Blackhawks Win, Clinch Playoff Berth

A storm of offense in the third period coupled with clutch saves from Corey Crawford sealed a victory and a playoff berth for the Chicago Blackhawks.

If not for an awful giveaway (or should we say assist) by Michal Rozsival in the first period, the Blackhawks thoroughly dominated the Vancouver Canucks.

Teuvo Teravainen scored his fourth of the season to give the Hawks a lead at 6:51 but that lead wouldn’t last the duration of the period. Rozsival perfectly set up Derek Dorsett for his seventh of the season with less than two minutes remaining in the opening period. The Hawks out-shot Vancouver 13-11 in the first period, and successfully killed a high-sticking double-minor on Antoine Vermette.

The second period was a draw, with the Hawks out-shooting the Canucks 11-10. Chicago had two power plays but failed to generate much on either of them; the power play continues to be a momentum killer for the Hawks.

Another power play early in the third failed to provide a goal, but the Hawks put much better pressure on Eddie Lack. After four shots on that power play, the Hawks continued to dictate the tempo of the game and eventually broke through eight minutes into the period. A Johnny Oduya shot got through traffic but hit off the crossbar. Jonathan Toews got somehow his stick between Lack and Dan Hamhuis in front and tapped the rebound home for the game-winning goal.

Less than three minutes later, Teravainen and Marcus Kruger combined to take the puck away and Kruger made a gorgeous move on Lack to extend the lead to 3-1.

From there, it was all Crawford.

In the final five minutes of regulation, the Canucks put more pressure on Crawford but weren’t able to get the puck past him. Vancouver pulled Lack with two minutes left in regulation, but the Blackhawks put more shots at the empty net than the Canucks were able to generate. Three Hawks missed the empty net in the closing moments, but the victory was secure.

Crawford stopped 35 of 36 in the win, and continued his stellar play in the third period. He now boasts the third-best save percentage in the third period in the NHL for the season.

Toews and Kruger both had big nights. Each won 13 of 19 faceoffs and had two takeaways while scoring a goal, and Kruger picked up an assist an Teravainen’s goal in the first period. Kruger also finished tied with Kris Versteeg with a team-high five shots on net.

The lowest three ice time recipients among Hawks forwards were Andrew Desjardins (10:13), Bryan Bickell (11:02) and Vermette (11:59). Vermette was credited with two shots on net and one hit, but did not take a single faceoff in the game. Desjardins, Bickell and Marian Hossa led the Hawks with two hits each.

Rozsival wasn’t credited with an assist on Dorsett’s goal, but did lead the Hawks with five blocked shots.

Calgary lost in regulation at St. Louis, a game that went final early in the third period of the game in Chicago. That result meant the Blackhawks needed only one point from their game against the Canucks to clinch a playoff spot this season, but Chicago opted to pick up two big points in the standings. Minnesota lost to the New York Rangers on Thursday night, a game that also went final early in the Hawks’ third period.

Teravainen VAN

38 thoughts on “Blackhawks Win, Clinch Playoff Berth

  1. Ok..I’ll try this again,,,Gawd I just luv beatin’ the Canucleheads! Makes me warm and fuzzy all over. Held a final score ticket Home team 4-1, winner takes four hundred. Thanks a lot Mr. Bickell, my dog could have put that in the empty net. This isnt basketball, you don’t get three points for a blue line shot. Oh well…Happy Human anyway.Good on Kruger, outstanding game. TT was everywhere and into it, right in the thick of things. Toews goal in super slow motion is just jaw dropping magnificent. Really looking forward to tomorrows tilt in Buffalo…been to many games there and have lots of friends in the stands. Poor guys…place will be cheering for the Blackhawks..its got to be tough on Buffalo fans.

  2. Saad- looked bumbling/dizzy… perhaps he was concussed from that hit the last game…
    and is playing thru it…

    Bickelling Bickell… several lost pucks… and doesn’t give 86 the chance for EN goal…

    Me Hopes that 4th line can continue…

    23 needs to wake up

  3. 1st star – CC
    2nd star – Krugs
    3rd star – TT


    I don’t think the execution was as crisp this game as the previous two, but they still played with pace and played solid team defense.

    Trending in the right direction. Keep playing the right way boys.

  4. NEWS: If you sit in Rufus’ seats at the UC, Teuvo Teravainen somehow looks terrible and worthless. A guy who shouldn’t even be on the team during the playoffs. I believe “Euro-trash punk” is the phrase typically used by those who happen to occupy those cursed seats.

    The mind-warping caused by the RTF seats remain a yet-unexplained bizarre phenomenon. Break out the scientists to come and solve the mystery.

    In the meantime, TT is SOLID AND PRODUCTIVE!


  5. A way to keep Kruger in the fold needs to be found…he does so many things that don’t appear on the score sheet so darn well not to mention a few that are posted too. I don’t recall ever seeing a skater as slightly built as he is, and takes the kind of punishment he does, jump up and take more. Really a tough kid. He’s really valuable.
    4th line looks awfully strong as is.
    It would be something if they can close out the last 5; just may take the Division yet if they can; UC ice is nice.
    Cannot afford to stumble tomorrow night in BUF while looking ahead to Sunday night’s tilt with STL. Should be great hockey…
    …GO HAWKS!

  6. Johnny h-O-w du ya like me now . Maybe they should have sat bickell for a month and hed come back and play good. Lets try it now.

  7. I also thought Versteeg was noticeable. Great drive to the net and had 5 shots on net.
    Vermette is the one who needs to find hid place. He’ll get there soon enough.

    4th looks amazing. Let’s keep it going.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  8. Outstanding effort by 50, that game could have easily been 3-3 to overtime or a 4-3 loss. Another fine game by Oduya and 4. Second game in a row that the 4th line was the best line. 23 can not stay on the 1st line any longer, give 19 and 81 Saad or Sharp at least. Nice shot Bickell, could of had another gift goal, please wake-up, it’s almost playoff time. Have to give this team credit, they have found a way to win without 88, and now are trending up at the right time. Just maybe all the doom and gloom was a bit premature? 100+ points, in the playoffs with a good chance of catching St.Louis screws, maybe even the Preds. GO HAWKS!

  9. Nordstrom is a nice 13th or 14th forward in a pinch. When guys are hurt. He’s a minus player. Desjardins is a proven NHL player, granted 3rd or 4th line at best; he can kill penalties as well (far far better than the braincramp Q had Sunday night throwing Versteeg out on the PK) and has proven he has the speed and smarts to play w/ Teavo & Kruger. Let’s hope sanity prevails and Q leaves him in the lineup for the last few games and playoffs. Let’s further hope Bollig hasn’t passed along derogatory photos of Q to Nordstrom.

  10. Q usually likes to keep the lineup the same after a win but with the B2B tomorrow night against Buffalo, and after the Rozsival pizza delivery tonight – maybe Paliotta gets his first taste of pro hockey? Playoff spot already clinched and the other games are against StL (x2), Min and Col – no gimmies in that bunch.

  11. Nice workmanlike effort. Let’s see how they do on this back to back tonight.

    Oh, and Flatliner = Rufus Troll.

  12. on the shelf, waiting to be lobbed haphazardly as soon as one or more of the following happens

    The PP doesn’t convert in 2 consecutive games
    88s return from injury is indeed 12 weeks
    50 lets in a soft goal during a loss
    The day following the next trade deadline
    When a Central foe signs a free agent who has at least 1 career goal vs Chi
    Whenever 13 is in the lineup
    ”even” in a playoff series (1-1,2-2)….and a million more. See Rufus

  13. Great effort by the Hawks in finding a way to win. This is a team of veterans and they know how to win. It is not how you start but how you finish. My biggest concern going into the playoffs is the number of chances and shots against. The Hawks are routinely giving up 30+ shots per game. Opposing snipers will not miss as much.

    Just a comment about management. SB is proving to be right a lot more often than wrong. Losing Hayes and trading Leddy are his 2 worst moves IMO. Clendening has been sent down, Morin has had little success, Smith is skating less than 10 minutes a game. Dahlback is getting some time with ARI.

  14. I love MARCUS and love that he scored! Damn he sooo deserves it!

    Canucks looked average with a below average forecheck. Playing the Blues and Preds then Hawks is no easy effort. Crow is a top 10 goal tender and at times even better, last night he was better, but our defense prevented him from facing real sustained pressure. CROW played great and he did win this one. Since Canucks forecheck is so weak the Hawks got up and out of the zone with ease which was key to the win. Hawks will have more trouble with Buffalo tonight than Canucks.

    Power Play still suffers from Shotzopherenia. Same problems over pass on the perimeter and crap entries plus Shaw can not be the only guy to give us a net front presence going into the playoffs, he’ll get nailed. We need the second line PP to be effective too. Funny that all these TIP IN goals lately seem to be happening 20 feet out? Shaw has been a big factor but lots of tips way out front too.

    I am now a little concerned for VERMETTE, whom I liked for years, I have watched him and re-watched. He is NOT making many mistakes and he back checks has good speed, head up. But he seems weak on the forecheck (like canucks) as if he is not sure it’s his job to pinch and chase and check or “float or front in front of the net” Sharp & Richards are playing well together .Vermette almost seems tentative and skating like he doesn’t want to make a mistake? Like if he doesn’t get back on D or makes a mistake he’s in the broadcast booth looking down? Hawks will need 4 or 5 goals from him in the playoffs so it is critical he plays relaxed, aggressive and free?
    My personal observation of Vermette is his HANDS/ WRIST. Meeting Bobby Hull many years ago thats how old I am, I asked Mr. Hull his secret and he slowly rolled up his sleeve and showed me his wrist then he showed me, a wide eyed 10 year old a few wrist exercise to make my stick and even shot stronger Most ALL Hawks like Sharp, Hossa,Kruger, Towes, Bick, Richards and even Shaw have strong hands so they DO use the stick better than the Body, more than any team in the NHL even or defensemen are 99% stick and hands. All Hawks can lift sticks, hold sticks down on the ice and even hook with strength and can pin you in the corner with the stick! Only team in NHL that does it as a team wide practice.This is CRITICAL and Vermette hands /wrist on stick on the forecheck seems weak, players role right off him so I think he needs to Body Up! This seems odd since he’s very effective on the “center ice dot” but his body check is not strong enough and his stick is not strong enough in defense mode. Even Richards is doing a GREAT job with and without the puck I am glad to see him playing better than good!
    Teuvo also has the same weak hands /wrist with the stick on defense but does many other things very well. Teuvo stick is quick which makes up for the downside!

  15. Say what you want about 80, I like the way he plays and I think he brings balance to our line-up. I honestly believe he is going to be invaluable to this team when the playoffs start. Once he gets the monkey off his back they are going to start going in.
    I would love to see what Paliotta can do tonight against the Sabres. I doubt he sniffs the ice in the playoffs pending some amazing performance, but it would be nice to see what he can bring and give Rosy the night off.
    And finally I must say that I have family in Vancouver (I’m sorry guys, don’t blame me) and I am over the moon that the Hawks found a way to beat those damn Canucks. Now I don’t have to listen to how “this is their year”…laughable.

  16. Watching Roszival line up that pass on the Van goal was like watching my toddler reach for a pot of boling water on the stove – “Noooooo Michael, DON’T DO IT!!!”

    Also how poetic that Bickell knocks it off the post on an empty netter.

    Steeger looked better but he needs to just start firing the puck at the net. Too much holding and skating.

    Agreed all around with the comments re: the 4th line. Will be interesting to see if 86 can settle himself in and then contribute on a similar level against better competition on line 1 or 2. I’ll take the production alongside 16 an 11 for now though.

    This team has flaws, but it also has 100 points and a secured playoff spot. They have as much a chance to make a run as any other team. If you were fans of Nash/StL(god forbid)/Min/Win/Ana/etc would you want to see the Hawks lined up opposite your team in a 7 game series? Yeah, me neither.

  17. Fourth line is playing very well, and really all lines are effective, giving Q 4 lines to roll – when that happens,we all know the Hawks are difficult to beat. This is the formula for success. Versteeg, though he wasn’t too bad, does not belong on the 1st line, but for some reason Q gambles on him to play well and I don’t like that bet. Remember game 7 last year vs LA, Versteeg got the nod over Regin and that worked against us as 23 was a turnover machine and responsible for at least one goal. Sorry to dredge up the past but this is my concern with the coach and personnel decisions involving vets like 23 and 32.

    Krueger is a gem, always loved his hustle and heart, to quote HH, he definitely has the ‘Will to Win’, hopefully it becomes infectious and invades some of his teammates, ahem- Brian Bickell. Kimmo played much better last night, very aggressive pinching in and just playing with confidence , it was pretty obvious that he was not comfortable in his first 10 or so games, but look out if this guy has turned the corner, the Hawks D-Corps becomes the leagues best!

    Overall though great win by the Hawks over a quality opponent, so in the last 3 gms wins over physical and skilled opponents tells me that the Hawks have flipped that switch that only the great teams have.

  18. One more thing about Kimmo, look for his minutes to start going up. If he is starting to feel healthy and has recovered that innate feel for the speed of the game, which I think he has, then Q will start leaning on him. His conditioning is so phenomonal, like Duncs(who will also play at an elite level into his old age) that Q is probably gettin a woody thinking about he can put Kimmo on the PP , play him on crucial defensive zone faceoffs etc. BTW, anyone know what’s happening with TVR?

  19. I hate to be “that guy”, but I think it’s way past time to spell the name of Marcus Kruger correctly. He has been a member of the team for what – 5 years now? There is only one “e” in his last name and it’s between the “g” and “r”. Six letters: K-r-u-g-e-r. There is no “e” between the “Kru” and the “ger”.

    Thanks you. This has been a public service announcement. You may return to normal activity. :)

  20. Bri- wait til the next loss. Mike- I firmly believe that if you’re going to criticize GM moves, you need to propose your own. I can’t agree about Hayes, I think Kevin punked Stan after he moved his brother out of town. Now if you want to criticize trading Jimmy Hayes for Versteeg, maybe you have something, but Verbeauty has had more of an impact than the giant slow Hayes has/will, but maybe he repercussion of losing Kevin (which I felt might happen) may prove to be a mistake. Keep a brother on the team to secure the other brother BEFORE trading him next time, Stan! But if Stan does that, then he’s a REAL jerk… Tough situation. And Leddy was a salary cap move. Someone had to go- my opinion at the time was it should have been a declining 10. Sharp will never have the same trade value again, it would have been a heartbreaker but probably better in the long run. Win now or win later?

  21. Take the points and glad for the outcome, but not as feel good as the Kings game. Seemed both teams came out a bit flat to start the game, and as we picked up steam and started rolling 32 happened (again.) Anyway,
    * Zebra is right, we need to keep 16 as he is not easily replaced imho. Loved his play to “inadvertently” kick Lacks stick to corner when circling behind net with puck prior to goal. Nice, subtle, thinking mans move.
    * Hawks are figuring out they can also hack, hold and interfere if refs are not going to call it. Makes team D even more effective, particularly when 50 and 33 are both looking good.
    * Btw- I saw a post on another blog referencing stats on 2015-15 being the year of fewest boarding, charging, cross checking and elbowing calls since 2001-02, and lowest # total powerplays called since 1968?! (Reference Stats LLC..) Back to pre-lockout style for sure…

  22. Didn’t see the game but loved the contribution of the 4th line. The lack of any offense from the 4th line has been a big hole this year IMO. Let’s hope they can keep it up through the playoffs. Also nice to see Kimmo’s minutes going up – let’s hope he really did have a groin injury and is now rounding into better shape.

    Any discussion of SB’s moves over the years now needs to include the signing of Scott Darling. Our goaltending tandem is as good as any in the league and adding Darling didn’t cost us anything. It also goes to show what a crap shoot the draft can be – we draft numerous goalies that never amount to anything (see Kent Simpson – 2nd round pick) while we sign a free agent that no one thinks anything about who makes a solid contribution. Great work SB!

  23. Question to Hof or anyone else that follows Rockford closely – Does Victor Svedberg have any NHL potential? It seems interesting that with the logjam of d-men in Rockford that he was immediately put back into the lineup when he got healthy. The dude is Chara-like huge and I am curious whether anyone thinks he has a chance.

  24. I would bet Svedberg is out of the organization at year’s end but only my opinion from having seen him several times.

  25. Can someone tell me what Vermette is bringing to this team? I’ll complain again they gave up a decent prospect and a #1 pick for this rental? I thought he was a top 3 in faceoffs in the league and now he is so bad he doesn’t even take them. Faceoffs are the only thing they really need him for, especially in the playoffs. He’s also not scoring, hitting, or playing much on the PK. This could go down as one of the most, to be nice, unproductive trades if he doesn’t start contributing something.

  26. Re Vermette: Not that I have any inside knowledge, but Hawks are not about to advertise if he has a hand/wrist issue affecting his ability to take FOs. Remembering 19’s problems in the playoffs when it was not confirmed until afterwards that he had been working through a wrist issue.

    Further, I like what 80 brings to the team and see him doing lots of subtle things thru 200′.. has also helped create several quality scoring chances the past week or so. Strength up the middle is critical and he provides that (even if he’s resting the hands/wrist for some reason.)

    Finally, how can you not like 11 in the lineup? Hey Q- you found a good mix with 86/16/11, please don’t mess with your creation.

  27. Vermette is probably going through what Richy did the first 10 or so games. Then 91 started to play.

  28. Bannerman & Belfuor: Just another punk troll. Go turn around your backward baseball cap and wash your board shorts, goof.

  29. TVR out 8 weeks. Suffered a wrist injury and requires surgery. Tough break for us going into the playoffs.

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