Bruins Top Tired Blackhawks

On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks trounced the Red Wings in Detroit. After a late arrival in Boston, the following night saw the Hawks as the team handling hand grenades as the Bruins took advantage of Chicago mistakes to earn an easy home victory.

Patrice Bergeron got the party started for Boston only 78 seconds into the game, showing the exceptional effort that makes him an annual Selke winner. The Bruins’ star center was tripped up, but got back to his feet and was able to beat Scott Darling to give Boston an early lead.

Chicago struggled to even get a shot on net in the first period, but a power play opened the door for the potent Blackhawks unit to get the game square. Newcomer Christian Ehrhoff put a blast on net that was batted around and finally ended up with Jonathan Toews scoring his 23rd of the season. Andrew Ladd picked up the primary assist on the play, giving him a point in all three games since being traded back to Chicago.

Unfortunately, Brad Marchand – the hottest scorer in the NHL – put home his 33rd of the season with 22 seconds left in the first period to give Boston a 2-1 lead. The Bruins out-shot the Hawks 12-5 in the opening 20 minutes, were faster up and down the ice and were clearly the more physical team.

The script was nearly identical in the second period. Ryan Spooner scored a power play goal – his 12th of the year – at 2:31 into the frame to extend Boston’s lead to 3-1.

Noel Acciari did more to generate offense for the Blackhawks than perhaps any player in white on Thursday evening. The Bruins center was in the penalty box when Toews scored, and went back to the sin bin in the second. But the end of an uneventful power play saw David Krejci lead a Boston rush up the ice that ended with John-Michael Liles setting up Loui Eriksson for his 24th of the year. The lead had ballooned to 4-1 and the Hawks continued to lack the jump they displayed 24 hours prior against the Red Wings.

But as the Bruins scored in the final minute of the first, the Hawks added a goal inside of 60 seconds remaining in the second. Tomas Fleischmann scored his first goal with the Hawks to cut the lead to 4-2, but that would be the end of the offense from either team on the night.

Dale Weise made his Chicago debut, skating 12:51 with two hits and one shot on net. He was the only deadline acquisition not to make an impact on the scoreboard, with Ladd and Ehrhoff picking up assist and Fleischmann scoring.

Trevor van Riemsdyk led the Blackhawks with six blocked shots in 20:35 on the ice, skating primarily with Ehrhoff. The veteran defender skated 21:19, a significant increase from his previous appearance since being acquired. Ehrhoff was credited with three shots on net, one hit and one blocked shot.

If there was one area where the Blackhawks performed well as a unit on Thursday night it was at the dot – and it wasn’t only Toews. Chicago’s captain led the way, winning 17 of 27 on the night. But Teuvo Teravainen won eight of 16 and Dennis Rasmussen won six of nine in the loss. Artem Anisimov wasn’t as successful (he won only one of six), but he paced the Hawks with four hits.

Darling had a rough night, but starting a game has been rare for the Hawks’ backup. He allowed four goals against 25 shots and would probably like at least two of them back. After the game, coach Joel Quenneville said “[Darling] wasn’t very good tonight.”

Tuukka Rask stopped 25 of 27 on the other end of the ice to earn the win, and Boston got three assists from their deadline acquisitions (two from Lee Stempniak and one from Liles).

The Hawks are back at the United Center for a matinee against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

 

53 thoughts on “Bruins Top Tired Blackhawks

  1. Kane was -3 and Mashinter even. That being said in Mashinter’s defense, why is Q dressing him ahead of Panik? Its one game no big deal. Two days off to relax.

  2. …..hard to watch this game…..core group is noticeably tired or injured…..too many acquisitions so Blackhawks are still a work in progress at this late stage of the season……..lets hope Quenville will have enough time to shuffle the team back into top shape for the playoffs….we will blame this one on the schedule and forget about it…..

  3. Hate these back to backs? We have one more on the road in Calgary and Vancouver, but before that we have one very important week coming up. DET, STL and DALLAS. Let’s get everybody focused and win those. And then let’s beat LA right after that.

  4. Do fans have a.form of bipolar disorder?

    Yesterday. It was all about how this team is an unstoppable force.

    Today. Game hard to watch. Tired. Injured? Lack focus. Need to shape up. I’m sure there will be more. But calm down. Y’all need to level out that emotional roller coaster just a bit.

  5. From here on in, I ask the question “what would happen in a best of 7 series ?”

    Wednesday night would have been a fantastic road win against a good team in Detroit. Sunday was an excellent home win against a very good Washington team.
    Thursday night was a loss on the road against a Boston team that likely would not beat Chicago in the playoffs, but credit to Boston they won at home.

    The point being these are all trending toward playoff style games. Much like the Hawks are not going to go 16 and 0 in the playoffs, they are not going to win all of their remaining games against teams in the playoff hunt.

    Protect the home ice, win at the UC, put forth a few stellar efforts on the road like at Detroit and get ready for hopefully another great ride.

  6. Bruins are an improved team and the Hawks started flat (again)–4 who is hard to be critical of because of his value and heart wasn’t Darlings best friend last night-the first off his stick and the next two he was a wonderful screen (I can just hear Cherry screaming-if your going to get in the way, make sure you block it)

  7. Bruins brought their A game. They have a extremely tough schedule and dont be surprised if they fall short. They are likely in survial mode. Keep in mind they werent in the playoffs last yr so champs at home isnt a hard game to get up for. Darling didnt do the boys in favors. Lets hope the Hawks can secure home ice in the West, but if not its still okay.

  8. Darling didn’t have a great game, the Hawks played the night before and the Bruins were at home resting and waiting for this game. Give the B’s props but like someone already mentioned they would not beat the Hawks in a 7 game series

  9. Darling as I have mentioned over and over will be the “only” reason the Hawks don’t repeat. Is Sasquatch bad? NO! But for a Stanley Cup driven team for the next 2 or maybe 3 years max, making a run ya gotta have a better backup. I am not going into numbers, but I can tell ya, like knowing Boston would win last night. if CROW Falters we are F_cked. I can say that with confidence. Darling did not play horrible but not good, but we all know he does not get the minutes and ice and starts but he is the only weak link, has been to me from day one. Preds last year was lucky vs. a offensively challenged team.

    That said I do NOT see the CROW SHOW going off the air. CROW is playing lights out! I hope he continues if so you can book a cup now! We have 4 great lines add Hossa and ya better be afraid, very afraid.

    Loved TNT with more speed on his left and right, that is what is lacking overall for him, wingers to pull pressure off and away. Weise and Flash Fleischmann
    and TNT are a deadly combination and will compliment the 4th line of harder checking! Watch close how Weise finished check as fans you see how it done, speed, square, finish and out! Sign him up! That is an ART at that speed, body to body and he has speed, might be fastest Hawk. Weise makes Shaw look like an AHL lifer in thw “Checking” department. Keep those 3 together period, they will out score the top line in the playoffs if left together as they where in Montreal. TNT is giddy!

    Bergeron shows the one weak spot of the ARTIST game, slow thru the nutural zone and weak stick handling in the middle of the ice. I can stick handle around ya if I got the BOARDS to lean on but open ice is all all skill. He ain’t got! Bergeron is a beast and there is only one Bergeron!

    I am loving Ehrhoff big body, smart quick and he moves the puck, STRONG, While Leddy and even my boy Gusty move it, Ehrhoff moves it north to south, straight line, not frills just skill. His core defensive skills are very very good. He’s here to stay. TVR Gusty not so much.

    Love Ladd, (don’t we all ) again in the blue, on his skates, simple touch pass, no Hawks does it like that in TRAFFIC! Ladd will score at least 2 game winning goals in the playoffs when he is at his best!

    Go Hawks . . .

  10. It’s always tough watching the boys play so good then seeing a game where the energy, effort, goaltending isn’t there.
    I also wonder what does Q see in Mashinter’s game that I don’t?
    Is Hossa’s injury worse than originally thought or are they just giving him some extra days so he is ready for the playoffs?

  11. sorry in advance for CAPS . .. this is the only important thing I have to say all year!

    WORD OF WARNING – This type of floating Neutral zone trap is all the HAWKS will FACE in the PLAYOFFS. The Teams that can be skilled enough to float and keep it tight will keep every game to a one goal game. Even as good as the Hawks are they will struggle! They have no speed thru the Neutral Zone, Ever! No speed on the power play entry with an extra guy, the lame drop pass and that don’t work? End to End Speed is not objective, we have little hard core speed. We don’t see anyone busting up off the wings. Hawks dance, pass, wait and look and create GAPS. A Neutral Zone Trap takes all that away. Hawks are a team built on TIMING, repeat TIMING, good (smart KINGS / DUCKS ) and teams like Bruins ( well coached team) can take all that away and the funny thing is NO CHASING, and it’s easy on your defense.

    The PROBLEM IS . . . and always has been, Hawks do not like to DUMP and CHASE! or even Chip an Chase, they LOVE repeat LOVE possession. Problem is Hawks don’t have the size and skill set to dump it in and then out skate you to the puck and set up and turn and control and run offense. They Just don’t, once in awhile Dezi gets lucky but it’s a weakness. Hence Panarin looking like Forest Gump in that zone!

    So they need quicker EXIT out of our own ZONE, period, Hockey is the simplest sport ever invented. Real simple, it is a game built on speed. Hawks do a borderline horrible job on exits, they consistently go up off the boards (too high) and loose the puck, they have the skill set to make shorter passes, middle of the ice, one more short pass and out. We have sooo many turnovers, UNFORCED in our zone it’s disturbing. Good teams will make you pay and they will. Speed kills and Zones suck the life out of you. Faster out of the zone means, getting it up to our own blue line, which collapse the ZONE in response. You don’t need a stretch pass, just move the puck up, compress the zone a little and it’s game on! Teams watch film a lot, so it will be an issue. BUT a lot of teams don’t have 4 lines of skill and disciplined players to pull it off. IF all 4 lines cant do it and core defense, well we win easy!

    go hawks

  12. Panarin’s worst game??? maybe- he was schooled by some of the B’s vets

    Darling- down maybe a little early… but really didn’t have much of chance (like Crow didn’t have much of chance vs. early goals vs. Pred/PO’s last year)… just a lot of perfectly placed shots passed the ears of the goalies… Really too much time and space (Little luck w/ 1st one off of Hammer’s stick)…

    imo- the goals weren’t on Darling… wts- Darling’s glove and rebounds – were actually bad… the goals weren’t!!!

    Panik- sitting??????????
    I would like to see
    12/86/14 I think 14 moves puck fast (like TT- Euro style)… and can finish

  13. Back-to-back games on the road are always tough. And Boston is a good team with plenty of offensive firepower. Anisimov is the only one on his line that is defensively responsible, so that line getting torched once in awhile is going to happen.

    The pixie dust has worn off Darling. He’s just not very good. But who cares really. He’s here to play once every two weeks. We all know that if Crawford goes down our season will end prematurely. But they can say the same with Quick in LA, or Lundquist in NY, or Holtby in Washington.

    Ladd has been fabulous. It’s going to be sad all over again when he becomes an ex-Hawk this summer. Damned good player and the perfect LW for Toews.

    It will be interesting to see what the Hossa return means. Really hope his game can start peaking come playoff time. The old warrior hopefully has one more great burst left in his game. It’s been hard to watch his systematic decline this season…one of my all time favorite players in watching this game for nearly 40 years.

  14. In my opinion the Hawks losing this game means almost nothing. I agree on Panik playing. I think he was a good acquisition by Stan. Teuvo is going to be huge in the playoffs. That is my prediction. Go Hawks.

  15. I’ll just state the obvious: Darling really sucked. Probably had help in front of him but his rebound control was so horrid, he could’ve coughed up three or four more pretty easily. His puck control and positioning was awful. I’m not saying Crawford would have won us the game, but Crawford at his worst was way better than that. He just needs more playing time but probably won’t get it.

  16. agree with Snidely if Quick, Holtby or Lundquist goes down those teams are hurting as well. The other top contenders would have goaltending issues as well, Darling is a decent backup and just as capable as any other backup.

    MTM you make some keen observations but make it sound like the Hawks can’t move the puck, can’t skate, can’t control the puck. Truth is they have a stinker once in awhile and make bad passes, turnovers and try to be to cute and fancy with the puck. Other teams can watch game film all they want and try their defensive trap systems (because they don’t have the skill or talent to play with the Hawks) but it hasn’t worked out too well for the majority of those teams in the past 6 years. Hawks in a 7 game series are still the team to beat.

  17. did Darling look confident last night-not really-but go back and look at the four goals-first one unlucky off a stick, next two screened, and last was a great re-direct by a player with pretty good hands.
    He’s such a big body you hope he runs into one or two of them but sometimes it doesn’t happen.
    He’s an adequate back-up goalie who will always be known as the guy who saved the Hawks bacon last year.

  18. I agree with “the mook” in his post about entering the zone. That will be the biggest issue in the playoffs. Other teams have figured out this offense and know how to shut it down. Obviously, the hawks are talented enough to make some of their few chances count, but in the playoffs, sometimes it only takes one goal to win it. Remember the headache that Minnesota gave us a few years back?

    I’m a bit confused why Ehrhoff has been replacing Rosival. I was under the impression that he would be taking the place of gustaffson or tvr since rosival has been pretty consistent/decent.

    The bottom line needs to be 11,70,14 until hossa and kruger return.

  19. Can Darling be sent to Rockford, not as a punishment, but to get him some work. It’s gotta be tough playing once every couple of weeks.

  20. …. ..Ernie…..don’t require a psychological assessment at this time thank you….merely commenting on the reality of the performance of the Blackhawks (past ten games)……if you don’t have anything good to say or meaningful don’t say it….

  21. Ernie, I agree. Highs are too high and lows are too low. The Hawks are a good team and capable of winning the Cup. That’s what we want and that’s what we have. All good.

  22. Some legitimate depth in goal would be nice. Beyond the obvious reasons it would give Stab some cap flexibility (to the tune of 6$ million) should he find himself really up against it.

    That said, I truly hope it never comes to this. Crow is an all-star; it would be nice to have options though.

  23. Entering the zone – nothing new. They’ve had to deal with it many times.
    “Remember the headache Minnesota gave us a few years back?” Remember last year and a sweep? Every sport is about adjustments. We’ll see what happens.

  24. Darling had a bad game, its no reason to send him down. He hasnt played great this year but its not a glaring weakness. Its not like the Hawks have any options in the minors anyways. Michael Leighton is a 34 yr old journeyman goalie, Mark Visentin, hasn’t proven he can stay healthy let alone play at the AHL level, and behind him you have a bunch of question marks. Stan will likely address the net during the off season but this is what they have Crow and Darling.

  25. Ernie- yes, thats what happens in this day of age with access to critique every game to no end. the highs are high and the lows are low as ER said…

    That said, no worries here. I’d rather loss to the Bs and beat STL and DAL, than the other way around. Every team has back to backs where they lose… no exceptions here.

    Im not worrying about this team until April 1st. The next 3 weeks will have some bumps with the team gelling and 81/22 getting back to speed… but in the end… its the game on April 11th (12th or 13th) that will be the one where I start biting nails.

  26. To SSHM’s comments – spot on UNTIL the thought that Bowman needs to address the position in the offseason.

    Crawford is the clear #1. Darling is an affordable backup. The only reason the Hawks should think twice about the position is if someone makes a crazy offer for Darling (doubtful). There isn’t a player inside the organization who is cheaper or better than Darling and I don’t see the need to chase free agents when the Hawks don’t need to.

  27. Lots of good posts. If we could pick 2 of 3 wins in these games we would have picked WAS and DET, not BOS. We played full speed in those games and the red wings game was very fast which added to it. No worries were right where we want to be in the standings. It helps that DAL and others have been around 20 over .500 for awhile, longer then we have so were still ahead even though weve been around 20 for 10 games or so. We might be going up against ANA not DAL for the 1 seed. We need a good 7-2-1 stretch somewhere in games 60-80 to get the 1 seed.

    Most important thing is Hoss is ok and Krugs comes back and has a wk to get some games. We have a chance to do something special.

  28. Yes, we have to gauge ourselves until the playoffs start. We must play smart and conserve energy where we can and balance that with keeping a strong competitive edge. Their experience in knowing what is all involved and the extreme effort required gives them that advantage. Anaheim, Tampa Bay and others revving up to peak status, as is Nashville lately. These are highly skilled, strong and seriously motivated teams that want their second chance against us. Plus the new kids on the block Dallas and Washington. There is good reason why a team repeating a cup win is up against a near impossible Herculean task. If there is a team with the management and leadership, skill and spirit to accomplish this near impossibility it is this one.

  29. GOLDENBLADZ – I never said Hawks don’t move the puck , skate hard, smart, probably the best Passing team in the NHL. I AM SAYING, a few teams that are disciplined read DISCIPLINED can play a floating zone trap. Not every can play the old Bear 46 defense, so you missed the point. Maybe 6 teams like Bruins one of them and last year the Tampa are well coached and have the skill set. Tampa by many real experts claim dominated play and still lost. So traps and zone are not a sure thing!

    Soooo in the Playoffs your facing some disciplined teams in the west and in the cup one team from the east. And if they can just clog up the middle zone they’re in good shape but most ALL TEAMS try to out physical the Hawks and that is how they loose. Everyone will watch the Tampa Series, in it, you see how soft they go at times and hit and drift back and cover as a UNIT. Disciplined, hardcore! Not trying to cheap hits and get out of position like the BLUES try to do.

    If any hockey fan watched a Hawks game and see how loooooooong it takes them to get the puck into the zone on a POWER PLAY my wife comments on it. “don’t hawks have an extra guy?” But even at full strength vs. zone it’s an adventure. Hawks got trouble with mid-zones but so do many teams. We just don’t have the speed on a winger or two to bust it up, and chase ( i thought Panarin was it but he is NOT ) lastly again the Hawks are a possession team hence they hate to DUMP into an area and chase it with a 50% of recovery, they like to carry it or pass it stick to stick or they hold it go back and regroup. Amen

    go hawks

  30. Wall – Darling for as large as his is, and as “baggy” as his jersey is and width gives up a LOT OF REBOUNDS. He did well under pressure once vs, a very offensively challenged team the Preds. Not saying he is bad just okay he would not start for any top 10 team in the NHL. period. Also saying with all the lame CAP TALK it is nice to have to pay him a bag of nickels and ham sandwiches and have money to spend a la LADD else where?
    all my best
    Hawks in prime position to win it all but my gypsy blood says that is when something goes WRONG . . . like goaltending . . . GO HAWKS

  31. @ Tab

    I should have clarified that SB will likely address the depth of the position. Likely a 3rd or 4th goalie. Darlings experience and track record do make him attractive.

  32. ……it will be difficult to repeat and we have all the excuses but looking at our roster most experts believe we are still the team to beat!….time is running out however on this core group to dominate the playoffs as they have since 2010….go Hawks!…..

  33. Why is time running out? The only one thats slowing down is Hossa. And the Hawks have had a knack for creating a new”core”.

  34. Were going to be good for a long time. 2/7/19/88/4 do not have to be between 25-30 for us to be allowed to be a top team. The 20/10 and 15/72 is 5 yrs younger overall and 5 moar prime yrs. As long as we have Batman and Robin our organization will do what it takes to have a top team, like the red wings did for 15-20 yrs.

  35. Nick Schmaltz had a nice goal for UND. One that makes you go WOW.

    Looking forward to seeing Motte with Teuvo. Teuvo needs a finisher and Motte may be that. Leads the NCAA in goals.

  36. I agree with Ernie, we all need to understand that there will invariably be a game against an opponent like the Bruins where the cards are just stacked against you. Everyone gets up for the champs, so the Hawks get everyone’s best game and Boston has a little more motivation than most. Add to the mix that four new players are now in the lineup, emotional games vs Wings, etc .
    Not making excuses just stating the obvious. I think we have seen this show many times before and the mighty Hawks always find their game in time for the start of the ‘Second Season’.

    Anthony I am not sure that time is running out on the Hawks core, they seem to all have plenty left in the tank, except Hoss as Ernie mentioned. Now the cap situation may be the biggest danger to our championship window. If teams are going to take runs at Teuvo and Panarin the way they did for Saader then maybe we have to be concerned. Go Hawks!

  37. I did not think the Hawks had the players to win the Cup this year before Stan made his trades. Now that he has added a top 6 lw, skilled depth for the third line and a veteran d-man I believe they have a good chance of winning the Cup if they are healthy going into the playoffs. Two teams worry me. Minnesota- they frustrate the Hawks by their grab and hold style of clogging the neutral zone, they can skate with the Hawks and it will not be easy beating them four years in a row. Washington- high level speed and skill with quality goal tending.

  38. ….re:Hawks1961…..for the last decade or more the old saying that the defending Stanley Cup champions is the team to beat means nothing because it hasn’t happened but this year the Blackhawks seem to have put together an even better roster than last …..yes we are a bit spoiled with our high expectations ….but all Blackhawk fans including President Obama and Ernie are all together behind their team in the playoffs…we believe they can do it !!!!!……

  39. Several good posts Ernie. I agree with you. The Hawks will play out the balance of the season preparing for the playoffs. This team will try to win the division, but will not sweat it if they do not. This team knows how to kick it into another gear when the playoffs start. The game in Boston was meaningless. If they lose 10 in a row or so, that would be cause for concern. Barring injuries to key players, that won’t happen. This team will challenge for the cup again this year when the real season starts.

  40. Please don’t put me in the same sentence as Obama, or any other politician for that matter. We might like the same baseball and hockey team. But that’s pretty much where the similarities stop. And just because nobody has repeated in nearly 20 years doesn’t mean it’s not true. Wings and Penguins faced off in back to back years. The Kings and Hawks have been the ones to beat in the West for a few years. You don’t think a win against the defending champs gives a team an extra boost? Your kidding yourself. You think if the Oilers beat the Hawks nobody in that locker says, we just beat the champs?

  41. Trap teams scare me. If you want to go back a few years look what Arizona/Phoenix did. Loom what the Canes did to the Hawks (after those wins it looked like the Canes could make a run. Coincidence? Read confidence boost) Minnesota. Anaheim was doing it more aggressively than anyone when they started turning things around.

    Teams that trap aggressively, and muddy up the neutral zone give the Hawks fits. Those are the games where you see them not able to make a 5 foot pass. Those are also the games we see people lose their damn mind. Getting the first goal on those teams is huge. It changes the whole complexion.

    Talking about trap reminds me of what Kuznetsov wrote in an article last summer. He said the Hawks play Russian hockey. If anyone has seen Red Army you know what he’s talking about. For those that haven’t. Go get it! Every team traps. But the Hawks play defense by playing offense and possessing the puck. Give them time, you won’t have a chance. The trap denies that time. It also makes for boring hockey. If the Hawks can score first it puts the other team in a position where they are now forced to be offensive and trap less. Less skilled teams have to do it to be successful.

  42. ….no problem Ernie….hec….I’m sure Trump approves of the Blackhawks too…lol…as far as Blackhawks playing Russian systems is something new to me ….for the most part they are North American players and coaches but hey if that’s what they are playing…it works well…da da…..

  43. http://www.theplayerstribune.com/evgeny-kuznetsov-capitals-russia-hockey/

    Here’s the link. Pretty cool read. Even if it’s kinda broken English. Kuznetsov says the Hawks play the Russian way and he finds that refreshing in this dump and chase league. If Redbox still has red army you need to see it. Kuznetsov wrote his piece before they had any Russians. So that could be another reason why Panarin has fit in so well.

    Trump is a blowhard. He also killed the USFL. If you’re on players tribune, read Ryan Whitney’s article as well. It’s long, but hysterical!

  44. …..da da….yes yes….lol….most European hockey players including Russians are very familiar with soccer as well …so it makes sense that they imitate certain styles of play that are dominant in soccer with strong emphasis on possession… But wouldn’t call that strictly Russian……

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