Toews, Blackhawks Escape Avalanche In OT

It took 9 seconds for 19 to get the Blackhawks a second point on Tuesday night.

But it took a terrific effort from JF Berube for 60 minutes to get the Blackhawks there.

Berube stopped 33 of 34 and the Blackhawks overcame an overturned go-ahead goal to beat the Avalanche in front of their home fans.

Erik Gustafsson, who inked a two-year extension earlier in the day, provided the offense in a first period that saw a more determined Blackhawks team than we saw for most of the West Coast trip.

There was no comment about a distinct kicking motion from the Avs’ defenseman on the Gustafsson goal.

Chicago held a 12-9 shot advantage after 20 minutes.

In the second, Connor Murphy went to the box and Colorado made the Hawks pay. Nathan MacKinnon, who has been really good all year for the Avs, scored his career-high 32nd goal of the season on the advantage to tie the game at one.

Colorado dominated the second, out-shooting the Hawks 18-7. But Berube was solid and the defense in front of him did their job well enough to keep the score tied.

Late in the second, it appeared Brandon Saad scored to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. But the situation room in Toronto wanted to take another look at the play.

The goal was overturned, and the Hawks coaches were… not thrilled.

Neither side was able to break through in the third and the game headed to overtime. After allowing 18 shots in the second, Chicago limited Colorado to seven in the third – including a power play – to maintain the tie score.

In overtime, Jonathan Toews ended it. Quickly.

Toews led Chicago with five shots on net, added an assist on the Gustafsson goal to his game-winner and won 12 of 19 faceoffs.

Murphy led the Hawks with three blocked shots and three hits; Jordan Oesterle also had three hits.

Patrick Sharp skated a team-low 8:14 in the game, while Anthony Duclair was limited to 8:18.

Chicago turned to their kids to kill penalties against a good power play for Colorado and were successful against two of the three Avs advantage. Carl Dahlstrom, David Kampf, Matthew Highmore and Nick Schmaltz all logged time while short-handed.

52 thoughts on “Toews, Blackhawks Escape Avalanche In OT

  1. To hell with tanking. It won’t make much of a difference anyway. The young guys on team need to learn to win, not to lose. The rest of the season should be used to get the kids the experience and get the vets out of their funks (which seems to be working).

    I like Kane and Toews on the same line. If it keeps being effective, Q should consider keeping the first line as it is next season.

  2. I’m on record advocating losing games for better draft position but I have to tell you – I like the way Toews looked lately and especially tonight and the Hawks future fortunes are more dependent on a resurgent Toews then the difference between the 7th player in the draft versus the 12th player in the draft. Don’t get me wrong, I still think getting a better draft pick is important and therefore I still hope they lose enough games to get into the 5th, 6th or 7th draft position, but seeing Toews look more like the old Toews is very good news. Course, it’s only a few games so we’ll see what happens, but at least for now I’m excited that Toews is playing well.

  3. For those of you who are not enamored with Q, here is a headline based on tonight’s Nashville win:

    HARTMAN, BENCHED BY Q IN LAST GAME AS BLACKHAWK, SCORES 2 GAME-WINNING GOALS FOR NEW TEAM NASHVILLE IN SHORT ORDER

  4. If the Hawks draft in the top 10 they will likely get one of the following, if they go with Defense : Quinn Hughes, Evan Bouchard, Ty Smith, Noah Dobson.

    If they go with a forward it will likely be a Center.
    They are going to get a really good prospect,

    There is no way that a Toews and Kane are going to stop giving it their because the Hawks might get a better draft pick.

    Let the chips fall where they may and maybe the Hawks catch a break in the lottery and wind up in the top 3, safe to say though with this inconsistent goaltending, the Hawks are not going to go on like an 8 game run. Instead, they will eke out a few wins here and there.

  5. Don’t see alot of Toews is awful posts on this one. Good to see them play together and look good even if just for a game. Wonder if they will bring Ejdsell over when his season ends for a look. Can be done without using a minors recall.
    Craig Boquist a Dman from Sweden who is a smaller version of Dahlin could be available. Picked as a top 5 with game changing skills his size could see him slip down and Blackhawks will have him well scouted.

  6. Tanking for a good draft pick is more of an NBA thing. Not putting in a real effort in an NHL game can get you hurt out there. Toews played hard all night, and has been better as of late. The pass by Kane on the OT winner was exact. Berube also very good last night. It’s been a rough year, but it’s good to see these young guys get experience in games that the Hawks are winning.

  7. Sorry should gave been comma after Craig, Adam is Boqvist name. Ejdsell final game is Staurday and then his playoffs are done.

  8. Hino wins a lot of puck battles for a guy his size. Good goaltending makes a difference–not saying they are a real good team but they would at least be in playoff conversation.

    Gus showed he isn’t the worst D-man in the league. That was a good chuckle.
    Can they come up with a really good third line to complement those 2? (Saad’s been better, Toews played with passion and Kane happier without 13) Jurco can’t play in the top 9 IMO.
    ****D needs much more help****
    -Keith’s give-aways becoming common place. But he’s Duncan Keith. Still like him as a Hawk, and appreciate what he was in the past (great) but his drop off is getting more pronounced. It’s hard to believe he will be 35 this summer.

  9. Read after first game winning goal, Hartman/who I hope he does well there and after there scores and play really good like that in streaks and has streaks where we saw at times/stretch this season. He will settle in an play the same as he did here. When he plays good hes a good guy to have team game wise. His rookie yr he didn’t take as many penaltys and hes still draws more.

  10. Noonan as it stands AA would be 3rd and Kampf 4th centers. Sikura most likely gets a look on 3rd line with Hayden who is lock for next year, Highmore be in conversation and possibly Ejdsell and Soderlund will be in that conversation. That’s without mentioning Duclair and Jurco who are not adding alot to lineup.

  11. The goalie (Berube) played well, he gave the team a chance to win the game. I don’t think he’s the back-up goalie solution for next season, but neither is Forsberg. Everything flows from the net on out. If Crawford has something career threatening going on, good night Irene.

    The Hawks’ season may have turned out differently with a capable back-up goalie, confidence breeds confidence within the group. How many games have the Hawks scored first and lost?

  12. Ian- Re: “Toews is awful posts”… out of Respect to Tab/others… I am not beating it to death… my opinion/Eye-test has not changed… but since you asked

    It shouldn’t take another $10M/ line mate (or 3 on 3) to make him “successful”-imo
    He should be making – others successful- Like 88 does to others (see AA )

  13. Maybe my conjecture on Toews and his concussion history is proving out – he is looking more like old Toews which as ER said is the first thing the Hawks need to get back to being relevant

    Didn’t see the whole game but what I did see Keith seemed to making good decisions and skating well – did I miss something?

  14. So what happened? All of a sudden Toews and Saad are resembling their former selves. It can’t be as simple as playing with Kane because playing with Kane would help increase their scoring, it wouldn’t help their physical coordination. That’s what seems to be improved over the last few games with Toews and Saad – physical coordination – the ability to swing a stick and hit a puck – the ability to pass the puck and hit the target you’re aiming at – the ability to control the puck with your stick. Those are the things that Toews and Saad weren’t doing very well for most of the season, but now are doing them pretty well over the last few games.

    The Hawks have 15 games remaining. It will be interesting to watch Toews and Saad to see if they will continue to play like finely tuned athletes with great physical coordination or will they fall back to looking like drunken beer league players.

  15. Fools Gold here. Blackhawks match up better with teams like the avalanche who don’t play a heavy and hard checking game. Oh yes and the occasional game when th3y have one of their AHL goalies play over their head.

  16. Like the trend with Toews and Saad. Berube at times looks the part of being an NHL goalie be it as a back up. Keep him in there and do not bring back Crow this year.

    Not liking Q’s management of the team during this year of rebuilding. With this team’s current player cost structure, they will not get back to the Finals unless they get max output from Kane, Toews and Keith. These 3 should be on a maintenance program for the remainder of the year. If Toews has had as many concussions as Carbomb claims, his ice time should be reduced. Toews still takes the majority of the faceoffs. He took 19 last night and has 1385 for the season. Schmaltz took 14 FO last night and only has 613 for the year and Kampf had 11. Schamltz and Kampf need experience and to improve at the dot, what better way would there be then to go up against the best centers in the NHL and lighten the load on Toews.

    As for ice time, once again its a close game so Q skates the shit out of Keith (25.09). Toews is having a good night so up his min to 20.57. This continues to highlight how short sighted Q’s management style is. All he is doing is retarding the young players and grinding up the vets in a meaningless game. Sharp has been a warrior but now he needs to either be in the press box or sitting next to Burish and how did Duclair already get in the dog house. 8 min and 4th line. So much for seeing what we have. Play the kids and get them experience against the best in the NHL. A couple of more losses this year will not make a difference to anyone legacy. Q needs to take a long term view or move on.

  17. re: Wall’s “Toews should make players around him better.”

    2016-17 – Richard Panik scored 22 goals playing primarily on Toews’ line. He has scored 54 in 318 games in his career.

    You do beat it to death, Wall. You’re consistent with your criticism, but you tend to ignore reality on occasion.

  18. Someone I know who trains AHL goalies was at the game. He stated that the Colorado players are bigger and more physical. The Hawks have long been a small team and always get outhit (25-9 to Anaheim). It is tempting to draft the most talented player on the board, like Taravainen or DCat, who get passed over because of their size. But there needs to be some size balance with their picks.

  19. Wall i used your words but wasn’t only you that it was intended for. But everybody has to agree Toews had a very good game last night. Besides making Panik a better player the only times Saad has looked remotely like 6m player has been when he has played with Toews. Also last year when Schmaltz came back up it was playing with Toews when started to show his skill at a nhl level.

  20. Anyone think it’s possible Hayden doesn’t re-sign? I wouldn’t be real happy about the demotion. Everyone seems to think he’s an important piece for next year. I hope that’s true because I like his game. But I don’t know what that’s based on. If he was an important piece, why isn’t he up right now?

  21. Mox saw an article where he is saying he is very happy in Rockford and improving his game to where he wants to get it. He is an rfa so not much chance he doesn’t sign.

  22. re: Original6’s comment about getting out-hit – if you have the puck you aren’t hitting. And the complaint about the Hawks not hitting enough was true from 2011-15 and the Hawks did just fine back then. It’s about chemistry and production – 2 things I think we’d all agree have been consistently lacking this year. John Hayden is plenty big and there are other players with good size coming; this is one of the reasons I hope the Hawks get Dennis Gilbert signed this spring.

  23. Tab I agree with you 100% there was a great article in the Sun-Times today regarding Hayden. It pointed out that he’s happy which made me feel a lot better. It’s probably more beneficial for him to be in Rockford getting minutes and fighting for a playoff spot. I also think your right regarding Gilbert he has good size and is solid on the puck. Add him to the mix and stick with Murphy and you have two young defensemen with size and ability. Great to have a win last night nice to see a smile on Johnny’ s face.

  24. Wall….It shouldn’t take another $10M/ line mate (or 3 on 3) to make him “successful”-imo.

    I guess Bergeron shouldn’t have the need for Marchand and Pastrnak (although his numbers have magically ballooned) and if he played with DeBrusk and Backes he would look as good and would carry them. That’s ridiculous great players deserve to play with other great players and 88 should stay with 19 as they compliment each other not carrying.

  25. When Panik netted 22 goals he had Toews and Hossa. This year Panik started the year on the Toews line and did not achieve the same results. Matter of fact Saad was there to and we all know that result.

    Maybe we have underestimated the value of Hossa and overestimate the Captain in his current state. If Toews needs rest to recovery from whatever ails him, now is the time to shut him down.

  26. I am starting to think the accumulation of concussions that some posters have mentioned is the main issue with Toews. Carcillo would certainly know. That means we can hold out hope for a Crosby-like resurgence at some point.

    I disagree with the assertion Q is doing a bad job because he is not playing our least talented players more than our most talented players in a close, winnable game. If he were to do that he wouldn’t be doing his job. How do you think a guy like Kane would feel, seeing that? Every head coach in the NHL is paid to win now, and that’s it. The longer term stuff is the GM’s job.

  27. I think some of the Toews speculation and bashing on this board is wrong. If he is indeed suffering from the effects of head injuries then that is no small deal. Why he’s even playing if this is true is an even better question. But let’s say (I’m speculating) the doctors have cleared him – which means nothing in our current high priced, high ad dollar sports world – and that he’s still not 100% but “good enough to play.” To me, that would explain what we’ve seen this season in terms of his drop off in production.

    And I would also draw your attention to one of Tab’s posts a while back about Kings fans and their criticisms of Kopitar last year. I live in LA and follow the Kings, too, and the word on the street around here was the same as I’m hearing about Toews. Kopitar was beat up (read concussed) and was trying to recover while still playing. Ill-advised perhaps, given the potential long term danger involved, but not surprising that a modern day NHL star player would take that risk.
    I would like to see how Toews plays out the rest of the year and how he bounces back next year. And in my opinion, those calling for him to be traded are fools and ingrates.

  28. Good post Tony. No argument here thats Toews gave this team all he could. HHNL the loss of Hossa has been a huge loss and left a big void on the roster. But last season Hossa played primarily with AA and Kruger, Panarin and Kane were tried with Toews early and Schmaltz after his recall primarily played with Toews.
    Hereismike agree Q’s job is to win and thats what he gets paid to do.

  29. Carcillo means well, but he is a frustrated guy. He has had numerous off-ice issues for many years. He’s not banking yearly mid to high six figures anymore, he was a borderline player at best while he was earning good coin. He is of Mediterranean descent, he’s an emotional guy. Who knows what is true and what is not true from what he spews out. Montador had tons of off-ice issues as well for many years, concussions aside. He made a lot more money than Carcillo, he apparently blew a lot of it. I agree with Carcillo Bettman is a snake and a half and does not appear to be trustworthy, but we all need to take what he is with a grain of salt.

  30. In an ideal world, if Toews is still playing with post-concussion symptoms,( which seems to be very likely after his multiple concussions), he would be given less workload. Except he strikes me as someone who would grit his teeth and play through any dizziness and sickness, so I imagine he insists that he’s fine even when he isn’t completely fine. It isn’t like Q has an abundance of qualified players who can take Jonny’s duties, so he’s basically forced to play Toews.

    If that is the case, that would explain why the Cap sometimes looks uncoordinated and slow on the ice, and why sometimes he looks like his old self. Concussions are tricky things like that.

    The last few games have been very encouraging– Tazer definitely looks much sharper–and hopefully he can regain and keep his best form.

    People wanting to trade him are wrong.

  31. Hereismike-agree as well, the question is-is he the right guy to take the young kids and remaining core? He has been through the hockey wars with these guys and eventually the ‘status’ you had wains and it’s tough to adjust and fight that battle all over again-even great coaches need change to be re-invigorated. (let alone the players)
    I’m OK being wrong but it might be time for the next guy to lead this team.

    Toews may just be the next (Crosby, Kopitar, Bergeron) surprise turn around.

  32. TAB BAMFORD
    March 7, 2018 at 7:52 am
    Can we put an end date on the dry humping of the Ryan Hartman Era? Maybe…. March 10?

    Deal.
    But only if we can still moan about what could of been with: Morin, Pirri, TT, Johns & Leddy……

  33. Noonan it’s a tough call…..sure every coach has a shelf life at one particular spot. Even Babcock ran out of steam in Detroit. It’s hard to say without being in the locker room if they dynamic has changed between players and coaches this year. Something obviously is way different, and it might be that or it might not be.

    The bad thing is unlike Detroit, who was grooming a replacement for Babcock in the AHL, the Hawks have no ready to go next guy. And if you look who is out there on the market that would motivate you to swallow two more years of Q’s contract? I think he gets next year and if things don’t improve quite a bit they make a change then.

    If you are in Hawks management, are you going to bet your career on telling Rocky Wirtz to pay Q over $5 million over the next two years not to coach so you can put Granato or Samuelsson in as head coach? I’m not making that move.

  34. Tony/Ian, that makes sense on Tazer. He can get back to full health and get going like other yrs.

    Then it will give chills when you hear,
    Don’t taz me bro.

  35. Reg, guess the new owner does not like paying Darling 4 years for $16 Million. As soon as he left Chicago he forgot how to stop the puck.

    With Crawford’s very dubious future, Stan would be wise to see if the new GM wants to pick up 1/2 of Darlings contract and send us a draft pick as well, call it the reverse Bickell.

    Hawks would be on the hook for 3 years, $6 Million have a legitimate insurance plan for Crawford’s uncertain future at an affordable price + a Q favorite. Worth a call.

  36. Craig, your idea is creative and thoughtful. Based on Darling’s poor year, however, this still seems too risky. I think the Hawks are going to trade/sign a bona-fide starter or solid backup and either trade for a highly-rated prospect or draft one anywhere from end of 1st round to 3rd round (would be a multi-year development project). My guess is that they are proceeding with the assumption that Crawford’s health is a major risk going forward.

  37. If Crawford is unable to play next year they likely do like leafs did this year with Horton and Lupul. Where one was used as preseason ltir and one after season started. That way they got to over 79m for their cap to open season then about 84.4m was their cap limit after the season started. So Hossa could be preseason and Crow during season and have time to monitor and make more moves.

  38. Some goalies are good back-ups but wilt in the main role-is Darling one of them?, not sure. But he has priced himself out of the back-up market and with Crow’s uncertainty?
    Doing well next year and a longer plan have two paths but as I see it-

    Priority One-#1 goalie for the next 2 or 3 years, with good back-up
    Priority Two-Top 2 and top 4 D (2 people) One with some size and physical, one an exceptional puck mover and PP general
    Priority Three-really good Number 3 center (is it AA?) A guy who can play 1 or 2 at times
    If Hayden is the guy he helps address #4 (4 and 5 might be switched)
    P#4-A banger and a guy who likes the front of the net (with hands)
    Priority Five-another goal scorer to compliment D-Cat, Kane and Schmaltz and hopefully Saad. They need more scoring-they’re in the bottom half in scoring.

  39. Noonan, agree with your priority rankings. It’s a tall order and will take 2-3 years to get done with smart picks, trades, and signings. Let’s hope there are players in our system who will soon be ready to step in.

    I hope they move AA this summer because our time horizon for making a deep run is longer than many other teams and his value will rapidly decline if we hang onto him for another season. Would also move Keith for a late 1st rounder or good prospect.

  40. TAB BAMFORD
    March 7, 2018 at 5:22 pm
    re: Joey Zamboni – if you agree to limit the “what if” moaning to Morin & Pirri we’ve got a deal! #FreePokka

    If you give me a 6 month extension to include Shaw & Panerin, I’m in…. #FreeWall

  41. JOEY, Shaw, really? 20 pts this year, -8, 53 PIM, ridiculously overpaid. You prefer him over DCat and, possibly, Krys? If the Hawks make more deals like this they will be back in the Cup hunt sooner than later.

  42. Jokeru
    High top pick
    Top pair ufa

    That s 3 studs coming soon. Mitchell might be to.

    We get those things in 1 yr. might take 2 yrs for two top 4 dmen though. Crow needs to be ok.

  43. ORIGINAL6HAWKEY
    March 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm
    JOEY, Shaw, really? 20 pts this year, -8, 53 PIM, ridiculously overpaid. You prefer him over DCat and, possibly, Krys? If the Hawks make more deals like this they will be back in the Cup hunt sooner than later.

    Satire brother….

  44. Mo wouldn’t worry too much about goalie right now. If worse comes to worse and they have to ltir him, they could have up to 11 m ltir room between him snd Hossa if they choose too. Alot of goalies in last year of contract next year so be able to pick one up if needed. A dependable backup is first thing.

  45. JOEY, got it. Thanks. Speaking of satire, my headline (third one in this string) was not to be taken seriously either. Just couldn’t resist. I still like the Hartman trade.

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