Birthday Boy Nick Schmaltz Leads Blackhawks To Victory

In the midst of the bad from the Blackhawks this season, second year forward Nick Schmaltz has put together a pretty good sophomore campaign.

After putting together six goals and 22 assists in 61 games last year – with a trip to Rockford in the middle of the season – Schmaltz won a permanent roster spot in camp this year and has been skating in a top six role all season. His ice time has increased by more than five minutes per game and he’s already reached the 40-point mark.

In fact, Schmaltz came into Friday night’s game against the San Jose Sharks with the same season line as Jonathan Toews; 16 goals and 24 assists. And Schmaltz had accomplished the numbers in four fewer games.

Nick Schmaltz turned 22 on Friday.

It was only fitting, then, that Schmaltz would have an assist on the Blackhawks’ first goal of the night and score the second to celebrate his birthday.

The first period of Friday night’s game was brutal. Long, boring and the 0-0 score gave the hockey that was played too much credit. San Jose out-shot Chicago 15-11. Neither team scored.

However, in the second the Hawks got on the board when Jan Rutta put home his sixth of the season to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead.

Anthony Duclair was credited with the second assist on the Rutta goal.

The Hawks out-shot the Sharks 13-10 in the second and JF Berube made the saves he needed to keep San Jose off the board.

Only two minutes into the third period, Schmaltz scored his 17th of the season off a pretty pass from Duclair to extend the Blackhawks’ lead to two.

The next goal came 10 minutes later, and unfortunately it came off the stick of Timo Meier. The Sharks were within one with 7:51 left in regulation.

Chicagos’ best line all night was their new-look third line of Schmaltz, Duclair and Alex DeBrincat. The three youngsters showed a lot of speed and creativity with the puck – something that has been lacking all year.

For what it’s worth, Tomas Jurco skated with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane for the majority of his shifts in what can best be described as a showcase… we hope. Jurco missed a wide open cage inside the final minute with Martin Jones on the bench for San Jose but Anisimov scored his 17th of the season to keep pace with the birthday boy.

Berube had a marvelous night in his first start with the Blackhawks. He made 42 saves against 43 shots as the Hawks won their second straight game.

25 thoughts on “Birthday Boy Nick Schmaltz Leads Blackhawks To Victory

  • February 23, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Q is a genius .

  • February 23, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Sikura with 2 g’s and 1 a tonite… c’mon Stan get er done

    Tab- you need to start a Draft place watch… showing/monitoring Hawk’s most likely draft spot w/ every loss/win,,, that game was tough to watch in 1st

  • February 23, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Berube is a better goalie than Forsberg. His positioning and technique is far better. Its premature to say he will be the answer to the back-up goalie quagmire, but he looks the part. As Q loves to say, we ‘ll see.

    Hinostroza’s skillset is being wasted playing on the 4th line. Duclair scratched the surface tonight, he needs to play regularly the last 20 games. Please no more scratches Q

  • February 24, 2018 at 12:22 am

    W-T-F ? Just when we throw in the towel they go out and get 6 of 8 points. A-R-R-R-G-H !!!!

  • February 24, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Do not fret over the kids achieving ER, worry when journeymen start playing really well and earning ice time next year.

    Great to see Schmaltz, Duclair, Debrincat, do well.

    Question: Should we move Hartman for a 3rd rounder and 5th rounder ?

    Personally: I definitely would NOT. Hartman was a 1st rounder in 2013 who has developed into a good NHL grinder. If he becomes a 15 goal scorer, regularly in this league, that’s a good pick at 30th overall.

    Move Bouma, Franson, for draft picks.

  • February 24, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Another 1-0 start.

    Look at that King Crab leg heat map.

  • February 24, 2018 at 4:50 am

    Was surprised at the pace the Hawks had played with but then I remembered the time off numbers from the other day. The Hawks played solid despite some poor efforts from 7 and 2. I liked the moved for JF when it was made and he liked the effort from last night.

  • February 24, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Great start for Berube what difference having confidence in your goalie seemed to make protecting the lead. Except for Toews brutal night on faceoffs but good game otherwise.

  • February 24, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Ruuta – had a nice game… Played like “pre-concussion Ruuta” Versus Post-concussion Ruuta.

    Craig- Franson – has almost NO Value and Bouma has less… which made it more laughable to start the season that Bouma kept one of Hino/Kampf down in Rockford…

    Jurc0- poor kid , + pursuer of the Puck, + quickness/skating … Goes to the right areas… just a wet-noodle when he actually gets the puck on stick… he might get a 5th round pick to a team who understands he has some value as 12th forechecking forward…

    Jurco- would have been a perfect fit on the Over powering 2010/2013 Cup teams- as cheap forechecker …

  • February 24, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Scmaltz, Duclair, and De Brincat looked good together. With about two minutes to go in the game, they had a shift where they kept the puck in the Sharks end for about thirty seconds, not allowing Jones to go to the bench. Berube looked good too, but 42 shots is again, way too much.

  • February 24, 2018 at 7:44 am

    How is the method that the Pens acquired Bressard not a blatant attempt to circumvent the cap. How does the NHL not say it makes a mockery of the spirit of the rules.

  • February 24, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Keep Hartman.
    I was afraid they might get their act together for a stretch and miss the playoffs by about 5 points-
    actually saw the Hawks stick up for each other as a group once last night-a good sign.

  • February 24, 2018 at 8:51 am

    I am happy to see individual players do well, especially the young guys, and the 12-8-91 line is fun to watch.

    I know the draft is usually a crap shoot once you get past the first couple “can’t miss” guys at the top, so having the 6th pick versus the 12th pick doesn’t guarantee getting a 1/2 d-man versus getting a 3/4 d-man but the odds say more times than not it works out that way. The Hawks need a 1/2 d-man to anchor their d-corps for the next 10+ years and this draft has a lot of quality d-men at the top of the draft. Obviously I’d rather see the Hawks get the 2nd or 3rd d-man picked (assuming Dahlen will be off the board when the Hawks pick) then the 5th or 6th d-man. The points the Hawks are getting now lessen the chance to get Keith’s future replacement.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:06 am

    It’s difficult to want the Hawks to lose, but better picks is much more important at this point. With the lottery drawings, who knows they may move up? It happens.

    Go Hawks AFTER April 8th!!

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:08 am

    We wernt going to go 0-7-1 for the last two 10 game segments. That’s a one time in a yr/more like 2in10 yr thing. It also took teams like FLR going 8-2 to get ahead by 1 pt and the league having the most good teams at once in the history of hockey for us to be in 8th to last place (of 4 last place teams/the 4 worst records in league). Were in the hardest division in hockey (WIN and NAS are 2 of top 3 teams on league).

    Ping pong balls man. 17% is better then 13% it still could be a top 3 pick whther were 7th pick or 9th pick. I really donot see how we could be higher then 9th pick. Now that the NYR are legally tanking by trading were prob 10th pick at best.

    Just need to make sure we get a really good Dman from draft. Trade up/tank some games.

    We could see a automatic pushback from the 8 game streak then lose enough after this to stay around 9th.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:11 am

    By the way, I agree with Ian and think the Brassard deal is a blatant end-run about the Salary Cap rules. Having Las Vegas essentially launder part of Brassard’s cap hit makes the deal even worse than the original proposed deal, and it doesn’t fool anyone. Once again, NHL league management proves to be the worst among the 4 major professional leagues. It will be a happy day when Bettman rides off into the sunset.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Tab, please look into getting an edit function.

    The previous post should have said “blatant end-run AROUND the Salary Cap rules” – not “blatant end-run ABOUT …”.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:26 am

    We all have experienced how difficult it is to gain ground in the standings with so many OT 3-point games. It’s been frustrating to watch the scoreboard and see two rival teams playing each other and think the Hawks should be able to gain ground on the team that loses that game – only to see the game go to OT and both teams get points. It’s like you end up hating the cursed 3-point games.

    Well now the shoe is on the other foot and I love 3-point games because we want the teams below the Hawks in the standings to get as many points as possible.

    Funny how perspective plays a role and essentially reverses my feelings on something.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Personally i would like to see Hartman remain a part of this team. However if the powers that be don’t see him as a vital part say a top 9 forward then maybe moving him before his stock drops might be a good move. I guess it all depends where he fits going forward.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:43 am

    The league is a fucking disgrace.
    Salty east cast bias.
    Sock puppets.

    ‘These guys are a fucking disgrace!” Johnny Upton.

  • February 24, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Well, Berube had a fine game last night and I agree with Iceman regarding his positioning in and around the net. He looked very comfortable and in control. The Schmaltz, Duclair, DeBrincat line worked well together. I see some glimmers of good things from Duclair. He has good speed and decent vision. My gripe with him given the current sample size is his consistently lackluster defensive play. He is pretty much a fly by player and will not physically engage opposing players with the puck. He gives opposing players no threat that they will get hit when making or receiving a pass. This must drive Q nuts.

    So the guys have now won a few games after the recent 8 game debacle. The trade deadline in a few days. Who will stay and who will go? Development of younger players should be the focus for the rest of the season. I’m wondering if we will see Forsling or Hayden back in the show. I hope Q plays Berube until he tires. He looked good last night.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • February 24, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Keep Hayden and others in Rockford e need to not win or tie in half the games. If Hayden is in lineup we win more games. He plays keep it to 5 games and same with Crow. Play Crow for 5 so people donot go crazy and use the word, at best, too much during summer.

    Play the guys that we donot know as much about, it might be their only chance to play games with us. Have a better idea of who to keep after summer/and at draft.

    Hayden is a lock and already secured a spot for 19 and after.

  • February 24, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Phil your description of Duclair would fit Saad to a T. on the defensive side of the game.

  • February 24, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    ebonyraptor – edit function aside, not sure what the complaint is about the Brassard deal. They found a third party willing to take assets to eat cap space. I’ve got no problem w/ that.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Tab the term circumventing the cap wasn’t invented here, that’s the issue i have. Do they want to enforce it or not, either you do or don’t and not pick and choose when and where you do.

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