Blackhawks Tank Continues In Buffalo

At least the big boys showed up on Saturday afternoon.

Back in Patrick Kane’s home town on St. Patrick’s Day, the Blackhawks took the ice early in the afternoon against the Sabres in a matchup of teams battling for draft lottery position.

In a relatively uneventful first period, Benoit Pouliot gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 18 minutes into the game. Both teams put 12 shots on net in the first, and the Hawks had the only power play.

If the first period was boring, the second was anything but that.

At 8:15 into the second, Kane made one of those plays that not many players in the NHL can pull off and the game was tied.

Jordan Oesterle was on the receiving end of that filthy pass and put home his fifth of the year. Jonathan Toews picked up the second assist on the goal.

Chicago took two penalties in the second, with Vinnie Hinostroza – taken while Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen was in their box – and Tomas Jurco heading to the box. The Oesterle goal came while Hinostroza and Ristolainen were sitting. While Jurco sat, the Sabres took advantage as Ryan O’Reilly scored his 20th of the year.

Jurco returned to the ice after his penalty and made up for his error, tying the game at two.

The Hawks out-shot the Sabres 17-6 in the second period and the teams carried a tie score into the third.

Chicago quickly got after it in the third. On the first shift, Toews pushed home a loose rebound for his 20th of the season to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.

Brandon Saad and Kane picked up assists on the Toews goal, giving the Hawks’ top line five points on the Hawks first three goals.

The lead didn’t last two minutes, however. Nicholas Baptiste tied the game at 2:17 into the third.

With six seconds left on a Brent Seabrook penalty, Baptiste scored his second of the game to give Buffalo a 4-3 lead with 1:56 left in regulation.

With JF Berube on the bench for the extra attacker, Nick Schmaltz tried to make a move at the blue line and was it didn’t work. O’Reilly stole the puck and set up Sam Reinhart, who scored into the empty net to make the score 5-3.

And for the first time in the last 13 games between the to franchises, the Buffalo Sabres beat the Kane’s Chicago Blackhawks. The last time Buffalo beat Chicago was in 2009.

34 thoughts on “Blackhawks Tank Continues In Buffalo

  1. Looks like the Hawks really came out firing on all cylinders NOT .
    2 hits recorded by the Hawks in this game ,..,,sad !
    Q really had the boys prepared NOT .
    Looking for consistency Q ,.,.,.you got it .

  2. The luck of ‘O Irish’-no points for the Hawks.
    Nach trathuil mar a tharla se sin! (missing the fada signs/accents)
    Time for a drink.

  3. The boys can’t be proud of the year at all- and to wast one against the last place team in the league?? Awful game, brutal giveaways, sloppy passing, lousy shooting, absent physicality, awkward line coordination, non-existent backchecking, sporadic fore-checking, nearly zero bet presence… Q, where do you start??

  4. Way to tank it boys. I was worried there in the 3rd when they went up 3-2, and then even after the Sabres tied I thought oh no, they’re going to pick up at least a point. But then the clouds parted, the sun came out, and the Sabres scored to seal the 0 points we were looking for.

    BTW – Sikura’s Northeastern team lost last night so now we wait to see if the NCAA extends at at-large invite to the tournament, which I expect they will get. I think the tournament bracket is set up tomorrow so we should know by late tomorrow which team Northeastern will play against. The good new is that because they didn’t win the Hockey East tourny, they should be seeded lower and have more difficult opponents.

  5. Schmaltz has got to know better than to try and toe-pull around an opposing player when he is the last player in the zone.

    This season can’t end fast enough for me.

  6. My money is on Sikura going Ufa.

    Hes doing the exact same things as Hayes.

    Hayes felt he wasnt going to have a spot on the team because it was deeper back then. Sikura definitely has a better chance but if I’m him I’d look around to see what kind of spots are open on good teams.

    I mean c’mon the year has been awful. Doesnt it make sense that him signing elsewhere fits into this craptacular season?

  7. It’s anyone’s guess what Sikura’s priorities are. If knocking a year off the ELC matters to him then good for us. If he’s looking to join an exciting young team on the upswing maybe looks elsewhere. From an org viewpoint, we seem stale. Who knows?

    I didn’t watch much today but what I did see looked beer league. The lazy penalty by Jurco waving his stick at their guy was so dumb. You just can’t do that any more. The former first rounder tags means nothing with him. He’s just not very good.

  8. Sikura is going to sign.

    We are going to be a top 10 again in 19.

    Nothing matters in these games, since game 45-55 somewhere in there.

    Do not over react and think we can catch BUF or those shit teams. Were looking at 7-9 pre draw, like we have since the 0-7-1 started.

  9. Who knows what factors mean the most to Sikura in helping him make his decision. The fact that he mentioned in the Scott Powers interview that he knows and likes the Pittsburgh coach should set off alarm bells for Hawks fans. Plus, his Northeastern team mate from last year (Zack Aston-Reese) signed with Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent at this time last year and has played some games up with the Pens this season.

    Hopefully he signs with the Hawks. A top-6 of 20-19-88 and 12-8-Sikura would be pretty nice.

  10. All we could offer Sikura is a chance to burn time off his ELC and to play on a line with Kane. It would be a shame to loose him but if he doesn’t want to come here after how the Hawks treated him what can you do. Maybe SB should look at more kids from the Canadian leagues and Europe. I feel like he’ll go to a team in the east like Hayes did.

  11. Like that top 6 EB but I like the idea of Saad with 8 and 12 and give Sikura a chance with 88 and 19, might be a little bit more incentive for him too. A 3rd line of 2 speedsters on the wing Hino and if ready be the spot for Soderlund but likely Duclair or maybe that is where Kahun slots in with AA in the middle with his defensive game and net front presence, scoring ability to compliment them. Kampf, Hayden and Highmore or maybe Ejdsell make a good 4th defensive zone start line. Just get the back end straightened away.

  12. There wasn’t spots open for Hayes. Hayes made the biggest mistake of his career. He will always regret it. He could have won a Stanley Cup. Playing time and money are more important to some.

    Theres open spots now. You do have to earn it. Hayes doesn’t know what that means or isint willing to do that. I betcha Hayes and Vesey are loving their decisions last yr/now/going forward.

    That’s fine I would rather have winners like Shaw, Hayden and others then guys like that.

    I had a good feeling about Hayden being a good and smart guy. Do not know Sikura, hope hes a good/smart guy.

  13. Sikura has “Chicago Blackhawks Prospect” on his twitter and instagram pages so maybe we’re in there.

    As for Duclair, he has showed next to nothing so far. Like Jurco (who, correcting myself, was a high second) these guys look like bargains but it strikes me that they are far more likely to bust than ever turn it around. I’ll take Hino’s 6th round scrapiness over these guys any time.

  14. I heard there some free agent college goalies that can be signed once their season ends. I know the whole team is looking aloof, but it might be a good idea to sign someone. I’ have no faith in forsberg and Berube still needs a look, even still….

  15. Re: Sikura and the Powers interview/article

    Powers said in the comments section that he’d be shocked if Sikura didn’t sign with the Hawks based on what Sikura has said to him – I’m taking that at face value and expect him to sign here even if he can’t burn a year off his ELC

    And from a his point of view what’s wrong with signing here – he will get a very good shot to play regular top 9 even top 6 minutes on a team that I expect to be good again perhaps by next year certainly IMO in 2 years

  16. No panic over Sikura. They gave his brother a contract specifically to lure Dylan.
    If the kid signs anywhere else, it would be stunning and borderline disloyal. Hawks would have every right to send Tyler to the ECHL and tell him it’s just business.

    Buffalo did the Hawks a favor. We might actually have a 20 to 25% chance of getting into the top 3 in the draft. This organization desperately needs that.

    Chad Krys had a fabulous game in the Hockey East Final tonight, way more noticeable at both ends of the ice than Dante Fabbro, who was Nashville’s 1st rounder in 2016.

    Same topic, Dennis Gilbert was outstanding for Notre Dame in the Big Ten Final tonight against Ohio State. He played close to 35 or 40 minutes in their OT win.
    He made some excellent break out passes, plus was very physical in his own zone.

  17. Not hockey related. Ohio State also got beat in NCAA.

    Penn State beat Ohio State in National Championship.

  18. Dream on boys. Ain’t no college kid(s) going to get you back into the playoffs much less deep into them. Ain’t no draft pick going to be a difference maker for 3 years. This season isn’t an aberration. It’s part of a three year slide into mediocrity. Everyone has contributed. GM didn’t manage. Coaches didn’t coach. And players didn’t play. Core keeps getting older. They have their money and their Cups. They don’t want to pay the price anymore. And when 81 left so did much of the character and leadership in the room. Bad chemistry now.

  19. Orvil… I like the honesty… refreshing and probably most likely case…

    BUT- I do believe Hawks can be way better next year… if 2 to 3 of those “Things” pan out… Sikura/Cap $$$ pickup by SB/Top 3 Draft hit/ and/or Ejdsell pans out.

    But- like you said… “Core” has to show more life/and stop the “decline”-TOO!!!

  20. Orvil, you may be right and if I had to bet one way or the other I would probably put my money down on your side, but there’s more to the story.

    First, I’ll put my optimistic statistician hat on and note that many of the Hawks’ shooting percentages were markedly lower than their career averages which is something that should improve next season, statistically speaking. I think an argument can be made that as a team they were pressing and lost confidence and it snowballed and was reflected in their shooting percentage. That should be better next season.

    Second, with all our complaining about the defense, statistically the Hawks are in the middle of the pack in the goals against category. A major factor is the time Crawford has missed. To date, Crawford has played 1,583 minutes (37%) and the other goalies (Forsberg/Glass/Barube) have played 2,716 minutes (63%). Crawford’s goals against average was a very good 2.27. Crawford, playing 37% of the time, gave up 29% of the goals (60), whereas the other goalies, playing 63% of the time, gave up 71% of the goals (145). The difference between Crawford being in net versus the other guys was over 1 goal per game. That is the difference between a lot of wins and losses. Now, obviously even a healthy Crawford wouldn’t play all 82 games, so a lesser goalie would give up more goals per game, but having Crawford in net for 65+ games will result in a lot more wins next season. Course, that’s if Crawford will be healthy next season.

    And then there is the power play … IF that can improve, then the Hawks fortunes improve greatly.

    That’s the optimistic view I’ll hang my hat on.

  21. Looks like the 3 lotto picks are in the draft are g9ing to be franchise defenseman Dahlin 1st and sniper winger Zadina and the russian winger point machine with Barrie ohl will be either 2nd or 3rd overall. Picks 3 thru 9 looking like 4 defencemen Swede Boqvist a smaller highly skilled right shot, Hughes also smaller ncaa guy with big skills and left shot. Bouchard from ohl coached by Dale Hunter and Q leagues Dobson both big mobile physical and right shots. 2 Wingers, Tkachuk from ncaa will go in top 5 likely big and tough like his brother and maybe better, Walstrom a highly slilled winger too likely to go before 10.
    Not a center draft but the glamour position so may be some go early too but alot of scouts saying not before 10th.
    A few names to watch for with Preds 1st rounder. Jared MacIsaac and big hard nosed dman who fell from top 15 pick but should still go late 1st. Same for Matias Samuelsson son of Kjell not related to Ulf. Ryan Macleod a speedy hardnosed center with offensive skill and Serron Noel a winger who some think will be a mid to late 1st round steal.

  22. We gotta hope that one of the several 6 ft. 190 pound d-men pan out-remember Keith wasn’t a highly touted guy but he eventually came into his own, the rest is history-Can we get that one guy? Maybe Gilbert is the other?
    Strong 190 Ib. players that can skate, and move the puck are now very valuable-One or two guys to replace Hammer and Seabrooks’ size is also a must.

    Agree that having a better than average goalie the ‘first’ must have.

  23. For me the silver lining in our continuing to lose (and not look good) isn’t that we move up a place or two in the draft order, but that it reinforces the idea that we are, as Orvil said, in a clear slide. I strongly hope that we approach the off season with the mindset that the rebuild is going to take some time and that quick fixes are not the way to go. The window is shut for now.

    As a long time fan, I just want a team that I can get excited about and that might in time be able to make another run or two — ie. a team on the rise. I am happy to wait for that as long as it appears we are moving in the right direction.

  24. I agree with everyone on being way better next yr and the coming yrs.

    I donot think we Have to have the entire list of Wall/and others to do it. Say that’s 5 things and I do not think we need only 0 or 1 thing. I am looking at getting/needing 3 of 5 things on Walls/others list as a must for OCT/start of 82 games. Then in a yr get the other 2 things. Its not going to happen overnight/1 yr, though it will happen.

    3 of 5 for this OCT.
    Get the other 2 in a yr.

    Ian, good to see projections no one has talked about that yet and its a good time. When some people might get bitchy/mad at last yr playoff games and this yr no games. Its about, what Wall said a yr and a half ago. Take your hit at once and load up better.

  25. We have already achieved a dynasty, every team in league wishes they could do what we already did, in any section of yrs over 50yrs.

    Our one goal now is to reload/re-whatever you want to call it and get another 4th CUP like EDM and DET did. DET didn’t get their 4th until like 10 yrs later/it wasn’t part of their dynasty (95m payroll in mid 90s) yrs.

  26. Jordy, I want action too. Not crazy action (trade too many)(BOS took a hit for 2 yrs and now their good again/they kept most of their players though getting it done), action that gets it done.

  27. Same for draft, we would have to get lucky to get top 3 pick. Just because the #6 is higher/better % doesn’t mean that ping pong ball #7 isint the 2nd or 3rd pick.

    Any pick between 4-7 would be very good.

    Lets go get lucky and be the #ball that gets 2nd or 3rd. Theres no guarantee #4/5/6 is better then #7.

  28. I’m more optimistic than some here – as long as CC comes back and plays like he has then I think we’re a playoff team next year assuming a few changes in the off season which I think will happen

    SB will upgrade the D, hopefully the back up goalie and someone like James Neal would be nice

    Fortunes can turn quickly in today’s NHL – teams are very closely matched – it doesn’t take a massive overhaul to get back to contending (see the Bruins)

  29. Orvil gives down to earth concise analysis of the situation the Hawks have descended too. Chicagoland considered Rocky a guru for the miracle that happened with the Hawks. But i have to disagree, When he hired Mcdonough and made him the boss, it set in motion what has happened to the team, The friction between Tallon and Mc was evident, When Tallon was fired after 33 years as player and front office man, then constructing most of the cup teams, Mc and Bowman, basked in the glory that Tallon had provided, a baseball man Mc was good at promotion, but he handed the operation over to an Bow who never served his apprenticeship selecting talent. Dale Tallon signed or drafted the core and , now we have what will be a long winter for hockey in Chicago, the Panthers are on the rise i guess its poetic justice.

  30. It looks like the Blackhawks lowered the ticket prices in season.
    Just looked on Ticketmaster, and tonight’s game against the Blues has select upper deck seats for $55, and limited lower bowl for $120. Never ever thought I’d see that for a game against St. Louis in March.

    All it would take next season, though, is a good start and all prices would be back up sky high. I think I’ll still be 11,000 in the season tix waiting list after all the renewals are handed in.

    Don’t know that I’m familiar enough to weigh in on a McD vs. Tallon argument. However, I do hold to the notion that McD is a marketer and not a sports guy, regardless of what title Rocky gave him. And he should pay more attention to the marketing etc stuff as they still do the stupid t-shirt toss with the puck in play.

  31. This yr, wether its when we played/the first 50 games or when we played in some and didn’t really play. The other team got more of the bonces and breaks. Havnt seen anything like it in 35 yrs.

    On any other yr we win this game 3-2 or Debrincats hatrick 4-3 in regulation. They go down to 9 over. Keeps them behind 8 seed.

    Wanted to knock them out of playoff in this game, not in the other two.

    Knocking them out of the playoffs would make up for them beating us a couple yrs ago.

    We already beat NAS a few times so that’s fine.

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