Blackhawks Blow Lead, Fall To Flames In OT

In their last two games, the Blackhawks beat the Preds in Nashville and then got their tails whipped by the Vancouver Canucks. So what the hell were we supposed to expect in Calgary?

For starters, coach Joel Quenneville just went ahead and threw the blender on mid-afternoon. Jeff Glass got the start in net. Patrick Sharp, Ryan Hartman and Michal Kempny were scratched. Brandon Saad started on a line with David Kampf and Lance Bouma. And Artem Anisimov was on the left wing with Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz.

Because, honestly, at this point, why not?

The first period flew and both goaltenders showed up ready to play. The Flames held a 13-12 shot advantage after 20 minutes but the Blackhawks were up 1-0 on the scoreboard thanks to a Nick Schmaltz snipe.

Kane picked up the only assist on Schmaltz’s 15th of the season. Neither team took a penalty in the first period, and Glass made a few exceptional saves.

At 1:53 into the second, Kane picked up a second assist and Vinnie Hinostroza extend the Chicago lead to two.

The Hinostroza goal came on the Hawks’ first power play of the game, a stunning turn of events as Chicago realized how to capitalize on an advantage.

Usually it’s the Blackhawks failing to score on the power play that hurts their momentum. On Saturday night, scoring had the same impact. Calgary would score the next two goals in the game; Matt Stajan got the Flames on the board four minutes after the Hinostroza goal and then Johnny Gaudreau tied the game at 12:33.

The flurry of goals didn’t take anything away from the strong play between the pipes for either side. Glass made a few more incredible saves after the Gaudreau goal to keep the game tied until Anthony Duclair took a turnover the other way and beat Mike Smith to get the lead back for Chicago.

There wasn’t an assist on the Duclair goal.

The good news: Chicago was 4-2-0 when they score at least three goals in 2018.

The bad news: the Hawks had scored at least three times in only six of 13 games this calendar year coming into Saturday night.

Shots were 14-12 in favor of Calgary in the second with both sides scoring twice. The Blackhawks did take their first penalty of the game late in the second period when Bouma went off. He returned to the penalty box for 32 seconds to start the third period and his teammates were able to kill the rest of the Calgary advantage.

Michael Frolik took advantage of his former team after an unfortunate Connor Murphy turnover behind the Hawks’ net. Mikael Backlund fed Frolik on the doorstep and the game was tied with 10:10 left in regulation. At that point, Chicago had generated only one shot on net in the third period.

With a little more than six minutes left in regulation, Alex DeBrincat was clearly interfered with while trying to chase down a puck in the offensive zone but there was no call – a theme throughout the game. There were calls on both sides that were avoided/missed all night, but with the Hawks struggling to get anything going offensively in the third period the missed call that would have send Mark Giordano to the box late felt big considering the need for the Blackhawks to win games at this stage in the season.

The Hawks continued to struggled to get a good shot on net and one of the results that doesn’t help them as much as they need – an overtime decision – became a reality as 60 minutes expired with the score tied at three.

Calgary out-shot Chicago 11-3 in the third period – a period the Blackhawks entered with a lead in a game they had to win.

Glass stopped 35 of 38 in regulation; Smith stopped 24 of 27.

Sean Monahan ended the game 59 seconds into the overtime, picking up the second point for Calgary. And Chicago, who had a two-goal lead, left with only one point achieved.

90 thoughts on “Blackhawks Blow Lead, Fall To Flames In OT

  • February 3, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    41-10 bounces this yr. Hockey gods really want us to get a top 8 pick.

  • February 3, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Going into the third period, I’m kind of thinking that the period was the biggest one of the season thus far for the Blackhawks. Chance to get two points in regulation and narrow the gap with everyone losing tonight.

    Got outplayed in the third, though. Just no finish to this bunch. Can’t ramp it up at the end of the games like they used to when needed (which was actually a disturbing trend the last couple of years that they would do that, because of lack of some intensity earlier in the games).

    Tough bunch to watch night in and night out. Referees WERE brutal. Brutal for both teams but Blackhawks probably got the short end of the calls.

    Again, Glass deserved better. Played well with an onslaught of seriously good chances coming his way all night long.

  • February 4, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Last 14 goals by players under 23. Money makers shut out, plus porous defense.

  • February 4, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Two evenly matched teams. Very similar game to New Years Eve, so water has found its level.

    The good news : Schmaltz is a Stud. Hinostroza is an energizer on offense.

    Humorous moment of the night : Pat Foley going off on how terrible Brandon Saad’s numbers are. Konroyd tries to save Saad by saying “he has to be better as a great power forward”. Foley: POWER FORWARD? Try just a forward !!!”

    Jurco had some really nice moments offensively but he just cannot finish at this level.

    Ruuta looked exactly like Rundblad. In fact, I think it might actually be him. (Release the Memo Stan, it’s Rundblad )
    Bouma stands for Brutal.

    Q knows we are done. Case in point – He gave Murphy 3rd period shifts after Murphy handed Calgary the tying goal with a beer league type reversal attempt.

  • February 4, 2018 at 12:09 am

    Good first period period and would’ve been good 2nd except got robbed by a crossbar and post and mistakes and mental errors by defence. Overall pretty good 2 periods and tried to hang on in 3rd and support Glass and the defence.
    Don’t understand why they don’t start Toews with Kane and Schmaltz as a unit to start OT, try to gain control of the puck right off with 19 taking the draw and go for a quick win. So much ice out there for them.

  • February 4, 2018 at 12:10 am

    I really try not to call out the refs. Ultimately, the guys have to play through that. However, that no call on DeBrincat was just inexcusable. What more was needed for the arm to go up?
    The defense is just porous. What kind of trade should we expect? Players for draft picks? I don’t know. What is really disheartening is watching Q just pick a line like a Bingo number.
    Lastly, I’m sure Toews was gassed, but it was his guy that scored the game winner. He’s having, in my opinion, the worst season of his Blackhawks career. Yes, his FO% is still strong. The rest of his game is just lacking. I’m not sure why. He’s better than this.
    Ya know, Montreal is struggling. How about seeing if we can get Danault back? His FO% is pretty strong. I’m just wiffing at the wind. Ah well. Next game.

  • February 4, 2018 at 12:13 am

    Can’t clear their zone. Weak little passes that get picked off. Ring-arounds to open wings with no Hawks player in position. Hawks unable to win one-on-one battles or stick-on-stick battles. Can’t get the puck deep and turn it over in the neutral zone to often. Chinese fire drills in the D-zone because the Hawks players don’t know how to play positional defense. Same things every game to one extent of another. Sometimes they overcome these weaknesses but more times than not lately they don’t.

    I hate it but they’re just not a good team.

    Oh, by the way, I only saw one replay of Calgary’s OT goal so maybe I didn’t see it clearly, but I thought I saw Toews was the last man down the ice and it was his man that was wide open and unchecked to shoot in the GWG. Now, maybe Toews hustled his ass off to get down the ice after taking that shot on goal ,,, but there is a trend where Toews is late getting back on defense so I’m at the point where I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt anymore. There been a lot of goals scored against the Hawks this season where Toews is a stride or two behind the goal scorer. He still hustles and plays hard in the O-zone but hustling back on defense and being an elite defensive center – those days are long gone. Don’t get much for $10.5M these days unless you’re wearing number 88.

  • February 4, 2018 at 12:33 am

    While we are at it ER, Saad playing 12 minutes a night for 6 Million per year. He truly is stealing Wirtz’s money.

    The thing is Saads value might be the highest at the trade deadline. Teams often overpay on that day.

    Same with Anisimov, if they could get him to agree to go to a contender, I would not wake up weeping on Tuesday 2/27.

  • February 4, 2018 at 5:41 am

    I’m not officially throwing in the towel on the season, although I’m slowing working my way through the acceptance phase. Missing the playoffs is not something I desire, obviously, but it’s doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom either. Aside from the negative commentary on their play this season, there are positive signs to give hope for the future.

    Obviously, higher draft position throughout each round, especially important for getting a higher quality player in the 1st round. But more than that, there are the young forwards stepping up that give me hope for future success. What is the stat I heard recently that all the goals scored over the past 4 games are by players under 23 – DeBrincat (20), Schmaltz (21), Duclair (22) and Hinostroza (23). Between the 4 of them, they have scored all 12 goals in the past 4 games. So while not getting goals from Kane, Toews, Saad and others is a negative thing – getting goals from the guys who will play major roles in the future is something to hang my hopeful hat on.
    (The young d-men are not as far along the development curve but the cupboard isn’t exactly bare there either)

    Then there is the paradigm shift from TDL buyers to TDL sellers. If nothing else, it will be a new experience and hopefully a positive step forward in the rebuild/retool.

    So, now that I purged that positivity from my system, I’ll put back on my curmudgeon persona and will be back after next game to rip into Toews for sins real or imagined.

  • February 4, 2018 at 7:03 am

    Well, given that the Hawks-Flames series has been an annual Duckhorn bet with my 5 Flames buddies, it’s disheartening to watch such a performance! The “DUH” line- “DUH-Brincat”, “DUH-Clair” and “DUH-what’s-with-Toews” line???
    Streaky Kane line?? And what to make of Wingels, Bouma, Saad, Jurco- there are dats they don’t seem like ”real” NHLers??
    Bring back John Hayden! Limit Seabrook and Sharpe till SB can find them a home (trade or no trade contracts!) And lets go get us some real, live NHL defencemen!! OK so I’m bitter- 2 losses to the Leafs, 2 to Flames- where do we go from here?!
    Coach Q can’t make “chicken soup out of chicken poop”! And SB can’t go ranting about how “Changes WILL be made!” Zero Credibility…..Seasons over! Draft high! Trade deep and often. and let’s get serious about rebuilding! Good night hockey fans …

  • February 4, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Agree we need help with defencemen, just isn’t the high caliber players back there that is required. Got to find some way to bridge gap to young guys. Jokiharju may sign for next season but will he be ready enough to contribute alot next year. Possible pairing with Keith at some but he may need time to learn system but no doubt unless some help acquired in off season he will likely get a long look.

  • February 4, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Hard to watch at times-way too many giveaways and poor decision making getting the puck out of their own end-Ruutu has lost all confidence and Oesterle not far behind. (7 was back to his old slow self) But hey, Kempny can’t make this top 6?
    (he must shake his head in wonder)

    Eventually you are what you are, and they are way too far from a top 8 team. Best to continue to re-group and re-stock. This isn’t bad luck it’s just an average, inconsistent team with a few bright spots that needs to get better!
    Poor Glass, some of the shoots and traffic was unreal. Can we get a really good shit-disturber like Thachuk?

    Kampf might be real good next year. A real find.

  • February 4, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Noonan to me it isn’t going to make this team any better who slots into 3rd pair. This years Forsling or Rutta comparisons to Runblad or last years Kempbad who was called the Runblad last year. Oesterle is filling the role he was asked to do best he can but he isn’t a top 2 guy and mistakes are waiting to happen scenario with him there. Top end pairings is where help is needed and it doesn’t seem to be on this roster or Icehogs.

  • February 4, 2018 at 8:16 am

    On Flames 3rd goal… Murphy TO… The real problem was – either 57 or Boume- had easy chance to keep in the O zone (prior to goal)- and they muffed it… as soon as that happened- I knew that would lead to golden Chance for flames.. and it did.

    Ruuta- since his concussion has been terrible- Does Q not see this??? Kempny should be playing.

    Same old story- young guys + Kane scoring… $$$– Doing Nothing

    Ian- I hope i am Wrong… But Jokiharju… was a stiff at camp… skates slightly better than Pokka… imo- he is next Clendenning… There are way better D prospects in system… but NO young Seabs/Webber types… (Johns would have been a nice “Keep”)

    Seabs- has been playing better since benching… but what a Brain cramp last nite

  • February 4, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I know that without Kane this team would have been out of the Playoff picture a long time ago. Having said that, Kane is one of the worst players in the League inside his own blue line. All year Toews has looked aggravated on the ice. He’s got to get himself together. He does a lot of good things out there, but for what he is getting paid, he must be better offensively. Keith and Seabrook are just getting old and the young D-men, as Quennville would say, are just OK. To make the Playoffs, the Hawks would need a 7 or 8 game winning streak, and they would need it right now. That’s not gonna happen.

  • February 4, 2018 at 9:16 am

    ER, it is about the big picture and the younger guys getting better each yr then all of sudden we have a deep team again that by then had the defensive structure down pat. From 2009-16 every one of our core and top players had one off yr. 81 and 19 went the longest without one but then they did to. So 20 this is his and he should/better have a kick ass 5 coming prime of his prime yrs coming. Its only a matter of time.

    The team can still win 5 in a row and you make playoffs. I could see those teams coming down and it being between 8-12 over 500 for 7 and 8 seed. Not this 100pts for the 8 seed. But who cares big pictire is more important. It doesnt make sense to play for the Cup when were young and thin. Getting better is what were doing, even though it doesnt look like it, and what we want. The season was over when Crow got hurt we just didnt know it at the time. It wasnt over during the first 20 games because people said so then. Really had no faith in team, those people also said we wouldnt win in 15.

    Still want to see team win 5 in a row and get rolling so we can play our team game and see what we have. You cant see shit when we are not playing a full 60. We did play good/decent the 1st period these 2 games and then up 1-0 the same shit different island things happened again.

  • February 4, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Stan has some tough decisions ahead. He can stand pat and watch the team sink further into mediocrity or attempt to trade players with value like 19, 2, 20 and 15 to get draft picks and young up and coming talent. If he goes in the second direction there may be a couple of tough years but the future would be bright. Of course he might trade some draft picks and young talent for rentals. That would be delusional.

  • February 4, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Mo I agree this about future and posted that point in July and this year would likely be a struggle. But my point is our young defensive prospects will compliment guys like Schmaltz and Debrincat etc. but by the time they are ready to shine Keith is in late 30s, Seabrook already looking old and Toews and Kane heading for mid 30s and Crawford contract up and who knows what that means. How long do you wait or do you try to bolster now and add through trades and free agency.

  • February 4, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Ive reached the acceptance stage om this Hawks season. Schmaltz, continues to show improvement game after game. He and ADC appear to be legit top 6 guys. The problem is im not sure Toews is playing at 2c quality. That being said I don’t think this team is a lot short in their top 6

  • February 4, 2018 at 10:15 am

    If you barely make the playoffs as a young team on the rise, it’s an achievement. However, for a team on the slide like us to make it now would only feed the delusion that we are still competitive. We’re not. For us to make it now means nothing more than playoff revenue. Other than Rocky, who cares.

    Play the kids (maybe recall Hayden now) and don’t do anything stupid before the TDL. If we handle it right we can be back in the mix in 2 or 3 years (kind of like Bruins have done).

  • February 4, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I am quite possibly the biggest retard on the planet babay.

  • February 4, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Some have commented before wondering if Toews is 100%?! I hope we don’t have to wait till season end to find out?! For that matter- are Saad, Sharpe, Keith and Seabrook 100%? Even 80% well?! All we know for sure is that Crawford is NOT!

  • February 4, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Craig agree spot on.

    In furtherance thereof, last I checked yesterday Rutta is -8 (and was a tentative, turnover machine last night) and Kempny is +13 (and plays with a confident, steady hand); that’s a 21 goal differential.

    In addition, if Oesterle is a top pairing D man, then Morin & Pirri will return after the trade deadline. Speaking of the forwards, someone (namely Q) needs to explain why Bouma & Wingels are dressing.

  • February 4, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Tab there are sock puppets posting with my username.

  • February 4, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Although Kempny has good plus minus his 2 takeaways s vs 21 giveaways project to about 4 or 5 takeaways and 45 giveaways in same ice time as Rutta who has 9 takeaways and 28 giveaways. Which may be part if the reason why he was sitting as Rutta s numbers went downward lately. But good chance Kempny back in very soon.

  • February 4, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Agree Kempny is mistake prone, but there is real upside there as there is with Ruuta. I would play both. Gustafsson has played better than I thought he would, but his top end is NHL/AHL tweener – who cares if he gets any better.

    Commit to the rebuild and play 6/44 and hopefully at least one of them is here next year (although given the leash he is on I imagine Kempny wants to get as far away from Q as he can).

  • February 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Please play all the kids as much as you can. No more Bouma, Wingels or Sharp. If there is a kid in Rockford that might deserve a look bring him up. Be sellers at the deadline Anisimov a core member if you can get their NMC waived. All sports are cyclical and we unfortunately are in the downward turn. All the minutes played by Toews, Seabrook and Keith seem to have caught up to them. I realize now what a miracle Hossa was that he could compete at the level he did all the time. I had hoped we would get the Hossa type play from Saad but that hasn’t happened. Time to move forward it will be hard but we need to continue to get younger and faster. Good luck Hawks!

  • February 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Oesterle is not a top 2 defenseman but either is anybody else on the team. Q seems to like him. He does possess good speed, has a hard shot and shows some skill on the offensive side of the puck. Unfortunately he is light on his skates. I like Kempny’s toughness. I will be surprised if he is around next year.

  • February 4, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Like olczyk said on TV last night after the game, throw out the corsi stuff blah blah blah. Saad has been a major disappointment, we all watch the games; Kempny plays hard, he plays well, and he s not a turnover machine, far from it.

    A 21 goal difference bw him and Rutta simply confirms the eye test. Kempny is better than Gustafson as well. He has gotten a raw deal all year (last yr as well), to the detriment of the team. This portion is all on Q. The Hawks are 5-8 points out of the playoffs right now; I submit if Kempny was playing top 4 minutes regularly all season that would have been good for another 6 points at minimum.

  • February 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    1961 bingo

  • February 4, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I can’t believe the number of people wanting to trade PROVEN players for draft picks. If the powerplay wasn’t so bad they wouldn’t be out of a playoff spot. The team has many problems including underperformances from so very many players. Maybe it’s time Toews be moved to wing so he can find his game and not worry about faceoffs.

  • February 4, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Problem being If Toews isn’t taking draws we won’t win many at all. I like Kempny but given his treatment here for two years if we can trade him then we should try because he will leave after this year anyway. I hope the Hawks can get their footing but at this stage of the season I don’t think it’s going to happen.

  • February 4, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Iceman, theres a bunch of diff thing that could have got us at least 6 more pts. Blessing is better 1st a top 10 pick on a yr we would want more then where were at right now. We might get two 1st picks. I am keeping 20 if he has another off yr then maybe.

    Bowman will make good moves and not over react.

  • February 4, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    I agree Dave Manson, but given the direction of this team others need some legit practice taking and hopefully winning faceoffs. Long-term planning….

  • February 4, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    If the Hawks are going to retool, which is apparently what is taking place, they must take a page out of Nashvilles book, which Nashville imitated from Chicago = rebuild the back end and come up with the Big 4.

    For us it was Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Oduya. We all know that.

    For them it’s : Josi, Subban, Ekholm and Ellis.

    Secondly, speed and pace, playing North/South hockey.
    With Duclair, Debrincat, Schmaltz, Hinostroza, all becoming Nhlers we are getting there on the latter point.

    But on D, not so optimistic -Keith and then a bunch of roster filler.
    Not one of Seabrook, Oesterle, Murphy, Gustafsson, Ruuta, Kempny is top 4 material in Nashville.

    Steep hill at this point.

  • February 4, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Its been a great run, and it will go down as the golden age of the Blackhawks’ it wont be matched again soon.

  • February 4, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Agree on the defence also Tampa Bay just about the shortest avg. height and lowest avg. team weight in the league but their defence with exception of Stralman are all big bodies and Hedman 6’6″ and the other russian 6’7″ and the younger russian they got from habs and a couple of others in 6’3″ range and all well over 200 lbs. So their forwards are almost all on the smaller side. If thats what Bowman wants for Blackhawks time to find some high end big dmen.

  • February 4, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    I made a decision before this game that I would not watch the home feed for the Blackhawks the rest of the year because of Pat Foley. I have gotta say my viewing exp was excellent. I love Pat, but this year he is unlistenable with the 30 min rants on us being 4 points out but so many teams in the way. He is also Throwing players under the bus. I dont need that, none of us do.

    Never thought I would say this but I will choose against watching the NBCSCH or WGN feed the rest of the way when I have the chance. Pat Foley is miserable this year. Again I think Doc and Pat are the two best play by play men in hockey, but I cant listen to Pat anymore this yr.

  • February 4, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    It wont be matched by any salary cap era team. We have a few moar yrs to add to it though.

  • February 5, 2018 at 8:07 am

    re: wall’s “but NO young Seabs/Webber types” – Dennis Gilbert is that guy. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned him here before, but you might want to watch some Notre Dame hockey. He’s a better prospect than Johns was in South Bend imo.

  • February 5, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Tab- I like Gilbert… said so in Prospect camp… But- IMO- Johns had way more O and a little faster skater… I have watched Gilbert few times this year at ND ( ON TV)… Gilbert seems less “active”… but still very solid/reliable… I am guessing that is by “design” – that he is focusing on D/Shut down???

    Any way- I do like Gilbert- but comparing Johns/Gilbert… I think Johns was faster…
    BUT- if Gilbert- Has better reading/IQ than Johns- perhaps -Gilbert is Just in “right ” position more often… so doesn’t have to Show speed (example – Kempny- needs to show those wheels- cuz he often gets out of position)

  • February 5, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Time to back up the truck and talk some veterans into moving on. This team is not good and Crow will not save the day.

    Q’s days in Chicago need to come to an end. Kempny should be paying and Saad should be sitting. Team not play Hawk’s hockey.

    How much does this team miss Hossa.

    Thanks for the ride but change is needed and if SB does not see that or make it happen then he needs to go also.

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Is Gilbert thought to be close to nhl ready, saw him play last seasons ncaa playoffs definitely stood out. touted as big physical good skating dman, plays smart all areas. Just wondering if he has good chance of playing in Chicago next year.

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I view the current situation this way. The Hawks may not be a CUP winning team but they have the talent to be a playoff team. Leadership is lacking…..but from where? The Core?, Coaching Staff? General Manager?

    IMO, you can criticize SB, but he is not on the ice or on the bench. Therefore he is NOT the problem. The Core?, maybe. Lack of enthusiasm by the leaders is lax at best. Coach Q?, also maybe, but he is not on the ice.

    There will be a fall guy and IMO that will be Q by default. That is NOT to say the Hawks struggles are squarely put on him. Sometimes change is necessary to wake up a team

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:39 am

    If anyone saw Eddie O’s comments after the game, which were SPOT on, I don’t know how you could blame Q for any of this season. We don’t have the talent to compete, all over the roster, and particularly on the back end. We have guys who are 5, 6, and 7 slot defensemen playing top pair and second pair.

    Last night after Keith came off the ice in OT the next defensemen out was Osterle. He is quick, and he is our number two. But as Olczyk pointed out on the game winning goal he kept backing in and backing in and giving the guy with the puck too much time to make a play, which he did, sending a pass to the middle of the ice for the game winning goal. Osterle has to make a move to pressure the puck there and force an early or errant pass.

    Little decisions like that are what make the difference between a guy who is a 6-7 defenseman, which Osterle is, verses a legit 2, which he isn’t. And in the NHL when you are forced to play guys in roles above their ability, they get exposed. That is what you saw when we lost to Calgary.

    As someone pointed out, we have a long way to build the top 4 dmen back up before Keith doesn’t fit that description either. But right now, he is our ONLY defenseman who belongs in a top 4.

    You can pin the fact that we will struggle for the next 2-3 years directly on the organizaton’s failure to draft, develop, and keep a legit top 4 NHL defenseman since Hammer was drafted in 2005.

    That was THIRTEEN YEARS AGO people!

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Here sMike that is why I was asking about Gilbert, wondering if him and Murphy could be groomed to be that big shutdown pair for the next few years that this blueline needs so much. That may allow Keith to be used in areas in a legitimate pairing where is still an elite defenseman, before its too late. If nobody available within for a few years free agency may be the answer as a pairing with him. Maybe wishful thinking but those are the areas that need bolstered.

  • February 5, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Ian I sure hope Gilbert can be a big shutdown defensive guy like Hammer was. The problem is he still isn’t NHL ready and 2005 when we drafted Hammer was 13 years ago. You cannot withstand a drought that long in your development pipeline at a position and not go through what we are going through now, a terrible painful degradation in performance due to playing guys way over their heads and hoping they somehow survive being thrown to the sharks.

  • February 5, 2018 at 11:14 am

    God I hope Gilbert is the real thing-we need big guy with an edge (oh yah, and can play)
    He has 16 pm in 29 games so I don’t think he gets careless but we need toughness on the back-end.

  • February 5, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Gilbert has a team-leading 59 blocked shots thru 27 games for Notre Dame this season. He has one short-handed goal and is plus-ten.

  • February 5, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    “guys who are 5, 6, and 7 slot defensemen playing top pair and second pair…make the difference between a guy who is a 6-7 defenseman verses a legit 2” (Hereismike) – if it comes down to “slots” 5, 6, 7 or top six forwards, how do you explain what the team in Las Vegas doing? They didn’t draft (m)any top six forwards or 1, 2, 3 defensemen. Really, besides Fleury, Neal, and Marchessault, the team is filled with “slots” – “guys in roles above their ability” getting exposed?

    I think the Hawks problems mostly fall on Toews, Seabrook, Keith, and Saad not playing up to the level of their compensation. Also, maybe their system, especially the powerplay has become not so difficult for opponents to defend.

  • February 5, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Re. Dickie what`s Vegas doing ????,.,.,Coaching ! And all but 1 D Man is North American . Just saying.

  • February 5, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Dickie not sure i understand the point of your comparison. The job Gallant and the front office putting that Vegas team together and finding chemistry while getting the most from them this year is remarkable. But the claim to fame of that team is quite likely most successful 1st year for expansion team. There is likely a few years of valleys before they become champions.
    You have to go with what you got to a certain point and retool where you can. I believe reestablishing your defense is big step in getting that done. Filling the biggest needs is first, not sure that 3rd pair is a void. Wingers are coming in Sikura this year and still saying Russians the year after. If center has to be addressed then the draft or free agency can do that.

  • February 5, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    @ MIKE R

    “The Hawks may not be a CUP winning team but they have the talent to be a playoff team”

    I have a hard time buying that, the Hawks money players games have gone to shit. Toews is playing like a low-end center 1 or center 2 despite having the highest salary. Keith is a -2 on the season. Last time he was a minus player 2010-2011, the yr of the purge. Brent Seabrook is playing like a fringe NHL defenseman. Osterle is showing to be a little more than a stop gap player. The Hawks have 2 backup goalies and a blue line with half its defenseman with a negative plus-minus. Not sure how that equals a playoff team.

  • February 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Dickie my point was not to say guys can’t grow in their games when you give them more responsibility. Byfugliyn left Chicago as mainly a 3rd and 4th line player and became a top pair defenseman given the opportunity. Andrew Ladd left as a third line winger and became a top line winger and captain.

    Vegas did a great job of scouting guys who given the chance could grow their games in a larger role. But for every guy that does that, there are ten that fail. Getting better doesn’t just mean getting first line minutes if you are a third liner, it depends on what you do with the opportunity.

    And some of the young guys are growing. Who knows how good Hino, Schmaltz, Forsling, Duclair, etc and the other young guys will be in time. But other times, leaning on guys to be what they aren’t (Osterle a top pair dman because we have no other options, for example) leads to beating your head against the wall, as you lose games like in OT to Calgary because the guy can’t defend like a first pair defenseman. If he is the second defenseman we are sending over the bench in 3 on 3 overtimes, all I can say is that’s pretty bad, and not on the coach.

  • February 5, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    When do we stop blaming the system(s) for the power play being awful and start pointing fingers at the players? How many asst coaches have tried & failed with that unit in the last 6-7 years?

  • February 5, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Also, how many centers have 33 points & are winning 57% of their faceoffs this year?

    1. Claude Giroux (58 pts, 58%)
    2. Ryan O’Reilly (35 pts, 61.7%)
    3. Jonathan Toews (33 pts, 57.1%)

  • February 5, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Gilbert lets go dude be the man.

  • February 5, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Or, how many centers are winning 57% of their faceoffs this year? 4.

    Because Toews is 4th in the league, only Vermette is also higher than him besides the two other guys mentioned. The only thing I can say from that is Toews wins a high faceoff %.

    Giroux makes $8.275 mil per year, with 4 more years after this season.
    O’Reilly makes $7.5 mil per year with 5 more years after this season.
    Toews makes $10.5 mil with 5 more years after this season.

    At those prices, I’d take Toews over O’Rielly hands down, but Giroux over Toews. Unless the Hawks know Toews is playing through some kind of injury. Which they would never disclose publicly anyway.

  • February 5, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    This team as it is currently playing does not feel like a playoff team. They lack consistent scoring from their core players and their defense to be kind is leaky. Couple that with Crow’s injury/absence and fuzzy return date and I don’t see a lot of hope for a playoff appearance, much less run, this year. They have shown some flashes and limited stretches of inspired play, but have not been able to sustain it for any length of time. Even if by some miracle the Hawks do make the playoffs this year, what does that really accomplish for them? Playoff experience for the youngsters? Revenue from a handful (generously) of playoff games?

    I hate to think this way, but I have simply not seen enough from this squad this year to believe they have the goods to make some noise in the playoffs even if they happen to make it. The way they came out of the gate after the all-star break was really deflating. It’s not just that they lost how they could not make anything happen when they needed it. Watching Kane point at the Hinostroza shot that hit the crossbar like it went in was depressing. It seemed more a move of desperation than conviction. Duclair frustratingly kicking in a puck because his stick was tied up also seemed a move of resignation, like he knew it wouldn’t count but also knew that puck wasn’t going in the net any other way. It’s one thing to be outplayed by a better team, but that didn’t happen in either of these last two games. The Hawks would play tough for 2 periods and then get sloppy or lazy or both.

    Should the Hawks be looking to move players who are not going to be part of the long term plan and bring in guys who might (like the Panik for Duclair move.) Are Kempny or Rutta going to be part of the blue line next year? If not, are either of them tradable assets that could bring back a decent pick or prospect? Wingels? Bouma? Sharp? Is Anisimov in the Hawks long term plans? Would he be willing to drop his NMC to be moved to a contender? Who among this bunch other than Schmaltz, DeBrincat and Hinostroza has any trade value?

  • February 5, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Wheres that BOS guy.

  • February 5, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    I’ m ok with the center situation right now. With the talk that KHL players coming in year after next and AA already under contract, keeping him around as an incentive for them might bring far bigger return than a trade for a pick or two. Plus having a him around making center position deeper is not a bad thing.
    Jurco and Gustafsson will lose their waiver exempt status this week, so last chance to send them back to Rockford without requiring clearing in next few days.

  • February 5, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Hereismike – maybe Bowman and Q believe that Osterle, Murphy, et al, given the chance could grow their games? Q apparently believes Osterle is best suited to partner with Keith (Murphy, Ruuta might be other options)?

    I don’t know if the OT goal was entirely because Osterle “can’t defend like a first pair defenseman” – wasn’t Toews a zone of two behind the play not defending like a first line center, as well?

    I totally agree with you that it appears “some of the young guys are growing. Who knows how good Hino, Schmaltz, Forsling, Duclair, etc and the other young guys will be in time.” – and their learning curves / growing pains would, in my opinion, be a lot easier to take if Toews, Seabrook, Keith, and Saad would play up at the level of their compensation.

    “When do we stop blaming the system(s) for the power play being awful and start pointing fingers at the players?” (Tab) – if not the system, then it must be that several really talented players (looking at the last 6-7 years), with few exceptions, get really stupid – overpass, over-cycle, play themselves into poor shooting locations and blocked lanes – during man advantage situations. Non-power play system – I understand the puck control game when executed (like the Hawks did in 2013 and 2015) works, but maybe this year the team just doesn’t have the talent (older core, new players) to make it work. Shouldn’t Q adjust the system?

  • February 5, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Agree Toews was behind the play coming up ice on OT goal but i guess the fact he took the puck at center ice coming off the bench and gave a burst of speed to Flames net and almost scored winning goal. Then the lucky rebound back toward blaclhawks end with everybody having fresh legs from a change at least 3 or 4 steps up ice from him starting the other way. We will just forget that part because he should be first one back.

  • February 5, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Ian, my point is that perhaps Osterle not defending like a first pair defenseman on that play that was only part of a breakdown that lead to the goal against.

  • February 5, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Lots of things have gone agasint us and none of them are the one blame excuse I just havnt ever seen a yr like that with bounces and sch. So that cant happen again that bad so that will help by having a even level playing field for the coming yrs as the tem will get better each yr even with core getting one yr older every yr. We do need to do what we need to things we can control better and I think we can. It just takes a little time to do so no overnight/one 82 games.

    Ian keep posting things like waiver stuff because people donot talk about it and forget about it. Ernie among others havn been around as much as this seasons puck luck has been not good people check out more then normal. Hard to get excited with the pouring rain as we have to play agasint way more then normal this yr. So good things to come and get excited every good move we make for future success.

  • February 5, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Ian, you must have been watching a totally different play for the OT winner. Watch it again.

    Toews should have had no problem catching up to the trailer (who slowed down to receive the pass). Toews wasn’t even close to him.

    Debrincat, who was just a step ahead of Toews when they both stopped and turned up ice (after the Toews shot) had no problem catching his man. Toews slowed down at some point in the back check.

  • February 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Re: the OT winner – in 3 v 3 a good chance likes Toews had at on almost always leads to an odd man break the other way. Sure Hedman might have played it better than Oesterle did and Crow better than Glass but 3 v 3 is a crap shoot anyway – both teams will get chances.

    The Hawks were deserving losers considering the ridiculous number of turnovers they gave up. That to me had more to do with the loss than any one play.

    I watched some of the Bruins/Leafs game before the Hawks and didn’t see the Bs give up the puck at all in the careless manner the Hawks do and multiple times per shift. CHI was lucky really to get to OT.

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    With way more then normal amount of teams, including us, that are close and going to be close all the way to game 82. It should be a big one sided sellers market and we could get a good return for certain players and still keep the future and present quality of roster intact.

    What 5 of the 7 worst teams are in the East again. Boy the East conference getting up to equal with the Cambell the last few yrs has gone back to normal again. As EDM and CHI will rebound like LA and TB did. So EDM is 8th pick or something has us at 9 maybe. Be hard to move up from 9th as those teams really suck like a 10 game gap -5 to +5 and you know well get to +10 prob. What bullshit is teams like COL and others will tank and we wont get as good of pick we deserve based on amount bad luck. Be nice to get another good D prospect like Jokeru. Stegthen the wave of good prospects.

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    BOS had two bad yrs and now there good. Reloaded with younger and faster. They also play in the weakest division and if in our division they wouldn’t be higher then DAL or MIN. Sch makes diff in record.

    Our BOS reshuffle will pay off for the good soon enough.

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    BLS2 trying playing a full game then do wind sprints on your 2nd ot shift. Because basically thats what it was half ice sprint then a full ice one. Maybe doesn’t look fast but it is. I say use 3 forwards rather than try to put a dman out sometimes if defencemsn is a liabilty, not alot of defence played at times. Toews, Kane and Schmaltz could be effective, Kampf Hino and Saad with alot of ice could play both ends effectively on 3on 3. Plus gives you a little edge on offense and quite possibly more speed.

  • February 5, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Ian, I like your attempt at giving Toews an excuse. However, his last shift was under 25 seconds. He played 18:22 in the game. I think he should be able to handle that. If not, we are in big trouble.

  • February 5, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Not an attempt to defend just not into the its popular to say Toews sucks.

  • February 5, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Tazer has played much better this yr then those last 2 yrs. The diff workout routine during summer, like Hoss did, was for the better. Not as strong and faster then before with league being faster. Adjust to flow. Cant be big and fast unless its 2005 to 2015 league yrs.

  • February 6, 2018 at 12:43 am

    Like I said in an earlier post – I saw the live play of Calgary’s winning goal and only one replay that didn’t show what Toews did after he shot the puck. The replay was from behind the Hawks goal and picks up with Monahan receiving the drop back back pass and Toews just crossing the blue line. So, I don’t know if Toews busted his ass to get back or not … but, and here’s was my point – this wasn’t a one-time incident. I’ve noticed Toews trailing the play while his man is in front of him getting a shot on goal. There is an emerging trend and it’s not good.

  • February 6, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Edit to previous post: I meant to include “many times this season” but somehow forgot … so the line is supposed to be:

    “I’ve noticed Toews trailing the play while his man is in front of him getting a shot on goal – many times this season. “

  • February 6, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Ian, “its popular to say Toews sucks” — well, he’s supposed to be a first line center, the captain, and well, he is paid to be a STAR (just a few seasons ago some were rating him better than Crosby…”Kane will win a scoring title – Toews will win a championship” paraphrase/some shit like that). I have NO idea why – post concussion, tired, lazy, uninspired – but he has devolved into a pretty ordinary player. Age/hard miles? What about Crosby or Bergeron? Kopitar? They’re older and have played a lot…they seem to be still at or near the top of their game (- yes, last season Kopitar sucked…and I’m guessing among LA fans it was popular to say Kopitar sucks).

    It’s not ALL bad – Toews is among the top four in faceoff percentage. That’s big. But, maybe it’s not too far out of line to expect more? And, it’s not just Toews – I “call out” Seabrook, Keith and Saad as well…”the core”, the “leadership”, the cap space – if they can’t /won’t do it, it’s a waste. Rectify, Mr. Bowman.

  • February 6, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Well said DD-as I mentioned a couple of times it will be the younger group that turns this ship-not the aging core-(age isn’t always linear for players)
    Toews deserves some tough love but not as much as he gets.

    and I’m in the camp that believes this 3 on 3 has produced some sloppy-high risk high reward hockey that is so far from the playoff overtime effort level it’s like comparing Justin Timberlake to Bruce Spingsteen-
    (Sorry couldn’t resist)

  • February 6, 2018 at 9:40 am

    The last game v.s. Calgary ,in overtime Toews has a breakaway on Smith ,Toews shoots the puck into Smith ,you have to bury that opportunity ,.,.period ,if he burys it he is a hero ,.,.but no the play comes back up the ice Toews is trying to catch his man Toes gets out hustled and Bingo she`s game over .

    That`s overtime hockey very open ,very fast and you have to bury your chances .
    We have a team this year that is really having a hell of a hard time finishing,.,.,

  • February 6, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Timberlake looked awesome lip syncing at the Super Bowl NOT! ,.,.,why they gotta do dat ?

  • February 6, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Media is reporting the 4th line today is Sharp, Hartman and Saad. Mark Lazerus has tabbed this the misery loves company line and I like it!

    Blackhawks 2017-2018 regular season highlights:
    Game 1 & 2
    several great new nicknames;
    Captain Seriously, Brent Seabroke and misery loves company line!

    That is all,…but at least Toews is great a faceoffs. SMH

  • February 6, 2018 at 11:14 am

    It’s time for Q to sit on his hands for awhile. I suppose the misery line is worth a try he did leave the other lines together. Once again he sends Murphy to the bench and is playing Ruuta and Kempny together, REALLY!! I don’t understand the moves sometimes this year maybe looking for a miracle.

  • February 6, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Wraparound good comments……Eddie O had a big problem with how Osterle played the game winning goal too. Just backed in and backed in no pressure at all. Not to say there weren’t other factors, but if he knocks it off the guy’s stick or steals it, Toews getting back late doesn’t matter. Which was all the more reason for him to pressure his guy, because it was an odd man break, basically 3 on 2.

    But I agree overall this team has too hard of a time defending all over the ice. We give up WAY too many grade A scoring chances from the slot, too many easy giveaways, to be taken seriously as a good team. You watch other teams and very few in this league have as much of a problem defending the prime scoring areas in front of the net as the Hawks do.

    Until they fix that not much else matters. Because you can’t get on offense if you are chasing the puck the first 20-30-40 seconds of every shift. They don’t appear to have the players who can defend properly together and get the puck back. I don’t know why that has changes so severely, but losing Hossa, Kruger don’t help that aspect of the game, as well as other guys getting older, slower.

  • February 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Its time to get rid of this 3 on 3 crap. Have 5 on 5 and then tie. 3 on 3 is wide open net goals not breakaway good goals most of time. Goalies can get hurt in unnecessary shootouts.

    The 3 on 3 is NOT exciting. Pure 5 on 5 regulation hockey is.

  • February 6, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I think most fans would disagree with that Morrison. There is no defensive shell strategy you can employ as a coach in a 3 on 3 situation. Plus, look at the all star format. Yes, lots of strain on the goals, but you see players with time and space where you can notice their skills.

    It has nothing to do with winning a Cup or playoff hockey, though. Totally different animal. But might as well get used to it because it is here to stay. And I think the case can be made that there is a lot of entertainment there for the average fan.

    I see nothing wrong with having ties either. All of the team point totals are inflated now because of how many 3 point games there are (two points for a win, one for an OT loss). There were none of those before and getting to 100 points as a team on the year really meant something then. Now you have to get darn near 100 to be an 8th seed.

  • February 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    I kinda enjoy the gimmick of the 3 on 3, with the emphasis on their offensive skills in the regular season but it’s only fast in one direction-(these guys are used to 30/40 second shifts and don’t seem to have enough left to get back in overtime-it’s not just a Toews thing)-
    and there isn’t a lot of quick cross over steps, it’s mostly wide turns (often to the bench)

    like the power play it’s a head scratcher why the Hawks aren’t better in general with less guys on the ice-

  • February 6, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Mike thats why i say go with 3 forwards rather than putting out a dman who is out if his comfort zone in that type of situation. The 3 on 3 is strictly a ratings thing because of complaints about too many ties. If ratings stay up it stays.

  • February 6, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    The Hockey News has an article going through all 31 teams and listing the most disappointing player so far this season. Here are three with current or former Blackhawks:

    CALGARY FLAMES: Troy Brouwer
    The game has gotten faster, but bump-and-grind Brouwer has not.

    A great backup in Chicago and a feel-good story when he signed on to take over as Carolina’s No. 1, it’s been a painful season-long struggle for Darling. He was the worst starter in the league in the first half, prompting the Hurricanes to give the job back to Cam Ward.

    CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: Brent Seabrook
    Heart-and-soul Hawks defender was a healthy scratch for a game in early January. He’s 32, he’s logged a lot of hard miles, and he’s under contract for five more years at more than $6.8 million per seasons. The math doesn’t add up.

    I have been critical of SB but he made a great move getting a 3rd round pick for UFA Darling. On the other hand, no one seems to understand why he handed Seabrook a contract which puts us in cap hell for years to come and eliminates any trade value.

  • February 6, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    I do not always/a lot use the right words to type what I mean. I do think most think its exciting and I do to. What I donot like or want is this fiction 2pts to teams. It forces it down teams throat that one of the two teams has to get 2 pts and that its the problem with me as well as goalies or players getting hurt over extending themselves is non hockey positions.

    It should be and have everything to do with playoffs winning. Not in the terms of how playoffs games are won. In the way that the 2 pts should be just as valuable as 1 pt to each team when both deserve a tie based on score. Because the 82 game pts are what determines the playoff teams a seedings. Not some fiction force down your throat 2 pts guaranteed every game.

    And there doesn’t need to be a 3 pt system to make the fiction work. Go back to the basics and have ties. No shootouts. Wehter we benefit or not I think that’s better for playoff earning not whats more exciting to fans. You might as well then shoot tshirts in the air during live play then. hey that’s exciting.

  • February 6, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Your right Mo it adds nothing from a pure hockey standpoint. That is why the point each was retained and the nhl dreamt up a little showcase for entertainment value for another point. Its Bettmans mark on the game so as long can convince owners it adds to the bottomline, we will have it.

  • February 6, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Wow-goalie interference is a mystery?

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