Razing Arizona: Blackhawks Hang On In Desert

The Blackhawks dominated almost every aspect of the game on Thursday night, but it took almost 53 minutes to get a second goal past Mike Smith. Thankfully, a strong defensive effort and good night between the pipes meant two were enough to earn two critical points.

The Hawks out-shot the host Coyotes 17-6 in the first and second periods, but the score was tied at one goal for each side through 40 minutes. Tobias Rieder got Arizona on the board at 4:53 and Andrew Shaw scored a power play goal at 8:10 in the first to bring the score even.

It wasn’t until Brad Richards scored a second power play goal – in nearly identical fashion to Shaw’s goal in the first – that the Hawks were finally able to take a lead in the game. Thursday night marked the first time since Feb. 11 that the Hawks scored more than once on the power play in a game.

The game-winner was Richards’ first goal in 23 games.

Considering the help he received, Smith had a pretty good night in net for the Coyotes. He made 43 saves and Arizona successfully killed five Chicago power plays, but the second goal allowed cost him. On the other end of the rink, Corey Crawford was very good when he needed to be. He only made 17 saves in the game, but made a number of big saves on redirected shots to keep the game tied – and, eventually, a Hawks win.

Chicago dominated more than just shots on goal. The Blackhawks won 37 of 56 faceoffs, led by former Coyote Antoine Vermette winning 11 of 14 in the game. Jonathan Toews won 16 of 28 and was credited with a team-high three takeaways in the game.

Rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen had another good night skating at wing on the Hawks’ second line. He picked up the secondary assist on Richards’ game-winning power play goal and was credited with two hits, one takeaway and three shots on goal in 16:37.

Marian Hossa picked up an assist on Shaw’s goal and led the team with seven shots on goal. The other assist on Shaw’s goal went to Duncan Keith, who was credited with a team-high four blocked shots.

Bryan Bickell and rookie Joakim Nordstrom finished tied for the team lead with four hits each, but the final hit of the night from Nordstrom may cost him. He put Oliver Ekman-Larsson into the boards and was sent to the box for boarding; Ekman-Larsson was injured on the play, and left the ice with assistance from a trainer.

Bickell skated a team-low 9:06 (11 shifts) in the victory. Defenseman Kimmo Timonen was the only other Hawks player under 10 minutes (9:21).

15 thoughts on “Razing Arizona: Blackhawks Hang On In Desert

  1. Shaw and Richards…good, good…been missing you guys lately. Mike Smith gets hot for a game in what has been a terrible year for him…just our kinda luck. Really do think other teams elevate their game when playing against the Blackhawks. We need to elevate our game as well and start getting some goals. Quite an emotional response from Richards upon scoring…must have been carrying a heavy burden.

  2. MM- Smith was Hot? Hawks unlucky??? No- Hawks just ain’t that good Offensively anymore… Before the Trades… I was one of the few here begging for more Offensive help, but in the end- too many holes!!!

    Positives- TT continues to look better, Nordstrom looked good…and 2nd line… 4th line was creating chances
    Negatives- still no breakouts/oddmans… 3rd line looked weak mostly… Hawks played one of the worst teams in NHL,,, and could only score on PP’s!!!

  3. 4-1-1 without 88. I will take it, and its getting crowded at the top of the Norris with 5 pts covering Nsh, StL and Chi

  4. Crow looked a little “soft” last night, he was drifting a little, but it’s expected at times, felt the game was not in Hawks control even with time of large time of possession tilt and 44 shots on goal and visually out playing them. This is the same story, teams have figured it out, and this is true for many teams, just take away the middle, and force hawks to the outside, that is a common strategy. Average fans think the time of possession and the hawks passing the puck around like the Harlem Globetrotters is GOOD but it’s NOT, it just what the competition want by design. Like NBA players taking 3’s all day, perfect! The issue remains no traffic in front of the net, when we do we get traffic, we got two easy goals, but NO SECOND SHOTS, NO one is demanded to have the responsibility to get to the front of the net nor do our lines crash or funnel to the net its ALL OUTSIDE stuff! That is all we miss . . .BUFF . . . one or two players who can dominate that space in front of the net, traffic and screen. Otherwise Hawks will be involved in many 1 goal games, when the other team decides take away the middle and the break out pass, or long pass. HAWKS use the pass to generate Speed, some teams SKATE to create speed. Too many play makers and not enough bodies near the net pretty simple and that power play again is exhibit A. Kane coming back will help a little but his game is also perimeter and outside. 5 minutes power play was just “lame” something is wrong on the teaching, training and learning and if the Hawks get knocked out in the first round you heard it here first or second or third but . . .Coach Q may be dismissed.

  5. Yes Mike, it is the strategy of NHL teams to give up 44 shots on goal the beat the Blackhawks. I see a lot of success for these teams in the future.

    Hawks dominated play against a bad team. Their ES shooting percentage continues to get worse, which is amazing.

    Nordstrom deserves a suspension. That was a Carcillo like hit from behind on OEL. Stupid, brainless, dangerous.

    TT and Saad skating together does things to my body that it really shouldn’t, but I like it.

  6. Mook- another great post- especially calling out Crow… I didn’t want to be 1st (cuz everyone will jump on me) but Crow was average/at best… let two weak ones in 5 hole (2nd hit the post)…

    Re: PP Nice top see the Hawks trying top utilize the 1-3-1…. BUT- they still don’t Move!!! and flex VS. the PK 2/2 zone… the Hawks best “set Play” was when they actually “flexed” and 19 let a pass go thru to 81 on high weak side…

    The Only guy who seems to understand concept of how to attack Zone D on PP is TT…
    You have to skate and attack seams in zone -causing/drawing 2 players to cover you/seam… which then opens big seams for others!!! Ex. Last week TT skated down the boards/into seam opening a big passing lane for 10- who had great one timer…

    Most hawks just stand still or ONLY skate boards… need to skate/attack seams, yes it will get knocked away sometimes when you draw 2 defenders… but Hawks are no threat shooting/passing from the boards!!!

  7. Quenneville has been in Chicago for 7 seasons. The 2014-15 version of the Blackhawks is the weakest roster he has been provided. Simply put, the Hawks aren’t as deep as they have been.

    Lets face it, we have 3 true quality and reliable defenseman in Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson. Rosy and Kimmo are old war horses who are valuable, but they can’t be overextended. Coupled with that Sharp and Richards are a shadow of what they have been in the past, Bickell has been essentially useless for 2 seasons running and Shaw has flatlined after a few years of over-achiever status. And I struggle to see the reinforcements coming from Rockford next season…other than Nordstrom and Johns assuming full-time status.

  8. JS…..you funny. Agreed that Nordy should get suspended simply to protect the players. However, his suspension should be lite because he is not a habitual offender.

    I agree that this is the “softest” roster Q has had in Chicago. For the Hawks to have any chance at a deep run Q will have to out coach the other team(s) in 7 game series.

  9. Wall, “Crow was average/at best… let two weak ones in 5 hole (2nd hit the post)…” – in which game? I think lately he’s been the Hawks best player and is the major reason they’ve been able to collect any points over the last six games. (To me, against New York, it looked like he and Hjalmarsson were the only Hawks playing during the first 40 minutes.)

  10. Hossa is old now, he is father past time. Teuvo isn’t good, his style cant play with makeup already on this roster. Cant win with a average at best goalie. Aaah!…

    Do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do.

  11. I like the 2nd line with 20-80-86. I also like the 4th line with 42-16-65. I like Toews and Hossa together but Versteeg is struggling lately and isn’t doing much to help the 1st line. The 3rd line is a big fat YUCK. As much as it would be good to have balance and roll 4 lines – it’s not happening and in fact only 2 of the 4 lines looks dangerous on most their shifts (2 & 4). So let’s make the 3rd line even worse to make the 1st line better. Move Versteeg down to the 3rd line and put Sharp on the 1st line. Give it a few games and if that isn’t working switch Sharp with Bickell. I realize that means Versteeg needs to go back to RW when I think he plays better at LW – but something needs to be done to have at least 3 lines that are playing well.

  12. ER, I think Q does that, 10 to 1st line, as soon as he scores again 5on5. Then strike iron while hot.

  13. If this roster is the softest Q has had, why wasn’t there room
    to assure K Hayes a roster spot? If it is so weak, why isn’t Q rotating more of the Icehog players to the NHL to find a spark or prepare them for the playoffs? Why hasn’t McNeill seen any NHL time? The prospect pool is that poor that our coach sees no use for any of them.

    Do we now have three Zus’s (Richards, Timmo, Rosy) heading into these playoffs? The way some here are posting, we might have 5 or 6, adding Hossa, Sharp, & Oduya.

    I know several here like Nordstrom. I am not sold. He skates okay, but I swear he can’t get a shot off without having it blocked by a defender or having it deflected by their stick. He does hit, but he would never drop the gloves. I do not see any value in what he brings to the table. Can’t see what Q sees in him And that we have no one better.

    There has been sufficient dialogue on here this year to support my thoughts that the Hawks are in decline. Unfortunately, I believe it has happened sooner than we all thought.

    There is enough concern being voiced that I cannot justify the $$ for season tickets next year being newly retired. Looks like I am joining the couch potato fan club. At least I will be able to shut them off if the future is as frustrating as this year has been.

    Go Hawks. Thanks for a great 8 years. I hope the future isn’t as bleak as some of the posts here would make you believe.

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