Panthers Blast Lifeless Blackhawks

In the first of two games in Florida, the Blackhawks came out looking like a team that would have preferred to be on the beach.

Chicago held a 9-8 shot advantage after 20 scoreless minutes. The Hawks and Panthers both killed a penalty in the first. Other than that, not much happened.

The second period was all about Aleksander Barkov.

Barkov opened the scoring 17 seconds into the second off a nice pass from Jonathan Huberdeau.

Ten minutes later, with both Ryan Hartman and Marcus Kruger in the box, Barkov returned the favor to Huberdeau and it was 2-0 Florida. Jonathan Marchessault scored his 26th of the season 79 seconds later to push the lead to 3-0 and the Hawks looked absolutely flat. Barkov and Huberdeau had assists on the Marchessault goal, giving Barkov three points in the period and Huberdeau two.

The Panthers were out-skating and out-working the Blackhawks all over the ice and it was reflected on the scoreboard. Chicago had two power plays while chasing three – first with Vincent Trocheck in the box and later with Marchessault sitting – but failed to get a good scoring opportunity on either advantage.

After 40 minutes, Florida was out-shooting Chicago 22-17 but, somehow, the Panthers were 1-5 on the power play. Hartman and Kruger had four penalty minutes each in the second, while Patrick Kane and Richard Panik also went to the box during the middle stanza.

It was an ugly period that couldn’t end soon enough.

Marchessault scored his 27th to give Florida a four-goal advantage at 4:59 into the third and that was it for Corey Crawford. Chicago’s started left having allowed four goals against 25 shots. He wasn’t sharp, but didn’t get much help from the skaters in front of him either.

For the first time in the game, the Blackhawks showed some fight – literally – 80 seconds after the Marchessault goal. Andrew Desjardins dropped the gloves on one site of the ice with Shawn Thornton (not a good idea) and Richard Panik threw down with Derek MacKenzie on the other side simultaneously. Panik understandably performed better in his bought than Desjardins did; Panik and MacKenzie both picked up 10 minute misconduct penalties as well.

Did the fights help?

Nope.

Marchessault completed his first career hat trick 54 seconds after the fights, giving him 28 on the year. Huberdeau and Trochek picked up assists on the fifth Florida goal of the night, giving Huberdeau a four-point night.

Nick Bjudstad then jumped into the scoring parade to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Panthers.

Feeling left out, Reilly Smith scored to make the score 7-0 at 11:45 into the third. Trocheck picked up a second assist on the Smith goal.

The game ended 7-0, the easiest shutout of James Reimer’s career. He faced 25 shots. Scott Darling allowed three goals against six shots in relief.

60 thoughts on “Panthers Blast Lifeless Blackhawks

  1. Glad we finally got that kind of a game out of the way which was certainly coming based on their play the last few. Time for them to regroup and move forward.

  2. Played like fresh poop.

    Crawford seems to be way off his game. He looks uncomfortable in net.

    When are the Hawks going to start to play as if they give a crap ??

    They should be VERY embarrassed .

  3. It will be a completely different out come next game. Hawks have way to much pride and Q will be peeling paint off the walls after that performance. Once again they blew the chance to further the gap against the Wild for division title. A good wake up call!

  4. Florida is bigger and looked faster and was definitely more aggressive. What bugged we was Florida plays physical and then Panik drops a big hit on Jagr and Florida acts like that wasn’t justified hitting the old man going after Panik for the rest of the game. (anyone else notice the Florida reaction to Panik after that hit on Jagr) Panik showed some life in the game and pummeled that bozo on Florida in the fight. The penalty on Kruger that put the Hawks down two players was just a brutal call back when the game was competitive. The game just pissed me off and to me it felt like the Panthers were playing in their super bowl because they are going nowhere and the stands are half filled with Hawks fans so they try to stimulate their minimal fan base with a big Saturday night game. I am sure it was just coincidental that they got a bunch of calls early when the game was close. Regardless Hawks obviously didn’t deserve to win. Shaw or at least Tootoo would have been nice in this game for so more push back. I love the Hawks, but watching this game its very hard to believe that they are going to win the Cup. Hope I’m wrong.

  5. Except for Panik and Desi, where is the competitive fight? On the other hand, maybe Florida is the best team in the history of the NHL

  6. They have the division and likely the West. They just scorched the league, winning 18 of 22. So they didn’t give a damn. Fuck it…they’ll rise when it matters. No one here has any right to bitch about tonight. It is what it is and ultimately it means nothing in the grand scheme. If they were playing the Wild tomorrow with a one-point gap in the standings you’d see a totally different team.

  7. Pete the loss is irrelevant. No need to be pissed. The sharks, in first place, lost 7-2 tonight. I doubt hockey fans in Northern California tonight are jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge because of it.

  8. In that Desjardins fight. Thornton threw one that landed well after Desi was down.

    Pretty much summed up the game.

  9. I fully agree the two points mean almost nothing. However, while I could be wrong, I really doubt the coaches think the team attitude in this loss means nothing. Is there enough scrap/fight on this team to win in the playoffs? After all, they lost last year in the first round. Just because they will be the top seed doesn’t mean they will automatically be in the conference finals. Should Tootoo be in the lineup on a regular basis? I am curious what the people on this website who really know hockey think about that.

  10. Props to Kane for his fight- looked like he told the ref it was his first fight too, or something. Glad he didn’t get hurt. Probably lost it because FL succeeded 2 seasons ago in taking him out by giving him a broken collarbone.
    I think Panik and Desi would have had help from Hartman but he was in Q’s doghouse. It would have been a good game to have TooToo out there instead of Ras (Hope he’s ok).
    Hammer had a bad game. D overall didn’t play well. Can Q put 27 back with 4?
    We’ll see how they respond in the next game. Back to Tampa- memories should give them a boost!

  11. ER it was brutal. Kane even got into a bit of a scrap and nobody did anything about it other than Panik and Desi. Panik has to be signed.

  12. Pete…agreed, nothing is automatic in the playoffs. But I think the aged core, with all that savvy and experience, has a sense of how to play things for maximum benefit in the long run. The youngsters have added energy and spirit and that makes us different from last year, when it seemed we were really running on fumes. It seems more hopeful with this crew, with the infusion of energy from those who have never hoisted the cup. I think we’re going to be fine and ready when the playoffs start.

  13. Pete apparently just lost a ton of money. He’s probably still upset they traded Teravainen. He’s in luck because the Canes have realized what the Hawks did a while ago and are open to trading him.

  14. Stamkos had high praise for Panik and for having some of the best hands he’s ever seen. Panik has been showing that more and more and the will to do what it takes to win. He does need to stay. The rest of the team needs to also step up now- it’s time.

  15. JT–yes. Panik rough and ready now. How he has blossomed–nifty with the stick and heavy with the hit. I gotta think 81 was a huge influence. I suspect 14?will very much be in Beast Mode when the playoffs start.

  16. Ernie, you will be pleased to know that I finally got over TT when I saw Hayden play. He will be good. Also fortunately, I didn’t bet on this game. Do you have playoff prediction for the Hawks this year? Last year I was absolutely convinced they were going to the finals, so I missed that one big time.

  17. Now that these 5 games against bottom 10 and midteir teams are completed we have 5 of 7 against top 10 teams. We basically clinched division by coming back and getting the tie in that VAN game (refs were terrific) and the conf. 1 seed by gaining more ground on the other teams in this FLR game (refs were awesome). It one more game played those teams donot have to try to catch us in the standings.

    With 10 games those teams needed to go 8-2 and for us to do worse then 4-4 to maybe tie us in standings. They both lost the first 2 games of those 10.

    This score reflects the refs officiating on those calls otherwise its a one goal game at that point. Embarrassing is getting beat 6-1 and then the game after 7-2 somebody said. What is that. SAN hasnt won a game in 6 or 7 games, could they drop to 4 seed. MIN has one win (SAN) in 8 games. What is that. For us to go 6-0-1 when we didnt play good this 7-0 officiated score is bad but not embarrassing like those other teams.

    The guy who entioned we just scorched the league going 18-3-1 is right. This is a good time to lay back/we sort of need to so we can play at pace. We donot want to over doit and have a bad stretch like MIN and SAN are doing.

    Were prob not going to play good/really good overnight but playing 5 of 7 against top 10 teams should get the juices flowing. Think will take a couple games to pick up the pace.

  18. This was an easy prediction for lacklustre game. A long hard season, Minnesota dying right now, the Hawks with a pretty comfortable lead and a whole weekend in sunny Florida. The Leafs did the same thing, except the Hawks were smart enough not to post their beach, fishing or golf photos from the Internet

  19. it was one game-
    didn’t know whether to watch the whole game or turn on a re-run of Saved by the Bell.
    One consistent (at least when they were still trying) of the last many games is too many players not shooting when in a good scoring position. That was the first game where I thought Hayden looked lost but maybe he just followed the lead of others.

  20. Kale… I found the Seabrook backflip/somersault on the PP very entertaining/ laugh out loud-bad!!!

    That is going to be an ugly contract

  21. Fugly, Fugly, Fugly!! Bring up the other rookies and give them a chance to show “Hawks pride”! I’m sure they wont be lacklustre?! But for a few who seemed to G.A.S., this would be a great training film for coach Q to show the boys what happens when a) you don’t back -check b) make sloppy passes (especially those stupid back passes on power play!) c) can’t clear the puck out of your own end d) when goalies handle the puck behind the net e) when team defense involves more than ONE person … need I say more?!

  22. I’m impressed Pete. It’s interesting it was Hayden that got you to move on. I would have thought a more similar player in Schmaltz would have been the one. Schmaltz has 17 points in hos last 19 games. While being bumped around the lineup since Anisimov got hurt. Just gotta let this one go too. It’s one game in 82. And despite its ugliness it still counts the same as losing 3-2.

    I really dont do predictions and I don’t gamble. I’m not smart or ballsy enough for that. I will say this team is much better than last year’s. Between the difficulties of trying to repeat, the lack of depth on the back end, and really being a one line team offensively I wasn’t overly optimistic. I just try to enjoy every game individually. Lofty expectations usually end in massive let down. Cautiously optimistic.

    Had a thought during last night’s game. I know he’s probably 2 years away. But with Schmaltz clearly being a pass first guy, I wonder if a guy like Debrincat would compliment that. Still curious if Debrincat can elevate his game in Rockford.

    Speaking of which, icehogs were shut out last night but Snuggerud had another assist in the game prior. 2 in his first 4 games. Have to wonder if he might make Forsling expendable. If they can resign Panik they have 12 forwards already signed up for next year. It’s assumed Kruger will be this year’s cap casualty and I’m not convinced of that yet. If Vegas takes Kruger over TVR, you wonder if you have to sweeten the pot with a trade on the side with Motte, Hinostroza, or one of their D-prospects.

  23. As bad as the game was, the ice didn’t look fit for a midget game – just brutal. We had many chances in the first period but no one could stop the bouncing puck. The NHL better focus on the quality of ice before it becomes a joke.

  24. It looks like the Hawks have first in the Western Conference just about locked up. The priority at this point is to be healthy for the start of the REAL season on April 12th.

  25. Ernie – no doubt in my mind that Kruger will go in the offseason (to LV or somewhere else) and we will need to include a decent prospect to make that happen. I agree with your list of likely candidates – I’m guessing Pokka is high on the list as well.

  26. No need to worry, last year down the stretch Kane and Panarin playing hard every night with the scoring championship for 88 on the line and Calder trophy and bonus onthe line for 72 seem to wear them down. Toews line looking for some chemistry its a relief to see them focused ,relaxed and confident heading into playoffs. Agreed losing 7 0 is a little overboard but prospects for some June hockey are definitely there.

  27. You have to shoot in order to score . The Hawks just pass and pass and pass. It’s very pretty and skilled but worthless.

    SHOOT the BISCUIT !!!!!!!!

  28. One of those games. Done. Rear view mirror. I’m not worried.

    What did piss me off were the ice conditions. I thought I was watching a basketball game. It’s just fucking stupid and inexcusable. Come on NHL, when are you going to get serious about this and upgrade the ice surface systems so players can actually pass the puck and don’t have to try to dribble it. It takes the skill out of the game, especially this time of year when temperatures warm up. Sports Illustrated did a great feature on this just last month.

    http://www.si.com/tech-media/2017/02/28/concerns-about-nhl-ice-conditions

  29. Good thing it wasn’t Gallant behind the bench, or the Hawks would have had to endure a heavier dose of chippy play after the big lead. Panthers played like it was a seventh game of a playoff series from the second on. The Hawks did not need to answer that bell. 22-5 since Feb some fans reading Committed Indians need to take a breath.

  30. Pokka was part of those d prospects ms. I’m curious to see what’s done with Kempny. If Snuggerud is as good as he he might be I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in the lineup opening night. Could see Snuggerud and Forsling slot on the left side on the 2 and 3 pairs.

    Kempny can be qualified for less than his hit was this year. Ive seen enough to think hes worth the 668k it would take. So it’s be up to him whether he returns. His return could mean one of the kids spends more time in Rockford.

  31. re: Ian’s comment about the lineup – let’s not forget the Hawks have been w/out Anisimov for a while now, meaning Q has one bona fide center he trusts at the dot (Kruger still banged up). The fact that Hayden has looked good & comfortable gives Q lots of options when the postseason begins. I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing the following:

    Schmaltz-Toews-Panik
    Panarin-Anisimov-Kane
    Hartman-Kero-Hossa
    Hayden-Kruger-Rasmussen/Jurco/Desjardins

  32. Agree on your playoff lineup assuming 15 is out until they start but I think Motte will be in tbe opening nigbt roster next year and both Hino or Jurco won’t be. I think Panik’s price tag will be too high and he is either signed by vegas or his rights traded for a a draft pick or prospect or maybe even a backup goalie.

  33. Thats what I was thinking too Ernie about Kempnys return. Also with lots of bonus room the door is open for 51 to return with a friendly hit next year. One way or the other if Snuggerud continues to impress next year he’ll get a look. With Pokka and the lack of confidence shown in him so far the only right shooting dman in the system makes you wonder how important TVR will become at draft time.

  34. Just a bad game for our boys. Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug.

  35. Unfortunately and with the objection of many of my fellow Hawks fans, I think they are trending much the same way of the Wild. I haven’t seen the Wild play too much over the past couple weeks but from the comments of Wild fans in a couple hockey forums and the results on the scoreboard it looks similar to the way the Hawks have played the last 4 games.

    Even though some Hawks fans refuse to see the trend and excuse concern with comments like “it’s only one game” or “they’ve taken 35 points out of a possible 44” or other such excuses that ignore the level of play by the Hawks in the last 4 games. There is no doubt the Hawks level of play was very good during the 17-3 stretch but that level of play has been absent the past 4 games and that is the current trand that is alarming. The previous 20 games are in the books and mean nothing in terms of how they are playing now. This string of the past 4 games means everything in terms of current trend and it isn’t good and I refuse to stick my head in the sand and pretend everything will be OK. There is no guarantee that they can turn it around anymore that there was when the Wild were 4 games into their current slump.

    Now, I do have confidence they will turn it around and get back to playing good hockey but until they do I’m going to continue to wave the caution flag and complain about it.

  36. TAB, I agree and like your lines for the coming PO. What are your D’s?
    Next year you assume that Panik will be gone? I did not know what to make of Panik last year but form the start of this year I liked him though I though he was a third liner with Motte and Kero. I am assuming that Panik is gone due to Cap. $$$$ or is thought of as a one year wonder. If he stays I have a problem with what to do with Schmaltz and Hayden. Are they not both originally centers? Schmaltz is a playmaker (passer) but is not work well with the second line yet. Hayden is known for shooting a lot and he did seem to work well at L1. I do not know much about Anisimov contract$$ or health? Also zip about Jurco? I do like the line of Hartman, Kero and Hossa. That line seems to give the team three possible scoring lines. I really do like Hossa, but his age is unfortunately a factor. I would platoon Hossa with Hayden to give Hayden some NHL experience, IF Panik could be kept.
    The only grip I have or would have about last night game would not be the score but the performance. I would be upset if I kicked out $100-$500 for a seat and $$ parking and such. I guess that is why it was fight night.

  37. Motte’s numbers haven’t looked good in Rockford. Earlier in the year Campbell had said the deal has to make sense and it didn’t sound like he was interested in a performance laden deal.

    Panik is an RFA and somebody may sign him to an offer sheet.

  38. Campbell could sign a deal structured like Iginla did a few years ago with Boston where after 10 games played he got 3.7 mil bonus with a 1.8 mil cap hit salary which is not too big on performance end if both were interested. Not saying that numbers would be the same. Offers sheets are not something that teams normally use and GMs that do usually get a cold shoulder from other GMs if they want to make a future deal.

  39. With the guys on the ice thing. Theres the money thing but should be mandatory for every league team, regardless of team/owner of building/rink, to be in league there are to be no events within so many hrs of hockey. Have events when on road trips/games, right after hockey and right before other sport. Also make it requirement to have state of the art tech. systems or they have to updated to have a certain standard. The league should do this with the refs as well. Theres no reason why to have this better for the game or it could turn into sumo on ice.

  40. 51/27/14, you have to think that maybe 2 of the 3 come back. Theres no reason for 6 to not come back. We prob. keep more then people think and stock in Rockford. Its always better to have more.

  41. That’s essentially what Campbell did this year. Sure you can fit that in, but then you’re already writing that money off for next year. But it does sound like it may be Hawks or retire.

    With that said. If you sign Kempny, Jurco, and Panik to qualifying offers and if the players vote for the escalator and the cap is 76m. And if Kruger is removed…team is sitting pretty cap wise.

    40-19-14
    72-15-88
    38-8-81
    48-67-22

    2-4
    42-7
    6-57
    32,50

    You have roughly 6 million in space if you factor in Panarin’s 850 and Campbell’s 750. That’s assuming the RFA’s sign QO.

    Knowing that I could see a scenario where 2 of Campbell,Kruger, or Darling could be back. I wouldn’t be shocked if Kruger is back. He’s a Q guy.

  42. I agree with Morrison. NHL teams can’t have start times 22 hours or less apart. That should apply to the rink. No activity the previous 22 hours. Easier said than done with multi use buildings.

    Would you be shocked to hear the United Center uses the same system as the old Rexall place in Edmonton? They do. The Co2 systems are reportedly slightly more reliable and more “green” than ammonia. But when both systems work there should be no issues. I think it’s got more to do with the environment above the ice than under it.

  43. Right now I think bonuses earned against next years cap 1.92mil and if Panarin makes his B bonus it will 3.65mil. He needs 4 poi0nts or 3 assists as of today to qualify.

  44. Were in good shape with a 75.5/76 salary cap. Full 5% escalator its 76.6m and partial is that 75.5 number.

    That’s a good track for the 23man there with that much for options.

  45. Morrison, You are assuming that the players will accept the escalator. That means the escrow, which I understand the players are tired of. As you always use “WE” in your blogs, I am assuming that you are one of the Hawk contract players?

  46. Nhl owners dealing with negotiations for olympics and a new collective agreement coming theres no possible way to guess what will happen with the cap. There likely will some concessions made and the escalator could be one.

  47. Estimated 76.6 for 5%, 75.5-76 for 1.5-3.3%, so 75 for 0%. Even though guys donot want to do escalator they have and partial 3.3% would still be around 75.5-76m.

  48. Every year they talk about maybe not doing the escalator because of escrow. And every year they vote for it. Maybe this is the year they don’t. But history says they will.

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