Kane, Blackhawks Dump Minnesota

After a stunning, dominant performance in Winnipeg on Thursday night, the Blackhawks returned to the United Center to face another division rival. Minnesota came in tied with the Blackhawks with 37 points, but Chicago was riding a four-game winning streak (after a five-game losing streak).

Chicago got an early power play with Mikko Koivu in the box but… wait for it… wasted the advantage.

At the mid point of the opening period, Patrick Kane didn’t waste this terrific pass from Nick Schmaltz.

Kane’s 13th of the season was also the 298th of his career.

Minnesota out-shot Chicago 13-9 in the opening 20 minutes but the Kane marker was the only goal. Corey Crawford had a strong period because that’s what he does, and the Hawks took a lead to the second period.

The Blackhawks got three (3) power plays in the second period and out-shot Minnesota 22-6 in the middle stanza.

But Chicago was only able to extend their lead to two, another goal from Kane. This one coming off a beautiful outlet pass from Jordan Oesterle.

With his 299th career regular season goal in the Indian head, Kane moved past Dennis Hull into sole possession of fifth place in franchise history. Next on his hit list is his first NHL coach – Denis Savard – at 377.

Chicago wasted plenty of chances in the second period, however; Alex Stalock was good in net for the Wild.

The Blackhawks opened the third with a nice insurance goal from Ryan Hartman.

Crawford wouldn’t get a shutout on Sunday night, however. Matt Dumba scored at 5:56 into the third to cut the lead to 3-1.

The two sides skated without a goal for almost ten minutes. With Vinnie Hinostroza in the box and his team trailing by two, Bruce Boudreau pulled Stalock with more than four minutes left in regulation. Tommy Wingels took advantage of the open cage and flipped a loose puck in for his sixth of the season.

That would hold up as the final score of the game, and the Blackhawks came away with their fifth straight win.

Crawford made 27 saves to earn another good victory. He has allowed seven goals over the five games during the current win streak.

Lance Bouma led Chicago with five hits and also blocked a shot in 12:01. Wingels added three hits and one blocked shot to his goal in 11:03.

Connor Murphy was credited with a team-high three blocked shots and finished tied for the team lead with five shots on net; Kane and Brent Seabrook also put five pucks on the net.

Jonathan Toews won 13 of 23 faceoffs and was credited with two hits, one takeaway and four shots on net.

For his part, Stalock made 42 saves and probably deserved a better outcome, but the Hawks were simply too good on Sunday night.

21 thoughts on “Kane, Blackhawks Dump Minnesota

  • December 17, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Very nice win. Looking forward to thursdays game against another central foe. At least at times the power play looked like it had some type of pulse.

  • December 17, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Really like the chemistry developing between Schmaltz and Kane hope it continues. Like the way Osterle continues to play gaining more confidence with each game. Team seems to be coming together. Hope we have a successful road trip. Go Hawks!

  • December 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Last chance before we win 5 in a row.

  • December 17, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    When Franson is fully healthy and cleared to resume playing, he can start with purchasing some new suits for long-term press box viewing. Chalk up another in the plus, Honor Roll column for Bowman. Same goes as to Kempny and Rutta, Bowman found both of them as well.

    Speaking of that situation, Q is not attached to Franson, but he is to Rutta, I don’t see Kempny having the same luck as Oesterle staying in the line-up long-term. The democratic, fair thing to do would be to rotate Kempny & Rutta in and out of the line-up. If you ask me, Kempny has the higher upside and is a better, all around player; but Q won’t be asking me.

  • December 17, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Hawks played pretty well. As always, I look at the passing game and if they execute the passing game well – they play fast, and if the play fast – they play well. It is their recipe for success. If they play fast, then the other team can’t take advantage of the Hawks weakness which is their inability to win one on one physical battles.

    All 6 d-men played very well again. I think even the Seabrook critics would be hard pressed to find fault in Seabrook these last couple games – he even looks a little quicker than before. Assuming Rutta draws back into the lineup when he’s recovered – who does he replace? Both Kempny and Oesterle have played very well. As they say – it’s a good problem to have.

    Schmaltz is starting to get to the level we hoped he would get to. Still passes when he should shoot sometimes but he’s getting better with that. If he and Kane can keep the chemistry building – we just might have something special there.

    The only negative I came away with tonight is the same problem we keep seeing with Toews where his hand/eye coordination with puck handling is … like … not good. There were at least 3 times tonight where it was painfully obvious to see. Hopefully it’s not a permanent condition.

    Oh, and Crawford is good.

  • December 17, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    I’m starting to like our D corps. Most of them are above average skaters who play aggressively. Join the rush, pinch, stretch passing. Keep attacking!

    Power play was looking dangerous and purposeful for once. Another goal from the 3rd line. Toews looked like Toews.

    Minnesota looked awful. I think that this was an off night for them. I was expecting better and we will probably get a tougher challenge next time…

  • December 18, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Agree with Ebony on Toews hand eye. Motor functions off. I’m not a doctor but does not look right all year.

  • December 18, 2017 at 6:59 am

    This team is starting to find some consistency with scoring and limiting the opposition chances. Crow is Crow, solid as usual. Confidence is HIGH!!

    Conor Murphy, Kempny, Forsling and Oesterle are really starting to understand what a good FIRST pass can mean coming out of our end. It took awhile but they are starting to make good decisions and make good plays.

    Although Sharp, Wingels and Bouma were getting blasted on here a few games ago, veteran leadership is necessary on a young team like the Hawks. All three play a 200 foot game. They make good “hockey” decisions and they don’t put themselves ahead of the team. Veteran leadership is necessary and not lacking on this club.

    Next up? DALLAS. We owe them big time! Let’s go HAWKS!!

  • December 18, 2017 at 7:07 am

    They looked good again. Schmaltz and Kane are making it go. Crawford has been his usual outstanding self since coming back. Two straight wins against Central teams.

  • December 18, 2017 at 8:18 am

    We are starting to look like the Blackhawks we know our guys can be.
    I had not realized what a bunch of dumb-penalty-taking dirt bags the Wild had become. I guess that should not be any surprise with Bruce Boudreau at the helm.
    Signed, Brian Campbell’s collarbone.

  • December 18, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Anyone miss Panik?

  • December 18, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Corey Crawford has really been on a roll. He made some terrific saves last night yet again. I am amazed that he gets such little respect from national media, but he quietly goes about his game and keeps pucks out of the net. Watching games I constantly think when opposing teams have grade A scoring chances, that the puck has to be going in, and then Crow makes the save.

    He did it again last night.

    While the Hawks PP LOOKED better last night, they would have blown the Wild out of the rink if they converted 1 or 2 of those 6 extra man advantages. Too many guys not moving around makes easier to defend. I hope Q gives Oesterle and Forsling more PP time. Those guys move the puck and have a quick release with shots that are accurate. Forsling got off some rockets last night. Man, is that kid blossoming in front of our eyes or what? He really appears to be the full package looking forward. I like the iceman idea of rotating Ruuta and Oesterle. Franson looks like the odd man out, but the D corps are as deep imo as we have seen in years.

    Hawks 4th line continues to bring it game in and game out. This is the area of greatest improvement for this team compared with last few years. They just play hard and bring a physical element this team has lacked for such a long time. To compete in big games against larger teams you have to have that push back. Other teams won’t be doing as many goalie flybys and running Hawks d men with that group out there. Hayden is one tough, tenacious kid and takes no nonsense from anyone. Very strong on the puck too. Wingels has a very good hockey IQ imo, and Bouma knows his role and plays a disciplined game.

    Kane-Schmaltz combo is magical at times and this will only get better.

    Hartman playing the rat role well lately. Ask Prosser.

    Dallas game on 3 days rest is another big test and a challenge for this emerging Hawks team.

    Lets GO Hawks!

  • December 18, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Last night was a good effort. Jordan O and Kempny continued to look good in the lineup. Let’s give Tommy Wingels some love on an ugly goal. 4 goals in 5 games for a 4th line center and he is also playing some PK mins. Nice job from the Team Illinois hockey club and Evanson boy! I thought despite picking up pity pts against the last 2 games against Dallas the team played pretty poorly. Well, now the Hawks have a chance to redeem themselves. Nashville is looking like they are going to run away with the Central at this stage. STL and Winnipeg are both battling injuries Winning against central foes is necessary if the Hawks look to maintain a playoff spot.

  • December 18, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Tab, I like the Heat Map feature. Indicates the number of shots that the Blackhawks were able to get at least close to the net during the PP. Also shows the shot density of Minnesota at even strength down near the net, and the Blackhawks lack of it at even strength. Testament to Crawford’s stellar play that it was a 4-1 game.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  • December 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Kane and Crawford are the two best players on this team by a country mile. Glad we have them.

    I think the time to refer to Toews as a superstar in the present tense is now in the past. He was a superstar on equal footing with Kane but now things are just really, really different. If you had to sign these two players today there is no way on earth you would pay them the same money. I’m not saying Toews is bad, because he’s not. He’s just not what he was, which is too bad for the Hawks, because that is -1 in the superstar category.

    Excited to see the young defense playing so well. I had no idea Osterle was capable of playing like this. Who would have thought to turn around our season, we had to play two guys who were benched for about a month or so, and call a 3rd line center up from Rockford? Since those changes and getting Crow back, this team looks WAY more competitive. Let’s keep it rolling….

  • December 18, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    The heat map does not show any PP shots. It’s only 5v5.

  • December 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    call me crazy but i would offer sharp a one year extension his veteran status is important on a basically young team

  • December 18, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    crawford still suffers from stanley cup wins, the national media believes he was an ok goalie on a great team, this year proves that theory wrong . i was listening to five on five, this morning and when it came to the hawks they said for years it was toews and kane they came up together ‘ they said this is now Kanes team to bad for johnny he was a great player im sure he didnt want to go out this way

  • December 18, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Toews was never like a Crosby or a Lemieux, a player whose physical gifts put him up on another level from the rest of the league. It was above average physical gifts combined with his world class competitiveness level and work ethic and smarts that put him over the top. But the younger, bigger, faster, more athletic players in the league have started to overwhelm him physically. He couldn’t handle Nashville’s defense last year, and a lot of teams are just going after him physically and he can’t overcome that anymore.

    Kane’s skillset is different and he has that eye-hand coordination, craftiness, and ability that was destined for the hall of fame from day 1. He at this point is still able to utilize his strengths to differentiate himself from 99% of the league. Can’t say the same about Johnny anymore. Still a very good player, but not what he was.

  • December 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

    @Ogie Oglethorpe – If you click on the “All” section, it includes all shots in the game, which adds in the PP. The other categories, unless I am mistaken, are for even strength, 5 on 5, etc. The density goes up for all areas in the All category, which I believe adds in the Power Play situations.

  • December 19, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Tazer voted as better captain then Crosby and Lemieux on the alltime captain list. Its nots just about goals or hits.

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