Jonathan Toews Hat Trick Leads Blackhawks Comeback Win

After struggling to find their offense for eight games, the Blackhawks continued their outburst with a stunning comeback at the United Center on Tuesday night.

Let by a four-point effort from Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks overcame another rough performance by Nikolai Khabibulin and a 4-2 deficit late in the second period to win 6-5 in regulation.

After their 6-4 win on Opening Night, the Blackhawks didn’t scored more than three goals in a game again until their game in Tampa last week. But Chicago has now scored 19 goals in their last four games (2-1-1).

The score was tied at the end of one on Tuesday night, and Khabibulin didn’t have a bad first period. He was credited with 14 saves against 15 shots in the opening 20 minutes, but Johnny Oduya cleared one puck that slipped past him mid-period.

Andrew Shaw was credited with a power play goal just under seven minutes into the game to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead. Chicago held onto the lead until Milan Michalek scored with 60 seconds remaining in the first period.

The two teams exchanged goals quickly, with Kyle Turris and Marian Hossa scoring 50 seconds apart in the early second. Turris’ goal came late in a Sens power play, and Hossa’s was his 100th in a Chicago sweater.  But after Hossa’s tally, it appeared the wheels were coming off.

Khabibulin allowed three goals in the first seven shots he faced, with bad goals from Joe Corvo and Mika Zibanejad only 55 seconds apart giving the Sens a 4-2 lead. The Zibanejad was enough for coach Joel Quenneville, and Chicago made a change in net.

Corey Crawford came and the offense immediately responded.

Toews scored his first goal of the night just over three minutes after the change in net to bring the Hawks back to 4-3, and that’s where the score remained at the end of the second period.

The third period opened with a determined Toews taking charge. He scored his second of the night to tie the game 80 seconds into the third period, and completed the natural hat trick just under eight minutes later to give the Blackhawks the lead. Shaw scored his second goal of the night almost five minutes later, the tally that would prove to be the game-winner; Zack Smith scored 13 seconds after Shaw’s goal to get the Sens within one.

Crawford stopped 14 of 15 shots in 27:58 to earn his second victory in as many nights. On the other end of the rink, Craig Anderson allowed six goals against 40 Chicago shots to take the loss.

The box score was pretty for most of the Hawks (other than Khabibulin). Toews led the way with his three goals and one assist, and Shaw had a three-point evening with two goals and one assist. Hossa also had three points on the evening with one goal and assists on two of Toews’ goals. Patrick Sharp had two assists in the game as well.

After the game, Quenneville referred to Toews’ performance as “special,” saying it was one that fans will remember.

Jeremy Morin, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were credited with goals in the game. Seabrook led the way with six hits; Brandon Bollig had four hits in 9:58 in the game.

The new-look second line that combined for six points on Monday night was kept off the scoreboard despite a number of good chances against Ottawa. Brandon Pirri had a better night at the dot on Tuesday, winning seven of 15 draws, but was minus-one in 13:25 on the ice.

The Hawks have scored 14 goals in their last three games with Michal Handzus out of the lineup.

For Ottawa, Kyle Turris led the way with one goal and one assist, while Jason Spezza won 13 of 18 faceoffs.

The Blackhawks can’t be thrilled with the performance of Khabibulin, and there will be plenty of attention given to Rockford’s Antti Raanta in the wake of Tuesday night’s performance. Raanta is 5-1-0 with a .926 save percentage for the IceHogs, and has played especially well of late.

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40 Responses to Jonathan Toews Hat Trick Leads Blackhawks Comeback Win

  1. ebonyraptor says:

    First the negative – Khabby was terrible – nuff said.
    Pirri had a couple bad play in the d-zone where he was standing around watching and let his check go right by him and get a good scoring change. Kane had a giveaway that ended up being the Sens 5th goal and he missed a couple opportunities in the o-zone where he tried to be too fancy instead of keeping it simple. And not to be left off the negative list, the third member of the 2nd line, albeit only a minor complaint and that is that sometimes Saad needs to be more of a bull and muscle a shot off instead of looking to make a fancy pass – which is nice when it works but more often than not you don’t even get a shot on net. And finaly, the PK gives up another one although it’s doubtful that one goes if CC had been in net.

    Now the positives – the first line was awesome as they had 4 goals and 9 points between 10-19-81. Crawford came in and and made some nice saves right off the bat (one of which was when Pirri didn’t bother checking the shooter). Morin’s shot – very quick and accurate – very nice. Bickell with 3 hits!!! Brookbank wasn’t bad.

    Don’t look now but the Hawks are the 4th highest scoring team in the league, which was expected but a little slow getting there with all those 2 and 3 goal games. But what wasn’t expected is that the Hawks have the 8th best PP!!!!!!!!

    Three days off – plenty of time for Stan and Q to go watch Raanta play.

  2. Sr. Brad says:

    Okay, another take on things…first, Q just needs to trust in the youngsters to play, and things will be fine…Morin was limited on shifts tonight, and shorted later in the 3rd, when he has shown himself to be a very effective player, and responsible in the defensive zone…Pirri missed a shift late after the Zach Smith goal to make it 6-5 when it should have been Kane sitting on the bench for another brutal turnover…it was as bad as Keith’s in Florida…a perfect setup for a one timer to the opposition…Pirri has lapses in the defensive zone (early) and then settled in nicely as the game progressed…he did not hurt the Hawks, won some key draws and got better defensively as the game wore on…just let them play Q…

    On the negative side, Khabby was BRUTAL again, and as Tab said, with Raanta playing incredibly well in Rockford, this simply cannot be allowed to continue…points are too hard to come by in the NHL…we came back and earned a point in Tampa and got 2 tonight, but this won’t continue against the western teams…if Khabby needs to he can work things out in Rockford, but for now its Raanta’s time in Chicago…

    Kudos to CC, who came in cold and shut the door…the only OTT goal was the Kane giveaway, and he had no chance…

    The first and 3rd lines look great…the 2nd line is coming…the 4th line with Kruger was good…I like Mills and although Bollig hasn’t got a lick of offensive talent, he tries hard, and is now using his stick very well, and is positionally very sound…he’s not hurting us, he’s helping us…so with 3 lines rolling and a 4th getting there, the Hawks are looking very good…obviously the Khabby situation will take care of itself one way or another…but the Hawks are turning things back around…

    Brookbank was NOT okay ER…he struggled for the 2nd time this season…this is the 2nd time he has had problems playing “back to back” games…but he has certainly been better than last year…it just makes it hard on Leddy when so many chances are given up while he is on the ice and not responsible for…I think Nick has real talent, and deserves to play with someone a lot better than Sheldon Brookbank.

    Toews was special (what’s new) as were Hossa and Shaw…Andrew simply is not getting enough credit for all that he does for this team…he is becoming one of the most important players on this hockey team…Hossa is just Hoss…he is so smart and so committed defensively that it is a treat to watch him play…and as long as he stays healthy, he is worth every penny the Hawks are paying him…Hammer is also not getting a lot of press, but man is he consistent…consistent and GOOD! Better effort from Keith and Seabrook, but Sebs made a couple of major goofs…when will these two play a clean game???

    Anyways, great job by a great team…just trust in those kids Q and keep rolling those 4 lines…Raanta is coming and that is good news for the Hawks…

  3. Sr. Brad says:

    Q’s comments after the game on Khabby were very telling…Khabby did not stick around to talk with the media…remember this, the Hawks have the ability and CAP space to send Khabby to Rockford and call up Raanta…and remember, Raanta’s performances over the last 2 years (and especially last year internationally) vaulted him into very special company…its not like Raanta is young and inexperienced…he is inexperienced in North America…and with his essentially 6 starts in Rockford, he hasn’t made any gaffs territorially, or positionally in net…and his performances speak for themselves in terms of the quality…a guy with all world talent (and a brain) doesn’t need 60 games to “figure out the NA rinks”…6 games may very well be all that Raanta needs to adjust…its time to give him a shot…

  4. Steve says:

    Yeah, good comments. I thought Pirri didn’t play again, I didn’t see him, after the goal Kane missed him, or maybe was trying for Saad. But yeah next draw Shaw was out there and no one Pirri the rest of the game.

    I really really like the 3rd line. I mean Shaw as posters have said. He “won” the game 7 v Detroit with the feed to Hammer, the disallowed goal on the blown call. I mean the guy can make plays in a game 7 of a playoff series. He can win a multi-OT FINAL game. What more do you want. I love Shaw. The skill and grit are almost like what we wanted out of Bolland.

    Anyway, I find myself only watching the new guys on the ice since we know everyone eles’s game. I thought Morin was fine as well. I really like that 3rd line. I still would do Smith for Bollig. That line was still be fiesty and you would add skill to it.

    #19, wow.

  5. ebonyraptor says:

    Sr – my Brookbank was OK comment was in the positives section to be kind of facetious – as in anything better than terrible play by Brookbank is a positive … and I don’t think his play was terrible tonight.

    I didn’t mention him in my earlier post, but I kind of like Keifer Sutherland … er … I mean Brad Mills. He played the PK pretty well and seems to have a good motor, so maybe he’s the missing Kruger PK partner?

  6. Moonshiner says:

    Kane was passing only to the Ottawa players, otherwise unbelievably selfish…

  7. RyanDale says:

    great fun game to watch, we all agree it ended well and fans went home happy with plenty to cheer about, but as long as we sit 17th in gaa at 2.77 i tend to temper my buzz a bit. Iknow its early and these types of wins are fun,but we got a long way to go. Some great individual efforts tonight though and they should be celebrated!!

  8. Mike says:

    I am usually ok with giving guys like Kane a break. Kane is on the team for one reason, offense. His job is to create space, put the puck on net, goals will follow. A defensive lapse or two a game is an acceptable consequence of his play. That said…..HOLY CRAP is he color blind. I am not sure you can make a better pass.

    I agree that Morin has earned a bit more time with his play so far. Habby, not much to say. He is a pro who has earned his stripes (more or less) and I believe he will get another game……but 3 strikes and your out! Mills, ok, decent game but was the only player without a shot on net. I too would rather see Q go with youth.

    Players will always make mistakes but the most glaring negative of the game was a team effort. Giving up 37 shots and a boat load of HQ chances is not the Hawks game. There were too many defensive breakdowns. It was great to see CC come out and shut the door.

    Last nights game is why the Hawks have so many fans. You can never count this team out of a game. Their play when behind is awesome. The urgency and skill are simply tough for the opposition to hang with. We face a hungry, underachieving Jets team on Saturday. Should be a great game.

  9. wall says:

    Tab- like I said two articles ago… Khabbi has to go- Raanta is better!!!

    JS- great call on Mills- That Heisenberg Buzz must of wore off… hopefully he runs into Badger and Skinny Pete before Saturday game and finds it!

    ER- love the KS reference!

    Morin was invisible until 3rd…
    Pirri/Kane line WAS exposed w/ an all Day Sens possession!!!!!!! And Kane WAS selfish 3-1 w 65 wide open. 88 TO’s have to stop… and 88 was caught leaking out a couple of times…

    Hoss made some unreal passes… pass to Sharp was better than Saad’s spin!!! Sharp needs to practice those- he is like 1-8 this year!

    Can anyone confirm the 1st goal went off of Shaw- to me it was 19’s!!!

  10. JS says:

    I haven’t watched the game yet, I’ll have more to say after actually watching it, but to write off Khabibulin after 3 games over the course of a month seems to be jumping the gun a bit. Raanta has played what… 8 games on american soil? While I’m sure the kid has every chance in the world to be special, there is no point in rushing him… especially when we all know Khabibulin should play better than he has.

  11. Reg Dunlop says:

    That game last night looked like a men’s “C” league game at Johnny’s Ice House………Geez. Glaring defensive breakdowns on both teams and questionable goaltending from “Khabby” made the game exciting and kept everyone wondering who was going to score the last goal and win the game!!

    I’m not so sure that Sheldon Brookbank deserves the ripping that he gets from some of the boys on this blog. He is NOT a Nick Leddy type of skater, but he plays his position very well and uses his body position on the boards to his advantage. The reason that he is paired with Leddy is that he is a traditional “stay at home” defenseman and Leddy is a “free style” defenseman. It’s that simple.

    Nick Leddy has glaring weaknesses on the defensive boards. His strength is in the open ice and the neutral zone. Brookbank is strong on the defensive boards and his weakness is his skating ability. Together, they are a solid defensive pair who get the job done. Brookbank will never be mistaken for Brent Seabrook, but he plays with heart and makes the plays that he is supposed to make.

    I like Mills and Kruger on the ice at the same time. They are two hustlers who are “puck hounds” and are dogged in their pursuit of the offensive zone turnover. Mills knows his role and plays it very well.

    I love the last play of the game, where Hoss blocked the last shot from the point. The guy gives everything he has to win a game, that’s leadership. His back problems look like they are behind him, I hope.

    With 2 minutes left in the game, Mills, Kruger and Bollig are on the ice pounding the puck on the boards on the offensive zone. It’s nice to see Bollig on the ice and Q trusting him at a critical time. He may not be a superstar, but the guy plays with his heart and plays his position well.

    Most of you guys have said this before, but the 3rd and 4th lines on this team are well coached and play within themselves. They don’t try to be fancy. They just work hard and take advantage of every opportunity they come across.

    “Khabby” has had a great career and the hockey gods are telling him in a nice way to retire. He looks slow moving from the post to the top of the crease and slow from side to side. Great guy, fitness nut, hall of famer, great mentor……….time to go.

    I am sure that the Hawks are happy with the win, but not how they got it. Too many breakdowns, turnovers and glaring mistakes in their end and in the neutral zone. Raanta may get the call by Saturday. Crow can’t play every game.

    Keep the faith, boys!!

  12. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    My latest rant on Pirri…anybody watching the game live or on TV last night vividly saw why Pirri cannot possibly be the 2nd line Center. ESPECIALLY paired with Kane. Pirri is a substantial liability defensively. And like I said yesterday, if he’s not the 2nd line Center then I have a very hard time understanding how he stays on the roster. He’s certainly not going to fit with the mission and purpose of the very important 3rd line, which is all about intensity and two-way play whether it is Bickell, Saad, Shaw, Morin or Kruger in the mix. And he’s not going to fit with the mission and purposes of the Grindy McGrindy pain in the ass check to you die 4th line that includes Mills, Bollig, Kruger.

    Khabby? I’m not going to lose sleep over his struggles. He’s the backup goalie. Perhaps it is a role he is ill suited to after 20 years of being a full-time goalie…perhaps Father Time has caught up with him…perhaps he still hasn’t meshed with the Q system of play. Regardless, I can’t lose a lot of sleep over the plight and struggles of a backup goalie…not right now at least.

  13. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    And one more thing….I had my eyeballs on Mills last night from our seats….let me just say this….Mills is doing a damned fine impersonation of Frolik in terms of tireless hustle and going after the puck and doing board work. He had a very nice game against the Sens and the emerging chemistry with Kruger is exciting. I’m very high on Joakim Nordstrom based on what I saw early of his inherent skill and energy, but I’m growing very comfortable with Mills being an answer for the remainder of this season.

    Kudos to Stan and Q on Mills….it is role players like this that teams need to find each season that are often the subtle difference makers to a winning strategy.

  14. WAITFORAWHISTLE says:

    Not sure how everyone is down on Pirri and not getting pissed at Kane. Every time he missed the net last night he stopped playing and threw his hands in the air. Stop pouting and keep playing hockey. Folks Kane is a -9! He has 11 points which means he has been on the ice for at least 20 goals against and the Hawks have only given up 38 so far this season. That means Kane has been on the ice for over half the goals against the Hawks this season. Maybe Pirri is not the best defensive forward but he definitely cant make up for Kanes lack of effort as well.

  15. Morrison says:

    ER, thought the same thing when I saw Mills. The guy kills terrorists & penaltys.

    I think were the only team in the past 5-6 yrs to be top3 in gf & ga in same yr, weve done it twice… Basically all of these years (and counting) weve been top3 in gf, but on some years that good in ga too. To be around 10th/etc. in ga would be good, as long as were always/near top3 in gf… Really a few high scoring games is the reason the ga are that high, right now. Those high score are ok when we comeback, but not like the one the other day… We would probably be around 10th if you take those games to avg. … We would need a few shutouts/1 ga games to offset those… The record breaking year we were 3.0-2.0, so if were 3.2-2.4 that would be cool.

    One thing is every team will get a little better defensively as the season goes along, so there probably wont be as many higher scoring games as theres been across the league, but well still have are skill to score more than most teams… but we still need to do what we need to do for our team game defense…

    The 3rd line should score moar than the one from this past season, but weather its does goals/pts wise, its a better all around line & its got moar grit/physicality to it too, with Moe.

    Shawzer said he tipped it, but yea I think it Tazer after.

    (no matter what the score) It feels good every time we win, doesn’t it.

  16. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The fact that Kane is minus 9 and will never, repeat never, be accused of being a defensive minded RW reinforces the argument that Pirri cannot possibly be the Center on his line. It is just that simple. And as stated previously seven hundred and forty three times, Pirri cannot possibly fit the mission and purpose of either the 3rd or 4th line.

    So lets get Handzus back on that 2nd line when healthy and stop messin’ around.

  17. JS says:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to balance your defensively responsible forwards? And if you think Handzus is so much better defensively, you must not be watching this year. He’s constantly getting beat by his man. If you are going to skate Kane with Handzus, you better be ready for the worst season of Kane’s career. How about 20-19-88 and 10-37-81. Makes sense, right?

    PS, Kane is a -9 with 11 points but 6 of those points were on the power play. Therefore he’s been on the ice for 14 goals against, not 20… it’s still horrible but not as bad as you are making it seem.

  18. RyanDale says:

    50 should be given much credit for pulling this out, He was more than stellar and his maturing game is becoming more and more ‘expected’ every night. Great jod in a tough spot down 4-2. Shaw ,with 2g, rebounded well at the dot after his Minny meltdown going 53%, while Spezza owned the night at 72% and was largely responsible for keeping The Captain at a mere 39% but I guess 4pt nights offset those types of letdowns. How Hossa was not awarded a second star, is beyond me but those things are hardly credible in their selections

    I got tons of confidence in Q and his abilities to find the right mix of lines. I just want to see the same guys dressed for a stretch to see what they can do together. I hate shuffling guys in and out of scratches and and recalling. Be patient with whose here now and tweak them to see what will work. This team is blessed with great vets able to teach. The kids will eat that up given time and time is on our side right now for that to play out.

  19. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    JS,

    Sharp and Hossa are 30 something forwards. Sharp does have the skill to dial things up defensively, but lets be honest two-way play is not really his forte. Nor should it really be throughout the crushing reality of an 82 game regular season. Hossa needs to be managed carefully if he is to have what he will need to have come playoff time. One of the great two-way wings in his prime, but at age 35 and with the injuries and wear and tear piling up I don’t want him working his ass off on defense every second of a game either. Therefore you can’t really saddle Sharp and Hossa with Pirri and expect good things.

    This is reinforcement of my point on Pirri….he doesn’t fit. Putting him with Kane is a recipe for the opposing offense to feast. But putting Pirri with Sharp and Hossa creates a whole other dilemma. And Pirri would be horrible, horrible fit on the 3rd and 4th line given their principal missions.

    Nobody said Handzus is the answer all by himself. I didn’t say that for sure. But I’ll take Handzus skating on the 2nd line over Pirri any day of the week. And I continue to embrace the belief that Danault will be the eventual “answer” to the issue in combination with Handzus.

  20. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I’m getting tired of the mantra, hey Q let the kids play. Good grief, if Q has demonstrated anything in his time in Chicago is that he does give legitimately talented youngsters the opportunity to play and define a role for themselves. It’s happened time and time again since his arrival in the fall of 2008.

    Smith and Pirri (and Hayes) are Rockford shuttle players. Nothing more. Ditto Jimmy Hayes. The book is still out on Morin, but as we can plainly see Q is providing him with marvelous opportunity to find his NHL sea legs and to prove to the coaching staff that he can become a reliable contributor to the strategy for winning games.

    There is a big difference between the Brandon Saads of the world versus the Brandon Pirris and Ben Smiths and Jimmy Hayes. NOT every fucking asset in Rockford is meritious of a home on the Chicago Blackhawks. Joakim Nordstrom and Adam Clendening?!? Yes…but all appearances they have the look and skill set of being definite future assets that will ultimately be worthy of an NHL trial in Chicago. But guys like Olsen, Smith, Pirri, Hayes, LeBlanc, Stanton?!? No….they are Rockford shuttle types.

  21. JS says:

    Handzus in 9 games this season (skating mostly with 10 and 81) Even +/- 1 goal, 2 assists, 13 minutes of ice time.

    Brandon Pirri in 8 games this season (skating mostly Bollig and a rotating 4th line wing). +1, 2 goals, 3 assists, 11 minutes of ice time.

    You think putting Handzus on a line with Kane is really going to make it better defensively? And over this “grueling” 82 game season, you want Handzus playing a heavier minute load than a 22 year old kid learning the game?

    Look, I understand you hate Pirri. I don’t know if he stood your daughter up on a date or something, but there is absolutely no reason why they need to rush a gifted offensive player out of the lineup because he is learning the pro game. ESPECIALLY when the person to replace him with has been god awful this season. Q gave Shaw 15 minutes a night in his rookie year when the kid was a damn disaster defensively, but look at him now.

  22. Sr. Brad says:

    The negative talk about Pirri is ridiculous, and easiest way to make it disappear is to not respond to it…the kid is a great young talent, and there isn’t a coach in the league better suited to teach him defensive zone responsibilities than Q…its a GREAT FIT with Pirri in Chicago…the more he plays, the better he gets…

    Handzus has not been good defensively this year, and is another step slower…he is no longer an option on the 2nd line…Kane’s -9 came from Handzus Centring…since Pirri took over Kane is actually a plus 1.

    Mills, Pirri, Morin and Nordstrom have all been good additions to this team that is 8-2-3…and with 4 lines rolling now, the Hawks are ready for the Western Conference teams..add Raanta to the mix and we have a winner…

    And to those “not too worried about Khabby” you had better be…points in the NHL these days don’t come by too easily, and in a tough WC continual awful starts by our backup will cost us spots in the final rankings…he’s 41 and shows no confidence and horrible positioning…he took off last night and didn’t even address the media after the game…if you think that Khabby still has game, let him find it in Rockford where it doesn’t cost us NHL points…

  23. Sr. Brad says:

    Nice post JS…

  24. Sr. Brad says:

    Here’s the latest from Q on Pirri…enough said…

    Competing in place of Michal Handzus (minor upper-body injury) on a Blackhawks’ second scoring line with Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane, Pirri has two assists in two games. More importantly, Chicago’s head coach is open to permanently awarding the promising young center the top-six gig , if so deserved.

    “We’re still looking for who’s going to be that guy,” Joel Quenneville said this week. “It’s an opportunity for [Pirri] to hopefully grab that. We certainly feel he can play there. At what point are you comfortable giving him that chance? We’re comfortable giving him that chance here, and I think he’ll do fine.”

  25. Blackhawks1963 says:

    Some of you get bent out of shape when the reports on a young prospect aren’t glowing. I guess this same crowd would have shit its pants with my beginning and ending assessment of Jack Skille (but, but, but he skates fast and you can’t coach speed !!) and Kyle Beach. But alas, far be it for me to rain on your parades.

    Q is a brilliant coach. Right now he doesn’t have a suitable superior option at 2nd line Center. So what’s he going to say?!? I’m also growing weary of the usual suspects ripping some of the proud veterans on this club who are in the admitted sunset of their careers and/or who are strictly valuable role models. I get it Sr Brad…you’re bent out of shape that Handzus and Rosival are consuming a roster spot when we could otherwise be bedazzled by your latest flavor of the week from the Rockford shuttle. And I’m sure you pissed your pants when AHL vagabound Ryan Stanton was let go. Whatever.

    You want serious talents to get excited about? Then look at Clendening and Danault in Rockford. Maybe McNeal too in the not too distant future.

  26. Phil says:

    I was so pumped up after getting home from the UC last night, I couldn’t go to sleep. A stirring comeback in a game we should have buried an opponent early on. The Cpt willed the team through the first line performance to victory. Even down 4-2 it just felt like there were more Hawks goals on the way. A natural hat trick is not common especially when you bring your team back from behind. It shows once again what a gamer Toews is. You have to be proud of that guy and what he brings to his team. He leads by example.

    If Andersen doesn’t have a strong start for the Sens the Hawks pot 4 in the first off numerous very high quality shots. Shot totals can be deceiving. It’s about quality chances, and we were getting them last night in bunches. One just had the feeling early into the 2nd period that we could get 6 plus goals last night.

    I blame Q for playing Khabby last night. The guy looked fragile against the Bolts last week. Why bring him in in that shape in front of the home crowd where he would get even more scrutiny and be under more pressure? This was a bad call by the coach, unless Joel wanted to get this situation taken care of quickly. If that was the case, it worked well as he really threw Khabby under the bus. It’s a pity to see a keeper like Khabby fall off his game so badly. He looked very tentative, nervous last night. I made a comment to anyone that was listening up by my seats that Khabby is gonna get neck spasms if he keeps turning around after almost every shot to see if it has gone past him. Bottom line he has been fighting the puck. It may be a sad reality that at 40 he is done. No shame in that. His career has been noteworthy. In a long season someone needs to spell Corey and play .500 hockey. Right now Khabby ain’t that guy. God help us if Corey gets hurt…

    Kane made some nice plays last night, but appeared to be pouting after missing some excellent scoring chances. That silly d zone pass that resulted in a Sens goal late was just a stupid play. Why not just put the puck up the boards and play it safe.? It’s about smart zone clearance at that time in the game. It was also noted above that Pirri got caught loafing on another messed up back check that resulted in an easy goal for the Sens. Kane and Pirri on the same line given both players natural tendencies to think offense first leaves the second line defensively vulnerable to the point where good teams will exploit that weakness in a big way. It’s all about team defense. This Hawks team can score goals, so it will be the defense that ultimately wins games.

    How can one not love what Andrew Shaw brings to this team? Shaw the human pinball, just goes for it every game because he clearly LOVES playing in the NHL. He is improving as a 2 way player, and while he makes some mistakes, you can’t fault the effort. He leaves it all on the ice. That 3rd line is pretty good as it stands. Morin showed some good things last night as well, and didn’t take it easy late. I like his tenacity, and his skill set is good. I think he sticks, but Rockford will probably be in rotation mode with the usual suspects. Right now, Morin and Mills are playing just fine. No need to rock the boat with the 3rd and 4th lines IMHO.

    I think we string some wins together. The win yesterday despite the amount of goals given up had to be a big morale booster. A few days off to rest and heal up. Time to watch the replay on CSN!

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  27. Phil says:

    Oh yes, I also wanted to agree with Wall. I thought the first Shaw goal was tipped by Toews. I think the Cpt, gave it to Shaw. Shaw immediately went to Toews after the puck went in and congratulated him. Not a normal reaction from a guy that has supposedly scored.

  28. JS says:

    AHL vagabond Ryan Stanton that has played GREAT for the NHL Vancouver Canucks.

    I also think everyone is ok with Handzus having a roster spot if it isn’t every day and it’s limited minutes on the 4th line.

  29. ebonyraptor says:

    Rufus – I have seen Pirri’s defensive lapses too and saw two times last night when he was basically standing flat footed and watching the play while a Sens player skated past him and got a scoring chance he shouldn’t have gotten if Pirri had played it properly.

    But where our opinions of Pirri differ is that I’ve also seen Pirri make some good effort plays in the d-zone and battle for the puck. So I don’t think he’s a lost cause. I think there is still hope he can provide more good plays and less of the poor plays because the difference appears to be focus – not lack of ability. Will he ever eliminate the lack of focus plays – probably not, but if he gets better at focusing enough to minimize them, his offensive game will be enough to make him the best 2C currently available.

    As for Kane – it was disappointing to see him show his frustration on the ice after not scoring because he takes himself out of the play for a second or two and that’s all it takes for the opponent to have a 5 on 4 or a 4 on 3 in our d-zone. For all the talk he had about not worrying about offense – that he knows if he plays sound defense the offense will come … his actions speak otherwise. While he has played better defensively on the whole – there are still times that he is clearly taken off his game when he is struggling offensively.

  30. Reg Dunlop says:

    Players like Pirri and Morin have a ton of offensive potential and hopefully, as they get more ice time, they will get better and more consistent in their performance. You CANNOT judge an NHL player in a 10-20 game tryout. These guys need to have a season under their belt in order for a coach/scout to give them an honest review. Again, this is to judge an NHL player at the NHL level.

    These young players are going to look “lost” at times. This is the NHL, the best of the best, they are not going to be able to digest the NHL level of play in a few games. The toughest thing to do is to learn how to play defense, as a forward, in the NHL. Go ask Alex Ovechkin how hard it is, it ain’t easy!

    Give these young players some time to develop and get some consistency in their game. Look at the difference in what 75 games has done for Brandon Saad. Confidence is everything in sports!! Plus, we have a coaching staff that can work with these young players and get everything out of them that they can.

    I trust this GM, I trust this coaching staff, I trust the Rockford staff to get these players ready for the NHL level, too. I also trust the veterans to help develop the young players on this team. This is as solid organization as you will find in any sport, right now. The Cubs, White Sox, Bears and Bulls all aspire to be like the Blackhawks. Man, that was nice to say!!

  31. goldenbladz says:

    Sr. Brad is right. If Crawford has to come in and bail out the Bulin Wall every time he fails then Crawford is not getting his proper rest for the long haul and hopefully long playoff run. Look at the amount of injured goalies so far this season. The Hawks will want to keep Corey as healthy as possible. Coming into a game cold is a recipe for injury.

  32. Mike says:

    Funny, saw several articles blaming the Red Wings woes on constant line changing by Babcock. Funny that what is a strength (or at least SOP) for one team, us, is the cause of poor play for another.

    I never never want to see the Blackhawks give up 1st round draft choices for players on the down slope of their careers.

  33. StanIsTheMan says:

    If Rufus stopped posting here, I wouldn’t be so upset.

    NICE COMEBACK.

  34. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The average number of posters here on a daily basis is less than Crow’s GAA, and you want me to depart. Fine.

  35. Dickie Dunn says:

    “NOT every fucking asset in Rockford is meritorious of a home on the Chicago Blackhawks.” – absolutely correct.

    But, how much of an opportunity (and, with which line mates? special teams?, in it which situations…”quality ice time” – critical/pressure point-in-game?) should a player be given before accurately being labeled a “Rockford shuttle type” or “meritorious of a home on the Chicago Blackhawks”?

    (Maybe) Teuvo Teravainen will be the second line center? (- and worth the wait)

  36. JS says:

    While I think Rufus has a lot of strong opinions and rubs people the wrong way with his “smarter-than-thou” attitude, he’s still a pretty important member of the community here. It’s good to get varying opinions. Helps create conversation. If we all agreed on everything, there wouldn’t be much more than “GO HAWKS” posts following up Tab’s.

    I THINK if Rufus backed up what he was saying with something more quantifiable than “I’ve been watching the game for 40 years”, it would help. What people know about Pirri is that he was a scoring machine in the AHL last season. When you come out and say he sucks because of your personal observations on him, people will get upset. Why does he suck? Why is he not allowed the chance to improve the part of his game that is lagging? Why does an undersized grinder like Nordstrom get praise for the 8 games he played, but Pirri (who has been much more productive), needs to be kicked off the team immediately?

    If you want to stop rubbing people the wrong way, explain to people WHY you feel the way you do. When you praise Danault, tell us what you see in him that you like so much… because I’ll tell you from what I saw of him in training camp and preseason… he is weak on the boards, easy to move off the puck, and not overly creative. That’s why I said he needs a year at Rockford to get stronger and learn the game. I hope you are right about him though. I hope he is here by New Years and leading the Hawks second line to another Stanley Cup.

    And Dickie- TT is definitely in line for 2C and worth the wait. Still don’t think he can work on a line with Kane because of their size… but time shall tell.

  37. wall says:

    Phil great post-
    Rufus- Ya better start worrying about the backup goalie who is slated to play around 20 games… cuz Hawks will need to score 5 or 6 goals and take 1 or less penalties to stay in each Fricking game!!!

    Phil I am seeing exactly the same thing you are… Khabby isn’t even reacting to some shots until they hit the glass behind him!!! He is a mistake! Just like Turco and Bruno were!

    As far as Pirri- I think the best solution is 20/37/81- the two most Responsible forwards. But I still say 37 is a 1 year concept… TT, K. Hayes, Danault will all be better options soon!

    WF-Whistle- I called out Kane in my post! Kane has been careless w puck in D zone leading directly to goals! Gotta be better!

  38. southsidehawkman says:

    No doubt Khabby’s time in Chicago is drawing to in end. The question now turns from if to when. How much longer will Q wait? Q was extremely positive going into the game when discussing Khabby. Obviously Nik’s play hasn’t backed Q s comments. So before Khabby’s NHL career ends I think all Hawks fans owe him a bit of respect and dignity. Khabby’s was one of Tallon’s 1st major acquisition. Khabby’s came to Chicago when a lot of FA passed on this team. Sure the Hawks paid him nicely but there were other suitors. Nik picked Chicago when the Hawks were just coming out of their worst years. The guy broke into the league in 97/98 and has spend nearly 20 years in the league and is playing pro hockey in his 40’s. He’s not a HOF goalie but he is a damn good one and back stopped a joke of a franchise to a Stanley cup. Clearly his game has left him. But I salute the Bulin Wall. Think about that,….even his nickname is dated. All careers end eventually and I think we might be watching the final days of Khabby.

  39. Sr. Brad says:

    SSHM, I agree with you, and intend no disrespect to Khabby, but points are too hard to come by in the NHL for the Hawks to wait around for him to “get better”…if he needs Rockford to work on his game, so be it…Raanta was an all world goalie before the Hawks signed him…most NHL teams were wooing him to sign and offering him a guaranteed spot on their NHL rosters…not so with the Hawks…but Raanta still chose to come here, which tells us that he’s smart and wants to win…plus is a team player…if Q brings him up for one of the weekend games, I know that he will do well. Really, Raanta belonged in Chicago from day one IMO.

  40. Windy City Z says:

    Kyle Beach back with the Icehogs from Sweden for his last chance.

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