Virtanen, Canucks Skate Past Blackhawks

There was one game on the NHL schedule on Halloween. The Blackhawks were in Vancouver to face a young Canucks team, and before the puck dropped Chicago was already at a disadvantage. Patrick Kane, who missed the morning skate, was too sick to participate in the game.

Take away the leading scorer and offense would figure to be hard to come by, but the Hawks simply let the Canucks out-skate them in the third period.

Brandon Saad scored his third of the year at 6:56 into the game. Chris Kunitz and Artem Anisimov were credited with the assists.

Chicago held onto the lead for almost nine minutes until Jake Virtanen put home his fourth of the season.

The Hawks out-shot the Canucks 9-6 in the first period.

The Hawks out-shot the Canucks 10-8 in the second period. Jonathan Toews scored his seventh of the year to 65 seconds into the middle period and the Hawks held onto this lead for more than 12 minutes.

Until Virtanen tied the game. Again.

The Hawks showed some bounce, they were able to hang onto the puck well and even killed penalties in the first two periods. Against a young team – even without Kane – this appeared to be a game the Blackhawks could come out of with at least one point.

Nope.

Everything that was good about the opening 40 minutes was flipped in the third period. Vancouver out-shot the Hawks 14-7 in the third, and outscored them 2-0 to win the game 4-2.

Corey Crawford stopped 24 of 28 in the loss. Toews won 12 of 18 faceoffs. Saad led the Blackhawks with five shots on net.

But a completely flat third period cost the Blackhawks points in the standings in a division that isn’t taking nights off.

45 thoughts on “Virtanen, Canucks Skate Past Blackhawks

  1. I wanted to be the first comment on here ! I am a Vancouverite , and a Hawks fan. Im really pissed off ! Im still getting all the hahaha texts from all my friends . Yes they are all Vancouver Jerkoff fans. Hey at least I didnt spend money 2 or 3 hundred to go see that . Really !……I respect the Hawks and all the thrills they have provided over the past 1o yrs. Whats going on with Q ? He cant motivate these guys enough to beat an average Canucks team ! This is 4 straight losses to the Van. assholes …..at least the sisters and the french C—sucker are gone ! Yes ….kunitz is a warm body …..Hayden yes I know he has supporters on here….but … he has hands of stone . He may skate around like Butch Goring , but the clutch isnt there. They dont seem to have that same drive . Loved Schmaltz pass to set up first Nucks goal . Kane ….Roxy flu ? Not sure if he would have helped. Ughhhh im really upset, and if this team cant beat Van. im not holding my hopes too high ! Thanks for reading.

  2. Very unimpressive third period against a non-playoff team in Vancouver.
    The October mirage is over. This cast of characters is really weak, without Kane.
    Forsling and Murphy as a 3rd pair is actually looking better and better.

  3. To those that think that Eric Gustafsson is a top 4 Dman now…

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Holy shitballs. Yes he makes accurate passes. Too bad its to the opposing team in the dzone repeatedly! I think I counted 5 times he put the puck on the tape of the wrong team in his own zone.

    Nothing has changed with him.

  4. Davidson and Manning who cannot skate are EHCL players at best. Thx Mr. Bowman. And once again, our GM signs a free agent 6th round pick named Hagel from the Western league who Buffalo won’t sign. Reallly? Same old same old story with Bowman, no vision, he needs to be fired and made accountable for the talent we see on the ice besides, Crawford, Kane, Toews, Keith, Seabs, Schmalt, Debrincat and Saad.
    People on this board still think Kahun is a top 6 forward? Let’s be serious! At best he is a 4th line player just like Johnson (who I cannot belive is in the NHL and Schmaltz is stuck on the wing with this guy), Kampf, Hayden, Kunitz (whom I respect but needs to join NBC sports or rest with his family in Chicago), Kruger, Martinsen, Ward, Davidson, Manning, and so on. It will be a long season for the Hawks who after the usual suspects have absolutely nothing offensively to support Kane and Toews. And the answer is not Edjsell or Sikura!!! Perron, James Neil, and others were available as free agents to atleast give Toews a winger other than another unsigned German free agent. Problem remains no forward prospects which is why drafting Boqvist, Mitchell and Beaudin was another mistake. One of those 3 picks needed to be a top left wing prospect. HJow long before Toews and Kane disconnect? Very very soon! They cannot do it all. Neither can Crow!!!

  5. You know things are bad when we are wishing for Forsling and Murphy’s return…and that is what I’m wishing for.

  6. STL out played us
    We outplayed EDM
    We outplayed VAN

    Its hard to be 45-35 or better, when we donot win those two games when we deserved to.

    What matters is were outplaying the other teams/and getting better.
    It just sucks because these guys deserve to be 8-2-2.

  7. Grade A chances but too many of these forwards can’t finish. I’m thinking about Saad, Fortin, Kampf, schmaltz

  8. Apologies to all for the troll. I had a busy few days that kept me from keeping up with the dipshits. A couple hundred comments have been punted. Sorry y’all!

    Now back to the hockeys

  9. Thx Tab, 3rd game in row where they didn’t get the job done in 3rd period.
    Goldenrug they more than Forsling and Murphy(mid Dec target return) back, they need them to be a 2nd pair. Gus and Seabrook a good 3rd pair at best.

    Schmaltz is dangerous when is playing with someone who is a threat to score. Even if he shoots more, which would help open things up more for him, a threat to shoot and maybe score is all he would be.
    I say either callup Sikura to play 3rd line with him or move him back up in top 6. Secondary scoring is needed. Toews line struggling to find space now. AA seems to disappear in the 3rd period. Now to Christmas break will make or break this season.

  10. Repeat post:

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. When does the “times” officially become desperate? And what would a desperate measure look like? How about putting the 3 best players on one line to see if they can consistently generate goals?

    I’m pretty sure Q would consider that a desperate move given (1) his aversion to play Toews and Kane together, and (2) his aversion to play DCat with Kane. Why would a DCat-Toews-Kane line make sense?

    Let me count the ways. First, it’s almost criminal that one of the best playmakers in the NHL is given little or nothing to work with in terms of line mates, especially when there is a sniper like DCat available. Next, Anisimov works well as Kane’s center because he doesn’t require the puck and he goes to and stays around the net – Toews plays the same way, only better. Also, Toews wins more faceoffs thereby giving Kane more opportunities to do what he does best.

    Finally, it has become painfully clear that the Hawks don’t have more than 3 legitimate top-6 players – Saad and Schmaltz have flashes but are a notch below top-6 caliber – put the top-6 guys together and throw the rest of the riffraff together any way you want.

  11. Have been a fan of Schmaltz since the kid came up but losing patience with his refusal to shoot the puck. Watched him at least 3 times last night circle behind the net only to give the puck up rather than shoot. Maybe he is in need of a wakeup call, healthy scratch for a couple games or send him to Rockford if possible.

  12. Schmaltz has a low hockey IQ – that’s the truth of it. The play often ends with him – too often he’s forcing passes or doesn’t know what to do with the puck. He only shoots when he’s given up on all other options and you can tell he doesn’t expect to score when he does shoot. However he’s very fast and skilled and could be a complimentary piece on the top 6.

    I say try him with Toews and Dcat. Move Kahun down to 3rd line – he’s struggling now. Sikura should be up soon – I’d try Sikura – Johnson – Kahun as a 3rd line and bump Fortin down to play with Kruger and Kunitz (or Hayden but I’m not a Hayden fan at the moment)

    I would like to Forsling up immediately but if not then soon.

  13. I’m not buying Schmaltz has a low hockey IQ, but he needs to take the safety off the trigger. He did this as a rookie and got sent down. He’s better at center, but he can’t be on a line w/ Anisimov who posts up in front of the net. I wouldn’t mind seeing Fortin skate with Kane and Schmaltz a bit because of his speed.

    Also, the sooner Kunitz is out of the lineup the better. And Kruger is getting displaced by Johnson.

  14. Schmaltz is a playmaker and is sound defensively. Don’t think you can be both and have a low hockey IQ. It may just be confidence in his shot or lack thereof

  15. Hull65 and others, the Hawks’ needs in the back end are even greater than up front. If Boqvist and Beaudin were the best D-men available, then do not fret. There are many holes which will take time to plug by good drafting, good trades, and good signings. There will be no deep playoff run this season and probably the next. It is hard to accept that Kane and Toews are in their prime without much surrounding talent. But that’s just reality.

  16. Schmaltz has a very high hockey IQ but if we are not going to play him as a Centre with Kane then I’d also like to see what he could do on the top line with Toews and the Cat. He had great chemistry for a hamdful of games with Toews in the past and having two guys that can perform absolute thievery to get the puck back and hound on the forecheck makes it ridiculously hard for not so capable defenses to get the puck out cleanly. Then keep Anisimov centering Kane and Saad and put Johnson in between Fortin and Kahun and Kruger centering Hayden and Kunitz/Martinsen (take your pick) at least til Sikura or Edjsell gets a chance. Ultimately Schmaltz becomes a great 1st line center. Should happen about same time Toews hits a sharp decline due to age (and not concussion effects as likely the previous one now looks to be attributable to.

    Thanks Tab for cleaning up the garbage tho he was a very passionate and knowledgeable hawks fan piece of garbage to be fair.

  17. Top 6 players should be top 6 players so Schmaltz belongs with Toews and DeCat or Kane and Saad. We are not trying to develop AA, we are trying to make Schmaltz an NHL talent which he is. But once again, what will Schmaltz do playing alongside AHLers like Luke Johnson and Fortin??? Nothing!!! Get real Coach Q, enough of this dog house routine with top 6 players. Use the Dog house with Bowman instead.
    Not dressing Schmaltz tonight is a mistake…and not playing him with talented players in the top 6 is embarassing. He is a first round pick playing alongside free agents and 6-7 rounders???
    Coach Q’s stubborness is once again stalling the growth of #8, the most talented young player they have.
    Bowman? Well, he should have traded an expensive AA instead of Panarin!!!

  18. How can you justify Luke Johnson as your 3rd line centre??? Seriously!!! And then followed up by Kruger as #4???
    Let #8 shine as a centre on the second line with Kane or as a winger on the first line with Toews.
    Nick Schmaltz on another offensive team is a top 6 player!!!

  19. How can anyone justify Kahun playing top 6 minutes ahead of Nick Schmaltz??? This is a real problem with Q….
    And Luke Johnson on the PP???

  20. Schmaltz has all the ingredients to be a top flight player except one – guts. He avoids the physical aspect of the game to the extent that it limits his effectiveness which limits him in terms of a player that can be counted on to consistently produce. Can he “grow some courage”? I don’t know but unless he does he won’t be as good as he can be.

  21. Ebony…come on guts?
    When is the last time Patrick Kane has hit anyone on the other team?
    Finesse players like Schmaltz and Kane will never be physical players.
    High skill players that rarely get hit and almost never hit anyone.
    If Schmaltz at his size played physical he would would be injured ninety percent of the time.
    Healthy scratching him is just plain dumb. Being scratched must be really helping his confidence. Gotta love Q

  22. Stape, you didn’t understand what I meant. I didn’t suggest or even want Schmaltz to “hit someone” and be a “physical player” any more than I want Kane to hit guys and be a physical player – but there’s a world of difference between not being a “physical player” and bailing out on plays to avoid contact. Schmaltz bails out on plays to avoid contract and that is the gutless part of his game that I’m referring to. No player wants to get hit, especially by guys who are bigger than you – but most NHL players don’t do what Schmaltz does which is give up possession of the puck to avoid getting hit. That’s a problem and that is something Schmaltz has to overcome or he will never reach his potential.

  23. I agree with Tab… Fortin, Schmaltz and Kane would seem to make sense.
    Play then for at least fifteen games and see what they can do.
    Problem is Kane plays on so many lines it might be hard to actually play those
    three together throughout a game.

  24. Didn’t see game.
    up 36-20 in shots, down 2/3 in goals. WTF.

    Looks like we outplayed the other team 3 games in a row and dint win one of them.
    Thats not cool.

  25. Ebony, I would hope Schmaltz gets physically stronger in the next few years.
    Remember Teuvo almost everyone said the same about him and I for one wish that we had him back. High end skilled forwards are never a bad thing to have.
    I believe Schmaltz could become a star in the NHL, it just won’t happen over night.
    I am much more concerned about his confidence being crushed than I am about him bailing out so that he doesn’t get crushed.
    Schmaltz should be playing a ton of minutes for the Hawks as he should be a very important piece for a very long time.

  26. Cat/19/Schmaltz… makes sense – 8 with 2 guys who will shoot

    TT is weaker /less interested in Contact than 8… and TT is doing OK

  27. Q has tried Fortin with 8/88… problem with Fortin- is he poops the bed when wide open passes/Gifts are given to him from Kane!!! Frustrates Kane

  28. Wall, Cat 19 Schmaltz sounds good to me.
    I was hoping to see if Fortin could turn into something good and without playing him with the frontline guys how will we know for sure.

  29. Schmaltz is not a kid – you shouldn’t have to worry about “crushing his confidence”. Tell him to be a man and play better. This isn’t a matter of bad puck luck where you let him play through it. The problem is he’s not laying it all on the line and that is not acceptable. He needs to want it enough where he fights through checks and takes a hit to make a play. He has the talent – that’s the frustrating thing, but he needs to grow a pair.

  30. Lol 22 year old veteran.
    Not sure if you ever played the game?
    Confidence in any sport is huge.
    Not sure if you watched the games last year? I wish that you would have been coaching, you could have told our core that they were not laying it on the line
    and that there play was not acceptable.
    Come to think of it Brent Seabrook did get healthy scratched for one game.

  31. Stape, yes confidence is huge – I agree. But confidence comes from within. It isn’t something that be coddled into a player. You are taking my words to the extreme. I don’t care if you have a difference of opinion than me but don’t twist my meaning and pull out lame ass shit like “not sure if you ever played the game”.

    Here it simply put – Schmaltz needs to man up and stop playing scared. If you can’t see him playing scared then I don’t know what more I can say.

  32. Not that it would have or wouldn’t have made the difference in winning these 3 last games.

    We just played a pretty fucked up sch.
    3 in 4 in first 4 days of season
    2 in 12 days
    7 in 10 days

    We played good and bad and started
    6-2-2 and then the wheels feel off
    or
    it caught up to us/those last 3.

    We ll have good stretches again.
    Need to do the things you guys are talking about.
    Get back in the flow again.

  33. If you stick Kane with Luke Johnson and Fortin, what will he accomplish? Nothing!!!
    Thus, sticking Schmaltz with those two Ahl players is fruitless. This is Coach Q once again ganging up on the only talented player outside his top 4 forwards. What in the world is KAHUN doing on a top line??? Why do we constantly need to see AA as the second line centre. When our dumb GM arrogantly traded away the Hammer and Panarin who had great years, the one he should have traded for a prospect is AA. Schmaltz is not going to get 50-60 or 70 points a season playing with a slow AHL skating centre in Johnson or an AHL winger who scored 5 goals last year in Fortin. Crushing his confidence is stupid. Having a favourite PET in Kahun is idiotic. Does 24 deserve wearing that number and being on the top line ahead of #8? No!
    Does AA need to slow down Schmaltz’s development and rise, the answer is a BIGGER NO. This is not a playoff team because our bottom six is pathetic so why punish number 8???
    Punish the GM and the coach! What is 22 and 23 doing on the ice with an NHL contract? Time for change! This is going to get real ugly!

  34. Need to find more push in 3rd, early games were good 3rd period games now seem flat or tired. Try Kane with Toews and Debrincat for a couple of games and see what they do. Callup Sikura and put him with Saad and Schmaltz.
    12 19 88
    20 8 95
    84 15 24
    Hopefully Schmaltz gets the message and plays like he can. Have 2 more lines that should have some offense and be defensively responsible, gives Fortin a line to see if he can find some hands to elevate his game. AA didn’t really get his offense going with Kane again as hoped, but went through same last year trying to get him going.
    Johnson center the 4th with Hayden and Kruger. Q will want Kunitz in there though and Kruger’s pk and checking game make him hard to sit. Kampf may be better off getting ice time in minors vs being pressbox as he seems to be alot right now.

  35. Ebony, I really like Nick Schmaltz as a hockey player and I guess I see the good in him. I know his game is far from perfect at the age of twenty two I’m hoping that he can develop into something really good.
    I think coaches can kill players confidence. Ask Michal Kempny!
    Kempny last year for the Hawks had a plus twelve and was sitting constantly.
    In Chicago nothing from within could have helped his confidence.
    That all changed for Kempny in Washington.
    Q killed Kempny in Chicago.
    I also want you to know that it was not met intention to try to insult you in any way.
    Sometimes when I try to get my point across I can get carried away.
    Cheers!

  36. Stape, I want the same for Schmaltz – every Hawks fan should. He is more than a borderline player – he is a legit top-6 talent so I want him to reach his potential as much as any Hawks fan. But I see a major flaw that will hold him back and it isn’t a matter of confidence or lack thereof – it’s a matter of playing scared to get hit. That wasn’t Kempny’s problem which was more along the lines of afraid to make a mistake – there’s a big difference between afraid to make a mistake (confidence related) and afraid to get hit (innate cowardice). Nothing Q or anyone can do to fix what’s wrong with Schmaltz – he has to man up on his own. If benching him pisses his off enough to get him to man up – then it’s worth a try.

  37. I don’t get when players are playing way below their potential, and they get demoted or scratched, why so many people bellyache over it being unfair treatment. If you were doing a crappy job at work is your boss supposed to pretend you are doing great to avoid crushing your ‘confidence’? I say grow up. If a player is playing poorly, they should not be surprised at getting demoted or benched but use it as motivation to show they can be better. They don’t need a legion of fans crying into their kleenex for their shattered confidence.

  38. Mo later in season agree with 6 games in 9 days or 8 in 13 but just 3 weeks into season bbut with already having 4 and 5 day breaks and justoff a 2 day break i find ut hard to buy into.

  39. IAN, WELL SAID! I agree about Schmaltz! And dropping AA on the 3rd line.
    Q needs to understand if he wants to save his job and Bowman’s as well, #8 needs to be free and do what he did last year. Without a doubt, on this team, #8 is a top 6 player….NOT FORTIN surely NOT KAHUN and the rest of free agent castoffs signed by our accountant GM Mr. Bowman. Manning has no business playing in the NHL, he has zero speed or IQ to play!

    Bowman has had two years to sign a decent free agent who actually has pedigree yet he goes down the castoff, washed up, bottom forwards and dmen??? Tatar and Ouellett in Montreal were available. James Neil and Hoffman were available.

  40. Its not that we didn’t have enough time to rest/or get ‘ahead’ energy wise. Its when its that compacted its tuff, and more towards the end of it- wheels fell of last 3 games of it. Before that 6-2-2.

    Also when it back and forth/not the same regularly, like 3in4 then 2in12 then 7in10, its lopsided and when its lopsided I think that can give you rust or no energy. in its own.

    Your right, its too early in the 82 games for, being tired. Its the lopsidedness of it, is what makes me think that.

    Not saying we would be 9-2-2/or a top5 team if sch was, a normal sch. We should have been 8-2-2, anyways. We just feel off/wheels did those 3rd periods those last 3 games. Even 8-3-2 is really good for that kind of lopsided sch. We did play that good (and bad) to deserve a 8-3-2 record. These guys deserved that for the standing, based on how we played, not this stinking 6-5-2.

    One other thought is, we transferred some enegery, usually for the 3rd, so we wouldn’t have such a high/low/high period game. Those 2nds wernt good, then we used a little more for 2nds, then a couple games later-wheels fall off for 3 3rds in a row/at the hands of a lopsided sch./end part of a 7in10.

  41. I would wait until we use the cap space we got last yr, the cap space we got from 81 contract, the cap space from players not staying-contract wise, the cap space the cap will go up each yr, and the cap space from having no player bonuses-we had every yr the last so many.

    To go by who have we added, since 81 and 4.

  42. I agree with Raptor on Shmaltz…..too much dippsy doodling …. play more straight ahead . Yes he does avoid contact. There is only one Kane , he can put the puck in the net !

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