Jeremy Morin, Blackhawks Stay Hot, Beat Habs

For 40 minutes, the Blackhawks and Canadiens did all they could to put the United Center to sleep. But a flurry of action in the final 20 minutes – and 43 seconds into overtime – sent fans home happy from the Hawks home finale.

The first two periods of Wednesday night’s game looked and felt like a preseason game, with little emotion and no scoring. The best player on the ice in the first two periods was Corey Crawford, who made 11 saves in the first nine minutes of the contest to keep the Hawks alive.

Dale Weise broke the painfully boring deadlock with his sixth goal of the season. Montreal’s lead would only last 3:03, though.

Jeremy Morin continued his strong play of late, scoring a goal in his third straight game to get the Hawks on the board. Morin has three goals and two assists in his last four games, and has continued to be an offensive spark.

Almost as quickly as the United Center woke up, the emotion was sucked out of the building. Francis Bouillon scored his second of the year only 22 seconds after Morin’s goal to put Montreal back in front.

Bouillon went to the box for holding with less than four minutes left in regulation, but the Hawks’ power play was worthless.

But with Crawford on the bench for the extra skater, Marian Hossa tied the game with less than 48 seconds showing the game clock. Coach Joel Quenneville sent out Michal Handzus to take the faceoff with Crawford off the ice, and the veteran center successfully won the draw. Handzus and Patrick Sharp were credited with assists on Hossa’s game-tying score.

The game went to overtime, but that didn’t last very long. Sharp scored his 34th of the season to finish the game.

Crawford made a number of spectacular saves in the game, including this diving effort to deny Max Pacioretty late in the game:

Chicago’s netminder made 38 saves in the game to earn the victory. Peter Budaj 25 saves for Montreal but came up short.

The Hawks’ power play failed twice in the game, but they stayed out of the box successfully.

Morin and Joakim Nordstrom, both of whom spent most of this season in Rockford, were both impressive against the Habs. Nordstrom skated 13:30 and was credited with one hit and one takeaway, while Morin was credited with one blocked shot with his fourth goal of the season.

Bryan Bickell led the Hawks with five hits.

Hossa and Sharp had one goal and one assist each in the victory. With two more points, Sharp extended his new career-high to 78 and is within two goals of his top total of 36, set in 2007-08 – the rookie season of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Duncan Keith picked up his 55th assist of the season, tying his career high.

Kane skated with the team on Wednesday morning, and Toews is expected to join the team this week. Quenneville indicated both are expected to be 100 percent for the start of the playoffs next week.

Morin

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52 Responses to Jeremy Morin, Blackhawks Stay Hot, Beat Habs

  1. ebonyraptor says:

    Definitely not as tight defensively tonight as they have been in the last couple games. Too much side to side and not enough awareness with getting their pocket picked a few times leading to too many odd man rushes and grade A scoring chances given up. Fortunately Crawford had a whale of a game and kept the Hawks in it. But the Hawks got better late in the game and FINALLY scored a goal in overtime.

    But overall a gritty and determined effort. I don’t think the did just fine carrying the recent push of momentum. I like the way this is building. Very encouraging.

    Oh, and to give credit where it’s due – Handzus with a couple good plays and an assist on Hossa’s game tying goal. I’m not advocating for him to be in the playoff lineup, but for those who say he is totally useless – obviosly that isn’t true.

  2. RyanDale says:

    Cant say the last of season hasnt been interesting. State vs. Orpik, SO winner, 4 sec to go winner, bust Blues balls, OT winner….crazier than an episode of Edge of Wetness.

  3. Mining Man says:

    Haven’t jumped out of the couch doing a crazy jig to Chelsea Dagger whilst bnging on my vintage 1948 Blackhawk Indian Head serving tray ( makes a nice drumming sound …not to hard mine you, dont want to dint it ) since the playoffs last year. Dog goes crazy too, right along. Girlfriend understands and friends/company laugh. Darn rights something is building…brewing, bubbling, this is the way we have done it and we have returned. Luv the Blackhawks, its all back, just at the right time. Win or lose at least we do it our way and will give em hell until the last second is done. Anyone taking us for granted or letting their guard down for a microsecond will never know what hit them. Thats how we did it. Thats how we do it. Lot of Hab fans where I live…I shall stride in good confidence and be humble. Woe to the vanquished.

  4. Travis says:

    Very encouraging to see us play so poorly and still find a way. Awful passing. Bad turnovers. Outskated. Goalie win. We’ve seen this story play out against the Hawks probably 6-8 times this year. Nice to see it can also happen in their favour.

    Of note: we passed San Jose in the standings. If we get through two rounds, and if anyone but Anaheim gets through two rounds, then we get home ice for the third round. That could be huge.

    Also of note: Colorado plays San Jose. That improves our odds of finishing ahead of one of those teams.

  5. morrison says:

    Is it the higher record in 3rd round or the higher seed.

  6. morrison says:

    Win in SO.

    Win in 4on4 OT.

    The switch, Flipped.

  7. Travis says:

    morrison: teams are re-seeded at the conference finals.

  8. wall says:

    The glass is half full- Nice to see another late come back win…Morin/Nordstrom added some energy…Hossa does have some “mind control” over the puck…CC made some Grade A saves on Pacioretty!!!

    Half empty– another game of casual TO’s in Hawks D zone…
    Gave Up way too many ODD MAN rushes/Grade A’s… if this continues- the Hawk’s Post-season will end very Quickly!!! Regardless of how many Shots for and Against they put up in PO’s… the Hawks cannot survive giving up this many GRADE A scoring chances to the Avs,Ducks, etc….

  9. Phil says:

    This was a gritty game that CC kept the Hawks in with some very strong play. He looked composed and focused last night. I give the Habs big points last for playing tough. They took the body all night and in the first period threw 3 thunderous hits on one particular shift. Montreal will cause someone some big problems in the playoffs from what I could see last night. As it has been the case since Toews and Kane went out with injuries, the Hawks have been slow to start. Even slower with Zus in there, but of wonderful importance he wins key face off late that gets the goal to tie it up. Morin really has a great wrist shot, and I’m really happy to see one of our Hogs light it up. Morin and now Nordstrom have been doing some good things on the ice and bringing extra energy that has helped fuel this little stretch drive. Hossa seemed to have some added push last night too as he and Sharpy both know they have to pick it with Toews and Kane injured. Good to see Kaner skating again and getting needed rest. Getting 19 and 88 back will be a big boost in playoffs against either Avs or Blues. As much as I like Subban as a very talented D man for the Habs, this guy grabs hold or hooks someone every chance he gets and gets away with it. My theory has always been that if you hold, hook, or interfere enough the refs get used to it and call less penalties. The Wings have done this for years as do the Blues. What Subban does isn’t even subtle. He just grabs sweaters and holds on. Regardless of my rant, the guy has a huge shot and is very good player for Montreal. How could anyone not laugh at Sharps OT goal? Odds of that one going in slim and none, but it drops over the line. Pity Hawks wasted all those potential extra time points this season. We would be in 1st place.

    Would be nice to get some home ice advantage, but we are running short of chances.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  10. Tim G says:

    Seems like the Hawks are peaking at the right time. Bicks is ramping up the body play. Morin is showing what he can bring. Now 88/19 just need to come back in full force.

    I think 86 has been officially pushed out of the playoff picture at this point. He will be around for years to come but not this time. As slow as Zus is, he does bring a veteran grit to the ice and Q will keep him out there. He slows down a guy like Kane, so i think 20 and 81 is probably the best fit for him. They can go up the ice and have the strenght to hold the puck to wait for him or just get a good shot on their own. If a guy like Kane flys the zone with Zus trailing, he gets jumped… Let bicks clear house for 19/88, and i think 10 and 65 on a “3rd line” is crazy good. This is my hope for the first round, (assuming we get COL).

    29-19-88
    20-26-81
    10-65-23
    11-16-28
    52-12

  11. Mike says:

    Well I think you could say that CC stole a game for us. He stopped many more grade A chances than Budaj.

    Watched the Wings/Pens games during intermission. Babcock was asked what he has learned this year with all the callups due to injuries. I thought he was spot on. He said that his team is faster, grittier, hungrier and much harder on the puck. He went on to say that while they (the call ups) don’t always do everything right but they are a harder team to play against. Guys in our system can provide the same intensity. Morin fits this bill perfectly, although he does need to get back deeper on defense.

  12. JS says:

    Jeremy Morin – AHL type player. He’s going to make it hard for Q to sit him, but I fully expect Bollig to start in the playoffs because 2 rings. As far as him not getting back deep enough on defense, seems to me that instead of engaging with a board battle on the wing, he puts himself in a position to prevent the pass to the open point, or to at least be able to quickly cover it. Not sure if this is what they want, but you saw him pick off a few passes last night while doing this.

    Goalie win? One more start before the real fun begins. I look forward to Crawford getting doubted to another Stanley Cup.

  13. Peter says:

    Tim, I like your lines a lot. Unfortunately, I do think Morin gets pushed to the bench in place of Bollig…although I don’t think this is the right thing to do. However, a bench of Morin, Regin, Nordstrom is a damn good “extra” line to have during the playoffs. One of Bickell, Sharp, or Saad will have to play the 3rd line and I think Sharp could thrive in that role if he accepts it.

  14. Tab Bamford says:

    Morin has been patiently waiting for a chance to “just play” in the NHL for 3 years and he’s finally got it. Good for him for taking advantage and playing well – this is the kid many fans thought the Hawks were getting in the blockbuster Byfuglien deal w/ ATL 4 years ago. It’s exciting to see a healthy, confident Morin getting a good look at the NHL level.

    If the Hawks draw Colorado in the first round, it will be interesting to see what Quenneville does w/ Morin. If the Avs want to play an up-tempo game, having a better skater with more offense (Morin) in the lineup instead of a more physical presence (Bollig) makes sense. But I’m more interested to see what Quenneville does w/ Saad & Versteeg when 88 & 19 return…

  15. Tab Bamford says:

    fwiw – Bollig skated in only 5 playoff games last summer, averaging under 9 minutes per game. He had 20 hits in those 5 games, but no points.

  16. ebonyraptor says:

    While I think the odds are heavily against Handzus being benched in the playoffs, Bollig may be a different story. Bollig played in only 5 playoff games last season, although he is more of a fulltime player this season than last, having scored 14 points and played in every game after scoring 0 points and playing in only 25 of 48 last season. One can hope.

  17. Tim G says:

    Bollig will definatly have his place in the playoffs just like he had last year … but in an up tempo game, I think Q know what he will have to do if Morin is this hot. If he was just putzing around the ice, then Bollig would be locked in. I agree with tab that Versteeg would be a guy to watch if Q wants to get Bollig and Morin in the line up. I think Saad’s spot in the playoff lines is a little safer (even if its a 3rd line spot as opposed to the 2nd line spot i posted earlier). I could easily see Q bump 10 to the 2nd line and go 20-65-23. Or if Versteeg is the guy who gets bumped, 20-65-11.

  18. Pete says:

    If Colorado wins tonight against Vancouver do you think the Hawks will shut down some veterans with heavy minutes for the last two games i.e Keith, Hossa, Sharp?

  19. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I’m not going to blame Zus in a win, but what I will say is Montreal is a “fast” team and they might be the fastest team in the East and the Zus played on the 2nd line yesterday and that 2nd line did not play well. What I will also say is Q was asked after the game about Morin being included on the playoffs rosters and Q completely dodged the question. I sure hope that he isn’t going to be stupid enough to play Zus 2nd line minutes and bench Morin in the playoffs. If so he is clearly not taking advantage of the players he is being given by Stan. Go Hawks about time they won an OT game.

  20. Bannerman & Belfour says:

    Crow showed last night that he is ready for the playoffs. But the Hawks D did not look very focused and that needs to change quickly. Reading your comments here, it seems that so many of you are resigned to the fact that #26 will be the 2nd line centre in the playoffs. I hope you are wrong, as the Hawks are seriously risking a chance at a repeat. #26 is not the same player he was even last year, this can’t have gone unnoticed by the coaches. Someone used the term grit or gritty to describe him and that couldn’t be further from the truth. He doesn’t engage other players, he doesn’t crash the net, he doesn’t engage along the boards, he loses most puck possession battles, and doesn’t use his size by taking the body. Add to that he can’t skate and is losing most of his face-offs this year, #26 doesn’t add a thing to a long playoff run. Regin is a player than can be trusted to play 2 way hockey, plus he has speed, stamina, passes well and can lead a rush. Even Nordsy with no playoff experience would be a much better option than #26. And right now I wouldn’t take Mo out of the lineup, that move makes no sense.

  21. John Wangsauce says:

    2nd tiebreaker is head to head, right? So if CO passes STL and CHI win out, and STL loses in regulation the rest of the games, CHI plays STL with home ice advantage! Right? A lot has to go right for that to happen…

  22. Bannerman & Belfour says:

    To Hog fans we are not surprised by Mo’s play. We knew he was going to be a special player for 2 years now. What you are now seeing in Chicago is not some fluke. This is what he is like as a player. He’s proving he’s talented NHL forward and this will only increase from Mo because he’s a hard worker and a great competitor. He’s a good NHL winger right now and needs to play in the playoffs. You don’t bench Dennis Hull, Cliff Korrol, or Tony Amonte because they are young and unexperienced. You ride them.

  23. Phil says:

    B and B, I am in agreement regarding Zus. He slows everyone down that plays with him. I quipped just before the face off he won at the end to help tie the game, how he would win the draw, we would score and all would be well with 26. This was despite the grim fact that otherwise he really labored on his skates, and ALL other players were flashing by him. We can’t have that in the playoffs. I agree that Regin would be the better choice. Joel though is loyal to the old soldiers. Skating Zus on 2nd line would be a mess given his likely line mates. I really hope that is not what we see when the games really count.

    For the first time since I can remember in years, I hope Vancouver wins tonight. There I said it, and I was not struck by lightning.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  24. Tim G says:

    John W- 2nd tiebreaker is Regulation + OT Wins. The Hawks have 40 and STL already has 43. We cant pass them.

  25. Mike says:

    Reading some of the articles lately about the Hawks is amazing. There is a general consensus that Zues’ time is over. One author described Zues’ overall play this year as “dreadful”.

    This is 2014 and NHL games are won with speed, skill and physicality. A player must posses at least 2 of these qualities to be an effective top 9 playoff offenseman. Look at our choices for top 3 line center/wing
    Regin: Speed and some skills
    Morin: Skills and physicality
    Nordstom: Speed and skill
    Zues: Sorry, none of the above

    I don’t worry about Bollig to much as he is a 4th line player. BUT the Hawks need more than 8 minutes from the 4th line. So I am OK with Morin replacing Bollig as Morin, Krugs and Smith make an awesome 4th line. However, I would MUCH rather see Bollig in the line up and Zues in street clothes.

  26. Pete says:

    I don’t think there is any scenario where the Hawks win the division. The fact that Q called the timeout and put Zues in at the end tells me that he is going to use Zues heavy in the playoffs. I hope I am wrong on that.

  27. Tab Bamford says:

    Where Handzus defenders (both of them) put their foundation as on his ability to win faceoffs (which he did last night w/ the empty net) & his impact on the penalty kill.

    Ben Smith can fill both of those roles and provide more to the lineup than Handzus.

    With Shaw playing well w/ Sharp & Hossa, one has to wonder if 19 & 88 are back together in the playoffs…

    20-19-88
    10-65-81
    11-28-29
    23-16-TBD

  28. ebonyraptor says:

    I’m probably one of the (two) Handzus defenders but that is not the same thing as wanting him to be in the starting lineup – I don’t, and I don’t recall anyone else advocating that he play ahead of other players like … well, pretty much every other option available. Where I have “defended” Handzus, it is only to offer some balance to what I think is mob mentality hyperbole using words like worthless and useless. Handzus is not a worthless player, he is still capable of making good plays as he showed last night. He is a predictable player and we all know how high “predictability” is on Q’s list of player assets. The point that there are other players who would perform better in certain areas than Handzus is hardly debatable, but the possibility of those players making a mental mistake is probably also greater than with Handzus and that is probably the more important factor with Q.

  29. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Q said in his presser he is expecting that same Zus as last year, lets hope Zus can pull it together for 1 last chance at a cup. I can’t see Q benching Zus at all.

  30. AJ says:

    I think Q’s roster decisions rule out any type of common sense sooooo probs gonna see 10 19 81 | 23 26 88 | 20 65 29 | 28 16 52 and JS and I having a contest to see who can get thrown out of the bar first from screaming at the TV and people wanting to fight us because 2 Cups.

    Personally I wouldn’t mind 29 19 88 | 10 16 81 | 20 12 28 | 23 65 11 annnnd 2 4 | 8 7 | 27 whomever as the six defenders but of course that is a preposterous idea. And 2 and 4 skate 28+ per night unless blowout.

  31. RyanDale says:

    Pete, I wouldn’t expect big reductions in toi, only slight. I dont think Q has ever shown much history of it. Maybe one game but no more. I’m always concerned about riding Keith so hard but 2 probably wants it that way and Q very seldom backs off. 81 might get a bit more than others but you might have to really take note to see it. I hope I’m wrong btw!

    What’s the feeling on 17 or 32? Is this a toss up at this point? I gotta admit 17 has done better than I expected, and dont see a big difference in playing either or at 6D going to playoffs. Health aside, Rozy only able to go in 6games since Mar 1st. While 17 has been busy and holding his own.

  32. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Here is a problem I am glad the Hawks don’t have Dave Bolland reportedly wants $40 million over the next eight years.

    Listen I really like Bolland and what he brought to the table but if you want to build a Stanley Cup contender year after year you can’t afford to pay him that. News is the Leafs are going to do just that and are moving salary to make those moves,…Yikes!

  33. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    RyanDale I am absolutely glad Rosy has only played in 6 games we need him now not in March. IMO Opinion Rosy is a huge upgrade over BB but Brookbank has played well and should get a nice contract next year, just pray its not with this team.

  34. Phil says:

    HarHarHardyHarHar! Bolland wants $40M for 8 years?? Good luck with that Dave. Hawks rightfully let Bolly walk because of the high ticket price and injuries. I miss him but….If the Leafs pay him that much they are drinking some goofy Kool Aid up there.

  35. AJ says:

    I don’t see anyone signing Bolland long term for big money. He’s a good player but injury city. Even the stuff that isn’t back related just seems to happen way to often for his actual game to be beneficial. Oh well, hopefully he hits his stride somewhere. Sucks to see a player like that succumb to a constant string of unfortunate events.

  36. Phil says:

    Agreed AJ. Dave Bolland was one of my favorite Hawks players when he first came up and we won the first Cup. Back injury set him back, but the guy was a gamer when it counted. A very nice guy as well. Yes, I hope The Rat succeeds wherever he lands.

  37. Bannerman & Belfour says:

    Tab Bamford, I really like those lines. Smith has proven he’s a centre and should stay there and Shawsy has shown me he deserves top 6 minutes as centre. I like it. I don’t mind #26 playing, but only as a 4th line winger not as a centre. Centre is a very important position every shift and #26 isn’t good enough to warrant these minutes. Keep Mo in the lineup at all costs.

    Also, why aren’t we getting the Finnish rookie in Rockford? He’s not going to play in the playoffs and we need him here? Has anyone heard anything about this? Seems a waste to me.

  38. Claude Craine says:

    What do you all think about Versteeg sitting out some playoff games? If Q is intent on playing Bollig or Handzus to the exclusion of Morin, I’d rather Versteeg sit and have Morin play.

  39. morrison says:

    I like Tabs lines. With those the 3 & 4 line can play equal min. Theres good speed in all of those lines.

    Goofy Kool Aid, hahaha.

  40. wall says:

    Tab – I like those lines also… put 12 or 42 on 4th line… it’s all good

    AJ- I could live with the 2nd group of lines too… except I would switch 28 to 2nd C
    16 to 3rd line… 16/12 have played well together- wouldn’t mind seeing 16/12/42 -”the Euro line” tons of speed, get to the net… not hitters- but “Annoying types”

  41. wall says:

    B and B… Me thinks is Sr. Brad incognito!!!!

  42. Phil says:

    Can’t be Wall. Remember Brad’s last comment was he doesn’t like the Hawks anymore and B and B is a good fan I think. That said tongue firmly planted in cheek

  43. morrison says:

    Is B & B really S. Brad in disguise.

  44. morrison says:

    S. Brad, be well. Where ever you are.

  45. RedTopParking says:

    I really like Tab’s lines, too. Mainly because my new favorite is Bickell, Smith, and Morin. I really think they just gel, very complimentary one to another. Keep them together and come up w/ a good nick name for ‘em like the old days with the Scooter Line, the MPH Line, (Hawks); Production Line, French Connection, Kraut Line, and others. 19-88-20 and 81-10-65 are just as good if you interchange Kane and Hossa at any time. Fourth line seems to preserve it’s character with Ben Smith’s recent promotion and this is due to the blue-collar efforts of both 52 and 16 (especially 16, underrated guy). I say play Versteeg there: 16-23-52, why not? Everything else then fits
    B & B is Sr. Brad?? Hmmmmmm. None other newcomers possibly Rufus, no way. he got no reason to go subterranean. APB out for both of them; hurry back, this board better with you

  46. Milton says:

    Jeremy Morin has earned a playoff spot. Let Brandon Bollig sit. He will never amount to anything but a career minor league player. He really does not have the skills to be an nhl player. If Bollig plays in the playoffs, we lose.

  47. Sr. Brad says:

    Wall, I live in Mexico full time, I don’t get to many Ice Hog games so probably not…I have read some of B and B’s comments, and I like what he brings to the board…positive and not negative…I am done with negative people…and I agree with Morin staying in the lineup…I have always been a big Morin supporter…man, Nordstrom has looked great too…and how about Smith, he’s been our best player the last month. This is why I have always been so “high” on our farm system…IMO its loaded with good NHL talent…maybe not great, but good, and that’s all this franchise needs.

  48. RyanDale says:

    ^ hola amigo! me alegro de verte de nuevo

  49. Mike57 says:

    What’s that choking sound coming from St. Louis way? Could be Ken Hitchcock’s team isn’t gonna make it out of the 1st round. That team looks confused and Miller looks lost!

  50. Phil says:

    Yes, and Oshie hurt now as well. Avs just keep riding the wave.

  51. AJ says:

    Ryan Miller #differencemaker — oops

    STL is going to be obnoxious but I really don’t think they have the high end to score big goals nor the depth of talent to realistically knock the Hawks off. People have picked them the last two years and I just don’t get it.

    SJ and LA is going to be a hell of a series. Detroit and Boston would be interesting as well. Cannot wait for the playoffs to start. They’re saying next Friday? Saturday? I WANT IT TO BE CHRISTMAS NOW!

  52. Sr. Brad says:

    Estoy feliz de hablar con usted otra vez mi amigo

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