Kubalik, Blackhawks Handle Ducks

After getting pasted by Nashville in the first period, the Blackhawks held two optional – and lightly attended – practices. Hoping for a better start against the Ducks at the United Center on Saturday night, the Hawks got Robin Lehner back between the pipes.

So when Max Jones scored 3:37 into the first period, it felt all-too familiar.

However, the Hawks pushed back hard the rest of the period. At 8:13 into the first Jonathan Toews tied the game.

Toews had missed a great look on the doorstep earlier but made sure this time he found the back of the net for his 11th of the season.

Anaheim out-shot the Hawks 10-8 in the first period but the game was tied.

Chicago attacked in the second period, let by Dominik Kubalik.

Once Jeremy Colliton stopped screwing around with Patrick Kane and put him on the ice with actual NHL-caliber skaters the offense started clicking. Three minutes into the second period Kane got on the ice with Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach. Those three created a good, sustained opportunity in the offensive zone that saw the Ducks block five shot attempts. Chicago was able to fully change the four skaters around Kane and, with Toews and Kubalik on the ice, the Blackhawks scored to take the lead.

Kane and Toews were credited with the assists on Kubalik’s 15th of the season. Kubalik has now scored in four consecutive games.

Eight minutes later Kubalik extended the lead.

With his 16th goal of the season, Kubalik moved into a tie for the rookie lead in the NHL. Imagine if he’d been on the ice with bona fide top-six NHL forwards the entire season?

Chicago out-shot Anaheim 17-9 in the second period and took a two-goal lead to the dressing room for the second intermission.

Rickard Rakell warmed up to open the third period. He cut the lead to one at 2:29 and got a good look on his next two shifts; Robin Lehner was on point almost all night and was able to keep the Hawks on top.

At 3:59 into the third Olli Maatta asked for the puck and got it, unloading a missile from the point to give the Hawks another two-goal lead.

After the Maatta goal the two teams traded solid scoring chances but neither goaltender was giving anything up. John Gibson skated to the Ducks’ bench with 2:40 remaining in regulation and the lead still at two.

Kubalik missed the empty cage with 20 seconds left in regulation in an attempt for his first career hat trick but the score would hold. Lehner was terrific, making 35 saves in a strong 4-2 victory.

Adam Boqvist (17:18) played a solid game next to Duncan Keith. Yet Boqvist received the least amount of ice time in the game among Chicago’s defensemen; Slater Koekkoek was on the ice for 18:23. Boqvist put one shot on net, finished tied for the team lead with two blocked shots and was credited with one hit.

Kubalik skated 15:42 and was credited with three shots on net with his two goals.

Matthew Highmore skated only 12:29 but finished tied for the team lead with four shots on net and led the Blackhawks with four hits.

45 thoughts on “Kubalik, Blackhawks Handle Ducks

  1. Not sure your thinking 8 gets 30 goals when season started, though he is a sniper. With the way the first 10 games went, your thinking 12 and 88 do not get 30 goals.

    Rookie of the yr. A little bit better then Kahun.

    Pieces for the longterm, young wave. Is what we need to gather.

  2. Highmore was noticeable, nice call Tab.

    Have to give Bowman kuddos re Kubalik. He’s dangerous. Fast. Skilled. Smart. Aggressive. Speaking of Bowman & Kubalik, the brilliant coach was scratching him for no reason ahead of Nylander; that’s amazing. Kubalik has played well all year; he was playing w the wrong players before he started scoring consistently. Who’s fault was that? The same person (as Tab pointed out) who has been playing Kane w third & fourth liners lately.

    The Hawks have blown six easy points in the last week plus. Blew Vancouver game. Calgary & Nashville aren’t any better than the Hawks, especially the goaltending. Should have been six wins in a row instead of 3-3.

    This is how you miss the playoffs again w an amateur coach chosen by the smug Bowman , despite having more than enough offense and playoff caliber top flight goaltending. And a defense not much worse than the defense Pittsburgh won two Cups with.

    As Lehner pointed out yesterday, the Hawks are a good team when they have proper effort and STRUCTURE. There is no structure w this coach. The D zone coverage is a joke, and it has been since he took over.

    Nice win regardless of the coach.

  3. It was that shift with about 3 min left in that game wks agos, were it was 20 19 8 and Kubalik had like 2 maybe 3 good scoring chances. Got shot on 1st, whiffed on 2nd, but you could see it there. From then on 8 has been allowed to play.

  4. P.S. Koekoek w a nice game tonight. Not a huge fan, but compared to Gilbert, Norris Trophy candidate. Broken down Seabrook is better than Gilbert. Let Gilbert go back to Rockford and learn please.

  5. Way to go Kubalik! Way to go Toews! Way to go Kanner! Way to go Robin! Way to go Hawks!

    PS. Please fire Collition. Thank you.

  6. Tampa Bay nine or ten wins in a row I think when coach loaded up top three forwards. Boston same thing all year.

    Colliton says he “will not commit” to playing Kane Toews Kubalik together the entire game. He wants to “spread it out”. Also, the team not effective from the beginning of the game if they’re loaded up like that.

    How would he know that if he hasn’t played them the entire game from the beginning? What a knucklehead.

  7. The Hawks played 2 solid periods of defense with sticks on ice and sticks in passing lanes.The 3rd period was a bit scrambled with the fire drill rearing its ugly head again but Lehner was there to shut the door.Thought 8 and 36 were outstanding the entire game.19 and 88 were solid when put together.Actually didnt mind 92 tonight.Looked like he started to play a more direct game and attempted to get to the net and shoot the puck.27 was much better tonight and actually took some strides in anger closing that gap and fighting for the inside position.6 was also very good with a nice lazer to the top corner and good breakout passes the one leading to 19s goal.5 had a tough night with a couple of dumb passes and terrible turnovers.As for the Coach,I agree with Tab and Ice.His decision making in game is as bad as I have seen.I also see that he told the Beat writers this morning that all day of game morning practices are optional.I have never heard this from a NHL Coach before.You have a team here that is very young and has not played together.The team still loses their structure and seems confused in D Zone coverage.I would think that as a coach you would be taking advantage of any ice time to go over and over coverages and situations so the fire drills and wide open forwards in the slot and net front go away.A good Hockey Coach would have netted this team at minimum 10 more points at this juncture of the season.

  8. Iceman remember the line combos don’t matter comment too. Hard to figure what he is thinking.
    Tab agree 100% on if Kubalik was given the linemates Nylander was, as he should’ve been if Colliton was doing what he is supposed to, how many goals could he have. Doesn’t get any pp time either, not that a goal scorer is needed on pp anyways, right.

    Good team win, love seeing a 4th line like 91, 15, 36 bring, lots of energy, with good possession and O zone time. Easier game to watch for sure.

  9. Ha! Ian great catch re what stellar coach said earlier in year. So which is it, they don’t matter or they do?

    This is where a soft media matters. No one calls him out on double talk like this. Same w Bowman, other than the fact he hardly ever speaks. He jinxed them the four points coming out of hiding earlier in the week.

    Great recollection Ian.

  10. Were just to good, even with ‘playing’ 50/50% of the time and having how many players out and with a system that isint really good and with not having enough of the right kind of players, to get a top 5 pick.

    We have that many things agasint us and we cant come close to breaking top 5 in the standings.
    DET 18
    LA 7
    OTT 6
    ANA 6
    NJ 5
    There is just no catching these five teams, they are shit/per say, even with as many things we have to play through and have going agasint us, were still .500 like Iceman said we should be 22-17 with a good system, ans thats whith everything else we have going agsint us.

  11. One rebuilding team beat another. Kubalik is a keeper. Nice find by Stan. I love Boqvist’s puck handling and his edge work on his skates, very very impressive for a 19 year old.

    Interesting comment from Elliotte Friedman on HNC tonight. He said the Sharks pretty much know it is not their year and are going to play out the string and come back fully charged next season. Wow. Btw, Ottawa owns their first round pick.

  12. I do not know how CAL go off to such a bad start, you can say same for TB TOR NAS, because these are top 10 teams I thought based on last yr and before.

    Everybody execpt NAS, yet, has got there act together.

    CAL now looks like they win division. Which I thought they would, surprised by slow start.

  13. One good thing is is COL is done getting top 5 or 10 picks. They got who they got and thats it.

    We need to get the kind of players you guys have been talking about the last wk or so. A good system and then were there again.

  14. Sometimes context is needed to fully get the picture of a comment. Cherry picking one line can misrepresent the intent. Not defending the comment – just giving it context, which actually gives the comment more sensibility.

    “There’s a lot of talk about combinations, line combinations,” Colliton said following the Hawks’ third straight loss and final outing of a seven-game homestand where they went 2-3-2. “It’s not the combos.”

    “The lines that have success, they’re playing a very direct, hard-working team-oriented game and they’re willing to do the dirty work,” Colliton said. “They’re willing to get their nose dirty and pressure on the forecheck, back-pressure on the way back, no shortcuts in D-zone. Those are the lines that have had success. The lines that aren’t having success, they’re not having success because they’re not doing those things.”

    “It’s not the combos,” Colliton continued Thursday night. “I could get the Bingo balls out and with the players we have, I can throw any combos out there and they would work.

    “If we had the work ethic away from the puck and we managed it and we played a winning style, team-first mentality up and down the lineup, they would work. Anything could work. You saw that in the third. We jumbled it up.”

    “It wasn’t the combos it was the work ethic. We dominated because we were skating, we were winning battles, we got pucks deep. That’s the recipe.”

  15. Some of us have been bitching about the work ethic all year.

    What was Keith’s locker room rant about when he returned from injury?

  16. A nice win tonight. I hope that we see 19 20 and 8 together when all are healthy.

    Knees played his best game in a while. Got himself in positions to score. Hustled.

    Dmen weren’t the turnover machines like most of the year.

    Lehner – what can you say? He’s gonna get paid somewhere.

    Boqvist – good hands with a very good shot/release, and quick feet. But he needs to get faster. Hopefully some skating coach can help him there.

    Much better team hustle. I hope it becomes habit.

  17. Going back and forth between Hawks and Ravens/Titans I must have caught the Slater Koekkoek highlight reel. He looked good and responsible on the ice at all times. Caught Boqvist playing and skating well. Did catch the Murphy (Defense) give away to let the opposition start the scoring, hence the channel switching.
    Oh almost forgot. Caught Travis Henry put on a show slapping the Ravins and having the lowest seed wildcard (read 8th seed) beat the number 4 seed and number 1 seed to advance to conference final.

  18. Some common sense from Craig and Silent-this Duck team is a shell of themselves two or three years ago.
    One game and the comments slant from totally from Bowman to JC. (and I’m not saying JC doesn’t make mistakes) When the players play hard, get a good game from their goalie, especially against a mediocre team-they usually win-simple.
    Caggs helps this team.

  19. Noonan this team had impressive back to back wins over Avs and Jets, then stunk against Devils, don’t seem to matter how good or bad opponent is. Just glad to see a good team win, not talking playoffs, want an easier team to watch, last night was, i’ll take it.

  20. When 17 and 20 are healthy we all kno what the top 6 should be regardless of who plays with who

    19.88.8.20.12.17

    Will JC figure that out?

  21. Noonan – My opinion, and totally NOT shared by most on this board – effort is the one thing that should be 100% the responsibility of the PLAYER. Why? Because they get PAID to PERFORM.

    No matter how many times I read those comments from JC, I see a coach stating that our team effort sucks.

    It has been my opinion all year long that if the only thing you want from a coach is motivating players, then JC should have been fired 5 minutes after being hired. But if you want a good system and everything else that a coach theoretically brings to the team, the team needs to ATTEMPT to play up to their level of expectation before those things can be evaluated. And this team, in the past 20 games or so, has finally done that to a greater extent. Unfortunately, the injury bug arrived too and makes the evaluation process even tougher. But NOW manglement has the opportunity to see what we have as a mixture of players and coach.

    It’s hard to fix what you can’t tell is broken if the players won’t cooperate. These guys are professionals, making more money in a year than many of us will make in a lifetime. They need to act like they respect the privilege they have been given, and as adults.

    That’s my biggest problem with the group. And that should be addressed by the guys wearing letters on their sweaters. The significance of those letters is that THEY are supposed to be the player’s leaders.

  22. Silent Spot…the full context of the quote doesn’t fit the narrative for some people on this site who have zero objectivity. Kubalik will have a couple of poor games and they will comment that he is a bad signing and should trade him for a bag of pucks.

    Btw, in case anyone thinks I am a Colliton supporter, I am not…. I think he is in over his head and may be a good coach in future with some seasoning as an assistant in the NHL

  23. I remember when Sharpy said after game 5 in 2010, PHI, it didnt matter what the lines were, we were winning that game no matter what, because of the way we played.

    Sure that worked for that game or at times, but you cant go buy that on a regular basis.

  24. Yes we have the problems we have and the roster adjustments needed and the caoch/gm adjustments needed. But this yr it doesnt matter if were playing top 5 teams ot bottom 5 teams, we can beat anyone and get beat by crap teams to.

    We really are a ‘play’ 50/50%R of the time team.

  25. Silent my beef with Colliton is more not doing the basic coaching to try and give team a better chance, questionable handling of younger players at times. I said since he took over, Q was all about winning games, that is his passion. Colliton seems more concerned with front office, no passion to win. You can look back a year ago, i made the statement in my opinion another coaching change will be needed before this team can be a contender, have seen nothing yet to convince me otherwise.

  26. Agree we need to make some roster adjustments so we have more of the kind of players Silent is talking about.

    This is a puzzle and it can be figured out. We have the pieces or the pieces to get the right pieces we need, to go along with young wave.

    Young waves is why teams that sucked a few yrs ago are good now.

  27. Ian I too would like a coach who displays a little more passion -that’s what most people are use to. But just like you can’t expect Nylander to be more like Caggiula in personality, you can’t expect JC to change his demeanor.
    He’s very level headed, keeps his cool and likes to teach in the moment. Coach Q was very different, and a Hall of Famer.

    JC may be a little over his head in this situation, it’s not easy taking over a legend, after 3 Cups, and the inevitable slide in performance and having Hall of Famers on the team) but most nights is he the reason for the mediocre record? I guess some think so!

  28. Mo these core guys know what takes to win and how to get it done, be there done that, proven fact . Send a clear message from coaches and front office they are in it to win and they’ll be there and pounding it into the young guys. What we are seeing on the ice is a symptom not the cause. To fix that you have to change off ice personnel.

  29. Wrap agree those 2 lines should be together, when Saad returns put him and 64 back together and audition a few wingers with them to try and spark them again. 36 and 91 as wingers together with either 22 or 15 between them gives a good line too.

  30. If we do not re-sign Lehner, we are freaking insane. Give him the $6M that Crawford makes and let Crow go. We can’t afford two $6M goalies but we can afford one, who just happens to be the best goalie we’ve seen wearing the Indian Head sweater in a long time.

    And on a separate topic, it appears that Hull never posts when the Hawks win, or hardly ever. Nice to not have to read the rants of the nattering nabob of negativity. (Those of you old enough will know that I stole that line from our disgraced douche of a former VP, Spiro Agnew. And I’ll bet that name has never appeared on this blog before…and never will again, hopefully.)

    Beating the Ducks is no big accomplishment, but I’ll take it. They look as disjointed as we often do, but worse. I hope Saad and Strome will be back soon. We could use them. And agree with all who believe Kubalik should stay with Toews and be joined by Kane. The kid has the touch, and he will only get better. I also agree that SB and JC should go, but Stan deserves some credit for stealing the kid from the Kings.

  31. Tony, thats what I am saying. Who cares if he wants 8m or long yrs. DO it, do it.

    If you want a top 10 goalie thats what they caphit is.

    Are we building a average team full of 2nd and 3rd line FWs and 2nd pair D like VEG. Thats the most balanced team ever. They are good. They are boarderline top 10 team good. Are they top 5 good, no. Can they win a Cup, maybe, depends on how many other top 5 teams there are that particular yr. I still would rather have a loaded team like CHI 2009-2017 or TB 2016-2019, then that.

    Top 5 or bottom 5 is where we should always want to be.

    Sign Lehner to more yrs for a fair caphit.

  32. I had to work and missed watching the game – looks like I missed a good one.

    I was sorry to see Kahun traded because I liked his game and thought he had what it takes to be a solid top-9 winger. Still do. But at this point I can say that if I had to choose between the two Dominik’s – I would choose Kubalik over Kahun. Kubalik and Kahun have the same 26 points total on the year – 16g/10a for Kubalik and 10g/16a for Kahun and that shows the main difference between them – Kubalik is a shooter goal scorer whereas Kahun is more of a passing assist guy. I’ll take the goal scorer over the assist guy every time when everything else is equal. But, everything else isn’t really equal either – Kubalik is bigger and plays a more physical game without giving up anything in the skating department to Kahun.

  33. I liked Kahun just like Kubalik better. Only because he is better overall player. We need more size then less, with already 88 12.

    We got Maatta for free because of getting 24 and 8 for free, so wanted to get rewarded for thsoe good finds.

    We also got 15 for fee from 20 trade and then that truned into this 15. So both 15s for free with those manuvers.

    Looks like 6 and 15 not staying longterm though, so want to get more then just fillers for a few yrs out of these deals.

    SHould prob keep 91 15 36 together, they were good and have 22 on 3rd for a checkling line.

    8 19 88
    12 17 77
    20 64 22
    91 15 36

  34. Mo Coach Colliton has already said no way to your line combos.Each goal scorer must have an anchor on their respective line to slow them down and spread out the scoring so he can roll all 4 lines.

  35. Tim – if JC doesn’t roll with 8-19-88 from the start next game then my conclusion is that he reads this blog and is just trying to piss us off

    It was encouraging that they played two periods I think together vs ANA so perhaps the obvious is finally dawning on him

    The fact that he hasn’t yet gone with that combo from the start of a game (he prefers to play them sporadically or if they’re behind in the third) speaks to an over thinking that JC does seem guilty of too often

  36. Yea 77 hasnt been as good, per say as hes has been for awhile and without 17, maybe something going on there/12 17 77. So like 20 on 2nd line. Your not doing 88 on 2nd so do 20 and have 8 19 88 and show Lehner that we are a team worth him and were going to do what it takes to get our act together. A team that has lots of good young players coming soon.

    Want to see some really good playing with more deepness, like 91 completing a missing link to a 4th line and 8 doing the same for top 6. Kind of stuff. Buzz again.

    Like KC is doing after being down 24 pts.

  37. Wrap 20 has never had any chemistry with 12 and 17, not sure be a good combo. 20 and 64 played well together earlier this season, get that line going and let young guys stay together and pick their spots, when struggling use 20 and 64 line more.

    Mo maybe use 15 with 64 and 20 against physical teams and 92 with them against teams that give more room out there.

  38. @OutofTown…saw the highlights and read the game synopsis. Many of us on this site have been clamoring for many weeks for #8 to get more quality minutes. I have constantly praised his smarts and quick release. He is definitely a keeper, and his impact reminds of Panarin’s in his first year with us. Colliton – if benching him lit a fire under him and made him this successful, then well done! Stan, sign him to a long-term deal, and don’t just don’t trade him away for another former Blackhawk!

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