Predators Hammer Blackhawks… Again

The Blackhawks played a very good Predators team on Sunday night without Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith or Marcus Kruger.

And they got hammered.

As much as one would like to think the missing players were an excuse for the Hawks getting blown out at the United Center, reality indicates that it was simply more of the same from Nashville this year.

Coming into Sunday, the Blackhawks were 1-3-0 against the Preds and had been outscored 15-9 in those four games. In fact, in the three games the two teams played during the Hawks’ nine-game losing streak between Jan. 21 and Feb. 14, Nashville outscored Chicago 11-5.

The Blackhawks did score… once… to draw the score to 4-1 just after a power play ended early in the third period. But Shea Weber scored 36 seconds later as a subtle, 100+ mile per hour reminder that the game was in fact over.

Chicago has now lost at home only eight times all season (in 39 games), and two of those have come at the hands of the Predators. What’s more, through Sunday’s game, the Blackhawks have allowed 101 goals at the United Center this year; 13 of those have come in three games against Nashville.

On a night when Ed Belfour was honored, the Hawks pulled Corey Crawford less than two minutes into the third period. Ray Emery replaced him and continued the swiss cheese approach between the pipes.

Unfortunately, the Hawks will play Nashville once more while Keith is suspended.

This wasn’t a trap game, it was a butt kicking.

And it couldn’t be more clear that the Blackhawks, without Toews, Keith and (to a significantly lesser extent) Kruger and Steve Montador are not a championship contender in the Western Conference.

14 thoughts on “Predators Hammer Blackhawks… Again

  • March 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I’m not sure if it was the (4) days between games, or the (4) players missing from the lineup, but the Hawks looked FLAT from the get-go. Nashville is not a fancy team, but they looked very “invinceable”, tonight. They work hard in the corners and along the boards and make very simple plays. They play great team defense and are really solid in the net.

    The Preds look like a very scary team going into the playoffs.

  • March 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    The Hawks have to play well to beat the good teams … actually to beat any team, and they obviously didn’t play well in any phase of the game tonight.

    Even if and when the Hawks get their players back and they play well – they won’t go far in the playoffs without a power play. It’s incomprehensible how bad the Hawks are on the power play and if they are fortunate to hold on to a playoff spot it will be for naught if the power play continues to struggle.

  • March 26, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Great article Tab…bang on…I thought the Hawks really were hurting, of all things, from Kruger being out of the lineup…yes, Toews is a killer and losing Keith is very tough, but with Kruger out, there are really only 2 legit Centres on this team, and one of them is Jamal Mayers…

    Having Crawford revert to another weak game between the pipes was very hard to watch…and then seeing an uninspired Emery come into the game made it worse…

    And as you said Tab, without Toews it is going to be very tough for this team to win a playoff series, but without Kruger and Keith, this team seems more like a bad joke…

  • March 26, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Sorry, one more thing…I would be remiss if I didn’t say this…Brendan Morrison continuing to try and play hockey is a disservice and disgrace to what he once was as a professional…

    He was a JOKE out there tonight, and needs to retire now…for everyone’s sake!

  • March 26, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Pipe down Jaremka! What do you know? You’d think you’ve been playing hockey for most of your life or something. :-)

  • March 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Boston won a 7 game series last year without scoring a power play goal… just saying.

  • March 26, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I think it is what you would call a bad matchup. The Preds are damn good this year. Tough Ds always give the Hawks trouble. If the Hawks get lucky and can avoid the Blues and Preds, maybe they make a run.

  • March 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    What do people think of Crawford’s performance?

  • March 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    As bad as last night seems to be (i didnt get a chance to watch it) we are still in good shape to survive. NJ has been sliding. We got 2 vs a Minnesota team that has imploded… Toews should be back on ice about the same time as Keith… We are definatly Ok…

  • March 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Yes on BM. I am on the HF Boards posting this and I could not believe how bad BM was. I mean I think I could have been better on that first goal we gave up, and I stink lol.

    Don’t we have a scouting dept to KNOW BM was this bad. I know we gave up nothing, but we got nothing. I would like to get a little something for nothing (and some chicks for free) but we got nuttin for nuttin.

    What are we paying scouts for anyway?

  • March 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    What did we think of Crawfords performance? Multiple soft goals allowed, repeatedly out of position…I guess I thought the same thing as Q when he pulled him, except I was surprised he came back out in the 3rd. He didn’t have much help though, that is for sure.

  • March 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    You guys are “dead on” about Crawford, he had ANOTHER weak effort against the Preds. Somehow, they always bring out the worst in him. I hear that deep in the minors, there is an older goalie playing in a men’s league that might be able to help. I think his name is Mike Staciak, or Stasiak, or something like that……LOL. In all honesty, I welcome to this site, one of the all time “great” men’s league goaltenders from the southside of Chicago……..Michael Stasiak. He’ll bring some inspired writing to this blog!!

  • March 27, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Nashville is not only a good team but they are also a bad matchup for the Hawks. Thankfully they will likely play Detroit in round 1 and I hope Detroit knocks them out so we won’t have to face them. One way of looking at this is who do you want to get out of the lineup to put our best team out there. I’m looking to replace Morrison, OD and Brunette. Ideally Bolig and possibly Frolik as well. So with Keith, Toews and Kruger were almost there. If you add Saad or Morin to the playoff lineup then I think we are maximizing our talent. To me Bolig and Brunette are specialty players needed for spot duty in certain games. Frolik has been a disappointment but I haven’t completely given up on him yet so I would say spot duty for him.

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Lots of things surrounding the Hawks ability to win tough games. They have beaten Detroit, Vancouver, THE RANGERS, this year. The Preds have been their achilles heel….. Granted not having Toews in the line-up for face-offs hasn’t been good for the team, but the Hawks have done well in his absence. Defense has been trouble-some for a good part of the year – weak and standing around. Our top goal scores that are PAID to score goals, hit a dry patch until recently. Even Keith had a bad run until recently. However, Bi-polar goaltending has been the weakest link for the Hawks this year.

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