Toews, Blackhawks Tame Wild On Hockey Fights Cancer Night

On an emotional “Hockey Fights Cancer” Night at the United Center, the Blackhawks came out against one of the hottest teams in the league and had a terrific first period.

Chris Kunitz was a healthy scratch.

Chicago looked sharp early and was able to cash in a power play opportunity. Henri Jokiharju got the puck to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews planted himself in front of the net. Kane, on the last day of his 20s, found his captain and the Hawks were up 1-0.

The goal is already the tenth of the season for Toews, who continues to have a strong offensive season. It was also the tenth assist of Jokiharju’s career, keeping him among the rookie leaders in the NHL.

Ten minutes later, Alexandre Fortin got the puck up the ice to a streaking Brandon Saad. Saad beat Matthew Dumba to the puck and made a good, strong power move to beat Alex Stalock to give Chicago a 2-0 lead.

The Hawks put 16 shots on net in the first period and Corey Crawford made some stellar stops.

Unfortunately the script was flipped in the second period. Almost eight minutes into the middle period, Zach Parise posted up almost the same way Toews had in the first and tipped in a pass to give the Wild a power play goal, cutting the Hawks’ lead in half. Jokiharju was in the box.

Toews went to the box 61 seconds after the Parise goal, giving the Wild another power play opportunity.

With Toews in the box, Jeremy Colliton used Fortin with Andreas Martinsen on the penalty kill – and was successful. Minnesota had a few good looks but the Hawks were able to block a couple shots and Crawford came up with a few more good saves.

Minnesota out-played the Hawks in the second; the Wild had a 15-7 shot advantage in the period. But the Hawks held a one-goal lead after 40 minutes.

Early in the third period Marcus Foligno went down and needed help off the ice with what appeared to be a left leg injury. He had skated 9:38 at that point in the game with one shot on net, but he is one of the Wild’s key penalty killing forwards. Foligno had skated 2:15 short-handed, the most of any Minnesota forward.

With 5:09 left in regulation Brent Seabrook went to the box for tripping. The Hawks were able to successfully kill the penalty.

Stalock sprinted for the Minnesota bench with 1:50 left in regulation and the Hawks clinging to a one-goal lead. Crawford made a couple enormous saves before Toews iced the puck shooting at the empty net.

Colliton sent out Dominik Kahun, David Kampf and Kane for the defensive zone faceoff and the Hawks were able to make a play. Toews jumped on the ice for a change and picked off a pass. Kahun was off to the races all alone and scored into the empty net to extend the Hawks’ lead to two with less than 60 seconds showing on the clock. Kane, who tipped the puck before Toews picked it off, was credited with the second assist on the Kahun goal.

Kane (two assists) and Toews (one goal, one assist) led Chicago with two points each. Crawford made 39 saves against 40 shots and the Blackhawks emerged victorious against a division rival.

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40 thoughts on “Toews, Blackhawks Tame Wild On Hockey Fights Cancer Night

  1. Not saying streaky. Saying sch.
    Good and bad. Perfect for getting better/transition.

    Like Craig said unload a little at deadline of who we need to to add July 1. Gain more good picks/players. Add to the wave, while adding July 1. It does look like were waiting for a certain player/s to become available.

  2. Toews has a lot more purpose in his game and seems faster this year. He is the perfect captain. Hawks seem to be buying into new coach Colliton system. Bowman needs to add another D-man and another power forward . Crawford has been amazing after being out for over 10 months. Saad is starting to play like a true power forward, strong and fast. GO HAWKS….

  3. Again something wrong with Seabrook?! Stupid penalty near end of the game- lazy or selfish? You pick one ! But what got me was when game was done and Toews does his “attaboy” to ALL the players as they leave the ice- and you see some of the chemistry- the only one NOT to pass by Toews was Seabrook who used the “other” door to exit the ice?’ WTF is wrong with him??
    Not a bad game- better overall puck control. Lines are starting to show promise.

  4. Yea Tazer changed his food/workout routine a yr ago and it didn’t start paying off until this season. He also adjusted it again this summer from last summer. Wanted to get faster to be able to play against this faster younger speed league. Major difference in league speed from just 5 yrs ago. The whole roster needed to do this, look at how slow we looked in 16, even though we were 1 seed. Needed to get faster team speed. Now Tazer getting the results from those two summers of doing that.

  5. I like Seabrook on the PP mainly because they don’t have a better shooter at the one timer and the PP is trending upwards

    Once Joki is settles in on PP maybe try DCat in Seabs spot but for now I’m OK with it
    however Seabs is looking a bit like a deer in the headlights in the D zone too often recently

    I’m starting to see the man to man D coverage being played effectively but still too many times the Hawks fail to clear the D zone when they should but overall the D is improving

    Also enjoying the 1st line, Schmaltz is playing with some purpose but AA cannot stickhandle to save his life so that’s a problem with the 2nd line

    Nice to see Fortin and Kahun contribute and I noticed Kampf make an NHL move to get a shot off – even though he missed high it was a good move and a good scoring chance

    Martinsen played well again

    Maybe they can come out of this stretch of 15 or so games still within playoff distance – if CC continues to play like he has it’s possible

  6. Mirage game. Wild off back to back games and crow steals one. No secondary scoring. Nuclear option = no scoring from lines 2,3, and 4. Not a recipe for success. On the bright side team defence much improved.

  7. I still want Sikura up – put him on 3rd line, move Fortin to 4th, Hayden to press box and Johnson to RKF

  8. Nice little streak-mostly due to Crow.
    Please no more #7 on the off wing during the power play. I know they scored but this power play is scary bad!
    Hayden to the press box? Why-he’s their best option for the 4th line. Let the kid play.

  9. Hayden had 7 minutes of ice time the lowest on the team – I don’t think JC agrees with you either

    The Hawks need secondary scoring more than Hayden grinding for 7 minutes

  10. Noonan96,

    It’s unfair to put wins on Crow. If you do, you should blame him for our losing streak too, because he was far from great in those games. You win as a team and you lose as a team.

  11. Crawford has made 98 saves on 100 shots. Whoa. That’s incredible. Safe to say, his head is clear. In a really good way. The Hawks are getting $6 Million a year goaltending.

    Let’s see how they do in this week’s 3 game stretch = Washington, Tampa, Florida.
    Can’t go o-3.

    No Manning or Kunitz tonight. Hmmm. Those signings stunk on 7/1 and they still stink as we approach Thanksgiving.

  12. I know it would be better for future success for the Hawks to finish low enough in the standings to get a top draft pick but I just can’t be unhappy when they win, especially against a rival team like the Wild. They still are a weak team and lose most physical battles, but they are playing better as a team – more cohesive. Forsling isn’t a “difference maker” but he’s made a difference, if that makes sense. Hopefully Murphy can do as well when he returns. But more than a new guy in the lineup, maybe the difference in the way JC wants them to play defense is having a positive effect.

    In any case, it was a good win. Happy Happy.

  13. I like the somewhat increased tempo of the power play. However, it’s still obvious that having someone in front of the net doesn’t seem to be a priority. Too much perimeter with nobody down low. Yes, Toews got his goal there, but that’s my point. It was a rare time that someone parked himself in front of the net. And it paid off. Too much of the other PP’s didn’t have that type of play going on.

    Good job to hold back the Wild after them getting their legs back after the first.

  14. Next month will tell how far this team can go. Like the way Colliton has them playing mostly, 2-0-2 in last 4. Like to see Sikura get his chance too, if AA was moved they could put Schmaltz with Debrincat and Fortin. Then Kampf center Kahun and Sikura. Solid speed through first 3 lines and a mucker and 2 offensive guys on 2nd and 3rd lines.

  15. Steve I said ‘mostly’ and if you look at the above stat from another poster-98 out of a 100 saves-tell me it isn’t mostly Crow. The only difference in play has been that the other team tends to get more Grade A chances.

    “You win as a team and you lose as a team.” True but you are sunk without a quality goalie.
    In other words any goalie from last year and how do those few games play out? 5 out of 6 points? Really

  16. Noonan96,

    Sure, Crow played well in these games, but in the same manner he didn’t play all that well during our losing streak. Sometimes we even outshot the other team (like in the game against Flyers), but Crow played worse than the other goalie and couldn’t get us a win. So it all evens out.

  17. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it just a couple years ago many (myself included) were complaining about paying our goalie so much $$$…???

    Now we can’t live without him….

  18. Hawks- have several Prospects near top 10 in scoring- in Respective Jr/ Leagues

    I can’t remember- the last time that happened…

    Now They land top 5 Scoring forward… and Hawks are that much closer to being relevant!!!

    Barratt– 4 g’s/1a this weekend
    Hagel
    Kurashev

    Speed- on D side– Mitchell/Beaudin/Boqvist

    $$$- for free agent– Only negative- I don’t see a “HOSSA” — HOF in UFA market next summer… Panarin- might be HOF guy… BUT NOT HOSSA

  19. Ian, yea its not only the sch. though its not coincidence that we won or tied 8 of first 10 games (that included 3 games in first 4 days of season followed by 2 games in 12 days/WTF is that/unacceptable by sch. monkeys).

    Its why when were going good, it slowed us down. Then being good and bad due to transition yr/roster we went on a bad run. Even on every yr we have stacked teams, this happens, slows us down. its not just the play or if it is the sch makes a difference in the play. Like playing drunk like Brophy.

  20. Kane Toews Debrincat Saad – 37 goals
    The other ten forwards combined – 13 goals

    You can make it 39 & 11 if you throw in Schmaltz w/ the other four legit NHL forwards.

    The way the new coach talks about him, Martinsen is the second coming of Cam Neely. A good fourth line will score combined at least 15 goals a year. The Hawks will be fortunate to cobble up together a headache tolerant third line that can score at least 30 goals combined.

    If the Hawks make the playoffs, this coach should be coach of the year and Crawford Hart Trophy winner. You can’t function w/ 4-5 NHL forwards, other players have to score somewhat consistently.

  21. I enjoyed last night’s game. We got a couple of goals from the guys who are supposed to score. The defense was more reliable and Forsling looked like an NHL player. CC was great again. There were times we were badly hemmed in though. The bottom 3 lines create very little and our defense is unlikely to score.

    At the start of the year we were getting in shootouts. In the last couple of weeks it’s completely flipped to tight, low scoring. I prefer disciplined play, so I’m okay with that.

    We don’t have the talent to do much better than we did last night. If we come out every night, play hard and stay disciplined that’s good enough for me.

  22. Agree Iceman – secondary scoring needs to improve which is why I’d like to see Sikura given a chance but reading what Colliton recently has said about Sikura he doesn’t seem to think he’s ready yet – needs to work on winning 50/50 pucks and the like

    So we wait

  23. Now that Saad seems to have “woken up” – maybe we have a legitimate #1 line with 20-19-88. Hopefully JC doesn’t tinker with it and just leaves that line alone through thick and thin. And I’ll say again, as a Q fan, one of the things I thought Q got wrong the last couple seasons was keeping Toews and Kane apart – it was a fine strategy when there was enough talent to have 2 legitimate top-6 lines but those days are gone. So I give JC credit for realizing that and having T&K play together.

    I know Fortin has some holes in his game – putting the puck in the net and not getting knocked off his skates being the most glaring – but he does bring value to the team more than some of the other guys. I like that JC had him on the PK, if only for a short time. His quickness and breakout threat makes the PK better, if only marginally. I would like JC to give him a shot at playing center to see if he can handle the defensive responsibilities.

  24. To give up 40 shots is a lot, especially given the quality of many of them. The team still has a long way to go and probably can’t get there with this talent. Crow is amazing, but will mean revert at some point and then the Hawks won’t win games like this.

  25. The formula for winning right now is what we saw last night

    Play a pretty good defensive structure – get a couple of goals probably at least one on the PP and let CC stop virtually everything the opposition throws at him then clean up in front of Crow

    It’s not pretty but it’s the best the Hawks can do until they add some better players (perhaps even Sikura and Murphy when they’re ready) or a few players – Schmaltz, AA, Kahun, Fortin – start scoring with some consistency

    Also if Gus and Seabrook can cut out the blatant giveaways that would help

  26. Four best OFF players should have better then 2:1 ratio then bottom 8. That’s almost 3:1 which is fine, just want more from bottom 8. Top 4 get better zone starts and min and PP min (for us whats that). These 4 are a lot better players, no matter who is bottom 8. Still need better goal scorers in bottom 8. Sikura and ufas on July 1 are coming.

    Even with a stacked top 9, your going to have about 4 players that arnt going to score more then 5 goals. Need a stacked 3rd line to be deep.

  27. I wonder if Murphy will take it to next level with Collitons system. If him and Jokiharju are able to form a legitimate 2nd pair behind 2 and 7, could see improvement. Forsling looking like he can be half of good 3rd pair with a partner. Not sure its Gus, he may be moved, can Rutta who seemed to step it up a level playing with Forsling last night regain pre concussion form or Manning, Davidson or even Dahlstrom or somebody else step up there.

  28. I just want to thank the baby Jesus for Cory Crawford . Cory is silky smooth ,unrattled and such a calming affect on our team . Do you remember last year when Cory was out ,.,.,.,.,freeking shit show every night around our net . Underrated , humble ,stellar human . Thanks for another win Cory .

  29. The word on Murphy last season is that it took him quite a while to learn how to play Q’s zone defense, with the implication being that he played man defense in AZ. Murphy was playing better late in the season which was (partially?) attributed to getting comfortable with the different system. I’m got to think he wouldn’t have any trouble going back to playing JC’s man defense so he should fit into the system quickly.

  30. Ian, yea nothing against anybody, this team gets way better with 42 and 5 in and 23 and 14 out. For as much as people bitched about Ward hes been good/in higher scoring games and the others not.

  31. 50 came out strong this year when he got back in–Crow had a stretch of a few games where he didn’t play as well, but this was probably normal as he hadn’t played in many months and my guess is fatigue and reality set in AND during that 3 or 4 game stretch the defensive play was awful. (it was hard to watch, and he seemed pissed at some off the players)

    (Just my opinion)Unfortunately, the outcomes for this year are based, again to a large degree-not totally, on Crow’s play. How the top 4 d-men play is a key as well. If he plays for the most part locked in and above average they sniff around for a playoff spot. He’s solid but not special and they fall out of the playoff talk and he’s not himself or get’s injured they are in the bottom 5 teams in the league. A lot of pressure and responsibility to their biggest difference maker.

  32. I know it’s only quarter of the way through the season but the standings are kinda crazy with most teams bunched together within a few points of each other. With the Hawks taking 6 points from the last 4 games they are only 1 point out of the last playoff position. What’s going on – didn’t the Hawks get the message to “lose for Hughes”? I’m kidding because I never want the team to intentionally lose, but at the same time I don’t want them to end up in that middle ground of not being good enough to compete for the Cup and not being bad enough to get a top draft pick.

    Hopefully Stan doesn’t get a chubby and do something stupid.

  33. Addendum to previous post:

    I hope the Hawks have someone who is not in the echo chamber of the inside management group who can give a clear assessment of the team to the decision makers. If what McD said is true and they truly believe this team is a playoff team, then it would be difficult for anyone on the inside to cast doubt on that – that’s why a trusted outsider may need to come in and give an assessment. McD cares more about optics which is good for the business but may not be good for the product on the ice. The Hawks need a hockey guy to steer the ship and that is not McD.

  34. ER, its tricky like your saying. I ve been routing for the shit teams to win when they can and keep lots of teams close, because we are going to win. Only were top 3pick because of 2 ties in 8 games. Whats more interesting is top 10 teams and good ones are only around 4 over .500 like SJ and others arnt even that.

    Still doesn’t matter NAS and TB are top teams again. This might be it for them though/quality depth wise. Then we ll see how good they really are without stacked rosters. Those teams will come down and us and some others will be back in a yr/2 tops.

  35. Noonan, this is why I want to keep Crow even as hes older. Kaner knows age is just a number. Haha.

    Why try to get another good goalie. Unless hes not good anymore. That’s not happening for awhile. Then after a couple yrs hes getting paid close enough to 6m anyways, even if you can find a good goalie that top10/when wanted, good luck.
    Keep Crow, he can do a better caphit or not higher for next contract. Then when more of the D gets here and we add FWs, were looking good. As appose to trying to get what we need. That way were only looking for that faceoff guy who can play 3 line center at the deadline for the 5 or more yrs of deep roster, coming up in a yr/2.

  36. They outplay us 8-5 and get two goals.
    We outplay them 9-1 and they get away with penalty and then they call two against us, for the 9-1 goes to 13-6 with their two PPs.
    Cant get the breaks when other team has deeper roster.

    On pace for 41-41 is not top 5 pick. Its also not far from playoff spot.

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