Blackhawks Escape With Embarrassing Win

The Chicago Blackhawks, coming off one of their now all-too-familiar emotionally vacant losses, made some lineup changes before Friday night’s game. The hope was that they would spark the team to a better performance.

And then the game started…

The Islanders came in averaging 28.4 shots per game. The Blackhawks let them put 23 shots on net in the third period alone. What makes that stat more aggravating is that the Hawks held the Islanders to only two shots in the second period.

The bi-polar Blackhawks.

The Islanders had only scored four in regulation twice since Oct. 15, and came in having not scored four goals in the road. They handled both of those “feats” on Friday night. In fact, the Isles had only scored three goals in 11 periods before Friday night’s game.

Kyle Okposo had scored two goals this year, and they were in the same period. He scored four minutes into the game.

The Blackhawks: slumpbusters?

Yes, there were some aspects of the game that were positive for Chicago. Ben Smith scored a goal, giving him more points in one night than Bryan Bickell had in November. Michael Frolik had his second point since October, and the Hawks scored another power play goal.

Jonathan Toews had another epic effort, scoring an incredible short-handed goal and winning 14 of 22 faceoffs to carry the Blackhawks to victory. His goal to open the shootout was the game-winner.

But the penalty kill has been a laughing stock this year. Okposo’s goal at 4:07 into the first was a power play goal, and PA Parenteau’s goal 46 seconds into the third was also with a man advantage. In total, an Islanders team that had only 11 power play goals in 22 games scored twice on special teams in one night.

Corey Crawford struggled again, allowing four goals on 41 shots. The fourth goal, which ultimately pushed the game to overtime, was an ugly goal off a uglier turnover during an ugly attempted change. Crawford made some big saves late, and one can’t fault him a lot for allowing two goals against 25 shots in only the third period and overtime, but the fourth goal was too soft to happen at this stage of the season.

When the money was on the table, though, Crawford made three big saves (well, two and the post helped on the third) in the shootout and the Hawks escaped with the victory and two crucial points in the standings.

9 thoughts on “Blackhawks Escape With Embarrassing Win

  • December 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I have to agree, and I have to ask the question…WTF???

    Duncan Keith is a complete train wreck out there, and Seabrook is slumping…Hjalmarsson hasn’t been good all season long, and Leddy looks frustrated. Don’t even get me started on the 3rd pairing…

    Now I know why Patrick Kane was pushed to the RW of Toews line…he has stopped playing defence for the last 2 weeks, and this team’s defence is no longer good enough to make up for his lapses…

    Kruger is a promising young man, but he simply isn’t a 2nd line centre, and to waste the goal scoring potential of Sharp and Hossa just to give him a chance, when he really doesn’t even deserve one is curious at best…

    I really have to begin to question the season Q is having as head coach…last year was clearly not an aberration…he and his assistants have struggled to implement their special teams, they have struggled to motivate their players to show up every night, they struggle with their line changes, with their match ups and with their game cards…too often the wrong people are playing, while better options sit…

    Stan Bowman is going to have to pull the trigger on not just one, but likely 2, or even 3 deals to turn this thing around, or this team is going to start struggling more consistently…not only do we need a strong DMan (and not just some decent, stay at home guy), but we need that 2nd line centre…and to be honest trading away Bolland and his salary to land a top 2nd centre might just be the answer…he is too often injured, and now his concentration and play have gone missing…

    Moving Bolland and Hammer are moves that could easily happen, but they also allow us to add 2 top flight players to replace them in return, and be able to afford it…

    Your thoughts?

  • December 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I don’t see a move coming terribly soon. It is just too early in the season. When the Hawks go to make a trade it will be with a team that has lost all hope for the playoffs and will involve picks and prospects from the Hawks for roster players. While teams are still competing, or otherwise trying to understand what they have/need trades won’t happen.

    I see how it is easy to be upset with their play of late. Focusing on the NYI game though, you need to give the team credit for the way they played the first two periods despite Crawford. They were down twice and came back to take the lead going into the final frame. The third period is inexcusable – I don’t understand it, except to think that Q wanted to play a quiet, protect the lead and stay rested for the Blues third period. I can’t fault the thought process, but taking your foot off an opponent’s throat is dangerous in hockey.

    I’ve eluded to a former dynasty before, and it seems I might continue making comparisons – but this team might need to win the way the 80’s Oilers, outscore your opponent.

    I’m really concerned with the PK now though. Reflective of bad team defense? Likely.

  • December 2, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I was at the game tonight, and I share your frustrations. Sharp had one hell of a game tonight, Carcillo played pretty well. I can’t understand why we allow the Islanders to take us to the 12th round, but they did. I give them all the credit in the world too though, they played one hell of a game. A win is a win and we get to watch them play the Blues in St. Louis tomorrow. Let’s go Hawks.

  • December 3, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I don’t see any moves as necessary yet. I really think a lack of motivation is to blame for their lack of energy.

    This group has proved that they can play like a playoff team, why pull the trigger on a trade now? It’s true that we’re through more than a quarter of a season, but December should be an indicator as to the track we’re on. We have a relatively hard schedule, if we continue to slack like this through the month, then maybe we’re due for some changes.

    I want to point out that even with this lackluster play, the Hawks are still holding their own even in the League standings. The only team that’s played less games is Detroit, and we’re within a point of Pittsburgh and 2 points of Minnesota. You all know as well as I do that Hockey is a streaky sport, and it’s very possible that Kruge at 2nd line center will heat up, especially centering Sharp and Hoss.

    I think Quenneville needs to stop cutting the lines up. Give them some time to develop chemistry and a feel for where their linemates are on the ice. Sharp should be on the Kane Toews line because he needs the most help to score, and Stalb-Kruger-Hossa would be a fast, energetic line.

    As far as blue line problems go, it’s too early to put Hjalm on the chopping block, but he is too expensive to just block shots. This is almost deja vu of Dunc’s lackluster 2010-2011, and Seabs and Leddy play pretty consistently well.

    They need some serious inspiration though. They could be a really dangerous team, they’re potential is ridiculous, and infuriating at the same time. A team this skilled shouldn’t be beating the Islanders in a shootout.

  • December 3, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Im not willing to wait any longer. I hope a deal is made soon to bring us a hard nosed shot blocking dman to play the PK. Lets fix one thing at a time, and my priority is this laughable PK.

  • December 3, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Ivan, your right moves probably will not happen until late Feb. deadline… but if the Hawks keep playing this poorly they will not be trading with “the bad teams” for talent, THE HAWKS WILL BE THE SELLERS!

    The Team Defense sucks, PK sucks, lack of physical play sucks, board battles suck.
    “play like the 80’s Oilers” and out score them! THE HAWKS HAVE FOUR 5 + MILLION $$$ FORWARDS (AND TWO 5 MILL D-MEN) ON THE ICE IN 4 ON 4 HOCKEY (OT) AND GET HOW MANY SHOTS ON GOAL!!!! ZERO!

    E, we have had one odf the easiest schedules thus far… based on winning % and Home-Road…. December is much easier than Feb. and March– hands down!

    Brad, I agree- Bollie + Jammer + Bruno + 6 Mill now= better team next year w/ Saad + Pirri or other!

  • December 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Don’t panic. Hawks are playing at a 104 point pace. They need to play much much better for sure. The lines need more balance. Sharp or Hossa would be bothered by playing on the 3d or 4th because they won’t score as much. Get over it. Hawks need to balance their lines like the Red Wings do. Cleary on the 3d line, Holmstrom on the 4th line……7 wins in a row. Responsibility in the defensive end would greatly improve.

    Hawks need a D-man. Too much falls on Leddy’s shoulders when Kieth and Seabrook play together. Rotating Scott, Lepisto and O’Donnell isn’t working. Need more balance here too. Crawford needs help.
    But I could easily see working in a rookie for O’Donnell about a third of the time.

    If the Hawks are to be a tougher team to play against, they need toughness on at least 3 line and all 3 D pairing.

    Hope we play better tonight.

  • December 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Is Q the problem? I mean really……….what system are we playing? What is our team style? Why do we not show up for games at a time?

    Behind the bench might be where the issues are. We have shown we have the talent to beat anybody.

    We are way too easy to play against. There is as much contact out there as a Saturday morning girls soccer game.

  • December 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I have to agree with the majority of the comments, but I think waiting is the wrong move…the later we wait, the more competition we will have for top players being available…plus, we won’t be sitting at the top of our division much longer if we wait…outside of the Circus trip, we have had an easy schedule thus far, and this will not continue past December…I am afraid that we will lose too much ground in the battle to HOST playoff games by waiting…and I think we all agree that this team is missing something…a little D, a little O, a little spark…

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