Keith Ejected, Blackhawks Dejected In Fifth Straight Loss

After losing four straight games, the Blackhawks looked to turn things around in Calgary on Saturday night.

But many of the negative trends continued and the Hawks dropped another road contest, this time allowing three third period goals to lose 5-3 to the Flames.

Things started off about as poorly as they could. Duncan Keith ran Dillon Dube into the boards in a scary, dangerous play. Dube’s back was turned and there was blood on the ice, leading to Keith receiving a boarding major and a game misconduct only 2:14 into the game. So the struggling Hawks would now have to finish the final 58 minutes without their veteran leader on the blue line.

On the five-minute power play for Calgary, Sean Monahan scored his seventh of the year.

Compounding issues for the Hawks was some confusion with the Hawks not having someone in the penalty box, costing them additional short-handed time after the major penalty came to a close.

It was one of those nights.

At 13:57 on the power play, Jonathan Toews parked himself in front of the net and – surprise! – good things happened. Toews scored the 300th goal of his career to tie the game at one.

With 26 seconds left in the first period, Jan Rutta patiently waited to get a solid shot on net and it paid off.

His first of the year gave Chicago a 2-1 lead that the Hawks would carry into the dressing room.

The Blackhawks were credited with five shots on net in the first period.

Brandon Saad’s goal at 12:41 into the second period was the third straight for Chicago and gave the Hawks a two-goal lead.

Saad’s fourth of the year came with assists from Alex DeBrincat and Henri Jokiharju.

That would be the final goal of the night for the Blackhawks, though.

Matthew Tkachuk cut into the Hawks’ lead with 94 seconds left in the second period, and the middle frame would come to a close with Chicago leading 3-2.

The Blackhawks were credited with six shots on net in the second period.

Chicago survived for 13 minutes in the third period and then the dam broke. Goals from Monahan and Michael Frolik 66 seconds apart erased the Hawks’ lead and gave Calgary the advantage with five minutes left in regulation. Mikael Backlund put the final nail in the coffin, scoring an empty-net short-handed goal with 59 seconds left to close the books on the night.

The Blackhawks were credited with four shots on net in the third period.

Chicago put 15 shots on net in 60 minutes of hockey on Saturday night.

When asked if he is personally frustrated after a 15-shot performance on the road, coach Joel Quenneville didn’t directly say yes or no. He wasn’t upset with the effort from his defensemen, but the forwards did nothing to help the cause. There was no push-back from the Hawks once the Flames tied the game, and the power play – even with Toews scoring while the Hawks had an advantage – remains a dumpster fire.

Brent Seabrook had a nice night, skating 26:48 and was credited with an assist on Toews’ 300th goal after Keith was run. Jokiharju skated 25:29 and also picked up an assist.

Artem Anisimov won one of nine faceoffs and kicked Frolik’s goal into the Hawks’ net.

Toews led Chicago with three shots on net.

Chris Kunitz continued to waste ice time. He skated 8:03 – a team low – and was credited with nothing but one hit in the game. He was minus-one, however.

One week ago the Blackhawks entered their game in St. Louis with a 6-2-2 record. Seven days and five losses later, the Hawks are now 6-6-3 and in a tailsping. They’re off until Thursday, providing ample time for a long look in the mirror when they get back to Chicago on Monday.

46 thoughts on “Keith Ejected, Blackhawks Dejected In Fifth Straight Loss

  1. I really thought the Blackhawks would pull this one out, even with the lack of shots, up until the roof caved in in the third. I’m going to put a positive spin on some things though.
    Saad played decently once again. Got a goal. Was active.
    Toews continues to contribute and lead.
    DeBrincat almost got one.
    A good effort by Fortin was wasted. He really hustled and used his speed and was noticeable.
    Schmaltz had a better effort. He tried the move he has where he takes it to the net, makes a quick horizontal move and shoots right when he’s skating left. This one was blocked but he needs to keep that up.

    Got to get out of this tailspin. Hopefully this is one where some guys at least are improving their game a bit despite the lack of points. There’s a long time between now and Thursday.

  2. When was the last time we scored a goal in the third period. ?
    Give Kunitz the Cody Franson treatment. Waived and then down to Rockford.

    Take an honest look at this team on paper and it’s awful.
    Take an honest look at this time on the ice and it’s awful.

    It’s time to hire a General Manager who can draft and develop as well as understand that the league is all about speed and skill. Time to adapt because we are truly getting left behind with the Kunitzs and Manning’s of the world.

  3. Thanks as always for the write up Tab! A quick glance at Capfriendly shows that there are a few players signed for only this season. These also happen to be some of the vets that Bowman signed to fill out this years roster. At this point, there isn’t any need to keep them since this is not a playoff bound team and none of these players have been overperforming. I would look to move these players sooner rather than later to some of the teams who will be in the hunt for the playoffs for the first time in awhile(since usual playoff mainstays like the Hawks, Red Wings, Rangers, and Kings already look like they’ll be on the outside looking in). Rutta for a 5th or 6th rounder? Absolutely. Kruger for a 5th or maybe package Kunitz with him for a 5th? I would be ecstatic. I would also start to shop Anisimov(a player I am actually a fan of, but his skill set is best on a team looking to go deep into the playoffs..similar to how valuable Handzus, Richards, Vermette etc ended up being during our cup runs)..if you’re able to get a 2nd for him? I take it. A 2nd and a 3rd? I’ll take his sweater off myself. This is a team that doesn’t have enough talent on their top two lines(they feel one winger short or one center short depending on how confident you are in Schmaltz and his development) and really has zero talent on their bottom two lines..play Kampf instead of Johnson, Johnson instead of Kampf, Hayden instead of Martinsen, Kahun on the 3rd line instead of the top line, Fortin on any line you like and the end result is the same..no one can score/has a quality shot, and no one can finish at the net..combine that with blueliners who can’t quickly retrieve and either pass or skate the puck out of our zone, and you have the makings of a very bad team if your desire is to control puck possession and put shots on net..begin to move players out now and gather draft picks..this will be the fourth time in ten years that the Hawks have rebuilt this team in order to compete(before the 2010 cup, before the 2013 cup, and some minors changes before the 2015 cup)..it’s time to do it again..i don’t think any of the answers at forward are in our system currently(especially top six help) but there are reinforcements coming on the blueline so that’s a start..draft smart, draft some high ceiling forwards, and save some cap space for when you’re closer to competing again..then add your ”sharp” or ”hossa”..obviously sharp was a trade but the point is that there isn’t any reason to give Panarin 8.5 mil when your roster has this many holes..and I’m a huge Panarin fan but another large salary cap hit is not the answer right now..

  4. Good job by our PK. Only gave up 3 goals on that 20 minute power play in the third period.

    Playing not to lose = loss. We stopped attacking halfway through the friggin game. So predictable 5 minutes into the third period that we would implode. Fuck the score. Attack. FFS.

  5. I thought the penalty call on Keith was a bad call. The Calgary player turned into the hit and kind of ducked right into the hit to the head into the glass. Calling it a major was an injustice, calling it a game match penalty was ridiculous. But, so be it – the game was right there for the taking so there’s no excuse other than the Hawks didn’t get it done, and Calgary did. The 20-4 shot differential in the 3rd period is a telling stat – it tells very well the compete+execution difference between Calgary and the Hawks. Both compete level and execution are needed to win games – the Hawks had neither in the 3rd period.

  6. Repeat of last season on the way…there’s talent on this team, but coach Q doesn’t appear to know how to coach in this era of speed and skill… and Stan ?

  7. Keith hit wasn’t on the numbers and the player turned giving little or no chance of avoiding it. There be no more discipline but it was a hit to the head and that is being called as a penalty now, appearing to cause injury made it a major.
    If not for a a couple of mistakes the Blackhawks maybe could’ve snuck out with a win, despite being dominated for most of the game. On the 3rd goal a 3 on 2 the forward coming back elected to go for puck carrier too and left trailing Flames forward open in the slot. Of course AA with the tipin of Froliks pass.
    Toews line created some goals and chances early. Schmaltz with 5 takeaways is among league leaders again, a few shot attempts one on goal, showed improvement. Another 3rd period fail, repeated this alot lately it seems. Defense hung in without Keith, wish Seabrook looked like that more.
    Last long break and a busy, at times brutal schedule over the next 6 weeks.

  8. Ian if this team was ready to be a factor ‘pulling’ out a win would have been nice-too many holes

  9. I agree with everything said here so far, and would just add that the Blackhawks are just not good enough. All three teams on the swing through Western Canada are better teams than the Hawks. They hung in for two periods in two of the games, but outscored 7-0 in the third period on this trip. There are a number of players on this team that should likely not be in the NHL. I won’t name names because the effort is there every night…just not the skill. Anyways, congratulations to the Captain on the 300 goal milestone. He’s one of the greatest Blackhawks ever, and a real winner. What is happening right now can’t be going down easy for him.

  10. You may be right, but Q needs to either learn to coach the players he has, or let someone else. I just haven’t seen the urgency and effort the last couple seasons. Playoff…? And Stan?

  11. TJP maybe Q should be a healthy scratch next game.
    Noonan this season will be a rollercoaster, trend up head down, then your down and head back up. Just have wait and see where it ends. I think Soderlund not a skill guy but a bottom 6 buzz saw with a little offense and Entwistle a solid chance as shutdown center next year and skill to play further up lineup at times, Sikura development plus maybe a decent fa add and things look alot different in a year. Just gotta have patience this season.

  12. This is not Q’s fault – the talent and depth are just not there. I actually think Q is getting a lot out of this cast of characters. Going to be a rough year.

  13. Indian, good post.
    Craig, agree/think those guys are only temps-but then why neot get faster or better temps. Whatevers better for reloading, the right way. No short cuts.

    First 10 game segment-excellent (with good and bad but win-or tie 8 of 10 games)
    Second ten segment-bad (with 7 in 10 days caught up to the players and wheels fell off) But none of this matters, when talking about mid/longterm roster goals here.

  14. This is precisely Q’s fault. He has no system in place and it is killing this team. His philosophy (for the forwards) was always to do right on defense and you will have liberty on offense. This centered around (the now obviously dead) stretch pass. It allowed the team to relieve pressure and score in transition. The league no longer works this way.

    There is no D-zone breakout save throwing it up the boards and hoping the winger can tip it past a defenseman. Most plays this team makes are prayers; just putting a stick to the puck, chipping it, or advancing it to an area with no idea of how the play will develop from there.

    Blackhawk fan homework this week: (since we don’t play until Thursday) watch 1 or 2 games from around the NHL to see what a team with a system looks like.

  15. TJ, sure we could have done that.
    But Tazer said after that the refs always normally go over to bench and tell the bench get someone in the box. They didn’t. WHY.

    Ian, I guess that’s what they mean when they say good and bad. Just wish the sch wasn’t so fucking rigged.
    Also, I can live with a good and bad 82 games, when were in transition yr-to younger and faster and better players.
    What I cant stand is not getting our fair share of the breaks. We got 50% of them the fisrt 6 games, like 5% the next 6-8 games. Its hard enough to be good and then, I need fair share of breaks/at least 50% of them.

  16. Ian, another thing about the brutal sch, you mentioned, is the 1st 40 games is harder. We play a lot more top 10 teams. The 2nd 40 games is a better sch. We could come on strong in the 2nd 40, if we do the thing you guys mentioned and the younger players will get better as they get established and some more are ready to play.

    At the deadline and before the draft, we should make a list of the good FW and D ufas for this summer and next. The time we would add them. Just because were more then one good player (replace/spot 81 and 4) doesn’t mean donot get them/when you can/and WHO you want. Their avaiolabel when their available. Then when the roster fills in with deepness of the good drafts we got, were set. Inseatd of looking/when they might not be available then/at that time.

    Add when WHO you want is available.
    I am for adding that, faceoff guy, when your close. 11/26/80/next guy.

  17. The hawks have played 15 games and have 15 points (6-6-3). Last season they had 16 points after 15 games (7-6-2).

    Last year they scored 43 goals and gave up 36 goals for a point differential of +7 through the first 15 games. The outlier 10-1 (+9) victory in the first game means they went -2 in games 2-15. This season they’ve scored 46 and given up 56 -10 goal differential. Think about that – the Hawks have given up 20 more goals this season through 15 games than they did last season – over 1 goal per game more.

    One of the key indicators used in recent years to assess where a team ranks is goal differential. With mid-season ebbs and flows of strength of schedule it is not a metric that is determinative, but it is a good relative metric and by the end of the season it usually proves to be the inverse metric of points. The Hawks are the 5th worse in goal differential behind LA (-17), DET (-16), OTT (-13), and PHI (-11). The Hawks are last in goals against and 5th worse in goals against per game.

    I don’t get into “fancy stats” because in the end the only stat that matters is wins and losses, and goals for and against decide wins and losses. There are a few “what if’s” that could give some optimism for improvement, but even if those “what if’s” pan out, will it be enough to transform a very bad defensive team into a Cup contender? No.

    Repeat after me – “this is a rebuilding year” … and add this to the mantra – “please Stan, don’t make things worse”.

  18. Is anyone seriously surprised at this? As I have pointed out, we were the second worst team in the league after Jan. 1 last year. Only Buffalo was worse. The Yotes were like 14 points better than us. Okay, CC back will steal the odd game but nothing else has happened to break the trend. This is it.

    At forward we have 6 NHL players: 12, 19, 20, 88, 15, 8. The rest are 4th line to AHL tweeners.

    On defense we have 3 NHL players: 2, 7, 28 (maybe 5 when he gets back). The rest are tweeners (with 56’s defensive play closer to ECHL).

    In the pipeline we have some potential at PMD, nothing solid at SHD, and a few later round forward picks that might exceed expectations, but none that project as top-end talent.

    The present is not good. The pro scouting is not good. The plan looks thin. It’s a mess. Stan’s mess. Rocky is the only guy who can do what is needed.

  19. ER, one thing is we started really good this yr, record wise. Last yr we didn’t, but then got to 17-11. I think sch is worse this yr/during the 1st 40 games, if theres such a thing for us.

    I thought after 6-2-2 start, theres no way we go 19-28 and end up with same record as last yr./7th pick.

    17-11 and 16-28 = 33-39
    6-2 and *

    *I thought no way we go 16-28 (with a NHL top 3 goalie, not two ahl goalies) after what we saw the first 10 games.
    Then we go 0-4-1, so far.

    I predict if we go better then 20-20 we can have a really good 2nd 40 games and go 25-15 and be 45-35 and playoff borderline.
    -if we go worse then 20-20, then similar to last yr and 7th pick.

  20. Q’s fault or not is secondary-is he the guy to lead this team in a different direction? I don’t think so. I would like to see a new vision-would it be better? Not sure, but the status quo continues to trend in the wrong direction. Yes it’s partly the cast of players but…

  21. I like what Craig and Noonan are saying about roster.

    We have the good drafts coming. Were good there.
    Its what we do with these other parts is what we can control now.

  22. If next summer is more of a cost efficient veteran until time is right to go bigger in fa, why not try something different. The Leafs will want to shed cap, Marleau a likely candidate, on a 35+ deal that a buyout doesn’t give any cap relief. May be able to bring a Hino level prospect forward with him.

    You get a still viable productive top 6 forward, playing with Matthews and productive, plus help pp. The Leafs thin on blueline so maybe get some value out of young dmen likely to get lost in shuffle next couple of years too.

  23. See Tab’s prior post — dead weight.

    It’s not Q’s fault the only viable NHL forwards on the team are Kane, Toews, Debrincat, Saad & Fortin. That leaves for a pitiful bottom six plus one. (on a related note, Martinsen on the ice for Calgary goals 2 & 3, also took penalty in offensive zone that cemented in momentum for Calgary 3rd period).

    Manning :((((((((((

    Q is doing the best w/ Bowman’s roster configuration.

    Good day.

  24. On a positive note, Iam Mitchell had a fantastic weekend for Denver. If you go on Twitter you will see some of the incredible stickhandling and passing he pulled off, leading to tap in goals.

    Also Chad Krys has ignited the Boston University offense. He scored the tying goal on Thursday against NE, then had 3 assists last night.

  25. I was asked if I wanted tickets for Kit-London but said no when heard Boqvist was out.
    The website says day to day with upper body injury. No further info.

  26. Changing GMs would gave no effect on this season now, be more of an offseason move. Fire Q and you have Blues, Kings etc. lining up to go all in for him, while a replacement who elevates the Blackhawks is hoped for.

  27. Not liking the Boqvist status.

    We can make playoffs by having a good 2nd 40 games.
    If we donot Craig said GM is the change.

    Donot want to add Q to another top 5 team/against us.

  28. The Hawks have too many players who can’t make an impact at the NHL level

    That includes veterans like Kunitz and Manning but also younger players like Kampf and Johnson although I think the latter has more potential

    Unfortunately we’re probably stuck with Kunitz (NMC) and Manning (2 yr. contract) for the whole year

    But Stan could still make room for say Sikura and/or Highmore and Forsling by putting Davidson on waivers and sending Kampf and/or Johnson down

    Some combination of these call ups needs to happen before Thursday

  29. There is no cure for the Hawks this year and for at least a couple down the road. There is no savior waiting to come on board. Sikura is – – a 3rd line player at best. The youth are still green and once they are ready the core will have aged and be slower and less productive. Q is not the issue – he is dealing with the players Stan got him. We can only hope for #1 pick in this coming entry draft and winning a few extra games here and there won’t help that.
    Our glory is of past tense. We now sleep in the bed management made for us. Get used to it.

  30. I’d like to see Stan be more transparent and let the loyal Blackhawk fans know what the plan is going forward- both short and long term. Are we rebuilding? Are we simply retooling around Keith, Toews, Kane? Blackhawk fans need more transparency and accountability from management. How bout it Mr. McDonough?

  31. Would be nice if they made a decision about Q. Remember it’s more his call than the Blackhawks if he comes back next year. Forget the line management the team overall is not good. Hard to blame Keith/Seabrook for phoning it in last year giving the defensive partners they were given. Seabrook I thought had a decent game last night.

    So the questions is what do they do? The truth is it seems there is not much they can do. I’ve made the suggestion before and I’ll make it again; they have the cap space they should eat salary (along with a pick/prospect) from a team that needs cap space. Ideally it would be salary that lasts only this season.

    I like Anisimov, I am a fan, however I can’t help but notice he gets beat to almost every loose puck.

    Might be a good time to target teams that will be upgainst the cap in the next couple years to grab a prospect or someone who is asking for a raise for a draft pick. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’ll take a proven player over a draft pick anytime. (though Shaw for Debrincat seems to be a nice trade, but no way you could have predicted that).

    I personally have liked what I’ve seen from Davidson in the few portions of games I’ve watched. Maybe I’m wrong but I see a stay at home defense man there.

    I think Kane and Toews are still in their prime; shame to see it go to waste with this supporting cast. While we can blame thier big contracts (along with Seabrok) for the lack of support; they certainly can’t be blamed for the signing of Ward and Kunitz (who approached the blackhawks about signing and not the other way around I’m sure of it). I personally would have preferred they gambled with a different free agent goalie at least for less money. I can’t afford the 9.25 beers at the game.

    I’ve heard numerous rumors they plan on targeting several big name free agents next year. So does this mean moving Saad is on the table? There is no way they aren’t considering moving anisimov (unless a panarin return is part of the blackhawks not moving him).

    It’s frustrating.

    No reason to fire Q unless you know who is replacing him. I wouldn’t be opposed to him coming back next year but it’s not my decision to make and quite frankly I’m on the fence; the way they were exposed and didn’t change anything during that nashville series still irks me; whose owned more of the blame there? players or coach. I would have changed my gameplan after the first period of game 1; it was obvious what Nashville was doing. Whatever; two years ago.

    why must they constantly pass the puck to kane ; do something!!! passing the puck back to Kane last night cost the team a goal.

  32. 68% of goals thus far have come from Toews Kane Dcat saad. 59% if you exclude Saad. It was obvious that once Toews Kane Dcat came off their 100 goal season pace, one goal victories were going to turn into lopsided losses. Not to beat this dead horse anymore, but there are no supporting pieces on this team!

  33. Couch guy, your right if were not using the cap space last yr or this yr/and add 81 contract cap space to that to. Then use it to add a good prospect by taking a player someone doesn’t want.

  34. I am not satisfied until we get a 4 and a 81 kind of players back.
    That’s a big difference not having those two/similar players yet.

  35. Wrap thats a good point, if the ability to send certain players up and down from Rockford to give a boost to lineup is needed do it. Ejdsell is another who has played well lately too and could add secondary scoring too. Kruger does certain things well but not irreplaceable, he could be moved. Martinsen brings a physical game but Hayden who needs to use his size more to his advantage and Kunitz who with his nmc as you mentioned staying put, can give that, another spot. Get some more skilled players in there.

  36. Remember when Stan said at the end of last year we are in a good place in terms of cap space? What about head space!!! We can blame Coach Q for his lack of patience and Dog house routine….But if there was a real GM in place that Q respected, this bull would not pass! Stan has wasted money the last 2 seasons with embarassing AHL, ECHL, KHL, CZECH league signings showing laziness and a lack of vision. Like many of said on tghis board, the amateur and pro scouts are worse than any organization in the league. His drafting decisions are poorus, his trades are ridiculous and well, Manning for 2 seasons and Ward at 3 million??? A good place to be in Mr.Bowman.

    Where is Mr. Bowman? Can he answer to the cap space routine he seems to think he masters? Of course not, because he hides and has no idea what he is doing. Plain and simple. He got older this season just like last season with free agent, washed up players. Waiting for 6thn and 7th round picks to make a time is a sign of an organiztion that lacks talent in the scouting departing which essentially falls on Bowman. But hey, does not stop him from signing another late round pick from WHL who Buffalo won’t sign. Welcoe to Fortin, Highmore, etc…school of Hockey!!!

  37. The feeding frenzy of message boards is in full throat. Fans expect results, realistic or not. Nuance is lost to the cumulative scorecard of perceptions. Much like the truism of there being only one opportunity for first impression, so too is redemption impossible once perception has rendered judgement. At this point Stan can usher in world peace and still be found wanting. I’m not apologizing for Stan’s results, only pointing out there have been circumstances that are often lost in the frenzy to attack the target. But, it’s what fans do and it’s part of the job description of an NHL GM so I understand it and won’t try to stand against the tide. The sharks smell blood and are agitated – it’s probably time for Stan to get out of the water.

  38. People here tell it how it is.
    I cant imagine what the dumbasses are saying one espn and facebook and other.

  39. EB alot of people have been hollering for reload or retool but showing now when you have to pay for years of success and go through some lean time to get back they can’t handle. It’s like a kid that wants everything only to find out they don’t unless it makes everything more fun immediately. Being a continual hindsight genius is not that hard.

  40. I see Powers lobbying for Sikura to be brought up, and that’s fine. I’d like to see Sikura get called up too, but I can’t seem to shake the thought that bringing up guys from Rockford and shuffling the lineup around is more like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic then finding a real solution. But maybe that’s what this season is best used for – trying to find a few deck chairs worthy of taking up room in the life rafts.

    I suppose my dauber is down a bit – 5 game losing streak will do that. Maybe a couple wins will improve my disposition. Jeez … gotta wait all the way to Thursday.

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