Leafs Blast Blackhawks

The offensive juggernaut that is the Toronto Maple Leafs scored a season-high seven goals and chased rookie Antti Raanta after two periods, and the Chicago Blackhawks suffered one of their ugliest losses of the season on Saturday night.

Raanta TOR

Patrick Kane scored twice to lead a Blackhawks offense that never had the momentum in the game. Chicago was called for three penalties in the first eight minutes of the game, and the teams exchanged power play goals, with Peter Holland and Kane each scoring with the advantage. Kane’s goal was tipped in by Toronto defenseman Dio Phaneuf.

But a second period meltdown handed a big victory to the Leafs.

Four goals from four different player on 14 shots put the game out of reach. Jerry D’Amigo scored only 42 seconds into the middle frame, but it appeared the Hawks tied the game moments later when Phaneuf bunted a puck off Marian Hossa’s hand past Jonathan Bernier.

The goal was disallowed. Any brief taste of momentum the Hawks might have captured was short-lived, and the Leafs poured it on.

Holland scored his second of the game – his fifth of the season – at 12:09 to put Toronto up 3-1. That goal sparked a barrage of goals, with Kane answering 81 seconds later and Nikolai Kulemin adding Toronto’s fourth goal only 66 second after Kane’s tally.

Joffrey Lupol added Toronto’s second power play goal of the season less than two minutes after Kulemin’s tally to close the second period at 5-2 Leafs.

Kent Simpson entered the game to begin the third and allowed a soft goal on the first shot he faced in the NHL. He would allow one more, to Phil Kessel less than one minute after Brandon Saad scored for Chicago, to close the scoring for the night.

Raanta allowed five goals against 25 shots. Simpson allowed two against seven.

The blame could be passed around the Chicago dressing room in the wake of the disaster. Mike Kostka was bad, but he wasn’t alone. The Hawks struggled to clear their zone throughout the game.

Mayson Raymond had four assists and Lupol had two goals and two assists for Toronto.

Brent Seabrook was credited with seven hits, but was minus-three in the game. His partner, Duncan Keith, was minus-four with one assist, three hits and a team-high three blocked shots.

The Hawks return to the United Center to face the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday afternoon.

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19 Responses to Leafs Blast Blackhawks

  1. JS says:

    Anyone still think Kostka is more than a (deep) rotational 6th defensemen? Anyone?

    Kane was, once again, great… when he wasn’t on the ice with second line center Handzus. Kane has now scored 4 goals in a row when not on the ice with Handzus, but we can’t question Joel Quenville’s decision, because he has two rings.

    PK still struggling. Defensive juggernaut Brandon Bollig is out there on PK duty while proven PK specialist Kris Versteeg and Patrick Sharp watch from the bench. Can’t question Quenville though, he has two rings!

    What an awful, terrible game. When are the Hawks going to adjust their PK strategy? the 1-1-2 is not working. Teams are isolating the top defender by putting 3 guys by the blue line and completely negating any pressure they try to put on the point. IT IS NOT WORKING AND HASN’T BEEN FOR 35 GAMES.

  2. Mining Man says:

    We looked bad right off then opening face off and never got it together. Kane had a great game and was superb with the puck handling. Hard to believe he has never had a hat trick in the NHL. Toews tried hard to get it going and rally the guys but we were forechecked and beat to the puck all night. Very frustrating game. Guess we had it coming, keeps us humble, gotta throw a stinker once or twice a year. The real game is at home with LA. and we shall see how we rebound after this.

  3. RyanDale says:

    Coming on the heels of my comments about the status of the TML yesterday, I will just say. The more I watch it, the less I understand it. God that was a bad game vs what I considered to be a real bad team. Which way to the whippin post?

  4. ebonyraptor says:

    Not sure why Kostka is getting called out, he wasn’t the guy wearing the #2 jersey watching while Leaf player scored all game long. Pretty much the whole team spit the bit tonight … on second thought spitting would have taken more energy than the Hawks were willing the spend tonight.

    Yeah, you can’t win them all but I think you should be able to show up for all the games and simply put, the Hawks bodies showed up for the game but mental focus didn;t bother to show up. When the focus isn’t where it needs to be, it shows up in the little things not being done well – like easy passes being bobbled that throws off the timing of any potential plays, like not keeping the proper gap between the d-men and forwards, like leaving a drop pass to no one.

    Take the video of this game and throw it away and come to play against the Kings.

    That is all.

  5. Pete says:

    Why was the goal disallowed. It was off the stick of Phaneuf. Anyone have an explanation?

  6. michael petan says:

    Hawks where due for a let down, Kostka is very average as a Nick Leddy Fan I think his development is delayed due to him being paired with average d-men. Leafs did show a Detroit approach last night, While a Bruins over the top physical at all cost is not the way to beat the Hawks, the rare discipline Toronto showed and taking the body without penalties is the easy way to beat the Hawks or at least keep it close. They did a great job taking the body and the Hossa, Towes and Sharp line do not respond well when they can not skate without a body on them. To beat the Hawks disciplined teams just need to slow them down not beat them up, all about discipline. Hawks are fine, goal tending is a major issue.

  7. michael petan says:

    directed with glove (not really but that was the call)

  8. michael petan says:

    PK is horrible Hossa has no right to be out there. Ben Smith has been pretty good, Kruger has speed to get to the point. If Shaw didn’t bust his ass so much he is a perfect player on the PK as is Brandon. We need to close out on the point hard and we miss the size that Frolic brought, his size closing on the point was genius, big body hard to pass around. With the current PK we are hoping undersized d men block every shot.
    Shaw and Brandon Saad would shut it down, as would Kruger and Veersteg when he get to be 100% would be a nice pair. Gotta put press on the points, not lay back and block shots all the time.

  9. wall says:

    JS-” Rants lacks rebound control”- (no comment)
    But just like CC has played well in some losses- THE TEAM in front of him stunk…

    Kostka was BAD!!! Hoss was weak… Shaw was dumb… and on and on!!!
    TEAM effort in this loss (or lack of)- exceptions 88,20. Hell- Rants might have been 3rd best Hawk on ice…

    I am pretty sure the Leafs had 6 skaters the whole first period!

    And sadly- if they count the Hoss goal… we could have still been in the game!

    I hope LaBarbera stopped in Rockford to bring Simpson his Hogs Jersey and meet him at O’hare-!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. wall says:

    AND- Kudos to the guy on this site who kept asking- “why don’t the Hawks make a play for MASON RAYMOND???” He would have looked good on Hawks!

  11. Sr. Brad says:

    I am glad the Hawks comments after the game weren’t dumping on Raanta…while he could have been better, it was FAR from his fault…our vaunted D were NOWHERE last night…JS signalled out Kostka, who’s been good for us, when his comments should have been directed at Duncan Keith…Keith has been on a tear for the Hawks, but had an incredible let down last night…he had NO COMPETE…he was a -4 justifiably because he had a chance to prevent every goal he was on the ice for…now, is that Duncan Keith over his whole career? NO…as ER said, you just take this game and drop kick it from your memory…that’s why, to me, the most important thing was after the game the comments were on team D and not the goalie…Raanta will be fine, especially when the team D resurrects itself…CC does not win many games by himself and at this point Raanta won’t either…if there was ever a “Trap Game” it was last night…we can judge the Hawks by their performance at home tonight.

    Also, the game could have been different had the Hossa goal not been waived off…Hoss never had possession of the puck with his glove and Phaneuf forcefully directed into his own net…no question at all…that was a goal…and to top off their blunder, the 2 refs decided that the play was NON reviewable…the Hawks had a goal stolen from them in the heart of Canadian hockey…IMO there were a lot of forces at work that wanted the Leafs to win that hockey game on a national stage…Duncan Keith among them…

    Finally, while Kane and Saad continued to play great hockey, Toews and Hossa continue in the other direction…they were deserving minus players in that game…Toews has become a shadow of himself, with little production and inconsistent D zone coverage…clearly this is from his injury but what’s Hoss’s excuse? New family member??? Hoss needs to wake up and play hockey or take some time off…again.

    Looking forward to tonight!

  12. auggie1955 says:

    Wall and Sr. Brad, you both hit the nail on the head. Kane and Saad were both all over the ice. Saad was making things happen in the Leafs end of the ice. They appeared to be the only forwards to have their legs last night. Sullivan was just horrible and there is absolutely no reason for him to be up with the Hawks.

  13. JS says:

    I think Keith got burned on a fair amount of really good passing plays. Kostka couldn’t complete a 15 foot pass to Leddy without it being in his skates. He handled the puck too long and lost it a few times, and other times he thought it was last year and he kept passing it directly to Maple Leafs.

    The ref on ice ruled that Hossa batted at the puck. By rule it isn’t a goal and can’t be reviewed. The ref on ice was wrong and I’m pretty sure it was the same guy that called the bad Kostka penalty. He’ll be in the olympics.

    The penalty that Shaw took that led to the “back breaking 5th goal”, was beyond stupid. I’m sure he’ll be rewarded with more ice time. Note: I don’t dislike Shaw, just think it’s really weird how Q doesn’t really punish his stupidity.

    The Hawks better show up tonight or LA is going to send them running to their mother’s teet.

  14. Joey Zamboni says:

    Looks like the “Play-off match ups” karma train arrived……..

    Lets keep it in perspective, it’s a long season & EVERY team is pumped to beat the defending champs….. The Hawks get every teams BEST effort, however it’s impossible for the Hawks to do the same, these are men not machines…..

    The important thing here is how do they respond tonight…… The Hawks were flat out embarrassed last night (just like in Nashville) & I expect them to come out flying…..

    The Hossa no goal call was quite perplexing, why did they review it if it was non-reviewable???? The whole idea behind video review is to GET THE CALL RIGHT!! Upon further review it is quite apparent that the NHL blew it…… The evidence is crystal clear that the Leafs player’s stick knocked the puck in! I’ve ref’d over 15 years & I always give the officials the benefit of the doubt but this one was as bad as I’ve seen.

    I’m a little concerned that the NHL is trying to “even out” the games so that these poor less talented teams have a “chance”….. Hmmmm where have I heard this before….?

  15. Milton says:

    Hockey will not be a major sport until they join the 21st century regarding video review and take the politics out of video review. The Hawks did not play well, but it could have been a momentum changer if the goal had been allowed. The NHL needs to adopt a system similar to the NFL and allow coaches a certain number of challenges per game. There are too many games decided by referees. It is quite obvious that the NHL is using the referees to either even out games or rig games for the benefit of organized gambling, although I can’t prove it, I am very suspicious.

  16. JS says:

    The NHL review system is top notch. The call on the ice was that the puck was batted, that can not be reviewed because it is subjective. So while the call on the ice was wrong, it’s just part of the game. Like when a puck trickles past the goalie but the referee blows the play dead because he loses sight of the puck. Just like in the NFL when they rule that a runners forward progress is stopped before he fumbles… can’t be reviewed and it’s the referee’s discretion. In reality, hockey will not be a major sport until they stop letting boxing matches and WWE fights break out in the middle of them.

    Joey- if we want to talk about potential playoff matchups, we will. You must be new here. Everyone knows that the Hawks are going to play in the playoffs and be a very high seed. If all we did was cheer on the Hawks and come up with conspiracy theories regarding officiating, we would be on a Canucks fan board.

  17. ebonyraptor says:

    JS – I agree we need to stay away from conspiracy theories – anyone who thinks the league/refs are conspiring to determine the outcome of games I have to ask you why you’re still following the game if you think it’s all a sham?

    As Q said – the Hawks got what they deserved last night – there is no sugar coating it or making excuses for it. If the Hossa/Phaneuf goal had counted they would have lost the game anyway.

  18. RyanDale says:

    JS is right the NHL process is by far the best in sports and in fact Milton,the NFL has been trying to work closely with NHL for years in hopes theirs might have a shot at becoming close to what the NHL has succeeded at. NFL system has failed miserably imo, and i find it very difficult to watch , the integrity of the game has suffered terribly.

    And upon further review , we STILL sucked last night vs a weak opponent. How is it we did not have 40-45 shots on that bunch is beyond me

  19. Goldenbladz says:

    I don’t mind when the Hawks lose a close hard fought game here and there as you can’t when them all but can’t remember a game where I said so many F bombs. You simply can’t lose these big original six games on a national network on Saturday night. If you can’t get pumped up for that you are in the wrong sport. I feel so bad for Kane. He played fantastic playing with two of the biggest bozos all night. Versteeg skating around all night turning the puck over and Handzus is completely useless. Other completely useless includes Bollig. I feel bad for Kriger and Smith who I thought played well. Shaw had a brutal game as well taking a stupid tripping penalty in the offensive zone while Kane had the puck circling the net. The Leafs defence was brutal all night the Hawks didn’t make them pay for it. For god sakes can’t anyone hit the net!!!! I’m pissed as I have too many friends and relatives who are Leafs fans and had to listen to their BS all night about the ONE good game they will probably play all year

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