Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks Survive Avalanche

It wasn’t pretty, but Jonathan Toews once again rescued the Hawks and earned Chicago an overtime victory to close out an impressive calendar year.

Carl Soderberg scored a power play goal 4:04 into the game to give Colorado a 1-0 lead, but Scott Darling was on point while waiting for the rest of the team to get up to speed. Darling kept the Blackhawks in the game through an ugly first period and the offense woke up in time for Chicago.

Appropriately, on the final day of 2015, number 15 for the Blackhawks made some personal history. With 88 seconds left in the period, Patrick Kane found Artem Anisimov and the Hawks’ center scored the 100th regular season goal of his NHL career.

The goal gave the Hawks a whiff of momentum heading to the dressing room after 20 minutes in which they out-shot Colorado 11-9 but were outplayed for the majority of the period.

As was the case in Arizona, the second period started with a completely different Blackhawks team on the ice. And it was all about Andrew Desjardins.

Yes, Andrew Desjardins.

After scoring twice in the Hawks 7-5 win in Arizona, certainly Colorado would have him circled heading into a New Year’s Eve battle… right?

They didn’t. And he scored. Again.

Desjardins’ third goal in two games came off a tremendous pass by Teuvo Teravainen and gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead just 2:07 into the second period. Phillip Danault picked up his third assist of the season on the play and continues to take advantage of his opportunity. With Marcus Kruger out and Danault finally healthy, he’s looked strong since joining the NHL club.

Only 2:13 later with Blake Comeau in the box, Kane received a beautiful pass from Artemi Panarin and scored a power play goal to extend the lead to 3-1.

The Hawks dominated the second period even more than the Avs did the first. Chicago out-shot Colorado 17-5 but the middle stanza came to a close with the Hawks leading only 3-2 as a Cody McLeod goal at 11:32 cut the lead to one.

Unfortunately, that one goal lead only lasted 15:05. The Blackhawks squandered two power play opportunities and Erik Johnson made them pay, tying the game with his seventh of the season.

Regulation ended with the game tied, but the Hawks wouldn’t throw away a power play late in overtime. Jonathan Toews ended the game with his fourth overtime game-winning goal and 13th of the season.

Rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson had another strong night, leading Chicago with three hits in 19:12. He had one big blocked shot late in the game, and made a strong play coming back to break up a potential scoring chance in overtime.

Kane finished with three points (one goal, two assists) for the second time in as many games and Panarin was credited with two assists.

Darling finished the night with 27 saves in the win, while Semyon Varlamov suffered his first loss against the Blackhawks in a 39-save effort. Duncan Keith led the Hawks in blocked shots (four) and ice time (28:26).

30 thoughts on “Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks Survive Avalanche

  • December 31, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Just loved it. What a great game, with its ups and downs and we win to close out the year and finally stuff it to that Varlamov. Toews, Kane Panarin and ….Desjardins! Is it TT on that line feeding those great passes that is turning Desjardins into the hottest selling jersey? Whatever it is don’t stop doing it. Glad Darling got the win…looked a bit shakey on two of those goals but in the end he got it for us. Happy New Year everyone …ball drop in 20 minutes, an hour and twenty up here in the frigid north ( -32 day after Christmas…oh that’s Celsius! (-26 F). Kids are playing hockey at the outdoor rink down the street as I write…its illuminated but man it’s cold so you got to keep moving.

  • December 31, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Great to see Mashinter dressed again. Particularly against a great skating team. Q must have read my post after the last game and decided to do the opposite. We ll see the high flying burly winger against the Eastern Conference version of Colorado Sunday night. I can’t wait.

    Gustafson is a keeper.

  • January 1, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Great to see Gusty embrace the opportunity.

    The question is, is his upside a second pairing guy ? If so it’s a great find by the Euro scouts.

    It appears TVR might be better suited for the third pair. He’s clearly a Q favorite, because of his active stick and positioning, but having said that he is minus 8 and counting. Horrible pass on the Soderberg goal, Rundblad-esque.

  • January 1, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Perhaps TVR made a bad pass on the goal but as a spectator at the game I can tell you there were more bad passes than good ones. Seems on this board that every time some one makes a bad pass they should be demoted. TVR and Gusto are rookies so give them a break. They may just surprise you come playoff time.

  • January 1, 2016 at 4:09 am

    You could see Gustafsson was a real player from the first game he played with the Hawks. He also has a little bit of a nasty side. He played such an awesome game I’m willing to forgive his mental mistake on the Avs 3rd goal.

    On 30 December Scuderi made 37 years old and it looked as if he stepped off a cliff in the Rocky Mountains. Man, he wasn’t ready to play. He was in danger out there. Hopefully it’s a one time thing.

    More than his skills I appreciate Panarin’s mental part of the game. After his worst game on the season against the Canes he came back with 2 highly disruptive games. It’s a sign he understands the notion of accountability.

    That Desjardains-Danault-Teravainen line was a joy to watch. I guess TT is trying to plead his “Please keep me at RW” case. Coach Q might oblige… but just for now. TT playing LW is a struggle, but it’s going to make him better on the long run. You can see how the coaching staff rewarded his resolve this season with PK, PP Point and 3v3 TOI.

  • January 1, 2016 at 7:31 am

    DumX2- great post… also, did not realize Gus is listed as being heavier than both 2 and 4??? kid- looks like he can easily take Oduya’s place with better puck moving passing…

    Loved the appreciation 11 showed to TT for the Hilite reel passing… Dez was like…
    I haven’t scored this much since he was 11 years old… Mostly- TT’s doing!!!

    Scuderri – I was very scared – not for the Hawks… But for 47’s life…. He needs to retire!!! The last time – I had that vibe was when Montador was playing… I made several comments- that he must be F&**^* up… cuz he kept falling down when no one was around…. and we all know what happened thereafter… 47 Looked really LOST!!!

    After seeing the difference w TT on 3RW … will Dano ever adjust- cuz Dano is way better on RW too… TT – can fake LW… Dano – can’t!!!

    Des can fake 3LW for a while… but Hawks really need 1LW and 3LW… (and 29/53 ain’t it)

    Danault- is really making Kruger- expendable to this point


  • January 1, 2016 at 7:53 am

    A great Hawks win, but there are some concerns. Q needs to get Darling some more time in the net. At times, he really looked lost in his crease, especially on the 3rd goal. When he came out to play the puck he looked way out of sorts, too.

    I love Panarin, but the kid turns the puck over too many times. When they start to end up in our net Q may have to start lecturing the kid on “puck management”. Again, he’s a talented player but he has to be more aware of his turnovers.

    Hossa looked really good. He still has enough in the tank to be a solid contributor through the playoffs, this year. As we move forward in the season, it sure is good to see Shaw, Desi and Rasmussen skate and make a difference. We need our third and fourth lines to make a difference in the games.

    Happy new year all you Hawks fans!!!

  • January 1, 2016 at 8:49 am

    “More than his skills I appreciate Panarin’s mental part of the game. After his worst game on the season against the Canes he came back with 2 highly disruptive games. It’s a sign he understands the notion of accountability.”……….

    Dumdum, understand your point, Panarin is a joy to watch, BUT, he must learn not to give the pass away at the blue line!

    “Danault is really making Kruger expendable at this point”…..

    Wall, it would be awfully nice to have 24 at 3C and 16 at 4C!

  • January 1, 2016 at 8:51 am

    RD, wrote my post before reading yours. Totally agree re. 72

  • January 1, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Here’s what I want for my belated Christmas present….

    Svedburg up for Scuderi and a legitimate LW1

  • January 1, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Agree with all the Gustafsson talk, at times it may look like he is cheating getting up ice, but I say it he is reading the play so well. I doubt he will ever see the ice in Rockford again. And I can see him on 2nd unit not because I am anti TVR, because I am not. Regarding Denault, I think it would be nice having him #3 center and Kruger #4 but if it comes down to cap Kruger would go. I think Denault brings more offense upside, which I did not see so much in limited watching him against the wolves t.v. games. Also come back Hof. miss your insights.

  • January 1, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Very good game, also shows the AVS speed on the outside too. No T Barrie so that helped as the Maestro Line – Lead by Kane skating long enough for me to make a ham sandwich and melt the american chessssse over the toaster . . .clinic at times.

    Big Cheese Gets the BIG goal again . . . Toews! He is the single most talented player in the league . . . I wish he was not on penalty kills as it eats his calories and energy.

    I loved Baron Von Bickell but I know it is time for him to just go away today! The shame is not only in his weak on ice performance it is now his reduced VALUE to anyone else in trade. MASH-EATER is not even close to a full time player but if he can just be physical a la Bolig? Maybe he can stick around! No upside really but none needed just go body up!

    Still just love Danault . . . his comparison to Bolland is dead on but his up side might be a wee but higher. Played very well last night in a much faster game which he likes, more space and gaps, HAWKS ARE SLOWER SO WE END UP IN A GRINDER which works for some players but not all, faster wide open plays into TNT hands literally and Danaults. Even Hoss benefits ( still cant score)

    Dezi may have found a new grooove? Never know what scoring a goal or two can do and TNT puts it FLAT on your TAPE ( i can score) Good For him, his work ethic is amazing. Does a lot with so little . . . message to Mash-eater!

    Too early for any Erik Gustafsson ( small quick ) excitement on the Defensive end, Yes his offensive skills are evident and thats what got him herem but on pure Defense he has been steady, so far so good. TVR seems to be falling off a little. I still don’t like his upper body strength, bulking up a little can go a long way, lots of players get TVR on the hip and just go right by or move him off the puck.

    3rd and 4th lines owning clock time is the real difference, and YES TNT on the wing or center won’t make him any better, but his skill set is to float, in the center of the ice and drift to the corners with some space, and having two big strong guys grinding creates SPACE so DEZI could actually score 20 with a TNT on the Line as well as GARBUTT. So leverage TNT for his skill set, passing, perfect passing and a okay wrist shot.

    As said many times before the way to beat larger goalies is to move from left to right, across the crease, Varlamov was beat with that motion offense, pass not skate, but works for a guy this big and that good. Same goes for Bishop!

    I see a LOT of goals scored ( not Hawks games) on the low wing position, right above the face dots. I wish the Hawks would pull the trigger more in that “are they gonna pass, are they gonna dump it or are they gonna shot zone?” Seems goals are going in like Sasquatch did and Crow does too.

    GO Hawks

  • January 1, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Good composure by a couple of guys to stay out of scrums in order to negate Colorado’s attempts to either get some “momentum” and more importantly, to get a Blackhawk into the penalty box. Need that kind of game management mentality and it helped last night. Nice win.

  • January 1, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Panarin is fine, but yes a few turnovers but a bigger YES to his recovery on defense and back checking. That line loves to over pass and when it works like last night it is really fun to watch, the game literally stands still NO LINE IN THE NHL IS DOING THAT. Panarin is aware of turnovers Coach Q plays no favorites when it comes to losing possession and turning it over. I gotta defend the Artist, the Kid, he is a kid!
    We as fans are very lucky to have him!

    I think Darling is what he is . . . a big back up in time in the NHL when BIG IS OVER RATED. He is slow in the crease, post to post and for such a big body covers so little of the net on the rush (up wings) He is not “Technically sound” as Bishop is, it is all technique not girth! So big with no technique is Darling, a good backup sort of shut the door to get to over time but a little slow and I would dare to say not the most top conditioned goalie in the NHL, plus CROW technique wise is ummmmmmm not that good, but he is disciplined in the crease and finds the puck, great sight lines and anticipation.

    go hawks

    Don’t put too much on Darling . . . he did what he could last night and it was enough.

  • January 1, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I see the name Svedburg I get excited. YES bring him up, just his size matters! I live in Maine born raised Chicago so I see a lot of Bruin games. BIG INSIGHT TO FOLLOW . .. insert drum roll . . . When I watch Chara in Beantown ( slower than slow) teams entering the zone always try avoid him and his side of the ice, just lame intimidation and perception a bully attitude but it works on 95% of the league. So size on D does matters, plus Svedburg can play, I like his game, his length his ability to learn. Hawks smaller defensemen encourage dump and chase and crash with confidence. It’s a trade off . . . But I like Svedburg ain’t gonna learn anything outside Dunks Shadow. AHL is a snoooooooze

  • January 1, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Mook- gotta disagree on Danault/Bolland comps… Bollie- way better hands/shot…
    both skate well… Bollie – higher IQ- and jumped on chances… Danault- more pitbull- Kruger like- put his head down- and compete… But stronger than Kruger/which should lead to more goals when Danault crashes net like Kruger does (but rarely finishes-cuz not strong enough- while getting crosschecked to paint)

    Also- Desi- is way faster/quicker skater than he gets credit for… noticed him on PK couple games ago… and really accelerated to beat O to puck… hope that 3rd line keeps working… Danault/Desi really are quick/grinders… who are buying TT time to be a “poor man’s Kane” versus bottom defenders… could you imagine if Hawks had “Desi type” LW with better hands/shot on that 3rd LW???

  • January 1, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Wall your right . . . my concern in a way is that we focus on the top two lines with predictable mumbo jumbo. It’s the third line and 4th line and if we can get one more performance DEZI-LIKE it’s a bigger plus so it ain’t always a big name ( a bloated Phil Kessel ) but a “Tweener” that makes the difference. Someone on the blog brought up Bolland I agree because Danault and Bolland around the net, puck chasers, size seems same from the couch, and they are, 6 foot about 190 pounds and Danault is young so he can and will get better on offensive output? Bolland more scrappy too but I would be showing Danault Bolland highlight reels. Plus Danault is pretty prime at the dot.

    go hawks

  • January 1, 2016 at 11:25 am

    A good two points, especially coming against Hawks killer Varlemov.

    The Danault/Bolland comparison has some merit, but I think the passage of time has many of us forgetting how good Bolland was. We easily recall “the rat” getting Sedin and Thornton off their games and playing stellar defense against the opposition’s top lines and he did that as well as anyone in the league, but I think what gets forgotten is how good he was offensively and how many big time goals he scored, especially in the playoffs. His offensive game was never quite the same after his back injury, but he was still as good as anyone being in the right place at the right time to either score or assist a game changing goal. I don’t think Danault comes close to providing the offensive game that Bolland used to have.

  • January 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    wall – the fact Dano is a RW and in no way a LW was obvious. I mean…I knew it and I’m an absolute amateur. The Hawks knew it too.

    Maybe Hossa could play LW. I’d put him there…might as well try something new in order to get over the slump. Also Anisimov can do it as his goal last night shows it.

  • January 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Kruger isn’t going anywhere. He’s a key player and locker room element. Ditto for Shaw.

  • January 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Good game, especially with Darling between the pipes. Danault and Gustafasson are looking cool as cucumbers and feel good about both.

    Shaw was key, once again, in the game. He is having his best season and is selflessly stepping into whatever role Quenneville needs him to play.

  • January 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Danault is like Bollybutnot as good at off. and I want to keep 16 & 65 as they are the core role players.

  • January 1, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Am I reading that correctly, his excellency, we did get pretty drunk last night.

  • January 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Wow. I can’t believe it. I’m sorry but this needs to be said, just so I feel at home here.
    TT is the antichrist, Hossa is a limp noodle, Toews is hurt, or hurting my feelings, Panarin will leave us in two years having learned only partial English, Dano is gonad backwards without the “G”, AND Daley sucks!!!

    There, I feel better. Happy New Year! Go Hawks!!

  • January 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    ^^ Mike the Mook (10:39)

    Not to take exception, but I recall the Hawks winning a Stanley Cup by going straight at Charo, not trying to stay away from him. Of course, Bryan Bickell is still feeling the effects of getting the cr!p beat out of him for following that strategy.

    BTW, Happy New Year!

  • January 1, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    MYSTERY SOLVED! Remember the memory-wiping device Tommy Lee Jones used in “Men in Black”? I think Rufus watches Hawks games with one of those in his hand and hits the button every time Teuvo does anything good.

  • January 1, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Tony, glad you feel better. Reading what you write makes me feel worse. Happy New Year!

  • January 1, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Funny, I had a thought that I kept to myself that Rufus had a special form of ocd or perhaps asbergers. Would explain his ability to coherently discuss his objections to most of the Hawks roster. And also for berating anyone that disagrees.

  • January 2, 2016 at 6:18 am

    ‘Baron Von Bickell’ Made my day.

  • January 2, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Various reports say David Rundblad is going to play for Marc Crawford in the Swiss league.

    Would explain why he is listed as # 0. , on the Rockford website. Paper move only until they could finalize move to Swiss league.

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