Forsberg, Blackhawks Hold Off Islanders

The Blackhawks and Islanders came into Saturday night’s game having each won two of their last ten.

You can feel the excitment, can’t you?

The opening 20 minutes played out as well as one could have hoped. The Isles out-shot the Hawks 10-9 and neither side scored.

Meanwhile, Loyola advanced to the Final Four.

In the second period, the Blackhawks offense woke up. Patrick Kane scored a power play goal at 2:36 into the second to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead.

Erik Gustafsson and Patrick Sharp picked up the power play assists.

Less than two minutes later, Brandon Saad scored his 17th of the season to extend the lead to two.

Jan Rutta and Jordan Oesterle were credited with the assists.

Chicago out-shot the Isles 10-8 in the second and carried a two-goal lead into the third.

Of course, nothing feels like a comfortable lead this year for Chicago.

But it took 17 minutes for John Tavares to get New York on the board. Anton Forsberg actually looked good between the pipes until the Tavares shot, and suddenly there was an uneasy feeling on the Blackhawks’ bench.

But Brent Seabrook continued his hot late season streak and scored his sixth of the season into an empty net to put the final nail in the coffin.

The Islanders put 32 shots on goal but Forsberg stopped 31 to earn the victory.

With Jonathan Toews still out because of an upper-body injury, the Hawks centers played a big role on Saturday. Artem Anisimov won eight of 11 faceoffs and David Kampf won seven of nine. Patrick Kane won only two of 11 and Nick Schmaltz also struggled, winning just two of 11 himself.

Saad and Rutta led Chicago with four shots on net each. Seabrook was credited with a team-leading three blocked shots.

15 thoughts on “Forsberg, Blackhawks Hold Off Islanders

  1. This isn’t an endorsement of Forsberg, but of the two AHL goalies on the roster, Forsberg is the better. I like the games on WGN, but that Woman who does the between periods show doesn’t know the first thing about hockey.

  2. Goldenrug, you could not be more correct. The woman is Lauren Magiera. Earlier this season she did not know who Justin Abdelkader was, and had to ask Burish how to say it. She’s called periods “quarters”. As I mentioned a few games ago, she could not say Dahlstrom’s name, and kept calling him Doll-Trin. I’m not sure how she keeps that gig because she is really pretty bad. I’m not sure she ever does any homework. When the games are on WGN I turn the sound off now between periods. I can’t take it. You can read what Burish’s keys to the period are on the screen without having to listen to the banter.

    As for the game, it was nice to see Kane make some big plays on the back check. That is a trait he employed regularly last year and the year before, and it exemplifies the kind of play that Hossa used to demonstrate and inspire guys to do. Tonight the Blackhawks got a couple of breaks on Halak that they normally don’t get this year and Forsling played well. That elevated backhander from Tavares was quick and tough to stop.

    It’s actually kind of hard to believe that Saad’s goal total is now 17, seeing how tough a year it’s been for him. I hadn’t been keeping track, but I was surprised to see that Ladd is now a fourth liner with the Islanders and has only 10 goals.

  3. Big Indian-I’m very tolerant and believe in diversity, but when political correctness seems more important than doing the right thing–we are swinging too far in one direction as a response–at the cost of common sense.

  4. Hi Noonan96,
    I purposely tried to avoid putting any association of sex with my post. I don’t know if the choice to keep her on the broadcasts are based on political correctness as you call it or not. I will state, though, that she is very much underperforming as a sports anchor regardless of sex.

    It has been a common thing in the sports world to have females as “sideline” reporters much more so than main play by play, although that is changing slowly. I would think that it might be hard for women reporters in the sports world to do their jobs, because of some of the silly choices made by major networks in the past as obvious ratings boosters.

    With the Blackhawks organization and associated media personnel, there can be praise and negative criticism for both sexes. Examples of the negative criticism are some expressed on this board for Foley for his joking and lack of attentiveness during games. I do like Foley and Eddie O, but they can get carried away at times. I do like the various teams including Burish, Mayers and Campbell, and the insights they bring to the pre- and post-game shows.

    In the past I did not care at all for Susannah Collins when she was with CSN. Her firing was controversial, but aside from anything to do with that specific issue I thought she was just bad. I enjoyed very much what Tracey Myers had to bring to the broadcasts before she left to be a writer for NHL.com. She always had pertinent things to discuss and comment on and you could tell she was very well versed in her craft. I also think that Michelle McMahon does a nice job currently with NBCSN in her role as a side reporter.

    For men and women reporters everywhere ……. can we please do away forever with the “can you tell me what it means” and “can you tell me how it feels” questions that are the mindless way of saying “I don’t have any idea of a pertinent question to ask you, so …..”.

  5. BIG INDIAN, it is Forsberg in goal. No big deal, hope we can share a beverage one day. This team is an ENIGMA. Hope it gets deciphered next season, maybe with Sikura, or not.

  6. SIKURA is not Hossa or Panarin, so we are still down 2 top 6 forwards for next year.
    Need 2 top dmen to replace Osterle and Rutta.
    A top goalie prosepct in this year’s draft. And if we can trade Anisimov for a prospect and sign Boone Jenner, that could be good. Resign Panarin in 2 years, when Hossa’s contract is done.

    Sikura could be a nice 3rd line player which we already had in HARTMAN who has more grit.

  7. DrewP ……. correct you are sir. There I go complaining about Lauren Magiera and then I get my foot in my mouth for putting a D-man in goal. Good catch! Those who live in glass houses huh? Yep, would be good to share a beverage.

    Enigma is correct as well. Never really know what to expect this year.

    And in that respect, I hope that Schmaltz is more consistent next season in his decision making. He’s been going back to the “pass first” mentality the last few games. It was telling in this last game when he dished it off a few times to guys on the wing when he should have just put the puck on net. With Halak being unsteady like he was and giving up the rebounds, those 1 or 2 guys close to him could have been in prime spots for chances. He’s got a good shot and he needs to use it. That could put him up to a higher level next season because he’s got good speed and good hands.

  8. Battle of the basement ,.,.,wow what a nail biter NOT !. Did we sign 82 ?Sure hope not ,.,.that boy gets man handled on every play .

  9. Meaningless game but some positives from it.Forsberg actually looked like a goalie, now if he can only do that more than now and again. Blackhawks all but sure of finishing no lower than 7th overall now, where they currently sit now with Isles 1 point up, Oilers 2 points up and Rangers 3 up and all have a game on hand to keep an eye on. Interesting to see that Ejdsell being played at center in Rockford and Kero playing a wing position.

  10. With 4 divisions and we have the 7th worst record.

    Hardest division, yes last place (if DAL doesn’t lose 12 in a row).
    or
    East conference division, be in 4th place and in playoffs.

    We suck this yr for how good we really are. The East conference has more suck teams then Campbell.

    Boobies bring in moar ratings.

  11. Dallas and Calgary really bottomed out.
    Three of the 4 last Blackhawks games include Colorado and St. Louis (2, home and away).
    Both of those clubs may end up in a real dogfight for a playoff spot, along with Anaheim and LA. Yep, the West is pretty tough and tight. Minnesota seems to be in but even a small cold streak could drop them down.
    Minnesota ….. 92
    Colorado ….. 90
    St. Louis, Anaheim and LA ….. 89

    Minnesota has a couple of games in hand while LA has played the most.

  12. Indian, I go by games over .500 for the standings/that usually figures in the games played. Yes those teams are close 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 over. That’s what I was saying wks ago. On a yr where were not good/rare because we have transition roster. Those teams have their rosters intact/this yr and 2 of these 3 teams might not make playoffs.

    Wouldn’t it be for ANA, LA and STL to not make it with full rosters intact.

    We should think like Wall on this, load up/stack roster or sell/trade extra players rather then be on the line and not win much.

    Worse then that is have full rosters intact like those teams and be borderline, oouch. People thought we had a bad yr, that’s the worst.

    By doing what we did, tanking after Crow was hurt for season, were getting a high top pick, another 1st, etc. by loading up. There is a plan for the 5 coming yrs to win another Cup.

  13. I think if Q goes as some NHL insiders are suggesting then some core players could be moved. If Q comes back for next year or for next 2 years and finishes his contract out, there is a good chance the core players remain.

  14. Amazing what happens when you get an NHL goalie performance
    Agreed Forsberg looked good but it’s the consistency we need

    Excited to see Edjsell and hopefully Sikura – if they can contribute right away that would be even more exciting

    and if the Hawks move into the top 4 of the draft (most draft ratings have Dahlin followed by 3 very good wingers) they could get someone who could play next year as well

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