Pekka Rinne, Preds Handle Hawks

The excitement was primarily off the ice on Thursday night as the Blackhawks traded for Andrew Ladd less than an hour before puck drop. But the Shea Weber-less Nashville Predators put up a good fight a the United Center.

Pekka Rinne, who has struggled at times this season, was tremendous in the first two periods. He stopped 28 of 29 in the opening 40 minutes, including five good looks from Jonathan Toews, and the score was tied at one after two periods.

Jiri Sekac replaced Richard Panik on the Hawks’ makeshift top line with Toews and Shaw, and picked up his first point with the Hawks when he set up Brent Seabrook for the game’s first goal. Erik Gustafsson also picked up an assist on Seabrook’s 12th of the year.

Less than four minutes later, Viktor Arvidsson poked a shot through Corey Crawford to tie the game. Crawford stopped 20 of 21 in the first two periods.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, a back-and-forth third period was scoreless until MIke Fisher found Calle Jarnkrok with just under two minutes left in regulation. Joel Quenneville pulled his goalie, but Miikka Salomaki found the empty net to extend the Preds’ lead to 3-1 in the final minute. Nashville would hang on for the regulation victory.

Crawford made 29 saves in defeat, while Rinne stopped 38 for the streaking Preds.

Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked four shots to lead the way for Chicago, and Brandon Mashinter was credited with a team-high five hits. Patrick Kane picked up six shots on net to lead the Hawks but failed to pick up a point.

When the NHL-leading Washington Capitals visit on Sunday, the Hawks may have Ladd in the lineup and hope to have Marian Hossa back healthy soon. Will Stan Bowman pull off another deal before Monday’s trade deadline, though?


21 thoughts on “Pekka Rinne, Preds Handle Hawks

  1. Quite the game with duelling goaltenders and plenty of offensive plays back and forth. Very nice play by Sekac to get the puck over to a wide open Seabrook. We ran into a super hot Rinne and a peaking Preds team that has to play it all out to exhaustion with the afterburners on to get a shot at the playoffs. We,on the other hand, need to play smart and the loss is not critical. Sunday’s matinee with the Capitals will be a hum dinger and a prelude to reality. I predict a Blackhawk win in a highly skilled and exciting game that is the closest thing resembling the playoffs we have seen yet.

  2. Hawks need a kick in the a–. Ladd should provide it. OK, losing a player that may or may not pan out.
    This funk has gone on too long. and they can’t play the Toronto MarLeafs every game.

  3. T.V.R. has been on the ice for a lot of opposition goals the past few games.
    Been looking out of position and puck watching.
    We have a hard time with these afternoon games ,.,.not the best of records.
    Ladd in ,.,whose the odd man out?

  4. Noonan96/Hawkhead- Not sure about Mashinter…Q likes him a lot and he has 3 goals (4 really)..Tab doesn’t like him along with a bunch on here…could be Panik or Rasmussen. Maybe more moves to come yet as well.

  5. …and Mashinter is Q’s nuclear deterrent to the end of the regular season to message other teams trying to take out a core player long term that it’s not a great idea because it will cost them twice as much. Once the playoffs arrive this deterrent is not needed as much. It’s an insurance policy.

  6. Ladd was the only guy to chase after that would tip the playoffs in the Hawks favor.
    Ladd was the only player who will give the Hawks and Toews especially an instant boost emotionally, it is a big deal! This Team needs a new guy wit h some balls! Ladd
    Fills the gap on the top line but will as I remember will Give Coach Q a few fits on his defensive transitional game, but damn Ladd even in an off year was and is a home run.

    I liked to see LADD stick and replace Hossa. ( salary cap issues) But Hossa has one more year on the ice if that., he has slowed but this break will fuel a breakout in the playoffs.

    I still think Marko Dano is a player who was not given a chance and was paraded out with those AHL lines the 3rd and 4th. Sorry to see him go, a player I would keep.

    TVR is looking horrible not just bad for all the reason I have shouted for the entire season, just slow on his feet, light on the top half of his body, slow to recover. Gusty not much better, we need one of these guys to PLAY! Teams will just wait for Keith to sit and change lines and attack the Hawks. Easy Peasy! Gusty made the obvisuo istake last night in the offensive end but that was NOT a mistake, the mistake it took him about 10 seconds to turn, and get into transition back to defend. Hammer moments later made the same offensive charge but GOT BACK with Gusto, not Gusty though!

    LADD will impact the most TEVO TNT, LADD now might give TNT a shot with Shaw and Danult who both are capable of supporting TNT and look for a pass and take advantage of it, otherwise like my TVR rant TNT can not play with AHL or Wing Nuts and be productive.

    Sekac last night skated hard and seemed to be a presence as he knows he’s on the fence with Coach Q for playoffs minutes, liked his play last night.

    Marcus return will show us how average Danult is . . . Not sure Danult is the player once thought? Btu Marcus back should be impactful on the bottom lines where we need help!

    Our defense is just okay but Keith and Hammer will suck up massive minutes in the playoffs. Seabrook is okay . . . and Rozy will be targeted in the playoffs again, just wait for Kieth to make a line change, and go get the Hawks, when the Pitbull is not in the yard it safe!

  7. The only way Hawks go deep here … is dump Bickell and SB gets a solid top 4 D man… or some other GM does SB a solid… and eats some Cap for a top 4 D man/UFA for Hawks to make legit run…

    of course dumping 29/aka- “Handcuffs”… no easy task- but doable now – for teams that want to make Cap floor/and want to tank rest of year to get higher pick!!!

  8. MM-if think we all like that Mash works hard (I’m not sure he is much of a physical deterrent-doesn’t get his nose too close to the potential action) but as you said he can’t play in the playoffs-I hope.
    Rasmussen needs to hit the net every so often, Kruger is needed at center-and should replace 70. Mash and are two workers who shouldn’t be parts of the playoffs, unless there are injuries

  9. van Riemsdyk and Gustafsson are both really struggling. The sane among us always understood that TVR is a limited skills defenseman ideally suited to be a #5 or 6 type. He’s not a top 4 blueliner on a good team. But kudos to him for his good play for 2/3 rds of the season. But of late he is wearing down and getting horribly exposed. Gustafsson has hit the rookie wall and been a hot mess. He too is little more than a #5 or 6 once he develops.

    Ironically, TVR’s struggles is a blessing right now. Why?!? Well, his struggles will force Bowman’s hand. Look for him to go out and acquire a veteran blueliner. A desperately needed blueliner.

  10. I wouldn’t worry about the Hawks struggles just yet. They ALWAYS hit a wall here at this part of the season. They did it last year but pick it up for the last ten games or so.

    The Hawks need to figure out where they want to seed for the playoffs. If they want to expend extra energy to get first place, go for it. But if first place is not a reality, then go for second in the division to get home ice advantage, which they will desperately need. They also need stay healthly.

    I was surprised that Dano got traded but it the Hawks have an EXCELLENT eye for talent. Pirri, Hayes, Morin, Clendening, Dahlbeck, Olsen, etc. never really panned out and they got some value for these guys. The move tells me that they must really like their chances this year to get rid of Dano, but it also seems that they were convinced he is expendable. I thought it was strange that he hadn’t been called up in awhile. Perhaps this shows how highly they view Schmaltz. Maybe he makes the team next year (but I don’t know how defensively responsible he is either, or if he is strong).

    One last thought about the defense. I know the rookies are struggling but the Hawks have shown that you only need 4 to 5 defenseman to actually win the Stanley cup. Leddy hardly played in the finals during the ’13 run. Last year, they essentially rolled out four defenseman. I think Rosival will be fine and they like TVR, so he should be okay. Gusty might be Leddy 2.0. As long as the top four play solid, and as long as the two rookies play OK, they should be fine.

  11. Sekac played a great game. I hope he continues that style of play and hangs onto the 1RW duties until Hossa comes back.

    I really hope Bowman can pull off a Hamhuis trade. According to some TSN guys there is an accepted offer on the table and the Nucks are waiting on him to waive his NTC. Vancouver would need to eat 50% in any deal not involving Bicks or Scuds.

    Gustafson and McNeil for Hamhuis at 50% is my shot in the dark.

  12. I agree Yoda about how Sekac played last night. It was a pity the Hawks could not light the lamp more as they had some glorious chances. Toews could have had 2-3 easy for the quality chances he found. Rinne was the difference last night pure and simple. Goalie win Preds. Refs forgot their whistles last night and that benefited the Preds. more than the Hawks. Once more we see Panarin with willingness to push back physically when necessary. A good sign.

    I think TVR is feeling the adverse physical effects of his first full season of NHL hockey. The long season is draining on all players, but the young guys have to learn. I think both TVR and Gustafsson will be fine into playoffs. If SB can add some experience on the back line then go for it. Problem is all teams want help on the blueline so not sure what will be out there that won’t cost a pretty penny. It’s all about the money in Count von Count’s cap driven NHL. Lets see what happens.

    Caps game should rock Sunday matinee, even though the Hawks seems to struggle with the early starts.

    A hearty welcome home Andrew Ladd!!

    Lets Go Hawks!

  13. With LAdd the Hawks are the odds end favorite to repeat.

    The only down side . . .ya heard it here first . .. is if CROW has a SLOW start Darling is not going to bail us out, Darling is the real weak link in my opinion. So we had better hope CROW owns the Show.

    Our core blue line should hold out . . . can they be better?” yes . . . but we now have the top 2 lines in the NHL when Hoss comes back on the top line. Shaw dropping down and Marcus will make this look like a new team.

    No worries, but anything can happen in the wild west

  14. The West is so crazy.

    LA and Anaheim could be a first round matchup.

    Two of Chicago/Dallas/St. Louis will meet in the first round. Yikes!

  15. Kane needs to pick up his raping. He did absolutely nothing last night. Kane’s proven that the more he rapes, the more he scores. Rapists gotta’ do what they gotta’ do.

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