Blackhawks No Match For Panthers

The Florida Panthers came in arguably the best team in the NHL — certainly one of the top three or four at worst — while the Blackhawks are… the Blackhawks. We aren’t going to beat a dead horse here, but a 5-2 loss to the Panthers is what fans should have expected going into the game Sunday.

And yet the first period gave us a glimpse of hope. The Hawks out-shot the Panthers 11-3 in the first and took a 1-1 tie to the room. Patrick Kane scored to get the Hawks on the board and the boys looked like they had a little mid-afternoon energy.

Florida out-shot the Hawks 11-8 in the second and took a 2-1 lead to the third period.

Florida out-shot the Hawks 11-5 in the third period and out-scored the Blackhawks 3-1 in the period to polish off the game with ease.

The good news was Caleb Jones’ goal in the third period, just after a power play came to a close, got the Hawks within one goal. And on that goal, Kane passed Denis Savard into sole possession of second place in franchise history in regular-season assists.

But the two goals in 39 seconds inside the final two minutes of regulation were killer. And a reminder that there are skilled teams in the NHL — and there are loaded, exceptional teams like Florida — and then there’s the Blackhawks.

This was a rougher outing for Lukas Reichel. He skated 13:52 and won just two of 11 faceoffs. Though he did get plenty of time with Kane, this was a good look for him at what elite NHL teams can do.

Kirby Dach, who continues to hear about his awful faceoff percentage being cause for concern, actually won six of 13 at the dot on Sunday. He skated 17:32 but appeared to maybe kinda sorta score a goal on his own team; well, a shot deflected off him into the net.

I really liked a lot of what I saw from Alec Regula. He skated 18:20 with two hits and two blocked shots. He’s got good size and could be a nice piece for the Blackhawks on the blue line moving forward… if they clear out some of the dead weight in front of him (and four or five other younger players).

38 thoughts on “Blackhawks No Match For Panthers

  • February 20, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    I saw this tweet, King going on about Dach

    King on Dach: “If he decides to continue to be a better person, better player, on and off the ice, and work on everything he needs to work on, and do the right things, and be patient with the process, he could be a top player.”

    So what has Dach done off ice is the question everyone is asking?

    This whole organization needs a shakeup top to bottom. You can’t possibly retain anyone from the Bowman era or it will be same old same old.

    Thanks for the memories boys.

  • February 20, 2022 at 5:54 pm

    It was really a 3-2 loss for the Hawks ! Not bad against one of the top clubs ! Some of the new the kids need to step up ! Too bad Toews wasn’t available to play ! Some of the kids no doubt want out after all the the last few months of the Circus ! The team of the last decade is all done as most of the pieces have moved on to other clubs or retired ! Folks, this is what happens ,believe it or not ! Certain players that want to get traded from their own clubs certainly don’t want to come to Chicago ! Enough said ! POPS 4

  • February 20, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Lets all be honest here. The Hawks as currently assembled do not belong on the same ice with the Panthers. When elite teams become interested or get aggravated,they blow this team off the ice. This team is still being routinely manhandled and embarrassed by the elite teams or any team with size and snarl. Boboroski let in 2 terrible goals. Other than that the Hawks were of no threat. GUDAS ran around headhunting without anyone challenging him. God,even EDZO was disgusted. This is still an organization without many if any hardcore hockey players. We can’t even go out and get quality muscle. Interesting postgame comments by Interim KING. I don’t think he is going to go quietly now that he realizes that he has no chance at the head coaching job. Party time Dach is the beginning. More of the soft underbelly of this team will soon be fully exposed to the media as KING ignites the flame thrower as he exits the organization.Is it wrong for a young hockey player,s favorite movies be of the Cheech and Chong variety?

  • February 20, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    To bad Rockford lost reichel and Suderbloom to the Hawks they are loosing a second game against a weaker team .
    .rockford needs them to make the playoffs and Hawks don’t need them at all .Let them get in playoff to get experience with Rockford group.

  • February 20, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    To shed light on the Dach situation, it sounds like King is reiterating what he was quoted as saying in The Athletic article recently. Please forgive the ALL CAPS, but I want to highlight what I think are key points from this February 2nd article;

    ‘KING ATTRIBUTED THE INCONSISTENCIES TO PREPARATION. “SOME GUYS CAN GET AWAY WITH IT BECAUSE OF WHO THEY ARE, AND OTHERS CAN’T, and the guys who can’t are doing it. Something I’m going to have to address,” King said. “It’d be nice if I had three guys sitting in the wings that can step in and take three guys out who are going to give us something, but we just don’t have that luxury. So, what we have here is, I have to deal with and I have to try to motivate them and get them going. That’s my job.”

    Sounds like someone needs to clean some house and kick some you know what. The type of game today, as well as the one on Friday, is frustrating because it shows what the Blackhawks are capable of. They do not have an elite lineup, but it sounds like King is saying the players don’t have a professional attitude and that’s what is reflected in playing decently against some teams and like crap against others.

    So, the organization is not fostering an attitude of preparation night in and night out. The coaches apparently aren’t able to get that across to vets and the top players as well as the kids. And the results are obvious.

    The NHL scouts say the Blackhawks are an enigma because they should have a better record than they do. The start killed them, and the 0.500 play since then is still subpar of what was expected. They could have cracked the playoffs. Now they’re likely looking to be sellers.

  • February 20, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    Dach would be the first piece to be traded. 17 minutes and zero shots on goal, unbelievable. This guy is soft as butter and needs a swift kick in the ass. He will never make it in this league because he’s scared.

  • February 20, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    Florida a cup contender is one of the top teams in the league, Blackhawks are struggling, 3-2 5 on 5 and giving up 2 en goals is a long way from a blowout. Pretty obvious their top 6 isn’t going to match up well against top teams or non top teams if they don’t show up. With a little puck luck today they coulda stole a point even. Player safety should look at the intentional crosscheck to Murphys head, we’ll see, whether or not they do tomorrow. Next 3 weeks can be huge for their future, pretty confusing how its going to play out still.

  • February 20, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    This is a no heart, pansy-ass team. Gudas hit everything that moved with ZERO response. Murphy gets run over and everybody takes their sweet-ass time getting over to Marchment. No heart. ZERO. Get a GM in here and clean the stench out of here. Why again did the “intern” get Gabriel??? IDK. Panther guy gets run over they flew over there to get deHaan. Sick of this baloney. If Dach isn’t doing what he’s supposed to do then sit his azz. Enough is enough.

  • February 20, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    This game was no surprise. The Florida Panthers, like the Blackhawks from 2010 to 2016 could have a bad period and then just “flip the switch” and dominate. That they did.

    The story of this game was King’s comments about Dach. Troy Murray brought it up during the broadcast. Dach may think way too much of himself and that may be the issue. Listening to King and Murray, the kid doesn’t work out all that hard and is not terribly interested in being the best player that he can be. It doesn’t help that he never has to sit in the pressbox. Many of us have brought that up. He needs a wake up call.

    On a positive note, Regula was, again, solid. We saw a little bit more of his potential. Reichel was neutralized but he’s young and skinny. That’s going to happen. I’m not even concerned about it.

    Lastly, and this is King being King…Borgstrom and Entwistle had the lowest TOI. Kubalik also had a low TOI. Florida totally negated DeBrincat. Yes, he had an Assist, but he only had 1 SOG. Kane had 4 SOG, and Borgstrom, with his 9:25 TOI had 2 SOG. Seth Jones, the big signing, had 0 SOG, was -3, and 0 Hits. Mister Difference Maker was virtually invisible.

    Here comes New Jersey!!!

  • February 20, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    Echoing lots of the comments above.

    I almost choked when I saw Marchment cross check Murphy in the side of the head and zero response. Later in the game, Fleury froze the puck and Marchment is standing there…Dehaan just stands there…why is he not dripping the mitts and pounding Marchment.

    I used to have e some hope but watching this team play, they have Debrincat and Kane as top 6 forwards and everyone else is a 3rd liner or below. I like Hagel and entwhistle but they are third line muckers.

    The D is just awful…can’t believe I have to watch McCabe for another few years and Jones for seven.

    Maybe pick up Swayman for Fleury and they might have a goalie for next year.

  • February 20, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Given that the season is lost, if there are guys not preparing and giving it their best, sit them. It is irrelevant if you lose. Granted, they aren’t really deep enough to do that, but sometimes humiliation works. Bring up guys from Rockford that aren’t ready if you must, but to “enable” the non-preparers is the worst thing you can do. If that is Dach, then that is really a shame. Apparently, Dach deleted his social media accounts, which is a good start. He played better for a while after doing that. Is he still living with Seabrook? You’d think Dach would be trying to get it together in a contract year.

    Murphy gets crosschecked to the face and there is no call, even after the refs huddle. Unbelievable. But remember, the league cares about player safety.

    Guest announcers have little chance to shine if they are with Olczyk. His constant babbling (30 seconds today about a cursor while there was back and forth action) suck them in and they have to go along.

    The Hawks had two soft goals. They were lucky to even have a chance. When it mattered, they got outplayed in the third. The two asterisk goals don’t mean anything, but they got dominated. They have almost zero chance against good teams.

    Posters used to get mad at Colliton for calling out players. Are they mad at King? If his perception of things is accurate, then it is good that he is saying it. It’s not like it will cost them a playoff spot because he ruins morale.

  • February 20, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    HAMMER, EXCELLENT post and right on the money. IAN, I am usually right with you but on your post about todays game I have to totally disagree. I think the old “WE WERE SO CLOSE AND WITH A FEW BREAKS” descriptions of games against upper echelon teams is fools gold. You can’t fool hockey fans. They know immediately by the flow of the game and the eye test if the team that they support are ready to skate with the big boys. Luckily for the Hawks it was an early afternoon game against a Panther team on their dead of winter trip that was mostly disinterested backed by a terrible goalie. We have seen what happens when the Panthers,Bolts,Canes,Blues,etc get engaged and pay attention to the pond skating Hawks. Hire a front office and get on with blowing this whole thing up. I have never seen a softer team/organization.

  • February 20, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    Tim W: That’s why you got to get a completely new person as GM and blow this up. Thank King for his time, maybe put back in Rockford, I don’t care. It wasn’t his fault, even with his missteps, he’s done all he can since moving up from the AHL. I hope the rumors are true that soon a decision will be made. I’m not holding my breath thou.

  • February 20, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    TimW obviously Panthers are the better team and I said that, fools gold or not, this wasn’t a blow out and the game stayed close on the scoreboard until the en goals. No doubt the 3rd period was easy for the Panthers but luck can steal you a point and often does. Agree the response to the cheap shots from this team is very disappointing and they need for their role players to accept that role and it just isn’t happening, not acceptable at all. Guys like Lafferty, Entwistle, McCabe gotta step up in those instances. Gabriel seems to be where they think they need him most policing in Rfd. on the 4th line. Reichel going back down soon likely not a bad thing.

    Hammer thats why i said my hope is they bring in Darche as Gm and he hires Zettler as coach. Both bring what could be needed to turn this around. What I believe is that there is a good chance they stay in the organization to fill those spots though, i hope i’m wrong on that.

  • February 20, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    Ian: I hope your wrong too. But gosh darn I could see it. Nothing surprises me anymore.

  • February 20, 2022 at 11:37 pm

    It was reported that the Hawks interviewed the Toronto Raptors VP of operations or some such – I don’t recall the Hawks announcing that – did I miss it?

    All this pretending to be progressive by interviewing outside hockey just seems to be cover for hiring KD – hope I’m wrong

    Ian – agree Darche seems like the best candidate with Tulsky second

    I can’t get through a whole game anymore – watched until the 3rd FLA goal then fast forwarded to the end because you knew it was over – FLA barely broke a sweat

    I’m sure they talked a about getting a quick one to open the third and of course they do because the Hawks get dominated by good teams when those teams want to dominate – there was a 2 on 2 board battle immediately prior to the third FLA goal in the Hawks D zone that the Hawks predictably lost and FLA scored off of

    Did like Regula though – there could be something there

    For Reichel it was a good lesson – he looked every inch a skinny 19 year old

    FLA is a Cup contender and my early pick to go all the way but still that was an embarrassingly easy win

    I’m still on the Seth train – he literally has no help on the back end and not from most of the forwards either

    He’s the best 200 foot player on the team – Kane doesn’t play D and Cat barely

    There is no one else on the Hawks who can play both ends of the ice as well as Seth

  • February 21, 2022 at 12:51 am

    while gudas was littering the ice surface with eight crunching hits 6’4” 210+# seth braveheart managed to muscle up for one hit. not expecting him to be the team enforcer, but this game would have been a nice time to see some leadership physicality out of him.

    and speaking of gudas, each hit seemed to get angrier and more vicious than the previous one. there were several pansies dressed in red sweaters today who go 195# or more who refused to challenge him.

    and i find it interesting that the hawks added fleury and our alleged duncan keith of the future and yet this team has 44 points in 52 games this year. they had 44 points in 52 games last year.

    amazing the difference guys who show up to play like pius suter, janmark, hinostroza, and kampf make.

    anyone out there enjoying this season as much as they did last season? anyone feel more hopeful about the future than they did last year at this time?

  • February 21, 2022 at 1:03 am

    Ian, I hope for a time in our near future where we don’t have to “Steal” points or be content with getting a point. But more importantly I hope to see a team that can physically compete and more than defend itself on the ice. We are at a very sad time where we are witnessing 1 of the softest,inconsistent,and disinterested teams in our Hawk history. Maybe the Lady Raptor Basketball person can save the day??? Oh well,onto the Devils.

  • February 21, 2022 at 1:19 am

    Wrap agree on S. Jones being there best 200 ft. player by a long ways right now. As has been mentioned by others the need for more 2 way top 6 forwards is big priority for new Gm to bring in. If Reichel, Cat and Kane are going to be around, a couple of 4th liners or a 3rd pair D who accept the role of protector for them is long overdo as well. Doesn’t have to be somebody to punch them in the face everytime but just command a little respect. Nobody dressed tonight wanted that role, Khaira with concussion issue and now maybe back surgery isn’t going to be the guy. Reese Johnson maybe, Stillman when he comes back maybe. Can roll a 4th line of Hardman Slavin Entwistle or bring back Lafferty and they can play hard but if they don’t step up when liberties are taken on the skilled players, their in trouble.

    Regula’s play could make moving Murphy or McCabe a possibility maybe. My choice be McCabe and move Murphy to top pair with S. Jones and Stillman with Regula on shutdown type pairing. Then have Mitchell, Kalynuk, Galvas, most likely C. Jones still around to compete for an O zone pairing next year. That way still keep good depth pn both right and left points. Forwards need the attention first, goalie just one guy if needed not a big issue there. Getting a gm named quick though a must.

    Teresa Resch the Raptors VP of player development who was apparently interviewed. No prior involvement with hockey i heard of but very respected for her ability around player development and innovative thinking. Raptors coach Nick Nurse had very high praise for her and many sports people say its a matter of time until somebody hires to run their organization.

  • February 21, 2022 at 4:35 am

    C’mon Tab! The best defensemen in the game for the Hawks yesterday was Alec Regula, and I’m talking about including Seth Jones in the mix. The kid is solidly built, smart, a great passer, a great skater, a terrific defensive defensemen, and will get better offensively with more responsibility. The second best defensemen was Caleb Jones! That was his best game as a Blackhawk! The third best defensemen was McCabe! He needs to play that way every night! Now, we need to trade or release – Gustafson, DeHaan, Murphy, and even trade McCabe because we have to play Mitchell, Phillips, Kalynuk, and Stillman along with the aforementioned three. By the way, Galvas and Beaudin need a spot too.

    On the offensive side, I was impressed with Kane, Borgstrom, Entwhistle, and Strome the most. That was Borgstrom’s best game since his 2 goal game. Reichel should not be playing top 6 just yet, and neither should Kirby Dach. That kid has a lot to work on over the summer. I am all for giving him one more chance next year, but I would not count on him being top 6. He has to earn it!

    Also, if someone is willing to overpay for Brandon Hagel with a #1 pick and a uber prospect, then make the trade. The way that kid plays, I see LTIR all over his future.

    That was Lafferty’s worst game as a Blackhawk! He was just terrible yesterday!

  • February 21, 2022 at 6:03 am

    Hawks29- excellent post… especially the last 3 points… couldn’t agree more

  • February 21, 2022 at 6:53 am

    If you truly want to blow this thing up, why not trade Hagel, Dcat and Kane. It is going to take multiple draft picks and prospects to build this thing up again.
    If they hire a GM from within, it won’t matter what they do.
    If Dach can be sent down to Rockford, I would do it today. He wouldn’t see the United Center again until next year. I would look for trade offers during the off-season. His laissez faire attitude is an embarrassment to watch. He actually is faking it out there. How the people in charge are putting up with it proves they don’t belong in their current positions.

  • February 21, 2022 at 8:30 am

    The big thing right now is replacements for Bowman, most urgent and Colliton need to be found. Then see what plan they have to turn things around. Even if it is KD, the committment to sticking with and developing young players rather than lose patience, preferring not rush them to pros or give up on them or before they have time to mature is a very good step. Seriously how they looked against Panthers on the ice yesterday is not the biggest issue right now, the right coach and Gm can turn that around.

    Obviously getting some good young forwards through draft or trades/ signings to develop has to start happenning in next 6 months . Decide who stays and who goes from current group to fit into their plans for next year.

  • February 21, 2022 at 8:39 am

    If they are going to interview people outside of hockey, they should interview Dick Butkus. He wouldn’t put up with the panty waist efforts we’ve been seeing lately. At this point, what’s the difference. I’m joking obviously but from top to bottom this team is a joke. Surprised we haven’t seen memes about our team yet.

  • February 21, 2022 at 8:41 am

    How about this off the wall thought??? Since both are defensive liabilities, but have offensive skill capabilities…Try moving Seth Jones & Gus up to the wings. They like to push up while on defense, but quickly give up & go back to defense once the play breaks up. Lots of young prospects to fill their spots back on defense. Give deCONE his outright release, cuz he has virtually no trade value at all & will open up another spot for the youngsters. deCONE is more worried about blocking shots (and screening MAF) – than playing a defensive position by clearing and/or tying up the opponents in the slot. What have they got to lose at this point in the season? Maybe another dump the puck into the corner offensive strategy loss? Dach is lost, uninspired, out of shape, lacks effort, can’t finish & is a liability right now, but King keeps throwing him out there – even when shorthanded. He needs a major wake up call of some kind. What a mess this team is, with too many “muckers” up front.

  • February 21, 2022 at 9:26 am

    Keep strome this team needs centers and toews will be gone
    He’s only 24 and can still grow

  • February 21, 2022 at 10:31 am

    It’s obvious that King is over his head, send him back to Rockford and have him take Reichal with him…. he’s not ready yet either.
    As for Dach, next contract should be a bridge deal, 3 yrs at 1.5 mil……if he doesn’t like it, trade him. He has shown nothing in regards to being the #3 overall pick. Kid has talent, that’s for sure, heck so does Nylander , but if you play like a girl, then your talent is null and void.

  • February 21, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Disappointed in our hawks team lack of pushback on the physical side of this game, let’s agree this is a soft team and our opponents know it, let’s not ask Kane debrincat, Seth jones or reichel to push back, look at every playoff team right now they have those players needed to intimidate, we do not, not in this lineup. This is not a winning style. Let’s be honest, 2 empty net goals when with the extra man we could not get the puck over the blue line to start any offense, these goals were long dumps from inside the panthers end these were two on one empy net, you saw Kanye’s face on the bench, he was pissed and discouraged, let’s get the player and management changes underway and look forward with an upbeat pace of play and some sandpaper

  • February 21, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    UFA that are not chickens or would stand up to someone.

    Manson and Deslaurier from Ana

    Sanford from Ott

    Domi from Colum

    Copp from Win

    Clutterbuck from NYI

  • February 21, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    It is amazing that this organization has gone over 5 years without inserting any real sandpaper into their lineup. It begs the question don’t you ever get tired of being pushed around and laughed at on a nightly basis? I know they are all handsomely paid but I couldn’t do it. Not for 1 game let alone every game.

  • February 21, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    Ah, if only getting a couple of thugs would solve all our problems… Or a couple of defenders. Or even a couple of scoring forwards. Hey – how about a couple of guys that play at both ends of the ice? Maybe some young goalies playing alternate games? Of course the 2 thugs would also require us to get some folks that can kill penalties too.

    And don’t forget a coach and a GM.

    Kane’s disdain for the moment after he realized Ekblad had just scored while also removing Kane’s jock when passing behind him (without apparently Kane feeling the removal) was interesting. His facial expression led me to believe he didn’t particularly enjoy that moment on the ice. He had a similar response after his taking of Goaltender Bob’s jock from Bob. A look of – THIS AIN’T FUN TODAY. For me, that was a good sign. It really shouldn’t be fun. Maybe he will consider moving on if things remain as unfunly as that period was. I can’t believe he feels it would be drastically different for the remainder this contract, or the near term of the next one. He can be seen shaking his head after plays, such as Dach and Hagel not taking obvious shot opportunities and other similar obvious issues with the apparent temporary partial youth movement.

    He doesn’t know how fortunate he is to not have to listen to Eddie O or Cohen yap all game long. That too can be brutal!

  • February 21, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Why don’t the Hawks get the management team in place before getting rid of our legends and icons. Booby Hull was my favorite! Typical Wirtz’ BS! This is just like firing Billy Reay with a pink slip under his door around Christmas. No Class!! But, what do you expect from bootleggers!

  • February 21, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    Silent Spot: You don’t need thugs if you have some tough hockey players on your team that have some skill. But if you don’t have any of those it’d be nice to have at least 1 thug to put an end to the crap that Gudas was pulling last night. And Hartman, and anybody else we’ve been playing who takes shots at our guys. Certainly, agree with you on your assessment of Kane. He needs a fresh start. Depends on who they hire I guess. I am getting tired of Eddie O and Cohen yapping.

  • February 21, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    Hammer remember Kane knocking Gudas on his arse a couple years ago? Was behind the net when Kane threw an actual check right before a commercial. Gudas chased him to the bench and stalked and talked throughout the commercial. It was hilarious!! Never did get even with Kane.

    I get the need for some grit. It was pathetic yesterday. I’m not disagreeing, but we almost lost Murphy when he tried standing up to Marchment. The team needs an overhaul, which I know you feel too.

  • February 21, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    SS the forwards need an overhaul and supply chain rebuilt. As far as defense and goaltenders go, lets stick with what is there to develop with some continued drafting too, see if maybe there is an overhaul there that could be almost ready to happen in a couple of years.

  • February 22, 2022 at 5:04 am

    Best and Only guy who can win 60% or more of his fights on this team…. D-cat- Seriously

    5’7 – is toughest guy on team ( happens to be best goal scorer) and a guy u don’t want taking off his gloves

  • February 22, 2022 at 8:17 am

    One of the biggest things a new Gm and coach has to do right away is build a roster that has the respect of other teams, doesn’t have to be lineup of Probert clones. That is one area that was a big fail in what was supposed to happen this year with players brought on board. That lack of respect has gone too far and is hurting the morale of the team as ee all can see. As well as having some young players developing on the Nhl roster any immediate upgrade to the Nhl roster should have that goal in mind before thinking playoffs at this point.

  • February 22, 2022 at 8:44 am

    Ian: I agree. I think the defensemen and goaltending in a year or two might be OK to compete.

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