Duncan Keith Ejected, Predators Dispatch Blackhawks Quickly

The Blackhawks ugly trend of burying themselves continued in Nashville on Saturday night.

Kevin Fiala, Eeli Tolvanen and Ryan Johansen scored in the game’s opening 4:11 to put the Hawks in a three goal hole right out of the gate. In fact, all three goals were scored before the Big Ten Championship Game, also scheduled for a 7 pm CT start, had kicked off.

Things got so bad that all hell broke loose at 7:18 into the first with the Blackhawks showing more raw emotion than they have in years.

After Duncan Keith was boarded (not called), Alex DeBrincat dropped the gloves with Matt Irwin; DeBrincat was giving up about five inches and 40 pounds in the fight but stood up for his veteran teammate.

Keith, on the other hand, was absolutely livid. He turned around as the officials were breaking up the DeBrincat-Irwin fight and found Miikka Salomaki. Keith approached him, dropped the gloves and went full WWE. For his efforts Keith piled up 29 penalty minutes, which included an ejection from the game.

Which means the defensively awful Blackhawks were down to five defensemen, none of whom had done anything yet at that point in the game but watch goals go in past Cam Ward.

During the seven-minute power play Nashville was given for Keith’s actions Brandon Saad stepped up and scored a short-handed goal to cut into the Nashville lead.

Brent Seabrook was credited with the only assist on Saad’s eighth of the year.

Unfortunately, Craig Smith scored 75 seconds after the Saad goal to push the lead back to three.

After 20 minutes, the Blackhawks had allowed four goals and put five shots on net.

Chicago scored the only goal in the second period, coming from Artem Anisimov.

Chicago out-shot Nashville 11-10 in the second but only cut the lead to two.

The only goal of the third period came within seconds of Ward getting to the bench for an extra attacker. The empty net goal made the final score 5-2.

The central issue with the Blackhawks right now is that they are simply not showing up when the puck is dropped. They’re getting their asses kicked in the first period every night and doing their best to fight their way back into games after digging an early grave.

It’s a focus issue.

It’s a giving-a-shit issue.

It’s ugly and they aren’t fixing anything.

Jeremy Colliton is a new voice in the room, and he might be fighting an uphill climb he can’t win with a veteran roster right now. Since Joel Quenneville was dismissed the Hawks haven’t shown anything different on the ice except the changes in personnel. Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini are nice players but they aren’t saving the day.

The core that has three rings should be better. They have to be better. And they haven’t been.

Patrick Kane was credited with zero – ZERO – shots on goal in over 21 minutes of action with his team down three goals after four minutes. That’s unacceptable.

Jonathan Toews was credited with one shot on net in 19:19 on the ice. That’s unacceptable.

Saad came to play. He had five shots on net, more than twice as many as any other Hawks skater. David Kampf won 12 of 16 at the dot and had a nice night. And, with Keith ejected, Gustav Forsling led all Chicago skaters with 28:48 on the ice. He led the Hawks with three blocked shots.

But this team is playing terrible hockey right now and haven’t shown the right kind of emotion to change anything.

54 thoughts on “Duncan Keith Ejected, Predators Dispatch Blackhawks Quickly

  1. Based upon the roster, the Hawks would be a non-playoff team even if Q was still the coach. However, the team is clearly worse w/ the new coach behind the bench. There is no comparison. It is more likely than not that the players generally do not respect the new coach to various degrees.

    If the unspoken, silent goal was to make the team worse by firing Q and trying to convince the no movement clause group to waive clauses and get traded to rebuild the team, mission accomplished. Otherwise, w/ the roster as currently constituted and a rookie coach who is clearly in way over his head, good luck. And thanks Bowman.

    And good evening to all.

  2. Didn’t see it but Keith should be allowed to do what he wants if the refs donot call the right thing in plays like that. This league is a disgrace and the wrong teams/players get away with stuff, it should be other way around.
    Even the right called play on boarding isint fair for taking cheapshots from behind and only get 2min or even on a blue moon they call 5min. Board the fuckers right back. You shouldn’t have to, the refs and league should be in charge/order.

    Wilson.

  3. Wow ,.,.2 guys who should NEVER be fighting ,.,..,being emotional and laying out their frustrations . Rest of the team ??? Deep 6 Stan time .

  4. Top 5 pick! Baby.

    You either got to be really good, or really care (or both) This team is neither-that’s why I feel they aren’t good enough to patch things up for next year.

    JC is the sacrificial lamb.

  5. P.S. Mayers going over game, good point, why/what is Martinsen doing killing penalties? That’s hilarious.

  6. My biggest problem at this point is certain “leaders” not playing hard like spoiled brats. Sit Kane, sit Seabs, sit Crow; these guys need to be leading the team along with Keith and Toews (who at least play hard 70% of the time). These 5 players have a responsibility to this team, and more important to the fans who bring the revenues so they can be paid. Anything shy of 100% needs to be called out on; I don’t care if you don’t like the new coach, man up and earn your pay. Kane has been noticeably lazy out there only playing offense and only when he has the puck or there is a rush. The guy makes $10.5M a year on what, a $90M contract? If you can’t realize how fortunate you are every night on the ice, you need to sit in the press box and be forced to watch the young guys on the team fight for a job. It’s just sad watching these guys who won 3 cups give a half ass effort because their salaries are the very thing that are keeping the Hawks from bringing in a better supporting cast.

  7. Iceman; let me answer that. Because Martinsen gives 110% every night on the ice that’s why. He doesn’t have the natural talent of any other player on the ice, he’s the “Rudy” of the team, and I’ll take that over someone like Kane giving a 30% to 50% effort out there.

  8. Disagree about 88. He was trying. Just had no openings. Made the pass to 23 when he could and 15 scored.

    When have we ever looked to 88 for good defense? Never. He’s a scorer. And in a shit game down by 3, you need to score. So ge starts roaming, looking to do his thing to jump start the team.

    He is the wrong choice for whipping post tonight.

  9. One thing to remember, Penn State volleyball coach said it best.
    When your not playing good/not have full roster and other team is playing, it can look not good/like these games weve seen. That doesn’t mean were or other team are that bad/good. It just looks that way, at times.

    I think we do need to do the thing weve been talking about. Just that theres parts of games that, you cant go by as the end all.

    This is exactly what we need to reload. Just better be ready when were deep again, until then, hold on to your britches.

  10. Disagree on Kane he looked fine when double shifted with Kruger and AA. They worked a little and got him the puck only times he looked dangerous. His own line was hurting, Debrincat and Strome look like 2 guys in pickup hockeywho got a ringer put on with them and let him do everything and they ll stand there and wait for him to feed it to them. That line is invisible, don’t play with the puck near enough. At least Debrincat showed a little spunk sticking up for Keith more than Strome did. He was gonna improve fsceoffs right away and possesion be alot better 1 out of 8 tonight and 34% in his first 3 games. Put the blame where it belongs.

    Can somebody explain to me how a pp is supposed to work when you pass the puck back to your owm end and Kane comes up ice with it picking up speed and the other 4 guys have to stand at blueline flatfooted waiting for him. He can do 3 things either try to carry it in with other tean laying to put big hit on him, pass across line to somebody not moving, or dump it in again nobody moving to chase it. Makes zero sense to me.

  11. Martinsen tries hard, whoopee. Please, give me a break.

    Martinsen isn’t the problem, and neither is Kane. Bowman has led the Hawks down the path to oblivion. Circa 1998. Somewhere Pulford is smiling in between puffs of his smokes.

  12. Another thing not to forget, no matter what we have going on with our roster/not having 6 NHL defensemen and not having a full roster, besides other things. This is a very difficult stretch of sch. in terms of how many top 10 teams we play. Literally 8 of every 10 games were playing right now is against top 10.

    With this roster/not a complete roster, the sch is a multiplier effect.

  13. Ian, yea the PP is what needs a complete 10yr rebuild. You have to be shitting me. Even when we had deep/stacked rosters, 6/7 of 8 yrs, were wernt even top 5, barley top 10.

    That, the PP eh, needs to go back to the future.

  14. The organization must, must be sand baging with these tank ufas last summer and this summer. Knutz? Signing Knuts to a temp one yr ufa yr could be genious and help get another top 3/5 pick and 33/35.

    Knutz guys.

  15. Kane isn’t the problem. He has always played an unselfish game trying to get his linemates, whoever the may be,jump started rather then trying to take shots that aren’t there. Double shifting him nightly will start to wear on him towards the end of the game. Other forwards need to accept their roles and start playing like NHLers not like juniors or pickups at the local ice pond. Colliton can’t make line adjustments as the game dictates like Coach Q was able to do. Trying to have a new system/style of play should have been put on the back burner, unless it was implimented from game one, and thru training camp. 13 games under the system, and we have gotten our asses kicked badly. Hey Stan you think maybe you, John, and Wirtz made a dumb move with letting Q go?? You better correct this quickly or you will lose your fans

  16. I didn’t see the game – just the 8 minute version of the mostly low-lights

    But the script was exactly the same as the previous 5 or so games – get their asses kicked in the first then semi, sorta, kinda make a game of it after the other team has stopped pressuring them so much

    I agree with Tab – the core has not bought in to the new coach – they’re still either in shock over Q’s firing or pouting over Q’s firing – either way they don’t care enough, aren’t emotionally invested enough, aren’t engaged or focused enough

    It’s not Colliton’s fault they haven’t bought in – where’s the leadership??

  17. Geez … more of the same. And they were without Forsberg, Arvidsson, Turris and Subban – that’s half their top-6 forwards and one top-4 d-man.

    I hate to say it and hopefully I’m wrong but Toews is starting to look like he did the last couple seasons. The reason I’m saying that is I’ve noticed he’s not crisp with the puck – passing it nor receiving it. He’s not fumbling it like he was last season – just not as crisp as he was earlier in the season.

    I realize this is going to sound like an excuse but that’s only because it is – the Hawks are having a string of bad luck. It’s not just hitting the pipe a couple times tonight – it’s bouncing pucks and broken sticks and teammates getting in each others way, it’s pucks going in off own player’s skates, it’s referees and linemen getting in the way, it’s flubbed and whiffed shots and a bunch of other things. Those types of things happen to all teams but usually not with this quantity and regularity. It has been like the Keystone Cops lately. Queue the Benny Hill music when the Hawks get the puck. It would be funny to watch if it weren’t happening to the team I love.

  18. I wouldn’t blame 19, during the first 10 games he played because it was a fresh start and a lot of guys worked hard during summer.
    After those 10 games and Q, I donot blame any of the better players for not caring right now. They now the roster doesn’t have 6 NHL defensemen and need a little more at FW.

  19. The sch got harder but it was playing 3in4, then 2 games in 12 days. WTF is that. Then 7 in 10 days right after basically having 2wks off. Again WTF is that.
    It set us up for a trip and we did. Then those things happened and then what ER said happens a lot now, and now were playing the tuff opponent sch that Ian said.
    Just couldn’t be worse timing for that.

    Anyways we need 6 NHL defensemen to be able to play.
    Gotta get a 81 and 4 back, before the better players really give a shit.

  20. Rick Tocchet smarter than Coach Q and JC?
    After another stellar performance at center, coach T said and I quote, ” The sky’s the limit on him,…..there’s another level to him”…of course talking about Nick Schmaltz.
    Wow, 52 points last year,…probably over 6o for sure this season…and maybe the playoffs!!!
    Schmaltz, “If we’re moving our feet, I don’t think a lot of teams can skate with us”
    Wow, this must sting Bowman and all those hard core ney sayers about former 52 point guy, #8. Maybe Strome can catch up? Ney.
    Sunday morning is a great day to fire Bowman, JC who has a ridiculous 3 year contract, fire McDO, and try to find a respected GM who knows how to build a team for the NHL of today (not all smurfs please) not AHL. One Body check will break Boqvist in half. Yikes.

  21. I don’t think Jeremy Colliton is the problem and I think he will be a fine coach when he has a roster that wants to play. Quenville should have never been let go during the season it should have been done in the off season but perhaps Q wasn’t going to tolerate the mediocre roster Stan gave him. Maybe he wanted to change that they weren’t going to make because according to management this is a playoff caliber team. I have no problem with them sucking, if it’s going to be with younger guys and you are rebuilding. The problem is the management taking this fan base for granted and basically calling us fools by saying they don’t need to rebuild just what re-tool or restructure? This team is going no where fast, so see if you can get some of these guys to move their NMC’s, and start the re-build. That includes dumping Stan Bowman and McDonough. For a ice stretch this management team and franchise was respected and turned into a model franchise, now it’s turned into a shit show and a laughing stock and I think they will have a hard time getting respected players to sign here without mass change. It starts at the top and what’s happened the last few weeks proves that. This team is a mess and I am not talking about just the roster.

  22. I am a FA, I can score a bit, hit some people, and not play any D? Who says NO to bringing me back?

    By the way, I am terrible in the locker room! I would fit in perfectly with this bunch.

  23. Wraparound– Re: The Core… you forgot one more possibility… The Core – just doesn’t have the skill/speed/motivation- they once did years ago ( they ain’t good enough)…

    ER- excellent Toews observation… back to fumbling, not skating, and falling down when smaller guys push him….

    The Core- is NOT good enough anymore!!!

    Can we officially say- Q- wasn’t the reason this team is bad!!!

    Bye-Bye Blowman

  24. I don’t understand all the comments about players who don’t care or don’t try — hockey players just aren’t built that way and these guys are professionals. What ever the problem inside the locker room or on the ice — I guarantee you no player or coach is happy right now or making a conscious decision to “phone it in”. These professionals have too much pride for that. Right now every team in the league has the Hawks number and smell blood in the water. Hope the Hawks can figure themselves out soon cause it is painful to watch and a sad way to end the “dynasty”

  25. Wall gotta agree with below-

    Wraparound– Re: The Core… you forgot one more possibility… The Core – just doesn’t have the skill/speed/motivation- they once did years ago ( they ain’t good enough)…

    When you make 10.5 and have three Cups and you realize that many teams in the league have passed you by-(they know this) your will to win night after night wanes-Toews started out like a bolt of lightning, Kane too, then…
    10.5 should be enough motivation but–they need young leaders to emerge!

    Interesting year and decisions to be made.

  26. I will argue that the team has looked to Kane for defense, and that when he does commit to that his game is much better all around. And the team is better all around. As a prime example, during let’s say 2015 and 2016 he was noted for his big improvement in back checking etc. He himself talked about it and credited Hossa with being his inspiration ….. that watching Hossa play made him want to do the same things at both ends of the ice.

    One of the things that Colliton has complained about is that defense needs to start with the forwards, and their effort to get into the right positions has hampered the team’s play. I think Kane is certainly part of that mix.

    I will certainly agree that if Kane is double shifted into oblivion he will have to back off on some of the all-out play. I just don’t see Kane being as obvious with defensive plays and I think that hurts his all around game. My opinion.

  27. I think Kane has been upset since the Panarin trade and when they traded Schmaltz that made it worse. I’m just not seeing any direction with this team. We need a rebuild and that is the truth. Let’s face this is going to get worse before it gets better!

  28. The hockey side of a team and the business side must mesh properly for the team to have long term success. Stan’s modus operandi of “cost certainty” has resulted in an inferior team. The Panarin, Hjalmarsson and most likely the Schmaltz trade were all driven by the business side with the result being the hockey side is weaker. I understand there needs to be a balance and it’s not easy but the results are owned by the GM and the results say failure.

  29. Reality-

    Pred’s – skated 1/4 AHL team…. beat the NHL Hawks last nite– soundly

    last nite

    Entwhistle- 2 g’s
    Kurashev- 1g
    Barratt- 1g, 1a
    Hagel- 1g

    Anyone know extent of Nordgren’s injury? Hasn’t been in line up in while.

  30. The check on Keith should have been a penalty. Why the smallest guy on the ice has to stick up for an entire club? Not sure about that.

    The only reasons to fight are to defend yourself, defend a team mate or change momentum. DeBrinkcat fighting seemed like a player who was very frustrated and just needed to show that he has some heart and pride. Good for him! The fight seemed to stabilize the Hawks and the game, a bit, and at least show that we had some fight in us.

    As far as this team looking “lost”, you can blame it squarely on Bowman. Colliton will be a good coach, someday, but this team has no identity. It clearly can’t get out of its own way. It’s confused. It’s sad, actually.

    I hate it that Seabrook, Toews, Keith, Kane, Kruger and Crow look lost on the ice. After all, this group brought us several Stanley Cup Championships and great Cup runs in the last 10 years. This group made me a PROUD Hawk fan!!

    You can say what you want, but the heart and soul of this team was Q. He knew the team, he knew the league and he knew the GAME at the NHL level. Now that he is gone, this team is starting from the bottom and it’s not pretty. Colliton is not Q and he is just a rookie coach. He, along with this team, has a LONG way to go to get back to RESPECTABILITY.

    Sorry for bitching and moaning, boys, but like this team, I am LOST!

  31. Even though Q’s days were numbered for a long time, he would have been the best guy to us through until April. Then a new GM could have brought in a new coach and perhaps Colliton could have been added as an assistant. So in effect, Stan has killed two coaches with his embarrassingly transparent attempt to save his own ass.

    Meanwhile, Rocky washes his hands of it by saying McDonough is his hockey guy and evidently has no plans to do the gutting even though the writing has been on the wall for almost 2 years now. The buck stops with Rocky and apparently he doesn’t have the shoes for it.

    I bleed for Konroyd on the intermissions having to chat with that strange woman on what looks like the set from Wayne’s World. He deserves better.

  32. Wall, Noonan – I know that the core isn’t what it used to be skill wise – that’s not the point

    The point is they are the leaders on the team – the young guys look to them for direction and attitude. By the latter I mean emotional investment, determination, will, compete level whatever you want to call it

    Either Kane or Toews and usually Seabrook and Keith with CC in goal start every game and lately they been getting slaughtered at the start of each game and from there the Hawks are chasing the game all night long

    Saad is noticeable for his effort – the others (maybe Crow gets a pass here) aren’t noticeable for their effort – that shouldn’t diminish with age – skill yes effort no

    I’m not saying they’re consciously mailing it in but on the other hand they’re not consciously making sure you’re leaving it all on the ice – they’re not taking the responsibility they have as leaders to make sure they take care of the details – pick up your man, clear the zone, don’t turnover the puck, don’t get ejected from the game – instead they’re getting blown up in the first 5 -10 minutes,

    I agree with Tab – it’s unacceptable

  33. Rag, good post. Q is the man. I like Coll and would like to see him stay until we have a deep roster again so he can have a real chance to coach. That would be wrong to do to him.

    Only thing I can th8nk of is they knew after games 10-20 we weren’t going to cut it, with Q/keeping us with a better record and play, so if we wernt good/looking good bygame area 25, then do what’s best for a ‘silent’ tank and that’s HOF coach and trade at deadline to reload. We were doing what we’re doing for high end elite UVA’s this summer and next summer, anyways.

  34. Was screaming when Keith was clearly boarded. Thanks, Tab for mentioning this. What the hell, Pat and Ed O, why weren’t you outraged? Think I’ll turn down the sound and listen to our radio guys. I give Duncs a lot of credit for dropping the gloves after nearly being eviscerated. This is how refs lose control of the game from not making good calls.

    Was watching #11 carefully and overall I like what I saw. Good skating and stick-handling. However, just before Edzo criticized him for passing rather than shooting late in the game, I said the same thing. When you have a lane, get the puck to the net.

    Too bad Strome couldn’t elevate the puck at the doorstep in the 3rd.

    Bright spot: Saad had his mojo back. Playing much better these days. What a SH goal!

  35. What else do we want from the core vets, every year including this season they lead the team in every team stat. It’s been the same guys every season for 10 years and more. Where are the other guys Bowman drafted, or traded for or signed?
    So to dump on those guys by the fans or the coach or the GM is classless. Starting to resemble a WIRTZ family organization again.
    Classless!
    Stop the nonsense, everyone is aware of the problem outside of Chicago and inside the room of vets.
    The GM failed them.

  36. Good post read elsewhere.

    know it’s grim right now, but…

    …some of this is just about who they’re playing. Their last 6 games were @WAS, @TBL, @FLA, VGK, @WPG, @NSH. That’s 5 of the 8 best teams in the league, and 4 of those games were on the road. They beat the Panthers, but they’re really not supposed to win those other games. I’m not saying they’re playing well or that there aren’t major issues. The awful starts are really tough to watch, and it’s hard to take a lot of solace in solid play when the score is 3-0 and the other team is not real worried about the outcome.

    But in the big picture, Cat still looks like a great building block, there’s every reason to believe Saad/Kane/Toews will be effective players for at least a few more years, Crow is healthy again, Jokiharju is panning out better than a lot of people expected, Hayden-Kampf-Kahun seem to be finding their game, Boqvist/Beaudin/Mitchell are all progressing nicely, Barratt/Sikura/Kurashev could be interesting pieces going forward, we could have significant cap space next year, and the Hawks are well on their way to getting another very high draft pick to add to the mix as well.

    We’re not good right now, and the schedule is magnifying that at the moment, but that might be for the best. The playoffs for this team is a pipe dream, and frankly I’d much rather have a 1 in 4 chance at Jack Hughes (and a 100% chance at a top 5 talent) than a miracle run to the 8th seed followed by a 4 or 5 game first round slaughter. It hurts today, but I think fans should just accept that this season is not about winning, it’s about creating the conditions for this team to contend again in the twilight years of 19,88, 2, and 50.

  37. Wall don’t see anything on an injury on Nordgren. He had a goal and assist on Oct. 27th was in lineup and scoreless next 6 games and starting nov. 23 he has been scratched last 4 games. Not sure why.

  38. Hull, do you think Stan Bowman has done a poor job? Just wondering–I can’t quite tell where you’re coming from.

  39. Rocky basked in the glory when he Mcd and friends enjoyed the fruits of Dale Tallons work. Kane Seabiscuit Toews Keith Brouer Crow Buff , the list goes on and on , so now he and Mcdbowman can screw the pooch with this dumpster inferno as Tab so eloquently described it.

  40. I think Dcat lead the team in goals last season Hull65, and he’s not one of your “core” players. Your obsession with Schmaltz and the trade is getting about as old as your hatred for Hawks management. This team is in trouble for sure but Schmaltz was not and never would’ve been the savior in Chicago, sorry but just not good enough.

  41. Somebody will pay out well for Keith. Another will do so for Crawford. Forget halfway. Because they are untradable, 19, 88, and 7 will likely have endure the ugly but necessary selling off, but maybe they still have something to offer when/if we rise again via hitting on prospects and free agents

  42. 7 is only one that would should be hard/er.
    50 I would, on contract yr, and then he comes back for lower caphit and we get to keep pick/player.

    Rocky is loyal, hopefully he makes necessary decisions we need to rebuild properly. He has always been the man since he took over and does care about winning/and Cups so I am not buying this hes different now/all of sudden.

  43. Kimball, I am watching Kane playing alongside Kampf at center and Kahun, two undrafted AHL players? You figure it out. Poor Kane suffered a few games with Dylan turtle turnover Strome at center which was brutal. And to think we had Schmaltz at center for KANE last year. So yeah Kimball, figure that out with the genuis of our GM. Meanwhile Keller, Kane’s mini me is loving Schmalt and so is the rest of Arizona.

  44. Kings beat Bowman to the punch and get former 1st round pick off waivers, Sherbak from Montrea. Great hands, can skate and great shot from the left wing position!
    It’s okay, we have Dale Kunitz, John Hayden, Kahun and Kampf….
    Gotta to love those pro scouts in Chicago. Strome by the way, coukd handle a simple pass on the PP, stickhandling himself off his own puck. Wow, sad stuff.
    But That’s hockcy baby!!!
    Go Kane!

  45. @hull65
    I was goin to say given this roster ANYONE off waivers is a good idea……..but that’s okay we have Kunitz….

  46. What disturbing is we had to 0-6-2 just to get close to the bottom 5 teams/top 5 pick.
    Now weve gone 3-6 and were still nowhere near having a chance at 1st or 2nd.
    Were 3-12, after starting 6-2-2 with normal sch.
    I thought noway we would be as bad as last yr 19-28 (after starting 17-11), after first 10 games, 6-2-2. Seeing how we were good and bad style of play.

    We have been (in the most diff sch of our 82 games).
    3-12.

    Still it would take going 3-12, every 15 games to have a 33% chance, at best, to be 1st or 2nd pre draft draft.

  47. Carl keep your “Tallon did it all” narrative. We went over that years ago and it isn’t completely true. Tallon gets credit for 2010 but not a whole lot else… esp considering he wasn’t the GM who drafted Seabrook or Crawford or Keith or Brouwer or Byfuglien…

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