Blackhawks Come Up Short At Madison Square Garden

The Blackhawks visited Madison Square Garden on Saturday night for an Original Six matchup with the Rangers. Chicago then heads across town to visit the beautiful new UBS Arena, home of the Islanders, on Sunday evening before welcoming the Rangers to the United Center on Tuesday.

Because the Hawks had back-to-back games and were facing the Rangers twice in four days, Kevin Lankinen got the call on Saturday night.

Also of note, Jake McCabe wasn’t with the team because of a family matter so the Hawks recalled Ian Mitchell from Rockford. After spending most of his professional career either in Jeremy Colliton’s doghouse or Rockford, it would be interesting to see how the talented Mitchell performed in his first NHL game with Derek King as his head coach.

Chicago did a nice job of generating some offense in the first period but for 19 minutes neither side was able to put together a strong, extended push. With 23 seconds left in the first, Seth Jones initiated a rush and a high shot was knocked down the ice neatly by Brandon Hagel, perfectly setting up Patrick Kane for the Hawks’ first goal of the night.

The Rangers challenged that Hagel’s play was with a high stick. The officials took an incredibly brief look at the play and ruled it was a good goal.

After 20 minutes the Blackhawks had a 7-5 shot advantage and were up 1-0 on the scoreboard. Lankinen looked good and his skaters were limiting the number of opportunities the Rangers had to score.

Unfortunately, the second period went the wrong direction for the Blackhawks.

New York killed the remaining time on the penalty resulting from their challenge of the scoring play late in the first period. They then attacked, and got a four-minute advantage of their own when Henrik Borgström caught Filip Chytil with a high stick, drawing blood.

The Rangers tied the game on the power play as Ryan Strome received a ridiculous pass from Artemi Panarin and found an almost empty cage. The pass from Panarin crossed from one faceoff circle to the other through traffic and found Strome on his tape. We remember when he was doing that in a more friendly sweater; this time it was for the Hawks’ opponent.

Adam Fox was making it painfully clear to Blackhawks fans who don’t watch much Eastern Conference hockey that he is one of the finest defensemen in the league; he won the Norris Trophy last year and could easily repeat. Fox found a loose puck and scored his fifth goal of the season at 17:25 into the second period to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Panarin picked up a second assist on the play giving him and Fox two points in the game.

There were two extended stretches of time without a stoppage, something that’s become a trend for the Blackhawks this season. The Fox goal ended almost nine minutes without a whistle and saw the Rangers spend most of that time in their offensive zone, effectively executing line changes while keeping the puck in the zone. Chicago was chasing the puck and their tails too much in the second, and it hurt them on the scoreboard.

The Rangers out-shot the Blackhawks 13-9 in the second period and took a 2-1 lead to the third.

Chicago had two penalties early in the third period and we started to see something from Mitchell we rarely — if ever — saw while Colliton was coaching the Hawks. Mitchell was getting frequent penalty kill minutes, and was doing a good job in that regard. Indeed, Mitchell played his best game of the season and had a few really nice plays on penalty kills early in the third period.

Unfortunately, Panarin scored his seventh of the season with 5:14 left in regulation to extend the lead to 3-1. The goal gave Panarin three points in the game. Ryan Strome picked up a second assist in the game on Panarin’s goal.

Lankinen was playing well and the skaters in front of him were trying their best, but the Rangers executed well and were able to control the puck for the majority of the game’s final 40 minutes.

With 79 seconds left in regulation, it appears a shot slipped through Alexandar Georgiev. The whistle blew and the play was initially ruled no goal on the ice, but the officials went to the review process. It was ruled that the puck had completely crossed the line before the whistle blew and the Blackhawks were awarded their second goal of the game, cutting New York’s lead to just one.

Alex DeBrincat was credited with Chicago’s second goal of the night.

Chicago was close, but they wouldn’t get the cigar. The Rangers were able to limit the Blackhawks’ shot opportunities in the final minutes with the extra attacker on the ice and the Rangers escaped with a 302 victory.

Mitchell skated more than 16 minutes in the game and spent 3:29 killing penalties in the game. Only Calvin de Haan (3:41) spent more time on PK duty among Blackhawks defensemen in the game. It was nice to see Mitchell have a little trust from a head coach and perform pretty well. He finished tied with Seth Jones for the Hawks’ lead with three blocked shots in the game.

de Haan, who has been banged up lately, was one of two Blackhawks defensemen over 20 minutes in the game. He skated 24:35 while Seth Jones skated 29:43.

The Blackhawks took advantage of another poor team at the dot and won 56 percent of the faceoffs in the game. Jonathan Toews won 12 of 19, Ryan Carpenter won all five of his faceoffs and Kirby Dach won half of his ten opportunities.

33 thoughts on “Blackhawks Come Up Short At Madison Square Garden

  • December 4, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Another good game from the Hawks against another good team ( fourth best team in NHL
    Lank did the job
    DCat wow ..14 th this year .without their best Defensive DMen

  • December 4, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Yes Mitchell played well.

    But unless someone other than Kane/Jones/Hagel or Cat score they can’t win.

    And yes Toews won 12 of 19 at the dot, but he didn’t do anything else. Playing on the 3rd line
    w/Kubs and Strome might not be all that bad a move.

    Tomorrow gives us another chance

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    DeHaan had possession late in the 3rd period and makes no pass or flip and skates into a Ranger. Rangers get possession leading to Panarin’s goal and a the death knell for the game.

    A good defensive showing against a 15-4 Ranger team except Panarin’s goal.

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Now what is it that Dach does really well? I’m trying to remember.

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    The Rangers have alot of talented forwards who can create their own offense,cycle the puck with skill,and win puck battles. I thought the Hawks D Men did a decent job but got worn down a bit mid 2nd period to the end. Great to see Mitchell play aggressively and with confidence as he realized he was not going to get yanked and was going to play more than 8 minutes. Debrincat and Kane were solid and kept the Rangers honest with their offense. Strome was better and more active but he still is not moving his feet and skating. Guess it’s just not going to happen with him. Lanks was spectacular and kept the game within reach. Dach has to start closing out plays and be harder on the puck. He was handed some glorious open shots and lanes to the net and could not close. Toews , well I could right an entire paragraph along with a rare Pat Foley moan and sigh but I will let others carry the puck for this game. Onto the Islanders!

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Excellent first period, really took the play to them. Fox goal was first 5 on 5 high danger scoring chance they gave up. Rangers made them pay and Blackhawks didn’t was the difference. Mitchell had a much better game, Kalynuk not as much. Thought overall was a pretty good game.

    Subban gave up 6 goals on 25 shots and left game with a leg issue for Sabres. Gaudette scratched in Sens game against Avs.

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Hagel stick definitely below his shoulders but kinda of surprised they overturned the last goal.

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Who did we get for Bread man?

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    Murphy watched game from pressbox tonight, sounds encouraging on his concussion, didn’t return stayed with team.

    Panarin was a Bowman move, he’s gone no point complaining about that anymore.

  • December 4, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Overall a pretty good game from the Hawks but I agree that DeHaan wears the coat horns on the game winner – what was he doing? At first he was not contested so he stopped skating allowing the Ranger player to catch him and then instead of passing back to his D partner he stuck handles into the corner where he loses the puck and eventually Panarin scores – I know he’s a warrior but his puck skills and skating are below average – I’ll be glad when he’s moved to make room for someone younger and more mobile like Mitchell who did pretty well – hopefully that’s a trend

    If Kirby doesn’t fall is it really a shift for him? And why can’t Strome hang on to his stick? the stick dropping from Strome is too frequent to be bad luck although I also thought he played better tonight

    Kubalik was shooting a lot and that’s good

    Slavin is still doing well

    I can’t wait for there to be better options than RJ and Hardman – when Khaira comes back that will take care of RJ but we need someone like Kurashev or even Nylander to play 3rd line and move Khaira to the 4th

    Seth Jones great again as was Lank and Cat Kane and Hagel

    All said that was a winnable game – if they keep this level of play they’ll win their share hopefully starting vs the Isles

  • December 5, 2021 at 12:12 am

    The last two games go under the category of sometimes the post is your friend and sometimes it’s not. Dach’s blast off the goaltender’s mask was unfortunate too, but if he elevates it more, there’s no chance for the goalie.

    The team played well and battled hard.

    We should spend a lot of time complaining about the Panarin trade, because the Hawks would have had such an easy time coming up with the $11.5 to pay him.

    No harm in losing to this good team, although it’s interesting that we obsess about the Hawks’ face-off problems and the Rangers have them too and still win a lot.

  • December 5, 2021 at 6:33 am

    Then and Now – Before and after November 6th:

    Unbearable to watch – Enjoyable to watch
    In a hole almost immediately – Going toe-to-toe the entire game
    Not much chance of winning – In most games to the end
    Outclassed & out-coached every game – Can hold their own against anyone
    No energy – Enthusiasm and effort abound

    Just sayin’

  • December 5, 2021 at 8:15 am

    John Galt, And this is happening with a simple change in defensive coverage and philosophy that most of us have been calling for for about 2 years It is also happening with only 2 consistent offensive contributors and virtually no quality Center play on at least 3 of the 4 lines. A couple Centers and a power forward and this team would be rolling.

  • December 5, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Nice post Mr .Galt ….remember …we are rebuilding folks .

  • December 5, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Dach passing up way to many shots. Shoot the damn puck !!!!!

  • December 5, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Game went downhill with borgstrom 4 min. Penalty. They were chasing the rest of the game. The rangers puck movement on the pp is a thing of beauty to watch. Time for toews to take a couple of nights off. Looks like he could use it. Silver lining here is that his current play makes for an easy decision when his contract is up. Hard man,RJ, and Kuhara (sp). Pick one, don’t need 3. Is it time to give Barratt or Nylander a look?

  • December 5, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Re: Toews next contract…. Only way the guy doesn’t gracefully retire is if he has been really dumb w/ his $$$- and needs the money. He has accomplished everything in NHL- gotta be killing him inside to be playing with little to no effect in games/outcomes.

    Gotta think he retires-on his terms… unless he is willing to chase one/two more Cups- as a “John Madden” type role player… but honestly- I liked Madden /game in 2010… more than I like 19 in 2021.

    Of course- way different teams- so not a fair comparison

  • December 5, 2021 at 9:19 am

    John Galt
    Love your post because it’s true
    You have the positive eyes
    The Hawks are having fun playing and that’s the biggest difference
    ——- How old is Dash again ? ——-
    The big guy is 20 ,how come he plays like a kid ? Because he is Still a kid .
    Maybe we let the kid getting time to grow up and become a man then maybe we can ask for more but now let the kid play and grow to become a NHL player.
    The Hawks need a few more years for the rebuilding that was stop by Bowman .
    Don’t expect a Stanley cup this year . Hawks will need Time to get to the next level but now at least we can have fun looking at the games .

  • December 5, 2021 at 9:22 am

    JG agree team has been alot easier to watch since King took over. He is making the best of what he has available, as we saw with his defensive pairings last night, good performance from the D with no excuses to being decimated by injuries for the loss from him. He is rolling lines he is most comfortable with. If Toews is still not a 100% or lost a little bit, likely a combo of both, that is what it is, we know that and what his accomplishments are, as was pointed out he still represents their best option. The silly as someone put it broken record, bandwagon shots aren’t telling us anything about him. Only one of Borgstrom or Strome be back next year, Borgstrom under contract for 1m caphit getting a chance to show he can be a top 3 C. Strome 3m caphit on expiring contract with a 3.6m QO, playing on the wing where he has no future. Pretty obvious who they prefer, right now anyways. TJ healthy would have rounded out the top 9, either Borg-Kub or maybe even Toews-Hagel lines alot better. The 4th liners are mostly place holders right now, hoping to find a keeper or 2. As is they are playing the way needed to be competitive every game and keep it close enough to have a chance.

  • December 5, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Last night’s game and the early season success of the Rangers illustrates a couple of things. Faceoffs are not the be all end all to success as they are last in the league at the dots.. The Hawks are missing at least 3 dynamic offensive forwards that can create and carry the play and 2 quality strong Centers that can drive a cycle and puck possession game as evident when the Rangers held the puck for long periods of time as the Hawks had to chase. Some not so hard decisions are coming in the Hawks near future.

  • December 5, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Kids are kids
    Look at the kids from NY Rangers .(after last night game )
    Alexis Lafreniere Number 1 pick 20 years old 23 Gp,5 goals 6 pts – 3
    Kaapo Kakko,,,,,,,Number 2 pick 20 years old 19 Gp,3 goals 8 pts + 4
    Kirby Dach ,,,,,,,,,Number 3 pick 20 years old 23 Gp, 3 goals 9 pts – 3 .
    According to some guys here who wants to trade Dach for ?
    Maybe the Rangers should trade Kakko and Lafreniere for Strome and DeHaan plus we give our first rd pick next year and Gustafson in a deal . I am open to that deal .

  • December 5, 2021 at 10:36 am

    Some are experiencing a Hopium Hangover. I think Ebonyraptor may have O.D.’d on Hopium, bless his soul.

    There were high expectations for Bowman’s “rebuild”, The Great Communicator was going to turn young talent (Boqvist, Dach, Mitchell, Beaudin, etc….) into superstars, the wizardry of man-and-half, Toews’ and Dach’s return from LTIR would turn everything around, and on and on and on.

    Maybe it was the PR pumped out by Bowman. Maybe it was just wishful thinking. Or, perhaps it was both. In any case, there was no real foundation for any of it.

    It’s good to be positive and optimistic – only as long as it is rooted in fact and reality.

  • December 5, 2021 at 11:00 am

    I guess I should be happy that they are competitive and effort is there but their foot speed and puck movement is awful compared to other teams…watched the Wild play last night and not even close…they are so much faster than the Hawks…of course, they didn’t pick up guys like De Haan, Strome, Borgstrom

    Can someone explain why Borgstrom is on this team…he does absolutely nothing out there

  • December 5, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Evander Kane is mentioned in a 3 way deal with the Sharks retaining half of his salary and a 3rd team picking up a couple Million. That would leave the team that gets him on the hook for 1.75 Million for the acquisition. Allegedly 3 teams are very interested including the Penguins.

  • December 5, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Chuckie83, Ding,Ding,Ding, absolutely correct on the foot speed observation. For this team switching their defensive philosophy to a more traditional 1-3-1 or 1-2-2 dropping back into zone coverage was imperative to become competitive. With only Seth Jones having the green light to rush deep into the offensive zone. As a new G.M job 1 for this team is acquiring fast twitch players with foot speed and exceptional skating ability. It’s painful watching some of these guys try and keep up

  • December 5, 2021 at 11:44 am

    I had the same comparison, when thinking of Toews’ role now and Madden, when he came to the Blackhawks. Salary is the issue. I would be thrilled if Toews renegotiated his contract.
    The defense was good. Mitchell was allowed to play and he played well. Kalynuk is getting the least amount of TOI. I’m not sure why. Are they nursing him along until he is 100%? Hamstring injuries are a mutha. So…maybe that’s the strategy. Odd stat of the night…our defense, as a unit, had only 3 SOG. Mitchell, Kalynuk, and Gustafsson had 0 SOG. My thinking on this is that someone like Dach, a big body, would be a great screen on the goalie. Kane and DeBrincat get the sniper goals…the pretty goals…AND I’LL TAKE ‘EM. But, those ugly goals count the same. S. Jones has a great shot. We know that. The three guys I mentioned also have great shots, from the point. Use them.
    Borgstrom, is tentative…continually. I’d like to see him relax and just play the game. Strome…I thought, for sure, that ,playing against his brother, he would elevate his competitive game. He’s not a wing. He’s a center. Borgstrom may be more effective at wing. Switch ’em up. Same line. Dach, he was a pass first center in juniors, when the Blackhawks drafted him. He’s an unselfish kid. But…he’s got to learn to shoot that puck more than he does.
    This team has 2 snipers. That’s it. Bowman was such a freakin’ disaster. Woulda, coulda, shoulda with so many players that are no longer on this roster. Outside of Reichel, not a lot, if any, top 6 line talent.
    Defensively? I’m not terribly worried. There’s a bunch of guys, in the pipeline, who may be here. I thought Phillips would get the call ahead of Murphy. But, either one is doing well. Especially the +/- statistic.
    This was not a bad game. It’s games like this that show us where the team is good/bad. A barometer game. As was the Washington game. The team is far away from being a Stanley Cup contender. They’re a mid to lower mid team. That’s where we’re at. Reichel may come up at the end of this year. Then we’ll see where we’re at with the 2022 Draft. Next Game!!! GO HAWKS!!!

  • December 5, 2021 at 11:54 am

    Kalynuk sent back to Rockford as Stillman is activated. Mitchell staying for now and at least gets another chance to shine tonight.

  • December 5, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Yeah saw that TW – good for Mitchell he deserves it over Kalynuk based on last night

    I thought Strome has been decent with 77 and 12 – putting him at centre exposes his lack of foot speed as well as his defensive issues – I’d leave him where he is for the moment

  • December 5, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Notice that Strome was taking some FOs for Dach and winning a lot of them – that strategy seems to be working as well

  • December 5, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Tim W you cannot mention EKane’s name!

    Bears gotta do a Hawks move and ice Nagy and put in Lazor.

  • December 5, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Edman68 :

    NHL players may NOT restructure their contracts.

  • December 5, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Giving the kid a pass on the non clear on Isles goal because he is a kid and it’s his first really bad move but learn from it.

  • December 5, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    Knew that was going to happen. Glendening sign for only $1.5mil

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