Leafs Escape Hawks In OT

Wednesday night was a better night for the Chicago Mission than it was for the Chicago Blackahwks.

Brent Seabrook opened the scoring with a (gasp!) power play goal for Chicago at 5:29 into the game. Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz picked up the assists, and it felt like there was a chance the Hawks had shown up for a prime time game on national television.

Unfortunately, Seabrook assumed he was going to get a whistle on a potential icing play 11 minutes later. That whistle never happened and Mitch Marner tied the game with his seventh of the year.

The Hawks out-shot the Leafs 17-11 in the first period, though, and it looked like Chicago came to play.

Then the second period did everything but cure insomnia.

Both sides killed two penalties in the second and Toronto held an 11-7 shot advantage.

In the third, things started to heat up.

Tomas Jurco took a bad penalty at 3:23 and the Leafs made it count. Nazem Kadri scored his 14th of the season – but only his second since the start of December – to give Toronto a lead.

But Marner opened the door when he caught Seabrook with a high stick. The clouds parted, the angels sang and the Blackhawks scored a second power play goal in one game!

Schmaltz picked up the loose change on the doorstep and a replay deemed that Artem Anisimov did not interfere with Toronto’s Frederik Andersen. Schmaltz’s 13th of the season tied the game at two.

Seabrook went to the box 58 seconds after the Schmaltz goal but the Blackhawks survived the penalty and the game headed to overtime.

Jeff Glass did a good enough job keeping his team in the game through 60 minutes. He stopped 33 of 35 in regulation.

Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat led the Hawks with five shots on net in regulation. And Jonathan Toews won 11 of 15 at the dot.

But none of those numbers would matter in overtime.

Auston Matthews smoked Schmaltz on the faceoff to start overtime and William Nylander blew past Duncan Keith to get a shot on net only 6 seconds into the overtime. Keith was called for a hook and Nylander got a penalty shot, which he converted.

Game over.

And the Blackhawks turned a critical four-game homestand into a 0-3-1 disappointment.

Schmaltz had a two-point night to lead Chicago, but it was his former teammate with the Chicago Mission – Nylander – who was the hero at the United Center.

The Hawks are in Detroit on Thursday.

24 thoughts on “Leafs Escape Hawks In OT

  1. Pretty good effort.

    Nonetheless, Stan B. (and John McD.) — don’t be deceived! Continue to work toward “Younger and Faster”. Absolutely NO trades for rentals!! Attempt to move an “asset” or three… DO NOT lose touch with reality/focus on the Big Picture!

  2. If I see a Hawk player flail at the puck along the boards with one hand on his stick again … I’ll scream. Is there no one on the Hawks who has the guts and the strength to do more than slap at the puck? The objective is to get the puck out of the d-zone and get it into the o-zone but the Hawks inferior size and strength make it very difficult to do with any level of consistency.

    Ugh! Just ugh!

  3. Great effort by the HAWKS . They looked fast for the first time all year which is why I was happy to see Jurco, Kampf and Hinostroza together on the 4th line. Let them play together the rest of the year. No more Wingels and Bouma. Schmaltz is our number one centre offensively. I feel for Keith having to play with an AHL defenceman like Osterle who was a poor in his own zone. You saw Keith being himself a few shifts when Seabrook was on his side. The fact that an undrafted dman like Osterle is on the first pairing sums up our year. I still do not understand why Duclair is playing his opposite side when he is a natural left winger. Debrincat can move on the right side.
    Murphy looked comfortable playing his natural right side as well. The Hawks deserved a better outcome but the scoring touch is not there. I hope this lineup stays the same with maybe Hartman having a stint on right wing with Toews instead of Debrincat. SAAD belongs with Kane!
    Let the young players play and build for the future. Gustafson was good again tonight.

  4. Mental mistakes doing them in, defense especially the core guys can’t make those fundamental mistakes in front of young goalies and not expect to get burnt. Duclair has speed and skill but obviously struggling with his confidence in his scoring ability. Has shown he can be a scorer at this level so should score some but can he handle physical end of it, shying away alot so far. Should see some trades over allstar break possibly, some ufas at least might be moving.

  5. Liked seeing Keith in shutdown role and taking dzone starts, Oesterle not so much. Seabrook and Gustafsson in the Ozone good idea keeping 57 from defending as much as pissible.

  6. The first period made you understand how this team can play, and how much faster they are then last year-haven’t seen the Leafs on their heels that much this year, at least for basically a whole period.

    Don’t get the call on Jurco-did he interfere with the play development?-yes, but he is allowed to play hockey and skate across the ice, it was incidental, not purposeful. ( I get on Mo for that so better stop)

    Much to be hopeful about with parts of this team-Sharp looked like he was 30 again-KEEP Debrincat on his off wing, like Kane he much prefers this. He’s hit a wall this year but seemed rejuvenated yesterday. If Duclair buys in and plays hard he is an asset.

  7. DickieD- agree-younger , faster, (cheaper too- will be hard to move some heavy dead weight) any of 2,7,19,AA- even Crow- cuz- probably has best value to get most in return.

    I only watched 1st period… liked the 20/8/88 line (which makes you value Toews even less)
    I also really liked the Kampf line- I thought Kampf had a great 1st
    Toews line- like some have suggested… 19 is a 2nd/3rd line Center at this point…
    Better to get rid of “Cycle” game plan- cuz 19 is no longer Physical beast… let him play IQ/quick hitters w/ Dcat/Duke

    IMO- one of biggest issues with this team- is D group’s ability to quickly get to the puck- they are too slow/old to get back retrieve puck for quick breakouts… this to me slows down the entire “speed game”… and limits the transition game… especially when most of the forwards are undersized… so you can’t depend on Hinostroza/DCat to seal off or win board battles to exit the zone… Hawks need to rely on D guys quickly gathering loose pucks- to make quicker exits…

    They seem to have some of those “quicker” D guys as prospects… will they pan out or measure up in the NHL??? But they have around 4 or 5… so only need 2 to “hit”
    as PMD guys…

    Which brings us back to moving some “core cap space” soon… to continue the younger/faster story!!!

    If not- this will be several years of mediocre Hockey

  8. Good effort last night. Good to see Seabrook moving his feet. The core wearing the letters on their sweaters still not carrying the share of the load. Keith was especially uninterested last night.

    On the PP goal by the Leafs, after the dump into the corner Keith retrieves the puck behind the net with time and space. Instead of skating around the net to clear, he makes the lazy play and advances the puck along the boards where 2 Leafs were waiting. Instant turn over and 10 sec later puck in net. The Overtime was really sad. Not only does he get beaten, but his hook was weak ass. Nylander got off a good shot on the play. The penalty shot was the bonus.

    Over the years Keith has been a warrior. It is obvious that some is bothering him, just watch him on the bench stone faced. If he is injured, set him down let him heal and not skate him 25min a night. If he is pissed about not being the highest paid D-man on the Hawks trade him. He deserves to be happy and play at his best. It is tough to watch him now getting the puck circling back when he use to attack and turn overs when he gets pressured.

    Go Hawks, beat the chicken wings

  9. Oesterle is regressing, two horrendous passes two games in a row, not to mention other ancillary mistakes. If Kempny had made the first bad pass v. Tampa Bay that led to the late goal the last game, he would have sat for Rutta last night, and thereafter for another string of games.

    He’s played 6/6 in D-men minutes played, whatever, Bowman sees ability in the guy, I’m sure other GMs see the same; don’t be surprised a team like Pittsburgh jumping in on Kempny, he is exactly the type of player they need. If Bowman secured a 3rd round pick for Bollig, Kempny should be bring a major haul comparatively, but I would be pleased with a 2nd round pick.

  10. Iceman, Ian and a few others……………I agree, some of our younger players have regressed over the last 2 weeks. But remember that these guys are NOT first round, “can’t miss” picks, either. Some of these guys (Oesterle, Kempny) are guys who were considered mediocre players and were cut loose by their other teams and the Hawks picked them up in the hopes of developing them into “consistent” players.

    The grind of an NHL season is physically, mentally and emotionally taxing. That’s why most people can’t do it. Very few can. So when guys start making bad passes, bad reads and just basically play very poorly, you have to look at their game as a whole, not just a bad game that they played. You have to find a way to get the players to work through the bad plays and bad reads and get them to make better decisions under pressure. That comes from good coaching, good team chemistry and good teammates.

    HHNL……….I see the same look in Keith’s eyes and face that you do. It’s called the “thousand yard stare” and basically he goes to the bench after a tough shift and says to himself, “how did we go from being champions to a last place team”? Right now, all the Stanley Cup winning Hawk players are saying the same thing. The fans are asking the same question, too.

    But I believe in this team. I will accept a poor year, a year that let’s the powers that be figure out the problems. But I will also want the powers that be to understand that this needs to be rectified quickly because our window of opportunity is closing, and it’s closing FAST!!

    Go HAWKS!!!

  11. I have no doubt they intend to move Kempny and Gustafsson and Jurco if they can. That is the main reason those guys are playing right now, I would think, after not being used all year.

    And if someone needs a Bouma or Wingles on a deadline deal, that’s a bonus pick for us. I would think Wingles for sure would look really good on the 4th line of a playoff team. He’s a Chicago guy but hey, if you love him, we could always resign him for next year.

  12. At the end of the day, Stan’s message last year after running away with the West and getting swept TF out 1st round by a measurably hungrier and faster Preds team was…”unacceptable”.

    WHAT should WE – as a fan base – be prepared to accept moving forward? The very notion that playoff hopes have even a pulse at this point are completely farcical. Couldn’t even win a home game when it really counted. Cruel answer to the question is, ‘whatever the Blackhawks hand us’. Stated before, simply not buying that the game evolution sped past our young-30-something, well-paid NHL stars.

  13. Keith and Oesterle were brutal last night. The problem with this team is not lack of speed. The new guys have plenty of speed. This team lacks skilled finishers. Kane, Schmaltz and D-Cat are the only highly skilled offensive players on the team. Toews is a shell of his former self and Saad has no hands. Stan should realize that this team does not have Cup potential. The time to sell is now when Toews, Keith, Saad and Anisimov still have value.

  14. Regarding the PP… and Kane “coaching it in Practice” with Toews/Q/Keith absent.

    Hino- one of the few guys with + passing/quickness/shot combined needs to be on 1st unit

    2nd- I have asked/questioned in past – why NHL teams don’t try to use the Russian style of PP ( watched in a Tourney- seemed pretty damn hard to defend)…
    where 2 PP guys set-up under goal line ( giving 3 options to pass… two of which would result in under the circles- grade A one timers) ++ PK D and goalie would have to follow/watch Puck under goal line– which would completely cause them to lose where the other 3 Offensive PP guys are cutting/setting up.

    In short- that was the basic set-up on 1st PP goal last nite giving Seabs quality , easy to handle scoring chance.

    Does anyone with real Hockey/Coaching background have reasons of why more NHL teams- don’t try to run that set – at least sometimes???

    Very similar to NBA 3 point shooting % goes way up when — Offensive rebound and kick out to 3 point line… 2 reasons… 1- D is facing ball in lane… and loses shooter… #2 – shooter is square to rim ( in Hockey case- more square to both pass and goal ) so shooting % goes up.

  15. Wall mentions Russian PP alignment with 2 guys below the line looking to set up one-timers … that would be great except the Hawks don’t have anyone except Kane who can fire a one-timer. Maybe DeBrincat but I’m not sure he can do it with consistency. How many times (MANY) have we seen Hawk players with a chance to one-time a shot and instead they “two-time” it by catching the puck first before shooting it. The difference between a one-timer and what almost all of the Hawk players do is the difference between scoring a goal and not scoring a goal. I think the reason the Hawk players “two-time” it isn’t because they’re incapable of one-timing it – it’s because they’re afraid the puck will hop on them or they’ll whiff and they’re afraid it will end up with their opponent heading the other way with the puck. Essentially they’re playing scared to make a mistake instead of playing with confidence to make a play. The UC ice surface probably has something to do with their mindset because it’s usually a more bouncy ice surface than other NHL rinks … but still, you can’t play scared – you have to play with confidence to be successful in the NHL.

  16. ER- realistically- Kane would be one of the guys below the line… spoon feeding others…

    secondly- I agree Hawks don’t have the “gifted one -timer guys”… that is why- by using this formation… In theory- the one timers would be easier- because- shooter is more square to both pass and net… versus the point pass to the circle one timer- where shooter is neither square to pass or net!

    Panarin was gifted enough to take that longer pass from 45-to 90 degree angle (pass to shot) and put it on net with velocity…

    Kane to Seabs- last nite was around 30-40 degree pass-to-shot… much easier to time and aim + should be able to shoot from closer- cuz D eyes are all facing puck which is below the goal line

  17. The team played well but lost. I liked the top 2 lines. All 6 of those guys matter most play them more and play them together. I’m fine if Q goes line blender but find a combo between 19, 91, 12, 88, 8 and 20. Stop adding Sharp, Hino and Hartman they are bottom 6 guys anyways.

    I liked to hear the national perspective. Milbury and Ferraro called out Toews desire wanted the 19 from 2 years ago,…me too!

  18. Reg wise post-patience with a young team is necessary.

    As I mentioned it will be the under 26 crowd that turns this team around-not the older core. Effort is hard to quantify, but it was there in the first period-why can some teams play all out more often-Boston in the last month, Colorado for about a month and Las Vegas all year?

    Motivation, how they feel about each other, lack of leadership to pave the way, old habits (they could take periods, games off in the past and still get points and get into the playoffs with ease–not sure but that needs to be one of their goals this year-to consistently give forth the best effort they can on a given night and remember that they are playing something they love to do for a lot of money. Fans can’t ask for more.

  19. Better effort especially in the 1st. Hawks should have 2-3 goals, but posts and lack of finish quality left it tied. Power play looked better at least. Leafs owned 2nd imo, but Glass was pretty good last night. This game was there for the taking, but this Hawks team still seems to playing nervous, hence the fact that pucks just are not going in. I thought the awarding of a penalty shot in Ot was most generous.

    Ref crew last night was simply terrible. Missed penalty calls, ticky tack penalty calls, blown offside calls, on not off, off not on, and the goofy Seabrook icing, no icing play. Did anyone catch the following icing call on Leafs where linesman blew the whistle ridiculously early? Was that some sort of weird make up call that didn’t fool anyone? From my seat I know Glass was interfered with and a Leafs goal waved off. Was he in the crease? We didn’t get a replay at the UC BTW. Not sure what took so long to figure out Anisimov was pushed in Andersen on Hawks 2nd PP goal.

    At the beginning of the 3rd period this was a game where it was there to be taken. Hawks didn’t press the issue. I am in wholehearted agreement with ER comments regarding these stick checks minus any physical push back for loose pucks. Leafs game last night like every game preceding this one where Wingels, Bouma, and Hayden didn’t play, this current Hawks squad for the most part will not put opposing bodies into the boards and to the ice in front of Hawks net.

    Right now we see a Hawks team that lacks an identity. They do not excel at anything. It’s all kind of right down the middle with most aspects of the game. Not so good, not so bad(except the PP which actually came through for a change…), just not good enough consistently to win games. This has been a painful long stretch of mediocrity.
    I just want this team to play hard for 60 minutes. Opposing teams are coming into the UC knowing they will face very little physical challenge. I felt that adding Bouma, and Wingels was a good move after the Preds pounded the Hawks mercilessly last year in the playoffs. Those 2 with Hayden early this year hit everything in sight. I know the NHL is about speed and skill, but if you can’t slow down speed and skill with a physical presence there will be too many scoring chances given up.

    I thought Toews did a good job defensively on Matthews last night.

    Hopefully the Hawks look for some payback after that garbage effort we suffered though a few weekends ago. Serenity now….

    Lets Go Hawks!

  20. A lot of really good posts today. The effort was there and I agree that finishing is the main problem. There are so many chances wasted with bad shot attempts and believe they are playing scared to make a mistake and the confidence is down. Schmaltz for one had a beautiful cross ice pass from Kane where he hesitated to shoot and turned it over and he banged his stick on the ice as he knew he blew it.

    That was a bad effort in OT for Schmaltz not tying up his man and Keith just letting him go and that was a horrible penalty shot call. How was that any different from early in the game when Kampf blew by both leaf defenders as was whacked.

  21. The Russian pp may work but its being done in a tournament of thrown together teams with limited time to practice speial teams on a much bigger ice surface with lesser skilled players. But keeping it simple at this point to try to spark it likely best. Personally I would like to see more and faster movement and create openings and scoring chances and shooting first attitude.

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