Desperate Blackhawks Douse Flames

The Blackhawks came into Saturday night’s game losers of their last five straight and six of their last seven. Chicago had been outscored 18-8 during the five-game losing steam and could not improve their position in last place in the Central Division with a win in Calgary.

Calgary, on the other hand, came in tied with Vegas for third in the Pacific Division. Winners of only four of their last ten, the Flames have been sliding the wrong direction and dealing with injuries much like the Blackhawks.

Chicago put 49 shots on net in their last game but found a way to get shutout. Could they get on the board in Calgary?

The answer was yes – and they did it frequently.

Jonathan Toews started the night with his 16th of the season on the game’s first shift. The Blackhawks captain scored 30 seconds into the game to give Chicago the lead.

Slater Koekkoek got the puck to Toews in space and the captain handled the rest.

Calgary tied the game 97 seconds later on Sam Bennett’s sixth of the season.

Chicago got a power play with Sean Monahan in the box at 7:12 into the first. The Blackhawks couldn’t convert on the advantage but Toews found Dominik Kubalik to get the lead back five seconds after the power play ended.

Patrick Kane picked up the second assist on Kubalik’s 23rd of the season.

Of course the Blackhawks aren’t allowed to have nice things. Bennett tied the game again, this time at almost 13 minutes into the game. Dillon Dube was credited with an assist on both of Calgary’s goals.

At the end of the first period, Chicago had out-shot the Flames 12-8 but both teams had two goals on the board. The Hawks were able to score, but couldn’t stop the puck from getting through the defense. Rookie defenseman Adam Boqvist had a tough first period.

There have been too many times during this season – especially lately – that the Blackhawks have looked terrific in the first period and then come out totally flat in the second. In fact, over the first three games of the road trip the Blackhawks had been outscored 10-1 in the second and third periods.

This was not one of those nights.

Brandon Saad patiently scored his 18th of the season off a nice pass from Kane at 4:24 into the second to get the lead again.

The Blackhawks were able to extend the lead 64 second later when Alex Nylander made one of those plays that make people crazy.

Nylander’s seventh of the season showed off how terrific Nylander’s hands can be. Seeing that consistently is where his game is so frustrating.

The fourth goal of the night was it for David Rittich, who made 11 saves against 15 shots in 25:23. Cam Talbot entered the game, hoping to provide some stability in the blue paint and get a boost from the skaters in front of him.

Elias Lindholm cut Chicago’s lead to one at 10:56 and the Blackhawks weren’t putting many shot on net since Talbot took over. The game stayed 4-3 for for almost seven minutes until Alex DeBrincat finally got on the board.

Dylan Strome and Kirby Dach picked up the assists on DeBrincat’s 14th of the season and all four lines had now scored for the Blackhawks.

A strong effort from Matthew Highmore was rewarded with an assist on Nylander’s second of the night just 27 seconds after the DeBrincat goal and Chicago now had a three-goal lead.

Calgary out-shot the Blackhawks 14-7 in the second period but Chicago scored four times to take a 6-3 lead to the final period.

Kane, Kubalik, Toews and Nylander had two points each after 40 minutes of hockey. David Kampf, Drake Cagguila and Ryan Carpenter were the only Chicago forwards without a point through two periods.

Neither team pushed the tempo very much in the first half of the third period. Dach went to the box for tripping at 6:21 but Andrew Mangiapane killed the Flames penalty when he hooked Carpenter 93 seconds later. Neither team did anything while they had an advantage.

With Olli Maatta in the box, Lindholm scored his 27th of the season at 14:06 to cut Chicago’s lead to two.

With under four minutes left in regulation a scramble broke out around the Blackhawks net. Robin Lehner was able to deny Johnny Gaudreau but as the puck made its way up the ice in the possession of Toews, Cagguila and Gaudreau got mixed up behind the play.

Somehow the officials sent Cagguila and Lindholm – not Gaudreau – to the box with 3:26 left in regulation. Kane scored into the empty net as Talbot was making his way to the bench 16 seconds into the 4-on-4 action to give the Blackhawks a 7-4 lead.

Toews was credited with the assist on Kane’s empty net goal, giving both players a three-point evening.

Dach scored with Talbot in the net to make the final score 8-4. Lehner made 38 saves against 42 shots – 20 of which came in the third period – earn the victory.

Cagguila picked up an assist on Dach’s goal, meaning only two Chicago forwards finished the night without a point.

Chicago scored eight goals on 28 shots after getting shutout with 49 shots on net in their previous game.

Toews won 10 of 12 faceoffs in the first two periods with his two points. He finished his three-point night winning 13 of 18 faceoffs and led Chicago with three takeaways in a great effort.

Dach ended a three-game pointles drought. He has eight points in his last nine games, however.

Saad now has five goals in seven games in the month of February and has scored in three of his last four games.

Nylander scored twice in Nashville on Nov. 16. He had scored twice in the 34 games since his last multi-goal effort.

DeBrincat’s goal was only his fourth in 17 games since the calendar rolled over to 2020.

Nylander and Saad led the Hawks with four shots on net each. Every Blackhawks forward put at least one shot on net; Boqvist and Maatta were the only Chicago skaters who failed to be credited with a shot.

Koekkoek had a good night. He led the Hawks with three blocked shots and was plus-three with an assist in 21:13. He was also credited with one hit and one takeaway.

50 thoughts on “Desperate Blackhawks Douse Flames

  1. Eight Goal -new motto

    Were 2-4-2 to start these 14 games. Thought we could go 6-6-2, then 9-2 after. If were anywhere near 6-6-2 in the rest of these 14 gaems, we could.

    If we have any shot at 5th pick, its because 44 7 65 out for season and 12 has such off yr. With 27 77 and 8 getting feet wet. These guys are going to be good.

    Now get those 2 Defensemen and FWs Tim wants and were on our way, for the coming yrs.

  2. Needed something like this. Could open and keep open some eyes to see what this team is capable of. Injuries happen to every team. Cal missing two top D is part of the game.

    Add 1 point to that list that our buddy made of ex Hawks and 16 points to the list of current Hawks that I made. Lol, only 15 points of separation. Lol

  3. All 4 lines contributing, pp created a goal although pp ended just prior, strong pk and Lehner stood tall when he needed too. Thought they played a better game against Canucks, Markstrom stole one, bad call cost win against Bruins, thst’s 4 wins in 7 games since break they should have.

  4. Good God was Tkachuk awful tonight.Very good to see everyone chipping in.Great to finally see 92 and 12 have something positive happen for them.All the forwards tonight were strong.The forechecking was intense and very smart given the shorthanded Defense and shaky goaltending of the Flames.68 was very good all over the ice chipping in offensively.19 played like a #1 Center and is going to have to do it every night.Really liked 77s game tonight.He is finally looking for his own shot and he is a battler on the puck who does not give up.They have put themselves in a big hole but have to go out there and win games 1 at a time as the cliche goes.Tomorrow night is huge.

  5. If Stan had a real center playing alongside SAAD and KANE, 88 would have more goals and the team would have 3 solid centers plus Kampf as your number 4 center. 22 has to go!
    If Dach is going to play wing this season than why did we trade Anisimov for Smith? Either make him play or get one ! We could have used Carpenter’s salary plus Lehner’s salary and gotten a real top 6 center or winger! Pavelski was available…Even Brossard for cheap was available, Nyquist was available! Anyone but Carpenter…think about, he is centering Kane and Saad!
    Watching Keith give 100 percent every night, he is the most intense hockey player in Chicago and maybe the league! Every night he logs the most ice time, Pk time, PP time…unbelievable player…Still our number dman! Amazing, simply amazing!

  6. I fell asleep because I’m not feeling well and woke up with like 10 minutes left and the score 6-3. Holy hell I had missed almost the whole game – 6 goals worth of the game. I got to see the highlights and Holy goodness that looked like a lot of fun – I’m jealous of you all. Plus – CSN-CH665 isn’t rebroadcasting later tonight or early AM so I’ll have to search for a youtube link or sumptin. URL suggestions would be appreciated.

    I have visions of Nylander floating across the ice and into my Hawk fantasies. I saw a snippet of what Cat-Strome-Dach could develop into over the next 5+ years. Boqvist is showing that after he gets another 100 games or so under his belt he could end up being a top pairing guy with a nice offensive game. Toews looks more like Toews more and more and playing very well with 8&91. Keith is playing at a high level with his reduced 21-22 minute TOI, and Murphy picking up the extra minutes admirably, and every know and then 4K looks good too.

    Sunshine and lollipops are back.

    But as I posted elsewhere somewhere – if you’re gonna interrupt the draft day parade – that’s the way to do it baby.

  7. Lehner has been letting up on plays around our net .

    The past 2 games he`s played ,he gives up on the play…. goal goes in …something not right there ….deal him asap !

  8. It was fun to see the goals, but boy were the Flames awful in their own end. They out-Hawked the Hawks in poor positioning, careless passes and inability to get the puck out of danger zones.
    But one of the few wins of the season without the Hawk goalie being one of the stars.
    Again if they can beat the Jets it’s time to think why not playoffs-IF

  9. 2015, kinda saw that. Looked like he thought it was already in the net when it wasn’t yet. How about we leave Lehner in Calgary. Must take their #1 and a or some bodies. Don’t think they will give us Tkachuk but maybe Bennett? Probably not. How about #1 Jankowski and Lucic with them retaining 1/2 of Lucic $$.

  10. Didn’t see much of this game other than highlights and the third but maybe the 36-64-92 line could be a thing

    I’ve been advocating for a while for more skill and speed on the 4th line – we’ll see if they can keep it going meaning Zack Smith would sit even when he’s healthy

    Smith does play on the PK but they seemed to do OK when short handed last night without him

    If they can beat WPG in regulation tonight I’ll probably suspend my rational mind and start hoping for a miracle playoff push – it would at least be more fun

  11. The young guys worked very hard digging out pucks from the boards. That is not unusual. Dach and Highmore always do that. This game they were directly rewarded for their efforts. Dach looked good on his other offensive opportunities. He cut down on the stick handling and just fired. They weren’t shots from great angles but they were better than stick handling.

    If Boqvist is going to struggle, it is good that he does it on a night where the Hawks put up 8.

    The third period was not encouraging with the Hawks being badly outplayed, despite what the scoreboard said.

    It was fun to see some good things happen like DeBrincat scoring, Nylander scoring and the young players making excellent plays. However, the opposition goaltending was poor. You are going to score 8 goals on 28 shots about once every 3 years. The Vancouver game was a better effort. The good news is that the Hawks took advantage of a team playing a poor defensive game with weak goaltending. Hopefully, they didn’t use up too much good fortune because everything was going in and that doesn’t happen very often.

  12. That was a fun game to watch, and a nice win….but anyone here hoping for the Hawks to make the playoffs are basically wishing for Bowman and Colliton to be back next year. I’d hate to see them squeak in to not make it past the first round and be stuck with those two for another year.

  13. Oh look everyone is back on the playoff bandwagon. Give it a rest, this team isn’t going anywhere. They go on a little run and then lose 3-5 in a row. Their losing run is always greater than the winning streak
    Face it, JC will still be coaching, Blowman will still be calling his daddy in Florida to help him, Mark Kelly will be drafting soft sackless Euro’s or NA midgets. McDummy is running this into the ground like he did with the Cubs.
    This is the second comings of 1999-2007.
    DCat, Strome, Nylander, Lehner, Smith, Gus, and others might show they care but deep down they just want to collect a pay check. No heart.
    Nylander plays like his dad if any can remember, will string 2-3 great games and then disappears for 3-5 games.

  14. Whether you like him or not, the goal with Nylander is to get more out of him. He still needs to consistently pay a bigger price but I do agree with those who suggest he’s working harder than he did at the start of the year. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a shift or two with 19 and 8. He actually came close to a hatty last night (but for the save their goalie made with the shaft of his stick on a shot that was labelled). There’s no doubt he can finish.

    Agree with Robs on Highmore. He may not win every battle, but never gets outworked. Big heart.

  15. Jordy. I agree with you. Nylander looked like a stud last night. Stan and Colliton have been incredibly patient with him. I will say Nylander has been forechecking with greater passion since he was scratched for 3 games. The talent is in there, hopefully it’s finally unlocked.

    Hawks 2015 : I think you are onto something with Lehner. It appears some of the Fire is gone. It appears the Hawks are NOT going to sign him long term and he might be disappointed. I expect him to be dealt. Perhaps he knows the end is near.

  16. ER, when I have tried to watch games at 1am/3am on csn it would say blackout, even though I get the 700s and scn665.

    Yea screw Luckick.

  17. Its hard to route to win and for a top 5 skill player.

    Thing is once the other teams that arnt making playoffs are calculated out will they dive naturally. We could get close to 7/8 seed or 5th pick, with 7 games to go and easily-very easily go 2-4-1 or 4-2-1 and thats a 4 game difference in the draft. Like the difference between 5th and 9th or 7th and 11th picks.

  18. That sucks about Lehner. Though if were going to do what we need to do and that is trade both goalies and players like 56 15 65 6-if 44 retires other. Then were doing whats better for the mid/longterm in loading up the young wave. Still will need a goalie though. Crow come back in summer for 2/3m for a few yrs, still going to need another goalie if Lehner doesnt stay longterm.

    Young wave is the way.

  19. There is a numberof goalies out there, Howard, Craig Anderson, Dubnyk, probably Pens or Devils kove one, maybe Lundqvist, Sharjs abd Ducks maybe too, so not a sellers market. That the speculation contract talks went south with Lehner and it’s playing on him a bit.

    Agree best game of year from Nylander, said before seems to play better with grinders, when with skilled finesse players and he has to think more his game regresses, hopefully some confidence can improve that area for him.

  20. Agree Ian that with Nylander a lot of is confidence – right now I like where he is and I like Highmore and Kampf as he line mates – let those guys hopefully have some success together for a while – their speed is a big asset and Nylander can be the high skill guy on that line

    When an opportunity arises for a promotion (via injury or whatever) up the line up maybe then 92 will perform better than he previously did in the top 9

  21. vegas, nashville, minnesota, calgary, winnipeg, arizona, and hawks fighting for last three spots in the playoffs. the hawks have the best goal tending, which without they would not be in this discussion. they also have arguably the worst 18 players dressing in front of the goalies every night. without either goalie signed for next year it is fool’s gold hoping this collection of lousy hockey players makes the playoffs. and, even worse, saves bowman’s job. the hawks are at the low end of mediocre and it all rests at bowman’s feet. any team result that persuades rocky to keep bowman is disastrous for this team.

  22. If the Hawks lose to WPG in regulation, logic dictates that they are sellers. But will Stan be a buyer to try to save his job?

  23. Excellent interview on the Athletic. Stan Bowman was interviewed between periods of the Calgary game. In was mainly about the trade deadline. Stan said his responsibility is to look out for the future. Translation =we are selling.

  24. On HNIC last night Elliott Friedman commented that Lehner was noticeably subdued in the Edmonton game as well as last night. He said contract discussions have taken place but the parties aren’t close. Hopefully Carolina will pay a nice price for him.

    Regarding Nylander he has made progress on the 4th line – I would leave him there the rest of the year. There is no doubt he has top 6 potential in the future.

  25. Lehner is doing the Hawks a 7.5 Million dollar a year favor right now.Move him and sign Crawford for 2 years.That 24 through the 28th road trip is no picnic.I don’t see any give me,s in those games.

  26. All these hopeful comments about Nylander. His play away from the puck needs a lot of work. Should have sent him down a long time ago. Needs more playing time and coaching.

  27. Well there it is, were selling no matter what games we win or tie or lose. Which makes the most sense. We wouldnt be keeping some of these guys mid/longterm anyways. This is an excellent time, prob there isint a better time, to do it. Deep draft at the time we need to load up the young wave.

    Bowman and crew gave the players a chance this yr (after adding ‘tank’ ufas the two summer before-in order to get top 5 skill draft players), with 5 or 6 good ufa adds this summer and two not one NHL goalie. We still donot have the right mix. Thats fine, counldnt have come a better time-when the young wave is getting ready.

    Trade every player we can/thats going anyways and get those players Tim wants in the summer. Add to the young wave because thats the gold mine.

  28. 67 your right about the future outcome when the Hawks win , but im not going to sit and watch for 3 hours and hope they lose. We are lucky to have Dach hes a big guy with moves 20 lbs of mucle and hell be a star, a clone of Getzlaff

  29. Don’t expect Bowman to be buyer at tdl and haven’t in awhile, but still not convinced he sells hard either. Hopefully some help for future, time will tell.

  30. If the Hawks are still in a position to pretend to be playoff contenders by the TDL I don’t expect much action from Stan

    In this scenario he probably will hang on to both goalies and he may not even move Gus – just let him walk at season’s end

    If teams are offering 1st rounders and a good prospect for Lehner I think you have to do it and hope Crow doesn’t get injured – maybe a goalie comes back as part of the deal

    Gus I think should be moved regardless of how the Hawks are doing unless the return is really low – like 4th rounder or lower

  31. I like Highmores game ,he is a hard working guy ,got some grit and a playmaker .
    Solid 3 ,4 line guy … let the 3 million dollar Smith go .

    Highmore is a keeper .

  32. Yea I like the Highmore type players. 15 65 6? other just here for time being. 6 could stay the longest but when the Horsemen are here, I like 44 better unless he retires.

  33. I don’t know guys.If Bowman gets nothing for Lehner,Gus,and Crawford with them all walking,I can’t see him surviving that.With this team not making the playoffs it is just bad business.

  34. I am also going out on a limb and saying that Seabrook,Dehaan,and Shaw will not be playing when next season starts.I would say at least 2 out of the 3 never play again.

  35. Can someone explain to me who these “horseman” are that Morrison is always talking about? Is it just another term for the calvary?

  36. They are/were our four defensemen prospects. Joker Boq Beaudin and Mitchell. Now I think it should be 5 with Reggula and Valsic in for the Joker.

  37. Good move by Coach Colliton tonight in sitting Boqvist and putting Seeler in.Boqvist has been making bad defensive decisions and has been very soft around his own net.The Jets are a big physical team that need to be kept to the outside of the net front.

  38. Last night felt like a classic example of the opposition taking the Hawks for granted. Hawks on a skid, Calgary in a playoff spot, it had all the makings of a team looking to coast for a game. The Hawks, to their credit, took advantage of a lackluster effort against them. I hope the Hawks don’t expect the same type of game from the Jets tonight…

  39. Holy crap the return New Jersey got for Blake freaking Coleman. Nolan Foote who was a 2019 1st Rd pick and a 2020 1st round pick.

  40. Yea the Horsemen were the top 4 Defensemen prospects we got in last couple drafts. Not because they were our top 4 because they were 1st round picks/except for one. So they could be very good.

    Of course then we trade Buckaroo and that puts a dent in the 4. With Vlassic and Regula we could say we have 4/5 now again.

    The Horsemen were suppose to be the building block for the young wave. Then we picked Dach instead of Byram so much be happy with them/so much that we traded Buckaroo? Prob Haan and Maatta being young enough was reason to go Dach & trade one of them.

    People say know one knows if they be any good. Sure. BoQ and Mitch look like they could be really good so might get 2 better then thought and 2 a little worse.

  41. Copy cating NAS line of success of having Four very good Defensemen.

    Then we draft Dach and trade Buckaroo so something is going on there. Or Dach is just that good, which I think is the case.

  42. I’m not sold on Vlasic. I think we get a bit smitten by size, but he hasn’t shown a real offensive game at the NCAA level yet
    and skating is going to be a concern He’s probably a 4 year college player.

    Boqvist
    Mitchell
    Beaudin
    Carlsson
    Regula
    Ryan Shea
    Vlasic
    Gilbert

  43. Teams are giving away 1st rounders like they are going out of style. Plus a body! A 1st round pick body! We better get 1st round picks for Lehner and Crow. Probably Gus too.

  44. Was dealing with prospects. Krys was an oversight. I’d put him after Vlasic. Tuulola is probably ahead of Krys as well.

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