Marian Hossa, Blackhawks Hang On In Ottawa

On the night that Marian Hossa reached 1,000 career points, the Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators needed shootout to decide the contest. Thankfully, Patrick Sharp closed the deal and Scott Darling picked up his second win in three NHL starts.

The Hawks play in regulation left a lot to be desired. They allowed 32 shots in regulation and the overtime, and Darling finally looked somewhat vulnerable. Even with a couple goals he’d undoubtedly like to have back, his performance between the pipes kept the Hawks in the game early and for much of the third period.

Ottawa’s third goal, from Bobby Ryan only 30 seconds into the third period, shortened the night for Bryan Bickell. Bickell committed the ugliest turnover of the night, putting the puck on Ryan’s tape less than ten feet in front of Darling and the sniper finished with authority. The Hawks forward only got three shifts after the giveaway.

Jonathan Toews played a fantastic game. He scored two of the Hawks four goals, won 16 of 25 faceoffs and was credited with one hit, one takeaway and three shots on net in the victory. Chicago’s captain finished the night with a team-leading plus-16 CORSI.

Kris Versteeg looked good again as well. He finished with a plus-eight CORSI with one goal and one assist in the game, and undressed former Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson on his goal in the first period.

The Hawks spent far too much time in the penalty box, especially late in the game. Three Chicago players – Marcus Kruger, Jeremy Morin and Patrick Kane (serving a too many men penalty) – went to the box inside the first eight minutes of the final frame, but the Hawks were able to survive the three penalties and tie the game between mistakes.

Morin, who was outstanding in the Hawks’ previous game, found himself stapled to the bench again on Thursday night. He skated only nine shifts (6:25) with one shot on net in the game.

Brent Seabrook led the team with six shots on net, while Andrew Shaw was credited with a team-high four hits. Duncan Keith skated 28:12 and led the way with four blocked shots and an assist.

At the end of the night, the Hawks picked up the important second point and Hossa became the fourth active player to have 1,000 career regular season points. Thursday was only the third time this season that the Hawks have scored more than two goals; hopefully the offense stays around for a while.

As the Blackhawks head into the weekend and November, they now have to make a decision with their goaltenders. Darling has forced himself into the conversation, but Corey Crawford was healthy enough to serve as the backup on the bench on Thursday night and appears to be ready to return soon. Darling and Antti Raanta are both able to be sent to Rockford without going through waivers. That decision could come in the next 24 hours.

CHI OTT Shots 10.30.14

39 thoughts on “Marian Hossa, Blackhawks Hang On In Ottawa

  1. Concerns continue, but a lot of clubs would love to have our 6-3-1 record and most of our players… Go Hawks!!! A great win for not playing that well. Morin seemed like the puck was constantly on his stick for playing less than 7 minutes. Bickell less than 7 minutes after earning a start on the top line. Wow! Maybe he needs to be a healthy scratch for several games. Darling looked a little uncertain/unsettled at times. Now, after tonight, I believe he gets sent back to Rockford.

  2. The Hawks played a great team game against the Ducks and lost.

    The Hawks played a lousy team game against the Sens and won.

    That’s the way things even up.

    All four Hawks goals were scored within a few feet of the net. Hopefully the Hawks make a point of making that a habit.

    Morin made a mistake by chopping the stick and getting a penalty. So Q did the usual punishment of no more playing time. I hope that was sentenced served and Q puts Morin right back in there next game because he has been coming around and one mistake shouldn’t cost him a chance to prove he can play well and help this team.

    Bickell – maybe it’s better if you don’t try cute little blind backhand passes right in front of your goal. You’re not cute, so don’t try to be cute. In fact, try to be ugly, as in that face you made in the Cup winning game in Boston in 2013. Do more of that and less cute please.

    Darling is human, but still pretty good and if there’s a tie breaker between Darling and Raanta for who gets the backup job – I’d go with Shootout performance and that would be Darling.

  3. Boo- agree- Mo looked good and dangerous… but still manages to make at least one stupid play (the stick chop=penalty)… BUT I would rather see him skate on 1st line as a sniper w/ 19/81 instead of Handcuffs (29)… Please take 29 off of the PP- he is slow to puck, doesn’t want to screen the goalie, lazy…

    Darling will need to work on 5 hole for sure… Last goal was soft, PP stuff- I thought he should have had… But 27 was way too High on that (Coach Kitchen agreed), but the other 2 were on Hawk Turnovers (which are still happening way to often)…
    I also think that Darling made sure in SO that nothing was going to beat him 5 hole!!!

    Puck luck/bounces finally went Hawks way for sure on Tazer goals… but key is HE WENT to the net…

    Richards shoots the puck like his stick is made out of paper…

    Some one has to call Shaw out for TO’s… he had a few tonite Plus another Penalty while on the PP… Yet Q still gives him love… I guess the DogHouse was full (29,11)…

    Oh well – a lot more fun to watch (even if it was sloppy) then the Duck- snort.

  4. Good to see 23 play so well. Hawks were slow to start all 3 periods which doesn’t happen often. We gave up some shots but we blocked several too and we gave 65 no lanes or room and that’s gonna hurt them as much as anything. He had 1 shot all night and it came late.

    It’s 2 we needed , lets hope our showing in Tor and HNIC is a little better this year than last yr at AirCanCtr

    Congrats 81 on 1000

  5. Finally some greasy goals by taking the puck to the net hard. Great to see versteeg playing with so much confidence. Toews again leads by example. 3 starts in a row for Darling, sure seems like he Q’s new darling. Sorry too easy.

  6. Between 31 & 33 you have to go with Darling because he got the start for 2games after 31 could have/normally been in. 31 to depth roster and when we can get 86 up, the capspace is clear.

    “Now lets blow this thing kid and go home.”

  7. Darling didn’t play bad and was outstanding in the shootout and should stay up over Raannta at this point. Richards again cant do much. Morin fed him with a perfect cross ice pass and whats he do bury right into the Senators crest of Anderson’s jersey. Thought the Hawks had a great chance to end it in OT with the PP but thought they were trying to hard to get Hossa the winning goal. Just get some traffic to that net and beat in a dirty goal it doesn’t always have to be pretty.

  8. Yes, the two points felt good. It could have gone the other way, especially giving up that late 3rd period goal. Bagging those two points when defensive zone giveaways were all to frequent and sloppy. Bickell and Morin banished to bench time after making stupid plays. A shame that Morin takes that dumb slashing penalty, because otherwise he was doing some really good things again. Yes ER, I agree that we can only hope Q throws Morin right back in against the Leafs tomorrow night. Bickell blind backhand clear attempt right the middle in front his own keeper was a severe brain cramp. Yikes…one of those RUFKM plays. Versteeg stock continues to climb. Some slick hands at play when he undressed 65. A thing of Verbeauty. Speaking of hands, Kaner’s failed SO attempt was just a damn pity. He has that move down. Goalies have no chance with that kind of sick stuff.

    Hawks have a nice backup goaltender problem. Competition will be strong and that is a positive. It will be good to see Corey back between the pipes pronto though.

    I hope the Hawks remember the shellacking they took at the hands of the Leafs was it last year on HNIC? That was one of the piss poor efforts of last year as I recall. I believe the Hawks have some extra motivation with that one in mind. There will be plenty of Hawks fans in Toronto I am sure for that one.

    Last, but not least. How cool is it to watch Hossa play in a Hawks uniform? Nice to see Hoss bag those points in Ottawa to catch 1000. Elite company. IMO Hossa has plenty left in the tank. Hopefully, Q doesn’t run him into the ground with extra minutes. A fresh Hossa in the playoffs = advantage Hawks.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  9. Congrats to Hossa, who is older than Richards and continues to have excellent transition time and speed and value, but Richards is “toast” he might be good on Power Play but his transition time continues to be slow motion and you can count to 5 before he reacts. Morin MUST be playing, only guy who has the size and speed to chip chase and get to the net, he creates problems like Saad does. Kruger deserves a BONUS every night! TVR as I believe needs to bulk up a little and be a little more physical, he made a few errors last nught but over all still golden. I hope he doesnt fall in love with Dunkins Game and get more Physical on those ride outs to the boards and rely less on stick but more bulk. Darlings shear size does make him effective but Rannta has earned his starts. Versteeg goal was more of “out guess” a la mistake by Karlsson than great move but good to see him getting it going. Power Play just is a nightmare and a nightmare for a long time, that wide, stretch, perimeter is a waste, long long shots that 87% don’t make it to the net and when they do no net presence. Or if lucky it goes of Towes shoulder and in the net. Plus the shots then bounce out of the zone. Plus now we can’t even skate the puck in now? Power Play needs to play tighter to the net, one timers, quicker. Fewer passes more quality shots, having possession the teams will give that to the Hawks.

  10. 2 huge points for the Hawks, especially for not playing very well.

    Richards: I find comments like “Richards is improving” a little odd. But those have been the comments the past 4 or 5 games. That is usually a comment reserved for rookies or players coming off of injury. Richards, for his own sake, really needed to bury that perfect feed from Morin. Chicago’s style and the speed of the game seem to be beyond his ability. My enthusiasm about the move is dwindling. I am not saying TT is ready, he isn’t exactly lighting it up….yet, but did have 2 assists Wednesday. But jeez, Nordy, Moose, Regin all fit our game better.

    No excuse for Morin. He has huge potential but must stop making “avoidable” mistakes. I think Morin is a great fit for the Hawks, but he needs to mature alot.

    Bickell, WTF. That was the biggest brain fart I have seen in a while.

    Smith continues to impress. The game that suits his best is as a bottom 6 grinder, but should take a bigger role. I would love to see him center the 3d line with Shaw and either Versteeg, Saad or Bickell. Or maybe the Hawks should elevate both 16 and 28 where 16 centers 28 and 65.

    Two big games coming up this weekend. Hawks really need at least 3 points out of the Leafs and Jets.

  11. Darling did well, but at 6 foot 6 the ye ole 5 hole becomes an issue, once teams figure it out and they will he may be down by this weekend. Great story but sometime size does matter, just a hair slow down to his pads but everything else he was golden. As for shootout as long as he doesn’t go for any fakes it’s practically impossible to get the puck past him, like an eclipse. Just no net available . . . it was fun to see him play and Goal tending is a tuff gig and development can take years, so maybe he comes back?

  12. Mook- your 1st post is spot on…especially the PP stuff…has me begging for Last year’s PP… Hossa, Kane aren’t in any position to shoot… 29 should not be on (much rather see 28 or 16 (who are much quicker to retrieve loose pucks- and will take a beating in front of net)

    Mike-agree…Moose,Nord, Regin will ALL crash the net better than 29, 91

    Phil- That was a great move (but lets give props to TT… who showed Kaner that one)

    And once/if Darling figures out to minimize 5 hole (cuz his chest takes up 80% of top part of goal) he will be very tough…

  13. Phil,
    Right on with Kane’s shoot out move…awesome. Just think, when TT gets here, our shoot out results will go up because I think he would be second to Kaner in ability to make those moves. Toews does not have that kind of stuff, he just WILLS it in… Those three would definitely increase our chances to win those exciting to watch shootouts and get some of those points we lost last year with so many shoot out losses.

  14. Darling has some of the fasted glove reflexes I have ever seen….or he senses where the puck is going very well. He made the 3 shootout saves look just too easy, while Anderson got beat 2 out of 3.

  15. Outstanding accomplishment for Hossa. Very happy for him. One of the greatest players I have ever experienced in 40 plus years of following the NHL. One of the all-time greatest two-way players.

    Richards continues to be an ill fit and is really messing up any sort of chemistry.

    Saad is a mess. A discumbobulated mess. He has been the most impacted by the Hawks trying to figure out how these 12 forwards should go together and the adaptation of style on the ice…we are not a transition team anymore. At least not to start the season. Job 1 for Q and company needs to be getting Saad figured out. He’s playing reckless and out of control on the ice. He just needs to get his act together, be paired with a steady influence at Center.

    Bickell remains horsesh!t. It’s tiring having him be a persistent weak spot on the ice. Anytime you want to get your ass in front of the net on a consistent basis would be much appreciated.

    Morin takes one step forward, two steps back. He really is prone to inexcusable sh!t stupid plays on the ice. Needs to be cured of that soon. He is blowing a chance granted by Carcillo being out for a month.

    Lets be clear on Crawford…Hawks are taking their time on bringing him back because everyday he is on the shelf contributes a little bit to the salary cap space fund.

    Raanta is being screwed over. I hate it, but I sorta understand it. Darling is cheaper and is probably adequate enough to spell Crawford once every two weeks.

  16. RTF, I do however agree with your Saad assessment. Q has moved him all over the place and it it hasn’t helped him. He was really pressing out there even more last night and squeezing the stick. Over thinking anything is always a bad thing, especially in sports, and that appears to be where Saad is at. He is too good though and will come around. Sad to watch Saad be sad…

  17. I was at the game last night at the CTC and the Hawks were very lucky to come away with points. They must have left their mojo in Chicago. Ottawa could have easily put the game away in the first period if they could have finished. Too many giveaways by the Hawks. Bickell should be put on the IR because of his brain cramp of a pass to Ryan. Richards looked slow – I thought he was going to fall over when skating backwards. Toews, Hossa and Kane played well and Versteeg is looking better all the time. He made Karlsson look foolish. The Hawk stars won this one tonight. Hossa got a nice round of applause when they posted his 1000 point breakdown on the scoreboard. Nice to see him get the point where it all started for him. He is respected around the league to his two way play, toughness and character.

  18. Kudos to the big boys for showing up big last night. 19/81/10/23/65 got the win for the Hawks last night. 29/11/27 were the goats for me with an honorable mention to 91. Bickell drives me crazy. We need him for the Bickell that has showed up in the playoffs the last two years but the way he coasts for large stretches of the regular season is maddening. That backhand whatever it was to Ryan was terrible. Glad he was stapled to the bench afterwards. Maybe a healthy scratch for a game might help as well. Morin also drives me crazy. I am really rooting for the guy to get out of Q’s doghouse, I think there is a place for him on this team as a bigger contributor than just the 4th line but when he takes a stupid slashing penalty you just shake your head.

    I am curious to see what they do with Darling/Raanta. I guess it depends on whether they feel like Darling would benefit more from being in Rockford and starting regularly than every 4-5 games here. Raanta has proven he can sit for long stretches and come in and perform admirably. Its a nice problem to have though.

    Let’s hope the Hawks can take advantage of this incredible gift of playing the terrible Maple Leafs this Saturday and give us an old fashioned blow out.

  19. I’m not sure that the Laffs are an ‘incredible gift’ HabHawk. Remember what happened last December: 7 – 3 Leafs. Hawks have to play better than last night to not get schooled by the blue team again.

  20. Standing slow-clap for Hossa. Just a pleasure to watch that guy play. I knew we were getting an offensive force when we signed him but the guy is just an all-around technician and should be the subject of an instructional video on back-checking and puck protection. Hopefully Saad is taking very careful notes as he looks like he has a lot of the same tools.

    As pretty as that Versteeg goal was, it was given a huge assist by the defensive $#it show by Ottawa. Same could be said on the ridiculous self-assist by Bickell. I know there are players that raise their game for the playoffs, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger regular season ghost in comparison to playoff performance.

    The Darling garage door exposed a few holes last night but was certainly not helped by the good defensive efforts we’ve been seeing of late.

    Last night was also a good example of the “quality shot” topic discussed on the previous thread. The reason those greasy poke-in goals are brought up so often is that (per the research) they actually go in more often than other shots. So all those pretty tries against Calgary and Nashville aren’t nearly as effective as the little Towes poke in.

  21. Yes, Red Rocket, Mr Darling has finished his cup of coffee at the show. The guy did a nice job and took advantage of a chance to reveal what he can do in the bigs. Should mean some more $$ for him down the road. Hawks have 2 capable backups and a strong starter in CC. Sounds good to my ears.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  22. I’m curious as to what expectations yall had for Richards.

    Aside from some hilarious moments when he just doesn’t skate back on D I’m not gonna complain. He’s been a pp specialist his whole career and more of a setup man. Is what it is and for 2 mildo really not the problem.

    Shaw has been dreadful. And coincidently Kane is having issues scoring at evens. That’s a huge problem. 4th line is poopy. Rozy has not been good. Lol Bickell. Fun stuff.

    Not yet to the point where I’m going to get all crazy about it but getting gimmick points against Ottawa is no bueno.

  23. Sorry AJ, I think the 4th line has been pretty darn good most of the year, when they get to play. Don’t like Saad down there, but the other combos were all working well together and caused plenty of problems for other teams.

    BTW, taking points when you are not playing great bodes well. Things will eventually gel with this team and they will roll.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  24. @ Rufus, you said:

    “Raanta is being screwed over. I hate it, but I sorta understand it. Darling is cheaper and is probably adequate enough to spell Crawford once every two weeks.”

    Darling got sent down. Why would you say something like this before anything happened? Assuming that a player is being screwed over … that’s conspiracy theory stuff.

    They wanted to see what they had in Darling or at least get a sense. They have a better handle on Raanta as he’s been around. They put Darling vs. Ottawa at home, he played really well, why not ride the hot hand for a couple more games while Crawford is out? They got a look at him in a road game and gave him a few NHL games to get some experience and get rid of the jitters.

    No one was being screwed over at all. Seems more like good asset management.

  25. I think it is a mistake to send Darling down today. Crow will start Saturday and Raanta Sunday maybe. Raanta has had no work in a week. Send him down for a couple of games then swap for Darling. That said, if Raanta gets the call this weekend I am sure he will do well.

    BTW, I sure hope the Hawks bring their A game this weekend. The .500 Leafs and the under .500 Jets are going to be aggressive. Hawks can not take either team lightly… they sometimes do.

  26. Mike, I think road games are good for the Hawks right now. Jets at home will be a good test Sunday. It seems just about every team in the league wants to play well when matched up with the Hawks. While it might be debatable by some here, teams measure progress by how well they are playing against the Hawks so they try to bring an extra strong effort.

    Watched some of the Blues Ducks game last night. Ducks did not look as motivated as they did at the UC. Blues also left the rough stuff pretty much alone. Even Ott was uncharacteristically well behaved. Go figure. Also watched some of Wild-Sharks too. Good game. Wild are improved, but I think they will need better goal tending to get deep into playoffs.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  27. Mike I thought the exact same thing. Raanta has not played in a long time. Why not send him down and play a few games and let Darling be the backup with the Hawks and bring Raanta back with no rust. Either way i hope CC is 100 percent as there is no need to rush him back.

  28. Also the Hawks have to win the game Saturday as my son is a Leafs fan and i wont hear the end of it.

  29. goldenbladz – sorry to hear about your son being a Leafs fan. It’s a shame for someone’s youth to be filled with so much misery and disappointment. Mind you I am also a Habs fan and have my own set of issues…

  30. Thanks HabHawk i have two brothers in law that are Leaf fans as well. That would be their Stanley Cup if it happens (just like last year). Thankfully Kent Simpson wont be anywhere near the net

  31. Phil,
    was thinking the samething. ANA has one of the top off. and basically got shutout two games in a row against top5 teams. Maybe STL does have half a brain after two guys get hurt in game before that one (karma visits oshie). Oh wait thats right they will go back to being dirty again when their guys are back. They are like watching reruns of VAN they seem like they’ll wont ever learn.

    “Hey you make a mean martini there, Ho Jon. You keep it up, you hear?”

  32. By the way, and just to add to our goalie depth….M Leighton turned aside 38 shots in a 2-1 win over Grand Rapids. I would love to see a couple of Icehog games, but they do not come anywhere near me

  33. Mike if you want to watch the Hogs play I would recommend a HockeyStreams account.Although some of the feeds are not very clear most are just fine.I actually cancelled my centre ice package as it is half the cost and I also get way more hockey.

  34. Morin,Moron,Moroff, Morout. Who shows up tonight? One thing I know. The punishment for hockey trangressions will be swift and sure. Just ask Bickel. Stupid penalties and stupid giveaways are not tolerated. Now we know what Q really means when he talks about playing hockey “The Right Way”.

  35. AJ I have to admit that I was one of the mistaken ones that thought that 91 was going to help at center. I retained hope until his last turnover at the blue line. The thing that I can’t swallow is the fact that he just put his head down and made absolutely no effort to get back and support. No heart, no class. I don’t see him fitting in on this team. I am the first to admit when I am wrong and I think I was wrong in supporting the Richards deal. The other problem I see is the lack of effort from 29. How is it that the smallest guy on the roster is the only guy willing to take the punishment in front of the net?(65) This is your strong suit 29, please wear it. You are getting the big $ to play the whole year, not just the 2nd season.

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