Blackhawks Cough Up 3-Goal Lead, Get Blown Out By Bolts

On Thursday and Friday nights, we found out the Chicago Blackhawks in midseason form can compete with the defending Stanley Cup champions from Tampa. An overtime loss with 0.1 on the clock and a shootout victory proved the Blackhawks have come a remarkably long way from their season-opening debacle(s).

Of course that also means the Bolts now realized the Blackhawks were playing confident hockey. And after splitting the first two games, Tampa was undoubtedly going to come out looking to put away the third game of the set.

So coach Jeremy Colliton opted to roll with seven defensemen. Calvin de Haan was injured early in the third period of Friday’s game so Wyatt Kalynuk made his NHL debut. Lucas Carlsson also dressed on the blue line.

Connor Murphy complicated matters for the Blackhawks defensive group in the second period when he received a match penalty. That was only one of the many issues that saw the game turned around quickly in the middle stanza.

The first period went well for Chicago. Almost 11 minutes into the first Philipp Kurashev finished a terrific shift with his sixth goal of the year.

Almost five minutes later the Blackhawks scored one of the prettiest power play goals you’ll see all year. Patrick Kane, Dominik Kubalik and Mattias Janmark combined to give the Hawks a (dreaded) two-goal lead.

The Hawks held Tampa to seven shots on net in the opening 20 minutes and controlled a good amount of the action. Kevin Lankinen stopped all seven shots and looked good after the tough late loss on Thursday.

Three minutes into the second period Pius Suter gave Chicago a three-goal lead.

After the Suter goal, Tampa cranked up their intensity. The game got more physical on both ends of the ice; the Lightning were far more frequently the hammer instead of the nail.

Futher complicating matters was the Blackhawks willingly taking penalties throughout the period.

Brandon Hagel went to the box at 3:40. Ondrej Palat scored 11 seconds later.

And Yanni Gourde scored 23 seconds later to quickly cut the Blackhawks lead to one.

At 6:51 Ian Mitchell went to the box. Victor Hedman tied the game 60 seconds later.

The game continued to get more intense and more physical. At 9:24 into the second Murphy obliterated Erik Cernak, getting him the early showers.

The Hawks survived the major penalty, thanks in large part to Hedman going to the box for a couple minutes in the middle of the five. But Janmark going off soon after the major ended was more than the Hawks’ PK could handle.

Gourde scored his second of the period and the third power play goal of the frame for Tampa, giving the Bolts a 4-3 lead.

The wheels were off the track. The Blackhawks were chasing badly and Tampa was in control. Four different Blackhawks served a penalty in the second period, they lost another veteran defenseman and a three-goal lead became a one-goal deficit.

Tampa out-shot the Hawks 16-6 in the second period.

The Hawks would desperately need to stay out of the penalty box in the third if they wanted to take a third game to overtime at least, if not pick up a regulation victory.

Lakinen’s save percentage wasn’t great but he was making good saves. He started the third playing well again; Tampa continued to carry the action early. Ryan McDonagh went to the box in the middle of the period but the Blackhawks couldn’t convert.

The next goal would likely be huge and it was – coming off the stick of Alex Killorn at 14:25 into the third. Gourde picked up an assist on the goal, his third point of the day.

The Blackhawks had five minutes to score twice with three rookie defensemen (and Adam Boqvist) available to Colliton.

Turnovers continued to make life miserable for the Hawks. With four minutes left in regulation, Duncan Keith hooked Pat Maroon who had the puck behind the Chicago defense. One of the Hawks’ two veteran defensemen would sit, potentially, for two of the final four minutes of regulation.

Not an ideal scenario.

However, Hedman coughed up the puck twice while on the power play and Janmark had two quality looks at the net. But Andrei Vasilevskiy, who the Blackhawks got to pretty well in the two games he started, slammed the door on both Janmark shots.

Of course the puck then heads the other way after a Vasilevskiy save and Maroon knocks in a rebound to make the score 6-3 for Tampa; the Bolts had scored six unanswered and shut down any chances the Hawks had of rallying in the third.

The game would end with the Blackhawks losing by three after leading by three.

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In all three games of this series, a team took a two-goal lead to start the game and then lost the game. The Blackhawks picked up three points in the three games against the top team in the division and, for seven and a half periods, competed with Tampa.

With de Haan out for the time being we’ll have to wait and see if Murphy receives any discipline from the league for his hit on Cernak. Losing both of those veterans at once would be a tough blow to Chicago’s back end.

For those watching the Chicago broadcast, it was nice to have Patrick Sharp pinch-hitting for Edzo in the booth. His comments about playing with Brent Seabrook were great to hear.

59 thoughts on “Blackhawks Cough Up 3-Goal Lead, Get Blown Out By Bolts

  • March 7, 2021 at 4:23 pm
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    Unfortunately if you didn’t get the Chicago broadcast you got the human blimp of hot air, Pierre McGuire. I don’t think he shut up for more than a few seconds at a time. He kept saying how Murphy left his feet on the hit only to have Keith Jones correct the record between periods. Tough game but learning experiences aren’t always easy. Need to restart the PK which has nosedived recently.

  • March 7, 2021 at 4:33 pm
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    Game made me a little ill. Reminded of the Pitt game in the Stanley Cup. Worse was I was sitting in my seat 2nd balcony section R row B seat 5 or 6 vs Pitt.

    Fifth goal was irrelevant so no one should be on Kalynuk. Let him learn from that play and let the team learn from the game.

    Collecting my thoughts and gonna decompress.

  • March 7, 2021 at 4:46 pm
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    Painful to watch after 2 games and first period of great effort. If the boys learn from this, it is worth the pain. It would help immensely to stay out of the box. Soderberg continues to impress while 16 didn’t do much. Sure could use some muscle by the d. Maroon and Kilhorn had their way in front of the net. So let’s take it out on Dallas next tuesday.

  • March 7, 2021 at 4:48 pm
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    @MS I too watched the national feed and Pierre just wouldn’t shut the heck up

  • March 7, 2021 at 5:22 pm
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    Cream rises to the top and TB is at the top. Proud of the Hawks for great effort in this 3-game mini series against the defending champs.

    The wheels started falling off before Murphy got booted but certainly afterward the Hawks d-corps were out-manned with only Keith and Zadorov and the (4) 1st year d-men.

    As painful as it will be – I may need to watch it again to focus on the young d-men before getting my brain around what exactly happened. Playing on your heels tends to lead to penalties and TB had the Hawks playing on their heels for the last 40 minutes of the game.

  • March 7, 2021 at 5:40 pm
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    Is it hard to call a timeout and regroup at 3-2 or 3-3?
    Is it hard to pull a goalie and circle the wagons?

  • March 7, 2021 at 5:56 pm
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    He definitely likes to hold on to his timeouts.

  • March 7, 2021 at 6:21 pm
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    Goose – around the league coaches tend to save their time out in case a challenge is needed – rarely do see a coach use the time out for a reset – game has. changed that way

    A good learning experience for this young group – young D was overwhelmed at times

    Mitchell had not been playing that well coming into today’s game and did not have a good game today – it seems every game he and Keith are giving up multiple breakaways or 2 on 1s and again today leading to his penalty – his Corsi numbers were pretty grim

    Kalynuk seems to be a good skater – had a brutal turnover leading to Killorns goal who also happened to be his man – hopefully he learns from that

    Love Hagel but that was an unnecessary penalty up 3-0

    What’s up with the PK? I know 44 was not there and 5 for some of it but they have been brutal lately and even with 5 and 44

    Some of it is puck luck but it’s looks to me like they could be more aggressive in the neutral zone breaking up entries which seem to be too easy

    Nice to see Suter and Kurashev continue to score – if Toews comes back and with Dach
    Suter could be 3C if they ever move on from Strome

  • March 7, 2021 at 6:42 pm
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    Does anyone know of anyone who actually likes Pierre McQuire? I have yet to find one.

    So, why does the network keep him? Is there not anyone better?

    The same thing goes go those ridiculous interviews from the bench (or dugout, or sidelines). Does anyone find them worthwhile? Again, why does the network(s) insist on some airhead ‘reporter’ asking vapid questions?

    Just wondering.

  • March 7, 2021 at 6:58 pm
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    Wraparound- any good coach would know to at least TRY to SLOW down the Momentum. Still from day one with JC the hawks cannot skate with the lead or hold one.

  • March 7, 2021 at 7:18 pm
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    jc, like his team, not a finished product. hawks exciting every night and fun again. i loved quenneville, but does anyone remember seeing kane play defense for him? anyone remember de brincat flying around the offensive zone on the forecheck.

    nitpick jc if you like, but if the hawks finish the year making the playoffs he is likely the coach of the year.

  • March 7, 2021 at 7:50 pm
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    “nitpick jc if you like, but if the hawks finish the year making the playoffs he is likely the coach of the year.“

    I think he already is.

  • March 7, 2021 at 7:56 pm
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    Actually depending on how the rest of the season plays out JC and Q could both be candidates for coach of the year – that would be interesting

  • March 7, 2021 at 8:28 pm
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    With the Hawks playing games without Centers and with young rookie defensemen they will not be able to sustain an attack against a motivated Bolts squad.Just not enough of a veteran presence to slow things down when the heat is on.Somebody check the United Center,I think Kilorn is still standing in the Hawks crease untouched.The analysis of the Murphy hit by the NBCSN crew of McGuire and Forsland was ridiculous and plain inaccurate.Kudos to Keith Jones for correcting them and accurately describing the play during the intermission.The slobbering over the Bolts by the 2 nitwits in the booth made it feel like a Bolts Home Game broadcast.Mitchell made be hitting that rookie wall and in need of a break.Lets see what Kalynuk and or Beaudin and Carllson look like for a few games.

  • March 7, 2021 at 8:35 pm
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    Like 2 different games, great 1st and start to 2nd, penalties start and Tampa it ramps up, becomes completely different game, Blackhawks intensity just wasn’t anything like we have be seeing. Young defense overwhelmed and hopefully take a good learning lesson away from it. Hard to know what pairs may be in Dallas. Don’t see a suspension for Murphy despite that pathetic MaQuire’s trying to build a case for it, agree can’t imagine anybody likes his commentary. Dehaan be iffy Tuesday likely by sound of Colliton. Anyways 3 pounts against Tampa and a good game Tuesday in Dallas puts the last 2 periods today in the rearview.

  • March 7, 2021 at 8:38 pm
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    TimW hope Mitchell gets a few games away from playing with Keith at least, he doesn’t look on same page with no.2 at all right now.

  • March 7, 2021 at 8:47 pm
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    Ian – that Keith Mitchell pairing has been Hawks worst all TB series – if Mitchell is not going to sit a game or two then maybe switch it up

    2 27
    16 5
    48 or 46 51

  • March 7, 2021 at 9:39 pm
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    As much as it was nice to see that this team is capable of playing with the big boys. It also reminded me of just how far they have to go. I thought the first period showed how great the team defense can be. And when the passing is clicking they look real good.

    Tampa Bay is just way out of their league. Their battle tested, experienced and can take control of a game in minutes.

    The kids can play, there’s no doubt about it. They just make costly mistakes and are very inconsistent. They don’t yet know how to play with a lead and as long as we as fans are capable of forgiving and forgetting they will continue to be fun to watch as they grow.

    Hagel is a real diamond in the rough, reminds me of Kruger or Frolik. Doesn’t score a ton of points but is the hardest worker on the ice.

    I thought Lainken was okay. He has a long way to go with rebound control and tracking the puck.

    The young kids had an okay day on defense, those failures to clear and turnovers in our own end will hopefully lessen with time.

    This post sounds like I wasnt screaming at my television but I can assure you I was. It’s hard to remember just how bad the Hawks were supposed to be this year when they get a little bit of success. Tough loss with lots to learn.

  • March 7, 2021 at 10:01 pm
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    We played 8 rookies today. I like that.

    On the PP rushes Boqvist looks slow to me with the consequence that he is not a threat to skate by the other teams highest defender so it’s a given that he is going to drop the puck for the trailer. The defending teams can sit on that.

    One thing I noticed about Kalynuk is that he appears to have more upper body strength than some of our other youthful defenders. I hope he gets in next game as well.

    The rules have changed over the years and I admit that I’m likely stuck in the past. That said, I don’t see what was so egregious about the Murphy hit. The guy‘s head was down, he was reaching for the puck and Murphy just sort of backed into him. I guess the enforcement protocol is that if you hit a guy anywhere near the head you are to blame for it but it’s almost to the point where you can’t make an open ice hit without it being a penalty.

  • March 7, 2021 at 10:26 pm
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    Well, hopefully this game is a nice motivator for the next time we play Tampa. Had them on the ropes but got rattled and couldn’t recover. The whole team seemed like they got rattled as soon as the score was 3-2..not sure if a timeout would have helped, but like @timw accurately mentioned, this team doesn’t have the veteran experience to settle down after two quick goals are scored on them. It’s a young team that hasn’t experienced those sorts of peaks and valleys throughout a game that can happen when you’re facing a quality team. Couple that with the fact that our goaltender is a rookie too, and the whole team, Lankinen included, seemed shell shocked for the entire second period. Couple that with the penalties and the Hawks were either at 4 on 4 or shorthanded for 11 min of the period. Hardly even saw the team at 5v5 in the second period. Even the intermission didn’t seem to help..I think the team felt like they had let Tampa off the hook and they looked defeated even in the third..it’s a tough way to lose a game, but the only way to gain experience is to go through those sorts of stretches during a game. It’s also a reminder that when you’re facing a team like Tampa, you have to force them to score their goals by going 200 ft at 5v5..they didn’t exactly take the lead on their own. We gave them a lot of help.

    Now the positives..1-1-1 is quite the achievement for this team..especially against a Tampa team that still has a lot of depth and is 100 percent healthy except for Kucherov..the Hawks were a Cat OT post away from going 2-1 in the three game set..they definitely showed that they can play with any team in our division this year as long as they stay disciplined and stick to their game plan..and for the first 25 min of this game, they really took it to Vasilevskiy by getting into the crease..Suter, Kurashev, and Janmark all scored their goals from in close..good to see..hope to see more of it..we’re not that explosive offensively..the more we put pucks on net, drive to the net, and get to the crease, the more positive results we’ll see.

  • March 7, 2021 at 10:41 pm
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    Considering they missing their top 3 centers and 2 of top 3 veterans on the blueline today, kinda of makes sense they would be lacking a bit against the stanley cup champs. Everybody thought they’d be blown out all 3 games so i’d say all and all it was a pretty good 3 game series for them.

  • March 7, 2021 at 10:46 pm
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    Maybe send Mitchell to Rockford and bring Beaudin for 4-5 games
    The penalty killed the Hawks and it’s just a really good learning Game today against the Stanley cup champions.
    Now concentrate on the next game.
    Next.

  • March 7, 2021 at 10:47 pm
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    I forgot the rule – is a match penalty an automatic miss the next game or is it TBD at league discretion? The Hawks have been doing fairly well with 2 rookie d-men in the lineup and sometime 3 … but 4 rookie d-men would be tough. Course, maybe deHaan is ready to go by Tuesday so I guess we’ll see.

    I agree with the idea of giving Mitchell a game or two to collect himself and recalibrate mentally (obviously not if Murphy and deHaan are both out).

  • March 7, 2021 at 11:58 pm
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    You know, the more I think about the loss today, the more I think it could be a kind of blessing in disguise. Maybe I’m just looking for a silver lining or rationalizing but hear me out.

    The Hawks played TB pretty much toe to toe the first two games and if they played a close game again today my concern would have been that Stan may have started to believe the Hawks closer to TB than we really are and maybe that would lead to a course correction on the rebuild. The total dominance in the last 40 minutes today should disabuse that notion immediately. The Hawks have made remarkable progress so far this season but we have a long way to go before our young d-men are in the same echelon as TB and the best teams in the league. Let’s hit the reset button on our inflated opinions – there’s plenty to be hopeful and happy about without thinking we are in TB’s stratosphere (yet).

    BTW – Dallas appears to be playing a little better so the Hawks better be ready Tuesday because we don’t want to start a downward slide.

  • March 8, 2021 at 8:37 am
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    Saw an interesting stat to watch, Lankinens numbers decrease quite a bit when playing rest of division and not Detroit. .907 sv.% against rest of division. Even this series, picked up 1 point on his 2 starts which he had 2-0 and 3-0 leads. The 2 points came on Subbans start. Expect Subban to start tomorrow, Delia bounced back with 2 strong starts on the weekend, wonder if he gets anothet start after road trip and his conditioning stint is over.

    Altybarmakyan impressing in Rfd., along with Johnson, Entwistle, Chalupa, Barratt likely and Beaudin will compete for a spot next season or even later tbis year, with carryovers from current roster. Teply and Cam Morrison hampered by injuries delaying their development. Interested to get the coaches report on the progress of the rest of the youngsters this year.

  • March 8, 2021 at 9:13 am
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    I find it interesting, the picking on Mitchell. Instead of putting all the blame on him for his pairs lack of effectiveness and downright awful play, lets look back over the last 10 games. Has anyone noticed when teams get breakaways and 2-1s? It always seems to be when one defenseman is on the ice, no matter his partner. That defenseman is number 2, Duncan Keith. Anyone that plays with Keith is put into an awful position, always having to try and cover for him on his back pinches, his shots that get blocked, soft plays usually behind the goal line, and bad decisions in general. Some are saying to move 27 to play with Keith, that sounds absurd in my book, why would you want 2 of the same type of players like that as a pair. Guess we would like to give up multiple breakaways and odd man rushes each shift versus just a few a game… It isn’t Mitchell that needs to be sat a few games. Its a talk with Keith to play smart, play hard, and play his own position that would make a huge difference. Keith got away with this play when he was younger and could recover, the game has passed him up with speed. Seabrook used to bail Keith out all the time. Seabs is probably the best 2 on 1 defender I have ever seen. He had lots of practice with Keith as his partner. I think Subban and Lankinen would appreciate it as well!

  • March 8, 2021 at 9:34 am
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    Only disappointment with this game and why they got blown out was the forwards stopped playing defense after Tampa got the 2 goals. They stopped coming back deep into their own zone to help these rookie D men out instead they were looking for a quick exit for either a breakaway or odd man rush.

    Sorry people but they can’t sit Mitchell. Why? He’s a RHD. Unless they bring up Bowey it’ll be Carlsson again covering the right side. Carlsson along with Kalynuk are LHD’s and they were able to play the left side for half a game. Carlsson then was again put on the right side to cover Murphy’s spot. Tampa was held in check when there was only 2 rookies playing D and they were held for the most part with 3 rookies playing with deHaan out. Then with Murphy out and Tampa knew they had to ice all 4 rookies? Hell what established team wouldn’t be salivating to just run them? They had Keith and Zadorov as the only vets out there and even pairing one of them with a rookie left one pairing as rookies only and one having to play their off side.

    Now with that being said can anyone remember the forwards coming in deeper to help the defense? If they are busy behind the net or in the corners fighting for the puck who is suppose to be there to cover Kilorn? Somebody needs to get deep to help. I like this group of young defensemen and they will be good with a bit of learning but they can’t do it in Rockford they have to do it at the NHL level there is no other choice unless Stan goes out and buys some help.

  • March 8, 2021 at 10:25 am
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    Ian – that Keith Mitchell pairing has been Hawks worst all TB series – if Mitchell is not going to sit a game or two then maybe switch it up

    Maybe 2 is the problem???

    He is a stick poke defensemen, and has lost 1/2 a stride. Doesn’t bounce of the walls as quickly anymore. He’d be better served with Dehaan or Murphy. Not knocking his game, but every kid he’s played with has been demeaned on this thread, maybe it is not the kids…

  • March 8, 2021 at 10:26 am
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    SAADFATHER
    March 8, 2021 at 9:13 am
    I find it interesting, the picking on Mitchell. Instead of putting all the blame on him for his pairs lack of effectiveness and downright awful play, lets look back over the last 10 games. Has anyone noticed when teams get breakaways and 2-1s? It always seems to be when one defenseman is on the ice, no matter his partner. That defenseman is number 2, Duncan Keith. Anyone that plays with Keith is put into an awful position, always having to try and cover for him on his back pinches, his shots that get blocked, soft plays usually behind the goal line, and bad decisions in general. Some are saying to move 27 to play with Keith, that sounds absurd in my book, why would you want 2 of the same type of players like that as a pair. Guess we would like to give up multiple breakaways and odd man rushes each shift versus just a few a game… It isn’t Mitchell that needs to be sat a few games. Its a talk with Keith to play smart, play hard, and play his own position that would make a huge difference. Keith got away with this play when he was younger and could recover, the game has passed him up with speed. Seabrook used to bail Keith out all the time. Seabs is probably the best 2 on 1 defender I have ever seen. He had lots of practice with Keith as his partner. I think Subban and Lankinen would appreciate it as well!

    YES

  • March 8, 2021 at 10:53 am
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    @BCBH deHaan is a LHD so he won’t be paired with Keith another LHD unless it’s on a PK. So Murphy is the only choice for the right side.

  • March 8, 2021 at 10:53 am
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    BCBH that is why i said try Mitchell with someone else. I not picking on blaming anyone, no point in that doesn’t accomplish anything. Just saying right now Keith and Mitchell together isn’t working out as you can see, struggling with possession numbers, maybe time to seperate them.

  • March 8, 2021 at 10:56 am
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    It scares me when people start posting things I agree with. Saadfather pretty much nailed it for me. All my hollow complaints from the past 2 years are summed up very well by saadfather. Unfortunately, sports is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately job, and 2 is not passing the test any longer. He wrecks every pairing he gets put on. Boqvist with 2 was a disaster – always. He’s now got Mitchell playing out of position to keep up with him, and that is not good for Mitchell’s career – see Boqvist, Gus and any other kid Dman who has “enjoyed” the experience. Seabrook was the best 2 on 1 defender because he practiced it EVERY game. Odd man rushes ARE up, and the common factor IS 2. Having 4 breakaways in one game with him on the ice pretty much says it all. To 27’s credit – he is learning the art of defending 2 on ones quite well. Practice makes perfect. I’ll let the topic go because at least there are a few other people who now are seeing the light – 2 is a loose cannon. Just focus on his time on the ice and see how often he takes himself out of position.

    A big problem with the guys getting left wide open in front of the net is we all too often have both Dmen chase the puck behind the net, and then fail to tie the puck up. That’s not how man on man coverage is supposed to work. Murphy, de Haan and to a lesser amount Zadorov (and getting better) are strong on the boards. Anyone else is either learning to play defense or is afraid to get hit along the boards. But because Edzo won’t call those players out, the fans don’t see (or actually HEAR) it. Turn off the sound and watch the game and you will get a much different perspective. The only time you leave your man is to cover a more important (as in dangerous) player at that moment, then causing a rotation of defenders. That is chaos and should be avoided. Do your job first. The guy behind the net is less dangerous than the guy in front of the net, especially if we want rookie forwards to cover them. There is a reason Defensemen are called Defensemen, and not rovers.

    Forwards dropping down to help relieve pressure always makes more sense than defensemen leaving the net area. I agree with nameless in his points. This team is suffering a bit from its own success in that they have gotten better at breakouts this year. Now the forwards are getting the SCORE mentality instead of the 200 foot mentality. We need to regress a touch to the things that worked a week ago.
    Breakouts happen because we possess the puck in the dzone, not because we want to score goals.

    Lankinen is learning how Crawford felt back on the island the last 5 years. At least back then Keith would skate by after the play and dig the puck out of the net for him.

    I fail to understand why everyone seems to think a Dman can play his off-side without skipping a beat. These kids have all they can handle to play their natural/strong side, let alone trying to figure out the game on their weak side. For forwards it is always a bit easier. Give the kids a break and let them play their strong sides until they get it figured out. Game situations cause enough adapt-on-the-fly. Don’t get in their heads before they hit the ice too.

    Remember – the safest 10 feet on the ice are in front of our goalie.

    Anyone think when Lankinen got run over on the breakaway it should have been goalie interference?

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:00 am
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    The question Ian; Who do you put with Keith? Seabrook retired.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:00 am
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    Dach, Dehaan and Strome all on ice for practice doing some drills, great news. Pirri, Johnson, Beaudin and Delia all added to taxi squad for road trip.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:04 am
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    I haven’t heard the penes with ears in a yr so the corona wasn’t all that bad until that game and thought hes back.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:16 am
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    Ian, that’s the thing when people look at TB last 14 games they blew out other top 10 teams in about 7or 9 of those 14 games. So for us to go 2-2 3-3 and up 3-0 even though them plowing our goalie over and no call changed the game completely to me/that’s the movement to me. We basically tied the three games even through they scored those goals to run score up 6-3. And the 1-1-1 is a three game tie.

    People should look at there last 14 games scores before these three games.

    Sure everything people have said is right for where we are and that’s being short handed three centers and not full roster to begin with/not yet and that’s not including 77 19.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:16 am
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    Silent i don’t subscribe to the theory that everything bad about the Blackhawks starts with Keith, Boqvist or anybody else for that matter. Chemistry is probably the biggest thing that makes a defensive pairing work. I thought Mitchell and Keith was showing that for some games, but lately not so much. Maybe to a lot of fans Boqvist looks like a mismatch with Keith but they did show some chemistry for awhile as well. Carlsson although on off side worked alot with Keith in camp and little bit i saw, they seem to show some chemistry. Murphy could make a good pair if there was somebody to step into shutdown role with Zadorov.

    Tomkins back to Rfd., as well and Delia on Nhl roster not taxi squad as he didn’t go through waivers for conditioning stint.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:17 am
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    We all need to settle down a little w/ the reaction to the blue line circumstance in Sunday’s loss. When Murphy left the lineup you were looking at Keith, Zadorov and four kids left available for Colliton against one of the more potent offenses in the NHL.

    If/When the Hawks can get a fully healthy blue line, I’m completely fine w/ Boqvist staying w/ de Haan because that’s a solid pair. I would like to see Beaudin with Murphy as well, which leaves Mitchell with Keith. I honestly feel that’s the Blackhawks’ best six mix right now. Let Zadorov worry about his roster stability a little; Murphy & de Haan are better veterans to pair with young players. And I’m fine with Mitchell-Keith. I would like to see more ice time for Mitchell, however.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:19 am
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    Slay7, even though we’re not offensive explosive looks like we’re top 5 in GF.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:26 am
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    DAL prob and not NAS or CLB is the team that is a top 10ish team that should actually ‘play’ at some point these 55 games. They are behind but could get past us for 4 seed. Even if we somehow do make the playoffs/4 seed we’re just too dang good even this short handed to get top 5/10 draft player. Only way would be to get the ping pong balls and get the 2nd or 3rd pick.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:31 am
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    I’m with Dark Bird and ER that this game was a bit of a reality check at an important time. It lets the players know that they aren’t a top of the top tier team, and they need to continue to work hard to win the in NHL, and against the team like Tampa mistakes can be in the back of the net. They need to learn how to be a top 5 or even 10 team.
    It reminds the GM (he knows) that this team shouldn’t buy and should seriously consider selling if it makes them better next year and beyond.

    I would love a playoff spot, and it could happen, but if not just continue to get better and at least– learn.
    And yes Hagel is a gem, a rare find. Wow is he good at all the things this team sucked at the last few years.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:45 am
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    Silent – I was surprised there was no penalty call on the Coleman breakaway. He was not pushed into Lankinen and just ran him over. So much for protecting goalies.

    How about the Hagel play where he ties up Hedman on the boards and strips the puck cleanly. That was impressive.

  • March 8, 2021 at 11:51 am
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    Speaking of a reality check if someone had posted preseason the exact scenario of where this team would be in early March it would have been hammered unmercifully. The extent to which this team has exceeded expectations is gigantic. There is a long way to go but nitpicking at this point feels pretty silly.

  • March 8, 2021 at 12:13 pm
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    Ian – No doubt there is not a single player responsible for all things wrong on the Hawks. We decided for the past 2 years that is Colliton’s place on the team!! Finding posts to prove that shouldn’t be hard to find in the archives.

    Here is the problem as I see it: The defense has 3 vets, 2 on the left and one on the right. That automatically makes people want to pair a kid with each, creating 3 pairings with a veteran, theoretically a calming influence on the ice. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work well with Keith, as he too frequently breaks with that role model and starts playing Roverman. His kid partner can’t account for the ad-hoc approach and the unpredictability it brings. So the partner always looks wrong as we are accustomed to the way Keith plays. So either you ask Keith to be more predictable or you let a kid learn the harder way, or Keith gets paired with Murphy, who better react to what Keith does best. That then screws every other pairing up.

    Keep in mind that JC also likes to do de Haan with Murphy, our true top pairing, but that leaves Zadorov to be the veteran and that hasn’t work as well as being with Murphy. Therein lies the problem – if Keith can’t be responsible defensively then the whole pairing issue is a huge mess, and the kids are suffering for it.

    If I am Lankinen or Subban, I like seeing Murphy and de Haan paired in front of me. Ask Crawford how Keith and Boqvist or Keith and Gus looked from the net view each game.

    Keith’s not the root of all things bad, but he is a major part of pairing issues for this team that is trying to develop defensemen (another reason Seabrook was important). Chemistry is a good thing yes, and is in a big way a part of understanding what your partner is going to do. Keith makes that difficult on veterans, let alone kids. When you are the guy trying to get a permanent job in the NHL and you constantly look lost on the ice, your metrics suck, and everyone is pointing a finger at you – that ain’t a way to get confidence and chemistry.

    And I still appreciate all you do to unwind how transactions work in the NHL, contract implications, and the draft information. Thanks again for helping me – and likely others – understand to a better degree those workings. You are always there for us.

  • March 8, 2021 at 12:15 pm
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    Tampa is really good.

  • March 8, 2021 at 12:17 pm
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    No suspension for Murphy.
    Strome and de hann are skating but not sure if they play tomorrow.
    Dach traveling with the team and participated in practice today.

    Hawks recall Delia from conditioning stint.
    Also recall Nicolas Beaudin, Reese Johnson and Brandon Pirri to the practice squad.
    Also send Matt Tompkins to the icehogs.

  • March 8, 2021 at 12:45 pm
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    Silent i was very critical of Colliton because no improvement on defense seemed to be happening, also said i would gladly be proven wrong and have given credit for what we saw this season. There is a buy in by players and youngsters have responded but still a ways to go. Have confidence in his ability with development, trust the coaching staff will continue to make right decisions, we may not want to see it but pretty sure there a ton to be learned from youngsters playing with Keith, but a change of pace for a few games isn’t anything bad. Hopefully as i said before Colliton can be the one to take them all the way but time will tell on that.

  • March 8, 2021 at 12:48 pm
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    Ian- agree 100% with your post.

  • March 8, 2021 at 12:57 pm
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    Given the fact that a draft pick’s future success is pretty much akin to pulling numbers out of a hat. And that a team’s front office might be so forthright in saying that they were a long way from being ”in the hunt”(my quote), I find that any real success this group can muster, minus obvious pieces, to be extremely rewarding and even funny.
    Basically, nobody knows a damn thing until the final score. It is the essence of sport. Nothing should ever be unexpected.
    We played well enough vs TB to keep hopes up. I prefer being hopeful to the flip side.
    beat Dallas!

  • March 8, 2021 at 1:06 pm
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    Sort of kind of a BLOW OUT . . . but they had the dreaded three goal lead with no De Haan and then Murphy gets tossed. Game set match and set up a finish that does not allow hockey aficionado’s with much insight.

    The blue line circumstance are what they are, young players are going to make mistakes and great defense men are so hard to find in this era of the two way defense men, quick out of the zone ( Nick Leddy ) great shots from the point (Brent Seabrook)
    and solid well positioned in the D Zone (Niklas Hjalmarsson ) on the play a psychical defense (Nikita Zadorov) I can say that most of our younger d-men are an odd mix of average defenders, average on offense and below average on maintaining simple body position 101. I saw a lot of our young d-men ( all of them) get burnt by the Bolts speed on the wings, they lost body position ( never had it) lost the simple angle, then reaching in, hooking, diving because they’re flay footed, and hypnotized in a way.

    Hawks like the Bolts have always been a good defensive team due ONLY to forwards and centers who are GREAT two way players, not always 30 goal scores but always getting back in the neutral zone. hustling back, filling lanes, long sticks and picking up their man. This team is BUILT on two way forwards and centers, fun to watch. the fore check and the back checking.

    Playing the Bolts three games in a row really allowed Bolts to exploit a handful of match ups. Hawks played well, that power play in the third was dreadful. This lose was coming on to Tuesday.

    One minor observation is Bolts are so damn good at blocking shots . . . amazing . .. hardcore. Never seen a team that is that committed and good at blocking shots. They block shots full on, not reaching, face to face, square to the shooter, no turning or ducking . . . incredible to witness.

    go hawks

  • March 8, 2021 at 2:37 pm
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    Adam Boqvist must be playing to attract buyers. Hope there are some buyers looking for PP point men(see Gustafsson). I realize he is only 20 but I just can’t see the upside.

  • March 8, 2021 at 2:56 pm
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    Hagel has the potential to be a better scorer than most are predicting. He keeps being compared to 3rd and 4th line players (good players but not scorers). Remember, this guy put up something like 270 points over 4 years at Red Deer and each year he scored more than the year before. 102 I believe his last year. Right now he’s passing first (and very nice passes at that), probably in deference to the vets. Just watch once he gets comfortable.

  • March 8, 2021 at 4:33 pm
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    sigh..did everyone all of a sudden forget that this is a rebuild..and the very definition of a rebuild is that you have to tolerate some players who are on this team that are beyond their prime and some players who haven’t reached their prime yet. I wonder how the comments would look if the Hawks didn’t take 3 out of 6 points over this three game stretch..and for all the comments about Keith, keep in mind that he’s 37 years old and except for Chara, he’s the oldest active defenseman in the NHL..why is everyone frustrated that he isn’t performing like a top pairing defenseman anymore? In all honesty, he shouldn’t be. Overall, especially considering his age, I think he’s been fine..and if you think the Hawks looked bad on defense when DeHaan and Murphy were out of the game yesterday, remove Keith from the blueline and see how everyone looks..it wouldn’t be pretty..it’s going to take some time for the young blueliners to develop, and there isn’t any way to speed up the process except to give them time.

    Personally, I think the pairings have been fine…let Keith and Mitchell go through their growing pains..the Zadorov-Murphy pairing is looking effective, why break them up? And DeHaan-Boqvist was looking solid too..so leave the pairings as is unless there’s an injury.

  • March 8, 2021 at 5:11 pm
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    Slayer – you’re right about giving it time with the young D but I don’t have an issue with switching Boquist and Mitchell once DeHaan is back – keep Z and Murph together – to see if that works better

    Keith and Boquist have had good moments together in the past – not sure that Mitchell and DeHaan have played much together

    My feeling however is that JC probably won’t change it up at least for a while longer

  • March 8, 2021 at 6:54 pm
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    Altybarmakyan 2 goals for hogs sunday
    Similar game to Carpenter, persistant, tough, quick, with better hands.
    Like to see him get some games.

    Subban since his less than stellar first couple games – has out played Lanks in last few outings. Give some credit to coaching. Seems to be losing net less and holding better angles to the puck.

  • March 9, 2021 at 6:13 am
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    A couple of things…

    One, Boqvist is not getting traded. He is not being showcased. He is the heir apparent to Keith. Plus, I think he is getting better and is being used in more pressure situations.

    Two, Zadarov is not going to sit! The large man is a disrupt-er. He may not be fleet of skate, or overly agile. But, he does his job and does it well. I, for one love the Saad for Zadarov trade.

    Third, we have to get ice time for Beaudin, Carlsson, Kalynuk, Reese Johnson, and Altybarmakyan. How, I have no clue. Good luck JC!

  • March 9, 2021 at 7:19 am
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    Boqvist look lost 25% of the time, his defensive instincts are not genetic. His Offensive upside is his only upside, but even there he’s just average on his skates, average speed, average puck handler but has an effect wrist shot and decent slap shot. Not sure he’ll develop into a top four or all star d-man. Just don’t see it. From the couch Beaudin looks good, and giving him more nhl time would be smart. Only have so much ice time and time to dedicate to young players. Look how hard HIGH-MORE plays just to get his minutes, his talent is thin but his DETERMINATION in AMAZING. Boqvist has NONE OF THAT, and that is what GM’s look for.

  • March 9, 2021 at 7:23 am
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    Tommy I-agree with what you’re saying, especially about Boqvist and getting the young guys in when they can.
    The Saad trade is over and you can debate if the Hawks got enough. But Zadorov has brought an important element to the team and his confidence is growing. (Sometimes too much as he starts playing up at the wing in his own end, and forgets where he should be)
    But they will not sit a guy that was traded for Saad-that wouldn’t look good.

  • March 9, 2021 at 9:22 am
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    @Tab. I agree to not freak out and just let things play out. The biggest problem they have is a shortage of RHD and Carlsson is the only LHD so far to show he can handle that off side. Both Beaudin and Zadorov were put there and did not do good yet when playing their natural side improve a lot.

    I also agree with Ian about putting Carlsson with Keith at least for the minutes he gets and let Mitchell watch if JC goes with 7 D men. He can swap Mitchell and Carlsson with the minutes because if he is going 7 Dmen it’s gonna be a LHD that’s gonna be the 7th.

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