Young Blackhawks Dominate Red Wings

The Blackhawks celebrated Easter by throttling the Detroit Red Wings, winning 7-1 at Joe Louis Arena. This game – as much as any this season – showed the potential staying power being developed by the Blackhawks organization.

Four of the Blackhawks’ seven goals came from players that are young enough to still be in college, and all three spent time with the Rockford IceHogs earlier this year. Jeremy Morin (21), Brandon Saad (20) and Nick Leddy (22) had goals in the game, and Jimmy Hayes (23) also had a very good afternoon in Detroit.

Morin, who was recalled from Rockford on Saturday morning, opened the scoring with an unassisted tally only 2:33 into the game. Morin was battling traffic in front of the net and was able to put a loose puck behind Jimmy Howard. The immediate impact was a great sign for Morin, who was tearing up the AHL with the IceHogs before getting the call to join the Hawks.

Less than 60 seconds later, Saad scored his first of two goals on the afternoon. Saad has been fantastic in March, and his performance on national television on Sunday should cement his name on the short list for the Calder Trophy this year. He finished the month with three goals and 12 assists and a plus-eight rating in 13 games.

If the two-goal lead provided by Saad hadn’t put enough pressure on Detroit, it took less than 60 seconds for the Hawks to add a third.

Jakub Kindl was pressured by Hayes in front of the Red Wings net and he flipped the puck into his own net. Dave Bolland, who hadn’t scored in more than a month, was credited with the score, but Hayes’ pressure on the Detroit defenseman led to the mistake.

Hayes had his best game with the NHL club this season, and continues to look more comfortable with Patrick Kane and Bolland as he spends more time on their line. He skated a season-high 17:11 and was credited with an assist, two hits and a team-leading four blocked shots.

This first period ended with the Hawks up 3-0 and in complete control.

However, the Hawks have appeared to have a stranglehold on games in the last few weeks and had that control slip away. On Sunday, the domination was complete.

Saad set up Jonathan Toews only 3:52 into the second for the Hawks’ fourth goal, which ended Jimmy Howard’s day between the pipes for the Wings. In less than 24 minutes of action, Howard allowed four goals on only 14 Chicago shots.

Only eight seconds after Toews’ score, Saad blew past the Red Wings defense and scored for a second time in the game. A stretch pass from Niklas Hjalmarsson was perfectly tipped by a Red Wings’ stick in the neutral zone; Saad hit the gas and got to the puck at full speed and in position to beat Jonas Gustavsson. Toews was credited with the second assist on the play.

Another day at the office for Chicago’s captain showed another complete effort. Toews was credited with one goal, two assists, one hit and won 14 of 19 faceoffs.

With a 5-0 lead heading into the third period, the Hawks continued to press. Dave Bolland scored a legitimate goal extended the lead at 7:55 in the third. Leddy finished the scoring for the Hawks with his sixth goal of the season at 16:21.

Unfortunately, a goal (that shouldn’t have been allowed) with only 33 seconds remaining in regulation cost Corey Crawford the shutout. It also moved credit for the game-winning goal from Morin, in his first game back in the NHL, to Saad.

Before the game, coach Joel Quenneville mixed up his pairings on the blue line. Leddy skated with Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith with Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya with Michal Rozsival.

All six defensemen skated between 18:49 (Leddy) and 21:23 (Hjalmarsson), and three defensemen had a point in the game; Leddy (goal), Hjalmarsson (assist) and Rozsival (assist) all contributed offensively.

Crawford wasn’t pressured much early in the game – a credit to the skaters in front of him – but made a few good stops as the Hawks lead continued to grow. When the final horn sounded, Crawford had stopped 33 of 34 shots to earn the victory.

The Blackhawks effectively killed both of the Red Wings powerplay opportunities in the game. After a rough stretch early in March, the Hawks penalty kill unit has rebounded with a strong finish to the month. Chicago hasn’t allowed a powerplay goal in six games, killing 11 penalties.

Chicago is now 9-0-1 in their last 10 games at Joe Louis Arena.

15 thoughts on “Young Blackhawks Dominate Red Wings

  • March 31, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Hawks definitely exposed Ericcson’s inability to be a top 2 defender…

  • March 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I think it would have been nice to see Morin for another 4-5 games (when Hoss was out) to better evaluate his ability to play this year— and make a better decision on what the Hawks need to add or not add at the trade deadline…

    Car-bomb skated/played better… would like to see the 4th line of Morin-16-39/52 if/when Hoss and 10 get back…

  • March 31, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks Tab…a few comments here…first, Q broke up the defence pairings and it was a good thing…Nick Leddy may be Chicago’s best DMan right now, and he should be playing 20 minutes a night…he’s that good. Today Leddy got a chance to be paired with a top NHL DMan and it showed…he was outstanding all day, and not just because he scored a goal…Leddy is NOT making mistakes or turning the puck over…he is taking the body…being in excellent physical position defensively, moving the puck quickly…he is turning into a top NHL defender before our eyes, deserves this “promotion”. Keith/Hammer are a nice combo…you really got a chance to see today that a lot of the problems on that 2nd pairing rest at the doorstep of Oduya. And he was helped today by skating with Rozy. Roszival should not be sitting games, the Blackhawks are dramatically better when he is in the lineup…he was +3 on the day, and is now +17 on the season…Brookbank is -5…Brookbank skates 11-12 minutes when he plays…Rozy skates 17-20 minutes…Brookbank was another weak B0wman FA signing, Rozy was not. I hope these new pairings continue, because Oduya is NOT a 2nd pairing DMan.

    I may have mentioned it here first, that Morin would do well this time up and that you would like what you saw from him…his is NOT too slow to play in the NHL, and has a great instinct for the goal mouth, and scores a lot of his goals there. I agree with Wall that Morin or Hayes need to stay with the big club…in fact, I think that it’s imperative…they have the energy and passion to help get that 4th line with Kruger get going again…Frolik is playing great hockey, so a 4th line of Kruger, Frolik, Hayes/Morin is a dangerous, spark plug line…the time for Mayers is DONE. Bollig hasn’t seen the ice in a while, and that speaks volumes…Carcillo was better today, but he is not the hockey player that Hayes or Morin are.

    Jimmy Hayes played his best game to day…he scored the 3rd goal…Bolland have got credit for it, but it was Hayes all the way…he played very smart, and much more physical Hockey today, which was great to see. I like his development.

    I said it here last week that before our eyes Saad had become a good NHL player…in his rookie season…kudos to Stan Bowman for getting us these 3 wonderful rookies… add Kruger, Shaw and Leddy to that mix and Bowman must be applauded for these astute moves. Really Bowman is one move away from having a wonderful run as GM…but that move is still crucial. Yes Bolland was a little better today, but he is NOT a 2nd line Centre…and we still have a serious issue with face-offs…Toews was a +9 at the dot today, the combined rest of the team was a -15. With only 3 days left Bowman MUST make a move to get us a legitimate 2nd centre who can win face-offs consistently. Today’s win was great, and needed, but it still pointed out this team’s needs…Q may have just solved the defensive situation by promoting Leddy and demoting Oduya, but there is no answer at 2nd line centre without an addition.

  • April 1, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Great write up Tab. Sr Brad, I agree, Saad is the best rookie in the NHL right now. It might not show so much on the stats but he does so many things well for a player his age/experience. With all the youth on the team it is easy to forget that Toews and Kane are still young as well.

    I love the use of call ups in the line up, they always add energy. Morin, for example, had a goal but not necessarily a great game. He was mostly invisible after the goal and was never a factor on defense, played 11 minutes. That said, give him a few more games.

    I too stated the Hawks are better….much better with Rosival in the line up. I am not sure why he is platooned with Brookbank. Maybe Q should consider platooning Brookbank and Oduya. I hope the Hawks resign Rosival, he appears to be a winner and should be an everyday player. Everyone seems to agree on that so Q must know something we don’t.

  • April 1, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Pretty sure Q knows Rosival is a better option than Brookbank. He probably also listens to the vet and knows he needs to rest him once in a while to keep getting this type of performance out of him. By not playing him against the ducks he got 5 days of rest.

    Hawks were destroyed on faceoffs, destroyed on hits, were outshot… and they won 7-1. I know everyone is ready to jump off a cliff, but how good is this team? Yes, they’ve gone through a skid lately. However, three 1-goal losses against a handful of tough opponents really shouldn’t make us panic as much as we have been. Yes, the Hawks could really use an upgrade at 2C. Yes, the Hawks will be a lot better when they simply have Hossa and Sharp back and have 4 extremely scary lines.

    I thought Morin was pretty good. The goal was obviously one that you love to see. He outworked the guy in front of the net and pounded it home. He also had a really good chance later in the game on a nice pass by Kruger, but he didn’t finish that one off. I’ll be interested to see his development. He didn’t have blazing speed, but he doesn’t seem as slow as people make him out to be.

    Remember when people wanted Carcillo on the top line over Saad? Afterall, Carcillo “creates more space” and has “better chemistry” with 19/81 than does Saad. Worlds biggest LOL.

  • April 1, 2013 at 9:02 am

    JS, oddly it is Hossa who said he likes Carcillo on his line. The question is, does he protect Hossa?, does he really create space? or is Hossa just being a good soldier?

  • April 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I don’t remember what Hossa said? As I’ve discussed many times, I don’t think Bruce Lee would be able to “protect” people from cheap shots.

    Also, just to help back people off the edge even more. Anaheim has lost 5 of their last 6. Sure, they have beat the Hawks twice, but the dangerous Blue Jackets, Sharks, and Wings have really been screwing up their world lately.

    Off the ledge friends!

  • April 1, 2013 at 9:48 am

    ANA is having their share of problems, except against the Hawks…which tells you that the problem lies with the Hawks and not ANA. We have a belief that they are our main competition and play “tight” against them. It has shown in every game…we are not the same team. Which is why the infusion of 1 key player should be enough to put the Hawks over the top.

    As JS said, think of the areas that the wings dominated yesterday and we still won 7-1, how good is this team? Well, we are very, very good, but our issues are still very real…I think Q may have solved the Defensive issue by promoting Leddy and demoting Oduya…kept to the 3rd pairing, Oduya is a pretty good DMan…Hammer and Keith looked great together…Sebs and Leddy were outstanding. The key is Leddy’s progression…to me he absolutely looks ready for this increased role.

    But we need to address this 2nd centre issue…Kruger and Shaw are going to make very good NHL centres over their careers, but right now they are struggling with their faceoffs…Bolland has been a disaster at the dot, getting worse. Yesterday’s game of Toews +9 and the rest of the team -15 is not the exception, it’s the norm…and it has to change.

    GM Don Maloney came out 3 days ago in PHO and said that EVERYONE on their roster is available for the right price (except Doan)…that means Antoine Vermette is available. He is not the 2nd coming of Christ, but he is EXACTLY the player the Hawks need. I like Franz Nielson, and if we got him, he would make us better…but he does not solve all the problems we have…Vermette does. He is tied with Toews for 2nd in the entire NHL for faceoff % (and has won only 40 less draws than Toews), is a good skater, has size, plays on the special teams, is a high character, team guy…he’s a perfect fit. Bowman needs to make this deal happen…whether he gets Yandle as well or not is irrelevant…he needs to get Vermette…and if it meant giving up 2 top prospects and a pick to do it, you do it…because this team is just too good to throw away on being one key position short.

  • April 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Vermette would be a pretty great addition. His faceoffs are fantastic and he did work against the Hawks in the playoffs last year. His offensive numbers aren’t too exciting, but he would finally be on a line with actual breathing hockey players. He also plays a pretty good two way game so Kane can cheat more. If Phoenix was dumb enough to take Bolland back in a deal, they would only be adding 500k to the cap which is a pretty nice swap.

    Good thing is, Bowman keeps all of his deals close to the chest so it’s hard to know what to expect.

  • April 1, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I like Vermette more than Nielson. In the past two years people have been screaming for Bowman to do something (myself included) and he has held on to his players (which has helped for this year). I think he realistically knew there wouldn’t be a Cup there in 11 or 12. Tab has rightly pointed out in the past two years that Bowman has been hamstrung and there aren’t players out there who would solve all of our needs. This year is different in the fact that I think the Hawks could win the cup. We really need a #2C or centerman who will win draws. I hope a move gets made. I think this is the year to judge Bowman or whether or not he has stones.

    I love the D pair switch by Q. Is there any other team’s 7 dman crew you would take over the Hawks? We don’t have a true # 1, but we also have about 4 2-3’s. I think breaking the Keith Seabs pairing sends a message to everyone on the team, not just those two. If the d pair switch works, Q probably just cost Seabs his Canadian Olympic Spot…

  • April 1, 2013 at 10:38 am

    If a deal does get made I doubt it’s for the 2C we’ve been clamoring for. When SB heard what the other GM’s wanted in return he said no and has derided to concentrate on an extra 6 or 7 d-man or a 4th line fwd.
    I hope I’m wrong but if you look at the trades he has made after the dump year, they have not been for big impact players. I’m not saying the trades haven’t been good just that is not his style of move. He wants to build from within and only pick a complementary player here and there.

    I get the feeling that he thought going into this season they were a year away and was hoping that the new salary cap would put him in a better place then must teams next year.

    Either way lets hope they can prove all of us wrong who want SB to get the true 2C.

    Go Hawks

  • April 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

    9-0-1 in the last 10 trips to the Joe would almost qualify as a “golden age” of Blackhawks hockey!! I couldn’t be more thrilled with the send off the Wings are getting before moving to the Eastern Conference.

    Yesterdays game looked to be more about Detroit than us but it was great to see the young guys doing so well. I am really glad Leddy is solidifying his role and hope Q gives him #1 minutes. He’s earned it and he’s proven to many here, he belongs, and is capable of being an elite NHL D-man.

    I would be ecstatic if SB could land Vermette. He passed on him once already. Let’s hope he doesnt make the same mistake again. I honestly don’t have high hopes on SB getting it done though. I know alot of teams would like to be saddled with our ‘problems’ this season but as mentioned, these issues are real and should be addressed because we obviously have a shot at going all the way. Another 49 yr wait isn’t gonna work at my age!!

  • April 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Let’s see if we can make sense of this:
    Hawks beat Detroit
    San Jose beats Anaheim
    Detroit beats Anaheim
    Hawks beat San Jose
    Detroit beats San Jose

    Hawks lose to Anaheim. Why?

    The last 2 games against Anaheim the HAwks had Bollig’s goal waved off(it was a good goal according to the rule book) and a 100MPH slapshot was blocked by Jahlmarrson, but found its way into the net.

    I don’t think that Anaheim is better than the Hawks. A couple of bad breaks went their way and we paid for it. I still believe that we are quicker, faster, more skilled and better defensively than Anaheim. They have a size advantage up front, but our defense skates better and we pass better coming out of our zone. I still don’t think they’ll make it past the first round if they face San Jose or Detroit.

  • April 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

    To the people saying the ANA problem lies with the hawks…

    We lost when 2 of our best 4 players were out… why are we so worried? Yes, a 2C would be nice, and im all for pulling the trade if its on the table. but being healthy come playoff time would be nice too. I think JS said it best Q knows rosy is better… but Rosy in June is more important that Rosy in March.


  • April 1, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Tom- with all due respect – Ducks D-men are bigger too! And we have not passed well out of zone… when we get hit on the fore-check… which is exactly how we lost to Ducks and Avs… D-men got hit coming out of zone and coughed up a lot of pucks…

    The hitting and intensity will pick up in Playoffs… and Historically the officials allow a lot more shit in Playoffs to boost ratings…

    I hope the NHL/Officials take note… A player was killed in Russian League w/ hit to head recently.

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