Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks Rookies Lead Rout Of Sabres

The Chicago Blackhawks streak of strong play while missing Patrick Sharp continued as the rookies once again led the way to victory.

Captain Jonathan Toews continued his incredible season with two goals, both on the power play. He now has a Western Conference-leading 26 goals on the season, won 11 of 17 faceoffs and added three takeaways as well.

Andrew Shaw opened the scoring for Chicago with a great play just after a Buffalo penalty ended. He was also credited with an assist on Toews’ first goal and three hits in the game, and played well on both special teams.

Jimmy Hayes had a fantastic night as well. He finished a gorgeous pass from Andrew Brunette in the second period, and dropped a puck between his legs to Dave Bolland that wound up in the back of the net as well. In the game, Hayes wound up with the goal, assist and two hits.

Hayes would have had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick if Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta didn’t turtle on the invitation to drop the gloves from the rookie. Kaleta, not to be confused with Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, only fights people smaller than him or unsuspecting opponents.

It’s hard to imagine that, in a 6-2 win, arguably the best play of the night didn’t count. Late in the second period, Shaw caught a puck that had popped into the air by the side of the net, dropped it to his stick and touched it over the leg of Jhonas Enroth to the open stick of Marcus Kruger for a should-have-been tally.

Bolland had a goal and an assist in the game, giving him six goals and four assists in nine games in January, and three multi-point games since Sharp went down. He also won eight of 13 faceoffs in the game.

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook each had two assists in the game. Keith also had a team-leading three blocked shots in the game. Kruger had a team-high four hits in the game.

Marian Hossa was credited with the game-winner, his 18th, on a great feed by Keith while the Sabres made a lazy change.

Corey Crawford had a strong night, stopping 25 of 27 shots. Chicago scored on two of four power play opportunities, and killed three of Buffalo’s four advantages.

The Blackhawks are now 4-0-1 without Sharp, and have scored 22 goals in the five games.

9 thoughts on “Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks Rookies Lead Rout Of Sabres

  • January 18, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Very, very excited about Hayes and Shaw…there is no way these 2 will see the minors again…they make us a much bigger, tougher, and actually a more skilled hockey team…not to mention deeper…one of the keys tonight was rolling 4 lines…just like when we won the Cup…

  • January 19, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Wait! Doesn’t Bieksa do that too?

  • January 19, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Brad, I agree these guys are skilled and give the Hawks a feel and energy that they have been badly missing. In addition, two guys who are not afraid to deliver a big hit!

    I would like to see Kane put the extra time in after practice that – Kruger, Frolik, Shaw, Hayes, Smith, Monty etc. have been putting in… when Sharp was healthy and struggling early- he also put in the xtra 1/2 hour after practice.

    Smith, Hayes, Frolik, Shaw all worked hard on skating and quick little shots in goal mouth areas. By the way- the forementioned have scored most of their goals in this area!

    Nice to see Q’s practice pay off- he ran a drill- shoot low to goalies far pad (not really trying to score) and weak side forwards play/attack the rebound- it really was the PP last nite.

  • January 19, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I agree Wall…Kaner’s DESIRE to be his best just isn’t there…he doesn’t want it enough and isn’t willing to take the beating that is necessary to score a lot of goals…if you watched last night during the 5 on 3, Kane was standing 6-8 feet from the goal crease during the action on the other side of the net…if a puck came loose to his side, he wouldn’t have got to it before the goalie or a DMan got there first…and as a scrum ensued he quickly stopped moving and covered his head…when he goes into corners or behind the net, he is only looking to avoid hits or play passive…

    Until Kane understands that hockey is a rough game, he will continue to be this kind of player…and think of this…Kane has played all season with some of the best hockey players in the world, and the first shift on the PP…he has 10 goals.

    Andrew Shaw, a 5th round selection, a true rookie, in 8 games has FIVE…Jimmy Hayes a 2nd round selection in his rookie year, on the 3rd and 4th lines with about 10 minutes a game of playing time has FOUR.

    Pucks go in when you go to the net…Patrick Kane doesn’t go to the net…Patrick Kane doesn’t back check…Patrick Kane doesn’t take the body…and Patrick Kane (surprise, surprise) isn’t scoring.

    We pay him approx. $6 million a year to skate circles around the face off circle and make pretty passes. I would trade him in a heartbeat for a real hockey player…and we would be a lot better off.

    Kane’s effort is an insult to that of Jonathon Toews…who must cringe from time to time when he thinks of his team mate.

  • January 19, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Kane has great vision and is shifty… the top D-men have figured him out and know what he is going to do! They are on to his little shimmy moves. And he can’t even get shots off anymore!

    Moving forward, the only way he remains a BIG factor in the Hawks game, and is effective, is putting him w/ Toews and Sharp (which in my opinion hurts Stalberg),
    or putting him on the 4th line skating against the worst D-men from the other team. I know that might sound drastic… but in reality it would be best for team, and Kane would score!!! Just don’t know if he would be big enough to swallow his pride on that!

    Of course, he could stay after practice and work!

  • January 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

    The comments about Kane are spot on. I’m not sure what will wake him from such an erosion in his quality of play. If the rooks weren’t shining so brightly right now, where would we be with an ineffective Kane and an injured Sharpie?

  • January 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Dave – Spot on, Bieksa is a coward too, the way he jumped Stalhberg last year in playoffs was despicable….
    As for Kane all the points made in the comments are valid. I believe it’s his entitlement attitude, he feels he’s secure on this team because he scored ONE big goal & it was HUGE because it won us a cup, but other than that he’s slowly turning into a big expensive dud! If we could somehow transplant Frolik’s heart & drive into Kane…. well then we could realistically put him in the same category as Toewes……

  • January 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

    How does Shaw make the Hawks bigger? Hes 5’7″ and 170 lbs…He plays huge, if thats what you mean…

  • January 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I think you guys are going at Kaner a little too hard. Listen, clearly he’s not playing his best right now but lets be honest, it’s not like his game has changed at all. If he were scoring at the rate we’ve all become accustomed to, nobody would be talking about his inability to get in the trenches and his lackadaisical back checking. I guarantee you that there are 29 other teams in the NHL that would love to have Kane on their squad. Everyone needs to relax a little and be patient while he works his way out of this scoring drought.

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