Shooting Stars Top Blackhawks

It took overtime for the Blackhawks and Stars to decide a winner in Chicago on Thursday night, so why would they give the crowd in Dallas anything less?

The teams skated to a draw in the first period. Each team put 11 shots on net, and both sides scored once. Alexander Radulov scored a power play goal at 5:57 to give Dallas the lead, but the Hawks came back with a goal of their own less than four minutes later when Cody Franson put home his first of the year.

Chicago killed one of two penalties in the first. John Hayden was in the box when Radulov scored, and Duncan Keith sat for two minutes at the end of the period; two seconds of power play time from the Keith minor carried over to begin the second period.

In the second, both teams scored again. Radek Faksa scored his tenth of the season at 12:15 to give the lead back to Dallas.

With 41 seconds left in the second, Brandon Saad brought the score back to even with his tenth of the season.

Dallas put 15 shots on net in the second, aided by two more Chicago penalties. The Hawks put 12 shots on net, failing to score on a power play early in the period. Greg Pateryn went to the box with five seconds left in the second.

Chicago couldn’t convert on the Pateryn penalty either, and the third period would come and go without either side scoring. Anton Forsberg, starting for the injured Corey Crawford, stopped 29 of 31 in regulation while Ben Bishop made 30 saves in regulation.

The Blackhawks were better in overtime than they were on Thursday, but still didn’t get many good looks at Bishop. Forsberg made a few nice saves in the extra five minutes, stopping all four shots he faced in the extra session.

And on to the shootout they went.

Radulov and Tyler Seguin beat Forsberg, and Bishop stopped both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to earn the second point for Dallas.

Toews led Chicago with six shots on net and picked up an assist on Saad’s goal. He won eight of 19 faceoffs in 20:58 and the Hawks’ top line was noticeable – something that hasn’t been the case in some recent games. But Richard Panik skated only 11:17 and failed to put a shot on net again as his struggles continue.

Hayden only skated 7:58 but led Chicago with five hits. Lance Bouma was also credited with five hits on 10:16.

Artem Anisimov skated 20:47 with three shots on net, three blocked shots and won 13 of 26 at the dot.

Gustav Forsling led all Chicago skaters with 24:38 on the ice. He spent 2:16 on the power play and 3:24 on penalty kill duty as his role continues to grow. Forsling was credited with three shots on net in the loss.

Jan Rutta skated 23:28 with two blocked shots and two shots on net. Keith skated 24:15 and led the Hawks with six blocked shots. Keith also put four shots on net, picked up one hit and added an assist. Brent Seabrook skated 22 minutes and finished tied with Keith with six blocked shots; he added two hits and two takeaways in the game.

The Hawks fly home tonight and host the LA Kings at the United Center on Sunday night.

29 thoughts on “Shooting Stars Top Blackhawks

  1. Does Toews wear glasses? I really don’t know. I’m asking a legitimate question. If not, is it possible that, with his concussion history, that he may need glasses, contacts, or corrective surgery? I refuse to believe that he’s just fallen off the cliff of talent. No way.
    Panik? He’s a one and done. I had that feeling last year and was loathe to offer him a contract.
    This team is missing a few pieces. You don’t lose Hossa and not suffer a bit of a let down. DeBrincat is a legit 1st line guy. He should be up with Toews and Saad. Panik may need to go to the 4th line.
    Defensively, I think Q is doing right by limiting Seabrook’s minutes. Rutta and Forsling are a great pair. It takes A LOT of pressure off of Keith to be all everything.
    Murphy has really stepped up his game. I like it. Now SB has some room to deal the D men that are in the press box. Maybe a package with Panik. Yes, I’d like a center, maybe a minor league guy who is strong on the FO.
    Okay, Here’s hoping tomorrow in LA is a better result.

  2. Forsberg answered the call and played a good game, just didn’t get it done in the other end. Played lousy in the 2nd and got a goal, dominated most of the 3rd and ot at times and couldn ‘t score go figure. ProbablySeabrooks best game this season, played top 4 mins again for first time in a while and responded positively. One game but hope he keeps it up. Might see a lineup change for tonight.

  3. I dont chirp on here often , but it was a bad night . Canucks won and the Hawks lost , and I dont enjoy that ! I quite like Edmans comments, very insightfull . My theory …. the 2015 cup win was very impressive, after going to game 7 against LA , and using mostly 4 Dmen ! I believe this core is burnt out from that run. Im wondering if Towes so brilliant for 7 yrs. has shot his bolt ? Kane looks fine , but Towes plays a more intense style of game , and more physical. I agree on Hossa , he was a bull on the puck, and played brilliant in his own end. Panik ? He was a pleasant surprise last year, is he a top 6 forward ? I like Saad , and I think that was a favorable trade. Its not easy to win that Cup every year though !

  4. So let me understand … if a “Shootout” is about SCORING goals- WHY not put out your “goal scorers?”??? We don’t get many Hawks games in Eastern Canada so it’s hard to comment on abilities, just the outcomes. But at the end of the playoff run last year vs the Preds, did Stan not promise more? More what? More of the same? Or more improvements? The future is with the young guns- that future was sown when 3 cups, and salary cap pressures gave way to trades for new talent?! That talent is here NOW- so best to use them NOW! I’m disappointed in what we are seeing from the veterans and not clear on the explanation- but YES, we sorely miss Hossa, Seabrook, Toews, Kane, Keith- they need to play like there ~$35,000,000 or so in salary would suggest they play! Getting close to 1/3 of the way in the season- are we going to be sellers? buyers? or “stan-d pat (bowman)?”

  5. Dallas played tough defense. They crowded the Hawks. Once again, the PP was very weak. If the Hawks were scoring at an average level on the PP, their record would be much better. You will notice that when they get on a hot streak, they are scoring goals with the man advantage. When they go stagnant, they aren’t. So we micro analyze every mistake that a Hawks defenseman makes, but it really comes down to having zero room for error because the PP is so lackluster. It would not surprise me at some point to find out that Toews is fighting a health issue. This drop off from Toews is stunning, as is Seabrook’s, although Seabrook was good against Dallas in Dallas. Forsberg is playing well and I think we can be gaining some confidence in him. Panik has disappeared and isn’t even hitting anybody anymore. I was fooled and thought it was good to lock him up contractually. I have not given up, but this “slump” is really dragging on.

  6. I know this may sound blasphemous, but how about trading D-Cat and Seabrook’s contract or part of his contract. This team needs to badly upgrade its defense. What about a good young defenseman or a 1st round pick. Leave this up for debate to the ones who know much more than me. No, this is not Wall.

  7. We read every reason imaginable on why/did bad at. I agree with most of what everyone had said.

    Look at these 7 of 10 games against top 10 teams. We had one of those 4/5/or 6 days between games and then 5 gams in 7 days.

    Lets repeat that 5 games in 7 days.

    Sometimes people are zoomed in/to close to every detail we need to get better at. Lets zoom out to a 120 inch tv screen. You can see that we are 4-1-3 (which is only got beat one time in 8 games) in this 10 game stretch/segment. We started really good 4-0-1 and skated hard in the 2nd of a back to back and outplayed NAS/didn’t get winortie. Then split the 2 games with DAL (2 ties is same thing as 1-1)(its 2 pts).

    Very happy with one loss in the first 8 games of these 10. I want better in one of these two DAL games but hey we just…

    played 5 games in 7 days (right after having 4/5/or6 days between games).

    That’s fucking asinine.

  8. Q needs to move Panik off the top line and give D-Cat a shot. Only problem with that is where do you put Panik. Maybe you can move Hayden up and give he more minutes. His hustle may work with Toews and SaaS. I thought Kane looked disinterested last night. I really like the growth I’m seeing in Forsling. Hope I’m wrong but I think we miss the playoffs.

  9. The schedule has been absurd. The Blackhawks are a team in transition and don’t have the chemistry to beat the team in front of them and the scheduling computer. The President’s trophy last year has not been kind this year.

  10. There are players on this team that just looked “tired”. The schedule has not been kind to us, so far.

    But the positives that come out of a busy schedule are that the young guys get a lot of ice time, they learn about the proper rest and how to prepare and practice AND they can’t think about their mistakes because they are playing in the next 24 / 48 hours.

    Conor Murphy is starting to look really good. Forsling and Ruuta continue to make the right plays. Forsberg looks like a solid backup goalie. If we could get some consistency out of Saader and Hartman the second half of the season could be really nice. I think their time is coming, too. They’re looking better every game.

    Bouma and Wingels took a lot of heat from some of the people on this board but they are exactly what this team needed, consistent 4th line play, body checking and pressure, eat up some minutes against any opposing line that is thrown at them.

    Let’s see if we can get some W’s under our belt over the next 3 weeks.

    GO HAWKS!!!

  11. Forsberg played well, save the shootout. I second what other posters have said about the Rutta/ Forsling pairing, and about Murphy. About a month back, I called Murphy a stiff on this page, but he has played well lately. Maybe the Hawks biggest problem is that they are in a very tough Division. They have to start winning these Central division games.

  12. @edman68 – I’ve been saying for a while that what may be wrong with Toews is related to post concussion effects. I’ve been thinking it is his hand/eye coordination where he’s not able to consistently control the puck with his stick. Every aspect requiring puck handling is not as good as it used to be – shooting, making a pass, receiving a pass, retrieving and controlling the puck along the boards, even faceoffs where he tries to cheat and gets himself tossed out.

    Many of us Hawks fans would defend Toews against claims he was over-hyped by pulling out the “intangibles card”. We would concede there were better scorers but Toews scored well enough that when combined with those intangibles made him one of the best players in the world. And we were right. Now, those intangibles have pretty much disappeared and his scoring is down too.

    I don’t know if the debilitating effects of concussions are permanent or if things can improve. Toews has 5 more years on his $10.5M cap hit contract. If he can’t get back to close to where he used to be – I dare say it may be time to declare the Hawks dynasty officially over.

  13. Before these last 2 losses to Dallas, I thought the Hawks were trending in the right direction – even in the loss to Tampa. Well, that balloon has been popped.

    Speaking of “trending” – Schmaltz has been exhibiting a disturbing trend – avoiding contact. He reminds me of Teuvo when he pulls up or tries a little spin-o-rama move to avoid getting hit. I’m not sure where he fits long term – center or wing – but he will not be the player we hoped he would be if he continues to play afraid of contact.

    It’s gotten to the point where we think it’s a good shift for the Toews’ line when they keep possession around the perimeter for 30-45 seconds, even though they get no shots on goal. Pretty sad.

    Back to back and 3 in 4 means tired legs against the Kings tonight. Maybe Kempny will draw back in – and dare I say it – maybe Seabrook will get a night off.

  14. ER – while Schmaltz may not be looking for contact, I think his growth is one of the bright spots so far along with Forsling and Rutta. Schmaltz is involved in a lot of high quality chances and his speed is much more noticeable than last year. I have also been a supporter of Murphy and he looks much more confident in his play. He skates well and brings a physical element that we have lacked on the back-end for some time. I still am a supporter of both the Murphy and Saad deals. Speaking of avoiding contact what has happened to Panik. He used to play a pretty heavy game but seems to be doing a disappearing act. The success of the 4th line is probably keeping him from moving down the line-up.

  15. Just looking at buyout calculator and in Seabrooks case it is years 3 thru 6 that aren’t pretty. The last 3 ýears Hossa contract off the books and assuming you are trying to get under cap and ltir him it would negate the buyout cost and the other costly year would be Hossa’s last. Certainly would be much easier to move Hossa’s contract for the last year and negate buyout cost that year. If you bought him out in 2 years time the first year cap savings are 3.7m and if bought out next year they would save 3.55 next year plus 3m the 2nd year against cap and the following 4 yrs. still be as stated. Don’t know if they would go this route but could be an option at some point.

  16. Agree with ER
    As I said last year after the disastrous
    First round exit, Toews contract appears to be the albatross . Never would have imagined that would be the case by 2017!
    ( I think we all agree no one was ever in favor of Seabs new deal from the get go)

  17. Toews actual salary starts trending down after next season so if you got him to waive his nmc and retained a third of his salary, he would be very attractive to alot teams most likely and you clear up 7m in cap space also if it has to be done.

  18. Ebonyraptor – I don’t know the cause, but I agree with you completely about Toews – “Every aspect requiring puck handling is not as good as it used to be”. I don’t know about “intangibles” either (what goes on in the room/off the ice), but to me, he seems to be knocked off the puck and lose board battles a lot more than 2 or 3 years ago. I really hope that Toews can recover/get back (at least close) to the elite level.

    “It may be time to declare the Hawks dynasty officially over”? – Toews is a large part, but we’re talking about a team. Some of the young players are developing – that might be the most important part to reviving/maintaining the dynasty.

  19. Dunlop excellent post. Your right I see 20 and 38 coming on as well.

    Lets get one thing straight. A loss is where you get 0 pts. A tie is where you get 1 pt. The two games against DAL were both ties.

    We have 1 loss in the last 8 games.

    This is a double back to back/5 games in 7 days.

    I think its time to adjust lines/though we can get by until after these 10/the WAS game. Then its on. During games 25-40 well see what team we really have.

    Its funny how after just 25 games our good defensive coaches have done to the younger defenseman 44/42/5. Good coaching?

    Well get an unexpected surprise (by being tired from this 5in7 days) with a big win against LA or WAS.

  20. Anyone check out the schedule for the rest of the season?

    On Dec. 14th we are in Winnepeg. Then we fly come home for 1 game against Minnesota. Three days off then fly to Dallas and to New Jersey. Then 4 days off and then BACK out west for 3 games in 4 nites against Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. January has a 5 day break inn the middle but ALOT of games 3 games in 5 days and 4 games in 6 days. February is the same thing. March has ALOT of back to back home / road games on Saturday and Sunday.

    The season ends on April 7th which, I believe, is 7-9 days earlier than the last 5 years. Whoever came up with this schedule for the league must be getting paid by MLB because nobody watches baseball in the spring, they watch the hockey playoffs!!

  21. Dunlop yea I am not making up excuses for the team (when we donot play/or not play good) this sch is done on purpose and its asinine.

    The first 25ish games the sch is not normal (8 of frist 11 against top 10 teams)(and the current 7 of 10 against top t10 teams). You also have 11/eleven time wheres there a 4/5/or6 days between games. Let alone the stacked games in #days.

    The good thing is/like you said/it can be good thing for the younger players and that is what this 82 games is about/setting ourselves up for the 5 coming yrs where we have to add to the dynasty and win another cup.

    For the sch. the first 25ish games made it very difficult to have any kind of normal stretch to put a long run together. I think games 25-40 and 40-60 the sch ir at least more normal and normal at times we can put together a long run or several mini runs and get our record to 10 over .500 and then be in the vicinity of 15/20 over during games 60-80.

    With 14 of 15 teams in conference being good teams. This yr 10-15 over .500 is like what 20 or so over .500 would normally be.

    Anyways we will have a chance to play during games 25-60 sch. wise.

  22. I predicted EDM to not do as good as last yr because every team would play a harder games against them since they know they are good now. This happens every yr to teams. Same thing with TB/LA/STL they didn’t have as good of a record as for how good of a team they are last yr. That’s why those teams are on a mission to post in the first 40 so they wont have that happen again/or at least this yr.

    Which also means/most likely since we wont have as good of a record as as good of a team as we really are this yr. The couple coming yrs we prob post a dang good record in the first 40.

  23. The article about Toews in Hockey News was interesting and perhaps revealing-he wanted to be more rounded, less one-dimensional, with several ‘key’ interests that take up a lot of his time, even in the off-season.

    I think there is real truth also to the ‘health’ aspect as well-he’s taken so much physical crap and his hands and head have been a target, especially because he lowers his body so often around the net.

    He’ll be 30 this year, so it makes sense that he is slipping a bit, but perhaps not to this extent–I believe the grind of playing so much tough hockey, his amazing success by age 26/27 and the new ‘interests’ have taken a toll.
    Crosby certainly came back, but as each month passes it seems more apparent that this is what 19 is–
    A good question is where would the Hawks be, even today, without his abilities defensively, playing against another teams best player, and at the circle–etc.? Not near as good.

  24. Reg ,I thought seaon ended early too so i looked up when schedule ended last few years. In 13-14 it was Apr. 13th with a break for Olympics, 14-15 it was Apr.19th and that season league took 6 day allstar break in January i guess and that year each was required another 6 day break. Last 2 seasons final day on the schedule was Apr. 9th but 2 yrs. ago 2 snowed out games were played on the 10th.
    Noonan Toews still makes this a much better team with his presence regardless of all the cheapshots he takes. When the time is right the needed moves can and will be made.

  25. Just read that in 16 we traveled 40,000 miles and 17 36,000 miles. This yr 48,000 miles.

    Sounds kind if fishy guys.

  26. To have real parity in the league. The league should makes the East conference teams travel a ridiculous sch since the Campbell conference has more natural travel.

    So that its an even playing field/in terms of miles. That would be a better use of resources then this bunch of Joe Mcgraths.

  27. Also Mo Eastern teams play 67 games in their own time zone with teams in Metropolitan division being within about a 2 hour flight to all road games in eastern conference and majority road games only an hour or so flight.

  28. The answer for Toews may be the same as with Seabrook, time to reduce his minutes in each game. Seems counterintuitive but it is working for Seabrook. Why not with Toews?

  29. Why not drop Toews’ ice time? Have you looked at who else is playing center on this team?

    I’ve got an idea – let’s give Tommy Wingels 30 faceoffs a night and see how a team that sucks at possessing the puck does then.

    At least think about the realities of suggesting things like taking away Toews’ ice time before typing it. If the Hawks had 3-4 centers they could run out there I could see it. They have 2 and Anisimov is a total hit-or-miss on faceoffs.

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