Blackhawks Get Revenge, Blow Out Coyotes

Everyone wanted to see how the Blackhawks would perform in their first game against the Seattle Phoenix Coyotes with Raffi Torres in the lineup.

Chicago answered the bell with their most dominant performance of the season.

Where do we begin with the offense?

Five Blackhawks had multi-point games. Patrick Sharp kicked off some rust with three assists and Patrick Kane had an incredible first period that included two goals and an assist as the Hawks blew the doors off the Coyotes.

At the end of the first period, the Hawks had as many goals – four -as the Coyotes had shots.

Chicago’s third line continued to play outstanding hockey. Both Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg had a goal and an assist in the game. Dave Bolland converted a gorgeous pass from Kane as part of the onslaught.

And Jonathan Toews embarassed Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Mike Smith departed after allowing six goals in 35 minutes. In two starts against the Hawks this season, Smith has a 7.57 goals against average.

Also picking up an assist at the expense of Smith were Andrew Shaw, Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith.

Every aspect of the game was dominated by the Blackhawks, and the action really got started when Jamal Mayers dropped the gloves with Torres immediately on his first shift. The bought was good and clean, and Mayers sparked the emotion of his teammates.

The Blackhawks blocked 18 shots in the game, led by five from Brent Seabrook and four from Niklas Hjalmarsson. Shaw won eight of 12 faceoffs and Mayers won five of his six opportunities at the dot.

In the game, Torres scored a meaningless goal with under two minutes left in the game. He was minus-one in the game and only Radim Vrbata saw less ice time on the Phoenix roster.

Ray Emery played with a lead throughout but was very good once again, allowing only two goals against 24 shots to earn his third victory of the season.

One concern came late in the game when Nick Leddy appeared to take a shot in the face just before Torres’ sympathy goal. Leddy immediately departed.

Chicago has successfully dominated a tough, road-heavy early schedule with 20 of 22 possible points, and continue to sit on top of the NHL standings.

Kane goal PHX

26 thoughts on “Blackhawks Get Revenge, Blow Out Coyotes

  • February 7, 2013 at 11:23 pm


  • February 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Thanks Tab…great win…wonderful to see Kane having fun out there, and following through with his commitments at both ends of the ice…nice game by Sharp, and not just because of the points…

    I am a huge fan of both Shaw and Stahlberg, and I thought that line was outstanding again tonight…in fact, the only games where Bickell hasn’t put out a strong effort were the ones when Shaw was centring the 2nd line…clearly Andrew gets the most out of both of his linemates, and they are a fun group to watch.

    Good job by Emery again…two solid goaltenders in net!

  • February 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Seattle? No freaking way. Should be Quebec or Hartford if/ when they move. Gimme the Nordiques or the Whalers back.

    Back to tonight. Was I the only one that wanted us to fight Torres every time he got back out of the box just so he’d get thrown back in and couldn’t take a run at anyone?

    Agree that Sharpie knocked off some rust with the assists Tab, but darn those posts for him. He is snake bit right now and can’t find the net, but he sure can find the post or the bar.

    Kaner put on a show. And Johnny Toews is unbelievable! I would take Tazer just because of the responsible things that he does as a Center, IE, win faceoffs, get everyone involved, etc. But you add his skill and speed on top of it and the guy is flat out amazing.

  • February 8, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Great team victory here! All lines getting invovled. Kane is, like Brad said, having fun. And when he is just having fun he is down right unstoppable. I think now is the time to make a committment to Shaw. Work out his extention now, so we are not playing the “how much is it going to take to keep you game” at the end of next year. Bolland’s contract is up at the end of next year when Shaw is a RFA… just give Shaw something in the ballpark of 11M/4Yr. Stalberg has been out of his mind on that 3rd line. Teams aren’t prepared to have a guy who is that gifted on a 3rd line (much in the same way we had Versteeg playing a 3rd line role). When you have guys like Shaw and Bicks who will throw their body around (took long enough for bicks), it lets stalberg use his offensive abilities.

    This team is very exciting, and we should win our next 2. Nashville plays b2b Sat/Sun, and has to travel from Minny over night, so even though its a road game, i like our odds (even more so if we get Mason in net). The we get a red hot ducks team and even though they have 2 days rest before tuesdays game, they play b2b @Dallas and @St. Louis friday and saturday. The Madhouse will be rocking for the first time in more than 2 weeks, so the ducks will have their hands full.

    Oh man I’m jacked up right now thinking about it…


  • February 8, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Foley said “a couple” of Hawks ran 4.4 40’s while they were training at the Cardinals’ practice facilities yesterday.

    A) Is that possibly true?
    B) Who on the Hawks can run a 4.4? My guess would be Keith and Stal. Maybe Frolik or Saad.

    Well done Hawks!

  • February 8, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Fun game to watch.

    3rd line- must be holding private practices after hours- really have some chemistry right now.

    Kane playing w/ 2 guys who can finish his no look passes-

    If/when Saad learns some patience… the 1st line will be nasty. Right now it is “individually” nasty.

    Only bad thing is Stalberg is playing his way out of Chicago! We need to find a way Keep Him!!!

    Preds game will be a true test to how the Hawks have improved “escaping their own zone cleanly”- Many of us have noted this improvement in the Hawks this year… Preds are one of the hardest teams to play in that regard.

  • February 8, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I was thinking the same thing on Stalberg, Wall. Maybe if we can extent the 3rd line as a whole and get them all to take a slight discount to stay together, we can pull it off.

    But ya, if we lose him, it would be a tough blow to take. I think we have the depth, where we can recoup from it, but I’d rather not have too.

  • February 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Agreed to both Wall and Tim…Bowman should extend both Shaw and Stahlberg…both have skills that are hard to find and unteachable…Stahls has his speed to go with his attitude and effort and Shaw has his GRIT to go with his hustle and physical play…they both need to be part of the long term plan here…Bolly can be replaced if he won’t sign a reasonable deal (see Shaw and Kruger).

    Tim makes a great point, in that Stahlberg on the 3rd line gives us the luxury that we had during the Stanley Cup run of having Versteeg there…and as Wall said, this trio seems to have as much chemistry as Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. I still think the key was running 4 lines equally…when that last 4th line winger (either Mayer or Bollig) gets 7.5+ minutes per game, we win as it keeps the top 3 lines fresh, and all 3 of those lines are outplaying their opponents badly.

    Pheonix is a good hockey team, and they looked lost last night…AT HOME!

  • February 8, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I enjoyed seeing Smith head toward the bench more than any other part of last night’s game.

    Is it just me or does Saad draw two penalties a game with his speed?

  • February 8, 2013 at 9:38 am

    What a fantastic “road” game. What a pathetic home crowd for PHX, but enough about them. I am amazed by Andrew Shaws game and his ability to play center. He is a smaller guy so I didnt think he would be able to run with the 3rd line center assignment as well as he does. He is a great backchecker and does enough offensively, plus he provides nice grit. What a great find he has been since he was drafted in the 5th round! When you can have talented players like Frolik and Kruger on your 4th line it does alot. I have NEVER been a Nick Leddy fan but I like him has a 3rd d pair. He does some nice things out there and his d-positioning is solid despite his small size. Now im very courious to see how the next 2 games go against 2 bigger and more physical teams(Nashvile/Ana). I think the Ducks are going to be a handful this year. They are a nasty and talented group.

  • February 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Great team effort (again).

    Fights-momentum…perhaps Mayers-vs-Torres last night is an example?

    “…extend both Shaw and Stahlberg” – maybe why Bowman didn’t *waste* a LOT of $$ on free agents? (How important is “chemistry”?)

    Stalberg has a much better understanding of the “team” game than Versteeg showed, and much more speed. (And again, it’s great to see Bickell contributing – I hope that he’s finding consistency. The expectation for him to be another Clark Gillies would be UNrealistic, but some games he has been invisible…)

    Leddy – (again,) patience with his development. He has displayed amazing skills – especially speed and puckhandling – the other aspects will improve with experience. (He may add a little size and strength, as well.)

    Go Hawks!!

  • February 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Everybody on here is proving me wrong. I think I was brainwashed by the “old regime” that ran the Hawks. They never let anyone develop and become good players. They shipped everyone out of town before they could get their feet wet. Well, I am starting to change my mind on Shaw and Stahlberg. I always liked Shaw, but Stahlberg just wasn’t enough for me. However, I am beginning to think differently.

    Maybe, just maybe, it took him awhile to find his game. He seems to be getting more separation with his speed and more open in the slot area. Last year, I thought he was skating in circles, at times. This year, he is playing with a purpose and it is showing.

    Also, Frolik and Krueger are making more plays and playing well, defensively. I would say that as a group we are looking good, lines 1-4. If we keep healthy and not lose our heads, we could make a deep run in the playoffs.

  • February 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Tom J — I think the “old regime” was all about $$$$…quality players who wanted to be compensated were moved (Roenick, Belfour, etc.). It was the same mindset that wouldn’t even consider televising home games.

  • February 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Great comments Tom!

  • February 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Brad and Dickie………even this old dog can learn some new tricks!!

  • February 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Tom- I think in Stalberg’s case, when he was asked to play with 19-81 the staff was looking for him to be the bigger body who could get to dirty areas and draw penalties, and be “Johan Franzen-like”. Stalberg has that type of frame (6’3″ 210-215), but thats not his game. He would want to go to “his spot” but then have to go do something that doesn’t fit his game, and thus “skate in circles”. He seems to do better getting the entry pass or setting up in the high slot.

    Saad does those “dirty” things well. He draws those hooking penalties, he crashes, etc, which makes him a good fit with 19-81. Even though he is smaller and more athletic than Franzen, his game is acutally similar…

    Now that Stalberg is on a line where he is the top offensive-player, Bicks and Shaw can do the dirty work and he can just get in position for “his shot” and let it rip!

  • February 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Tim I was thinking the same thing on Saad… He leads the team in penalties drawn, right?

  • February 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    I think Kane has been terrific this year. His skating and stick-handling have been masterful. He’s a little whirling dervish out there, wreaking havoc with his speed and creativity. Nice to see him playing up to his abilities.

  • February 9, 2013 at 2:40 am

    AWESOME POSTS EVERYONE.Beats the Trib and the Sun at the same time.Unfortunatley Bollands departure will be soon.Thats gonna be Danaults spot by 2014 anyway.McNeil or Krueger? That is the question.I choose #16(even though that should be in the rafters with 30/27/28/7/10) but anyway Krugs when he gets another season or 2 in him hes gonna be a Monster.”Man strength” we ll call it.Thought Id see more pots out of him considering he was schooling it in Rockford.Ofcourse he was #1 Center up there and he has a different role with the Big team. The Masks are sure making us eat our words eh? 2 softies by Crow but other then that I thank the Hockey Gods his “Sophmore slump”(30 wins :) seems to be all that was.ALWAYS thought Razor would be Razor again.He did take IMO a soft Sens club to the Finals.If he keeps playing like in Calgary Good Lord.Hammer heard the rumours and it looks like Leddy did also.#2#7 both look Norris material #2 mainly.And this is all with 4 injurys lol wow.If this season turns out like 2 others teams that share this City.Im calling BS :)

  • February 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Re: Saad- I love the kid, tons of assets… forechecks, speed, taking puck off of others stick (almost as good as Hoss). But so far his weeakness- like Stals- are his hands while moving at that highspeed.

    There are two kinds of players- guy’s puck explodes off of the stick- (Sharp, 19-81-36)… and player’s with sticks that explode off of the puck- (Frolik, Kruger, Stals)– so far Saad has been the latter- Good news is that he is 20 yrs. old- and 1st month of NHL.
    If he improves like 25 has at receiving/shooting, Saad is going to be a stud!

    That’s why 10-36 work so well w/ Kane- Kane is a great passer- should always play with guys who can skate fast- but as important receive and shoot while skating fast.

    If we can manage to keep 16-25… the Hawk’s near future w/ 86 (Teuvo) coming… is going to be awesome… 86 is a Stud!!!!!!

    Kruger over McNeil ALL DAY!!!!!!!!! McNeil=Beach

  • February 9, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Wall, I have taken note of what you have said about McNeil, because I respect your opinion so much. But I disagree with McNeil and I will tell you why…McNeil plays a style of game similar to Andrew Shaw…he is sound defensively and offensively he takes the shortest route, which is always to the net…this is why he hasn’t (and will never get 60 goals in a season like Beach did), plus McNeil has never been surrounded by gifted offensive talent, which can only HELP him…why is that some kids come from juniors scoring 25 goals and translate roughly that amount in the NHL??? Because they already play an NHL styled game…Beach was NEVER that kind of junior player (which is why it is taking him so long to adjust in Rockford), but McNeil IS…he keeps the puck in front of him so that he doesn’t give up odd man rushes…well, this responsible act makes for good team hockey and a solid plus/minus, but not basketball like numbers, like some Junior players produce, and then NEVER reproduce at the NHL level. To score consistently in the NHL you have to be around the net…just ask Steve Stamkos…you can’t rely on a wicked wrist shot from 30 feet. Which is why Shaw scores in the NHL and why Saad will continue to. To that end, both Danault and McNeil SHOULD become good producers in the NHL game because of the style that they adhere to.

  • February 10, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Brad, I hope you are right about McNeil. But in the small sample of games/ practices I have seen him in…

    1.) he does not skate that well (Danault can skate)
    2.) when playing for WJ-Under 20’s (with very good talent -was invisible on ice)
    Danault also played- smooth, quick, skater with good vision.
    3.) when playing in Hawks Prospects camp… McNeil seemed slow- Danault and Teuvo much quicker- and TT was 2 steps ahead of everyone in playmaking.

    Perhaps-he was drafted just for face-offs and 3rd line checking- and perhaps he is a stud at that, and I am not noticing it… Time will tell!

    Meanwhile- Danault is tearing it up w/ new Moncton team in QMJHL- since he joined that team they have been scoring about 6 goals a game (he is averaging around 1.7 pts/game)…. Bad news is that the guy he is passing to is near the top in scoring, and is a 6’3, 215 lb. Russian kid that the Blues drafted!!! Dymtri Jaskin. It looks like 2 of the best teams for the next few years will be Hawks and Blues.

  • February 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I don’t know if McNeil is a inadequate skater…I really don’t…certainly that is a key in the NHL…just look at Saad…but I do see McNeil as becoming at least a strong 3rd line centre…which is what everyone was saying about Danault…but I agree with you…I think that Danault is a very good player and likely a 2nd line centre at the NHL level…one more year, and Danault will have a very solid frame to go along with his intelligence and skills!

  • February 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Brad and Wall, although I don’t get to see McNeill play that much, he has the two things that you cannot teach, youth and size. He is still only 19 years old and will probably grow a little more over his 6′ 1″ frame and 210lb. body.

    According to a linesman that I know, McNeill is an “average” skater, for his size. However, with the training and skating instruction that the have, now, he an become an NHL caliber skater with some work. In my humble opinion, an NHL forward can perform that one extra move in traffic that can clear him to make a pass or get off a shot. Right now, he IS an AHL caliber player.

    Just like Saad, McNeill’s hands have to catch up to everything else at full speed.
    It’s just nice to see guys like this in the “pipeline”. As a long time Hawk fan, I am not used to seeing this talent in the system. It’s nice to see these young players develop and get to the big club and produce.

    Remember Everett Sanipass? He was supposed to be the next “superstar” in Chicago. He never panned out. Was it too much pressure? Was he way over rated?
    Did the Hawks just not wait for him to develop? Did he just “suck”? All I know is that we have a farm system that seems to produce good players and we are a million miles from the way that it used to be.

  • February 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Tom J – In my opinion, Everett Sanipass was way over rated and he just sucked. He wasn’t the only one – they wasted several picks over the years…Yakubov, Vorobiev, Radulov, Babchuk, Nabokov, Krivokrasov – NO success drafting Russians. Of course, they blew picks selecting from Canada as well…Stevc McCarthy, Mark Bell, Carl Dykhuis, Adam Bennett, Ken Yaremchuk…back to Greg Vaydik, Alain Daigle, et al.

    They had some real finds (in later rounds), too – Eric Daze, Igor Kravchuk (OK, the found one…), Troy Murray, Steve Larmer…and one or two others.

    Hey, they perferred Keith Brown to Ray Bourque – that’s very telling to me.

  • February 11, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Guys I love the prospect discussions however the nice thing is that most of the this teams core is intact for years to come. The Hawks have the luxury of breaking guys in when they are ready. Only 3 bottom 6 forwards come off the books next season(not counting Mayers). Stalberg, Bickell, & Kruger. So realistically those are the only guys they will either need to be resigned or replaced. Kruger is a RFA. In addition, only your 3rd D-pair is not signed into next season either. So thats a max of 5 players that can turn over. I think its safe to say as Hawks fans we can get used to this mix of players over the next few seasons

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