Darling, Blackhawks Survive Hurricanes

On Thursday night, the Blackhawks changed things up and dominated the shots on goal column against the Sabres.

On Friday night, it was back to business as usual.

Carolina put more shots on net in the first 20 minutes (19) than the Blackhawks did through 40 minutes (16). Aided by two power plays, the Canes kept pressure on Scott Darling throughout the first period. But Darling was on point, and got some help from the skaters in front of him.

Coach Joel Quenneville bumped Vinnie Hinostroza back up to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, and that trio got the Hawks on the board in the first

The goal is the 259th regular season tally in the career of Jonathan Toews, tying him with Bill Mosienko for ninth in franchise history. Toews has three goals and five assists in 12 games since returning from IR, and has had a point in eight of his last 11 contests.

However, while the Hawks held a 1-0 advantage on the scoreboard, Carolina had out-shot Chicago 19-9 through 20 minutes.

In the second, a whistle finally went the Hawks’ way. Jay McClement went to the box less than three minutes into the middle period, but the Blackhawks weren’t able to score. When Derek Ryan went to the box at 13:12, however, it took the Hawks only 17 seconds to extend their lead.

Duncan Keith picked up his 401st career assist on the goal, moving him past Pierre Pilote into seventh all alone in franchise history.

Carolina continued to out-shoot Chicago, but while Darling made a handful of tremendous saves the second period didn’t end clean. Victor Rask broke up the shutout with his 11th of the season with only five seconds left in the period. Through 40 minutes, Darling had already made 30 saves. The Blackhawks were perfect in three penalty kill situations as well.

With more than eight minutes left in regulation, Darling had already tied his season high for saves at 36. And 24 hours after setting a season high for shots on net, the Blackhawks established a new season high for shots against. But Darling was up to the challenge and held Carolina to only one goal, earning his team two points in the standings with a 39-save night.

Chicago’s youngsters came to play on Friday night. Hinostroza was absolutely magnificent the entire night. He skated 15:28 with one assist and a big blocked shot in the third period. Tanner Kero, centering the third line, had another good night as well. He won nine of 17 faceoffs and was credited with two blocked shots a team-high three hits. And Ryan Hartman was credited with a team-high five shots on net and a team-leading three takeaways as well.

Trevor van Riemsdyk led the Hawks with four blocked shots. With Gustav Forsling in Rockford, Michal Rozsival was the healthy scratch on the blue line. Chicago killed all three Carolina power plays on Friday night as well.

Before the game on Friday, the Blackhawks revealed where the 100th anniversary logo would be placed on their jerseys on their Instagram account.

from 1917??-2017?? #NHL100

A photo posted by Chicago Blackhawks (@nhlblackhawks) on

26 thoughts on “Darling, Blackhawks Survive Hurricanes

  1. Darling was superb and was the reason the Hawks got 2 points tonight.

    Hinostroza is using his speed to make plays versus just getting to the puck with no results as he was doing earlier in the season. He seems to be more comfortable now, like the game is slowing down for him and he’s make the plays he sees now. Made some pretty good plays tonight. Hopefully he keeps progressing. Maybe he is earning that coveted 1LW spot.

    As for the d-corps – Kempny played well. Hjalmarsson and Campbell were OK. TvR was less than OK. Keith was not very good in the d-zone. And Seabrook played like he was drunk for the second night in a row. You want to know why Carolina had 40 shots on goal – because the Hawks couldn’t clear the puck and that was mostly on Seabrook and Keith. Hopefully they snap out of the funk they’re in sooner than later.

  2. Not a pretty effort but a win is a win. Darling was impressive. Pleasantly surprised by Hartman’s continued growth – showing more offensive skills. He and Panik are solid bottom six forwards.

  3. Was at tonight’s game. Darling was indeed outstanding. He stood up to the barrage of shots and all of the Carolina players converging on the net throughout the game. Those blue line turnovers by the Blackhawks continue to plague them. Also, really unnecessary for that goal at the end of the 2nd to even be possible …… really sloppy strategy for puck management with the clock running down and a two goal lead.
    BUT…glad to get those 2 points!
    Go Blackhawks!!!

  4. Pretty amazing that the Hawks “found” Scott Darling. Amazing #2 at this level.

    When you think about it, Dallas is such a dud because they are saddled with awful goaltending in Niemi and Lehtonen, and we have Crawford and Darling. Wow !

    It’s only early January and it’s obvious who is poised for a playoff run. Dallas can try to acquire a goalie like Ryan Miller at this point, but for them it’s almost unfixable.

    As for our guys, credit to Hinostroza and Hartman. At the halfway point of the season, they are the two kids who have truly stuck.

  5. Ebony- Seabrook is like a -7 in last 10 games or so… “and played like he was drunk”

    Careful- or You might find your name on the ” DOLT” hit list!!!

    Craig N- are you suggesting Darling is better than Niemi??? ( I think Darling is better). BUT- Niemi has a cup!!! So by some peoples logic… you see where I am going.

  6. They don’t ask how they ask how many. The hawks keep rolling and silencing their critics who were sure that the hawks would be trading off assets at the trade deadline! NOT!

  7. A goalie win for sure as Darling comes through yet again. Both he and Corey have been outstanding and are the main reason for the team success thus far. Between them at least 8 games could be called goalie wins first half of this season. ER is correct in calling out the poor zone clears as the cause for many Canes scoring chances. Just sloppy and careless, but that can be cleaned up.

    We are all watching/enjoying the solid development of “new” guys on this team. Vinny and Hartman have adapted their game to the NHL and are real contributors. Kempny is making great strides the past few weeks and it seems the more he plays the better/more comfortable he looks out on the ice. Rasmussen should not be left out of the discussion either.

    Listening to the post game on WGN radio was insightful as Hinostroza credits the coaches for helping him to channel his speed for opportune moments in the games. Compared with early year samples Vinny is indeed not just going flat out full speed on shifts like he was early on., but now when he turns on the jets he is catching opposing defenders by surprise. Loose pucks get chased down and more board battles won. Give the kid credit. You can see there is some chemistry starting to develop with Hinostroza, Toews and Hossa. Would be nice to get two top lines producing on a regular basis.

    Preds will come in looking to avenge their loss to the Hawks in Nashville. Lets hope the Hawks get that first period mojo back tomorrow that we saw against the Sabres.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  8. Just for the record – when I criticize Seabrook’s play the last 2 games, I am not advocating trading him. There have been many games where he has played very well this season. But, when he stinks the joint up with turnovers and poor play I’m going to call him out on it like I would for any player.

    I was calling Toews out earlier in the season but he has played (marginally) better the last handful of games so I’m hopeful he’s coming out of the funk he’s been in.

    Most likely some the salary cap will once again dictate player movement but that is after this season and not something that should worry us until after the season is done. I don’t know if the Hawks are good enough to win the Cup this season and my gut tells me they are not, especially with Toews not playing well enough to drive a second top-6 line, but these are our guys and I hope Stan and Q continue to ride the horse we have and give them a chance to win another before a core player or two get moved this summer.

  9. One of the things Stan doesn’t get enough credit for was his brilliant move with regards to Niemi and Hammer. He let the ungrateful Niemi go and signed Hammer instead. Briliant move. Which also had the follow on effect of giving Crawford the chance to take the net and the rest is history!

  10. I agree Seabrook has not played very good this whole season, he looks uninspired and not interested. Maybe a healthy scratch for a few games would help wake him up or if he has a nagging injury. And just because you call out a player for poor performance doesn’t mean you are not a fan. We have grown to expect effort every game.

  11. Darling’s name is on as many cups as Niemi’s. They don’t get past Nashville without him.

    After 2010 Hjalmarsson signed paper with the Sharks 4 years at 3.5 per. Hawks had 7 days to match with the deadline being July 16. Hjalmarsson had a lackluster final, so they could have let him go, but they matched. Two weeks later they had arbitration with Niemi. Hawks offered 1.5 and Niemi wanted 4. Arbitrator ruled in the middle at 2.75. Hawks walked and signed Turco for 1.3 and Niemi signed with the Sharks for 2. Had Niemi known his market maybe he resigns with the Hawks. But as it was he resigned halfway through the year in San Jose with a more lucrative deal as he was stellar the first half.

  12. re calling out 19 – he was banged up. He’s getting healthy now. give him 20 games with Hinostroza/Hartman and Hossa and I think all the complaints will be dead.

  13. Darling – before coming to the Hawks- reportedly never had a “Goalie coach”…
    if true- is pretty amazing- and shows even more hidden upside… several here have stated Darling’s flaws in the past….

    loses his net
    rebound control
    leaves 5 hole open… to name a few

    I would say this year… all of these have improved a lot!!! especially- doesn’t lose the net going post to post.

  14. Wall, just for the record, Darling has worked with some excellent goalie coaches over the years. Darrin McCluskey in Chicago as a youth (same guy that helped develop Craig Anderson and Al Montoya). He’s worked with one of the best in Brian Daccord since he was 13 and still does every summer. Grant Stndbrook at Maine who helped develop Garth Snow, Mike Dunham, Jimmy Howard and Ben Bishop. There were certainly gaps in the sphl but he worked with Mitch Korn (perhaps THE best) and Ben Vanderklok while he was in the Nashville system. Pretty good coaching over the years I would say.

  15. When I mentioned calling out Toews earlier in the season, for the most part, it was a different type of criticism than what I meant when I called Seabrook out.

    To me, Seabrook’s turnovers and poor plays stems from a lack of focus – like he’s drunk and unable to play better. Now, I say that rhetorically because I don’t think he’s actually drunk – only that he plays like he is. The criticism is wrapped in the belief that he can play better but he isn’t sufficiently motivated enough to do so.

    The reason for my criticism of Toews is different. With the exception of those one of two times when Toews gets frustrated and sticks his head up his butt by whining to the refs about whatever it is that bothered him – his problem has been lack of results not because he isn’t sufficiently focused like Seabrook, but because it looks like he is physically unable to play as well as he used to play. So my criticism isn’t on him personally – it’s lamenting that he can’t produce as well as we need him to produce. The reason his production is down is not known to me – maybe it’s injury or injuries or maybe it’s just a funk where his confidence is shot or who knows what the issue is. I’m still hopeful he can work through it and play up to the level we’re used to seeing. If he doesn’t get back to that the Hawks chances are greatly reduced.

  16. If Seabrook is, in fact, uninspired, shame on him. The Hawks rewarded him handsomely for his past performance and made him one of the core players for the next several years. I hope he has a nagging injury.

  17. Not sure how top guys did in each of the games against top 10 teams but after the first 2 horseshit games we went 11-1-3 against top 10 (by roster not by record) until that outdoor game (which I am not sure if that should be included)(but say) so including those I threw out in garbage, we are 11-4-3 so far. That’s really good and I care more about that record then overall (against certain midtier/bottom 10 teams)(teams your suppose to beat but it happens at times).

    When we want to play we play. Playing down to your competition happens. Plus when there are a few of these teams that are better then they were before (by having more good young players then before makes these teams you should beat harder to beat then normal/before). Cant make excuse for guys being off/drunk looking, want focus/effort every game but to me if its during those kind games ok. Want to keep getting better as we go along. Use these types of games for team game progress.

    Certain competition/every once in a while not going to get pissed, other then wanting to feel to goods in winning any game we play regardless of who against. Want full focus/effort against top 10 teams (roster wise) and playoffs. We know the guys bring it then.

    We also know we will have a full tank of gas this time, like we did on the other yrs we did.

  18. There was a stoppage late in the game last night and Dineen was going over a play and Seabrook was lost in space. Looked like he could care less looking into space not even blinking. For all those 22,000 fans that pay those large ticket prices he and every player owe them their best. Maybe a few games off would help whatever is bothering him.

  19. Ebony: keep up the honest, objective assessments. I love Seabrook, I agree, Keith no great shakes either lately. Lastly, anytime TVR is playing top 2 D (or top 4 for that matter), not good. Campbell played his best w Keith, how about that pairing, Seabrook w Hjalmerson and TVR w Kempny?

    Lastly, what s the point of dressing Tootoo & Desjardins, they hardly play? They look like Larmer & Secord compared to Bollig & Mashinter. Three lines may work as a band aid for now, but not a chance you win the Stanley Cup, or get even close, without rolling four lines in the playoffs. The proof is the three banners at top of the UC.

  20. Jim Smith- thanks for the info/details… perhaps the story “reporters” were selling – was Darling – played for around 10 teams in a short span- and didn’t have a “consistent” coach… Kind of like a foster-child goalie???

  21. Ken Dryden explained it all in his book, how a team that has reached the top struggles to stay motivated and therefore doesn’t play like it used to. Now think of 19. He’s done and won everything…Olympic gold, Stanley cups, world cups. Hes played in riveting high stakes games. So is it so surprising that he’s lost a little fire? The same can be said of the rest of the core, certainly 2, 4, and 7. It’s hard to bring it every night, every shift, regardless of your paycheck. It doesn’t matter. But I believe that the fire will reignite come playoff time, when they have something to get fired up about.

  22. On Seabrook, Quenneville clearly has a finger on the pulse of his team. He sat him for the latter part of the 3rd period. Keep in mind Seabrook is a big guy who takes a beating on an every other night basis pretty much according to the schedule. And the body and mind can only take so much. Just in the last 9 days alone, they played Nashville, Carolina, St. Louis, Buffalo & Carolina again.

    That is a ton of hockey for a guy who goes and fetches the dump ins in the defensive zone and gets crunched almost every time. The beating he took from Backes and company in the playoffs last year , the vicious hit from Wisniewski a few years ago, etc.

    That physicality accumulates. It’s why the life of an NFL running back is 2.7 years.

    Hockey is becoming the same way. A young, wicked fast game of human pinball.
    I don’t fault Seabrook. He just might have hit a wall mentally and physically at the halfway point of the season.

  23. Speaking of human pinball…anyone see the hit sbisa took from Garnet Hathaway? Nasty. Looked a little slewy. When he went to the bench trainers picked a piece of plastic from his helmet out of his hair. No penalty called.

    https://youtu.be/Icz9OkB4hlU

  24. Craig N- good pickup on #7/icetime… only skated 15 min. and change??? seemed really low… hurt? Q – resting? or Q just not happy/sending message?

  25. Q adjusting in 3rd by performance/game situation regardless if hurt/rest thing.

    He hooked our stereo up, eh.

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