Ducks Top Blackhawks In Mighty Matchup

With the entire hockey world watching to see how the best two teams in the league would play against each other, the Blackhawks and Ducks put on a playoff-caliber show.

Unfortunately, the Ducks came away with their 13th consecutive home victory.

The Ducks dominated the early action, taking a physical game to the Hawks. Chicago struggled to handle the puck well in their own zone and paid for it when Peter Holland scored less than 90 seconds into the contest.

An interference penalty on Brandon Bollig put the Hawks short-handed quickly after the goal, and Anaheim had control of the momentum. But Jonathan Toews made another play for his Hart Trophy highlight reel.

Toews blocked a Sheldon Souray shot and took it the other direction. His 15th goal of the year – and second short-handed – tied the game.

The first period ended with the score locked at one, thanks to a strong period from Corey Crawford. The Ducks were credited with 10 shots in the opening 20 minutes, taking advantage of a Hawks team that struggled to move the puck with any consistency.

Toews drew a hooking penalty on Souray in the middle of the second period and the Hawks were able to convert. Birthday boy Nick Leddy scored from the point with the advantage to give the Hawks a lead; this powerplay was a significant improvement from an opportunity earlier in the period that was mediocre (I’m being kind).

The third period started well with the Hawks carrying the action on both ends of the rink. Unfortunately, a goal that was overturned also overturned the Blackhawks momentum.

Brandon Bollig appeared to score the first regular season goal of his career, but video review showed the dreaded “distinct kicking motion.” The goal was taken off the board, and Anaheim jumped all over the Hawks from there.

Ryan Getzlaf earned his enormous new extension, playing a superstar-caliber game. A Getzlaf shot rebounded to Bobby Ryan at 14:33, tying the game. Only 64 seconds later, Teemu Selanne capitalized on another redirected shot to give Anaheim a lead they would not lost.

In the game, Getzlaf had two assists, a blocked shot and two hits. For Selanne, the goal broke a surprising scoring drought and brought the record-setting Honda Center crowd to a deafening roar.

Patrick Kane had an assist on Leddy’s goal to extend his personal point streak, but it was a rough night for Chicago’s leading scorer. With both Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp out of the lineup – and Daniel Carcillo wasting a spot on the bench – Kane skated 25:21 and was minus-four on the night.

One significant stat for the night for the Blackhawks came at the dot, where Chicago won 30 of 55 faceoffs. Toews and Andrew Shaw both won nine of 16 faceoffs and Marcus Kruger won seven of 14 in the game to lead the way.

Once again, Dave Bolland finished under 50 percent, winning only four of 10 opportunities. Shaw was the Blackhawks most effective center in the defensive zone, where he won four of five faceoffs; Bolland, on the other hand, won only two of five in the defensive zone.

Another positive for the Hawks was their special teams. For a second straight game, their struggling penalty kill unit only had to handle one short-handed situation and did so with flying colors; Toews’ short-handed score was the team’s fourth of the season. And, in spite of the first powerplay being a disaster, Leddy’s goal was the team’s third score with a man advantage in three games.

Unfortunately, Carcillo’s “game” was noteworthy as well. He skated only three shifts, which taxed the Hawks top nine forwards in the third period. In seven games in March, Carcillo is now minus-five with only one point, and he has skated only 6:27 combined in his last two appearances.

Coincidence or not, the Blackhawks’ only three regulation losses have been the last three games for which Carcillo has dressed. And since returning from injury, Carcillo has had a negative plus-minus in five of 11 games.

Crawford finished the night with 22 saves against 25 shots, while Jonas Hiller allowed only two goals against 24 Chicago shots.

These two teams will face each other again next Friday night at the United Center. Anaheim should have Corey Perry back in their lineup, and Hawks fans are hoping to see Hossa back in action as well.

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45 Responses to Ducks Top Blackhawks In Mighty Matchup

  1. EbonyRaptor says:

    Of course I would rather have had the Hawks win, but looking at this game as a measuring stick, the final score not withstanding, I believe the Hawks are the better team and I would like the Hawks chances in a seven game series against the Ducks, especially with both teams at full strength. Yes Perry was out for them, but Sharp and Hossa being out was huge, especially with Carcillo playing only 3 shifts and 2:26 at the substitute for Hossa. Also, Roszival was out and Brookbank was in for some unknown reason and I think Roszival would have handled the Duck’s forecheck better the Brookbank did tonight.

    The bottom line is that the Hawks could have won that game tonight against a very good Ducks team playing the 4th game of a road trip and with essentially playing only 11 forwards. The Hawks are a legit Cup contender but they’re not alone – there are a few other teams that can make that claim too. The Ducks and Kings are right there with the Hawks and the Canucks will probably right the ship and be in the thick of it too by the end of the season.

    All Hawk fans should be happy – our team has a legitimate chance to win the Cup this season and isn’t that the most all of us hoped for when the season started?

  2. Sr. Brad says:

    Okay, can we post honest responses, or do we need to wear our “kid” gloves for all the “one goal” Hawk’s fans???

    The Hawks are NOT the clear better team than Anaheim…we have played them twice this season and both times THEIR goaltending is better, and they have played both 1A and 1A-

    Their Centres are better…their defensemen are better…and their STs are better. So to say the Hawks are better, at this point, is purely subjective.

    You pin most of the blame for this loss on one person and that’s NOT Carcillo it’s Coach Q….he dressed Brookbum instead of Rozy…he dressed Carcillo and did not play him (thankfully). The Hawks are bursting with talent in Rockford (who basically play Friday, Saturday and sometimes Sunday), and yet we dressed Dan “I forgot how to skate and check” Carcillo and are terrified to dress Jamal “I am now over 100″ Mayers. The result? The last 6 minutes of the game, all the players AND the goalie ran out of gas, and sat on their collective assess.

    STs are still a concern Tab…the PK, in limited action, was soft again, until Toews blocked a shot and took it the other way…The PP was AWFUL, including the 2nd one, where it was Leddy and Stahlberg who made great individual plays to salvage another opportunity.

    The fact of the matter is, the Hawks should have won the game…but they ran out of steam in the last few minutes after being on the road too long with too little time in between. But again, Coach Q has the ability to start meaningful players who can skate meaningful minutes, but he didn’t. Let’s be honest here, Sheldon Brookbank is NOT good enough to be a 6th DMan on a championship team, but Q dressed him in spite of a winning streak with Rozy in the lineup. Hoss was hurt and Q dressed Carcillo and proceeded to sit on on the pine so that he couldn’t hurt us…great idea….

    The Hawks are a great team, but they have holes and one of the biggest rests with the uneven decision making of their coach. Skating Kane another 25+ minutes tonight was foolish and it cost us…for the first 2 periods the Hawks dodged bullets with the 2nd line on the ice, but not in the 3rd, and anyone could see it…the only player that played solid Hawks hockey was Jimmy Hayes…Kane was tired and not competing and not back checking. Bolland was MIA all night (I think its time to trade him)…that line KILLED us and every chance ANA got they put Getzlaf on the ice against Kane.

    The 4th line competes but Frolik and Bollig have hand WORSE than stone…there is a reason why Bollig has YET to score a regular season goal…there is a reason why Frolik has 1…Kruger can try all he likes, but these 2 are NOT going to score and thus scare NO ONE!

    What the Hawk’s need now is to get back home, rest and get healthy…but the Hawks coaching and MGT need to do a better job of supplying this team with the best possible line up. Bolland has been a problem ALL YEAR with a myriad of issues including his disgraceful face-off record.

  3. Dean Youngblood says:

    I was at the game tonight and had the two worst homers sitting behind me, normally I wouldn’t mind but having those two go in late stung a little. I would’ve liked to see Crawford stop at least one of them to get to overtime. It was strange to see the defense suddenly become overwhelmed by the Ducks quick entry into the zone, and Crawford not bailing them out like he had in the first period.

  4. Tab Bamford says:

    to Brad’s honest responses: some good points.

    First, nobody pinned all of the blame on Carcillo. But, when you’re down two of your top four forwards and have a guy take 2-3 shifts, it hurts the rest of the team. He has been a liability the entire month. At least he didn’t end up in the box during his limited ice time.

    To say their special teams – both – are better is your opinion. The Ducks rank 26th in the NHL in PK, and allowed a goal to a PP unit that you have labeled as weak and mediocre… and that was without two of the primary players on the unit. Their PP is tops in the NHL, and was held off the board. If the Hawks PK is going to struggle, it’s in the team’s best interests to stay out of the box and they have done that effectively in two straight games.

    The Hawks could (should) have won a game with their top six missing two key members at the hottest home team in the league. Are there areas we don’t like about the box score? Absolutely. And you’re right that Kane was exhausted after double-shifting for a second game in a row. And yes, Bollig and Frolik skate their butts off without the ability to finish. And I’ve been up front with my concern about the Hawks’ ability to win a faceoff all season; it drives me crazy to see Bolland taking an offensive zone draw to start a powerplay.

    But it’s funny that one would point to the more experienced/skilled centers of the Ducks and say they’re better, yet the average/mediocre Blackhawks dominated at the dot (save for Bolland).

    An honest assessment of this game has to include the grain of salt that two of the team’s better all-around forwards weren’t in the lineup, and would also note that Corey Perry was missing for the Ducks. I’m not ready to say the Ducks are the prohibitive favorite to win the Western Conference yet. While Rockford call-ups might improve the 4th line for a time, the real needs continue to be health & a 2C.

  5. torourke says:

    Good game. Frustrating end. Who turned the puck over at the blue line that led to their go-ahead goal? I couldn’t see on the replay. That was an absolute back-breaker. Kane had a night to forget as he did not increase the lead when he had two golden opportunities to do so and then lost Ryan on the back-check on their tying goal.

    I thought Leddy was really good again and was hoping he was going to get the GWG on his birthday. Saad played really well too. Toews brought it as he always does. No shame in losing to the Ducks in their own building, but this is twice we let late leads against them slip away.

  6. wall says:

    Love it Brad- the truth… the better team won…

    Of course we are a better team w/10 and 81 in line-up… but so are Ducks w/ Perry…

    we need to get A 1 yr. rental stud for this Type of Team and L.A. Types of teams…
    and in case of injury….

    On a positive note- Teuvo scored a goal skating on top line in 2013 1st playoff game…

  7. Morrison says:

    Good game, bad bounce. Kane score 1of2 chances, its 3-1 & doesnt get to 3-3… they got lucky. Their good though. We are short handed though.

    20-19-81
    10-trade/36-88
    29-65-25
    16-Goc/Clement-67

    *All of the centers (top6) we can get arnt better/much better than sharp or bolland at FO. Who in the heck could we get (even if it cost a 1st & any propect/s except Teuvo&Danault) thats good at FO?, thats a good 2way player like bolland.

    *the really good FO centers (available) are all 3/4 line centers.

    I think when Sharpy comes back, were going to see the Shooter instead.

  8. BigSmokeJ says:

    I thought the Ducks took it to the hawks for the 1st period and about half of the second. Then the Hawks seemed to be everywhere in the second half of the second and three quarters of the third.
    Crawford held them in the game that is for sure. If it wasn’t for his play in the first they would have been down 4 or 5 goals.
    The issues I see are and Tab you nailed it in an earlier post, is they need a physical presence on this team. They need someone to hit someone and get people off the puck. The hawks were pushed around so much in the first period it caught up to them in the third.
    Also as stated Carcillo can not be taking a spot on this roster if he’s only going to play 3 shifts, that hurts everyone.
    I don’t know what is wrong with Bolland but he looks a shell of himself. Foley pointed a stat and I which I could remember it but I’m old. But I don’t think he has a point in something like the last 12 games. That and his terrible face offs are killing that second line.
    I don’t think you can get a true 2C in a trade so the best you can do is find the best face off center who can still skate and get him. Also a physical veteran forward would be nice.
    This team is primed to win it this year and I hope they do but unless they fix issues we have all talked about since the beginning of the year, I fear it will be wasted.

  9. McKay says:

    We’ve seen a few opponents come out absolutely flying in the first 10-20 mins and then get gassed, while the Hawks maintain their pace. It’s nice to see the Hawks stick to their game and overcome a goal-deficit.

    But this is an embarrassing loss. Two bad shifts off against a team like this and before you know it you’re down. Captain Serious hates giving up third period leads and will get this team to turn this loss into motivation.

    Bringing Rockford players up is NOT the key to beating teams like Anaheim. Honestly, what has Hayes brought to the table? He’s played okay-ish. Sure he’s playing well for a guy with very little NHL experience and I’m very happy he’s getting quality minutes for development but he hasn’t brought any kind of “energy” to the second line. He’s barely keeping up with the pace of the game.

    Do we honestly think Morin or Smith, in their first NHL action in two and one year respectively, would have helped the Hawks in a playoff-preview game like this? It could have easily been a rookie benched in a tight game like Carcillo was.

  10. JB says:

    Seabrook has a serious case of cranial-rectosis and nobody has been more invisible than Bolland (‘cept maybe Carcillo but for more obvious reasons). WTF?? I’m tired of yelling at Seabs every game.

  11. Tony says:

    Are people really going to piss and moan every time Q uses his depth and plays Brookbank? Yes, Roszival is better, but you dont skate the same 6 d-men all year in a condensed season like this. People on this site should know that.

  12. Mike says:

    I seldom blame coaches for losses but I think Q has to say, my bad. Carcillo and Bolig on the same roster sheet, Brookbank instead of Rosival, Kane double shifting everywhere on the final game of a road trip, getting him a minus 4…ouch. It is not like the Hawks played Columbus last night (no offence to CBJ).

    Staying out of the box is great, but if that is your primary goal, teams will take advantage. Last night the Ducks won a great majority of the board battles and as usual got the best of the Hawks physically. I like Hayes but he needs more time in the AHL. His skating ability has got to improve. Only then will he be the physical presence he needs to be.

    I think Saad played the best game save Toews. That toe drag opportunity in in the 3d was awesome and showed his ability to move laterally to open space. He will be a 50+ point man in the future.

  13. TJ says:

    Pure speculation at this time, however I have heard rumblings that the Hawks might pursue Miller from Sabres. I am a big Crawford supporter but would love to see Miller in Chitown. Sabres acquiring Crawford would make sense as well. A deal for Miller would likely cost Hawks a few pieces. Perhaps something along the lines of Crawford, Bickell and a pick.

  14. 'hawks58 says:

    @ Sr. Brad–

    You know, you have some points, but I just could not give them much creedence after this statement

    — “Their Centres are better…their defensemen are better…and their STs are better. So to say the Hawks are better, at this point, is purely subjective.”

    Centers are better? Getzlaf and Toews are a push (though I don’t think any Chicago fans would be happy with a swap there); Koivu is most definitely better than Bolland; would you take Bonino over Shaw? I’m not a Shaw fan and I’d say that is at worst a push; and then you have Steckel v Kruger. Steckel is a faceoff specialist, granted he’s fantastic at faceoffs, but that’s all he does, he doesn’t play notable defense and Kruger will end up with more points in this shortened season than Steckel has ever had in more than 5 full seasons; I’ll take Kruger any day. So in the end, you end up with pretty even centers, and the ‘hawks would have a slight edge if Bolland got his head out of his ass.

    Their defensemen are better? I’ll take our top 6 (hell, top 8 with Brookbank as the 7 and ghost of Montador as the 8) over their top 6 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Their ST is better? Maybe, but that’s a strange argument to make on a night the ‘hawks were +2 on the special teams.

    I agree, arguing who would win in a playoff game is subjective, but I would not be any more concerned about playing the Ducks in a playoff series than I would be with any other team. No matter who you play in the playoffs it is a battle and the ‘hawks will have to bring their ‘A’ game

  15. wall says:

    Agree that 36 looks like he is lost out there since injury…

    Rosey, and 7 are the only two guys on team that can peel a man off of the Puck on D boards…

    Cbomb, Mayers have been awful… but as much as I like/want AHLer’s to come in and help… ( they would be improvements…) they can’t skate Vs. a good NHL team either- especially Morin and Pirri- they are great shooters/scorers- but really don’t skate well. And Bowman likes skaters… Danault, TT, Hinostroza can skate…

    I agree w/ post that “the only Good face-off centers available out there are 3rd-4th liners” w/ that said- One guy who has interested me is this Perrault from Washington- quick, good hands, improving at dot- would be a great/cheap NHL addition for 4th line…

    or a 1yr. rental like Ribeiro- who isn’t good at dot- but is an upgrade offensively over 36… CAP wise it would be smart to get move 36 (especially if he continues to be invisible) , get 1 yr. rental… and Hawks would have an xtra 3+ mil to sign all of the FA’s this year… then next year Perrault, Shaw, Danault or TT can take his place!!!

  16. EbonyRaptor says:

    Blaming Q for dressing Carcillo and then playing him only 2:26 is justified if you assume it was just a matter of Q mismanaging the game or perhaps Q relying too much on gut instinct that double shifting Kane would work again. But maybe there is some subterfuge afoot. Could it be that Q is sending a message to Stan that the depth is not adequate and Stan needs to do something about it before the TDL? If that was the reason for essentially playing with 11 forwards last night, I applaud Q for chancing the loss of 2 points for the bigger picture of improving the team for the playoff run.

    Do I think Bolland has played well – no. But I don’t think he must be replaced for the team to do well. Once Sharp gets back, the 10-36-88 line will be OK because Kane will carry it. The two items on my wish list is a 4th line center that can win faceoffs and a better 7th d-man than Brookbank. Roszival is injury prone and I prefer to not have Brookbank as the every day 6th d-man.

  17. Peter says:

    One of the reasons I like this site so much is the great recaps by Tab and the excellent follow up posts by “committed” fans. I usually don’t get to watch the games, but I did last night. The comments on Rosival over Brookbank do make sense and I have never seen anyone argue who the better defenseman is, but as was pointed out earlier you can’t play Rosival every game in this condensed schedule as he is older. Plus I think we are shortchanging Brookbank a little bit. He did not play great last night, but was not awful. I thought he had a solid game for being the 6th D-Man.

    I truly believe the double shifting is what cost us the game last night, more specifically the way too much double shifting of Kane. If you want to double shift, we should mix it up more. I’m all for giving Kane the majority of the double shifts, but he can’t skate as much as he did last night and not expect something to give. His stellar defense this year is what slipped late last night and I believe is what cost us one of the two goals (that mattered). Not only did the double shifting affect our forwards at the end of the game, but it impacted our d-man substitutions. I’m assuming we all saw Hammer dying for air going to the bench thinking the puck would be cleared when Seabs had to race a man to the net from the bench (only to lose that race and the Blackhawks the lead). Because we were tired our D-men got pinned creating pairs other than what they were normally used to.

    Carcillo was a waste and may be a bigger bust than the Monty signing. I’m surprised to hear people criticize Bollig. Bollig is perfect as a 4th line player who gets 8-12 minutes a game. He is big, always throws stuff to the net, and will hit people. He is not an All-Star, but we can’t afford to have one at every position. When you don’t have all-world skill, you have to throw stuff to the net. I’m fine with him.

    I probably would have dressed Mayers last night and then double shifted Kruger more on the 1st line.

    The Miller suggestion in goal intrigues me, but his stats this year have been pretty bad. I realize goal tending also relies heavily on D-Men and a nice f-check, b-check; but do we really want to do that deal. Crawford played well. He let out a couple of rebounds, but the Hawks weren’t doing him any favors late in the game.

    Finally, I do not believe we will get a 2nd Line Center at the deadline. I do not know his face off stats, but I think (barring any lingering shoulder pain) we need to try Sharpie back at 2nd. I have never understood our reluctance to put him back in the middle when all he did last time he played there was be on a Stanley Cup Winning Team. I truly believe it would be easier to get a top 6 winger for a month or two than a #2 C we would all be happy with. At this point in time, I wouldn’t trade our 1C, 3C, or 4C for any other team’s at that position. Shaw is getting better at faceoffs and will not shy away from drawing them in our defensive zone. I honestly believe Shaw and Kruger replicate a lot of what makes Bolland so valuable in the playoffs, hence I am okay with trading him.

    Sorry for the rant, but the point is to spark continued excellent debate on this site…

  18. Tim G says:

    I thought Leddy played great. He used his speed on the rush, and seemed to do lots of little things right last night. He is going to be a legit Top 4 guy (I think he could be a brian campbell type player for a long time).

    The second line needs something… Obviously just getting Shapie back would be huge. But the market for a potential UFA rental 2C would include Ribero (just as bad FO%, but hot offensive hand right now) or Derek Roy (Offensive #’s down from recent years , but Better FO% than Shaw/Kruger/Bolland but still under 50%). Other Centers are really more bottom 6 type guys.

    The only other option would be to go after a RFA who might cost a little more in trade value. One guy would be Burmistrov from Winnipeg. He is a little better at the dot than bolland (but still under 50%, like Roy). He had a bunch of potential as a former 1st rounder but has never really clicked in. Maybe a new enviroment would help. Maybe we can cash in on that potential. I dont know how he fits into Winnipeg’s long term plans, since they have scheifele in the wings. Maybe they would make a trade if they get the right pieces for the future.

    But only thing about a move like that, is that it would be a move for the sake of a move. We would just be hoping we cash in and there is something to be said about keeping the team together.

  19. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    A couple of take aways I noticed from this game. The Ducks had a huge edge in face offs and physical play. Carcillo never belongs on the top line now that Saad is a regular in the lineup. A game like last night shows how important depth is in the NHL, with out Hossa and Sharp that was obvious. Bolland is just not getting it done as a 2nd line center. What was Pat’s stat 14-23 games Bolland failed to pick up a point? He’s skating with Kaner and Sharp how is that remotely possible? I really hope the Hawks add a center and a physical player. I think the Hawks can beat this team in a 7 game series, but their isnt alot of wiggle room. They remind me of Nashville from 2010 only with more offense punch.

  20. Tab Bamford says:

    Southside: the Hawks, other than Bolland, dominated the dot last night. The stats are mentioned in the post.

  21. Stinky says:

    Ummmm all emotional responses aside… That was a great game to watch. Easily could have gone either way. Would be a fun WCF match up.

    The physicality argument is nonsense. Both teams forechecked hard, forced turnovers and one team finished better than the other.

    Bolland and Seabrook and their continuing nightmares are the only complaint I can come up with.

  22. Tom Jaremka says:

    I’m hoping that Q knows his team better than anyone of us. We were at the end of a road trip, playing a very good Ducks team, we have a few injuries and sooner or later, double shifting Kane will take its toll on him.

    Maybe Q just figured he’d rest Roszival, skate the crap out of the young guys and see if they could squeek out a win before taking 4 days off and then coming home to face a hot Kings team.

    It looked like we just ran out of gas in the end. We made a couple mistakes that really cost us in the third period, too. Sometimes you get beat by teams that capitalize on your mistakes. No shame in that.

    Let’s come home, rest up and start a new winning streak.

  23. Martin Mazan says:

    I was at the game last night driving down from Las Vegas to attend. Noted that Hossa was not on the ice for the warm-ups so I knew he wasn’t dressing for the game.

    Game starts and Saad is at RW with Toews while Carcillo was at LW. When you’re replacing Hossa at RW you put a RW in the lineup, not move players around like they’ve done the previous 2 seasons.

    Also noted Brookbank in the line-up with Leddy instead of Roszival. Q played him because Brrokbank played for Anaheim up until last season. Playoff time, Roszival’s in the line-up.

    Crawford looked bad on the 1st Anaheim goal, not knowing or realizing the puck was going to come off the boards from behind the net on the opposite side it was shot from. He played well overall, but didn’t come with the big save when we needed it in the 3rd.

    Double shifting Kane again after doing so in Denver was ridiculous. He was gassed and only had 2 or 3 plays that liked the Kane we’ve seen most of the season so far. He was a step behind most of the game and couldn’t get around or outrun the bigger Anaheim forwards.

    I believe Oduya backed off on either the second or third Anaheim goal, I can’t remember which, but when he did go at the puck carrier, it was passed into the middle and was in the back of our net that fast.

    Sitting at the end where the Hawks shot twice, the last goal the Ducks scored to me looked like one of their forwards was offsides from my view.

    Overall, the Hawks looked sluggish in the 1st, carried most of the play in the 2nd and early 3rd period and then got deflated by the tying goal and looked exhausted on the 3rd.

    The Hawks need to figure out a way to keep Anaheim off the board in the 3rd, especially if we meet in the Western Conference finals. It was a great game to attend even the out come was disappointing.

  24. RyanDale says:

    Big disappointment with the final score. I felt the way 19 was going he would just will us another win. Anaheim is good, but you really only have to be good enough to cash in when your opponent makes mistakes. Do that consistently and you win alot of NHL games and Anaheim did just that. Their first goal resulted from what seemed to be a long 20 second turnover with plenty of blame to be thrown around An ill advised change led to another goal in the 3rd.

    We did a good job staying penalty free, which was important given Anaheim’s 30% pp at home. We held our own well on faceoffs too. But we generated nothing from a measly 3 takeaways and in turn we turn it over 12 times. That simply is not our game. We have to take care of the puck and we did not do so. The obvious is we were down 2 top 6. We play them again in 8 days, Probly safe to assume 81 will be there, I don’t know about 10. I expect a better result either way.

    I dont like to be too critical of indviduals but, I quit counting 17s shortcomings at 13:00 of the 2nd. It wasn’t a good game from him. and we all want more from 36 but we all know he’s better at 3.

    Coming home I would like to see the PK get better (actually pretty good on road). I’m always in favor of more hits as well. I think with our being a possession team, that is used as an excuse as having so few hits. I don’t buy that completely. We were -15 vs Ducks in that department. That is not a good number vs Anaheim. HIT somebody! You might get a turnover.

    I don’t see the sky falling at all. But I am anxious about the upcoming 5 of 6 at home. It presents a pretty solid challenge with LA ANA DET NSH STL. Even at 24-3-3t here are plenty of things to be concerned with….., and I agree with who said CC is the wild card. If you dont have that you got no shot!

  25. Dickie Dunn says:

    A lot of good observations & comments.

    I agree with those who believe double-shifting Kane leading to fatigue and ineffectiveness was a major factor.

    I also agree with (Peter) “At this point in time, I wouldn’t trade our 1C, 3C, or 4C for any other team’s at that position.” and “…criticize Bollig. Bollig is perfect as a 4th line player who gets 8-12 minutes” – maybe not “perfect”, but he contributes a lot.

    I don’t belive the Ducks are the better team. They probably were this game and a couple of mistakes late cost the Hawks.

  26. Marc Antal says:

    I agree and disagree with much on here. The Blackhawks pretty much owned the 2nd period and were a match by late in the first period. They also pretty much owned the 3rd until the goal was overturned (it was a cheap call-his foot angled, but it did not kick that puck). Not anticipating, or being too exhausted to combat, the onslaught and new life in the Ducks after that call, was a coaching and player misread. They missed shooters-Hossa and Sharp-and that was a huge difference. Remember-both victories were on their ice. They have to come here. They win here and, yes, I’d say they are a better team. Blackhawks had superior take-aways and passing. They need to start hitting some guys early. I expect them to flatten the Ducks in Chicago.

  27. Dave says:

    The Hawks looked out of sync last night Q should have benched Seabrook again after the goof up on the first goal . I knew from the way the Hawks started they weren’t playing good, but sometimes you can steal a game when you should lose like the Calgary game, the Hawks played the puck like a hand grenade are you telling me Kruger has more points than Bolland good grief the sky is falling

  28. TJ says:

    Any chance Hawks move Bickell? He has been very solid this year but is a UFA in near future. He is due for a nice pay raise and several teams are looking for a big body winger. Any ideas on what will happen with Bickell? His value is high and he could fetch a decent return.

  29. AJKSweetness says:

    The management of Roszival’s games/schedule confirms what should have ben obvious when they signed him: he is not nearly healthy. It is really the only reason that he would have been available at that price coming off the season that he had (and minutes that he skated) in a defense-first system in Phoenix. Given the condensed schedule, it is logical to believe that they signed him knowing that he would not play in every game. Our D-Line depth (like Brookbank or not, he’s a 7 when many teams don’t have a 5 or 6) allows the flexibility to have him play at a higher level in fewer games, and to hopefully be ready to be there for a playoff run.

  30. Pete says:

    In my subjective and biased opinion the Hawks are better than Anaheim. That stands for the way the lineups were last night and if both teams have all players healthy/playing. There is no way I would trade rosters with them. IMO for the Hawks to be at their best they need to roll out 4 full lines and it didn’t happen last night with Carcillo playing only two minutes. I find it hard to believe that Stan can’t add someone from Rockford or trade for someone by the deadline to give Q a better option than Carcillo. Regardless, I still think that absent substantial injuries or a goaltending collapse that the Hawks are going to the finals. Lastly, I read a post or two criticizing Frolik. I have to disagree. I think Frolik is a good bottom 6 forward.

  31. Sr. Brad says:

    With the benefit of 24 hours behind me, I don’t feel as “dark” as the post from the night before…tough loss, but its not the end of the world. Did I say that Anaheim’s centres are better than ours? Well, it was probably a frustrated comment about Bolland who needed to show up last night and didn’t. I love Shaw and Kruger…both try hard and are getting better with all aspects of their game week in and out. It’s frustrating because the Hawks problem is STILL the problem that they have had, really, for 4 years now…no 2nd line centre.

    During the Stanley Cup run of 2010 we used Patrick Sharp who did a very good job in the middle…since then it has been a myriad of players who haven’t got the job done…the latest is Dave Bolland. Now will Bolland be better when Sharp gets back? Yep, but that doesn’t excuse him from going something like a dozen games without a point skating next to Patrick Kane every night, losing 6 out of 10 face-offs….mostly in his own zone.

    Now we are being told that there is no true 2nd line centre available before the deadline and that likely Bowman will deal for a 3rd or 4th line guy who is physical and good at the dot…not the worst idea, but we already have 3 centres on the roster who are basically 3rd line centres…

    Will we be fine with the 2nd line centre role moving forward? Again, Yep. The Hawks current team and system will develop this player, but how does that help us win another Cup this year? It doesn’t, and there is nothing more important than winning another Cup this year. Bowman has done a wonderful job drafting, he has mostly missed on FAs (although I like Rozy), and has been hit and miss with trades…but the problem is he really has only made trades when we were dumping our Stars due to Cap issues…since then, he has had a hard time making ANY deals. This doesn’t bode well over the next 2 weeks, because last night’s game was important…it was an exact image of what the Hawks will have to beat to get out of the West and then win the Cup. Anaheim, LA, Boston all play like this, PHYSICAL with unrelenting forechecking and outstanding goaltending.

    The Hawks were badly outhit again last night and its becoming a problem. Hitting wears the other team down…had the Hawks done more than just skate circles around the Ducks in the 2nd period, like HIT them, Anaheim would not have had the gas to skate through us late in the 3rd…but they did, because we didn’t make things difficult for them. And when our SKILL gave us golden opportunities to make it 3-1 and seal the deal, our skill missed their targets and left the game wide open. That’s why a combination of skill and physicality wins Cups (see the 2010 Hawks, the 2011 Bruins and the 2012 Kings), not teams that simply skate around in circles.

    This is why, arguably, our 3rd line is our best…they take the body…they play a simply dump and chase game and use their physicality and speed to create chances…line 4 does this as well but Frolik and Bollig (who is playing really well) have hands of STONE…nothing personal, but both can’t even buy goals.

    Lines 1 and 2 rely on their skill…but when line 2 CAN’T get the puck because they can’t win a face-off, it kind of defeats the purpose of skill. I said a week ago that the face-off issue with line 2 was my biggest concern going into the playoffs, and it played itself out perfectly last night…Kane missed glorious chances and was a -4 because he was dead tired double shifting AND playing CHASE all night. Toews will always ensure that line 1 never has that problem (BTW, how about Brandon Saad…Wow).

    So goaltending aside, the Hawks must deal with one issue…they must either learn to play a much more physical game or they must win their 2nd line face-offs, if they are going to win in the playoffs…as I said, Anaheim offers the Hawks an exact look at what Conference Final and Cup Final hockey will look like…so far pure skill has wilted late and skill and physicality have won.

    One last point…clearly everyone must understand my point about Q and his lineup…he must field a team each night where EVERYONE can skate at least 7 minutes. Dressing Carcillo to skate 3 shifts is simply dumb! Whether it’s the talent in Rockford (Hayes has done quite well since arriving) or another trade, we have to have 13 forwards who can do this at all times…yep, we were down Sharp and Hoss, but it doesn’t matter, the Hawks have to field a full lineup each game. And with Brookbank, you say he needs to play…I say he needs to EARN his ice time…and last night showed he hasn’t…how many times did Brookbank trip over his own 2 feet in his own end to give up glorious scoring chances? Too many times…Rozy doesn’t do this, in fact, Rozy looks on bodies and stops their progress…for all of Brookbank’s size, forwards bounce of his checks and maintain possession, and that’s if he is lucky enough to catch up to them. Leddy was outstanding last night, or things would have been worse for that 3rd pairing.

    Getting healthy is the priority for now, but if Bowman doesn’t address the 2nd line Centre issue/physicality, then what we say last night will haunt this team in the playoffs, guaranteed. Thanks to everyone for understanding my rant!

  32. Tom Jaremka says:

    Sr. Brad…….all good points, but a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots. I am all for a more physical game by the Hawks, but this isn’t what we do as a group, anyway. The Hawks game is skill and speed. Sure, a physical team can beat up the Hawks, a bit, but it also takes the gas out of the other team. A team cannot hit everything in sight and continue that for an entire game.

    The Hawks game is to be able to weather the physical game from their opponents and then use skill and speed to defeat them. That’s just the way they are built. If you look at the Detroit Red Wings teams of the past 15 years, that’s how they were built, too.

    Oh, and look who’s running the Hawks, now…….the same guy who built those Red Wing teams…………..and his son is here, too.

    Good points, though, Sr.

  33. 'hawks58 says:

    And thank goodness they are built this way. They are quite possibly the most entertaining team in the league. When I watch 3/4 of the NHL I want to gouge out my eyes. I watched a NSH/LA game that went over 12 minutes without a single shot on net for either team! ugh. I would much rather be enjoy 6 months of entertaining hockey, and the occasional Stanley Cup over slugging through 82 snooze-fests and hoping for the occasional Stanley Cup.

    If you haven’t noticed; having a skilled team is what wins the majority of Cups. The Kings are the exception more than the rule, and Brown, Kopitar, Carter, Richards, Downey, Quick, and co. are pretty dang talented themselves. This type of hockey was good enough for the Pens, Wings, and Hawks to all win recent cups and the Bruins team was extremely talented as well.

  34. IceHogst says:

    Tom J’s comments reminded me of something which slipped my mind….last Friday I saw the IceHogs beat the Wolves and Montador skated a regular shift. Looked strong, no hesitancy at all. I also remember talking with an IceHog D man last year who said Montador is just Nasty. So maybe Montador is not out of the picture and will be counted on to add the Mange that the Hawks need without sacrificing their speed/skill personna.

  35. Mickey Bovit says:

    I agree with tom’s take on the “physicality” issue. Stanbow’s dad, Scotty built the ‘Wings championship teams on the skill and speed (with some physicality) beats brute force (even fast, skilled brute force) formula. He was brought in years back to guide the ‘Hawks on creating that sort of team. The results have been outstanding. We won the Cup in 2010 and after being forced by the cap to rebuild we have seen a record breaking streak this year and the ‘Hawks holding the best record in the NHL. The loss to the Ducks was well a loss to another great team and that will happen. It’s unlikely that the ‘Hawks go unbeaten in the playoffs. Against the Ducks due to all the points already raised, no Hoss, no Sharpie, fortunately only 2 minutes of Carbomb but with no other option gone to to pick up minutes, having Kane double shifted to exhaustion, Brookbank instead of Rosival, the ‘Hawks were gassed and gave up two quick goals and lost. I think that Qstasche has been the best coach in the NHL this year but he can have an off night also. Even with all of the above points had this not been the fourth game in seven days the ‘Hawks still may have won. There will be no “Chicken Little” syndrome on my part.

  36. squishy says:

    The Blackhawks need another rugged, Seabrook type, d-man. They have too many Johny Oduya types for my liking. I like the looks of this Johns kid in juniors. He could add the snarl they need. In my opinion, Carcillo and Bollig don’t add much. I like toughness as much as anyone, but your tough players also need to play. Getting Hayes was a good move, only he needs to use his size more.

  37. wall says:

    The last 3 Cup winners had speed, Talent, and PHYSICALITY!!!! Hawks 2010= Ladd, Buff, Brouwer, Eager. Boston and LA- LA has more guys over 210 lbs and some of the biggest Players in the league who can Skate- Penner, Brown, King, Nolan, Doughty, Greene, Kopitar, Lewis — Bruins- Chara, Boychuk, Lucic, Thornton, Horton.

    2013 Hawks biggest player- 29 does not like to play in front of net!!!!
    This has been our biggest weakness- and it will bite the Hawks in the ASS again in the Playoffs- unless by luck- we dodge those types of teams-

    The Ducks biggest improvements this year???
    1.) Coach ( there all year)
    2.) Sheldon Souray (Big, strong D-man)
    3.) D. Winnik ( Big physical forward)
    4.) B. Allen ( Big Physical D)

  38. JS says:

    Maybe Bickell will mirror Byfuglien from 2010. Unless you are having trouble remembering, Byfuglien refused to play in front of the net on the PP during the regular season. In fact, he was typically hanging around the point. However, Hawks still had a really good PP that year without the big body net presence. Probably because back door to Sharp was always open.

    Remember when the Kings barely made the playoffs because they were really mediocre all season and then got really hot in the playoffs? I know they had one of the greatest playoff runs ever, but they were barely good enough to make the playoffs in the NHL, which is bad. And really, I feel like the only good team they beat was Vancouver.

  39. Tom Jaremka says:

    Icehogst, I think you’re right. I skate with a guy who played with Monty in Europe in ’05. He says that even in practice the guy hit everything in sight. His own teammates would get pissed at him.

    We have a ton of great skaters and puck movers. Maybe a guy who will knock the opposition into the third row is exactly what we need!!

  40. IceHogst says:

    Ok TJ, let’s look at what Montador brings to the Hawks should he continue to progress in Rockford and he return healthy, ready to add the Nasty.

    First, we gotta acknowledge that the Hawks have been magnificent playing a skating/skill game. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. So Montador is only attractive if he enhances what is already in place.

    Keith/Seabrook are untouchable (despite seabs’ decline as a difference maker). Hammer/Oduya have been excellent, and Oduya’s recent struggles do not warrant mucking up Hammer’s resurgence. These pairs are smart, experienced and are perfect compliments to an attacking offense. Wouldn’t change a thing here.

    This leaves Leddy, Rozy and Brookbank. The last two were brought in this year because Leddy and Hammer were lousy last year and Montador was concussed. Now that Leddy has progressed beyond belief he is a lock for the 5 spot. So who out of rozy, Brooks and Montador compliment Leddy.

    Rozy has been solid, makes few mistakes and is a stay at home D man who works well with Leddy. So Brooks is sitting in the press box. However, Rozy seems to need a blow pretty often, and when Brooks plays he is a weak link. So these two are really the 6 spot in the aggregate.

    So, now comes Monty, who was originally signed to be the Nasty the Hawks needed then and, with the evaporation of Carcillo, still need. In all fairness to monty’s sub par last year, the entire D was lousy because hammer, Leddy, o donned, lepisto were so ineffective.

    To me, the only risk in dropping Monty into the 6 spot is how he affects Leddy. Rozy becomes 7 and Brookbank is released. If Monty plays another half dozen AHL games without concussion episodes, get him in here!

    First and foremost, his salary already counts against the cap. He’s paid for.

  41. wall says:

    Icehogst- Rosey ( unless he is hurt) is a much better option than Monty- He is under-rated offensively/passing/patience… he is very physical on boards… his only weakness is pure speed is lacking/ and possible lingering injury- which are the same weaknesses if Monty- but I think Rosey has a much Higher Hockey I.Q.!!!

    Believe it or not- If Hawks don’t make trade or Buy a 1 yr. rental for Playoff run…
    Rusty might be in the Hawks plans as a playoff power forward… 2 goals, 1 assist in 2 games Rockford- Has had a year off to recover from injury- and when I watched him in practices a year ago- the one good thing he did all the time was go to the net!!!
    If He is slow due to the Knee injuries- perhaps- he becomes the 4th line guy finisher w/ speedy 16-67… and a PP net presence.

    Just wishful thinking on my part for Hawks to add Power Forward for CUP run!

  42. IceHogst says:

    Yeah, I like Rozy a lot, though i still think monty would be more intimidating. Monty as a power forward is intriguing. It’s a way to use salary to put snarl in. Q tried Brookbank at wing. Why not?

    The trib keeps talking about double shifting Kane more, which is a terrible idea in my opinion. Keep rolling the 4 lines. Kane is not that physically strong. At the very least his D regresses to a spectator.

  43. IceHogst says:

    Just saw that frolik has been moved to first line in place of Hossa.

  44. Tom Jaremka says:

    Boys…….can you believe we have this much depth? My guess is that as we get closer to the playoffs, Q will shuffle these extra players in and out of the lineup just to get them some icetime. Then, if we have any injuries, we’ll have players that are ready to fill the void and also have significant NHL experience.

    Icehogst – I would like to see Monty on the wing of the 4th line. He’s a big body and he can forecheck really well. Maybe Rosey on the 3rd “D” line and Monty on the 4th forward line. Plus, Monty will drop ‘em, if necessary.

    We’re in good shape, boys……..good shape!!

  45. IceHogst says:

    Ok I’m all in on wall and TJ’s out-of-the box thinking on Monty. How about putting Kruger on 2nd line and bolland on 4th between bollig and Monty and unleash hell!
    The hawks do, indeed, have options.

    Enough talk. Hawks Kings. Back to our regularly scheduled program. GO HAWKS!

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