Young Blackhawks Fight Back, Lose To Wild In Shootout

Ray Emery wasn’t great but the Hawks scorers tried to make things interesting the night after locking up a playoff spot in the regular season finale at the United Center.

The Blackhawks (literally) fought back from two one-goal deficits and a two-goal deficit to draw even with the Wild before losing in their third shootout in four games.

As usual, the superstars stole the headlines on Sunday night. Patrick Sharp opened the scoring for the Hawks and Patrick Kane scored twice, including a late power play goal to tie the game and force overtime.

But it was once again the younger players on the roster that propped up the Blackhawks in a tight game.

Chicago’s rookies came out fighting. Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Bollig dropped their gloves in the first period and Andrew Shaw, who picked up 12 penalty minutes in the first for nothing more than talking trash, finally fought in the second. In total, 52 penalty minutes were handed out in the first 40 minutes of hockey.

Shaw led the team with five hits in the game.

Nick Leddy, not a rookie but still a 21-year-old the Wild continue to regret trading for Cam Barker, had two assists, two hits and one takeaway in the game. Dylan Olsen led the Hawks with four hits and played a strong, physical game in over 11 minutes of ice time. And Marcus Kruger had one assist, one blocked shot and was plus-two on the night.

Viktor Stalberg continued his strong play, scoring his 21st goal of the season off a gorgeous pass from Brent Seabrook early in the second period. Stalberg’s goal tied the game at two, but the Wild put two more goals on the board in the following 61 seconds.

Kane won nine of his 12 faceoffs in addition to scoring twice.

Chicago’s youth movement continues to help push them up the playoff standings. Sunday night marked the end of Duncan Keith’s five-game suspension, and the Hawks were relatively successful during his absence (2-1-2).

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8 Responses to Young Blackhawks Fight Back, Lose To Wild In Shootout

  1. Glenn says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the Hawks have already had a successful season – regardless what they do in the playoffs.

    When this season started, the Hawks appeared to be no closer to finding and replacing the secondary scoring lost from the Cup winning team than when they started the previous season. There didn’t seem to be a whole lot of progress made from the start of 2010/11 to the start of 2011/12. In fact the game plan coming into this season seemed to be to just add a little grit (Carcillo and Mayers) and hope an old guy still had a little something left in the tank (Brunette). Hopefully those elements added to the big-4 would be enough. Unfortunately, those elements weren’t enough.

    But now, after 80 games, it is clear the Hawks have found at least 2 pieces of that elusive secondary scoring they’ve been looking for – Stalberg and Shaw. Regardless how the rest of this season plays out – the Hawks will enter next season in better shape than they did this season. That’s progress.

  2. Pete says:

    Ray had a bad night and I wonder how much of an issue the hip is in moving around from post to post and getting up off the ice quick enough. I think we win the game with Crawford in the net even if its just because Crawford is better in the shootouts. I really think the team will focus hard on beating Minnesota on Thursday with Toews and Keith and that focus will help us get ready for the playoffs. The Wild play very hard even though they are out of it and that will help us get ramped up for the playoffs. Kane, Hossa, Shaw etc. had great games.

  3. Mike says:

    I don’t know how far we can go in the playoffs with all this youth. BUT, as I have said all season, stay with the program. The organization is stacked with above average prospects…..except on defense. Both the Hawks and the Icehogs give up a lot of goals. Not to write off this year but the Hawks have some D work to do this offseason. I hope Bowman uses his cap space to pick a couple of tough defencemen to compliment Kieth, Seabrook, Oduya and Leddy. I am about over Hammer and Olsen needs another season of top D pairing in Rockford.

  4. tysimmo says:

    Message to Andrew Shaw: Please. Stop. Fighting.

    The kid does the things all Chicagoans love, but watching him fight is just painful. Every time he drops the mitts, he gets his face beat in, and I mean BEAT in. He should take a note from Kopecky, jump in and pull opponents off of teammates in post-whistle scrums, get a few pops in with the gloves on occasionally, and do some pushing around/instigating; but never, EVER take the gloves off unless defending a teammate after a dangerous, blatantly illegal play.

  5. Glenn says:

    tysimmo – I respectfully disagree.

    Message to Andrew Shaw: Don’t change a thing.

  6. Negzz says:

    Was pleasantly surprised to see both Olsen and Hayes playing tough, physical hockey right out of the gate. It will be important they continue to leverage their size as we absolutely need these guys to step up their banging game and bring the wood during the playoffs. Shaw is hilarious with his grit and willingness to engage even though he’s obviously outmatched physically. Got to admire the kid for everything he brings to the team. If Hayes and Olsen can play tough hockey in the postseason, with Mayers and Bollig you have enough toughness to try and compete with the more physical teams in the league…

    Will be interesting to see what lineup looks like with Toews back in the lineup.. I like what Krueger brings to the team, and assume he’ll center line 4 when we’re back to full strength, and Kane looks like he’s more focused/engaged at C. That means lines would be back to 1. Toews, 2. Kane, 3. Bolland and 4. Krueger. Who stays with who will be Q’s challenge to keep mo going…

  7. Mike says:

    Negzz….I don’t know. I think Kane is better off at wing. Otherwise you have to move Mayers to a wing. I think that would be a waste of his D capablility. I think you have to keep Mayers in there.

  8. Negzz says:

    Mike- I am of 2 minds on this topic. On the 1 hand, you can see Kane sure likes the puck on his stick, seems to be more engaged while at C and forces opponents to be on their toes when he’s on his game. I also like spreading him and Toews out between lines 1 & 2 since they need a banger to protect them when together. Bottom line, there are not many O threats like him in the game. I also think Kane’s biggest weakness at C is faceoff % (his D will be lacking anywhere he plays.) That said, he won 9 of 12 last night, is coming off summer wrist surgery and not been at C for years.. If he improves and gets healthier he is a dangerous #2. You could go with Toews/Hossa/Hayes and Kane/Sharp/Stalberg or Toews/Sharp/Stalberg and Kane/Hossa/Hayes. You can always use Kane on the wing with Toews on the PP to get them out together and try to get that unit working…

    On the other hand, if you go with Toews/C1, Krueger/C2, Bolland/C3 and Mayers/C4, you sure have a lot of O/wing weapons at your disposal for lines 1 & 2. Using Kane, Sharp, Hoss and Stalberg on wing you have some great speed and skill. My issue is that you do not have much physical protection. You’d then have to pull one of these guys to insert a banger and lose the edge you’re trying to create- yes?

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