Lehner Shines Until Shootout, Hawks Fall In Skills Competition

Nick Schmaltz returned to the United Center on Sunday evening but the story was Robin Lehner exceptional play for 65 minutes – and continued struggles in the shootout.

The Blackhawks put on the show in the first period. It took only 53 seconds for Chicago to get on the board when Jonathan Toews made his sixth deposit of the season.

Alex DeBrincat stayed hot with a gorgeous power play goal at 8:40 into the first.

Toews and Patrick Kane were credited with assists on the DeBrincat goal.

Christian Fischer cut the lead in half at 11 minutes but Chicago extended the lead late in the first on Dominik Kubalik’s seventh of the season.

After 20 minutes the Coyotes had a 16-11 shot advantage but trailed 3-1 on the scoreboard.

The Hawks’ penalty kill fell apart in the second. Conor Garland scored a power play goal at 6:32 and then Carl Soderberg scored with the advantage at 8:53 to tie the game.

Arizona out-shot the Hawks 11-9 in the second period.

In the third the Blackhawks’ offense was non-existent and it took another terrific performance from Lehner to get one point in the standings. Lehner stopped 17 shots in the third period, including a Hasek-esque save on a Clayton Keller shot that brought the home crowd to its feet. The shot totals were 44-25 after 60 minutes of hockey but Lehner kept the Hawks in it.

Lehner made three more saves in overtime – including another incredible save that should qualify for the league’s top plays of the weekend – but the Hawks couldn’t beat Darcy Kuemper and the game went to the only part of the game where Lehner has consistently struggled this year: the shootout.

Toews’ shot went wide to open the shootout and Kirby Dach, the Hawks’ third shooter, was stopped and Arizona escaped with the win.

Toews had another big night. He won 10 of 13 faceoffs and had three points (one goal, two assists).

Dennis Gilbert skated 11:43 but had 17 minutes of penalties from a fight with Jason Demers in the second period. Demers hit DeBrincat from behind in front of the Arizona bench in a dangerous way and Gilbert came to his teammates’ defense. The bench applauded him stepping up; he gave Demers a pretty good beating. Gilbert was credited with five hits in the game.

Calvin de Haan and Zack Smith were credited with five hits each as well.

Dylan Sikura made his NHL season debut and skated 9:58 with two shot son net.

Connor Murphy carried the mail on the blue line, skating 27:47 of which 7:51 was short-handed. He had one assist, led the Hawks with four blocked shots and also picked up two hits and one takeaway.

Dach was limited to only nine shifts and 8:01 on the ice in the game. But Jeremy Colliton was confident enough in the rookie to call on him in the shootout.

51 thoughts on “Lehner Shines Until Shootout, Hawks Fall In Skills Competition

  1. Would have liked the win with another 2-0/3-1 lead, just like BOS game.

    They have been on a role, and we played good 1st and half? the 2nd, not a good 3rd.

    Not excuses, didnt have legs in 1st period back to back and here in 3rd period? 3 in 4 days. Played well with those things.

    Not sure about penaltys last two games, 4-2 & 6-2, 10-4 seems kind of shady there refs. Only saw half of this game but I know NJ got away with a lot. I am for tema getting more penaltys when they cheat more but NJ should have been called for more then they were and I am guessing this game to.

    Anyways keep playing and puttin gtogether good stretchs.
    4-7
    6-1-1
    2-3-1 vs top 5 teams
    1-0-1

  2. Lehner stole a point, shutdown Kane line big time. Only 1 shot on goal in 5 on 5 play, while allowing shots against. No move by coach to try and spark them, Toews was on fire early and that line looked good early on. Sikura and these callups maybe a showcase for trades later.

  3. Sometimes SOG are not indicative of the game. Sometimes they are. Tonight they were. It was a dominating performance by the Coyotes. Lehner was the only factor saving the Hawks. It’s a shame about his shoot-out torment.

    The third period was rugged.

    Toews had a nice game. Too bad that puck was bouncing on him when he could have scored the Hawks fourth goal. However, someone needs to tell Toews that when your stick winds up between the opponent’s legs and he goes down, it is tripping, regardless of how much you moan about it. Too bad the Hawks PK let them down. The second PK goal was bad luck off of KK’s stick. I am sure that some people will say the slashing call on Toews in OT was tic tac, but the league calls those now and he has to know it. He had an identical penalty a couple games ago and went palms up. He was great on faceoffs.

    That was a penalty that Gilbert had to take that led to the second PK goal. It was a dirty hit on DeBrincat and should have been called. When the league lets hits like that go, it adds to the concussion problems and the Hawks have been afflicted with concussions in a major way. There needs to be a culture change in the league, even if it leads to some marginal boarding calls being called. The league says there is a change, but you can’t let hits like that go and then say there is a culture change. Unlike decades ago, most fans would be OK with less brutality in the game if it led to less concussions. There is already less than there used to be, but there is more that can be done.

    Sikura looked decent. Made some nice plays along the boards and protected pucks. Kubalik with 7 goals in the limited ice time he has had is a proficient scorer. There was also a play in the second period where he took a turnaround shot. It missed the net but was blazing and it was a good, instinctive play. He did pass up a shot in the third that he needed to take. Nice to see DeBrincat keep the streak going. However, in OT, someone needed to remind him that he is a sniper. Too cute with the passing a couple times.

    Schmaltz looked good. He was active all night. He outplayed Strome by a lot.

    5 points out the last 6 is good but only scoring once against the Devils is not impressive and getting outplayed badly tonight was not impressive either.

  4. Goalie point-
    We’ve talked about ‘what’ are the Hawks?

    Arizona-youth, great speed, relentless fore-check and quick in transitions
    Chicago-rely on goalie, pass it to Kane

    D-Cat you have one the best shots in hockey-you don’t need to give it to Kane in overtime (twice). This team is very Kane-centric.

  5. Yea want to see 20 19 8 more, even if 8 doesnt score if the line score more then it was, thats what we want, at least.

  6. The players don’t respect the coach, particularly the older ones. Colliton has no command of the bench. His in- game moves are below average at best. Notably, the referees have no respect for him at all. He can’t make a point w the referees like respected coaches do. All of this “coaching” costs the team wins and points.

    It’s a miracle the Hawks are floating (thanks for the most part to Lehner and Crawford) near the bottom of a possible playoff spot. If the Hawks had a competent coach, the team would be playing better, have accumulated more points, and likely make the playoffs.

    This all falls on Bowman who selected the coach. This is Bowman’s most egregious mistake. He has done some good things, but his blind selection (and the timing thereof) of replacing Q is the gold medal of his buffoonery.

    Tx Bowman.

  7. Sikura showed excellent jump and much more hunger. Nylander actually played harder on that line.

    If Gustafson will not shoot the puck on a 4-on-3 power play in overtime, then put somebody else out there at the top.
    Gilbert needs to stay in the lineup for having brass balls alone.

    Losing faith in Kubalik. A 3 on 2 in the third period. He walks to the top of the circle uncontested and tries a drop pass. Wtf ? I thought this guy was a sniper ?

    Love Conner Murphy. Plays his butt of every night in every situation.

  8. Robs, yea I think the league should make the refs call borading, like they do slashing. and go back to the way they used to call slashing. Hoss would let the refs know thats BS to, if he was playing or they called weak stuff when Hoss played here.

    Not blaming refs just need to get prioritys set right. Let weak slashs go and call boardings like that.

  9. P.S. and it was likely time for Q to go, so be it. How about the summer before last season? And how about due diligence by Bowman hiring the right coach for the team, not some amateur out of Europe.

    A professional GM looking out for the best interests of the team doesn’t handle things like Bowman did to cover his own behind. Terrible.

  10. We need to be clear and blunt here.Arizona is a much better team talentwise and are definitely better coached with their system of supporting each other all over the ice starting with a relentless forecheck.After they got their legs at about the 10 minute mark of the 1st they dominated the game winning most of the races and puck battles This was a prime example of why Strome can not play Center on the 2nd line.A talented fast team leaves his chasing.Schmaltz skated circles around his as did all of the lines matched up against his.Feel bad for Sikura.3rd game in 3 nights and he is put with 64 and 92.Obviously Lehner was incredible except the shootout.The hard questions need to be answered here.

  11. Iceman, you said it we are a playoff team, roster wise. Need the other peices to come along.

    Craig, really like Gilbert and hes part? of young wave. Thinking 2 44 5 27 Mitch Gilbert other could be good group coming yrs.

  12. Playing a team at the end of a road trip and Hawks are outshot 17-5 in the 3rd.I too have noticed that the Refs have tuned Toews out and are tossing him out of more faceoffs.He came real close to an Unsportsman Like to begin o.t and the Ref got even with that weak slashing call on him at the end of the powerplay.Hawks need a Nhl coach on that bench who knows how to change the flow of the game when you are getting outskated and dominated.

  13. Noonan. Totally agree. The 4 on 3 in overtime plan is give it to Kane and hope he wins it. Over and over and over again until he’s exhausted. God love him at least he has enough energy to razzle dazzle in the shoot out.

    I HATE the shootout but Toews shooting first is nothing more than a lifetime achievement award. How about Kane first ? Almost automatic. As soon as Toews fails first, we are screwed.

  14. The recipe used over and over against the Hawks is for the d-men to aggressively pinch to hold the play in the zone. When successful it tilts possession and shots against. AZ was very successful tonight. If we can put together a few crisp passes we end up with an outmanned rush. It won’t change until we prove we can beat it. Not sure why the 4th line didn’t get any time in the 3rd – they were good earlier. Toews was good but the first goal against was 100% due to his failure to get out of the zone on two chances. Then he took another bad penalty leading to the 2nd goal. Sure hope Gilbert stays – love the dudes toughness. The fight the other night against Simmonds was epic.

  15. Thats what I thought and even when we start good and get Tazer and Kaner goals, we had to get save on 3rd shot just to go to 4 and 5th shots. Even then we couldnt just get the 1-0 or 2-1 shootout goals win.

    You guys with 56 not shooting and being everytime to Kaner. What makes QB and RB look good and better is having two good ones each and that QB can run. Having both and doing both it keeps the other team honest and opens more up for us.

    Why do we not do it that way.

  16. Read this.

    For all the shots Arizona had, the scoring chances by location were in favor of the Hawks at 5v5.
    5v5 scoring chances: 29-23 CHI
    5v5 high danger chances: 9-8 CHI

    Without the unbalanced penalty calls, this game could have ended much differently.

  17. Mo, Kane never registered a shot for first time in forever, i don’t know when. That line was outshot 11 to 1. Colliton supposedly an analytic coach, the possession numbers favored Arizona to ths tune of 70% when Kanes line was out there. Colliton plays the guts out of Kane every night expecting him to come through. So the coach sees a 3 1 lead slip away and doesn’t do a damn thing to try and help him create a goal or give him some more room to work. Yes Debrincat especially and Gus should be shooting when when they get good scoring opportunities on pp instead of fooling nobody trying a cutsey pass to 88. Kubalik had a few nice looks but should shot one more time too. But the coach needs to do more than blame the players all the time and use them as scapegoats.

  18. MS – you’re right about Toews’ culpability on 1st ARZ goal – twice with weak clearing attempts – the penalty for the 2nd ARZ goal and then another penalty in OT which fortunately didn’t lead to a goal but took away the Hawks best chance to win the game if only DCat would shoot the damn puck which he’s way better at than passing

    As someone else mentioned, Gus wouldn’t shoot either

    This CHI team cannot handle fast teams – end of story, even though it was their 4th game in 6 nights

    Gotta point but other than the first period really got outplayed – they can’t string together more than 2 good games in a. row it seems – that’s not good enough

    And why no Dach in the third – that’s poor coaching again – no reason to believe that Dach couldn’t handle it plus he’s fresher than most of the others because he gets less TOI

  19. Small sample but 20-19-8 had 2 goals tonight – what took so long JC?

    Many of us have thought that this line might work out better for 19 and 20 but also for 92 giving him lower QOC to deal with and hopefully spark his game

    So far so good

    Ian – why couldn’t we have seen some 77 and 88 together in the third? – a good way to get Kane in a different situation with his line struggling and get Dach more TOI

    The in game adjustments from JC are lacking

  20. In a weird way 12-12-6 is the perfect record for this team. Where do they go from here? Do they figure things out or is this what they are?

  21. Coach Colliton and In Game adjustments dont often collide in the same sentence.I dont know if he understands that he gets the last line change at home and can get his stars away from checking lines or bad matchups at any time.I think Strome is still looking for Schmaltz.20 and 8 have to be stronger on the puck and put 2 hands on the stick.Enough with the half hearted weak 1 hand swipes.Might try driving a shoulder into your checks.Sikura skated like someone who does not want to go back to Rockford.

  22. Vegas got steamrolled at home tonight against the Rangers 5-0. I think they will come out hard Tuesday night.Hawks better be ready to play all 60 minutes.

  23. Wrap agree Dach shoulda been out there more. Try him 77 and 88 togetther be good. Toews going good tonight, try him and 88 in 3rd to see if something happens. Saad with 12 and 17 might give tbem more possession time. Say what you want about Sikura, when he played with 88 and 19 last year, they had their best posssession numbers and tonight his line was good too. Wouldn’t mind Tues night if 95 77 and 88 played together leave 20 19 and 8 alone. If Cagguila back put him with 12 and 17. Then your hands of stone line 15 64 22.

  24. If the Hawks had the Rangers’ coach, they would be a better team and have more points per above posts. And be in a playoff position.

    The Hawks have a better all around roster than the Rangers. The What is the Rangers’ record?

    The Hawks’ coach said it best after the game tonight, he harped on their inconsistency. This goes to the players’ effort on the nights they feel like playing, and lack thereof on the nights they don’t. More specifically, this goes to the coach, who was chosen by Bowman. No accountability bc the players don’t respect the coach.

    Cicular points, broken record. My apologies. Sometimes repetitive points like this will eventually resonate w the Hawks’ decision makers (who like to peruse sites like this), and maybe we can all eventually start posting about a new GM and new coach. The team is better than their record. That’s for certain, they’ve proven that 30 games in.

    Good evening.

  25. For all of the Taylor Hall people out there,the Avalanche are rumored to get him for a few high end prospects by the end of the week.

  26. ROBS, that’s right, Schmaltz can skate circles around Strome. We lost that trade, even including Perlini.

  27. Bowman and his coach are clowns. Tonight you saw why Arizona traded away Strome. Nice guy but can’t skate…way too slow. Schmaltz was too much for him and too much for most of the HAWKS. With Perlini gone, Bowman once again loses a trade! Sikura, can we forget this guy! Move on, his not a prospect, he’s a 6th round AHL player. When a team gets out shot by a mile, it’s because you have no depth up front, meaning not enough talent for puck possession and pressure in the offensive zone. And this is all on Kelley, Gauthier and Mr. Accountant Stan Bowman.

  28. Careful Hull.You will have those Bowman apologists all over you.They have the opinion that all of these moves had to be made because of the cap.

  29. Oh yeah, thx Tim, I forgot about that. Only Santa Claus Bowman has cap issues in the NHL. No one forced him to pay Anisimov, a lifetime 3rd line player all that money. Or Lehner 5million. Cap issues caused him to draft a soccer goalie from Beligium, Anthony Louis and Vinny H from the smurf academy..
    Good news is Wedin goes back to Div.2 Swedish League! How much is Delia making in Rockford as a backup?

  30. Panthers by the way are in second place in the Atlantic! Coach Q and Tallon, 2 hockey people. Bowman and JC, 2 hockey dads?

  31. Only a complete collapse will bring on the wrecking ball and it’s going to have to come from Rocky Wirtz.I for one enjoy the rebuilding of a great franchise by true Hockey management.For now a Nhl coach behind the bench would be nice.I have never seen such a lack of on ice managing of a game.

  32. A couple of thoughts for all of those Hawks fans who are certain that we lost the Schmaltz for Strome trade..

    A couple of things to keep in mind when comparing this trade..1. Since the Hawks traded Perlini to the Wings for Regula, the trade becomes Schmaltz for Strome and Regula(who himself was a 3rd round pick) so there’s an additional defensive asset that can hopefully develop into a useful player for the Hawks..2. Strome is a year younger than Schmaltz so the season that Strome is having this year is comparable to Schmaltz’s year last year..obviously he was hurt last year but the point being that if Strome is comparing favorably statistically to Schmaltz already, it bodes well for Strome’s continued development..and 3. play away from the puck as a center..which I think is the primary reason this trade was made by the Hawks to begin with..Schmaltz is never going to go to the front of the net either on 5 v 5 or on the powerplay..he’s rarely going to go into the corner and win a 50/50 puck battle, and his faceoff percentage as a center is one of the worst in all of hockey over the last few years..while Strome is far from a finished product, I think the Hawks saw that he has the physical frame and style of play more suited to a center who can play a variety of different roles as he continues to mature physically(he already looks more muscular than last year) and he’s just as talented as a puck distributor/passer as Schmaltz..Schmaltz will be (and already is) a great playmaking center..but he’ll need to be sheltered to just about all offensive zone starts for the majority of his career if he stays at center(I’m not convinced he’ll ever be the type of center that can turn over the ice if he starts in the d zone)..Strome may be able to develop into a more well rounded center in time and I think that’s what the Hawks were looking for..this isn’t as open and shut as I think some people think it is..

  33. Slayer Forever…In the long run I think the Hawks will win this deal but sill on the fence.

    It’s funny on how all the posters here see Schmaltz for one game are talking like He is a superstar and last year all they did was rip him a new one and say how great the Strome trade was.

  34. Silver Lining-D-Cat has another guy that can fight-now there are at least two enforcers when needed.

    Strome and Schmaltz are two different players-my guess is both teams miss those aspects of their games-one has outstanding speed (we saw it with the Hawks-now he has a coach that fits), the other is a cerebral east-west player, which might even fit into the Yotes game right now. Slayer is right-Regula may be the tie breaker.

    Regardless the Hawks need to find their identity, and IF the older players can’t/won’t buy into the coaches wishes (I think he tried) it’s the same old same old with half decent speed, half decent skill, take advantage of mistakes and hope your goalies can handle the numerous messes you make. Not much of a playoff model IMO.

  35. Duncan, were a 12-12 team when we show up / or ‘play’ for half the games. We ‘play’ for 75% or more of the games and were a playoff team, roster wise.

    Usually when people ask or say that, it depends. Have we won a bunch of games latey or lost, bceause the other is coming. Not saying were streaky but sch and other things make a difference. Timing is a thing, why did Rangers beat the team were playing nest so bad, that makes it hard for us.

    Same with NJ, why did they get a new coach roght before we play them next. They played way better then they have in a long time. They wernt the 2nd last place team in East, when we played them.

    Need a plan good system identity, those kind of things before we can win in playoffs.

    This is a good idea.
    Ian, Wouldn’t mind Tues night if 95 77 and 88 played together leave 20 19 and 8 alone. If Cagguila back put him with 12 and 17. Then your hands of stone line 15 64 22.

    Iceman, totally we are way better then the record. We have played as good as the record, yes. We are a way better, roster, then the record.

  36. The Hawks are in the worst possible place. Mediocre. This is not a team that can beat quality teams 4 times in a series. They can barely get by the devils and couldnt hold a lead against the coyotes. The core is on the worng side of 30. To me this says rebuild. And if the return for players like toews, keith, seabrook, crawford, kane and saad is not good enough then keep them let them retire as hawks and if that means becoming progressivley worse than so be it and continue to rebuild thru the draft.

  37. I agree wrong side of 30,but hard to move with no-trade clauses in their contracts. There is no “moxy” with the team, starts at the top with 19 and 88, when they want to engage all good, alot of this year so far just out there skating around, then lately taking stupid penalties and half ass attempt in shoutouts.
    Last night after Lehner make an unbelievable save they showed the bench and all were tapping their sticks in appreciation, except 19 skating from the bench, something is not right, they need to grow up and play hockey, this is not second grade baby SH*”…….

  38. The Strome Schmaltz trade was exactly that a trade, where there us back and forth jockeying on who won. Both sides should and did benefit from it, as one of the few vocal Schmaltz supporters at the time of the trade, i’m ok with the result.

  39. First period was fun, the rest….same ol’ story.
    Anybody know when the Dads Trip is?
    Because the guys certainly played well for their Moms….

  40. @Schmaltz.v.Strome, one of the biggest factors to that trade was that Schamltz was becoming a restricted FA, and Stan rightfully could not pay him the going rate. Schmaltz had not done enough to earn that contract with us which AZ eventually gave him. I think Strome is a RFA after this season, so we may be in the same boat with Strome, unless his play and/or health drastically improves. We could be looking at a viable trade candidate at the trade deadline, along Gustafson and a few others.

    FWIW – Schmaltz has played way better for AZ than he did for us. I think he was able to shine once he was free of the clique or Core or whatever John McDumbass wants to call them.

  41. The big problem with Strome is his skating.The game is a speed and strong skating game.I have rarely seen slow skaters improve very much when they get in the league.Coach Collitons man to man system does not fit Strome.Last night with the benefit of the last line change he should have gotten him away from Scmaltz.

  42. I don’t think most of us are saying that Arizona won the Strome/Perlini/Schmaltz trade. We are saying Schmaltz was better last night.

    It was not going to work out with Schmaltz in Chicago and the change of scenery was good for him and good for the Hawks and good for the fans who were exasperated with him. It was not going to work out for Strome in Arizona and the change of scenery was good for him and good for the Coyotes and good for the fans. Sometimes it works out for both teams. Strome is not perfect, but very few players do meet the standards of message board posters. Without a doubt, very few players are fast enough for the new breed of poster. The speed demon Vinny did not look good last night. But at least when he was whiffing on shots, he was doing it with speed.

  43. MacKinnon and McDavid fit that all around Center with speed.MacKinnon at 6.3 million a year and says he will take less money next time too so they can keep the team together.Just got to hit the lottery to find those guys.

  44. Considering that Robin Lehner (an excellent goalie in most circumstances) is a self-admitted psyched-out failure when it comes to shootouts, WHY NOT tell Crawford to stretch and loosen up on the bench whenever a game goes well into the 3-on-3 stage. The alternative is an automatic shoot-out loss! If only Colliton had the guts to do that, I don’t think Lehner would mind. He HATES HATES shootouts.

  45. Yea, Lehner would be good with that. I do not like shootouts because it gives a team, half? or some of the time a win/2 pts when they do not deserve it. Just have a tie both teams get 1 pt, no 3 point crap.

    The biggest reason to me why not to have shootouts is not having a goalie or a player get hurt, in any way, by doing this fancy all star crap to decides points for making playoffs.

    Keep it to 3 on 3. Like head hits or boardings, the league just doesnt want to whats best for the players and the game. They want the money or something?

    Just charge more for nhl package and channels, not have shootouts if money is so bad they need to shoot fing tshirts like bazookas.

  46. BRAD, I thought the same thing last night. Bring in Crow for the SO.

    How did Strome go #3 in the draft. Below average speed. Dach #3 will be twice the player as Strome.

    Have been posting to trade Strome, like we did with Perlini, if you can get some value, like a mid-2nd rd pick or good prospect. Don’t let it come down to him becoming an RFA. Hell, we may end up winning the Schmaltz trade if Regula and whoever we get for Strome pan out. Strome is an excellent passer and good around the net. We are not a quality playoff team and need to rebuild.

  47. Slay, good points on Strome and Schmaltz. I am glad its good for both teams and players. Both players should be happy.

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