Stars Blast Boring Blackhawks

The Hawks did nothing to engage the Stars on Saturday night, and Dallas took advantage with a strong 4-0 shutout win.

Shaw DAL

The Blackhawks came into the game having allowed eight goals in their previous seven games (5-0-1), but were flat from the opening puck drop. Dallas was up two at the end of a first period that saw the Hawks throw away two ugly power plays and allow a goal to the Stars while they had an advantage.

Patrick Eaves scored the game-winning goal only 9:36 into the game, and Tyler Seguin scored his 33rd of the season while Niklas Hjalmarsson was in the penalty box less than seven minutes later.

Each team put seven shots on net in the second period, but neither was able to score. And the Blackhawks were lucky to enter the third period chasing only two; the Stars had three or four looks at a wide open net in the middle stanza but failed to convert. Indeed, any kind of aim by the hosts could have had the Blackhawks down five easily entering the final frame.

Shawn Horcoff scored his 11th of the season on a Stars power play – with Hjalmarsson in the box again – at 6:02 into the third and the Blackhawks appeared to be done. Indeed, after Jason Spezza scored Dallas’ fourth goal of the night less than four minutes later, the game was over.

Brandon Saad was awarded a penalty shot 71 seconds after Horcoff’s goal, but was denied by Kari Lehtonen. Lehtonen stopped all 33 shots the Blackhawks put on net in the shutout win.

This game was the first time in eight starts that Corey Crawford allowed more than two goals, but he was the best player on the ice for Chicago on this night. He stopped 25 of 29 in the loss.

Marian Hossa led the Hawks with seven shots on net, and Jonathan Toews won 14 of 19 faceoffs, but Chicago’s top line failed to generate any offense.

Bryan Bickell skated exactly 16 minutes in the game, but was credited with one hit and zero shots on net. Bickell and Kris Versteeg had a tough night, missing on a number of passing attempts that led to rushed the opposite direction.

Michal Rozsival looked bad in the loss, finishing the night minus-two with an ugly turnover leading directly to a Dallas goal. His play on Saturday night will give David Rundblad additional job security for the next 11 games.

33 thoughts on “Stars Blast Boring Blackhawks

  1. …that’s the 8th time we have been shutout…more than 11%..not sure what that stat means but it dosent exactly make me feel very good. Whole team has a case of Bickellitis.

  2. Not just shut out again – shut out for the 8th time this season! 8 times! When was the last time a Hawks team got shut out 8 times in a season.

    I suppose I can agree that CC was the best player for the Hawks tonight, but that isn’t high praise by any stretch. That was easily one of the 5 worst games of the season, collectively. Excluding CC, I can’t think of one player that did anything good tonight. Maybe that Seabrook play when he knocked a puck out of the air that may have been heading toward the net. But to a man, they were out-quicked, out-hustled, out-muscled, and plain and simple didn’t fight as hard as Dalals did. To a man. This wasn’t bad turnovers by a couple players or good chances that the opposing goalie stole – no, this was total crap the bed.

    I read a tweet from one of the Hawks beat writers (Kuc I think) where he commented the Hawks were looser in the morning skate than he has seen in a long time. He said they were having fun and being loose. Sounds like poor preparation resulted in tonights abomination. Hopefully it was a one-off and they’ll prepare better next time.

  3. With the 8th shutout tonight, I had to see when was the last time they were shut out 8 times or more:

    2013/14: 5 times
    2012/13: 0 times (lockout shortened season)
    2011/12: 7 times
    2010/11: 4 times
    2009/10: 2 times
    2008/09: 5 times
    2007/08: 5 times
    2006/07: 6 times
    2005/06: 3 times

    That’s as far back as I’m going to look. It’s been at least 10 years since the Hawks have been shut out 8 or more times. That goes back to before the Hawks had Kane and Toews.

  4. Thanks for that list Ebony..its telling thats for sure, especially since we are supposed to be such an offensive powerhouse.The league is in a new dead puck era thats for sure but the current makeup of the Blackhawks getting shut out so frequently is quite puzzling. No player in the league is even going to get close to scoring 100 points this year. Bickellitis..its contagious, spread around the locker room like wildfire. Even Tab’s headline says “…boring Blackhawks”….we were the most exciting team to watch not that long ago, and at times we can still put on a great display ( last years Game 6 vs. LA primo example) or when we came back from a 5-0 deficit against Calgary in a regular season game a few years back. Do you think that is possible today? Some of it has to be the “system play” the defensive backchecking, players terrified of making an error and that stifles all creativity. Regardless, we are the Blackhawks and getting spanked 8 times is unacceptable and embarrasing.

  5. This should have been a ‘purpose’ game as they knew the Blues/Wild result before the puck dropped. I also know the Jets won and the Preds were up. Could have kept pace with most of the division (with a game in hand) and closed on the Blues! What an opportunity wasted to close the gap on the division lead especially considering how absolutely and decisively they were out-played and ‘out-efforted’, if you will. With the table being set, as such, this result is a real head-scratcher for me. A game 7 mentality and effort is an absolute requirement going forward.
    It’s anyone’s guess how this season will end but one thing is for sure; this team will be constructed much differently for 2015/16.

  6. ZebraGreg is right. I also felt the Hawks would have been extra motivated last night. Dallas though was ready to move and they are a fast skating team by any standard. I watched the Blues and Kings both play poorly yesterday and figured the Hawks would see this as a chance to put pressure on division leaders. Go figure. As dominant as Stars were last night much of the game, the Hawks were within 1 goal of making it interesting.

    Next…

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  7. The lines against the Rangers were the best of the season and should stay that way.

    I don’t care what the stats on Versteeg might say. We didn’t miss him much when he was hurt and, of late, we’ve played better without him. He’s too shaky with the puck and holds it for too long.

    Dejardins gave the fourth line some real energy and spunk. He’s a hitter, too. Refreshing. Keep him there with Kruger and Nordstrom.

  8. New subject. Anyone watching Brandon Pirri. 17 goals in 38 games. Thought we could have fit him in .

  9. The good thing is all the other teams took a hit too. MIN won but took a hit the game before. So everything we gained from going 8-1-1 since Kaner got hurt we still have. I mentioned then/at deadline at bare min. we go, win a couple and then take a hit for the 20 games we will be 10-5-5 or 12-6-3 and that would put us at 21/22 over and all the teams between 9/10/11 over, even if MIN went 11-1 again at some point in the 20games or any of those teams go 15-5, they wouldn’t be above 21 over. Also that we win 4or5 in a row at some point in the 20 games, depending on where STL and now NAS are we could get the 2seed.

    To go 8-1-1 since Kaner got hurt is excellent and we won that 4or5 in a row right then. Its fine we took a hit, good time to/when all the other teams took one on the same night. Now we have games 70-82 to play for the 1or2seed.

    As for 0 goals/shutouts, its simply the fact that we have been in more lowering scoring games then normal for the past several yrs. Probably in 5of7 last yrs we usually scored 4/5/6 goals a game more often then we did in the 70 games this yr., but also gave up more goals on most of those yrs too. It just goes hand in hand with being in a lot more lowering scoring games .

    As for the game, if we played really really bad, then we didn’t play. So good time to have that happen (after a 8-1-1 stretch), when all the other teams took a hit too.

    Keep steaming ahead.

  10. The score should have been 9 zip! Starz flat out missed the net at least 7 times. The Starz are dangerous on the offensive end, when “we” talk of speed they are text book speed team on the “rush” they put the rush in the rush! They also push pretty much push al rush 5 guys up ice, many rushes had 4 guys within 8 feet of each other, all funnel to the net NOT THE OUTSIDE. . . pretty impressive. This was a good game and team to watch for those “strategy freaks” but it can be BEAT, if you have BIG strong and quick defensemen (think Leddy & Keith) or a good goal tender who can handle the puck behind the net and make quick outlets, you can get a massive amount of breaks and break outs on our end catch them in sloppy transition, due to their speed on entry it’s their only weakness, Hawks come in soft, slow and often the spacing is like high school all over the place with odd gaps. Hawks don’t have a goal tender to handle the puck and start a break sooo to me Crawford is the “weakest” in the nhl in handling the puck, out of the crease and behind the net, even a simple drop pass is an adventure. As WE know that is critical when these teams that dump in and beat us to the puck or lean on or crush our undersized d-men, so Starz are built on speed and strength and how quickly they get the puck ON NET! CROW weakness behind the net is why he is not really in the top 5 in the NHL he is weak outside the crease with his stick, I mean horrible and it wont get better. I wont waste my time pointing fingers on weak links last night because the Hawks win as a team and they have no ONE player who carries them ( which is great) so they lose and win as a team. Richards to me seems to be re-energized and playing well but I am concerned for Vermette and how he is handled, I know he’s a very very good, he needs to be consistently on the 2nd line power play and needs some skill around him and some bulk like a Bick. I would share with NHL fans that when we’re critical on a player it has ALL TO DO WITH WHAT LINE THEY ARE ON and who is on that line and balance. Toews is captain because of HOSSA! No Hossa well no Toews, HOSSA makes his game better and whom ever is on that line can be “judged.” But when Q puts these lines in his vitamix blender then no real informed nhl fan can really say who is playing up to potential. Plus Q has no patience to allow PLAYERS to reach potential hence our Hayes Bros. and Perrrrri and Morrrrrin etc. Hawks will be okay (I fear minnesota) they are LUCKY KANE went down he will come back rested as did OH-DO-YA who is playing from my viewing very well, much quicker to the puck and up ice. Hawks need him and Keith who are the only two guys with d-men skate speed everyone else plus they add Tinonen really are very slow to turn up and out of the zone. Poor Hammer has no shot in the d-zone, weak backhand and his exit passes are just horrible always not just last night and i know he is playing on his off hand, but for a long time they get possession and cant clear the zone. Last night is was comical . . . It will be a tuff playoff no easy team and the EAST is much much much better Hawks would easily beat last years Rangers this year NOT! Getting to the cup ain’t the GOAL . . .

  11. Didn’t see that NAS won/or was ahead. So other then that (even though we have what 3 games in hand) everybody else that’s playing for the 1or2 seed took a hit as well.

    WIN, VAN, MIN, etc. winning helps LOS not making the playoffs.

  12. MOOK, a friendly suggestion: Break your posts into separate paragraphs so they can more easily be read. Brutal to plow through a massive block of text.

  13. I also took last night’s game off, I ended up recording it but after listening to the post game it didn’t sound like it was worth watching.

    Anyways it proves that on any given night any team can win. The Hawks were do for a let down. Despite being shut out 8 times and being without Kane, this is still a contender at the end of the day that’s all a fan can ask for. The Hawks last remaining games aren’t tough so it’s not out of the question for this team to secure 1st or 2nd in their division. Minny & Winnipeg are also playing good so if the Hawks sleep walk like last night. They will be a wildcard.

    It’s also safe to say the the central with have 5 playoff teams so LA needs to catch Vancouver or Calgary if they wanna make the playoffs.

  14. I’m a big Versteeg fan. But….he had a lot of ice time last night, and was on or around the puck a lot…and….he played really, really poorly. Too much time taken with the puck, too much time trying to make the perfect move. Go toward the freaking net in some fashion, either with your skates or the throwing the puck.
    Dallas played the fast, puck possession game last night, with little goon activity that you often see from them, and beat the Hawks at their own game. The boys need to learn from this one.
    Go Blackhawks!

  15. I’m also a huge fan of Versteeg. I thought in the first period he was brutal (so was everyone else). After that, he was fine. No one was making tape to tape passes.

    I also saw Chris Kuc’s tweet about how loose the Hawks were at the morning skate. I originally thought it was a good sign and they are playing with loads of confidence. I guess I was wrong lol.

    Hawks will be fine.

  16. More thoughts on the short term implications of last night’s loss…now considering the Blues picked up 1 point in losing to the Wings today, the Hawks have 2 games in hand vs. STL/NSV. Oh how a win last night would have put them in a prime position to eventually win the division. Right now sitting 5 behind STL, 4 behind NSV – and – 5 ahead of MIN and 6 ahead of WPG; a win last night would have been 3/2 behind & 7/8 ahead with a game at hand vs. MIN/WPG and 2 at hand vs. STL/NSV as mentioned. The effort / result shown last night is really sticking in my craw considering all this.

    2 games remaining vs. STL, 1 vs. MIN, 1 with WPG, that will all be game 7 intense (2 home / 2 road); 1 with LAK that are fighting for their playoff life…not to mention tough road games at PHI and COL. VAN coming here that have dominated Hawks this year.

    Blanked 8 times…cannot seem to get quality shots on net and the few they do they don’t finish. Apparent inconsistent effort, intensity…where in the hell has the hi end offensive production gone?

    Tomorrow vs. CAR is a MUST WIN in my book…cannot afford to stumble against a team they should handle but just skated by in their last matchup less than 2 weeks ago.

    OK…done venting.

    GO HAWKS!!!

  17. Anybody heard anything about when TVR will be called up? I think we need him here sooner than later. The kid impressed early on in the season.

    It’s quite obvious that Roszival can only be relied on as a 7th or 8th D. He seems to play OK (or at least he doesn’t cost us) when he plays 1 out of 2 or (preferably) 3 games. Anything more than that and Q is playing with fire. Its so obvious. At this point, I believe I place Rundblad ahead of him.

    The Hawks were backing up against the Stars from the opening face-off last night. Not a good sign. They really didn’t seem to be engaged. Almost felt like an emotional letdown after the big win at MSG. Too bad because it was a wasted opportunity to gain ground in the standings.

  18. STL 24
    NAS 23
    CHI 21
    gap
    MIN 15
    WIN 14
    gap
    COL 7
    DAL 6

    I can see COL/DAL helping us winning some games against STL/NAS and MIN/WIN. As well as MIN/WIN helping us winning some against STL/NAS. While VAN/CAL could get to where MIN/WIN are because they will be playing more games against EDM/ARI.

    Regardless of any of this stuff, as long as we are playing good I am ok with the 3seed, would be more happy to be the 1or2 seed. I am not routing for any matchups, just be playing good and get the highest seed we get and play who we have to play.

  19. I’m going to be at the game tomorrow vs. the Canes. Will be extra fun cause of the added importance of this one. I expect Carolina to bring, just as most teams do against the Hawks. Have not been to a live game in almost two years so it will be nice to see every angle of the game which you can’t get from a tv broadcast. Hope to see plenty of Hawks fans there there which had become the norm over the last couple of years. Go Hawks!

  20. Cleekster, if you go from All Star break forward its 13 goals in 18games for Pirri . Also one of the most glaring goals to assists ratios you will see. 17g + 2a on the year.

  21. Flatliner . . . great point and I’m a creative director so I should know better, I will do a a smarter job of blocking out my thought and make sure i have something thoughtful to add to the conversation too, Thank YOU. Go Hawks and GO Vermette . . . .

  22. With the Ducks losing to the Rangers tonight, I’m even more agitated now than I was in my earlier posts above. Had the hawks done what they should have last night and ended the evening with 94 points, and now coupled with ANA’s blowout lose this evening, in addition to what I said earlier about proximity to all Central division foes, we would be sitting only 5 points behind the Ducks for the WC lead, as well, with THREE (3) games in hand against them. Last night was a game that they should have gone after with all cylinders loaded. I’m only hoping that the two points left on DAL ice last night don’t turn out to be the difference in a few weeks between the Division / Conference lead (home ice) or not.

    On another note, NHL Network tonight reports Mike Richards being called up by the Kings.

  23. While I like the depth and versatility Vermette brings to the lineup, he hasn’t been as good as I had hoped. He has only two points (2 A), both against SJS IIRC.

    The most glaring stat for Vermie is his FO percentage:

    With ARZ: 56.0%
    With CHI: 46.3%

    Hopefully this improves – I’m sure it will – and he picks up more points.

  24. Will…have a great time at the game…give us an eyewitness account of the real deal…weather shoud be considerably warmer than up here in the frigid north.

  25. Mo, I disagree. 3d in our division starts us on the road. We are 5th in the conference even though we are 4 points and a game in hand over the Nucks. As it stands today we open against the Preds in Nashville. Catching the Preds pushes us up to 3d and open at home against the Flames. Every point matters.

  26. Mike… 2nd/3rd in each division play eachother no matter what. The likely scenerio at the moment is we catch NSH and play the preds with home ice (2nd vs 3rd in the Central). Best case… LA hunts down MIN without hunting down CAL and give the Blues a 7 game series where we will get whats left of either team. Leaving us WPG/ANA/CAL/VAN from the otherside in the finals

    We will not play a Pacific team in the first round unless we…
    1)win the Conference, and LA/Calgary both pass MIN and finish 3rd in pacific and 8th between the 2 of them ….or
    2)Win the central, and LA and Calgary finish 3rd in Pacific and 7th and ANA plays WGP as the 8th seed.

  27. “I expect more from Crawford” is a statement that comes from someone who didn’t watch the game.

    50 was the only guy who showed up in that game. Could have easily been as bad/worse than the NYR/ANA score from Sunday night.

  28. Mike, your right I do want the 1or2 seed not the 3, just was saying if that’s what we are we will still be fine. If we are the 2seed the only team that will have home ice on us is ANA (and who 1st in our division).

    With the stupid realignment playoff format we could be the 3rd see in our division and we will have home ice (with having a better 82 game record) against VAN (even though they would be a 2 seed). I think that goes for the 1 seed to, even if ANA is that 1 seed and we are a 2 seed, if we have a better 82 game record we have home ice. Somebody verify this, if not right/want to make sure.

    The only way we could play VAN, CAL, WIN, LOS, COL or DAL is if were the 1 seed.

  29. Basically (I think) after the playoffs division realignment format starts with the 1vs7or8/2vs3 and the 1vs7or8/2vs3 in each division. You can throw out all the seeds and which ever team has the better 82 game record gets home ice for that round.

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