Patrick Kane, Blackhawks Destroy Senators

When the puck dropped on Tuesday night in Ottawa it still felt odd that Brent Seabrook was a healthy scratch. Patrick Kane wore the second ‘A’ for the contest, and Erik Gustafsson was with the team (but also scratched).

The Hawks came out firing, but everything was from the perimeter. Craig Anderson held his own for almost 19 minutes but with 69 seconds left in the first Richard Panik scored his first 5-on-5 goal since Oct. 7.

Panik scored five times in his first nine appearances this season but hasn’t scored a goal of any sort since Oct. 21. Connor Murphy and Michal Kempny picked up the assists.

Chicago held a 17-8 shot advantage after 20 minutes and Anton Forsberg came up with a couple good saves to keep the Hawks in front.

The opening period showed that the Hawks were determined to score. In the 40 minutes that followed they were significantly more successful in doing so.

One of the hottest Blackhawks going right now then added to the offense. Patrick Sharp, who just broke out of his own scoring drought last week, scored for the third time in four games to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.

David Kampf and Patrick Kane were credited with the assists on the Sharp goal.

Since the Blackhawks felt like checking off boxes on the “stuff that hasn’t been working this season” list, they then got a second power play three minutes after the Sharp goal and actually converted an advantage for once!

Nick Schmaltz picked up the goal, keeping him among the hottest scorers in the league; he has now scored in four straight. Kane and Jordan Oesterle were credited with assists on the Schmaltz goal.

Less than two minutes later, Jonathan Toews joined the party and extended the lead to 4-0.

Toews’ 13th of the season was his fourth in five games.

Oesterle and Duncan Keith picked up assists on the Toews goal, meaning four Hawks defensemen had a point half-way through the game. Oesterle’s second assist gave him a second multi-point game in his last four and points in five of his last six games.

With his second assist, Kane had his sixth multi-point game since Dec. 10.

Chicago had scored three times in 4:39 to blow the game open and end the night for Anderson. Ottawa made a change in net after Anderson allowed four goals against 26 shots in under 30 minutes of action.

Everything was going the Hawks’ way through 30 minutes but of course Anton Forsberg couldn’t finish with a shutout. Mark Stone got Ottawa on the board, cutting the lead to 4-1 only 42 seconds after the Toews goal.

Four minutes later a shot was redirected into the net off the body of Derick Brassard and suddenly a comfortable four-goal lead with the Blackhawks cruising was down to two.

Zack Smith went to the penalty box 32 seconds after the Brassard goal. And a suddenly functional Blackhawks power play converted again. And, again, it was Schmaltz.

Schmaltz’s 12th of the season and second power play goal of the period saw assists credited to Kane and Sharp.

Erik Karlsson went to the penalty box 22 seconds after the Schmaltz goal. Certainly the Hawks couldn’t convert a third power play in one game….

Jan Rutta’s fourth of the season came with a fourth assist of the night for Kane. Forsberg picked up the second assist on the Rutta goal.

Of course Ottawa got a power play late in the second with Connor Murphy taking a seat. Forsberg made a huge save in the closing seconds of the period to keep the lead at four.

Through 40 minutes of action, the Blackhawks had a 31-19 shot advantage. Three of the Hawks’ six goals came on the power play. To put that in perspective, Chicago scored four power play goals in the month of December.

The Blackhawks had to kill 1:27 of penalty time to start the third period and the best scoring chance came from Brandon Saad, who outskated everyone and got a decent backhand shot on net but was denied.

Because he was one of the remaining Blackhawks without a point on the night, Vinnie Hinostroza found Toews at 3:24 into the third and the captain scored his second of the night to make the score 7-2.

Toews’ second goal gave him nine points in his last five games.

At 6:24 into the third, Kempny hammered Ryan Dzingel. Ben Harpur took exception and jumped Kempny; Murphy held Harpur back and the two teams were able to finish singing kumbaya as Kempny and Harpur took a seat in their respective penalty boxes.

During the 4-on-4 Saad was called for tripping. Nothing happened for either side during the 4-on-3 and Dion Phaneuf cancelled the final 13 seconds of the Sens’ advantage when he slashed Lance Bouma. During the Blackhawks power play that followed, Kane rifled a shot home to give him a five-point night and the Hawks an 8-2 lead.

Kane’s five-point night was the fourth power play goal of the night for the Blackhawks. There’s no excuse for that in Ottawa. With all due respect, someone should lose a job if you let the 2017-18 Blackhawks score four power play goals.

With 2:16 left in regulation Stone tripped Oesterle and went to the box. Coach Joel Quenneville rolled out the fourth line to start the power play; they earned the special teams time with a solid night across the board even with the blowout putting the game out of reach.

It was the first time in his career that Kane posted five points in a game. He did that with only three shots on net and also picked up a blocked shot, but was minus-one somehow. Schmaltz was minus-two in spite of his three-point effort.

Toews led Chicago with seven shots on net and was credited with a team-leading two takeaways. Chicago’s captain won eight of 18 faceoffs and scored twice.

Panik returned to looking like the guy the Hawks gave a two-year contract in Ottawa. He was credited with five shots on net, two hits, one takeaway and one blocked shot.

Oesterle had another outstanding night. He skated almost 24 minutes and was credited with two assists, a team-leading three blocked shots and two hits. Gustav Forsling was the only Hawks defenseman who failed to register a point in the game.

Forsberg was good, making the saves needed. He stopped 25 of 27 in the win.

The Blackhawks improved to 4-1-1 in their last six games – all without both Corey Crawford and Artem Anisimov. They return to the United Center on Wednesday night to face Minnesota.

39 thoughts on “Patrick Kane, Blackhawks Destroy Senators

  1. Ottawa is awful. And their lack of giving a f*** is going to cost them Erik Karlsson this summer. Pathetic. Reminds me of the state of affairs in this town about 20 years ago

  2. Agreed a laugher pitiful effort by Ottawa but still positive response to message sent by benching Seabrook and classy on his part how took one for the team. Unlike some of his haters who want you to believe otherwise.

  3. Ottawa is a victim of its coach and its style of play. Too laid back. This season will cost the “great” Guy Bouchea his job.

    So, right now, it looks like the benching of Brent Seabrook sent a message to this team. Let’s hope it carries over against the Wild.

  4. Did benching 7 send a message? Sure. But the Hawks have scored at least 4 in 5 of their last 6… and Ottawa is an awful team. So I’m not chalking up this outburst as a “they did it because Seabrook sat” matter. This was just a really potent offense finding its rhythm takes advantage of a team that doesn’t give a shit.

    Also, while I agree w/ Reg to that Boucher doesn’t help his cause in Ottawa, that roster just sucks. When you’re looking to Phaneuf, Ryan & Duchene for “leadership” you’re in trouble. No wonder Karlsson is running away in 6 months

  5. “When I go to market, I’m going to get what I’m worth, and it’s going to be no less, no matter where I’m going,”

    Erik Karlsson- 11/30/2017

    Dont blame him for feeling that way. But dammit dont say it publicly….in November!!!! Oh, and the owner is a tool too.

  6. Karlsson effectively told them, in public, to trade him in November. Selfishly, it keeps the fans from hating him when he leaves. Not his fault they put crap around him and haven’t traded him.

  7. I only get to see the Hawks play in person once a year when they roll into Ottawa. It looks to me that this version of the team is one of the fastest I’ve seen in years. They were flying. Of course it helped that the Sens goalies couldn’t stop a beachball tonight. What was Anderson doing on the Sharp goal?

  8. I think it’s a little harsh to say they are an awful team-playing really poorly yes, but they had enough of something to get within a goal of going to the Cup last year.
    (The players HATED the boring style they were playing but stuck with it last year, but not this year)
    Did they overachieve last year?, it looks like they did-but

    they miss Methot, Turris was a favourite in the dressing room and Anderson has turned into a 2nd tier goalie over the summer.
    They have three pieces-Karlsson, Stone and Hoffman and the enigma called Duchene.

  9. Oesterle looks like he may become the next real thing on the back end for the Hawks–it’s been a while
    and I’m glad Panik scored but boy he has no idea where he is shooting the puck.

  10. Kane is Kane, the HAWKS MVP every NHL season!
    Schmualtz is a centre, case closed Mr. Q. Happy for Sharp.
    Vinnie has the wheels! He was great in camp and for some reason, Tanner Kero made the cut back in October.
    When Anisomov returns, he can slip into 3rd line centre.
    And then Kempf can centre the 4th line alongside Panik and maybe give Jurco a chance, see what he can do. Today’s NHL is about size and speed (All speak the same language btw)
    This will give coach Q much more options then having Wingels or Bouma move up a shift or two during the game. Why not, the Pens had success last year bringing up young AHL players.

    Nice game for Forsberg.

  11. Glad for Kane after he went pointless for several games.

    But the most encouraging thing for the team is Toews is really on roll. 5 goals and 4 assists in 5 games. That’s insane. It’s not a coincidence that the offense has been so much better and we’re winning even without Crow. When Toews is on, the whole team is on.

  12. When you win 8-2, there’s a lot to like, regardless of how poorly the opponent played. The Hawks are on a little bit of an upswing mainly because some of the players who weren’t playing especially well have picked it up. Starting with Toews, who still isn’t the dominant player he used to be but he’s better lately than he was for most of the season. Schmaltz is playing with confidence again and it’s making a positive difference. Even Sharp and Panik have woken up over the past few games. And let’s not forget what a positive effect Oesterle has been. Same with Hinostroza.

    Yep, when you win there are a lot of roses to pick. Let’s see what happens tomorrow against the Wild – a team that will fight tooth and nail for 60 minutes, unlike the Sens tonight.

  13. Its not uncommon for coaches to do sonething when a team is approaching a critical stretch of the season when has struggled on ice and with injuries to try to wake up your team and send a message. Seabrook has struggled and was sat down, he never complained just accepted he needs to play better, very classy and it was said the other guys who were sitting should play tonight. But sitting also sends a message nobody is above sitting out. Tonight was a good response against a team in turmoil. The Wild just had a very physical ot loss to the Flames tonight so hopefully it translates positively. Will 7 be back in, before he gets written off the only real push back the Sens gave after being down 4 0 late in 2nd they got 2 goals and made it look scary so don’t expect him to sit too many games. Against Vegas under constant pressure they D was charged with 4 giveaways tonight with very sporadic pressure there were 8 giveaways so is the D better with or without him.

  14. Noonan…same thing happened to Boucher in Tampa. Coaches have a tebdency to be too rigid. An inability to adapt. That is the case here.

  15. Well that was unexpected, now win against a western foe. The benching of Seabrook rally cry is hands down one of the dumbest things I’ve heard on this site yet good god! Perhaps the Hawks should call bettman and have them moved to the Eastern Conf, then they would be a playoff team?

  16. Seabrook is no longer effective on pp, 3 on 3, or as top 2 pairing D man. Seabrook makes as much as
    The 5 Dmen playing combined.

    It will be very interesting to see if Q plays him tonight.

    One of Bowman s worst contracts
    Especially when the League is getting faster, and the team is selling faster.

    Hawks are playing better recently, coincides with 2 Rockford call ups , that can actually play faster.

  17. They did what all teams in all sports should do …. win against a team you definitely should win against. Doesn’t always happen and that is a demoralizer when it doesn’t.

    However they did get it done and they need to roll that into play against the Wild with a quick turnaround, albeit a quick turnaround for both teams. Wonder if it will be Forsberg or Glass in net?

  18. Kampf another solid night at the dot. Glad to see Kempny remain in the lineup. While Edmonton flails into oblivion this season, how does their GM feel about not re-signing Oesterle? Kudos to Bowman.

  19. Oesterle and Hinostroza have made a huge difference of late on this team. Schmaltz picking up his game and nailing down a center spot has a huge trickle down effect as well.

    But wow look at each of the goals we scored last night. As bad as Ottawa played, if you have league average goaltending, half of them don’t go in, maybe more. I haven’t seen NHL goaltending that bad in a long, long time. Hopefully it gets some of our guys going as the confidence can come back even when scoring a cheap goal.

    Loads of competition in the Hawks top 7 defensemen to see who will be dressing every night, not to mention Gus up from Rockford. The definitely are putting more value on mobility and speed with some of the lineup changes lately, and it is helping.

  20. @ iceman

    I think Peter Chiarelli has bigger issues on his plate that Oesterle. Trading Hall to the Devils, trading Eberle to the Islanders for Strome, signing Lucic to a contract that was nearly as bad or worse then the contract Seabroke signed here. Seeing Dubnyk turn into a solid goalie after being waived(not sure if that one was on his watch). Paying Draisaitl huge money and effectively running Edmonton into cap issues after a few seasons in the GM chair.

  21. There is a quandary this enquiring mind has been pondering lately – what to do when Anisimov comes back? There are myriad possibilities, each having pros and cons.

  22. I think the general thought is 3rd line center, Kampf to 4th line center, Wingels would shift to wing which is where we (and probably him too) all thought he would play when he signed. Depending on who we play, if they deploy a meathead or two, Bouma plays, if they are fast and they don’t, Wingels plays.

    Ideally it makes the 3rd, and maybe the 4th, lines a little more offensive. I know the 4th line has has great chemistry too but if you have a chance to improve the third line at the expense of a little mojo from the 4th line you do it every time. Really good 3rd lines can tilt playoff series.

  23. The team playing better coincides with the sch. in addition to those guys. Notice there haven’t been any 4 5 or 6 days inbetween games when we play good and get on a roll. Not a coincidence. What we won 5 then took 3 hits surrounding long breaks then 2-0-1 then 1 hit then 2-0 that is 9-4-1. East conference or Campbell conference teams were coming. Big difference between our division and the others we donot have bottom 10 teams to pad our record.

  24. Mo Scotty Bownan i remember him saying about playoffs when coaching Habs to 4 straight cups in the 70s give me a hot goalie and a hot pp and i like my odds.

  25. Wonder if there is an old style PP play book of Scotty’s somewhere we could borrow. Like the green notebook in Bobby Boucher.

  26. They got 4 pp goals last night and maybe thats the start thats needed. But when nothing is opening up for them i don’t know why they don’t start using their cycle game they excel at and get the defending team out of the lanes and have a more upbeat bunch moving the puck. It works good on 5 on 5 and on pp they stand around waiting for a shot and something thats not happening.

  27. Good comments everyone. Well that was a well needed laugher last night. The Sens are in shambles and to think they were an eyelash away from getting to the finals last year. Yes they have lost some key players, but they were just bad last night on all fronts, and playing like a team that does not care. The looks on Boucher’s face said a lot. Buh bye. The Hawks took what the Sens gave them, and that was plenty.

    Offensively, we are starting to see Hawks score more because they are consistently sending guys to the net. Players that have not been scoring are starting to see some goals. Panik for one looked like he woke up and heard a voice tell him to play physical and just keep shooting the puck. He has a fast release. Simple stuff. He needs to play that way every night! Toews is back to driving possession and he is going to the net. Schmaltz just keeps getting more confident and man does that kid have some quick hands or what? Vinny had another good game, and Kampf is doing well especially at face offs. Kane had this subtle funny grin on his face last night, and I loved he and Sharpy laughing it up after Sharp scored that softy goal.

    Power play goals by the Hawks?? Is the bottom FINALLY in with the Hawks PP? Strange things happen when shots get put on goal….

    Really big games tonight and Friday that should provide playoff intensity. We must view these 2 games as a big measuring stick. Hawks need/must have 4 points, no passengers on board. I view the Wild as defensively vulnerable this evening. Play good team d, and crash the Wild net. Hopefully the PP didn’t use up all their goals last night.

    Lets Go Haawks!

  28. Nice to see, but I don’t put too much stock in this game. The next four are far more important, against teams that actually care. Great to see the win and the scoring, but this team needs to show up against the better teams, starting tonight.

  29. I think it’s great we are seeing a full roster rotation; this is what they should have done last year all season long. Looks like they have learned from their mistakes; also we’d be in a better spot and Jeremy Roenick was not traded for Zhamnov although Zhamnov was an elite talent not coached properly; think of where we would be today had that trade not happened.

  30. Yes crash the net as Dubnyk lost his marbles the other night (against Colorado I think) where he jumped a player and was giving him a facewash so he was definitely triggered by all the traffic or the fact Colorado kicked their ass.

  31. Although Oesterle (he was a free agent signing?) has helped the PP I would put more stock in half the season than one game against a team that has two shaken goalies-I hope I’m wrong but they have been saying the same thing for a couple of years on TV-
    how can this much talent have an ineffectice power play? It needs to get better to help this team secure a playoff spot.

  32. Wow! Ya my son just told me. I saw Duclair when in the Q and he was better than Grigorenko who was overhyped

  33. Clendening coming back. Depth at rockford. One other player too.

    Duclair is making 1.2 and is an rfa after the season. 20 goals and 44 points last year.

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