Toews, Blackhawks Escape Canucks

The Canucks came into Sunday night with some history in their recent history as Henrik Sedin reached 1,000 career points earlier this week. But while the Blackhawks have struggled to generate consistent offense for some time, an early Sunday evening start against the Vancouver Canucks afforded Chicago an opportunity to get rolling.

After honoring Jeremy Roenick – one of the most prolific offensive threats in franchise history – the Hawks had their best first period in weeks. Chicago carried the action over the first 14 minutes, and were able to beat Ryan Miller at 14:27 as Richard Panik put home his 11th of the year.

Brian Campbell was credited with the primary assist on the play, giving him 500 career regular season points. He ranks third among all active blue liners.

The secondary assist on the Panik goal was awarded to Jonathan Toews, who tied Roenick for 13th in team history with 329 assists in the Indian head.

Three minutes after the Panik goal, Toews won a battle and a loose puck found Patrick Kane. Kane beat Ryan Miller for his 15th of the season and the Chicago lead was two.

With his second assist of the first period, Toews passed the honored Roenick into sole possession of 13th in team history with 330 assists.

The box score was the opposite of Friday night’s first period in Boston. Chicago out-shot Vancouver 18-9 in the first period without a power play, and scored twice in the frame. Corey Crawford was sharp when he needed to be, but his skated controlled the action.

Vancouver, predictably, came out with more bounce to start the second period. Half way through the second, the Canucks got the game’s first power play as Trevor van Riemsdyk went to the box. At the time of the penalty, the Hawks had only one shot on net in almost ten full minutes of the second period; Vancouver had only four shots on net before the advantage.

The Hawks killed the Vancouver power play and got one of their own at 13:22 when Alex Edler sat for two minutes. Chicago’s struggling power play did nothing with the advantage and the Hawks immediately went back to being short-handed as Duncan Keith hooked Edler as he came out of the box and nearly had a breakaway.

Tanner Kero had the first good chance on the ensuing Canucks power play, flying up the ice for a short-handed bid that was denied by Miller. The Canucks had a couple good looks but couldn’t beat Crawford, and Chicago killed another penalty successfully.

Chicago only put four shots on net in the second period while Vancouver was credited with eight, but the score held at 2-0 in favor of the hosts. Crawford was on point, making 17 saves through 40 minutes.

Five minutes into the third, Michal Kempny was sent off and the Canucks finally beat Crawford. Troy Stecher scored his second of the season ten seconds into the power play and the lead was cut to one.

Kempny left the box after the Stecher goal and was promptly beaten badly by a strong power move from Bo Horvat. Horvat put the puck between Kempny’s legs and got a shot on net that wasn’t cleanly controlled by Crawford. Horvat fought through Kempny and was able to tip the loose puck past Crawford.

Only 46 seconds later, the game was tied at two, and Kempny found himself stapled to the bench for the final 14 minutes of regulation.

In the closing two minutes, Toews took over. Again. With 78 seconds left in the third, Toews rifled a shot into the back of the net for the eventual game-winning goal.

Vancouver pulled Ryan Miller inside the final minute and Toews made another play. He saved an icing and found Marian Hossa for the wide open empty net to extend the lead to 4-2.

The final assist gave Toews a four-point night in only 16 minutes on the ice. He was also credited with two hits and one takeaway, but struggled against Brandon Sutter at the dot. Toews won only eight of 24 at the dot while Sutter won 18 of 21 for Vancouver.

Hossa’s goal gives him 400 regular season points as a member of the Blackhawks.

Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with four blocked shots and Vinnie Hinostroza led the Hawks with two takeaways. Three Blackhawks – Toews, Panik and Andrew Desjardins – led the way with two hits each.

Artem Anisimov won half of his 16 faceoffs and Crawford finished with 26 saves in his 200th career victory.

Chicago could get Marcus Kruger back on Tuesday night and has now won three in a row. The Lightning visit the UC on Tuesday night.

47 thoughts on “Toews, Blackhawks Escape Canucks

  1. The two points are nice but we sure seem to struggle with holding leads. Despite being on the 4th line, Schmalz has been very good over the last several games. His time in Rockford appears to have done him good.

  2. Schmaltz looks like a more confident, quicker, more feisty player. He took a page from Fabbri. Kero still trending up. Although he was only 4 of 11 at the dot. Despite the 4 points Toews was 8 of 24. Sutter had his number at the dot.

    Less board wins, less faceoff wins, recent back injury, fumbling puck/fanning shots, offensive drop

    I don’t think it’s father time, or lack of Kruger, or lack of a left wing, or going against opponents top line, or injury. I think it’s everything above and him pressing hard. Good to see him with a 4 point night.

    No Tootoo was nice, hope his cap eating days are numbered. When Kruger comes back I’d assume no more Desjardins. I do think Kero and Schmaltz deserve to stay. But Schmaltz could be a cap casualty and sent down to bank space.

    It seems whoever Hartman plays with, that line makes something happen. Whether it was with Hossa or Panik or Schmaltz early in the season. He’s exciting and making people forget about Shaw. Except he’s not taking the silly penalties. Major props to him as that killed him in Rockford.

  3. Roenick would be an upgrade over Tootoo, Desjardins, Rasmussen & Kruger. If memory serves correct, the four of them have 4 goals aggregately.

  4. Ernie said of Toews: Less board wins, less faceoff wins, recent back injury, fumbling puck/fanning shots, offensive drop – yep, good summation. Toews had a good scoring night tonight and that one timer he had on his goal was a difficult shot, but he still struggled in the other areas. Hopefully that 4 point night raises his confidence level which should help him.

    Yay for soupy on #500 (again).

    Hopefully they’ll put together a 60 minute effort one of these days.

    We’ll take the win.

  5. Pretty good game except for kempny letting them back in it. Brutal shitt 3 giveaways and finally ended up taking a penalty to bail himself out them a total non effort on the 2nd goal certainly deserved the bench for the rest of the game. Think the captain gonna be just fine and rolling four lines guite nicely last cou0le of games.

  6. Kempny makes a great poke chick in the Boston game that leads to the only goal then has a Rundblad like third period against Vancouver. Yikes. Get ready to see Rosy on Tuesday.

    Great to see Toews dominate like he did tonight

  7. #19… let’s not passing too far ahead… or too far behind his linemates.

    Q- giving Crow a soft game to get his groove back… and then Crow let’s in softy from Stetcher.

    Craig- I was thinking the same thing on Kempny…

  8. Give crefit where credit is due. Toews was a factor from the puck drop. He won board battles, won loose pucks, skated hard to the net. It was very nice to see that Toews on the ice! Ive missed that guy!

  9. Take the 2 points and say thank you in yet another game that was basically a 1 goal difference. Hawks owned the 1st period which was encouraging and it looked like had they gone up 3-0 that would have been it. This was a fairly wide open game with neutral zone not as heavily challenged for whatever reason. Not a very physical game either, unlike games from years past where Nucks-Hawks games were pitched battles fueled by mutual dislike. Even though Van. tied it up it never felt like the Hawks were chasing the game. While Crow gave up 2 goals I thought he had a strong game and did a good job of controlling rebounds.

    Both Panik and Kane goals were sniper quality buried under the crossbar with lightning fast release. Kane has other worldly quick hands.

    The Cpt. finally breaks through big on the score sheet and bears down to pot the game winner to boot. While you can see the frustration in his body language he had to feel a little better with his contributions. Let’s all hope his game has finally bottomed out.

    No doubt about it, Schmaltz’s game is picking up. He looks more confident and is making good decisions on the ice as a result. His skating is improved too. All the young guys now look like they belong out there. Speaking of young guys has anyone been following Forsling’s progress for the Hogs?

    Bank a four point weekend.

    Lets GO Hawks!

  10. Stan has proven he will do something at or before the TDL. He usually states he wants the move to be more than just a temporary fix but the reality is that the TDL moves are usually for only the rest of the season. Nyquist has another 2 years after this and carries a $4.5M cap hit so it seems unlikely that will work from a cap perspective, especially with the new Panarin contract. Tatar’s contract expires after this season and is $2.75M, so that works better with the Hawks cap situation, but he is an RFA so Detroit is going to want more for him because of the RFA status. The other Detroit player not mentioned recently is Vanek, who has an expiring contract in the $2.5M range and who will be UFA – so a temporary TDL move. Of course, all that depends on lots of factors, most notably that Detroit could decide to buy rather than sell in order to keep their playoff streak going.

  11. Vanek isnt a fit, and was just injured.

    Tatar and Nyquist, like a lot of under 25 Detroit players are over rated. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tampa become a seller. They probably should be. 4 games more and 4 points behind Toronto who is 1 spot out of a playoff spot. Dead last in the conference with more games played. Palat has hit a wall the last 2 years but I think he’d compliment the top line nicely. Tampa has a lot of forwards to protect and salary issues moving forward so they may part with him for someone who is exempt.

    Stamkos, Callahan, Filpula, Kucherov,Drouin, Killorn, Johnson, Palat, Namestnikov, Paquette, Boyle

    Can’t protect them all and the first 3 have to be protected.

  12. Probably alot of talk on who bowmans looking at for awhile, would think it would be close to deadline any deal made for cap reasons. Would sooner look at tampa if interested in moving someone than detroit especially panek, could see another weise situation there. Tampa may be willing to part with one player in expansion draft and keep team rest of team intact for next year too. Wonder where kruger will play when he returns, if he goes with hossa or kero stays and keep a hot line together, gotta think if hossa stays off toews line 81 and 16 be together at some point and situationally sooner than later.

  13. I like that Schmaltz got better with a little bit of time in Rockford like that. It was good for the cap space and he got better. Beauty. Like the way he maneuvered and made pass to Mooser. Now all of the sudden, we might have rolling 4 lines coming and then be contenders, what.

  14. 14-19-38
    72-15-88
    48 -67-81
    70-16-8

    No more Desjardins. No more Tootoo.

    Those were pretty much the lines last night, just substituting Desjardins and Kruger.

  15. I agree kempny has good assets he just needs to be more consistent in his decision making and in the slot. He seems to be overwhelmed at tines in these areas, not saying to scratch him again because we will need him to contribute.

  16. Kempny had a rough couple minutes in the third but his mates didn’t help much and Crawford needs to reset after he gives up a soft goal. How many times has he given up 2 goals in less than a minute this year? Needs to work on his concentration.

  17. Ernie’s lines. Yes.

    I know Toews had a 4 point night, but I’m still worried about him. 33% on faceoffs and a lot of soft uncharacteristic plays on the puck. I don’t know if the bounces aren’t going his way or he’s injured or what, but he’s losing a lot more 1-on-1 possession battles than he has in the past. A few glimmers of him on the rush tonight, but he’s just not beating checks or winning pucks like he used to. Something is off. I hope tonight gets him going.

    LOVE Hossa on the third line. Again, if Hartman and Panik stay consistent, and two more youngsters (Schmaltz, Rasmussen, Kero, and/or Hino) continue improving at this pace, watch out. This team is two possession-driving forwards away from being serious contenders.

  18. I’m gonna defend Desjardins a little. He has not scored, but in the last few games the fourth line he’s been on has shown energy and had some extended good shifts. He’s had a couple of scoring opportunities lately and is giving effort. Tootoo has not been that hot I will agree.

  19. Agree morrison forward coming for toews and either 14 or 38 plays with 16 and 81 and 48 67 8 for the 4th line but that’s a ways off it’ll prob. be 81 67 and 48 for a while yet..

  20. Desjardins makes/has $800k cap hit expiring contract and Kruger makes/has $3.1M cap hit for 2 more years — who would you rather unload packing? Especially under the tight cap issues the Hawks have that are only going to get worse. With the emergence of Kero (who already has more goals than Kruger in 1/3 of the games played), what’s Q’s obsession w/ Kruger?

    Bowman has to correct his mistake — Kero has the potential to produce close to like Bolland did when he was healthy on his entry level contract and his $3.3M cap hit contract; Kruger doesn’t and never will. If Bowman can trade Kruger at the trade deadline, give him GM of the Year.

    If Kruger was making half (it would still be too much) what he is making, this would be stomachable, but he isn’t. If he is going to be exposed in the expansion draft, why not try and trade him now? He doesn’t win face offs like nor kill penalties for anything close to $3.1M cap hit; and unlike Frolik, his offense is virtually non-existent.

    Maybe Calgary’s GM (who gave Bowman a 3rd round pick for Bollig) will have another brain cramp and take him on; or Joe Sakic in Colorado who is looking for some responsible players.

    Lastly, I’ll reiterate Roenick would be an upgrade, he scored 4 goals in 42 games his last season, that’s about what Kruger is good for in more games played. At least Roenick would be entertaining.

  21. Travis, that’s how they played the majority of the last 2 games. With the exception of Kruger.

    You don’t trade Kruger now because you need players to expose for expansion and he does have value. Besides, what would you get out of him besides shedding the contract? Ride him out because his strengths will be valuable come playoff time.

  22. Yes Ernie, I’ve seen potential in the last handful of games with those lines.

    I get defensive about Marcus “Ice Flip” Kruger because his value is beyond goals and apples. You put him in the defensive end against top lines and he’s somehow over 50% CF in his career. That is incredible. Seriously.

    That allows you to put your top guys against weaker competition and dominate the matchup game. So Kruger doesn’t produce much, but I reckon he improves the production of everyone else. Is that worth $3M? On a team that is receding in possession, absolutely.

  23. Go to puckalytics and you will see this year Kruger’s Corsi number is down to 50.33. The number you provided Travis is from 2013/2014. His production and overall play has regressed in the last two years. Toews has a 4 point night and gets criticized and Kruger has slightly more than a four point half season and he gets a pass. He is overpaid for what he brings to the table. My only concern with trading him is that that leaves someone else unprotected.

  24. Whoever has a nmc has to be protected and whoever is exempt is exempt by trading him you have to sign somebody already not protected or pick up a player so you meet the league compliancy rules. The problem with that is you may end with a contract for next year you don’t want and lose somebody else in the draft who you do want. Also it means you would need to find 2 forwards in this manner to be able to protect hartman if that is their wish.

  25. Kruger, Rasmussen, or Panik. TvR on defense.

    using Cap friendly’s tool which goes by the most often used user combinations…user’s have decided to go the 8 skater route and protect Ville Pokka. HUH? Leaving Hartman unprotected

  26. Ernie – the Blackhawks have a few contracts to write before they can make guys like Panik, Rasmussen, DARLING eligible for the expansion draft. Chicago needs to do something at some point to give themselves financial flexibility to make the right number of players available.

  27. Ernie i think the reason there is 8 skaters yu would protect a extra dman because you could protect 3 forwards not just 1 if you go 7 and 3. Tab can you explain that further because i understand all free agents are available if unprotected like anyone else under nhl contract whether on chicago or rockford rosters.

  28. A few things for Ian and the group at large re: expansion

    Clubs can choose to expose either a) 7 forwards + 3 defensemen + 1 goaltender OR b) 8 skaters (forwards/defensemen) + 1 goaltender

    List of exempt players – Chicago has EIGHT (4 fwd, 3 def, 1 G): Toews, Kane, Hossa, Anisimov, Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Crawford

    Also, all 1st and 2nd year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, are exempt. By rule, this means Vinnie Hinostroza and Artemi Panarin are exempt. Ryan Hartman will have 3 full professional seasons on his resume, and is therefore not automatically protected. Ville Pokka, who is playing his third full season in Rockford, is not exempt either.

    The Blackhawks have to make the following available to the expansion draft:

    1) 1 defenseman who is a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons. For the Blackhawks, this would be Trevor van Riemsdyk.

    ii) 2 forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons. This is currently an issue for the Blackhawks. Marcus Kruger and Ryan Hartman are both under contract for next year. Dennis Rasmussen, Richard Panik, Tanner Kero are all RFA right now. So either the Blackhawks need to re-sign a couple of them, or they need to trade for a forward who meets those games played requirements.

    iii) 1 goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list. This is also an issue currently for the Blackhawks. Right now (Jan. 24), only Crawford has a contract beyond this season with the Hawks. Darling and Lars Johansson are UFA, so they don’t qualify. And the Blackhawks would have to give Mac Carruth a qualifying offer for him to be made available. The Blackhawks only have those four goaltenders in the organization currently.

  29. I know all UFA’s are available and Vegas can talk to and sign UFA’s before anyone. If Vegas signs a UFA that team is exempt from the draft.

    Tab, I’m under the assumption the Hawks resign those 2 players prior to the expansion draft.

  30. Only Krugs caphit and goals/assists arnt really good. This guy is important to team game. Hes one of the top checking line centers in league, not just good. Like Rozy and Leds we want to keep guys like this as long as we can salaray cap wise then do what we have to when need to make it work. Rozy was at 2.2/2 and Leds was at 2, then we had to trade 8 and 32 did .600m. Nothing against 11 but we prob cant keep 16 and 11 because of same situation. It really depends on what we do with keeping entire core and expansion team draft picks.

    Keep every guy until we cant.

  31. Thanks tab thats what i thought so with kruger hartman tvr and qualifying offer to carruth their compliant and just have to decide whether they want anybody in that group protected then they would need to resign a player that would make them compliant or trade for one. Also i guess 7 forwards and 3 dmen or 8 skaters to decide too. The only players who could be resigned now are 70, 14, 22 ,11 and 67 if he stays only one in minors now is mashinter but he needs 29 games for the 70 games in 2yrs.

  32. Yes forgot about him looks like he would have to play about 27 games with the hawks to qualify. I agree tab don t want to see that one either.

  33. Gotta think of guys that you don’t care if you lose, but hope are on the team. Panik and Rasmussen both fit that bill. Desjardins, Tootoo, and Rozsival if they’re on the team again….blech

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