Blackhawks Storm Back Late, Lose In OT

The Blackhawks forced perhaps their most improbable overtimes of the year with a furious third period comeback, but weren’t able to contain the Sedins and only managed one point at home. Again.

Saad VAN

The Hawks struggled to control the puck the entire night, but were able to escape the first period without allowing a goal in spite of Corey Crawford being forced to fight off 12 shots in the opening 20 minutes.

Only 57 seconds into the second period, Patrick Kane banked a shot/pass off Dan Hamhuis and into the net to get the Blackhawks on the board. That first shift of the second period was one of maybe only two in the period for Chicago, however, and the Canucks took advantage. A turnover epidemic plagued the Blackhawks in the second, and Vancouver put three past Crawford in the period to take a commanding 3-1 lead.

Vancouver’s scoring in the second didn’t come from the usual suspects, however, Linden Vey scored his eighth of the season at 4:42 and Bo Horvat – who has killed the Hawks this season – scored his sixth of the campaign only 2:02 later to give the Canucks the lead. Zack Kassian tipped a Luca Sbisa shot past Crawford for his fifth of the season at 11:19 and the United Center was dead quiet.

It took 12 minutes and a man advantage for the Blackhawks to find their offense in the third period, but they turned it on in a hurry.

Marian Hossa scored a power  play goal at 12:48 to cut the lead to one, but it appeared the Sedins crushed the momentum a couple minutes later. Henrik Sedin got past David Rundblad with the puck and was dragged down from behind, but Daniel Sedin put the puck past Crawford before Rundblad could head to the box.

Former Blackhawk Radim Vrbata went to the box for roughing soon after Daniel’s goal, and the Hawks were able to convert another advantage. With Crawford on the bench to give the Hawks a two-man advantage, Duncan Keith put a missile past Eddie Lack to get Chicago back to within one.

Crawford went to the bench again, and Patrick Kane made a nice play to cut off what could have been an opportunity for the Canucks to capitalize on the empty net. Kane hit Hossa in stride and the once-dormant Hossa exploded up the ice and scored for the sixth time in three games.

With 55 second left in regulation, the Blackhawks had somehow erased 52 minutes of ugly hockey and come all the way back to tie the game and pick up a point by forcing overtime.

Sadly, the Sedins went back to work in overtime. They played Rozsival-in-the-middle and Daniel put a nice pass from Henrik past Crawford to earn the second point for the visitors.

The Hawks have now started their longest homestand of the year with losses in a shootout and overtime.

Crawford kept his teammates in the game for the first 52 minutes. He made 31 saves, but the game could have been much more lopsided early if not for a number of great saves.

In his first game since the Winter Classic, Kris Versteeg skated 16:47 and was minus-three. After the game, coach Joel Quenneville said he looked “dangerous” and had a few good looks, but he was one of… 18 Blackhawks skaters who failed to pull the trigger on a great shot opportunity on a number of occasions. Chicago was credited with 41 shots on net, but could/should have had another half dozen great looks.

Kane finished the night with three points (one goal, two assists) while Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Michal Rozsival picked up assists in the game. Toews won 16 of 25 faceoffs and Brad Richards won 12 of 14 at the dot. Bryan Bickell led the team with four hits.

Daniel Carcillo dressed instead of Teuvo Teravainen. He got on the ice for ten shifts and only 5:43, registering two shots on goal. Ben Smith only skated 8:24 in the game as well.

With the Jets making a blockbuster trade on Wednesday, the Blackhawks urgency to address the glaring issue on the blue line needs to increase. Rundblad had another terrible night, and the pair of Rozsival and Johnny Oduya continue to be on the ice when opponents are scoring.

CHI VAN shots.2.11.15

78 thoughts on “Blackhawks Storm Back Late, Lose In OT

  1. Someone tell me how I’m supposed to feel about this…Happy? Don’t think so but I was for a while for the last three minutes….Sad…Oh ya …what was that about on OT?…were we shorthanded? Can someone not take a Canuck off the puck..we set up a box as if they were on a power play..did we even touch the puck? Mad..ya I guess….Grateful? for the comeback…we climb Mount Everest and then fall off the peak in a most embarrassing fashion in front of our own moms at that. How about amused? Tab stating ” Sedins played Rosival in the middle ” …good laugh…I’ll take that.

  2. Crawford slowly regressing to his career norm Sv%. Probably below it. That contract is going to be a bigger boat anchor as time goes on and this lineup slowly erodes. So awesome that Toews and Kane went the greed route. Hope the coin they earn is worth playing for a middlin, against the cap team for the remainder of their careers. Damn shame. If Hawks don’t win Stanley this year it won’t be happening for a good long time.

  3. …and I have to work in the am and face 2 Kanucklhead diehards, both of whom I pointed at on my way out today and told them “your going down” …man I am in for a rough go first thing…not easy in a mining environment!

  4. Mining, show class. That’s what Blackhawks do.

    No matter the outcome of any one game in the 82.
    We have one of the top two rosters and more depth. (looking to add?)
    Thank you sir may I have another.
    Bottom line is the roster and depth.

  5. Alberta… true dat!!! Pen2.0

    I thought Crow was “Raanta-like” on a few rebounds…

    When Runbad shanked that Kane cupcake pass… I knew that was going to lead to something bad!!! and it did… to a goal for Nucks…

    3 give-aways in 1st by Hawks… as Eddie pointed out… Laughable stat of the nite…
    Hawks were handing out pucks all nite…

    Foley- please stop blaming the Ice… Canucks didn’t seem to have a hard time passing/receiving pucks…

    How many goals will 10 score 5 on 5 rest of the year???

    One win in last 5 Home games…

  6. This game was weird. There weren’t many missed passes, most were tape to tape which is a huge improvement over recent games. Unfortunately some of those passes were directly on to the tape of a Vancouver player. Way too much failing to clear the puck out of the d-zone. They didn’t work well as a 5-man unit. Forwards didn’t stay low long enough to make sure the puck got out and too much hesitation by the d-men like they either didn’t see the outlet play or they were afraid to make a mistake. Lack of confidence and continuity leads to turnovers and bingo bango the puck is past CC.

    As far as the offensive side of the puck – too much fancy cute stuff with all the deferential passing – stop trying to showtime and make the simple direct play aleady.

    Homestand starting out as a big puke. 2 points squandered. At this point the odds are they will get only about 8 points out of the 8-game homestand. Winnipeg is coming.

  7. Alberta – I believe Crawford has been worth every dollar of that contract so far this season. The problem is the team in front of him. He had a few games after his injury during which he wasn’t quite up to the level he played earlier, but he wasn’t the cause of (m)any losses. TOO often the TEAM effort has just not been there – that “play the right way” for a full “sixty minutes” thing. Tonight for instance – honestly, did the guys in front of Crawford “play the right way” for more than ten minutes? Be fair and try to balance that with “his career norm Sv%”.

    I don’t have the answer, but I’m getting tired of hearing Toews (or another) deliver they didn’t do the things they were supposed to, or they know what they need to do excuses. It’s old already…

  8. Wall, “Foley- please stop blaming the Ice… Canucks didn’t seem to have a hard time passing/receiving pucks…” — “true dat!!!”

  9. EbonyRaptor, “too much fancy cute stuff with all the deferential passing – stop trying to showtime and make the simple direct play aleady.” — ““true dat!!!”

  10. Dickie

    Crawford has a top puck possession team in front of him along with a top 4 D of Seabrook, Keith, Oduya, and Hjalmarsson. Theres goalies with a lot less riding shotgun putting up better numbers. Crawford is a MOR goalie. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Time to start thinking about who’s leaving town because the cap isn’t going to allow this lineup on the ice next year. Oduya is gone. One of Seabrook or Sharp is probablygone. Hossa is another year away from his prime years. Can Richards be a 2C again next year?

    Unlessssss…..Crawfords the one gone and the dice roll on Darling and Raanta to take the reins. It’s cap hell time for real and somethings gotta give. NHL isn’t going to allow all these nice shiny toys on one team.

    Best win it this year.

  11. I think we are getting trolled by Knuckleheads, anyways that game sucked! This team has regressed so far to average it stinks! The arrow is pointing down on the Hawks lately. I’ve said it a few times, this team is not special. This team started off bad, went on a run, and now is playing average. I’m not buying the “we can turn it on in the playoffs story”. Is Oduya, Runblad and Rosy suddenly going to suddenly turn it on? I hope i’m wrong but the problem is other teams have got better. Nashville is better, STL is better, and Winnipeg is better. LA is just laying in the weeds,I can see them sneaking in and giving ANA or NSH a real problem as the 8th seed.

    2014-2015 Blackshawks consistently inconsistent

  12. Alberta – I totally agree with “Best win it this year.”, and I believe that was Bowman’s plan = one more shot with this group (and Richards) going into this season.

    I won’t dispute what you say about “top puck possession team” and ” with a top 4 D” – but, especially LATELY, how often has THAT team played “the right way” for sixty minutes?

    As far as “goalies with a lot less riding shotgun putting up better numbers”, first let’s agree that assessing goaltenders is probably the most difficult task in all sports because SO much depends on the players in front of them (QBs is likely second). That said, numbers do not tell the whole story. Considering Goals Against Average, there are currently eight ahead of Crawford (Price, Rinne, Howard, Elliot, Holtby, Hutchinson, Fleury, and Lundqvist) – Mtl, Nsh, Det, and StL have more PTS than Chicago (Pittsburgh also has 70 PTS) – how much responsibility should fall on the goaltenders? Based on Sv%, there are 13 rated higher than Crawford — how do you quantify that stat? Although only four of those goaltenders faced fewer shots than CC, how many of the shots figured into that percentage were “A+” (a favorite of Eddie O.) chances? It’s mostly subjective — it seems ANY discussion of The BEST NHL Goaltenders includes Quick (in the Top 3 or 4), but based on Sv%, he’s 29th…and, the Kings are the defending champion, so we should assume there’s a pretty good team playing in front of him(?).

  13. Alberta….

    How about the Hawks quit allowing so many shots on goal! Since he’s come back from the injury, Crawford has faced an average of 30.5 shots per game and has been called upon to make 30+ saves in 9 of 18 starts.

    Despite all that, Crawford ranks 15th out of 42 qualifying goalies in SV%.

    Top 15 highest paid goalies and their save percentage this year:
    1) Lundqvist – .922
    2) Rinne – .929
    3) Rask – .923
    4) Price – .933
    5) Ward – .913
    6) Miller – .913
    7) Crawford – .919
    8) Varlamav – .922
    9) Lehtonen – .906
    10) Quick – .909
    11) Smith – .897
    12) Bobrovsky – .913
    13) Luongo – .919
    14) Howard – .920
    15) Fleury – .922

    If Crawford is overpaid, then so is pretty much all of the top 20 paid goalies except for Price and Rinne this year.

  14. Let’s not get crazy. The Hawks need some passion for sure…..But..This year….right now, what 22 man roster would you trade our 22 man roster for? The Jets? STL? Nashville?

    Do the Hawks have issues? Absolutely. Are they a playoff team? Unquestionably. Can the Hawks make some noise in the playoffs? That depends. If Q can find a way to spread out time and motivate the team to play with passion, I think they can. (Q has shown little interest in the 4th line, that needs to change.)

  15. It is painfully and increasingly clear that the Hawks are in a world of crap on defense. Simply put, they can’t keep dressing a threesome of Runblad, Oduya and Rosival every game. The call to action is clear…Bowman either finds a creative way to add a meaningful piece on defense or this season is going to end on very sour terms once the playoffs roll around.

  16. Wow that really hurts as its the Canucks and even though the rivalry isn’t what it was I still hate them. I like Crawford a lot but as others haven’t pointed out our D is a mess and needs to be fixed and it looks like Sharp and Crawford are the only two pieces that can accomplish that.

  17. Funny the defense has somehow collapsed in the past few weeks. Yes we need alternatives to 5 and 32….maybe 27. However, even through the mediocre play of the last 4 or 5 weeks, only one team in the league (MTL) has a lower GAA and only 2 teams have given up fewer goals. If you want, combine that with being 5th in the league in scoring AND number 1 in goal differential, yes their record could/should be better than 33-22. Still the Hawks will be around 100 points……The sky has not fallen completely.

    As stated above I am not sure there is a 22 man roster I would swap places with. That said, it is up to the team as individuals to give it all every night.

  18. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers…………poor passing…………poor shot selection……………this is becoming a bad habit.

    This team needs to play the way it played against St. Louis, EVERY GAME. Our 3rd forward is getting caught too deep in the offensive zone when possession changes and then we face an odd man break against our D. Against the Blues, we had a forward stay high in the offensive zone until possession was established and then we attacked. We are letting up way too many good shots.

    My belief is that at the U.C. the Hawks play a “show” game with fancy passes and plays that often lead to turnovers. We need to play every game like it is a ROAD game!! We need more “north and south” and beating teams to the puck and less passes through the legs and waiting for a turnover. We need to earn it more!!

  19. With no disrespect intended to our Asian brothers and sisters, the first 2 periods plus looked like a Chinese Fire Drill. Rundblad kicking the puck out of Crawford’s glove as he was covering up was awful, only to be followed seconds later by Rundblad waving his stick around like a water witcher in front of the net as the goal was scored. Rundblad was in a zone all night long….too bad it was The Twilight Zone. Thank you Marian H. for making the game exciting. Just have to sit back now and see if Stan (and his consultant Pop) decide to make an interesting move before the deadline. GO HAWKS!

  20. I keep thinking back to the stretch in November/December where we had the defense playing air-tight, giving up very few chances and those that were coming, Corey was saving. Now 50 has to stand on his head to avoid a blowout. The nucks easily could have scored 5 or 6 goals but for 50. Nice game by him.

    Hossa has gone into beast mode. He is awesome to watch when in full flight. Not surprised in the least that Lack panicked and opened the 5 hole while watching 81 fly down the wing.

    I hate to say it but if 32, 27 and 5 can’t get their stuff sorted out, Rufus is probably right. I’ve been waiting since the year flipped over to see the trend go the other way, but the team has sort of settled into a rhythm of half-effort followed by a mad scramble to salvage points. Not a recipe for sustained success. On the plus side, there are plenty of indicators (goal differential, corsi/fenwick, save %, etc) that says they should be able to steer out of this skid. Hopefully it doesn’t take another month and to do so and then the guys are gassed by the time the playoffs start.

  21. Re: Crawford —- The Hawks have allowed more scoring chances and shots per 60 at 5v5 than any of the most recent seasons. In fact, they are worse at shot and scoring chance suppression than they were in 06-07 AND steadily approaching 05-06. Which would be their worst season since 02. Awesome. Problem is totally Crawford. Read a book.

    Between the first lines domination, Patrick Kanes absolute brilliance and Crawford’s rock solid play, especially to start the season, is pretty much why the Hawks are at where they are at. Kane should get serious MVP consideration.

    This delusion that the Hawks have the second best defense in the league is trying my patience. Detroit, hands down, has the best defense in the league which is hilarious to me considering what they skate out there on a nightly basis.

    The “third line” got absolutely shelled last night. Bickell and Shaw. Again. Abysmal play both to watch, listen to and read the next day on the stat sheet. Those two have been anchors and I could care less how hard Shaw tries, he has been a useless contributor this year. AND that is playing sheltered minutes. Against the other teams crap players with heavy offensive zone starts. Barf.

    Lot of awful break outs and poor neutral zone play and spacing. Seems to be a common theme. Either guys DGAF or the rest of the league figured them out and they don’t posses the intelligence to think their way out.

    1 or 2 players does not fix this. They need to adjust appropriately on a team level and god forbid maybe modify their style of play to better hide their weaknesses.

  22. Wow a lot of hate for 5 & 32!

    2 struggled mightily last night too.

    But to me 27 has got to go! He’s a turnover machine with a 100 points in assists for the opposition! He’s weak on the boards & continually makes the wrong play & yet he never sits even a shift! Give some young D man in Rockford the same leeway, it can’t be any worse…..

  23. I get the Crawford defenders here, but I can’t help but put some of the blame on him for giving up 5 goals. I do think they need another defender though.

  24. I am not trying to mask the Hawks deep problems….but come on… Look at the big picture. The last 10 games have not been good to the Hawks YET only 4 teams in the conference garnered more point in the last 10 games than the Hawks….Last 10

    STL 16
    Minn 16
    Calgary 14
    Nash 14
    Hawks 12
    ANA 11
    Dallas 11
    6 teams at 10
    LA 8

  25. The Hawks are WAY overrated as a hockey team. They win with star power and lose because they have too many smaller, weaker players (mentally and physically). By shelling out those dollars to a decent to good goalie in Crawford, Bowman has handcuffed himself on Defence. There were a ton of people, even on this site, during the offseason screaming to dump Rozy and Oduya and keep Leddy, Bowman didn’t and we are paying for it. The bottom 3 defence men of Oduya, Rozy and Runblad are AWFUL, not average or inconsistent, but awful! Carcillo skates 5 useless minutes (no hits or intimidation) and TT sits in the press box. After the game the coach spent the entire time defending his veteran D to a point of sounding empty and shallow, while there are good D here in Rockford. Clendening played well for the Canucks while Dahlbeck, Johns, and Ville Pokka all play well every game here with the Hogs and don’t get a sniff. Don’t get that Hawks coach at all…swears till his lungs are hoarse all game and then makes excuses post game. The Hawks won’t win a single round come playoff time, even if the weak, injury prone TVR comes back.

    A very over rated team as is.

  26. AJ – very well put.

    It’s the TEAM effort – where is “playing the right way” consistently (if not for the entire “sixty minutes” each game)?

    …and, “1 or 2 players does not fix this. They need to adjust appropriately on a team level”

  27. Pete, Crawford was his own worst enemy last night with his lack of rebound control…he kept the nuckleheads alive time and again.

    Mike, you are simply making excuses…the Hawks have been a .500 hockey team for essentially 2 months. Our Defence has to be great to make Crawford look like he deserves his contract, when they don’t, Crawford always looks average. That’s not a six million dollar man!

  28. HawkBlast – nice rant.

    To address Leddy (again), which NHL general manager would have traded for Oduya and Rozsival? “screaming to dump Rozy and Oduya ” is easy, here, but how does Stan Bowman make that happen? Trading Leddy was the correct move because the Hawks got something of value in return (Pokka) and if they had kept Leddy he is due for a significant raise next season. (I don’t know why this issue still comes up…)

  29. How much better as a hockey team would the Hawks be right now with two $3 million Defence men that are big, strong, physical and consistent in their own zone with Raanta, Darling and Leighton in goal? There numbers are simply better than Crawford’s and they will only get better by playing in the NHL…Crawofrd stays the same.

  30. The issue comes up because a) people here don’t want 27 and 32 to be playing anymore and b) it is far less fun speculating with the salary cap. It also doesn’t help that Leddy has been playing well in NY. But this board also gets collective amnesia about the fact that everyone wanted him out last year during the playoffs and that he was a healthy scratch in the Wild series. Not like he was lighting it up when he was here, but what does that matter.

    Apologies for my earlier comment. The Canucks did score 5. Crawford probably stopped another 3-4 that easily could have been goals. Don’t think you can pin last night’s loss on him. Crawford has been fine.

  31. Any GM could have traded both Rozy and Oduya for picks or prospects (which is all we can afford anyways), and as for Leddy, with an increased role in Chicago how much would he have been worth a year later?

    There’s a poster here named Wall and he always talks about underpaying for goalies and getting a solid D corp in front of him. I agree with this, there was no reason for Bowman to panic into signing Crawford longterm. Look at how Raanta has developed and now Darling looks like the best of the bunch. Michael Leighton had a month here in Rockford that no one has ever seen…3 SO’s, and a .970 save% and he has no hope of playing a minute in Chicago. Mistakes by Bowman and the coach, you don’t try to win a Cup with an average Defence! Taking TVR to Chicago instead of Dahlbeck was a mistake. TVR was an average Defence man in Rockford who was weak mentally and physically, never anything more, maybe they liked his name and lineage. Dahlbeck is rock solid, not flashy, but no mistakes and clears the zone, plus he is physical!

  32. Chev, Crawford was fine, the loss wasn’t his fault, but he needed to be better, that’s why we pay him six million a season. Mistakes were made in front of him, yes, but plays stayed alive because he couldn’t control his rebounds, which he is very inconsistent with. You only pay that kind of money to big goalies who control their rebounds, you know, someone like Scott Darling! Both Leighton and Darling have better rebound control than Cro, and Raanta gets better each month. I would have no problem moving forward with these three in net, and six more million to spend on our skaters!

  33. ^^ “TVR was an average Defence man in Rockford who was weak mentally and physically, never anything more, maybe they liked his name and lineage.”

    Huh? TVR never played in Rockford.

  34. Um, Blast, TVR never played in Rockford. He came right from college to the NHL.

    Oduya also has a no trade clause. No GM could have traded him without his consent.

  35. While at UC last night I can only say that the first 2 periods were a sleepwalking exercise by the Hawks, especially the 2nd. There was no determination to force the issue with the Nucks. Zero sense of urgency until the 3rd when all of a sudden the light goes on and tables start to turn. Talk about frustrating to watch. Of course a stirring and exciting comeback to tie things and salvage a point, but yet again in the OT they went back to sleep with horrible coverage, and what looked to be a PK before the Nucks popped in the winner.

    I find the Crawford detractors coming out of the closet amusing to say the least. Games like last night with yet again very poor team defensive play account for most of the goals scored against the Hawks. That your goalie is only as good as the team playing in front of him rings true most of the time. Of course once in awhile your keeper has to steal a game here or there. CC has won more games for Hawks this year with strong play than he lost with weak efforts. I don’t hear Kings fans clamoring for trading Quick. His numbers are worse than Crow’s. CC is truly the Rodney Dangerfield of NHL keepers.

    Collective backline play has been pretty shaky for some time. Even Keith is making more bad decisions. Oduya problems seem more to bad choices than physical issues. Rozy of course is slow and allows for separation resulting in scoring chances. Guys not moving feet around Hawks net, and continually not playing the body to seal off attackers. Rundblad shows some nice flashes, but is looking nervous and unsure again. Nucks got a goal off Rundblad pinch where he shoots wide and puck comes back around and Nucks off to the races other way. They Score……Please stop with the Leddy trade remorse. Leddy was good at bringing up the puck(Kanes job now), but as a d man he really wasn’t very good.

    The bitch box continuing, I hope we start seeing more Hawks putting pucks to net as opposed to looking for the perfect pass. Shoot the frickin puck please. When in doubt blast away.

    My greatest entertainment from last night came when Shaw goads Vrbata, into one of this seasons best dumb ass penalties with his team leading by 2 and the game pretty much sown away late in the 3rd. That Hawks PP goal had me cracking up. Thank you sir, we would love another.

    Seeing the Devils in Friday night alarms went off. Potentially a bogged down affair with traps set to really slow things down for the Hawks. AJ has my seats, so buddy bring the boys home a winner. I’ll be back for the Sunday matinee which should be entertaining. We have to stop giving away points right here, right now.

    Last. While I instinctively recoil at the sight of Nucks uniforms, and loathe some of the few that are left of the original “Knuckleheads”, I can’t hate that team anymore. Really its just Burrows, Bieksa and Hansen. Oh well, one probably has to include the sisters for good measure, but otherwise it’s a pretty benign group.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  36. Lol Leighton… Remember that one time he let in the fluffer from Patrick Kane in the Stanley Cup final? SAMPLE SIZE is kind of a big deal with goalies. Crows stats when he was up for 5 games in 07 and 08 were fantastic as well.

    Dahlbeck was up for a few games. His gap coverage sucked, he looked slow to react and was meh along the boards. I don’t think he helps anyone with anything this year.

    Another delusion that some solution to all that ails the Hawks is sitting in Rockford is getting a little weary as well.

    Putting an actual shut down line of Kruger, Versteeg and Bickell (or Saad) on the ice may be one solution. Really free up that first line to run wild, especially when Q can play the match ups at home since no one else can freaking score. Adjusting how they defend and pressure in the neutral zone, as a group, is probably another thing they can do. Changing their break out scheme worked against the Jets and STL, not sure why they reverted. Oh and a 60 minute effort would be helpful as well.

  37. Phil and AJ… I think you are both defending Crow (fine- don’t have a problem w/ that)… Crow didn’t lose the game last nite… the “Crap” skating in front of him did!

    But- that IS and HAS been my whole point… and you add – Look at LA/Quick… LA has lost 2 of their top D-men… Richards playing like been concussed too many times + injuries… has led to the “Incredible Quick” demise…

    Don’t overpay Goalies!!!
    Once again- these arguments- ONLY support my point of Paying better all around Players to Skate/defend against shots (and minimize the gifts- that 27,5,65 have been handing out on a regular basis)…

  38. A few things….

    1. Crawford carried this team the first two months, and though he hasn’t been quite the same goalie since the drunken fall at the concert, he remains a core strength of this team. If not for Crawford on this roster then we aren’t remotely sniffing the playoffs this season.

    2. Again, what is killing this team completely is that Runblad, Oduya and Rosival are playing every night. This team has a full scale crisis on defense. We are relying ridiculously too heavy on Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson. Either Bowman get creative a find a way to address the critical need for at least one quality defenseman, or this season ends badly come playoff time.

    3. Until a few games ago, Hossa has not been a factor offensively. That has hurt this team. Hossa is one of the all-time greats in the game and he absolutely must contribute offensively or this team is in trouble. Lets hope he has found the fountain of youth, at least for awhile longer.

    4. The unvarnished truth is that Sharp has been largely invisible this entire season. Yes, he gets his goals on the PP. But at even strength he hasn’t done a whole lot, and if you watch carefully he’s part of the problem with all the turnovers on the ice. Has Father Time caught up to him? Is it simply a season slump? All I know is he sure isn’t helping.

    5. Toews is not having a strong season either offensively or defensively by his standards. In years past he has gone through stretches of burnout. But this has been more than that this season. My belief is he is simply carrying too much of the burden on a team from a talent perspective is not nearly as good or deep as it has been in the past.

    6. Shaw has regressed. He came into this league as an over-achiever who carved out a role by being maniacal on the ice. He’s never been a skills guy. But this season the pixie dust has worn off. Again, as with Toews, I believe he is taking on too much of the burden given the shortcomings of this roster otherwise.

    7. The “role” players as a whole — Bickell (no $4 M per season guy should EVER be defined as a role player), Kruger, Smith (who does nothing in terms of offensive generation) — have been weak. Notwithstanding the PK work.

    8. Richards started the season horribly, put together a nice stretch where chemistry with some line mates was estalished, then when back to being largely a non-factor and a liability on defense. He does not fit the Q style of play and it hurts. All those frggin turnovers that have plagued a team with the hallmark of puck possession? Well, Richards is part of that problem.

    9. Teuvo does not belong here. Period. Based on what I have seen, he is never going to fit in Chicago. I see a player who is vastly overrated. Does he have a lot of skill on the surface? Sure he does. But in terms of right now, he is a liability and not ready for the NHL / Chicago. He needs to go away to Rockford.

    10. Keith can’t do it all. See my conclusion points on Toews and Shaw. The fact that Runbland AND Oduya AND Rosival are the options to dress every night puts a crap ton additional pressure on Keith…don’t dismiss this fact. Keith is a Hall of Fame in the making player and his game and stamina and effectiveness is being sabotaged by a less than adequate overall roster.

    Conclusion: Stan Bowman needs to make a bold move. Either that, or he quietly crosses fingers for the rest of the season, acknowledging his hands are tied to the offseason.

  39. I will maintain the idea that im not worried about his team come crunch time…

    but I will say, we need to be better on D, and if 20/19/81 is a locked line, and 10 and 88 are producting together… i’d almost rather see 10 get moved for D help than have him relegated to the 3rd line.

    I love Sharpie, and really want him to say in the Indianhead, but you gotta bread eggs to make an omelet. When i look at this roster, he or 81 would be the only pieces that would be viable trade options to get back something meaningfully by themselves and we arent trading Hoss. I mean if Stan can come up with some crazy prospect package around Bickell and get a top 4 Dman, then Great… but i dont see that happening…

    and lets face it… i doubt stan makes a “big move” around a core piece like 10 mid-season.

    This is our team. maybe we get one more rotation type dman at the deadline, but oh well

  40. Hossa has absolutely been a factor offensively the entire season. As of January 22nd:

    36 years old and he’s 6th in the LEAGUE among all forwards in individual scoring chances at 5v5.

    That is seriously amazing and kind of a big deal. Saying he hasn’t been effective is an incorrect statement. That is eating the toughest assignments as well. His shooting percentage is going to regulate (is now!) in the worst way and I pity the teams that are going to be victims of that.

  41. It’s quite simple — teams weren’t going to pursue Oduya like he was second coming of Doug Wilson when his last contract was up. Why did Bowman give a player of his ilk a no-trade clause? He can’t do this hereinafter w/ non-core players when the Hawks will have cap issues to one degree or another on a yearly basis. Bowman says he has many contingency plans based upon what the cap is and projected to be; Ok, let’s see one of those placed in action. He is a timid guy, not the worst general manager, not the best either. He would never be in this position but for who is father is. It’s appropriate he works in Chicago. Q can only coach the players on the roster. Those crying for Crawford’s ouster are greatly mistaken. The goaltender is a non-issue. Let’s see how all this will play out.

  42. reminder to those saying Duncan Keith struggled last night: he was rarely w/ Seabrook. If he’s skating w/ any of the other 3 at this point, he’s doing more than just covering one defenseman’s job

  43. Looks like Ben Smith might sit out Friday – logging some extra ice after practice today. Hogs called up a D-man from Inday – Kiril Gotovets who was signed to an AHL contract before the season. Curious because Hogs have a lot of bodies on the back end, not sure if someone is dinged up or not.

  44. Love the “Bowman needs to do something dramatic” rhetoric. With what cap space and what assets?

    Meanwhile, those proposing a dramatic move have to be proposing that Bowman unload top prospects to entice other organizations to take bad contracts. So next year, when the cap hit comes and the Hawks need cheap assets under control to afford their roster, they don’t have any because they made a “dramatic move” this season.

    Can we please employ at least a hint of context when ranting? There’s a salary cap, other general managers have brains, and a player who has a NTC or NMC doesn’t have to waive it. That’s reality. Get comfortable with it.

  45. Did some checking – Svedberg is hurt for the Hogs and they may just want an extra body as they have 3 games this weekend. My guy at practice was mistaken – Smith was out there for an optional practice with about 6-7 guys – he was by himself for a while. He hasn’t done much lately so he may be scratched anyway. We’ll see.

  46. In my post I wasn’t trying to place any blame on Crawford for losses but quite the opposite using his name with Sharp as actual marketable pieces for a return/cap relief. Most of us would love to see Bickell moved but we know that’s unlikely to happen. Maybe Versteeg, Shaw or Seabrook (too important to move at this point) are possible but Sharp and or Crawford are the best options for a great return. I would hate to lose CC but I don’t want to lose Darling either. He reminds of Bishop who Ottawa threw away and is arguably better than both of the goalies they kept. The Hawks D is in need of help.

  47. To Hofmeister’s comment –

    The IceHogs now have 9 defensemen on their roster.

    But I’m sure someone will tell me I’m crazy to think a deal’s coming w/ the IceHogs adding bodies to an already-over populated roster…

  48. Shaw actually has less responsibilities, getting a lot of offensive zone starts and playing against the other teams junk on a nightly basis. He has been mediocre at best.

  49. Is this year the last for Saad before his rookie contract is over, if so i would think he would be burning up the ice to show his worth instead all i see is lackluster effort . no physical play , B

  50. So if you are Bowman then the options become:

    1. Do nothing and pray — because the cap has you trapped AND the few prospects that might help like Johns and Dahlbeck are unlikely to do so because they are injured, not ready, etc.

    2. Dumpster dive — acquire a cheapish scrap heap type to help on defense. A Sheldon Brookbank type that presumably can fit money wise.

    3. Shake things up and roll the dice — trade Shaw or Kruger to free up some cap space to acquire a much needed blue liner. Of course, trading either Shaw or Kruger comes with consequences. Kruger in particular is invaluable on the PK.

    4. Pull a rabbit out of your ass — talk Oduya or Rosival into waiving their no-trade rights and package with a quality prospect or two as the enticement to get a non-playoff contending team to trade us a good piece.

    5. Bite the bullet and open yourself up to a sh!tstorm of reaction — trade Sharp and a prospect for a substantial piece on defense. Lets face it, Sharp will very likely need to be traded in the offseason anyway given the need to sign Saad and manage to the cap otherwise. So put on your Kevlar vest and swing the deal now…a bold move that could define your legacy in Chicago.

  51. C’mon Bronco, really, dissing the effort from Saad? What games have you been watching? Clearly not many Hawks games that’s for sure. The kid is still young and he is going to get paid, because he has big upside potential, and he is developing into a very powerful skater. Would I like to see him take the body more, well yes. It can happen. Saad is great young player, and ANY team would love to have him on their roster.

    While Shaw is not having a banner year, he does things that are important to this team that other guys either won’t, can’t, or don’t want to do. He is to a degree like taking unpleasant medicine. You know you don’t really like the taste or side affects, but you know that it’s good for you. For all of his mistake,s he adds alot to the roster IMO. He plays hard and does the best he can. Sometimes the results are mixed, but his attitude is good and I think he brings more positives than negatives.

    Wall, I can’t dismiss your ideas about paying quality d men to surround a competent keeper that is NOT getting big money. Fact is winning goalies get paid, and Corey got a nice raise for doing an excellent job helping the Hawks to win the 2013 Cup in a contract year. Clearly, the Hawks need to shore up the back line. Lots of pairing rotations suggest holes are trying to be filled as best as possible. I would like to see Dahlbeck up for a longer look. Rundblad is not steady enough in my eyes. From what I have seen of Dahlbeck he appears to be more a stay at home d guy, and that is what the Hawks badly need right now. So much of it comes down to commitment to playing team defense. A great back line corps needs the forwards back to pitch in and to get open for outlets passes to clear the d zone. Pinching d men on offense means the damn forwards have to cover up to prevent odd man breaks the other way. The game flows when the team concept is adhered to. Support, support, support. They know what they need to do….

    Lets Go Hawks!

  52. Likelyhood of those things Rufus:

    2>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>4>>>3>1>5

    Stan wont do nothing, but I would highly doubt he pulls the Sharp trigger. Should he, thats for debate, but I’m not holding my breath. So that rules out 1 and 5. A combination of 3 and 4 could happen, but again… not holding my breath.

    Im fully expecting #2. If Runblad doesnt turn it around, he will likely be packaged with some low pick for some aging/expiring contract d-man… (dont have the time to find an example of such player)

  53. Saad? Really? What’s next, should we trade Kane because he doesn’t kill penalties?

    Don’t forget that Runblad only makes $600k so upgrading at his position is almost impossible without moving other salary. Moving Krueger only clears 1.3 of space and you aren’t getting an impact blue liner for that.

    The obvious one is Oduya, but why would he waive his NTC and nobody wants him for $3MM either. And even if he does waive, how many pieces do you have to throw in to get someone to take him?

    Seems we should get used to this team for the rest of this year. Next year we will have a whole new cast to complain about, including a lot of Icehogs everyone is so interested in seeing.

  54. 1) Bronco needs to not drink the bong water re: Saad. Hilarious.

    2) the Blackhawks will make at least one trade before the deadline. It might be selling dead weight (ie move Erixon to move a kid up from Rockford and/or dump Cumiskey). I do NOT see them moving Sharp now. Why? Because there are significant cap moves that will need to happen this summer, so you go all-in w/ this roster and go as deep as you can w/ it. No sense in mortgaging Sharp now.

  55. From Tab-and I don’t always agree with everything he says-(But below is important-Please Read Again)
    “Can we please employ at least a hint of context when ranting? There’s a salary cap, other general managers have brains, and a player who has a NTC or NMC doesn’t have to waive it. That’s reality. Get comfortable with it.”
    This is our ship-it won’t change much. This team has had the ‘on’ button going for 5 years-sometimes it will be shaky, even disinterested-but the apocalypse isn’t here and when necessary the gear will shift.

    We want Roenick back— give up the Leddy rant-old news

  56. Lots of crazy comments. Crawford is fine! No young kid in the AHL system that is going to change anything in the next 5 years. Versteeg for his talent really opens the ice up down low, last night and this year, not sure what his secret is, but great puck control and doesn’t over skate strong hands. If Saad could do that wow. Hossa has played well all season just getting better position near the net which is not his style. Hawks play a system that is built on passing and patience and puck possession period. I think they have too much talent to not be able to shift the style of play BUT they are built and drafted this way so all players they HAVE that’s in their DNA! The top 8 or 9 players all fit into that system and it is really a high skill type of offense. When it works bloggers and fans are happy when it doesn’t you can look pathetic like the first two periods of last nights game and the last couple months. Repeat Hawks Home advantage is zero, amen. When we watch the Hawks they rely on passing to open the ice up, a lot. They don’ t use speed to stretch it out or real dump and chase with force like Bruins, they dump and poke check, not good enough and Defense know it’s a soft check so they just hold the puck! Hawks are quick and skilled but because of the system and style ( if your watching) wingers on a break and they slow down near the blue line to look around, wait and see what will develop, SADLY that trend is over, most good teams are “Flying” moving 3 guys up at once, 2 go to the net in timing patterns, in a line so defense cant react, Hawks WAIT and OVER PASS so the D Set’s up and your done! Defense can float and cover and you do need a PICTURE PERFECT PASS. The Hawks defense is fine, they’re forced now to be offensive for 3 periods not just late down by a goal. So now you get odd man breaks and wingers playing d, basic stuff. They have a few d-men who don’t have to waste time looking around for a stretch pass and just move the puck up ice solo, with speed, like Keith for sure and Rhunblad has that skill too, TVR and Oh-do-ya too. Hawks just gotta pass less, look to shoot more and get bodies to the net pretty simple but when your looking to make a highlight reel goal then ya got problems. Teams now are running a fast break, are more physical and play tuff in the corners all things hawks don’t do often enough. Kane can not keep being over used here, on multiple lines like last night he was lost. Hawks have the skill but in the end they are not nor ever have been a team to dominate. THE GOOD NEWS, sports are games of streaks so better for hawks to pick up steam in a month or so than now, think of the KINGS last year, Hawks have been in some brutal playoffs. They’re good but about 8 other good teams too. Go Hawks!

  57. Hawks wont make any “real” trades, a stubborn team who think they are closer than they are to the cup? Sorry for the rambling I think the Hawks have only a 5 untouchables. These runs on the CUP won’t last forever. Here are my top five and Toews is not on the list because I think in a Block Buster Trade that “bloggers” are ranting about he is the one guy who bring a lot on return I fact so much that the offers would blow your mind. Hawks have won 2 cups with just good goal tenders who got much better after the cup but a rare time when 2 sort of no names who a cup in net! I think a top 2 or 3 goal tender could be a big win for next year? Crawford is great and many teams would want him, hate to lose him but if ya get a Lundqvist type goalie, just thinking. Mike Smith is my hero i’d take him in a minute!

    1 -Kane ( irreplaceable skill set)
    2- Sharp ( hits, skates and truly can play on any line and be productive, dependable)
    3- Keith ( just to skilled and confident and makes others like Rhunbladd even better)
    4 -Saad (youth with a Toews type upside, speed, stick, skilled will get a lot better )
    5- Hjalmarsson ( best 100% pure defensemen in the league, shot blocker dependable)

  58. A couple of things………SB does not trade away players during the season that have been good, solid players for the Hawks. To me it seems that he rewards these guys with loyalty, which is a very professional way to run a team.

    I am with TAB on this, SB will make a minor move a the deadline, nothing crazy. He will let these players carry the Hawks as far as they can into the playoffs. I believe that Q is the same way, loyalty is everything to him.

    Secondly, this team just plays better on the road, plain and simple. They have the best road record in hockey along with the Islanders. That just tells me that they are all business on the road.

  59. KANE MVP rant from poster today , your right carrying the Hawks! MVP on this slightly than average team!

  60. Great Defensemen are very very hard to find LEDDY was not a great Defensemen in fact if the GM and other hockey posers thought big picture he could be a winger with the talents of a SAAD before he’d become an all star defensemen. Hawks need size on D!

  61. On that last goal that Vancover scored in OT who was to blame? I believe Hammer was out there. My first thought was to blame Crawford, but maybe I’m wrong. I don’t think Edzo said “Crawford had no chance” which suggests he could have stopped it. Thoughts?

  62. Well Pete, the shot was right out in front of CC as Hossa was a bit late coming over. Fast release from Sedin. No time to get set up really for Corey. Nucks were out there on that shift and had the puck for what seemed like 1 minute, cycled around, and bang it was in the net. I didn’t blame that one Corey as being a softy. My perspective at the UC was looking from just behind goal line up in Club Level so I had a pretty good look at it.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  63. Tab maybe you can answer this or someone else from the site, where do the Hawks rank with their puck possession and shot totals? The more I think about it the more it seems the Hawks are giving up way to many shots recently and not possessing the puck as much as they did a few years back.

    I think of of this is due to the regression of Hossa and Sharp. More and more the Hawks seem to go through long stretches where they are just being out played. As I posted before there seems to be more bigger skilled teams in the West now then a few years ago.

    I’m not going to tell people what to think but any smart Hawks fan shouldn’t count on any type of impact player coming at the deadline, this roster just doesn’t have that type of flexibility. I can’t see any team wanting to take Rosy or Oduya off the Hawks hands and without these two being moved options are extremely limited.

  64. I really don’t get why some think a miraculous turnaround is in store and that the struggles of the last 6 weeks are temporary. Help me out with that. So long as the roster is constructed in a way where Runblad AND Oduya AND Rosival have to dress every night then we have a big problem. A big big problem.

  65. Because its the same team that should have won the Cup last year. The Hawks lost by the thinnest of margins to the Cup winner (OT Game 7 Conference Finals)and should have beat them and they have basically the same team back this year. Plus the Kings don’t look so hot this year. I will always believe that if Q had sat Zus and Bolig the Hawks would have beat the Kings in that series. Its water under the bridge now but that is why I am positive.

  66. I think we need to relax. Im a life long (50) yr Hawk fan. They will be just fine. Every game the other team is gunning for them cause they know there the cream of the crop.Its hard to play that way everygame. They rise to the acation when chanlenged. Go hawks I know u will b there when it maters

  67. R-E-L-A-X. The 4th D slot is the only problem the Hawks have. Forwards are fine for rest of regular season, it would be nice to see Q roll 4 lines in the playoffs. We’ll see. If Bowman cannot upgrade the 4th D position, hopefully Oduya has an awakening. Roszival will be fine in the lower tier slotting in the playoffs, and it is likely Van Riemsdyk will be healthy and slot back in w/ Roszival. It (Oduya) is certainly a problem, but those of us with an objective and clear mindset are aware the salary cap prevents a move for a more established D-man. So let’s all hope for the best re: Oduya and that he re-incarnates himself. His play lately would qualify Greg Fox for Norris Trophy all the years Hawks’ fans rode him.

  68. To Rufus…your points are very valid ….so what I know, and can offer, in terms of a miraculous turnaround is this: The Blackhawks have History and Legacy…too many ecxellent players and Legends from times past…a ton of pride and honour to live up to and to draw strength from. We all refer once in a while to the Indian Head logo, the magnificence of the heritage, the great legendary teams. We have that and its worth a lot…its an extra gear, an adrenaline rush…sounds corny, maybe its thin to stat guys and analysts as a whole but WE know better.

  69. I think folks can talk about trade this guy or that guy….but there’s a difference between short term and what will be needed in playoffs. Getting rid of Bickell and/or Shaw, regardless of how people thinks they will perform, for a D man just leaves two fewer guys in front of the net? We may not like how they do it, but they are the most physical we’ve got, and losing them leaves an even bigger gap, IMO. Also IMO, trading Sharp or Crawford ain’t gonna happen during the season. With the cap situation it’s all too complicated to just say lose this guy or lose this guy for a quality D man. Yes, I commented earlier on how bad Rundblad was last night, but there were plenty of turnovers by the remainder of the squad…not just D-men. Let’s just hope the whole team sucks it up for the stretch, and then gets momentum for the playoffs. Then it will just be time to grind. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t, but I’ll still be a Blackhawks fan regardless.

  70. I agree with you iceman and Tab, the Hawks need a #4 defenseman. Come playoff time Keith will be paired with Seabrook, and Nik H. with whoever is #4.
    Oduya needs to drop to the third pair.

    As fired up as I was when they beat St. Louis on Sunday, this team just does not seem to have “it ” that eye of the tiger/hunger. The passing and exits out of the zone are atrocious, seems like a lot of helter-skelter undisciplined hockey.

    This was the 8-game homestand that many fans expected them to kick it into another gear and dominate.

    Does this team look like a team that can go deep in the playoffs and make a Stanley Cup run ? or the team that lost in the first round to Phoenix a few years ago ?

    Right now the answer is obvious. Let’s hope they turn it around and get that swagger back.

  71. ah, the dog days of winter. A certain amount of coasting is done by every player and team. Mental lapses increase. It’s not just Chicago..

    A winning pct that can win you a Stanley Cup once the real season starts?

    .571

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