Blackhawks Fall To Preds, Prospects In Action
Roman Josi collected three assists and Shea Weber had two as the Predators came into Chicago and handed the Blackhawks their fourth loss in seven games since the Olympic break.
Mike Fisher and Patric Hornqvist scored within a 3:18 window to give Nashville a 2-0 lead late in the first period. But Jonathan Toews scored his 26th of the season with only 16 seconds remaining in the frame to keep the Hawks within one at the first intermission.
The two teams skated a scoreless second period, and the Hawks opened the third with on a power play. Unfortunately, Ryan Ellis received an outlet pass from Josi as he left the box and scored on a breakaway to give the Preds a 3-1 lead. Peter Regin redirected a Johnny Oduya shot past Rinne, but that was the sum of the Blackhawks’ offense on the night.
In all four Chicago losses since the break, they have out-shot their opponent; on Friday night, the Hawks put 33 shots on net while the Preds were credited with 29.
Toews had a strong night in defeat once again, winning 19 of 23 faceoffs with his goal. Chicago’s captain has scored seven goals in the last six games.
Kris Versteeg played well, setting up Toews goal. Nick Leddy was credited with three blocked shots and three hits in the game. Oduya, Sheldon Brookbank and Brent Seabrook were also credited with three blocked shots each in the loss. Patrick Sharp led the Hawks with four hits.
After not participating in the morning skate, Brandon Bollig was limited to 5:49 in the game.
In their last three games (1-2-0), the Hawks have been limited to six goals and have been 0-9 on the power play against teams that rank in the lower half of the league in penalty killing: Buffalo (15th), Colorado (21st), and Nashville (25th).
The banged-up Red Wings, who beat Edmonton in a shootout on Friday night, will visit the United Center on Sunday evening. Detroit has lost four of six.
Also Friday night, a number of the Hawks’ top prospects were in action.
Stephen Johns scored two goals and added an assist and Vince Hinostroza was credited with two assists as Notre Dame blasted Boston College 7-2. For BC, Kevin Hayes was minus-two and Chris Calnan even; neither had a point in the loss.
Also in Hockey East action, defenseman Michael Paliotta had an assist but Vermont came up short, losing 3-2 to UMass-Lowell.
Forward John Hayden had a power play goal for Yale, but also lost on Friday night. The Bulldogs fell 6-2 to Quinnipiac.
In Ann Arbor, Justin Holl and Minnesota claimed the inaugural Big Ten title with a 3-2 win over Tyler Motte and Michigan. Motte was credited with an assist in the loss.
Ohio State defeated Penn State 4-2 and will finish their regular season against the Nittany Lions on Saturday. Defenseman Sam Jardine is second among Buckeyes defensemen with 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists).
38 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fall To Preds, Prospects In Action”
Blackhawks Postseason concern: The Blackhawks
Smith looked good with 10/88 when they cyled the puck in 3rd period shift…
Morin- scores two more for Hogs!!!
Johns is going to be a BEAST-
I hope TT goes far in Liiga- so Hawks don’t burn the ELC… TT can’t even save the Hawks this year!!!
How many games has Hawk’s Goalie “stood on his head” this year???
FINAL: Ducks 6 – Avs 4
Hawks could have moved back into 2nd place tonight. At least Colorado stayed within reach.
The score was 2-1 and the Hawks were on the power play. The puck was passed to Patrick Sharp who was on the right point. Sharp knew the power play was winding down and he wanted to put a shot on net before the Preds came to even strength. He moved laterally hoping to see an opening to unleash his shot, but there wasn’t a clear path available. So what did he do? He shot it anyway, and the shot was blocked and passed up ice sending the guy coming out of the penalty box in alone on Crawford and the guy scored and that was the margin between voctory and defeat.
Situational awareness. Sharp is a veteran and knows what should and shouldn’t be done. But he did what he shouldn’t have done and it cost the Hawks. Why? Is it that he isn’t very bright and when the pressure is on his brain shuts off? Or maybe the more pertinent question is why Sharp is playing point on the power play. He had some success early in the season getting some PP goals bombing it from the point – but on balance, he has made more poor plays that good ones. The last game against Colorado, even though it was a pulled goalie for the 6th man and not a PP, there he was on the right point in the closing seconds hesitating and allowing the defender to poke the puck out of the zone. And there have been numerous other times when Sharp has misplayed the point position. Enough is enough.
As the season winds down, now with only 15 games remaining in the regular season, it is becoming less and less likely the Hawks are going to find the missing ingrediant – that being the hunger necessary to fight and claw their way through opponents and up the mountain. That’s the hunger that these other teams have. They haven’t had the mountain top experience like the Hawks have had. It’s no shame on the Hawks and it’s why no team has repeated since before the salary cap – the margin of talent is too close now for the previous Cup winner to repeat with a vastly superior team because there are no vastly superior teams any longer. Therefore the difference between the previous Cup winner and the other contending teams is that the other teams have the hunger and the reigning champs don’t. Or maybe it could be better said that the reigning champs have the hunger in their heads but the other teams have it deep in their gut.
Oh well, can’t win em all.
What line juggling in the third! It was kind of fun seeing which random set of forwards would go out next over the boards. They looked better without Grandpa Handzus skating around but I can’t help but wonder why Regin never took Handzus’ spot as 2nd line center (faster at least) or why Sharp can’t go back to center. Versteeg looked really good tonight with a real center
COL is going to nosedive in games 72-82, there wining too many games right now/recently. MIN or believe it DAL might be the 3 seed if they can win 5-7 in a row.
The Blackhawks playoff push/strong finish starts when Hossa gets back.
SJ has a much easier sch then STL, they should get the overall 1 seed.
I think ANA & CHI have a strong finish.
Scratch what I said about SJ, they just played 12 games in a row against East conf.
What can be said…we lost to Les Prey-Da -Tour and at home yet. Not good. I believe Q stated that as well..” not good”. We are, (counting OTL as a loss ), 9-14 against our division and since the start of ’14 , 10-15. Everyone on the TT bandwagon…I dunno, maybe the NHL won’t work out for this guy…it is a big factor and not something you can count on instead of the second coming of Stan Mikita and the salvation of the team. Nice to see everyone is still optimistic though. Really like Ebonyraptors comment on “hunger”…that is what is going on…..however,….if anyone can dig deep down its our guys and we all know that….that is what we have and lets hope we can find.
Incredible…everyone during this stretch without Hossa wants to overlook the obvious and give away the season…”the Hawks are done”…”they just don’t have what it takes”…”they’re tired, they’re complacent”…
Bullsh$t…the Hawks still have what it takes to win another Cup IF they roll 4 f$cking lines and get good goaltending…once again, our goaltender was outplayed by the opposition net minder…and there wasn’t anything drastically wrong with CC’s game, but he can’t give up that rebound on a weak wrist shot from the point on the 1st goal, and when his team is struggling, he has to pick them up with a “stand on his head” game …he’s had ONE all season long…in Montreal…that’s it…you simply cannot pay a guy $6 million a year for being a pretty good goalie…because that’s what Crawford is…and its still good enough to win a Cup, because we did it last year, and believe me, CC was no more than a pretty good goalie…
The problem is so easy to see and its compounded by Hossa’s injury…the Hawks win when we roll 4 lines, when we don’t we are now OFFICIALLY a below .500 hockey team…since the New Year we are 10-7-7, in those 24 games since the break we have rolled 4 lines only 9 times…in those 9 games we are 7-0-2, in the games where Q dresses DMen as forwards or shortens the bench we are, get this, 3-7-5…do the math…
This entire season, when Handzus is in our lineup, 47 games, we have a win/loss record of 24/23 when he hasn’t been in the lineup we have a record of 14-4…again, do the math. I don’t want to dump on Handzus, because what is being asked of him is NOT FAIR…he’s a quality person and WAS a quality player, but he’s not anymore…Peter Regin scored a goal tonight…so what…he’s not a very good hockey player…and he NEVER has been. When the Hawks played Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin this year, and neither was phenomenal, we were 18-3-5…but all anyone here wants to talk about is how Bryan Bickell sucks, or Andrew Shaw takes too many penalties…let me repeat that…when Pirri centred for the Hawks we were 18-3-5.
The fact of the matter is this…the NHL is TOUGH…there is real parity in the salary cap age…the Hawks talent level is not head over heals better than anyone else’s…we win because of our DEPTH…we roll 4 good lines, and most teams only have 2 good lines…our stars stay fresh, our forwards back check, and our defence and goaltending look better than they are…but when we stop rolling 4 lines, Toews and Co. get gassed…and when you combine average goaltending to the mix, we no longer dominate…when Hossa went down with an injury it was the PERFECT TIME to recall Jeremy Morin…the best offensive player in the AHL…he meshed perfectly with Shaw and Saad on the 3rd line while he was here, and was a + hockey player…in Rockford he now has 24 goals in 47 games and is a +9…but he rots in Rockford while Handzus gets to centre Patrick F$cking Kane every night and Peter Regin gets a spot…Regin at -10 with his son’s shoe size in goals…since Xmas, Handzus has played in 24 games…he has ZERO goals, 2 assists and is a -5, and put a total of 24 shots on goal. In 5 games with Chicago, Regin has 1 goal, no assists, has a +/- of 0 and has 7 shots on goal…yep, you can sure see why Morin is playing in Rockford and Pirri is in Florida.
Our first line is great…our 4th line is likely the best 4th line in the NHL…our PP is decent…our PK has become one of the best in the league…our goaltending is decent to good…but since Zus and Bickell came back from injury, we have stopped rolling 4 lines and we are a below .500 team…its not rocket science…I have said that we will continue to lose until Q fields a lineup that can roll 4 lines…he has the ability to do so, but instead Zus plays every night, and we give Regin a break so that a below average, aging DMan with no skill can play right wing. At the trade deadline Bowman avoids making deals, except to get rid of Pirri and to add an 8th DMan, who is struggling badly and won’t turn things around until he works out his kinks…ergo, NEXT SEASON…but he takes up a roster spot…BRILLIANT…and now we sit and wait for Hossa to get healthy and for TT’s team in Finland to lose Saturday, so that he could be here Sunday…
But here’s the good news and the silver lining…when Hossa comes back, and TT gets here, no matter what our record is…no matter what seed we are…no matter how many games we have lost in a row…we will become Cup contenders again…and here’s why…OUR DEPTH…TT doesn’t HAVE to be a star…he doesn’t have to skate more than 15 minutes…he just needs to be himself…play with Kane and Sharp and not get hurt…the rest will take care of itself…Zus and Regin are NOT good enough to be full time players for the Hawks…they are merely here for depth come playoff time…and there’s no room for Morin either, or for that matter Pirri…BUT by keeping them on our roster, we would have kept wining, and stockpiled valuable points, and kept everyone fresh, instead of where we are…and that falls on Q and Bowman alone…not the players…
Toews was outstanding again and we did well at the dot vs a team that has been near the top all year. Versteeg was ok, I just wish he would look to shoot more. The 3rd goal just can’t happen in that situation. We came out flat(again) and basically lost the game in the first period. Spotting a team 2 is not a recipe for beating them, especially the Preds. Everybody knows that, yet we played right into their hands. Just treading water at this point. Lacking purpose, will and direction. It happens.
I have never played organized hockey, but I have been watching these games closely over the last 7 years or so. It seems to me that when you lose a top player, you not only lose that player, but also it creates an adverse domino affect down through the lineup. So when I look at the lineup I think about how many players the Hawks would be better off without, i.e upgrade possibilities. There are almost always a few players in this category. I see three right now from last night’s game i.e Brookbank, Regin and Handzus. They can be replaced by Hossa, TT and Rosie. If you look at it that way then last night’s loss isn’t that big of a deal, since they still have the opportunity to put their best lineup out there when the games really count. Anyone else look at it this way, or am I being too simplistic
Rozy will be 3rd pair for playoffs.
I have to go through with this, but don’t worry. You won’t get hurt–your equipment should protect you.
Being on the same team as you is all the padding I need, Rosie.
Here’s how Hawks skate 4 lines…
I know Q won’t ever play Mo… so then it’s “Handcuffs”…
MAYBE NEXT YEAR!!!
Sr. Brad and Pete, I would like to agree with you that when Hossa comes back a lot of our issues will be fixed. I would rather see us “have” to fit in Hossa than “need” him like we obviously do.
How Morin did not get the call up is crazy to me.
Q won the Stanley Cup last year, but this feels like his coaching job from 2 years ago when we lost 9 straight.
Could you imagine if the Hawks only still had LADD and BUFF! wow a dynasty for sure, but salary cap and todays NHL makes it impossible. Imagine if we had two of our best players back, I’m dreaming. I think if this Hawks team makes it out of the first round in style and with confidence ( not sneaking by in ot of shoot outs ) they still have a shot, but they do not look hungry right now, home ice over rated for the Hawks is no big deal, and maybe just maybe they go in a long shot and play underdog, underwhelming then surprise us. They could do it hawks have no advantage at home after “oh say can you see” So it really does not matter, lots of good teams out there.
I thought the guys played well other than the first period . The Bickell contract is not the problem. I thought threw his weight around well last night. I wish it was more in front of the net. I would like to see the 29-19-88 line. The problem I am am seeing ( outside of Handzus) is CC and that terrible contract. Crawford is average. Last year the Hawks were dominate over other teams an could afford average goaltending. This year many teams have caught up and being average simply isn’t good enough. Crawford is not in the Rask, Lundquist, Quick, Miller category. Crawford has something like 1 SO in 2 years. Like said before Hawks goaltending has outright stolen a game since Emery stood on his head against Calgary last year.
That’s hasn’t stolen a game
I still say they could have kept Buff. It was a matter of priorities at the time. My concern with the home ice against the Avalanche is that the mile high altitude will help Colorado.
Michael, when Hoss gets back, things will change dramatically, but it is TT coming in and giving us solid 2nd line minutes that will put us over the top…I have zero doubts about this…
Wall, when Hoss and TT get here, these are the lines…
Bickell-Shaw-Versteeg (This is why we got Kris)
Other teams can’t touch this lineup over 7 games…we are simply too good, too deep to get beat, that includes STL, COL and BOS…
Its the pissing away points now by Q and Bowman that kills me…Zus simply should not be playing…if you tape the games and then follow Handzus around the ice, it isn’t even funny, its just sad…
The 6 Hawk PK’ers should be Toews, Hossa, Kruger, Smith, Versteeg and Saad. Those 6 give us the best chance to kill penalties come playoff time…thus there is no reason for Zus to be on the ice.
The 2 PP units should be Toews, Shaw, Hossa, Keith and Seabrook, and Sharp, TT, Kane, Leddy and Versteeg…we should also be working Saad and Bickell into these units…how is Bryan Bickell earning $4 million a year and NOT being used as our “Shaw-like” screen on the PP??? Bickell should be standing in front of the net, not Shaw…
I was at the UC to see the debacle first hand. Conclusions I have are the same.
This team is in recovery mode over last season, lacks the same depth and is persistently victimized by poor play coming from several players. We don’t get out of the second round this year. We just don’t.
Sharp made yet another selfish and inexcusable play last nite that led to a Preds goal. It’s been the same half ass selfish horseshit from him for weeks. Sharp got a fucking ego en route to whining his way onto the Canadian Olympic team and hasn’t been the same since.
Versteeg had a good game last nite but has been mostly horseshit in his return. Facts are facts. He needs to exit.
Bickell is beyond explanations.
Shaw has played poorly since December and it may be a case of the pixie dust finally wearing off a hard nosed overachiever. I like Shaw a great deal but I may be guilty of not looking at him objectively until now.
Crawford has not been consistent enough and is flashing his 2011-12 self. Which translates to early playoff exit for this team.
TT is not going to be the magic salvation at the tail end of the season on a veteran club with sobering issues faced otherwise.
This just in…Ben Smith is a good hockey player…I’d like to see Smith centre Sharp and Kane until TT gets here…
Anyone else here tired of hearing, “I know it’s a cliché and guys keep saying it, but we’ve got to find a way to play a full 60 minutes, and find a way to get the two points,” or similar bs?
G-Bladz… yes- Both CC and 29 contracts were bad ideas…
I always complimented SB for NOT overpaying the Goalie Position… spend the $$$ on the skaters in front of the Goalie… Hawks have won two SC’s w/ less than $3M goalies… there was/is no reason they couldn’t do it again (and spend $$$ on the skaters in front of the Goal)… BUT
SB – locked up an average goalie for Above average pay… while I understand the Hawks don’t have good Goalies in pipeline… How many Goalies were moved recently??? several other young average to better than average goalies -imo!!!
And Once again… CC is not the blame… think he has been what he is… slightly better than average… the Blame is to SB for $$$/length for average 29,52… this will make it tough to keep pace with other teams in near future… And Yes, CC’s contract doesn’t kick in until next year (29’s is this year)… just didn’t like those two contracts for the future.
1. Agree with Rufus that Shaw has been playing poorly the past month+. He has his moments and I love his heart, but he is absolutely NOT a 1st/2nd line player.. His value lies in his hustle as a 3rd/4th line grinder/irritator. Kills me to see him overused/valued in view of other bewildering personnel decisions of late and undermines his true value to the team.
2. Get Sharp OFF THE POINT on the PP.. He is an accident waiting to happen every shift. How can this not be obvious?
3. Brad- I do not agree with your suggestion that TT paired with 88 and 10 is a well thought out playoff line and has potential to right the ship. TT is light/untested at NHL level and 88 gets manhandled easy if he is primary scoring focus. Sharp is mediocre as D minded winger. Bottom line, NOONE will be at the net is this group and fly-byes are not going to work against Varlamov in the playoffs.
4. Wow- people are putting a TON of pressure/expectations on TT, very unlikely he’ll live up to them.. Again, just my opinion.
5. CC is an average/decent goalie and has been his entire career. His $6mil is a more of a reality check reflection of the market overvaluing the G position than Hawks mgmt making a “mistake” (many comparable contracts for other average league goalies prove this point), although the 6 years were killer. As most know from my years on this board, I am not a Crawford fan, but this team was not built to win dependent on great goaltending. The lack of balanced lines and a 2C is our Achilles this year. That said, agree with Brad that we way overpaid/overcommitted to CC.
Of you’re still bringing up Dustin Byfuglien you need to slap whomever had you cryogenically frozen for the last 2+ years
Negzz, I agree with you on the TT line…I would much rather, as Wall has always suggested, that TT be paired with Saad and Hossa to protect him, and have Toews centre Sharp and Kane…I only listed it that way because that’s what I think the Hawks will do.
Wall, the thing with Bickell is that Bowman signed him for significantly LESS than what he would have got if he hit FA…there was solid info, that I have had confirmed, amongst player agents that Bickell had 3 offers that would have paid him NORTH of $5.5 million per season…so I like what Negzz said about everyone overpaying for the goalie position, the same can be said for the power forward position…in hindsight, we would have been better off this REGULAR season NOT keeping Bickell…but here’s the thing…we don’t win the Cup last year without Bickell, and perhaps the only way we will win the Cup this year IS with a 100% Bickell…so I really don’t know that we can judge the Bickell situation yet…as for CC, we overpaid for an above average goalie, plain and simple…shut outs for goalies have always been a KEY stat because those are games where the goalie ensures that you can’t lose…and CC has had 4 in a little over 3 years and that’s an atrocious figure…your “A” goalie has got to win you some games every year that you have no business winning…as well as he played in MTL we still lost and last year it was Emery that stole that game for us in CGY.
Negzz, a lot LESS pressure on TT than you think…he doesn’t need to be all world for us to win…he just needs to play his game at both end of the ice for about 15 minutes a night…even if he was a zero +/- player and scored at a .5 PPG rate, he would be a massive upgrade over Zus…that’s the thing about our Stars…they are so good and clutch, that we don’t have to have the world from the rest of the team, they just need to do their jobs…you know that a 3rd line of Shaw, Bickell and Versteeg will do just that…guaranteed the 4th line will…the key is that 2nd line…it doesn’t need tons of production, but they have to play significant minutes and control the puck…that’s why I am so sure on TT…
Wall, I agree 100% with your/Scotty Bowman’s approach to goaltending…just look at what the Hawks did while Raanta was in goal during the stretch CC was out…we went 12-1-3 with Raanta in net during that stretch, and while he was impressive for a rookie, he was still a little above average…the team simply stepped up and rallied around him and played phenomenal team defence…with 4 lines rolling…
Brad, your right about T. He doesn’t have to do anything/relied on spectacular. Everyone needs to keep expectations in check about him and watch how much better he will make/complete the 2nd line. Not to mention Kaner going wild on PP, the other team will be seeing two of them out there. Theres a guy for the point.
The Hawks are one of 16 teams in the playoffs-each team statistically has about a 6% chance. (I know there are other factors) The chances of the same team winning three times in 5 years?
Two facts of human nature-one we tend to be critical and two we like to micro-manage. A piece of advice-enjoy the final run and playoffs and remember the Black Hawks have won the cup twice in a very short time and have some amazing things to be thankful for: like 88 approaching the blueline and the way 2 skates. 19 is the most accomplished players in the world and soon we get to watch TT. When they get in that zone it’s so fun to watch them play–
I’m sure when the playoffs start I’ll be different but some perspective will allow me to appreciate what they have done and may do again in the next few years. If they fall short this year it will be Ok!
The TT expectations for me are that he will make those around him perform better or to their abilities because they might have someone who a) gets them the puck or b) can get there when the puck is still in the same zip code. I think it is more likely that Kane and whoever else, if on TT’s line will simply start getting more points.
I doubt TT will explode with points (although assists are a possibility) but simply running offense how it should be would be tremendous.
Great post Noonan…at the end of the day, all of this is supposed to be making us happy. Thanks for the reminder…with Hossa back and TT in the fold, the Hawks are going to make a serious run…
1. Sharp is not to blame on the shot he took if he thought he saw space. Keith should have been heading backwards to cover the guy coming out of the box. It also took a PERFECT BOUNCE to land on a Predator’s stick.
2. Handzus needs to be launched to the moon. The second line center should not be riding the pine when you shorten your bench.
3. Oh, Versteeg. Amazing what happens when he isn’t playing with Shaw or Handzus. But we will just continue to throw
4. Bickell. Played a good game. We will continue blasting him because who else? Was nice to see Q have him out there in crunch time. The guy is rounding into shape and should be a beast these last few weeks.
5. Leddy. When he launched out of the cannon during that 4 on 4 I think I made noises from my couch. Hammer and Leddy also played really nice together… foreshadowing?
6. Rumor has it that the Avalanche are giving 3 years at 4.35 to Reto Berra. Still think Crawford got too much?
7, If the Hawks realize they have to play like they did in the third period come playoff time, get out the way.
^ Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
Bickell and Versteeg looked great. Very, very encouraging to see.
JS- yes CC got too much$$$… Reto Berra has Stood on his head- and earned a GOALIE win!!! And how is $1.45 Million/per year too much???
JS- Thanks for the assist here… Reto Berra IS exactly the type of goalie the Hawks should have waited for AT exactly the right PRICE!!! Has good size,,, Hawks could have banked that xtra $4.5 Million toward a 2nd line Center Perhaps???
Wall that’s exactly what Scotty Bowman used to do with goaltending…
I had originally heard at 4.35 per… but it turns out that’s the total value. The guy still has only played 30 NHL games at under a .900 S%