also for next season when he will be in a role where he is counted on more than he is this season.

  25. JS/Phil/AJ, would like to go tailgate & watch a road game there (brought good luck/kick started the team scoring more goals per game when we smoked MTL 5-0) with you guys but I do not live in Chicagoland area and when I fly into to town its usually only home games.

    I forget if it was Srbrad/Phil, I mentioned it as well in the fall that basically all of the top teams at least, arnt going to be able to keep everyone as well. Tab mentioned and showed the diff between LOS and CHI longterm status of both teams contracts and we are in much better shape for future. That’s a good point JS. Though we wont be able to keep a good player/etc might be better off in the short term as well. Lets not forget (roster wise) the other teams are still trying to catch up with the Blackhawks.

  26. Thing about Krugs is he was what 46% his first few yrs against lower line centers and since we got Perreault he went up to 57% these yrs now against better centers.

    Now is a good time for Teuvo to get experience. We didn’t see the chemistry of 23/91/88 until we were 20games in, it takes time for things to develop in that regard. 29 might be a force in the 2nd 40games (when the refs eat their whistles and stand in the middle of the net). When Bicks and Shawzer are going good (for them) we have another element to our 4 lines. Figuring out who matchs with who when those guys get going in the ‘no whistle season’ and where 10/23/86 play best with/line combo is exciting because we know were getting close to that sushi time of the yr.

  27. SSHM-just out of frustration, that’s all-any team that makes top 8 in the West will be tough-
    it’s the thinking that creeps up this time of year-let’s list all the reasons why things won’t work out-psychologically it’s easier to justify why the Hawks will not win-and if that comes to fruition it’s a small victory-“I told you so” and if the Hawks ‘beat the odds’-that’s a win as well.
    I prefer to appreciate what has been and still is-
    I must also enjoy the micro-managing of passionate Hawks fans, cause I keep reading
    every day.
    My two cents worth-TT needs to be where he can play regular minutes-I’d like it to be with the big team but they need to make a decision. Love watching guys that think the game before it happens. It will take a year or two for 86 to be able to do that comfortably.

  28. JS- I missed the invite… sounds like a good time. Let me know

    TT- really surprised the kid hasn’t seen some PP time- at least on 2nd unit???
    I guess that is Q being loyal to some “older” guys… but the Kid would be great there.

  29. Some of you are trying too hard in Teuvo. Seriously, while nobody denies his raw skill set and accomplishments in Europe there has been little shown in his time to date with the IceHogs or Hawks to validate your overreaching. Yes, he is a kid in development phase and is going to be overwhelmed at times and such. But my goodness…I can’t read any more of these falsities on how brilliant he has looked with the puck on his stick.

    I hope the best for Teuvo, but honestly I see a player who is ridiculously too small of frame and who will be an odd fit on a Hawks team that has screaming need for size in the rugged WC. Which leads me to think he could be packaged in a trade this summer.

    Scream at me all you want. But some of the usual suspects around here are trying too hard and putting him on a special player tract that I have not seen in the least bit thru his stint in Rockford and 11 games in the NHL in 2014-15.

  30. Agree with Rufus on TT except for the trade bait part….Blackhawk brass have stated their belief in this guy and don’t want to rush/ruin him and fiqures prominently into the future plans…although that just standard line rhetoric, what else are they going to say? Note that Clendening skated over 19 minutes and a plus one for the Canucks last night so good for him and hope it all works out for him out there. Trade TT to Winnipeg and get Buff back. Howls everywhere!

  31. Rufus- I am a fan of TT… but I do see some big weaknesses… AND ( I used a large caps just for u) I can see putting TT out as Trade Bait ,,, IF the right deal came along…

    for example- 1st or 2nd pick for TT and Bickell + Hawks draft Pick… I could live with that!!! Not gonna happen… But If there- I would pull trigger

    then again- maybe TT plays with 88 and whoever (next year)- and doesn’t have to worry about being a target- cuz all eyes are on Kane…

  32. Speaking of the usual suspects (er-suspect)
    TT is 20, 170 pounds playing his first year in North America-he has some weaknesses-really?? Of course he does, mainly that he’s not strong enough.
    This kid may be special at 22 or 24-and you don’t have the patience to see?
    The Hawks have lots of half decent prospects so unless your getting a sure thing power forward (stud) in return-you don;t trade him. And GM’s don’t trade them-period. So glad your not the GM.
    Get use to it as Bowman went to the well one more time with last years first pick-18 and small frame, with lots of skill. Difference is TT may be the real deal.

  33. TT is not going to be traded. Some of the guys on the Hawks are having a tough time handling his laser passes. Putting him back down in Rockford with guys who clearly can’t handle his passing will slow his growth. Put him between 10 and 88 to maximize his skill set. The regular season is just a dress rehearsal. The Hawks just need to enter the playoffs healthy and start the real season. LA has figured it out. Expend just enough energy to make the playoffs and then step it up and win the Cup. St Louis and Vancouver have not figured it out. Spend all your energy winning the President’s trophy and flop in the playoffs. As long as the Hawks are healthy I do not see anybody beating them 4 of 7.

  34. Shar-arks game was kind of a yawner for me. Never mind back to back late night starts for us Central time fans. I don’t know about JS and AJ, but I was dragging Saturday following the meet up at Swig. Noteworthy though we did help bring home another resounding Hawks road win just when we needed it following the depressing loss to the Kings prior. When the Swig meet ups are proposed it’s of course a wide open invite to all of you to come out and cheer on the boys. Morrison and other out of towners, let us know when you are in for home games and maybe we can do a pre-game beer or two. Would be fun for all!

    The Teuvo question is provocative indeed. The kid clearly has some special tools. I think he needs playing time more than anything else, either at NHL level or with the Hogs. Some more seasoning in Rockford would be fine with me. He needs regular minutes, period. TT has shown flashes of brilliance in his short stint with the big club. The Sharks game was probably his lowest effort, but what seems clear to me is the guy needs the puck. While I am not suggesting that TT is going to be another Patrick Kane, I will point out that Kane is most dangerous when he has the puck and can create. Teuvo didn’t have the puck much in San Jose and his minutes were reduced. Regular shift this kid or send him back to Rockford, which is probably going to happen barring more injuries or a delayed Versteeg return. I have cried for Q to play TT on the power play, but alas it has not come to pass. Kane and TT on the PP means trouble for other teams.

    Had to laugh watching the Blues-Caps game over the weekend. Some heavy hits dished out in that one. Nice to see the Blues get some back. Backes boards a guy and gets a game misconduct. Announcers made it seem like it was some sort of fluke that Backes would paste someone like that. Really Backes?? NHL observers with functional eyes all know what Bakes is up to. The guy has made a career of cheap shots to unsuspecting foes.

    Lets hope the guys go to Minny with some concentration and focus. We can use the 2 points to keep pressure on teams below us in the standings. The intensity is going to be dialed up by the teams trying to get into the playoff grid. Those teams cannot be taken lightly, and the Wild are one of those teams.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  35. Rufie- Because if we know one thing, it’s that the league is overflowing with talent at the power forward position.

    I’m also curious as to what you think that Phillip Danault did so well that he was going to be called up last Christmas and lead the Hawks to the Stanley Cup. Weird that Phillip Danault not scoring in the AHL means he has more value than a TT.

    Anyway – Mo. Would be awesome to get you in there. Perhaps we need to plan something out a month or two in advance.

  36. So the 4th line in terms of points per 60 is off pace from last year.
    Kooga 1.2 vs 1.7
    Smith 0.8 vs 1.6

    In terms of Corsi crap the share is about the same. About a slight drop off but the amount of pucks directed at the net per 60 has increased. Not helpful that Smith and Kruger are shooting half of what they shot last year.

    Also of note, while they get dogged with a lot of the D zone starts, the Toews Hossa Saad line actually sees a higher quality of competition and plays more minutes at evens so there’s that as well. Kruger isn’t a “shutdown” center in the same way Bolland was when healthy. But eating a bunch of those D zone starts is still helpful.

    Fewer 4th line complaints than the Bickell and Shaw debacle of a season.

    Anyway, exiting zone = kind of a challenge. Should be fixable. Only allowed 20 SOG so that was plus, 19 if you don’t count the empty net. Whatever.

    Captain Hook played hockey? Did he get the name Hook before the alligator thing?

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