Blackhawks Fall Flat in Nashville

The Blackhawks played in Nashville on Saturday night.

And got whipped by a struggling Preds team.

Marian Hossa was a late scratch with a lower body injury. By sitting, Hossa avoided being part of an ugly box score.

Nikolai Khabibulin got the start in net, but had to leave the game late in the first period after suffering a lower body injury. In the first 15:23, he allowed two goals against only eight shots, and didn’t look great on either.

After the game, coach Joel Quenneville said “it could be a bit” when asked about Khabibulin’s injury. He would not commit to calling up Antti Raanta, however.

Corey Crawford entered the game, but his numbers were actually worse than Khabibulin’s at the end of the night. Crawford allowed five goals against 22 shots.

Nashville’s power play scored twice in five opportunities. Chicago failed on all four of their chances with the mad advantage.

At the dot, the Hawks got destroyed. Jonathan Toews won nine of 21 and Marcus Kruger won seven of 12. Andrew Shaw and Brandon Pirri combined to win only six of 31 faceoffs.

In his return to the Blackhawks’ lineup, Kris Versteeg skated exactly 14 minutes with an assist, four shots on goal, one hit and two penalty minutes.

Pirri and Patrick Kane scored the Hawks’ two goals.

Seven different Predators put the puck in the net, and six Preds had a multi-point night. Rookie defenseman Seth Jones led Nashville with six blocked shots and was also credited with an assist and two hits in 20:33 in the game.

For the Blackhawks, Saturday night was only the third regulation loss in the season’s first 20 games. But it was the ugliest performance by the team to date by far.

The Hawks are back on the ice at the United Center on Sunday night, facing the San Jose Sharks.

18 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fall Flat in Nashville

  • November 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Of course Q is not going to commit to Raanta, Brookbank will start in net tomorrow night…

    Khabibulin was pathetic…

    CC was dead tired and should not have played…Q should have given BB time in goal tonight to get him ready for tomorrow night…

    Pirri scored a goal and was a +2 in a 7-2 loss…

    Good job Q…you sure know your lineups…

  • November 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I didn’t see the game, and I haven’t seen most of the games. Question to those who have. What’s up with the GAA?

    I see we outshot them. What about scoring chances?

    I went to the Icehogs/Griffins game last night. Interested to see if Morin would sulk after being sent down. He didn’t. Played pretty well and had a goal. The Broadhurst brothers impressed me as did Danault. McNeil was fine but didn’t show me a whole lot. Svedberg needs to get stronger, but he was impressive at times. Ross skates hard and is fearless but needs to get stronger. Clendening had a night to forget as he was on the ice for most of their goals.

    Anyway, I would appreciate some thoughts on the number of goals we are giving up.

  • November 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    – If Hoss is well Hawks will be good…
    Hoss played poorly (missed pre-season)… and Hawks struggled scoring early…

    Hoss has been fantastic last several games… and Hawks have been scoring big!

    Welcome to the NHL Raanta! If Hoss plays Sunday… start the kid- AND hopefully the Hawks will be pissed enough to PLAY a full 60 minutes and redeem themselves.

    4th line sucked for 2nd game in row… Bickell was bad again…
    And I had to check the box score to see if Sharp played normal minutes or got hurt!
    #10 was invisible tonite.

  • November 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    The 4th line was bad again…so was Brookbank in only 5 minutes of ice time…while Jeremy Morin has played 2 great games in a row for Rockford…

    Good news??? Raanta was outstanding tonight in a 4-2 win…it was close all game and Raanta stopped 35 of 37 shots…he’s ready to play…and someone has to as CC looked dead tired…

    Torourke…to answer your questions, the Hawks outchanced the Preds but didn’t really crash the net…the Preds did…and they scored off of pressuring our defence who made turnover after turnover in our own end…one of the biggest problems was the fact that the Hawks lost almost EVERY F/O in the entire game, once again, especially in their own zone…this led to chance after chance for Nashville…

    The bottom line is that their goalie bailed out their team, and our goalies didn’t…the first goal on Khabibulin was putrid…a soft shot should have been stopped and covered, instead he gave up a huge, juicy rebound that Nashville tapped in, and the Hawks seemed to shrink after that miscue…the 2nd goal was a great shot, but he could have stopped it if he was out of his crease…the fact is he has lost his game, and he’s killing the Hawks…the future of Raanta is now…either that or Sheldon Brookbank will continue playing, only this time as our goalie…nice job Q!

  • November 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Preds had more quality chances…
    they had either really good looks/time to make perfect shot or odd man rushes- cuz Hawks had to attack being down early.

    Brad is right – Hawks couldn’t exit zone and Hawks had very little net presence when the rebounds were there… It looked like a 2010 Preds game- very strong forecheck… and low quality chances for the Hawks.

    Trott knows how to beat Hawks!!! And Weber is one strong SOB! Hawks refused to dump and chase!

    Hawks normally always have several odd man rushes… not tonite- it was usually one Hawk vs. 2 0r 3 Preds.

  • November 17, 2013 at 1:55 am

    We didn’t play.

    Yea, 39 did not help but the bottom line is we didn’t play. You could tell by how weak our passing was/passing was way off for our standards (and it wasn’t them, it was us).

    We ‘thought’ it would be an ‘easier’ game… first home back after longtrip, backtoback, 2 goals in last 4 games for them. It should have been a hard game for them, that’s how easy WE made it for them. Shit happens.

    Hoss is key to roadtrip (or it will be a huge boost when he gets back, like when he came in for 2010 season during roadtrip…). Its lowerbody so good that its not anything to do with back.

  • November 17, 2013 at 3:37 am

    That was the worst drubbing they’ve taken since Sam Gagner’s 8 point game a couple years ago. The only two players that had a pretty good game were Kane and Pirri and not just because they were the only Hawk goal scorers. Kane had the puck alot and was the most dangerous Hawk by a large margin tonight. Pirri actually made some pretty good defensive plays in the d-zone and scored on a rebound because he went to the net and got his stick on the puck before the Preds could clear the puck or tie up his stick – something no other Hawks could accomplish tonight.

    Everyone else was pretty much bad and hopefully they embarrassed to the point that they resolve to never ever play that poorly again. Most of the Hawks players seemed unfocused and looked like they thought they would just throw their sticks on the ice and bring home 2 points. The Preds outworked them all game long. Yes the Hawks deserve a lot of the blame, but I give credit to the Preds who played a superbly structured game that kept their sticks on the puck and in passing lanes and didn’t give the Hawks any room to do anything.

    And now the schedule becomes more difficult with a whole bunch of Western Conference teams on the schedule ahead, with many of the games on the road. Hopefully Hossa will be back in the lineup and Raanta will not spit the bit because Crawford needs to play a lighter schedule that what he has done so far this season.

    Tonight was only 1 game of 82 – so trying not to emotionally overreact. Hope they lace em up a little tighter tomorrow because if they play as poorly tomorrow as they did today – San Jose will score two touchdowns.

  • November 17, 2013 at 7:10 am

    ^ exactly.

    Can we please return to the universe where Marcus Kruger doesn’t commit bad turnovers and Viktor Stalberg has no finish?

  • November 17, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Hawks have been playing teams that are 2nd tier and play wider open style (i.e. less physical), than the team they played last night and will encounter the next few weeks- starting tonight. It’s been well established that if you bang on the stars it slows down the Hawks until/unless they answer back with energy, pace and some hitting of their own. Last night they did none of the above and the results speak for themselves.

    This is why Bickell will be important both on this trip and to the Hawks come playoff time. Hope he starts to rev up his motor as we need it. If Hoss is out again tonight, I’d move 29 up to 1st line to motivate him and team and prepare to bang away. Better lace em up tonight because it’s going to be a rough gamne against a very good Sharks team.

    Hopefully we see Ranta and Bulin is done. Brutal.

  • November 17, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Yeah, I see this as a great opportunity…Q has over worked CC and we must have a backup take up some games…the injury to Bulin gives Raanta an opportunity to shine in the NHL…this is what guys wait their whole lives for…so whether its Raanta or Simpson or Carruth, someone will step up in the spotlight and make us better…ultimately its games like last night that help define a season…it was embarrassing and pointed out some weaknesses with this team, including personnel, and this championship team will address these problems and get better…

    Since being demoted, Morin has played 2 very good games in Rockford (2 goals and 1 assist and a +2)…no sulking…just working hard…how is he not rewarded with a roster spot? Why are we stressing our top 6 forwards by double shifting covering up for a dead weight like BB playing only 5 minutes…on the road in a divisional game? We win when we roll our 4 outstanding lines…last night we lost for a variety of reasons, but we didn’t roll 4 lines…and that’s all on Q…he protects mediocre veterans like BB and plays mind games with youngsters like Morin…and Morin can help us right now.

  • November 17, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Just a brief reminder to those that want Morin back up: the Hawks no longer have cap room to overload the roster. Morin may have lost a shot at the road trip to both Versteeg & Raanta…

  • November 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

    more re: Morin –

    Right now, with Kostka & Handzus on LTIR, the Blackhawks have 23 on their NHL roster & a little over $1.4M in cap space according to Capgeek.

    That’s one consideration….

    The other consideration: Smith & Bollig are on one-way deals. The only guy that would be easy to send back to Rockford is Pirri, but I like how he’s playing and firmly believe he has shown enough to stay in Chicago. Morin, on the other hand, did not distinguish himself while up. If I’m keeping one of the two, it’s Pirri.

    Which means the Hawks need to keep Hossa & Rozsival healthy and Brookbank on the blue line. There’s no question that this team is better w/ Versteeg on the 3rd line than Brookbank and/or Morin.

    To Sr. Brad saying the Hawks inability to roll 4 quality lines was “all on Q,” I actually chuckled. Hossa couldn’t go after the warm-up and the team is already at the roster max, and that’s Quenneville’s fault somehow?

  • November 17, 2013 at 9:43 am

    A frustrating loss to be sure. But, this is one reason why the NHL is the best league on the planet. The Hawks, surely looking past Nashville to SJ and the Avs, (starting Habby, giving Hoss a rest etc) get smoked. There are no push over teams in the NHL…..

    Let’s hope Raanta is not too tired either. I am sure he had a physically draining night against the Griffins. At least he does not have to travel far.

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:11 am

    The Hawks have two recent Stanley Cups, so one bad night means basically nothing. I just continue to question the 2M deal for Khaby and keeping Brookbank around. Other teams bring up the young goalie and its fine. Crawford can’t play every game and be ready for a playoff run. The fans questioned the Khaby deal when it was made so this isn’t hindsight.

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:39 am

    BB in net!!!!! Priceless Sr. Brad!!!! Although he might do better than khabby………

    Speaking of BB, to me the beginning of the end so to speak was his ill timed ill advised fight….. There was NO reason for that…… That seemed to spark the preds…..

    Bottom line, hawks figured they had an easy one & mailed this one in…… Like others have said before ANY team can beat ANY team at ANY time….. Preparation & commitment are the key. I’m sure the boys learned that lesson & we’ll see a different team tonight…..

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Agreed Pete… I for one questioned both Khabby and CC contract… And CC has been very solid this year (just don’t like length/amount) – but the Khabby thing was like Bruno and Turco- One year band-aid (AND this band-aid was used/old and pulled off of another wound (Oiler’s))!!!

    But- really last nite was a Team effort!!! besides 1st Goal let in by khabby- he must have metal in that glove… TO’s and odd man rushes w/ perfect shots (due to time and space)… the other kid coughed up plenty of rebounds – but no one was even for 2nd attempt excluding 37 (as PP expired).

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

    to add- wrong time to start playing that kind of game-

    Circus trip + Good WC teams= trouble

    Hope Hoss is ok- 81 is SO SMART— perhaps he realized the trap the Hawks were skating into last nite + Khabby start… and decided to get some beauty rest… and live to play another day!!!

  • November 17, 2013 at 11:54 am

    That’s true Tab…I guess Hoss came up lame pre game, but the Hawks have to have an extra forward to go to in case of injury…and BB can be sent down to make room and space for Morin, or anyone else…BB would have to clear waivers, but so does anyone who doesn’t have a two way contract…

    My point clearly is that the Hawks win when they roll 4 lines…and this should happen every night…if Hoss is injured a Bollig type player should step in and play, not a DMan…I think what you are also saying is that with the Versteeg trade, things have happened quite quickly and the Hawks, as an organization, were unprepared for Hossa’s weekend injury…but by tonight, we have to have an alternative to 5 minutes of BB on the wing…

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