Predators Shutout Hawks In Chicago – Again

On Thursday night, the Blackhawks allowed one goal in the first period and then Nashville got defensive. Chicago out-shot Nashville 23-9 over the final 40 minutes, but couldn’t solve Pekka Rinne.

On Saturday night, the Blackhawks allowed one goal in the first period. Nashville didn’t follow the same script, however.

Coach Joel Quenneville didn’t like what he saw in Game One, so he made a couple lineup changes. Dennis Rasmussen replaced John Hayden, and Vinnie Hinostroza was a late addition in place of Jordin Tootoo.

At 3:44 into the first, Richard Panik blocked a Ryan Ellis shot right back to Ellis, who unloaded from the point a second time. The second shot was screened by both Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Hartman, and beat Corey Crawford to get the Preds on the board.

The Hawks got a power play late in the first but did absolutely nothing with it.

Then the first period came to a close, Chicago was once again trailing. Nashville out-shot the Hawks 12-7 in the first; they out-shot Chicago 11-6 in Game One.

Harry Zolnierczyk doubled the lead 2:51 into the second, beating Johnny Oduya badly. The Hawks got another power play seven minutes into the second and pissed that one away, too. When Colton Sissons tapped in a loose puck to make the score 3-0 the wheels were completely off for the Blackhawks.

Things were bad enough that Patrick Kane took a dumb penalty for whacking Zolnierczyk in the face with 1:27 left in the second.

When the dust settled after 40 minutes, Nashville had a 22-21 shot advantage. The visitors had won 23 of 42 faceoffs and had blocked 11 shots. The Preds were controlling the puck and still out-hitting the Hawks 34-23.

Quenneville had his line blender working overtime in the second period, but nothing worked.

Chicago opened the third period with the nuclear option engaged. Panarin, Toews and Kane were together, and Quenneville put Schmaltz and Hossa with Anisimov. For 10 minutes he was skating Rasmussen with Kruger and Panik and then Kero took Rasmussen’s place.

Kero set up Kruger for the Hawks’ best look at the mid-point of the third but Kruger shot the puck into Rinne’s chest.

The Predators turned the Blackhawks into nothing more than a dump-and-chase team. With 6:09 left in regulation, Crawford left a rebound about ten feet in front of himself while the Hawks changed in front of him. TvR was late arriving and Ryan Johansen took advantage, sprinting to the puck and tipping home Nashville’s fourth of the game.

With four minutes left, the Hawks lost their cool. A scrum in front of the net ended up with Seabrook on top of Johansen and then off to the box for roughing. Kevin Fiala scored after the Hawks killed the power play to extend the lead to 5-0.

Five. Nothing.

In Chicago.

Hartman ran Craig Smith into the boards and cross-checked him in the head with a minute left in regulation, getting an early trip to the showers and Nashville’s bench understandably upset. They finished regulation with another power play.

Another ugly loss at the United Center to open a playoff season that began with hopes of another deep run. And, with zero goals in 120 minutes of play to begin the series, it feels a lot like the Hawks series against Detroit in 2013.

The Hawks head to Nashville down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series as the top seed in the Western Conference.

102 thoughts on “Predators Shutout Hawks In Chicago – Again

  • April 15, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    /sigh. That was pathetic. Been watching all of the first round games and the Hawks are the only team that isn’t playing it like a playoff game. Guess the late season slide was for real.

  • April 15, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    What a joke. Pathetic effort, pathetic game plan, q is being completely outcoached. We will see on Monday if this team has any heart but right now they are having their lunches handed to them.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Why doesn’t This team care?

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Pathetic effort as has been stated before. 24 million dollar men have become the invisible men. Embarrassment at the national level.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Just look out-classed, no other way to say it. Dominated. Forget posts, puck luck etc. Just getting beat. Slow and Sloppy.
    Why wait until the third period to play hard?
    You never give up on the Blackhawks, but things look tough. Nashville’s in-your-face defense is something the Blackhawks just aren’t matching up with.
    Yeah, I said earlier that Rinne could get hot and that the Blackhawks had to be careful, BUT …. it’s not like Rinne is racking up 10 bell save after 10 bell save.

    Hartman said earlier his dumb crossing the line penalties would never happen again. Happened again. Might get a game. Might have been scratched by Q anyway.

    Let’s go boys, buckle up and play some tough hockey!
    Let’s Go Blackhawks!!!!

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    I expect we will see Darling in goal on Monday. Atrocious effort by Campbell on the 4rth goal. I would bench him the next game. Oduya had a tough night also- bad play on the 2nd goal. Dumb head shot by Hartman. Would not be surprised to see a suspension. Toews, Hossa and Schmaltz put in a good effort. Time to fly D-Cat in for an audition.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Well after a couple of games like the past 6 , i kinda start getting pissed off . Give coach Q a game or 2 off to rest ,see how that works . Zero team cohesion , no sustained pressure down low , our D looks old and in the way . We gotta keep things simple ,.,. . The writing has been on the wall for a few weeks now ,.,.,how in the frick did this group finish first in the west ???? That building was a vacuum ,.,.had the life sucked right out of it . Hope someone stands up and gets motivated .

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    I agree, would expect to see Darling. Crawford didn’t get much help but wasn’t too sharp either. Need to shake things up regardless.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Pathetic performance all around…not playoff hockey. Nuff said.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    HAWKSINFIRST…. and it still don’t matter…

    Hey- where is the DOLT with all of my great quotes now???

    Remember… this “team can’t score”… hard to watch boring hockey… “Sell- sell- sell”

    where is he with all those stupid and ridiculous posts/comments of mine???
    Tab- you didn’t ban him from the site- did you???

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Playing like an expectant group of premadonnas. Hopefully Q and 19 put this team back on track

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    That bad 5 on 3 horseshit call could make a large diff. in these games, even though it was game 1 so doesn’t matter. It does and can be big.

    The longer their goalie has a shutout streak the harder it will be on them once we score, we will score how ever many every game. They wont be able to play their game as much and we will be able to play our game. We havnt played yet. It is possible that the horseshit 5 on 3 penalty not called could be a 4 game shutout.

    We have to score first in game 3 and game 4. I think we will score first in game 3 and score first in game 4. I think we win game 3 and we win game 4.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    This may be the beginning of the end.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    @Hawks1961 and Big Indian: is he supposed to score goals, too?

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Slot Kempny in for one of the D men. No opinion re the goalie, I ll defer to 1961 if he says Darling.

    As for the forwards, I ll repeat what I was stating before the trade deadline — Brian Boyle. Brian Boyle. A proven, veteran playoff bottom six performer, well-rounded game (PK, faceoffs, veteran voice of reason for younger players as well). And oh, by the way, he set up the winning goal v Wash minutes ago. One player like this can set the bottom six forwards straight. It wasnt like Toronto paid and arm and leg for him, T Bay wasnt going to re sign him w salaey cap issues.

    Anyway, since that train left the station six weeks ago, Tootoo sitting was a good start. Lets see what Q has up his sleeve for the next game.

    Lets all enjoy the Easter holiday tomorrow and take a breather. Dont ever count out the Hawks until they are down for the count.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    A couple items:

    1. Hawks were shut out in Games 2-4 in 2002 vs St Louis (Games 2 and 3 in the UC).

    2. In the 1995 WCQF, Hawks lost Games 1&2 in Chicago to Toronto, but still won in 7.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    I will absolutely criticize Q. A coach’s job is to put a team in the best position possible to win and he isn’t doing that. The Hawks aren’t competitive. Hayden and Jurco have to be in the lineup in the bottom 6. Not that they are superstars or that they will definitely make the difference butHayden has some size and energy and Jurco some skill so they can at least try to roll 4 lines. Nashville is bigger and faster and Q has to find some players to dress to try to minimize those issues. He isn’t doing that and by the time the game is in the third period he is rolling 2 lines. Its terrible. Darling has to start game 3, I don’t know how anyone can say Q doesn’t have some responsibility here.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Tough game to watch. We looked slow out there. No sense of urgency. I guess that’s why it’s a best of 7 game series. I still believe we have a champion’s heart. You have to believe our stars will start to shine. We need Toews, Kane, and company to start doing their thing. Watched their post game interviews and both of them did not look rattled no sign of panic. Come on Blackhawks give us something to cheer about. They can start anytime now.

  • April 15, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    In the playoffs one win IS momentum. I have full confidence, the Hawks will win the first period of game 3 and pick it up from there.
    I am surprised no doubt, but it’s not over.
    Nashville has not won anything yet. As somebody once said, you are not really that close to winning a series until you have won 3 games.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Dave- I am not blaming Crawford for the loss. He got very little support. Big Indian said it best “Need to shake things up”

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    And 3 days later he rose from the dead.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I agree with Kempny for Campbell. I don’t see that Campbell is offering much at this point. Of course, once you go there that leads to another whole discussion regarding the salary cap and who is here and who isn’t. I will wait on that until after this series comes to a merciful end.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Wildman hit the nail on the head.
    As I watch the other series–especially the Toronto one, I see the passion and the effort–fighting for each inch, getting to the spots to allow those ‘greasy’ playoff goals–I just don’t see it in the Hawks, some skill yes but not that passion to win.
    The rookies aren’t quite ready and the core other than old Hoss seem spent.

    160 pound Mitch Marner wants it so bad-do the Hawks really?

    I don’t really believe this has anything to do with some rest at the end. The 5 on 4 hockey has been exposed in the playoffs and a few bad breaks (good fortune comes into play in the run to the Cup) and the above lack of true playoff intensity has created a huge whole that I’m not confident they can overcome this year.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Q will likely go with Forsling before Kempny.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    To take Dave s point a step further, the 2011 Bruins & 2006 Hurricanes both lost the first two games at home in the 1st Rd and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    This was supposed to be a transition season. Ironic that now is when this team looks awful.

    Hawks are getting destroyed because of a few things. Toews hasn’t been the same for a season and a half now. Is it systematic decline, burn out or injury? I’d really like to know. Seabrook is in decline and that contract could haunt the Hawks moving forward. Anisimov is very rusty.

    Goodbye Campbell and Oduya in the offseason. The return of both hasn’t worked. Need to transition to Kempny and Gustafsson.

    And God let’s hope Las Vegas takes Kruger off our hands.

    Offseason? Get Toews figured out and try like hell to move Seabrook. And try like hell also to get Fortin to the states.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Best of 7 not best of 3

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    You can’t win if you don’t score. They haven’t scored a goal in two games at home. Has it ever happened that a team didn’t score a goal in a best of 7 playoff series. If Q doesn’t start doing his job that could happen. They’re not competitive.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Craig I hope your right–would you bet a lot of money on it? after what you’ve seen.
    to RTF’s point about Seabrook–they haven’t produced a stud on the point in many years and it’s hurting them now. Boy would a 25 year old Seabrook make a big difference right now.
    Campbell and Oduya can’t help a whole lot in the intense grind of the playoffs at 37 and 35.

  • April 15, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Really… come on boys you are better than this… get your game on… you can do this again!!!

  • April 16, 2017 at 12:00 am

    I guess the Hawks are just trying to lull Nashville into a GENUINE sense of security.

    “We will see on Monday if this team has any heart…” – yup.

  • April 16, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Kane Toews Keith Seabrook no heart or soul from the core or the rest of the soft players. Count on Hartman to be gone for game 3. If the rest of you think this team can pull it off you are on Drugs and should fly united airlines to get the sh@t slap out of you!!

  • April 16, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Think the Hawks have in essence lost 6 games in a row now
    What if the Hawks “one goal” for the season was to win the WC? Or break the 8 game losing streak to the Wild?
    It’s hard to fathom these past 2 playoff games given the talent on this team. It is hard to figure out. But they look mentally checked out.
    Not sure what to expect for game 3 at all but my hope is that the team shows some semblance of a will to win, even if they lose

  • April 16, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Living in Vancouver , and hating the Canucks…. well I stopped watching much hockey for a few years. This team ( begining in 2009 ) caught my interest and I bacame a big fan of the Hawks and of hockey again ! They are a sheer joy to watch and have been for a long while now . Ive been reading all of the comments here , and I want to bring a few things up. ……. This season …. they win the west with at least 4 rookies in their lineup , and they played well all year. Its playoff time now , and the team looks out of sync……different game now. Yes , Toews could be burnt out , he does play against all of the opponents best players though . Remember the dream 2013 season ? Detroit ? down 3-1 Seabs ot winner after the disallowed goal , on the bullshit penalty call. Game one against Boston , and 2 goals in 17 seconds in game 6? How about 2015 …..The miracle run ! Beating the Ducks with 4 D men ! Amazing ! They beat Nashville in the first round, game one Duncs OT seeing eye winner , Seabs slapper in triple ot in game 4 ! Oh and how about that wild game 4 against the Ducks ? They had Saad ( STUD ! ) Richards, Vermette …. you get my point ? Dont count the Hawks out, but sometimes things even out. The Preds first goal was seeing eye , maybe its their turn ?

  • April 16, 2017 at 1:27 am

    “…they look mentally checked out.” (JT) — well, can they use “SO many games/the short off season/tired, etc.” as the excuse? It seems that sting/hurt/bullshit they spewed after the early exit last season isn’t really much of a motivator NOW…?

    (WALL, “all of my great quotes now??? Remember… this “team can’t score”… hard to watch boring hockey… “Sell- sell- sell”???” — I do not personally attack, but, are you fishing for an apology or “Congratz — you had your finger-on-the-pulse” all along? It’s not a contest (here), and I’m fairly certain we all want another Cup. The Hawks have SUCKED! Do you feel vindicated/validated? Good? It’s not personal…?)

  • April 16, 2017 at 1:44 am

    This IS the beginning of the end. These players played with NO Heart at all tonite. Deserve the beating they took.

    RIP .

  • April 16, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Just win game 3. That’s all they need to do.

  • April 16, 2017 at 2:57 am

    If you lose faceoffs — the Blackhawks lost 12 of 17 faceoffs in the first period — and you lose board battles and you lose races to loose pucks and you fail to generate quality scoring chances, you will lose. Through the first two games, Nashville has shown that it is prepared to do more to win, especially Arvidsson and others going to and getting in front of the Blackhawk net. I especially agree with the statements above about how mentally unprepared the team is to do the things necessary to win overall and, particularly, in failing to get through and turning over so many pucks in the neutral zone and in missing defensive assignments, (example: Hjalmarsson, who is underrated, not tying up Sissons at the crease on Nashville’s third goal).

    It is too early to say this series is over: a couple of quick goals, skillful or flukey, in Game 3 could silence the Nashville crowd and change the momentum of the series. And it is also too early to say that the runs to the Cup with the Core of Kane, Toews, Hossa, Keith, et al are over, but I agree that the defense has looked slow and old in these two games and that the Toews of 2015’s Game 7 against Anaheim needs to reemerge.

    Finally, to the person in Section 120 in row 18 or 19 who threw the object that hit the female fan in the Nashville sweater during the the third period, that act was truly asinine. You should be ashamed of yourself. Is that how you want others to treat Blackhawk fans who visit other arenas?

  • April 16, 2017 at 3:41 am

    So now Hawks lost their last 6 games ….Wow …when was the last time Hawks lost 6 game in a row ?
    I am not really happy with the 2 first Game but let see what hapend next 2 games…
    Go Hawks Go …

  • April 16, 2017 at 5:15 am

    People seem to have really short memories here. Hawks are notoriously slow playoff starters. It takes them a few games to get their playoff legs going and to up their pace, intensity, focus, and commitment to the level it needs to be at to win hockey games against teams that know if their level is not at the top of their ability right away, they could be blown out and humiliated by the playoff powerhouse, dare I say juggernaut that is the hawks circa 2009-2017 (yes I fully expect us to go deep again despite another slow start). Are the Hawks playing badly? Not overly. They are playing nowhere near the top of their game. Seabs and Hjarm look slow and that is worrisome but Seabs is notorious for not awakening til the Hawks are in desperation mode…which means expect something big from Seabs in game 3. Sometimes the difference between winning a playoff game comes down to one or two bounces going one way or another. Anisimov not missing time means he likely buries one of his seemingly countless point blank chances created by panarin in game 1 and we aren’t having this convo even if Nash goes on and wins game two 5 to zip. In two games Nash defence which is good but by no means stronger than Hawks d should be with 3, yes 3 should be hof’ers on it, yes hjarm deserves to be in there but likely wont get a sniff. Keith will show his unreal playoff mettle next game I have no doubt and Kane and Toews and Pamarin (likely on the same line to start) will doninate possession and break through and subsequently shatter the mirage of a wall that is Rinne past his prime. We have broken through on much more solid goalies and defenses than this opponent and Nashville doesn’t really have the horses to match the Hawks when they get right up to the top of their playoff game level, circa 2014 LA series. A single goal to get going will take the edge off which I thought Toews had done when he whipped one easily past Rinne that barely clipped the iron and ricocheed to Panik who volleyed it unluckily into the back skate of the Nash defenseman and miraculously not into the gaping net. My money’s on Keith or Seabs to open the scoring next game. Even if that means in OT knotted at 0 as I expect Crawford to both get the start and to play at the top of his game from now thru the rest of the series. I wouldnt hesistate to switch campbell and tvr with kempny and forsling except of course for the little fact neither has played much in like half a season so I expect Q keeps same d men in the lineup. Hartman has had an awesome season but fully deserves a suspension for a stupid brain cramp and really dangerous play. Hope Smith is ok. He really does come to play against the Hawks. Arvidsson looks like a young Eriksson. Almost uncanny, maybe a premature reincarnation because of how dead Eriksson has looked after Vancouver made him their marquee free agent signing ? How anyone can question the heart of this Hawks core is unfathomable unless all you guys drank yourselves incoherent during 2010 nash series, 2011 Van series, 2013 det and bost series, and 2015 nash series. Go do some homework and rewatch those series on youtube or even the 2014 LA series game 4 to 7 if you want to see the heart of champions you question in this team. The goal has not changed. We are still 16 W’s from an undisputed dynasty of 4 in 7 in this era of parity and salary cap (not totally unrelated). No one can match our relentless attack and zone presence and puck possession and pace of puck movement when we get up to full throttle in the playoffs, let alone this not so scary Nashville squad. I expect we get much closer to full throttle on Monday and likely square the series on Thursday. One goal. Go Hawks!!

  • April 16, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Ugly, but no problem. Win the next one.

  • April 16, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Far from over but need to start getting the job done no matter what it takes. Powerplay has to contribute to help confidence and regain their swagger. Reminds me of being down 3 to canucks and being an ot goal away in gane 7 from winning series. Lots of hockey left yet.

  • April 16, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Multi-, Multi-, million dollar pilons…in “Q” we trust!!

  • April 16, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Down 0-2, it is time for Q to put away the blender and start coaching. The Hawks need to skate four lines. Shortening the bench did not work last year and will not work this year. Time for a call from Coach Q to Scotty Bowman to seek inspiration & help the team find its mojo.

  • April 16, 2017 at 6:42 am

    going to get the first round boot again. This is gonna be ugly.

  • April 16, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Somebody above said the Hawks are notoriously slow starters. I agree they usually get better as the series goes along. The question is why? I say its because at the start of the series Q dresses the wrong players especially in the bottom 6 and by the time he figures it out the hawks are in elimination games. If he would have dressed the right players for the entire series against St Louis last year they would have won the series. Remember Bollig etc. etc. Put Hayden and jurco in and roll four lines. Hawks need Haydens size and energy and Jurco has some skill. Put in darling along with a faster defensemen for campbell. otherwise i think the hawks get swept and its possible they wont score.

  • April 16, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Concerned but not worried just yet. Nothing ever matters but the next game. I learned to be patient with these guys a long time ago. Rinne is not a concern of mine. We will score when we put the effort in that’s required, same as always. Why it has to play out this way is beyond me but if anyone thinks the Blackhawks can’t just ‘turn it on’ when they feel like it, has not been paying attention. History shows it is possible.

    Disappointed in Hartman, That’s not what I expect to see when I watch this team . He has got to find a better way to be an impact player in these playoffs. We need what he can bring and his contributing is essential to our success.

    Road Fever

  • April 16, 2017 at 7:40 am

    going forward….

    Seabrook is way bigger concern/issue than Crow contract… SB needs to get rid of that deal ASAP!!!!! Crow-trade would be welcome too…

    PROBLEM- what team is going to give Hawks Picks/or prospects for that contract? (assuming they had scouts watching Seabs skate the last 30 games or so)

    SB/Hawks are in trouble… and no one to blame but their checkbooks/pen/paying guys for past success… of course- can’t blame them for Toews -Zero goals in last 9 PO games!!!

  • April 16, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I left when it went 0-4. Similar to game 1 as the Preds go up 1-0 in the 1st. This time on a shot that somehow went through a bunch of players to the back of the net. Hawks similar to game 1 had a decent start. Panik beats Rinne clean and off the post. A bad omen. The crowd was once again ready to rock, yet incredibly there was basically nothing to get excited about the rest of the game. Given it’s playoffs this is almost unimaginable at the UC. The Hawks never looked in the game as the Preds just clinically choked everything off the Hawks tried. You could sense the frustration building. Hawks heads were hanging at the end of the 2nd period. Similar to game 1 the Hawks needed a goal to get some optimism flowing. It wouldn’t happen. PP the past few weeks has been painful to watch. Third period was just torture to endure. I booed with gusto, which for me is rare, but those players needed to hear it.

    Preds deserve massive credit. Sure the 1-4 trap completely sucks and it takes the life out of a hockey game. Preds ALWAYS had 1-3 players back so there would be no stretch pass breakouts. Preds defensive coverage was masterful as the Hawks consistently faced puck pressure and passing lanes clogged. Rinne has been just ok in these first 2 games. He has had very little to do as Hawks had limited quality chances. What Rinne has done well is control rebounds. Past 2 games the Hawks have had limited shot attempts between the rings. Preds really brought a thunderous physical game as well.

    Toews offensive zone faceoffs in the 1st period were pathetic. I think he lost 4 big draws that seemd to suck life out of the team. Surely the Cpt can dig down deeper.

    It was really hard to fall asleep last night following that embarrassing debacle.

    I believe this Hawks team can get up off the mat. They have done it before, but the lack of urgency in what was the biggest game of the year at home no less, still troubles me. Things chance when you get a lead in these games. The other team has to change what they do as they are now chasing the game instead of controlling it. Momentum can change quickly in hockey. While I thought last nights game was a must win, now every game carries that weight. Let’s see what these guys have left in the tank. History indeed says don’t count the Hawks out, and that’s what I am going with.

    Serenity now….

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 16, 2017 at 8:42 am


    Let’s make a deal…if the Hawks come back and win this series, you never post on this site again. Deal?

  • April 16, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Mox …. you are on fire this morning with that deal ….. ;)

  • April 16, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Preds won 2 games not 4 glass still half full. A pp goal in game 1 or early in game 2 and both games could have different results.

  • April 16, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I was looking at some Hawk playoff numbers just the other day……… games 1 and 2 the Hawks have an AWFUL record. Something like a winning percentage of 28%. In games 3,4,5,6 &7, they have an 82% winning percentage.

    This team is CLEARLY not the same as in the previous years, but let the record show that they do HORRIBLY the first couple of games. We have seen this before, too. They go through stretches where they cannot score and do not play well at all. Then, suddenly they get on the road and do the little things right.

    I don’t care that Toews isn’t the same, that Seabs has lost a step and that Soupy is not 27 years old……………..this is MY HAWK TEAM. I love these guys. They have won 3 Cups in 7 years, so they deserve to go down as a group, or THEY need to find a way to get a couple by Rinne.

    There are 2 more games to go, at the very least, so let’s have this team decide which way they are going to go. I still say we will see game 5 and 7 back here in Chicago.

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Exactly Reg. Q finally blunders into the right lineup as the series goes on.

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Mox- OK- I will play along… and if the Hawks don’t win this series???

    What does Mox do???

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I am with you Reg, and have some optimism left in me, but that was the most embarrassing big game effort/loss I can ever remember, and that goes back to the Stadium in the late 70’s-early 90’s. The loss to Vancouver in the Stadium and against Calgary were bad, but this was on another level.

    They just have to concentrate and win a period at a time.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:41 am

    An autopsy is performed after death and the Hawks aren’t dead yet so I won’t go there, but the death vigil has begun. So rather than pick at the Hawks, I will comment on Nashville.

    Nashville just plain and simple wants it more. They have dug deeper to find that extra measure of effort to win the board battles, to block shots, to collapse around Rinne and takeaway second shot attempts, to attack the puck on the PK, and various other “little things” that make the difference between winning and losing in the playoffs. They have an actual game plan and they’re executing it with tenacity and it’s working. They deserve credit for playing so well.

    I won’t throw in the towel until the fat lady is singing. Hopefully we see another game in the United Center this season.

    Go Hawks!!!!

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:46 am

    ER whats your analysis of Q vs laviolette 2 games in?

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Phil, Mox, Ryandale……..I come on this blog to be positive and show my support for my Blackhawks, just like you boys. It’s easy to complain, be negative and criticize players, coaches and bloggers. But this hockey team has given me a lot of enjoyment over the last 8-9 years, so I CAN”T turn my back on them………WE can’t turn our back on them.

    This team has singlehandedly REVIVED hockey in the Chicago and suburban area. These guys have spread winning to other Chicago teams(Cubs). If you skate at local rinks like I do, you will see thousands of young kids skating and enjoying the game of hockey. This Hawk team has given more to their fans than most teams. They support their community, they give back to kids, they give their time to sick kids in the hospital and they love their fans as much as we love them!!

    So even if they lose this round, I don’t care. This team has done more for the hockey and sports community around Chicago than any other team in this area. I take my hockey helmet off to them and give them a standing ovation. Win or lose, this team CHANGED the Chicago sports landscape for the better!!

    Go HAWKS!!!

  • April 16, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I agree with Noonan I flipped the Hawks game and watched the Leafs and what an exciting game. The Leafs worked their asses off and the Caps can’t contain their speed. From the little I did watch of the Hawks. They just don’t seem to be playing at the “Playoff Pace” of other teams YET. I have to agree with RTF will not miss Campbell ( way too weak) he was almost put through the boards as he wasn’t ready for the hit. Oduya looked horrible and bad decision on that breakaway ( he had the angle) and Kruger needs to go. I would put Kero as 3rd line centre with Hossa. Not giving up yet but DAM that was ugly.

  • April 16, 2017 at 10:05 am


    Go ahead and name it. And when the Hawks do win, please go jump on the Vegas bandwagon.

  • April 16, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Well, that was embarrassing. I agree with Rufus in that this was supposed to be a transition year, and the team just kept on winning, can’t fault them for that but the blend of really young and really old without much in between is just a little too disjointed to put together a focused attack. It’s hard enough to beat a neutral zone trap with players with chemistry. Hate to blame luck, but it has been absolutely atrocious too… but luck doesn’t account for veterans whiffing on, jeez, half their shot attempts it seems.


  • April 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

    RD, thats what I was thinking. The same thing with MIN and CLB are playing teams that played good and had something to play for in games 70-80 playing teams that were set in the seeding and nothing to play for in those games are not up to speed yet. Its just looks worse because we didnt play after only playing ok in game 1. CLB, MIN and CHI balance the scale when put into 2nd gear.

    Lion in the Savanna.

  • April 16, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Both sides are true for me-one I’ve been blessed to cheer for this team and grateful for the Cups and excitement—and two they don’t look very motivated-
    They have done it slow at first in the past but to lose the first two at home? –the Hawks have made it very hard on themselves and I see other teams willing to go through a wall to win. The Predators have figured out a way to beat an old champion with shortcomings.

    They have proven many wrong in the past so I won’t give up but that doesn’t mean I feel very optimistic. I think we can all agree it sucks to be first in the West and be down 2 at home. We’re disappointed.

  • April 16, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Thats the spirit Reg.

  • April 16, 2017 at 10:42 am

    They have played like they don’t care. Look like quitters. Where the heck is Q in all this ? He needs to coach. Have players tuned him out ?

    And Crawford appears to not be tracking the puck well – over the past 10 games or so . Shoot high on him and it’s in the net.

    I love the Hawks but not the way they are playing the past 2 weeks. I think it’s over . This series and their run. Time to clean house . Sad but true.

  • April 16, 2017 at 10:58 am

    WTF, our 20 ” MILLION DOLLAR MEN ” zero points in 2 games. Their goal tender 2 assists in 2 games. Anyone remember who didn’t show up in last years round 1 series ? Here is a clue, #19 & # 88 ” AGAIN ” as I said at the beginning WTF !!!!!!! Also #51 & #27 should be in the press box.

  • April 16, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Nick, I agree. “…the blend of really young and really old without much in between is just a little too disjointed to put together a focused attack. It’s hard enough to beat a neutral zone trap with players with chemistry.”
    I would add that the reason for the lack of chemistry is because you can’t run the kids through the blender and expect them to adapt like the vets do. I know they all have the scripted response whenever the question is asked, “..oh, yeah, we can play with anybody, we’re all used to it.” Blah, blah, bullshit. There has to be consistency in our lineup. 88-15-72 is the only set line we have and it’s not enough. Put Hayden or Schmaltz on line 1 and leave them there. Give Hossa two set line mates on line 3 and leave them there. If Q keeps shortening the bench and running the blender, expect more embarrassment, more weak, uninspired, boring hockey. The kids got us here. We have to commit to a lineup and run four lines.

  • April 16, 2017 at 11:04 am

    To the points of Nick/Rufus… In my view… this was a transition year… and we also know- that this summer- some contracts(s) will be moved due to Cap issues…

    This is why I made statements to the “Hawks should be sellers”… increase their chances next year- by NOT overpaying for rental + selling/moving asset before TDL- where PO hungry teams are MORE likely to overpay…

    Good news- SB didn’t really move/lose assets for this “run”… (excluding TT to lose Bickell over summer)…

    Bad news- By Not being sellers- Moving one of the “bad contracts” this summer- will be harder than it would have been at TDL- and probably gets less.

    could put SB in another TT/Bickell deal

  • April 16, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Really nice posts Reg and ER. Your thoughts echo mine.

    We should be upset today and reflective. I look forward to the game tomorrow night and hope the team we know brings the full effort. Make the Preds adapt to our play and not the reverse as it has been in the first 2 games.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  • April 16, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Pete, I think Q is a very good coach – not without error but then who is? Laviolette is a very good coach too. I think Laviolette has a bit of an advantage because he has a team full of players who haven’t experienced winning in the playoffs and hence they buy into and execute a game plan with more dedication then do the Hawks who have a mixture of experienced playoffs winners and inexperienced young players. In other words, the gap between the mindsets of the Preds best players and their depth players is much closer than it is between the Hawks elite players and their depth players which results in the Preds being more cohesive as a team than the Hawks and it’s that determination by the Preds players to execute the game plan laid out by Laviolette that has made the difference in the first two games. Maybe it’s over-simplified to say the Preds want it more than the Hawks and therefore they play with more determination than the Hawks, but that seems the most likely answer.

    Does that make Laviolette a better coach than Q? I don’t think it necessarily does, but it does show he’s done a very good job with the players he has.

  • April 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    19 and 7 have no business on the PP. both have had a lot of value for us over the years, neither should be on pp. 40,14,88,72, 2. Get the big boys to the net, dangles handle side wall, Keith up top. That’s your 1 unit. 19 as the cap should be a leader off the ice and renegotiate his deal until he can come close to playing like a top played player in the league.

  • April 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I thought Toews played a solid game last night. 5 SOG and a pipe ringer, 3 hits, 2 TKA’s and 61% at the dot. He didn’t score but the effort was there. Hossa gave it his best and Schmaltz led the team in Corsi. I would put 8/19/81 on the first line and leave them there for the entire game.

  • April 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Reading some of the Nashville coverage, they are saying, don’t be fooled, Chicago is not done by a long shot. The sleeping giant might arise on the road.

  • April 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    That hit and butt end that Hartman game Smith is just called finishing a check in Anaheim. The Giant will rise from the ashes .

  • April 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Agree hawks1961 with 8, 19 and 81 1st line and go with 38,67 and 14 on 3rd line and 70, 16 and 13/40 on the 4th line. Depending if 38 gets a game suspension then both 13 and 40 play.

  • April 16, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    38 won’t be playing on Monday . Stupid play .Just stupid and selfish.

  • April 16, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Would have to review a bunch of times to tell for sure but it didnt think his stick hit him I thought it was his glove, which is a little cheap but not dirty. If it was stick then thats not cool.

    No suspension or fine. Thats what it should be if it was glove.

  • April 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    The post mortem of this season really should be what the hell has happened to Toews. His systematic decline over the past 1 1/2 seasons has been dramatic. This team cannot win when it counts and move on to the next chapter of this era unless Toews is an elite Center. He’s been anything but that for way too long now.

    Nashville has been brilliant in shutting down Kane and Panarin. Their strategy of focusing on those two and collapsing around Rinne no matter if it means a puck to the head has been the story thru two games. The Hawks look pathetic in trying to get the puck into the zone and the ice has been severely slanted to in front of Crawford. Who also picked a hell of a time to get a case of the yips in goal but who isn’t being supported very well. TVR and Campbell have been awful. Just awful. Oduya and Seabrook old and slow. Seabrook in fact looks like he’s got a golf tee time he can’t wait to get to.

    The other story? The youngsters at forward have taken an ass beating. With exception of Kero who continues to play remarkably well. Schmaltz and Hartman haven’t been remotely prepared and ready to play in playoff hockey games. Hopefully this baptism by fire serves them well in the future, but hell who knows.

  • April 16, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Not surprising that you’re hiding like a little ho Wall

  • April 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Mox- Hiding??? I thought you wanted me to never post here again… and now you are begging me to post???

    last Mox post… must be an ImPOST-er…

    anyway… I am right here

    Hope Hawks win in 7… and make me look dumber than I all ready do… which might be impossible.

  • April 16, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    I don’t know why some are crapping on Toews. Can he be better? Yes but he is playing with Panik and flavour of the day. For example Vackstrom plays with Ovechkin and Oshie. Bergeron plays with Marchand and Pastrnak give him some elite players to play with. I like the idea of rejoining him with Hossa and maybe Hayden. The only gripe I have had with Toews is he wasn’t shooting enough and last game he got 5 SOG and a post.

  • April 16, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Late to the party but still wanted to throw my 2 cents in. This Hawks team has been out hustled and out worked after 2 full games. The Press are winning board battles, winning 50/50 pucks and winning at the dot. This Nashville team wants it more plain and simple. A shame because I was really liking the makeup of this team. Goes to slow how little the regular season means.

  • April 16, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    @ DAVE
    I’m not a habitual Crawford basher. He’s carried the load for sure. As I mentioned he wasn’t getting much help (obviously) but he did look a little out of sorts.
    I think he might get pulled just because of the “change things up” factor. There are gonna be some other changes too, just have to wait to see just what Q comes up with, whether we agree with them or not.

    I gave up on this team in the first round last year against the Blues after some really poor play. I was dead wrong. They showed great heart and battled till that last buzzer in game 7. I ain’t giving up on them now. That challenge for game 3 is huge. Nashville will be rocking. A real test.
    Come on boys!
    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  • April 16, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Let’s quit yapping about Jurco, Tootoo, Q, Stanbo, Crow, the rookies, et al. I’m a big fan of Kane and Toews, but come on: in the last nine playoff games, one goal for Kane, and none for Toews. Hawks would have beaten the Blues last year if either had produced. Two games into this series, the two highest paid players in the league once again are failing. It’s time for both to lead this team == not by yapping in the interview room or in the locker room, but by scoring/setting up goals.

  • April 16, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Bmw maybe putting Toews and Kane together is what coach Q will do. Leave Panik there and put Schmaltz with the russians and leave Kruger Hossa and Hartman together and give Kero a Hayden Jurco winger combo.

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Erie lost in overtime and badly outshot London-Game 7 Tuesday
    This will be London’s 14th game in the playoffs already so if they win in Erie God bless them.

  • April 16, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    What liones did we do when we beat MIN in 15 that way with this bunch of 1-3-1 is doing the same thing.

  • April 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Think it is time for Q or Bowman to deliver a speech like this.. lol

  • April 17, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Everything we need to know about this team and their sense of urgency was seen in two games toward the end of the season. The first was against Colorado on March 19. The Hawks score first, go into cruise mode for the rest of the first and second periods end up behind and then turn on the jets in the 3rd and score 5 unanswered goals to win. The second game was 6 days later against Florida. Hawks completely disinterested and basically didn’t show up at all. In all likelihood they approached that game the same way they did the Colorado game but when the game got out of hand they basically just shut it down.

    This has been this team’s MO for the past few years now. Exert as little effort as possible until absolutely necessary then turn it on. This is a disturbing trend and is a recipe for disaster. We should know in the first 5 minutes of tonight’s game whether or not this team has any fight left in it.

    BTW, A rousing Q speech isn’t going to change any of that. This is a veteran team with veteran players. They have to own their failures. Those boos heard at the UC on Saturday were earned.

  • April 17, 2017 at 9:44 am

    This summer’s house cleaning will be interesting. Oduya, Campbell for sure. The rest of the regulars are iffy – Hoss (looking a little tired during the season)? Kruger? Any of the 1st 6 forwards or top 4 D? Which of the rookies? Scary. I am hoping this core can pull out one more cup together, but the last two games have looked scary.

    – Jeff, a fan since ’64

  • April 17, 2017 at 9:55 am

    What has happened to Toews is the same thing that has happened to too many Hawks players. Too many games and lots and lots of success. Even this season….bounced out early last April, but had to start early and play the World Cup of Irrelevance. The wear and tear on our top guy’s bodies just can not be underestimated.

  • April 17, 2017 at 9:55 am

    On the subject of “Those boos heard at the UC on Saturday were earned”, the team’s effort was commensurate with being pelted by fecal matter. (Just one fan’s opinion.)

  • April 17, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Mike I don’t disagree-and it may not be a popular thought for some-but the reward of playing hard for seven years and earn the ultimate in the Cup three times (and the Olympics) is amazing but once you reach it and know the work involved it’s harder to trick the brain that it’s worth it again.
    You can see it in the exuberance and effort put in by other players on other teams-they want that reward and will play through what it takes to make it happen. In some ways it’s hard to fault those that have done it for so long-mentally it’s challenging.
    The good news is that many on this team know the path, and have felt that ultimate pleasure-but do they have the juice left to make it real is the Question.

    And it’s up to those in the core, Kane, Toews, Crawford, Keith etc. to win this thing.

  • April 17, 2017 at 11:59 am

    The chances of another Cup are diminishing and will continue to diminish. Core player assessment? Toews, Keith and Seabrook are each in various states of decline. Hossa can be less and less counted upon. Anisimov and Hjalmarsson remain steady as we go. Kane and Crawford are in their primes and should remain so for awhile. Panarin too.

    The role players are meh. Panik and TVR are okay, but both are asked to serve in roles beyond their skill set.

    Of the kids, they all are role player types. Schmaltz plays a decent game but his skating limitations and such are pronounced. Hartman can be ok. Hayden can develop into a decent 4th liner. I like Kero a lot, but he’s a classical overachiever. We shall see what we have or don’t have with Motte. Hinostraza and Kempny. But nothing wildly exciting we those three.

  • April 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Mr. Rufus: you don’t post for weeks — if not months. The sky starts to fall dramatically, and you’re back in full force, full of pessimism to the Nth degree. What’s the point? Win or lose the series, the Hawks still have a very good team, and will continue as such for the foreseeable future. They took the first two games lightly, after coasting the last week of the season w/ nothing to play for.

    Let’s hope the Hawks will make your comments look foolish again, it’s happened multiple times over the last few years.

  • April 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I am not one of those “sky is falling” guys and the Hawks have been in similar situations in previous playoffs and prevailed, however the team’s performance thus far should be very concerning. We are weak up the middle, the Captain has not scored a goal in the playoffs for a very long time, Arty is rusty and Krugs is skating 15 min/night. Kero has looked more effective than Krugs and Hossa desirers better. The defense has looked old and slow. The Wild is blasting around our D-men and getting good chances. There is no push from the back-end on offense. Seabs has looked slow all year and there is no reason to expect any improvement now. Either the Hawks breakout the Ensure (old people energy drink) for the D-men or the forwards need to cover more ice. In the past the Hawks have responded well to a goalie change. I am not saying this is Crow’s fault however Darling has shown that he can stand on his head in big games. Maybe a goalie change gets the teams attention. The biggest question is Q. Will he make adjustments that the team buys into. Laviolette is no Boudreau, Q needs to pick up his game. The line blender and shorter bench will not work on the neutral zone trap. There needs to be a more creative solution that the boys buy into and execute.

    This series is playing out just like what happened to poor old Rosy. Hawks have not made an effort to drop the gloves and they are got punched in the jaw twice. Let’s see if the veterans have the character and guts to respond or is surgery needed (Soupy, Oduya, Kruger, Tootoo, Desy, Seabs, Crow or Darling).

    I hope they fight back. Go Hawks

  • April 17, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I really hope Q starts Darling tonight. No offence to Crow (Pun intended) but they could use the shake up.

    Am I the only one who kinda felt uneasy about the Hawks chances in the playoffs this year? (Before they started, of course.)

    Even when they were racking up all those wins there was something that made me question their playoff integrity. Lack of killer instinct, lack of 60 minutes of effort are coming back to bite them in the ass.

    I love this team and I would love if they proved me wrong with a big win tonight. I think if they dig deep they should at least be able to make this a series.

  • April 17, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    A win tonight and pressures back on preds to win thursday.

  • April 17, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    No major lineup changes it doesn’t appear.

  • April 17, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Let’s hope the Hawks can rise to the occasion and score 1st AND be able to counter the Preds counter punch(cause you know it will come). If the Hawks score 1st and let the Preds answer back it literally does nothing for them. If they fall behind early by more than a few goals I don’t like their chances. I still believe the Hawks need to WANT it more and I honestly don’t know if they do right now. I’ll know later tonight after the game ends. Feels like an OT game tonight to me.

  • April 17, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Toews hasnt score in his last 12 playoff games by the way.

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