Marc-André Fleury Carries Blackhawks Past Canucks

After the Oilers skated circles around the Blackhawks on Saturday night, the Hawks got a relatively early start in Vancouver on Sunday.

Unfortunately, it appeared they left the offense in… Seattle? In the first period against the Kraken?

The Canucks had lost five of their previous six coming in and had scored only 46 goals in their first 18 games of the season. But, against the Blackhawks on Sunday, they brought the offense.

If not for Marc-André Fleury, the Blackhawks could have easily been chasing three or four goals after 40 minutes.

The first period only saw one moment of significant for the Hawks, and it was ugly. Erik Gustafsson shoved former Hawks forward Tyler Motte into the back of Riley Stillman, who went down in pain. I’m not a doctor, but I’m guessing there’s a significant lower-leg injury here.

The Canucks out-shot the Blackhawks 15-6 in the first period.

The Canucks then out-shot the Blackhawks 15-7 in the second period.

Fleury was the Hawks’ savior for 40 minutes.

Calvin de Haan was back in the lineup for Caleb Jones for the night, so when Stillman went down the Blackhawks were skating with five defensemen (including Gustafsson… so four… ). Seth Jones and Jake McCabe were over 16 minutes in the first two periods.

Something else of note, Dylan Strome was getting some run at wing with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Hagel. Six different Blackhawks took at least two faceoffs in the first two periods and (shocked gasp!) Kirby Dach was over .500 at the dot; he won four of seven in the 40 minutes.

But that’s beside the point. The Blackhawks had zero offense.

The Blackhawks had 13 shots in two periods. The Canucks had 15 shots in each of the first two periods. The Canucks had a 23-13 advantage in scoring chances and had 20 more shot attempts (46-26) than the Blackhawks in the first 40 minutes.

Chicago just needed one good bounce. And, four minutes into the third period, they got a shot directed at the net that found its way past Thatcher Demko. A Gustafsson shot appeared to be redirected by Hagel and the Blackhawks had a 1-0 lead.

Gustafsson and Strome were credited with the helpers on Hagel’s fifth of the season.

Over the first 18 minutes of the third period, the Blackhawks did a much better job of keeping the puck away from Fleury. Unfortunately, McCabe went to the box with 2:18 left in regulation and his team up by one. At that point, Vancouver had only four shots on goal in the period.

The Canucks pulled their goaltender with 90 seconds left in regulation but Fleury kept stopping shots that reached him — and the guys in front of him continued blocking the shots they could.

The final 60 seconds of regulation was ridiculous. Fleury was working from one post to the other, his teammates were desperately trying to clear any puck they could reach but the Canucks continued to keep it in the zone. Seth Jones blocked a blast from Elias Pettersson inside the final 30 seconds. Vancouver used their timeout with 12.8 on the clock after the powerplay had come to a close. Chicago was back at five skaters; Vancouver was using six with Demko on the bench.

The Blackhawks were able to finish the job. Fleury picked up his first shutout of the season, stopping all 40 shots in the game. He was absolutely magnificent.

In the month of November, Fleury has now stopped 220 of 235 shots (.936 save percentage). For as questionable as his play was in October, he’s been the Vezina-version of himself this month. And Sunday night was his best effort with the Blackhawks.

Seth Jones led the Blackhawks with five blocked shots in 24:25.

25 thoughts on “Marc-André Fleury Carries Blackhawks Past Canucks

  • November 21, 2021 at 9:37 pm
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    Hats off to Fleury ! Shut out kicking out 40 shots ! The club was focused ! Now to Calgary and I hope they aren’t still on the plane or in the Hotel ! Good luck as you’ll need it against Flames ! POPS 4

  • November 21, 2021 at 9:48 pm
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    Awesome game by Fleury!!! Tough break for Stillman. Team refuses to quit. They wouldn’t do this for Kid Coach.

  • November 21, 2021 at 9:57 pm
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    Well earned shutout for Fleury. Played 1st 2 periods like a team that played last night and couldn’t get their legs going. Textbook 3rd, got the early goal took over the play and never allowed Canucks to get anything going until late penalty against McCabe. Then found away to hang on until the final buzzer. Be nice to see a complete 60 mins against Flames or close to it anyways.

  • November 21, 2021 at 10:09 pm
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    Toews was more noticeable. That was encouraging. Strome looked good, although he is not a clutch player. When you need a big one from him, he shoots it in to the goaltender’s gut or misses the net. That said, I even saw him win a board battle tonight and he had dangerous chances all night. Made a nice stick lift on a back check as well. The notable thing is that when Strome does that, it is “notable.” When Hagel does it, it’s the way it is. But if Strome will play like that, he needs to play and that line was good.

    When the announcers said early in the third that chances were 12-8 in favor of Vancouver, it seemed like 12 was low for Vancouver and 8 was high for Chicago. The first two periods were a drubbing statistically, so I don’t know where that came from. Fleury was under assault and 4 shots drew iron.

    The Hawks played hard in the third and looked solid. They closed the SOG gap until it was 6 on 4. Then the SOGs against started adding up and Fleury was great.

    Another cheap shot on DeBrincat that wasn’t called. An obvious boarding penalty that was let go. But seriously, the league cares about the safety of the players. No, really they do. I know because they say so.

    Winning games that you shouldn’t win won’t work forever. At some point, you need to look better than the other team.

  • November 21, 2021 at 10:09 pm
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    Fleury was spectacular and under control rarely flopping out of position. The team looked tired and was sloppy turning the puck over the 1st 2 periods but they did back check hard and let Fleury see pucks. They played much better the entire 3rd period Hagel,Strome,Borgstrom,and Kubalik all played active and solid games. Tuesday night they get 1 of the hottest and best teams in the league that just manhandled the Bruins in Boston tonight. On to Calgary!

  • November 21, 2021 at 10:54 pm
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    Fleury again saving the Hawks and Hagel again playing like Hagel , he is back on the team and it shows right away .
    Kubalik is really not playing good at all this year should be paid 1.5 millions less per year
    Stillman hummmm let see what’s going on tomorrow.
    Hawks found a way to win and that’s 5 wins in last 6 games . Good to see them getting more confident.
    What iff Fleury continue to play on his head like when Crow was at is best.
    That could get in the Hawks players and would definitely help with the motivation.
    Love my Hawks and Hagel ;)

  • November 21, 2021 at 11:13 pm
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    Fleury took the posts out for drinks after the game.

    The Hawks continue to give up the puck in their own zone. I see other teams break out of their zone easily, but the Hawks struggle to do it every game.

  • November 22, 2021 at 12:19 am
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    Clearly a MAF win
    Among $Jones’s worst games since the first couple / Toews wasn’t particularly strong but at least he got to the right places where I was hoping he’d manage to get one in / & 88 has been far less engaged than his peak in the last couple games …
    Good goalie and team resilience win with the superstar skaters not making much of a showing

  • November 22, 2021 at 12:58 am
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    Not a great game, but a nice result. The Hawks looked sloppy and tired. They all owe the Flower for this one, a great goalie can cover up a multitude of sins. Glad the Hawks got the split and roll out of the weekend with two points.

    It was nice to see the Hawks win a game they probably should have lost. I hope the Hawks respond with a better effort in Calgary.

    I honestly don’t know what the Hawks can do with this roster to generate more offense, but maybe not playing Khaira, Hardman or Carpenter above the fourth line would be a good place to start. They may need to look outside of the roster to find some offense.

    Hawks need some of these guys to step up. Kubalik, Toews, Strome, Borgstrom, Gaudette… They need more scoring, Kane, DeBrincat and Hagel are not going to be able to do it alone.

  • November 22, 2021 at 3:10 am
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    Nice to see them beat the Canucks , and that is rare . Their passing was horrendous , for the most part . Kubalik needs to start potting a few !

  • November 22, 2021 at 5:30 am
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    This is a team of fighters.

    Although, last night they looked like a 4 year ineffectively flailing away at an older brother.

  • November 22, 2021 at 7:15 am
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    A win is a win but this was a hard game to watch from a skill stand point as there wasn’t much. (other than Fleury). It had no flow other than the couple of times the Canucks (the Canucks!) looked like the only team of the two actually in the NHL-doing the Harlem GTrotters in the Hawks end.

    Like Garland even more now that he shows this way on a second team.

  • November 22, 2021 at 7:46 am
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    Had to miss both games this weekend as I was away but curious to know who the bumper on PP1 was – are they still using Dach there?

    If memory serves one of the last PP goals they scored was from Strome on PP1 instead of Dach – has Strome he been getting anytime there?

    I’d prefer seeing Gaudette or Kurashev with Borg and Kub but I don’t think Hardman is deserving of 3rd line at the moment

  • November 22, 2021 at 8:28 am
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    Wrap it was Dach on pp1 ladt night, but the pp wasn’t able to set up and use a bumper on their pps. Weren’t clicking at all and any ozone time they had, either turned it over or lost a puck battle and Canucks cleared the zone. Can’t actually remember a shot on goal when they had a pp but might have had a couple.

  • November 22, 2021 at 8:34 am
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    MAF was AMAZING!!! If he was just a smidge less…Hawks lose and lose big. This was an odd game. Kurashev was on the 4th line…over Gaudette and R. Johnson. I don’t get that move at all. Especially since Gaudette was acquired from Vancouver and it would have been extra motivation for Gaudette to get the call. Please send Kurashev to Rockford. I know he’s supposed to have all this talent but I’m just not seeing it at the NHL level.
    Having Stillman get injured in a freakish accident doesn’t help. Yes, C. Jones easily slides in. But, does someone get a call up from Rockford? Stay tuned.
    Strome and Borgstrom had solid games. Strome had the better, more productive line, but Borgstrom was not invisible. Although, the FO% still plagues the center position.
    There really is not much offense past the DeBrincat-Dach-Kane line. Hagel-Toews-Strome was an improvement over Khaira. I never understood that one. Here’s the thing…as much as I love what Hagel brings to the ice, he’s not a top 6 guy. Perhaps, as an experiment, how about a line of Borgstrom-Toews-Strome. They’re all left handed shots, but aside from that, it is a big line. Carpenter centering the 3rd and Khaira the 4th. What could it hurt. I think a Hagel-Carpenter-Gaudette line would be intriguing. 4th line of Hardman-Khaira-R. Johnson…at least until Entwistle comes back. Again, I don’t think this team is going far, as is. Let Coach King see what’s in the cupboard so that the GM and the HC can work together to give us the best product possible.
    Tonight’s win, against Vancouver, was by the grace of MAF and the luck of Hagel’s positioning. It’s a W. On to the next game!!!

  • November 22, 2021 at 10:18 am
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    Clang, clink, clang, clang, MAF and the iron saved the Hawks from defeat.

    Good goal tending masks team deficiencies and this was a classic goal tending win.

    Maybe if they were scoring 3 goals a game I’d be OK with Gaudette sitting but this
    offensively challenged team should at least try playing Gaudette for 10 games and see
    if brings anything to the table.

    He certainly couldn’t be any worse than Strome

  • November 22, 2021 at 10:34 am
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    After the start to this season any win is welcome. They’re still trying to figure out what works and what needs help. Patience needed now more than ever.

  • November 22, 2021 at 10:40 am
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    Giving up 40 shot`s against tells us of defensive system shortcomings .
    To come out of the game with a win is crap shoot luck…nothing more, goalie wins has been a Hawk recipe for 3 or 4 years now ,
    Gonna be a long road to recovery.

    Go Hawks go.

  • November 22, 2021 at 11:01 am
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    This was a horrible game other than Fluery and the posts stopping 4 shots from going in. Hawks D still looks like garbage, S.Jones and McCabe are taking over as the Turn Over machines…. absolutely horrible in the D zone and the O zone was nothing to speak of either, little to no sustained pressure or zone time. Sorry but it’s the truth.

  • November 22, 2021 at 11:06 am
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    It’s worth noting the Canucks average 33 shots per game.

    The Blackhawks definitely need to find consistency on the blue line, but getting healthy is a big part of that. Once Caleb Jones & Wyatt Kalynuk are ready to go, we can hopefully put Gustafsson in the press box for good.

  • November 22, 2021 at 12:11 pm
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    Beer League, I agree with you. McCabe is a 6th D Man at best. His penalty with 2 minutes left was beyond stupid. Jones has to be stronger on the puck and cleaner with zone exit passes. Up front,the Hawks Centers are terrible. This team for the most part does not cycle,drive the net, or win many puck battles in the offensive zone. 1 and done with no puck control leads to getting your goalie bombarded with shots.

  • November 22, 2021 at 12:15 pm
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    Also,it’s a damn shame that Strome can’t skate at an NHL level. He knows where to be in the offensive zone,he just can’t get there. He is like a statue out there. All his shots from the slot areas seem to hit the goalie in the middle of the chest.

  • November 22, 2021 at 1:40 pm
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    On the broadcast, last night, Colby Cohen(I think that is his name) was saying how the Hawks have not changed a thing defensively since DK took over as coach. They no longer play a “man to man” defense. They play a man / zone defense. What this does is simply allow their forwards to play an area instead of running around trying to cover any offensive players in the zone.

    They still have not perfected yet, as you can see when teams spend 2,3,4 or 5 minutes in our zone just teeing it up and skating all over us.

    It’s a work in progress I guess. But something has changed in the locker room and behind the bench because the message is starting to carry onto the ice. Thank the lord JC is gone!

  • November 22, 2021 at 2:40 pm
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    Reg, last week King stated he believes in the man and half system, that it will work. He implemented a new 1-2-2 forecheck system to reduce opposing entries and keep when they do to the outside, but staying with man in a half in own end of the ice.

  • November 23, 2021 at 7:49 am
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    lol

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