Panik Taps Oilers Twice, Blackhawks Cruise In Edmonton

In their last game before a week off, the Blackhawks stayed hot in Edmonton.

The game’s first five minutes were all Oilers, though. Four minutes in, Connor McDavid made a terrific play to pick Niklas Hjalmarsson’s pocket and found Patrick Maroon in front to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Richard Panik unloaded a one-timer and tied the game.

Nick Schmaltz picked up the primary assist on the goal as the Toews line continued their strong play.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went to the box to give Chicago its first power play of the evening, and the Hawks didn’t waste much time. Patrick Kane banked a shot in off Cam Talbot to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead just 25 seconds into the advantage.

Panik and Jonathan Toews were credited with the assists on Kane’s 19th goal of the year.

Chicago finished the first period with that 2-1 lead but were out-shot 12-8. Scott Darling had a strong period to limit the Oilers to just one goal.

The second period saw the Blackhawks completely turn the tables on the Oilers and dominate for 20 minutes.

At 8:37 into the second, Oscar Klefbom coughed up the puck and Trevor van Riemsdyk deposited his third goal of the season.

Matthew Benning went to the box for Edmonton at 17:17 and the Blackhawks once again made their advantage count. And once again, it was Panik – but this time he was planted on the doorstep putting home a loose puck for his 14th of the year.

The goal gave Panik three points on the night and extended the Blackhawks’s lead to 4-1. Chicago out-shot Edmonton 12-6 in the second period and looked like the faster team on the ice in spite of the Hawks having played on Friday night.

Edmonton pulled Talbot after allowing four goals against 20 shots over the first 40 minutes, inserting Laurent Brossoit between the pipes for the third period.

Brossoit kept the score at 4-1 for 16 minutes until Brian Campbell found Kane with a great cross-ice pass. Kane fired the puck on net and Artem Anisimov deposited the loose change to give the Blackhawks a 5-1 lead.

Anisimov’s 20th of the year ties Marian Hossa for the team lead.

A solid indication of the state of affairs in Edmonton came with 2:52 left in regulation when Oilers captain Nugent-Hopkins dropped the gloves with Vinnie Hinostroza. Chicago picked up an extra minor on the play, giving Edmonton the power play but the fight was worthless… the point that the DJ in the arena played “Working for the Weekend” as the advantage began.

The Oilers did nothing on the power play and watched the final minute of the game roll off the clock.

Chicago won their fifth straight and head to a full week off.

Kane finished with three points (one goal, two assists) to join Panik on top of the box score. Toews had two assists and won 67 percent of his faceoffs (12 of 18). Panik was credited with three blocked shots to go with his three points in another strong effort. Schmaltz’s ice time continues to increase as his confidence and all-around play show more signs of growth; he skated over 16 minutes on Saturday night.

Anisimov and Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with four blocked shots on the night; Chicago blocked 25 shots as a team. Seabrook also led the Hawks with two hits.

Edmonton out-shot the Hawks 13-5 in the third period but Darling was on point throughout. He stopped 30 of 31 to pick up the victory.

McDavid started the game strong but then disappeared. The Oilers’ superstar put only two shots on net in over 19 minutes of ice time.

33 thoughts on “Panik Taps Oilers Twice, Blackhawks Cruise In Edmonton

  1. Norris trophy performance by keith to shutdown mcdavid. All around solid game, top line strong again and power play clicking. Superb effort from darling and strong defensive game with a shutdown pk, nice way to finish roadtrip and head into break.

  2. Good summary (as usual!), Tab.

    Blast-from-the-past: “Panik is just a guy”…

    In my opinion, if the Hawks keep playing well, especially the “young guys”, I don’t believe they need to add a “rental”. The market always demands overpayment, and maybe there are no real upgrades available. (There’s this compulsion to add something – whether it makes sense or not…)

  3. Man another really good long road trip. We were 3-3-1 in the other but had just gone 9-0-2 right before. 5-1 is a wicked on a long road trip. Even though record is good we want team game and the guys to get better as we go along and every 10 games segment the young and new guys get better. Theres still moar upside. Theres still room for improvement in team game.

    Even thought Bread Man was in on 3 goals, didn’t get a pt which is a good thing for player bonuses. Keep that frog soup away from Bread Man, Soupy until we are in the clear. Then we can see some serious shit.

  4. 5 in a row. How can that happen? I think some clown said we’d be sellers at the trading deadline! Here are some other clown comments:

    (1) Panik. Just another guy.
    (2) Schmaltz. Too slow send him to the minors.
    (3) Seabrook. Too slow and old.
    (4) Hossa. Too old over the hill.

    Way too many other clown comments to count. The hawks will always be contenders as long as they keep the core together. They consistently prove
    their doubters wrong!

  5. Appreciated all the greasy goals and everyone converging to the net. That’s the playoff formula for success.

  6. Well I didn’t see this many wins on this road trip but love to eat my words.
    Liked 7’s play but as Ian mentioned D.K was playing like the old # 2 during his years where he was mentioned as a Norris candidate.
    The Hawks schooled Edmonton.

  7. Good

    Schmaltz- puck really sticks to his stick
    Toews
    Panarin
    Panik

    Bad-
    My pessimism- as noted by Tab

    Hawks “should” be sellers… The winner will come out of the East! So don’t Overpay for rental Stan!

  8. Wall saying the hawks should be sellers because the winner is coming from the east at this point is not pessimistic, but it does remind me of an old saying that goes ” you can’t argue with stupidity”. Because quitting on this team now would be utterly foolish.

  9. Schmaltz is a smart, skilled player and a key piece for the future. And the Hawks getting Panarin was a great gift to the fans.
    D-Cat at 96 points after yesterday. And the rumour has clowns forming a union as it appears the word is being used ‘ad nauseam’ and they’re being porrtayed in a bad light.

  10. Have you seen the movie ( IT } now that,s a clown ! Another rolling 4 lines pretty well last night , Toews line ,great forcheck, and puck pressure down low , really creating havoc . Seems to be great chemistry flowing within the team right now . I still feel the need for a 4-5 D man @ deadline ,..,,but i do hope they keep it simple as well .

  11. Outstanding effort once again, the four lines are shaping up nicely.

    Forsling is NOT an NHL D man at the moment; if there is not a trade made for a D man — unlikely– Kempny is far more capable as the 6th D man.

  12. The youth injection has given us a new energy that makes it feel a bit like 2008/9 (although obviously there are big differences as well). I agree with Dickie Dunn–no need for an expensive addition at the TDL (maybe just a tweak if the right deal comes up). The kids/new guys have done their jobs–let them run with it.

  13. Now boys … can’t we all just get along.

    The keys to the Hawks fortunes are Keith and Toews (provided everyone else maintains their level of play). With Keith and Toews looking more like what we’ve come to expect lately, it moves the team from a probable 1st round exit to a team that will advance to the 2nd round or maybe even the WCF. But, I’m still not sold they could beat the several top teams in a 7-game series, specifically Washington, Pittsburgh, and probably add Minnesota and Columbus to that list.

    Therefore, I think the missing top-6 LW needs to be acquired. Schmaltz is a nice player but he isn’t a consistent top-6 player at this point in his young career. Panik probably isn’t a true top-6 player either but he plays with consistency and is showing improvement on offense.

    A recent rumor has Stan inquiring about Ondrej Palat from TB. He would be perfect to play LW with Toews with either Panik or Hossa at RW. Palat plays a very good 2-way game and has pretty good offensive abilities – a legit top-6 player. A Palat-Toews-Hossa line would be pretty close to the dominating Saad-Toews-Hossa line from a couple years ago.

    On the win against EDM last night – it was Edmonton’s first game after having their bye week. Likewise, the Hawks will play EDM as the first game after their bye week. We’ll see how the Hawks legs are late in the game after being out of action for a week. Not taking anything away from the Hawks win last night as they played well … but it did seem like the Edmonton players had a lot more jump to their game early than late.

  14. The Blackhawks, winners of 12 of 18, should be sellers…. if by sellers you mean “dump Tootoo and/or Desjardins because the kids are just fine” then I agree. Anything more than that his laughable.

  15. From midway on McDavid was invisible. Had to check to see if he missed time. Sharks are 1-4 since they beat the Hawks. Hawks have won 5.

    I guess we’re all enamored with the final and going to ignore the corsi chart?

    I’m more bullish than Iceman when it comes to Forsling.

    Hawks removed Roszival from IR so they could go minimum roster size. Sending the 4 kids down for the next 6 days saves 106k in cap.

  16. “if you’re repeating rumors that come from a place that… let’s say it creates a lot of Buzz….” (Tab) – when I read that (again, it’s entertainment…like The Onion) I nearly laughed out loud….can you imagine what Yzerman might want in return for Ondrej Palat? (JJ is a funny guy or, when in doubt just make something up?)

  17. I am not sure which game/time it was that we got back to 4lines again but that was the end of the transition yr/time frame we went threw for the FW. Now that we are back to 4 good lines we are moving forward and can be better each yr for the coming yrs. The young guys (and theres moar coming) are going to get better in their 2nd and 3rd yrs as their all around game will be better. Then we could be stacked again.

    I am for any trade we do to add good FW/depth guys (as long as its not 1st in 17 or any young guy/top prospects). We added Hands for a 4th so even though theres not many guys available now there will be near/at deadline like that. Its always worth adding just be smart in what we do because we are going to better/deeper for the coming yrs. Theres a way to add and keep entire core and young guys/prospects. Bread Man not getting that player bonuses is an extra 1.75m towards keeping the entire core/or and adding/keeping a guy (like 51 or 10).

    Now that were back to 4 lines again (and with a deeper group of Defenseman) that transition is in the rear view mirror.

    Long road trips babaaaay.

  18. The funny thing about the hockeybuzz hogwash (which actually was a site mocking them), the author who is from the Columbus Ohio area says all 3 of the guys targeted have time left. When in fact 2 of them are RFA at the end of the year. I’ve said Palat would look good here. But that was before the line of Schmaltz Toews and Panik was put together. Before Tampa won a few games to get off the bottom of the eastern conference.

    People here should know better by now.

  19. Why add a guy to the top line when the top line is growing and becoming more in sync? Why ruin that chemistry and start over. Save the money and the assets.

  20. Regarding rumors and the source for those rumors – it’s just food for thought not to be taken as gospel. I didn’t mention the blog site because I don’t want to engage in potential click-bait activity, but it stands to reason Stan is going to do something and has been discussed ad nauseam since Saad left the void on Toews LW is still the most pressing need to solidify the lineup. And lest we get into a slobber love fest for Schmaltz or other players that have been tried there over the past year and a half – none of them provide what is needed to elevate Toews’ line to where it needs to be to be able to beat teams like Washington in a 7-game series. Schmaltz might be someday but that day isn’t now.

    Rookies, especially NCAA players hit a wall when they end up playing twice as many games against bigger and faster players. Thinking Schmaltz is good enough because he’s shown some improvement is putting your eggs in a rookie basket and that is not a good plan heading into the playoffs. Playing less minutes in the bottom-6 against the opponents 2nd or 3rd d-pairings is all that should be asked and expected of Schmaltz.

    If Stan can’t acquire someone better, then oh well you go with what you got but there’s no way standing pat is the best option.

  21. Regarding Stevie Y trading Palat – if TB is still in the hunt for a playoff spot he’ll probably give his players a chance to go for it. Right now there chance to sneak into the last wildcard spot is pretty low, but we’ll figure that out over the next week or two.

    But, regardless if they make the playoffs or not, Stevie Y has some decisions to make regarding roster and salary cap either at the TDL or after the playoffs. TB kinda got saved from salary cap hell because Stamkos will miss almost all of the season on LTIR so they got a huge LTIR allowance. But he’ll be back on next season and TB has a bunch of key players needing pay hikes, including Palat, T.Johnson, Drouin, Boyle, Sustr and very little unaccounted for cap space.

  22. The trio of Toews, Schmaltz and Panik have looked very good against 3 teams mostly top lines Oilers, Jets and Wild which is no easy task. So before we write them off lets see if they can maintain this level. Don’t believe Panek would be an asset but maybe a Brendan Smuth might help on the blueline, he has a reasonable cap hit and you know what you get.

  23. Not to compare/or thats exactly what we need/want. In 13 and 15 we had the big 4 and a 5th (19/88/10/81/20 and got 26)(19/81/10/88/20 and got 80/but had 91) so we added or had guys like Hands and Richy in those positions and it worked well/complimented with the big 4 and a 5th. Cant ever have to many defenseman.

  24. What a complete low life weasel that Wall is, trying to suck up to Tab like a school boy would. Then he reverts to his negativity by doubling down on his idiotic premise that the hawks should be sellers since wall is Nostradamus and knows for certainty that the Stanley Cup winner is coming out of the East. Just like when everyone knew Tampa would win in 2015 because they were faster, younger and had home ice advantage. What happened, oh yea, the hawks won!

  25. Very happy that the kids continue to make strides. Let’s hope they continue growing as the playoffs approach.

    Ernie- I always pay attention to the Corsi (win or lose) but it seems misleading for this game. SVA matches my eye test… though admittedly neither SVA nor my eye test are objective.

    I’m a bit surprised that some people are clamoring for another D-man. I think we’re pretty good on D. The most pressing holes in the roster are at FW. Particularly on the wings. If the price is right, I’m looking to replace Kero or Hino… they don’t stand out to me as much as the other kids.

    But Panik (what a find!), Schmaltz, Hartman, and Rasmussen are doing very well. Here’s hoping they can hit one more gear before the real season starts.

  26. I still think Alex Burrow would be a good addition and would not cost that much. He can still play and I think he is past any more biting incidents. Added bonus: I think it would really piss of Canuck fans to see him play a part in another deep run for us.

  27. I was out of the country for a week, but was happily able to watch the recent games via replay from NHL after the fact. Looking back, the Sharks game was there for the taking as it was close for much of the contest.

    This was a very successful road trip for the Hawks in many ways. I think most importantly confidence is back. After blowing all those January 3rd period leads and those available points, the team binding camaraderie that can build on multiple game trips goes quite a long way.

    Winning in Winnipeg was huge as they had the Hawks number by not allowing hardly any goals. Winning in Minny also really big as it also sent the message the Hawks weren’t backing off at all. Big divisional points were banked.

    Hawks came home injury free. Core guys look strong.

    While there are many games to be played before playoffs I kind of like what I am seeing as it relates to this team. They just keep finding ways to stay in games even when they have blow up periods. Crow and Darling get much of the credit in keeping games close.

    Seems like the rest of the league observers don’t see much in this Hawks team which is good imo. What they forget is the core guys hate to lose and are driven to win. Come playoff time that counts for even more.

    This has been a remarkable season thus far when considers the lineup when the 2016-2017 campaign began. Lots of question marks. The kids have grown and fit in with the vets. Credit to SB and Q for giving those young guys needed ice time and a chance to adapt.

    BTW, the very thought of Burrows in a Hawks sweater is nausea inducing.

    Lets Go Hawks!

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