Patrick Kane, Blackhawks Dominate Predators

Blackhawks celebrate NSH

On Tuesday night, the Blackhawks stayed hot and took care of business with a 3-1 win in Nashville.

Duncan Keith opened the scoring with a missile from the point, beating former Hawks farmhand Carter Hutton only 1:39 into the game. Unfortunately, Marcus Kruger was sent to the box for a faceoff violation before play could begin after the goal, and Shea Weber capitalized late in the ensuing power play to tie the game.

Keith’s goal got the Hawks off to a good start, but the rest of the opening 20 minutes was sloppy. Chicago allowed 17 shots on net and served three minor penalties in the period, successfully killing two.

The Hawks had one power play opportunity in the first period, and they made it count.

Patrick Kane scored his 20th of the season, depositing a ridiculous backhand shot past Hutton 38 seconds into the advantage. That goal would be enough for Antti Raanta, who had another strong night.

In the second period, the parade to the penalty box was all Predators, as Nashville was whistled for two too many men penalties and a Viktor Stalberg tripping penalty in the first 13:25 of the middle frame. Nick Leddy scored his fourth of the year on the second Preds penalty to put the Hawks up 3-1, and effectively closed the scoring for the night.

Raanta stood tall in the opening frame, and the skaters in front of him did a much better job in the final 40 minutes to preserve the victory. After making 16 saves against 17 shots in the first period, Raanta faced only 11 total shots – four in the second and seven in the third – the rest of the way.

In spite of allowing a goal on the Preds’ first power play of the game, the Blackhawks successfully killed six penalties in the game, including two in the third period. The Hawks blocked 19 shots in the game, led by four each from Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya. Marian Hossa was credited with a team-leading three takeaways in the game as well.

Offensively, the Hawks scored twice in five chances with the advantage. Keith had two points in the first period to lead the scoring totals. Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Hossa, Seabrook and Toews all had assists in the win.

As a team, the Blackhawks got destroyed in faceoffs by the Predators; Nashville won 34 of 53 draws in the game. The lone bright spot for Chicago was Marcus Kruger, who won six of eight in the game. Jonathan Toews won only six of 16, and Michal Handzus won just three of 12.

For Kane, the game-winning goal was his sixth of the year, tying him with Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf for second in the NHL behind only Corey Perry, also of the Ducks. Kane is the fourth player in the NHL to reach the 20-goal plateau in the 2013-14 season, and his 46 points are right on Sidney Crosby’s heels for the NHL lead.

The win moves Joel Quenneville into fourth place all-time in coaching wins in the NHL by himself, with a great chance to pass Dick Irvin for third before the Olympic break.

The Blackhawks are now off until hosting the Canucks on Friday night.

39 thoughts on “Patrick Kane, Blackhawks Dominate Predators

  • December 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Raanta had his best game yet… should have had shut out!!! Smith went out of his lane and left Shea Web wide open (I guarantee that wasn’t in the game plan)!!!
    Third line looked good, very good… was actually surprised that 29 didn’t look too rusty…

    It should be a “revenge game” for Canucks- I thought the Hawks made them look really average in last game…

    Any one catch Versteeg lifting Hutton’s stick on Leddy’s PP goal? 23 is the new Rat!!!

  • December 18, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Even though a couple of the penalties called against the Hawks weren’t really penalties (that new ref had a rough first game), 7 penalties is too much and usually doesn’t lead to winning hockey. Over the past 6 games the Hawks have given the opponents 29 power plays – that’s nearly 5 per game. When you consider the Hawks PK gives up almost 3 goals for every 10 times they are shorthanded – taking that many penalties per game is equivalent to spotting the opponent one goal and sometimes two. Oddly enough, the Hawks have won 5 of the past 6 games but it’s because they have played some of the worst offensive teams during that stretch – Florida, Dallas, Philadelphia, Toronto, LA and Nashville.

    Other than the parade to the penalty box, that was a pretty strong all around team game, especially the last 40 minutes. Even the PK looked pretty good with the exception of the Seabrook clearing pass that ended up in Weber’s goal. A couple of those PK’s had the Hawks getting better chances than the Preds.

    And how about the goal Kane scored. WOW! That guy really is gifted.

    Bickell was pretty much invisible but he should get a pass until he gets a few games under his belt.

    Congrats Q on being 4th on the all time victory list. Heopfully you’re sitting in 3rd place before too long.

    Looking forward to playing the Canucks. Even though they lost in the shootout tonight, they have been playing ther best hockey over the last few weeks so they will be a challenge. There is still nothing sweeter in the regular season that beating those diving and whining jerks.

  • December 18, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Recipe for beating Nashville is always the same. Get a lead and don’t let go. They are the worst at coming back, yet formidable when leading. 7-2 loss there last month had to be on some minds tonight. Avenged or not we deserved the win. But that team has taken us to the woodshed at the dot this season in 2 straight games now. Tonight was bad, last visit even worse.

    Good news is we got 88. He’s really good.

    31 has been a godsend.

  • December 18, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Can you explain the first period “face off violation” penalty?
    Thank you.

  • December 18, 2013 at 6:41 am

    This best part of this Hawks team is their resiliency. They got caught napping against the Predators earlier in the season also against the Stars and Avalanche but in the next meeting against those teams they came out and dominated the next game to show them that thats not happening again. I wish the Hawks had another crack at the Leafs this year to give them some of their own medicine. Great teams are able to refocus after a stinker and come back to right the ship and thats why the Hawks are a good playoff team and will be tough to beat in any 7 game series.

  • December 18, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I think the face off violation was due to Kruger trying to use his glove to move the puck off the face off. That’s a no no this year.

  • December 18, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I thought Bickell was rushing his game. It will slow down after a few more goes. He couldn’t complete a pass… but he looked pretty quick!

    Patrick Kane.

    Second and fourth line got pretty much dominated the entire night. Good thing Nashville doesn’t have anyone that can score!

    I think Saad intentionally shot that shot where he did hoping that Leddy would be coming off the point… and he was. Worked out perfectly! Kid has vision.

    Also, on the PP, Hawks have changed up their looks a few times recently. Really making them hard to defend.

    Rannta was really good and I loved his dance after the final horn.

    Patrick Kane.

  • December 18, 2013 at 9:12 am

    A good workman like win for the Hawks and Kane is starting to separate himself from the rest of the league. Not raining on the parade of good will but I still have one question.

    Does anyone think Kruger and Smith’s production is being held back by Bollig? Again, no knock on 52 but I just don’t get it. Morin in place of Bollig turns the fourth line from a simple grind line to a dynamic line. The 4th line registered one shot on goal and Smith created one chance for himself. Kruger and Smith did spend a lot of time on the PK, but last night was like most games for them. My premiss is that if the Hawks can not take chances developing a offensive threatening 4th line, what team can?

  • December 18, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Mike- I agree with 52 holding back the 4th line… BUT there is more to it… and it isn’t really a knock on 52- he isn’t bad- actually does a lot of good things, He is SAFE, CHEAP, BIG…

    Would the 4th line score more w/ 11 or 42? YES- would there be more “mistakes”- probably Yes… Could McNeill or Danault provide more- Yes- But Hawks are taking their time “seasoning” these guys…

    I recall a play in game last nite- where 52 couldn’t control a puck in D zone- hawks would have had a great odd man rush chance- but 52 muffed it- and I said exactly the same thing to myself- 4th line could be really good if 52 didn’t have stone-hands!!!

    But, 52= cheap/safe player… and better options will be coming 1-2 years…

  • December 18, 2013 at 9:34 am

    ER, good note on the penalties, we’ve been good for most of the year with only around 8min game. We have no business letting that get away from us givin our PK woes to date. But even with improving numbers killing we don’t need xtra PIM. Also, just to throw numbers around, this year we seem to be losing our sound ratio of gvw/tkw. Dont have it off hand but am certain our gvs are up pretty sharply from last year, but I imagine we are still near the top in tkwy.

    Lot falls on the guy tallying too but its been noticeable. Last night we only gave it up 4x, which is good to see but it had been since Anaheim game when we were 5 or less last time.

    5 hits last night! I know hits don’t mean much in the end but if you play 60 minutes you have more than 5 chances to hit someone just to say hello, let alone making something positive happen from doing so. Even using the Blackhawk curve for grading hits, 5 is w-e-a-k. Preds19-5

    Already talked about Preds owning us at the dot to the tune of 34-19 and 43-24 in the 7-2 blowout. Dont recall them ever schooling us like this before but I could be wrong?

    Ending on a positive, we had 19 blocks in the game which is a very good number for us.
    Not often do you see 19+ BS from us. Well done

  • December 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Bit of a weird, boring game…I don’t think the Hawks dominated, but we finished our chances…I thought the star of the game was Raanta…as Wall said, that was his best game as a Hawk…JS must have been pleased because that was Raanta at his “cleanest”…a lot less movement in the net and crease…he stood tall and butterflied when he had to…it is very clear to people all around the league that the Hawks have found their 1B goalie…Raanta I think will become even more than Emery was last year and CC’s backup…perhaps they will come to even split time in goal…he really looks that good, and this will only make Crawford better…

    Diego Luna.

    Patrick Kane had another good game and not just because he scored again, but because he continues to do the little things well, and positions himself quite well defensively…his puck control and passing has hit another level, making him (arguably) the most dangerous forward in the league…

    Diego Luna.

    Toews and Hossa are still not at 100%…both slept walked through parts of the game, and Toews hand/wrist is still bothering him at the dot…

    Diego Luna.

    I thought that Bickell had a good start to the game on that 3rd line, but then ran completely out of gas…his 3rd period shifts were not very good…but he’s a big guy and it will take him longer to get back into game shape…

    Aside from Kane and Saad, I thought our best player continues to be Kris Versteeg…Steeger is relishing his role as a role player…he doesn’t have to carry this team, and I think its refreshing for him…as Wall observed he is not only aggressive in the corners and always good with the puck, but he’s stirring up a lot of things…I really think that trade put us over the top for another Cup…

    Diego Luna.

  • December 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Brad- 23 has been great… and I agree his versatility is great for Hawks… Never really knew how good his stick was/is- he makes a lot of of “little chips” to win the puck or break up plays…

    And just as I get giddy about him… He makes a bad/risky pass/TO- now that I remember about him- And then Q would bench him for several shifts… BUT now Q accepts it!!!

    23 was a great trade… Just stay healthy/ and minimize those 2010 “risky” plays- and He will be a great asset!!!

  • December 18, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Listen a lot of people have mentioned it, but that Kane goal is ridiculous. There might be two other Hawks who can do that…maybe. The speed with that shot, his ability to make it look like he could still pass, and the elevation he got so quickly…man that is amazing.

    Kane will never be up for the Selke, but if is he isn’t becoming defensively responsible, he is becoming defensively aware. I swear his improvement in that area is making him more dangerously offensively. I also think the Blackhawks need Kane because he makes players like Hossa and Toews have fun…the dirty work they do is complementary to the offensive wizardry of Kane. We are just fans of a really good to great team right now.

  • December 18, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Ryan, the only reason, in the past, that the Preds haven’t statistically owned us at the dot was Toews…but with his hand/wrist problem, even Toews is getting killed at the dot and it shows…

    Mike, great point, but Wall absolutely, perfectly explained it…Bollig is on the roster because he is CHEAP, SAFE, BIG…he’s a perfect 4th liner for Q…and that’s just Q being Q…I agree with you completely that he is definitely holding down that 4th line…Smith and Kruger are winning F/Os, they are strong on the puck, so they have the puck a lot, all they need to become a consistently producing line is a finisher, a la Morin…and as Wall said, right now McNeil, Danault, and Garret Ross would be better options in the 12th forward spot, but Q likes Bollig because he can fight…but, as JS points out, Bollig doesn’t fight a lot, and often doesn’t defend our stars who get roughed up…and when he does, he gets beaten up…so go figure…Q wants Bollig on this roster…and this EXACTLY why Q has been giving Bollig PK time…he’s making it even more difficult to have Bollig removed…again, go figure…

    JS…I think Saad did direct his shot…I was thinking the same thing at the time…great young player!

  • December 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Peter, I think thats a great way to explain the new Kane…defensively aware…and this awareness allows him to break up a lot of would-be passes, and then break away in transition, where he is most dangerous…this is why, IMO, he is having such a great season, as he is helping us defensively, not hurting us, and leading our transition game!

  • December 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Kane’s shot was amazing. But it looked like the puck went on edge at the last moment which allowed him to get that elevation in such a small space. Doing that with a flat puck would be crazy. Man is he fun to watch.

    Keith’s ability to take away space and get his stick into lanes and make plays tough for his opponent is incredible. And it seems the other d-men learn from it. They’re so fast that they can recover easy.

    Fun team to watch.

  • December 18, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Wall, Brad I understand and agree entirely. But my point is that the Hawks don’t really need a “safe” line especially when the D is doing its job keeping the puck away from Raanta. My feeling is that in the long run it will benefit the Hawks to rotate a Morin and a Pirri into the mix as often as possible. Bollig or Zues go down and Q is forced to use guys who have less experience than they could have.

    With the roster last night, which includes Rosy in the press box, the Hawks have $1.1mm in cap space (according to Cap Geek. That is enough room to add Morin and let Bollig sit OR add Pirri and let Zues sit. They can not do both at the same time. But this is the reason the Hawks moved their AHL team from Norfolk to Rockford.

  • December 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Also I’d like to see a little more of Nordstrom as well as a few games from Ross.

  • December 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Hawks withstood Preds push in the 1st, and having finished that period with a lead I felt pretty confident that Nashville had shown us their best and went unrewarded. Hawks just sealed it down after that. It is of concern that Hawks are taking so many penalties, but I think some mental fatigue is showing as it always does from mid Dec through mid Jan. I still want Steeger regular on the PK! What is Q waiting for? I cringe on the PK when I see Zus the stork out there. This game was really a mild affair. Not much if any venom with these teams.

    Kaner is simply on an amazing roll. Just a sick OMG backhander last night. He is oozing confidence right now and the points are piling up. Really fun to watch this guy grow as a NHL player. He has world class talent written all over, and he keeps getting better as a 2 way player. To think many called for him to be traded just 2 years ago….madness.

    Raanta has to be our #2 keeper. This kids confidence grows with every game. He comes way out to cut angles which can be exploited, but he is very quick and agile. What happens when/if Bullin gets healthy? Heard Crow is about ready to practice. Man, the Hawks should make absolutely, positively sure this guy is 100% healed up before coming back. Raanta is buying CC valuable healing and rest time.

    Nucks are playing some good hockey right now. The Friday meeting should be entertaining and another good test for the Hawks. If the guys put up a similar effort to what we saw Sunday against a good LA team, it should be another mark in the win column.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  • December 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Phil- I was leading the Kane Bashing in 2010-2011- when 88 said he was ready to “take it to the next level”- he had a BAD year… SC hangover, Cocky, and made more commercials than goals!!!

    3 years ago – only Malkin, Crosby make that SICK back hand goal look that easy!!! Kane has officially proved me wrong (really last year in Playoffs)… I have since apologized (not that he or anyone else cares)…

    But he has Grown up/matured!!! (as cliche as that is) KUDOS to KANE!!!
    He plays better D, floats a lot less, Forechecks a lot harder (my 2nd favorite Kane play from last nite (he got the penalty for tripping behind Preds goal- BUT I have never seen him skate that hard/fast on that forecheck – “Frolik-like”!))

  • December 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Before training camp I guessed that 52 (32, 26 too…) would split games like last season and that more of the younger/ahl guys would get spots/at least split some regularly. Besides two way contracts/23man overall effect, etc. a bunch of guys (ahl) got to play games, some several. We know what each of them can do now and then decided what we need/want for the 12 fw positions. Yea, some of those guys would make 4th line better off. but its not always best to put out your 12 best skilled shooters fw. For whatever reasons it is good to have a little mix. I doesn’t make any sence for our 4th line to score 10-15 each & get run over by other teams lines because they are smaller in size/as a line. Those younger guys played in enough games to ‘see what/where their at’ and for experience that they can play at anytime if we need.

    Wall/Brad and others have said that we have better complimentary guys coming, their just not nhl (blackhawks) ready yet. These guys have good size, finish their checks, really good def. forwards and can score decently.

    Its better to have more players then we need then to not have as much depth. These are hard decisions to make, but that’s a good thing.

    Elite team problems.

  • December 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Fun Patrick Kane facts:
    2010-2011 73 gp 73 points. Not bad. 6/7 in the playoffs. Not too hung over.
    2011-2012 was a little different 82 games and 66 points. However shot 9.3% which was a career low, playing center after having wrist surgery and missing most of the pre-season. Also PP points were 12 total. 12-15 points below the 22-27 accustomed too. He shoots his average and scores a reasonable amount of PP points and that year looks a whole lot better. The 54 even strength points were a career high…

    The assumption that Kane had a bad 11-12 was a myth. The power play was awful. 26th in the league awful. He was a massive reason they made the playoffs after Toews went down and he had to play 1C. Scored Some 18 points in 19 games or some such? 19 and 21 maybe? Also watching Kane drive up the middle with Hossa on his right precipitated some of the most magical hockey I have ever seen. Really need to look deeper than actual point production on that one especially since it has been consistent every other year in the league. “Outlier” I believe is the statistical term for that one and those happen.

    This is the healthiest Hossa will be for the remainder of his career so enjoy it while it lasts.

    Bickell will be fine but it will take a few games.

    Nashville looked bad. Really bad. Handzus was undressing players bad. Friday should be a good game. Vancouver looks like they are finding themselves and Torts is looking like a genius by sticking Kesler with the twins until he started scoring.

  • December 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    while it is a little bit off topic, I’m happy to be going to Montreal for the Hawks-Habs game. Got everything lined up today. As a bonus my daughter speaks excellent French, although I have had practice ordering beer in French over the years…Since 2009-2010 season I have been taking one of my kids to a road game. Always been really fun. Been to NYC, Montreal, Toronto, St Louis. Bell Centre is a fantastic place to watch hockey. I never made it to the old Forum, but I did see a game at Maple Leaf Garden. Anyway, lets hope the Hawks are rolling for that game.

  • December 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Phil- do you want to adopt me?

    I don’t speak French- But I drink beer!!!

  • December 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Wall, are the most interesting man in hockey??

  • December 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Mike, I agree with you…the Hawks have the ability to field 4 legit, fast, productive lines, that would leave the opposition dead tired…but that’s not what Q wants…as long as Q is the coach, the Hawks will continue to have forwards like Zus and Bollig and DMen like Brookbank…

    Great comments Phil…I too was a proponent of trading Kane at the time…its a question of timing…do you allow for off years, including effort, from elite players or no? Certainly, with his new found Defensive awareness, I am very glad he’s a Hawk…and I can only see Pat Kane getting better and better.

    Great comments/info AJ and Mo…

  • December 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Phil- I once taught a German Shepherd to bark in Spanish!

  • December 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Jes, Wall Ole!

  • December 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    For sheer entertainment value I took a peek at the Nashville Preds blog on SB Nation last night. Hilarious. They are on virtual suicide watch and have some hugely funny posters. To paraphrase one of the running themes, “how in the fu(k can the Hawks and Preds have virtually the same payroll given the talent disparity of the two clubs?!?”

    Highly recommended reading. To include the stuff on how Nashville has limited ticket sales in games that are played against Chicago. In essense, they ate 2,000 tickets last night so they couldn’t get into the hands of Chicago fansa. Priceless the banter on this topic.

  • December 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Yeah, I saw quite a few empty seats in the stands last night…interesting that Nashville would turn away 2,000 + paying fans just so Chicago fans couldn’t dominate the stands…at the end of the day, its a business and an expensive one at that.

  • December 19, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Too busy worrying about other teams and their fans…and not putting a quality team together on the ice for their fan base to come and support.

  • December 19, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Watching highlights from various games around the NHL there are many teams that play at arenas with LOTS of empty seats. St. Louis,Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, Columbus, PHX, NYI, to name a few. Winning teams should generate fan interest. St Louis has been quite competitive, but they have cheap tickets and still don’t come close to sell outs for home games. I was at the Hawks-Blues game down there in Oct and bought great tickets online from the Blues. Choice seats I might add, the day before the game! Empty seats all around. Yes, there was a Cards playoff game that night, but so what? As though the Hawks wouldn’t sell out and fill the UC if heaven forbid the Sox or Cubs were in the playoffs? Nonsense, the joint would be packed.

  • December 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Seems many Preds fans think we are just a bunch of drunks with an obnoxious streak and moronic tendencies. Doesn’t sound like anyone here to me!!

    Only 5 more weeks till we get to visit the Joe and get another road kill on Wings ice. Damn they should be glad we dont come as often now after the run we’ve had there lately. And have ya noticed their home record lately? 5-9-6, ouch! Lovin it

  • December 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

    ?? is there much buzz/t.sales around the city for the outdoor game? too early still? or did the previous one satisfy curiosities for most ? expected sellout? just curious

  • December 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Stadium series in Chicago sold out.

  • December 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

    RD, I have had some people inquire about what I was going to do with my tickets the past 2 weeks. I just don’t get the buzz about any of these outdoor games. I sold my tickets for the Hawks Wings game at Wrigley and was happy t be rid of them. The sight lines for these games are terrible. Huge lines for toilets, parking issues, high ticket prices, and just too many damn people. If people like to go these “happenings” good for them, but when I go to a hockey game I want to watch what is happening on the ice. Despite marketing this as “pond hockey”, it is simply a revenue scam as far I’m concerned. My neighbor plays in a league, and is a good Hawks fan. He asked me if I was using my tickets for the Soldier Field gig and I said he could buy mine at face value. I will watch that one on TV and be pleased to not be there.

    Soldier Field isn’t that big, the Hawks are rocking, so I would expect them to sell this thing out. Those that go I hope have a great time! Just hope it doesn’t rain…..

  • December 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I heard it sold in less then 24hrs.

    The league should take a cut of their revenue sharing and give it to us/anyteam that trys seat/ticket scams/gimmicks to keep other team fans numbers lower… They should have to do more than just eat it.

  • December 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    tnx for info guys

    Phil, sounds like we agree on what the attraction could be

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