Jonathan Toews, Hawks Rally To Down Jets

Another mediocre performance for 45 minutes appeared to have the Blackhawks leaving crucial points on the table in Winnipeg on Sunday night. But a furious third period rally, capped by a game-winning goal from captain Jonathan Toews, left the Jets looking for answers and the Hawks victorious.

After a punishing hit (and “gentlemanly” facewash) from Dustin Byfuglien on Andrew Shaw gave the Blackhawks a power play in the first, Shaw scored 14th of the season with 90 seconds on the clock. The Hawks were out-skated for most of the first period, but somehow emerged with a 7-6 shot advantage and 1-0 lead on the scoreboard after 20 minutes.

The avalanche on special teams came to a head in the second period, as Byfuglien dominated the frame. Byfuglien scored two power play goals in the period, and Blake Wheeler pitched in a short-handed tally, to give the Jets a lead after 40 minutes. If not for a redirected goal from Brad Richards, the Hawks would have been chasing two goals and the Minnesota Wild for third place in the Central.

Winnipeg out-shot the Hawks 15-8 in the second period and their passing, unlike the Hawks, was on point. They play that concluded with Wheeler’s goal was something Chicago fans have longed to see from the Hawks for weeks; a 3-on-2 break with precision passing. Corey Crawford made a decent play on the puck, but Wheeler was able to convert for his 25th of the season.

The Hawks were out-shot again in the third period, this time with Winnipeg holding a 13-8 advantage. And the only two penalties of the final 20 minutes left Chicago short-handed. But two very good penalty kills – especially in light of the dumpster fire that the Blackhawks special teams were in the second period – kept the Hawks in the game.

Patrick Sharp converted a breakaway with some help from an official to tie the game at 6:27, a play that had most Hawks fans considering the potential that Bigfoot or mermaids could in fact be real. Sharp’s 14th of the season came unassisted and was a vintage snipe, something that has been missing for months. It is Sharp’s fourth goal in March, and he now has eight points in his last eight games.

After killing a Michal Rozsival penalty inside the final four minutes of the game, the Hawks went on the attack. A Niklas Hjalmarsson shot was redirected by Toews into the Jets net and, with 30 seconds remaining on the clock, a stunned Jets team looked up to a scoreboard that showed the Blackhawks leading.

Crawford kept the Hawks in the game in the third period, making 31 saves in the victory.

When the Blackhawks acquired Antoine Vermette at the deadline, many envisioned him as a strong center to compliment Toews and Richards. But over the last six periods, a struggling Vermette has spent most of his time as a wing; there were 56 faceoffs on Sunday night, and Vermette took part in only one. Shaw, meanwhile, lost all five of his faceoffs with his first period goal.

Bryan Bickell rebounded from an empty box score to appear on the ice on Sunday evening. Though he bounced off Byfuglien a couple times, Bickell did lead the Hawks with four hits in the game and was also credited with one blocked shot and a blocked shot. Bickell skated only 11:08, however; only Andrew Desjardins (10:54) saw less time on the ice than Bickell.

Q WPG

43 thoughts on “Jonathan Toews, Hawks Rally To Down Jets

  1. Wow. Incredible turn of events. I thought our guys were done when saad and Toews did not convert the 2 on 0.

    Sadly Timonnen has nothing left. If the rest of the regular season was supposed to be his training camp then he has had a miserable camp. Eddie O called him out on the broadcast a few times that he simply can not keep up with the Jets size, seed and forecheck.

  2. The Hawks came up short in shots, penalties, hits, faceoffs, gave up to goals on th PK and a shorthanded goal. With all those negative stats, I still think the Hawks played better tonight than they have in the last few games and I would have thought that even if they didn’t win the game. They played with more energy and passion tonight than they have in what seems like an eternity and consequently they played with moreteam speed – both heading up ice and coming back on defense. Points are important, no doubt, but playing the right way is the main thing and I think they took a step in the right direction in that regard tonight.

  3. ER agree, the Hawks actually showed some passion tonight. And the Jets are good, Hope they kick somebodies a$$ in the playoffs. Take out a #1 for us.

  4. May as well give Paliotta a game tomorrow against the Kings, Timo is not in shape and Rosy is just bad. If Paliotta handles himself well then let him play a few games and hope Rosy and Timo can give you every other game.
    Hope 2,7,4 and 27 can play 24 minutes each so the third pair only has to play 12 minutes.

  5. They showed up tonight-it wasn’t pretty but they battled.
    Totally agree that Timo (unless he has another gear that we can’t see yet) won’t help. I thought the penalty on 4 was ridiculous.

  6. What a great tip in by 19. The pair of 4/27 sure have been solid. Shaw seems to be back to his old self lately. I love how he gets under the opponents skin. Agree with above comments on 44/32. Those 2 guys are going to kill us in the playoffs. I am still concerned about constantly getting outshot. Another solid game by Crow. The guys got outplayed most of the game but at least they never gave up.

  7. That was an excellent hockey game, playoff intensity, thrills, spills, and ills – as in ill luck for the Jets with that linesman assist on Sharp goal. Wow. And Blackhawks come from behind, find a way. That’s more like it.

    But the guy I think is the story is Dustin Byfuglien. Tonight’s the first time in these past 5 seasons when I truly wish he was still a Hawk. He is a runaway rhinoceros out there, a one man wrecking crew. He knocked poor TT into next week. He blasted the puck nearly through the net on that one pp. And when 29 tried to take a run at him, it was Bickell left spinning on his arse and Big Buff hardly taking notice. The guy is a beast and he played his heart out. The camera went to him on the bench right after Toews’ game winner. The dejection was deep and real. The man is a champ.

  8. The games against Winnipeg have all been outstanding …the intesity level certainly is there. More like a clash of Titans than bitter rivals. Nice to see some bounces, tips and surprises go our way for a change. I suppose they all even out somewhat but that goal with 30 seconds left sure was a nice surprise. Dagger in the Jets right at the end. Fitting way for one of the Titans to go down. ( a Chelsea Dagger?) ala 17 seconds Boston. They were real stunned…almost gave up 2 more bumping into each other and reeling from the blow. Not going to fool myself or mislead…as Tab pointed out we can’t go forward believing in Bigfoot and Mermaids, so lets take the points and count our lucky stars and be realistic going forward. LA and the Canucks…fasten your seat belts.

  9. Win or lose…..If the Hawks play with this much effort the rest of the way, I am a happy fan. Crow played great again. Hawks, for being outshot, had several chances that they simply missed the shot.

    Agreed that the Timmo experiment needs to be over. The spirit seems willing, but the legs just can’t get going. I still have hopes for Vermette contributing.

    Go Hawks

  10. As Craig noted, Olczyk called out Timmonen in the first period, saying he was having all kinds of trouble with the Jets’ speed. In the paper this morning he (Timmonen) said he has been getting over a slight groin pull he suffered in his first game back. So the only hope is he’s healthy come playoff time.

    But yeah, it’s getting harder and harder to expect he’ll be a major contributor

  11. For all the accolades about big Buff’s game last night…… So he scored 2 goals BUT was in the box for the Hawks first and on the ice for the next 3, ending with a minus 1. Not sure why he was first star and Crawford was not a top 3. I am OK with him on another team.

  12. Tab, quick note on your mention of Vermette …

    “many envisioned him as a strong center to compliment Toews and Richards.”

    You want “complement” with an “e” as in “adding to” – not paying a “compliment” to Toews and Richards.

    /Editor
    /Nuns who taught me word usage

  13. Hope Q hasn’t given up on Vermette already. He hasn’t contributed much offensively but Shaw came back into his own on wing so I would rather see Vermette at center and Shaw stay on wing. What has 23 done to deserve 1st line minutes?

  14. I thought T2 had a good game. I didn’t see that mentioned above. Its very unfortunate that the Hawks could not due to very serious salary cap issues keep Big Buff. Its painful to watch him playing for the Jets. I am really hoping Darling plays great tonight. It would be great to help knock the Kings out of making the playoffs. GO HAWKS. Its revenge time for last years game 7 in the WCF.

  15. Mike57… Great call on Versteeg… imo- 23 has only looked good with Kane… which leads me to believe- that Kane’s ability to draw so much attention- gives 23 the time and space he needs to do anything these days.. 2010, 23 had some wheels and cutting ability.. not so much anymore…

    Hopefully- next year – Kane can give TT the same time and spcace- cuz TT hasn’t looked as good lately- (other than the time TT was given with 19 on 1st line)

  16. Well so much for Vermette being the too center though they got a goal out of to of them on a trip up two the Pegg against a team they’ve struggled with so w/e. (Sorry, I really couldn’t resist)

    Guess Richards wants to burn out rather than fade away which is a good sign and maybe Oduya has found what he is looking for.

    This season really cant get over fast enough.

    Hopefully Calgary can keep winning and LA out of the playoffs.

  17. What an exciting game to watch at MTS Centre last night. As it has been the case all year except for 1 game these contests with the Jets have been very close and fun games to see. Atmosphere was really good here in Winnipeg, but I think Jets fans were quite nervous so the building was very quiet compared to UC IMO. I thought it was funny that in such a big game that the jumbotron message of “make some noise” was needed to rouse the fans on numerous occasions. Weird.

    As expected the Jets brought the body hard in the 1st, but had nothing to show for it. Then we got the Buff show in the 2nd as well as Hawks missing what looked like 3 tap ins . Despite Buff slappper that went in at the end of the second, I thought the Jets D was pretty loose and were giving up all kinds of offensive chances to the Hawks. That gave me hope for the 3rd. While the 3rd period was a nail biter the Hawks seemed to play with a sense of urgency we haven’t seen in awhile. Took a great deflection from the Cpt late to ice this one, but was that dagger a beauty or what?

    Surrounded by Jets fanatics, they treated us enemy fans really well overall. We had tried to temper our enthusiasm when Hawks had scored earlier. After the Tazer goal though we let it all go and let em know we were happy Hawks fans. I turned around and said Sorry guys, good luck rest of the year. Guys that sat next me were smart hockey fans and I enjoyed a nice give and take with them during the game.

    So it’s back home for me this afternoon with enough time to change, jump in the car and then head over to the UC for another huge game tonight with the Kings. I have pointed to these 2 games as being markers for the end of the regular season. While it was tough, the Hawks grabbed 2 massive points last night. Lets see if they can grab the second leg. Should be another really good game to watch. Game result last night should give the Hawks some positive direction that was desperately needed, after a nasty stretch of sub par performances.

    44 is just too damn slow to play in the NHL at this time. If he has a groin issue you might as well just put him on the shelf. He is a liability due to lack of speed. The guy is scary slow making Rozy look quick in comparison. Can’t have that going into playoffs. Lets him get some time in Rockford if need be, but not with the big club. Vermette is just floundering out there. I believe by playoffs he is up and running but I did not expect him to struggle as we have seen. I still think that guy will contribute before the sticks get packed up this year. Shaw is indeed back in action and not a moment to soon.

    Noonan I agree that the call against Hammer was a bad one. Looked like a good check to me, but I think it was a makeup for the Buff call earlier. That 4th line on the Jets takes no prisoners. They hit anything that moves mercilessly.

    Sorry to be long winded. Still excited after watching that huge win last night.

    Lets GO Hawks!

  18. Fast moving game that saw Hawks outplayed, outhit and outchanced- but thankfully not outscored (which is a good thing.) Scrappy win imho. Thoughts:
    * Starting to really bother me- why doesn’t Saad hit anyone? He’s big enough to make impact but avoids it like the plague. How many 2-1 o 3-1 is he involved with (a good thing for starters), but does not result in SOG or quality sroring chance?
    * Toews played like the Captain and led the way, special talent this guy.
    * #4 penalty was NOT a penalty.

  19. Good scrappy win as said… Double-ly important game tonight… 1) for our own sake, 2) keep LA on the outside…

    Lets go!

  20. While it felt good to win, the Hawks constantly getting pounded in possession is not going to lead to good things. I did see some nice, quick adaptations last night which helped release some of the pressure the Jet forecheck was putting the D men under, and that’s why you saw all of the odd man rushes in the second. I also understand that sometimes you have to play dump and chase, but the Hawks flat out can’t. So when I see people that are incredible at zone entries dumping the puck instead of carrying it in, it kind of bums me out because I know it’s a battle they will lose.

    I thought Vermette had his best game as a Hawk last night. It’s quite the adjustment coming from the Coyotes to the Hawks, so hopefully that adjustment is complete and we see the type of player he can be tonight.

    Funny story. Hawks had 3 Centers on the 4th line, 2 centers on the 2nd line, and 0 centers on the third line.

    This recent Hawks strategy of giving up wide open shots from the high slot does not bode well for their chances of preventing goals in the future. Crawford had to be fantastic last night with all of the scoring chances they were giving up.

    Watching TT play hockey has become my favorite part about watching Hawks games. So fun to watch how he reads the play and puts the puck in open space.

  21. I know some people are saying to play Paliotta, but why? Since he signed after the trade deadline, he can’t play in Rockford for the playoffs OR the Hawks. The defense needs to get in sync, and tossing a rookie into a game against the Kings is a bad idea, or even this time of year. Why ruin morale for the defense if he does well and then you have to go back to Rosival, Rundblad, and Timonen? Let those three find their game before they try to find it against the Preds, Blues, or Ducks?

  22. JS- TT should get a ton of assists – some day-when he is playing with someone NOT named Desjardins/Kruger…

    Yes, the Hawks are in trouble if they continue to give up slot shots..

    And If Grandpa (44) is dinged up… the last thing an OLD man should do is Play thru a pulled muscle… then again- he is not really skating… so I guess the chances of hurting a muscle are slim!!!

  23. Dusty- Ray Byfuglien is still my favorite BlackHawk of all time, since his departure I subscribe to NHL network just to watch him play. No one in the NHL like him, still, like Dennis Rodman with Bulls just so unique and how do you let a guy like that GO? Ever? No matter the cap schhhmap!

    Anyway believe it or not this was THE TURNING POINT some say flipping a switch and sometimes that shift , or streak, puck luck or transformation comes in “odd ways” And it did.

    SHARP actually got the “big break” from the Ref and poor defense (all night) by the jets, Yes a very “funky play” but THAT ONE FLUKE of a PLAY will ignite a strong close for the Hawks. NHL is a game of streaks and a lot of as they say “puck luck” it does matter and it is a factor.

    Seems someone “Told Vermette” in the second period to begin to forecheck and finish his checks (not his strong suit) and he began to make a difference, he must finish those checks and get more physical NOW!

    Richards is playing very very well, his transitional Defense is much better, gotta hand it to him and I said this the day they got him, he will deliver 2 or 3 Game winning Goals come playoff time, he’s warming up. Good to see it.

    Rundblad needs minutes now, what are they waiting for? TIMONEN & ROZY are just to slow in our end. Hawks only really need 4 good defensemen, thank god we got’m. Hammer laid out the hammer tonight (clean hit) and proves the point, they got the players like Hammer and Seabrook to play any system or style so at times it’s the system that fails not the players.

    Hawks will BEAT the KINGS tonight . . . in a game where the kings are rested and coming off a crap performance vs the Wild and they will come to play, great game tonight buckle in!

    Side Note – I have seen DUBNYK gives up more rebounds than anyone in the NHL.

  24. TT did play very well last night vs a physical team, he doesn’t need much space to work and at least he is quick to get back on defense even when knocked off his skates. Makes some very smart passes and his on ice IQ is off th charts but he does add yet another forechecker who loves to poke check than ummmm check check! Waiter, Check Please?

    Very few Hawks finish checks or make physical contact on the forecheck. Saad is not alone, (Vemette first game he did last night ) Saad he mimics the the Captain and what he see, Toews is no “small kid” not really get physical.

    But getting to the puck first is the style and system Hawks play, they use skates and sticks an try to tie you up NOT KNOCK you down. It does work sometimes, but it also give the defense time , knowing your not going to flatten me or crash my skull off the plexi to relax, turn, look around for options and keep their head up and square to make a good clean pass out of the zone. PLUS the HAWKS burn more calories than any NHL team playing that way, and fans on this blog and everywhere wonder why they are not playing up to potential, hey play the most exhaustive system in the league.

    To me the core “issue” with the Hawks, is the forecheck, now it’s a very speed and skill forecheck but it has a big downside. We need balance at least on guy on each line to CRASH that why BUFFFFF is TUFFFFF.

  25. Good point MtM about Hawks not finishing checks. Just lean on a guy to slow that player down. Don’t have to put them through the glass. Players don’t have to be big to do that. Yes, Saad and some of the bigger guys could extract a little more from using the bigger bodies effectively. Hawks forecheck got better as the game progressed last night. You know Kings will bring it hard tonight on our d men. Hawks should give em some back. Hawks need quick zone exits tonight even if it means turning the puck over in neutral zone. Hawks team d is where the this game tonight will get won or lost, and one can only hope special teams stop recent slide.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  26. 4 was skating great and forced that goal with Toews there in the end. Awesome but too close of a game for much comfort. Everything needs to improve here, offense, defense, goalie.

  27. Nick – For what its worth Paliotta can play in the playoffs for the Hawks since he was a draft choice but let’s be honest – a college d-man is not going to step in at this point and be successful. I think we have to give Runblad a chance over the remaining games as I can’t see how 32 and 44 will handle a heavy playoff load.

  28. It’s sad to see all of SB trade deadline pieces failing specifically Kimo who was the mostly likely to fail due to his age and medicals. That was not a smart gamble by Stan. Kimo reminds me of the Kim Johnson and Sami Palhson moves. It’s never smart to trade for an injured player.

    Toews is a beast! Beat LA

  29. Noonan/Phil, that’s why the league needs to have the coachs challenge. Q can throw the bs flag on the bs Hammer penalty. They do enough make up calls already, with ‘evening out the calls over the course of the game (when one team cheats way more then the other)’ or ‘getting the right Crosby call’.

    I am going to t be really pissed if 44 is not in game shape by game 82. 80 is really god two-way FW, he will play good soon enough. Maybe RW gets him going/play more loose, free. Shawzers confidence is better, having him at center now is good, for now. Plus when Kaner comes back you could do the 20-65-88 line.

    I think Saader doesn’t hit and just plays the game because that’s what Hoss and Tazer do. All three are the same size. I too would like to three of them makes some hits but not many that way they can surprise because they do not do it that much.

    JS, that’s the thing I do not understand about PP entry. We do not get it easy like the other team seems to get but when we actually carry it in just past the blue line we then fire it around. We just carry it across, keep it. Fire it around only if rushed at.

    Funny story. Hawks had 3 Centers on the 4th line, 2 centers on the 2nd line, and 0 centers on the third line. You nailed em Coach. Mind fuck. (Hanson Brothers)

  30. SSHM- While they havent panned out, I appricate the gamble. Those moves were better than the Paulsson/Johnsson moves IMO. I still stand by those moves at the time they were made. And really we arent paying them to get us in the playoffs, they were here for April/May hockey. I cant see 44/32 occupying more than one spot in the roster come that time. I’m guessing they will platoon to keep one fresh come the playoffs.

  31. Might behoove you to look a little deeper into the Timonen signing. I’m sure that Stan thought he couldn’t be worse than what they were running out there from night to night, but also to motivate his team to get one for the old guy.

  32. Timonen signing was exactly THAT . . . bring in a veteran who really really really wants a CUP, it was and still is worth the signing. That type of player can provide a single moment of greatness in the playoffs. Bringing in hungry players after 2 cups is the real key to Hawks Success in the future. GO HAWKS!

  33. Kaner will be back for the playoffs. My guess is that he is already lobbying for an early return and the docs, SB and Q are having to hold him back. This kid ain’t Derrick Rose!!

  34. When can Kane return cap wise? i know we are using his time on LTIR to get the cap savings thats paying for Vermette and Timmonen…

    I figure he will be back in one of 3 scenerios 1) If we lose game 1 of the playoffs, 2) once we lose 2 games in the first round, or 3) Game 1 of Round 2… which ever happens first.

  35. MtM, hate to disagree but Buff is not a team player. I watched him play over 100 games in Norfolk and then on TV with the Hawks. Unfortunately his negatives always outweigh his positives. Just like last night. Could have been his best game of the year. But like I said above, he was in the box or on the ice for all 4 Chicago goals.

    Did I like him as a Hawk and wanted to keep him…..sure, who doesn’t like a physical player? I also hate the fact that in the end the Hawks got nothing for him.

  36. Good point Reg- Big difference between Kaner and “show me the money ” Rose. I do hope 88 is 100% before he is back in game situations. His long term health is more important than this season.

  37. Rundblad has struggled mightily against Winnipeg. The Andrew Ladd hit sticks out.
    But I do recall he has played well against the Kings. Maybe he plays on Monday.
    This is really a great chance for the Hawks to stick a dagger in L-A.

  38. 88 may be ahead of schedule-but there is a difference between skating around the ice, probably with some time of a brace to protect a fall to full contact in practice–let alone a playoff game-again three to four weeks from time the bone is fully healed.
    If that’s already starting, that is great.
    Too big of a piece to only think short term.

  39. The Kimmo signing was all about defensive depth in the playoffs. Judge the move good or bad once our playoff run ends. Not now.

    Versteeg is really ticking me off with his pouting to the refs and stopping on plays. The bad Sh!t stupid Versteeg of 2009-10 is back. If I’m Q he is squarely in the doghouse and not dressing.

  40. RTF-I’m with you on Versteeg. Q must have a man-crush on him. With the current injuries he probably has to dress him now, but why do we see him on the top lines, and why the PP, and God forbid should they put him out there on PK again.

    As far as Buff goes, in 2010 he led the Hawks in +/-, on the minus side that is with a -7. Only two other players were on the minus side that year, Madden -2, Skille -3.

  41. When it comes to Steeger playing with 19 and 81 can help pick us his pace. Theres something there with 10-91-80 and 20-65-29 have chemistry (familiarity) from before. Plus Teravainen looks good on a line of 11-16-86.

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