Same Old Story, Blackhawks Win Shutout Against the Predators.

Same Old Story, Blackhawks Win Shutout Against the Predators.

How many times are we going to have to watch this story play out in front of us? The Blackhawks dominate for 2 periods and completely serve the game on a platter for 1 period of play. When you are pretty much expecting it heading into the 3rd, you know there is a problem. The Hawks outshot the Preds 27-11 after 40 minutes. They were then outshot 13-3 for the next 15 minutes of play. Both stats are very descriptive to the manhandling going on by both respective teams during that time.

I understand that the Hawks had just played the night before, and the loss of Bolland early didn't help matters, but the time has to come when we begin to not only question what is going on in the heads of these players, but the physical condition of the team as well. Can we be putting some of this on the training staff? I am getting to the point where I want to know their diets and exercise plans.

There is some obvious guilt directed at Crawford for practically throwing the puck in his own net for no reason. I did find it surprising that Crow was starting in back to back nights. It might have been a statement by Q who his main guy is, and it might have blown up in his face a wee bit. It is no mystery how bad Crow's puck control abilities are, and last night it gave the Preds a much needed point. You are welcome Nashville.

This was the moment that woke the Preds up, and they realized that a 2 goal game is very winnable. The Hawks were apparently not convinced until it was 2-2, and they all decided to play hockey again. Cut to the SO, and where Rozsival netted the extra point.

  • Stalberg had a strong game, which reminded me how long it had been since I saw that. Unfortunately, Bickell wasn't making the best decisions out there, which maybe cost the Hawks a goal or 2 from that 3rd line. Still, nice to see it doing what it does best again.
  • Kane once again showed his deathly power. I would have liked to see Morin given a few extra minutes with his line, especially after Bolland went out.
  • Oh yeah, Bolland leaves a game early after deciding he wanted to play hockey again. I guess we should have expected it. Whatever, he will come back and be a beast in the playoffs like he often is.
  • Jeremy Morin was again impressive, with and without the puck. I am telling you, we should get more looks of this kid before his time runs out and Shossa come back.
  • Speaking off, I am really excited to see what happens when Sharp and Hossa come back.
  • Nick Leddy once again made going coast to coast look easy.
  • And Saad continues to rack up some important points later in the season.

If you missed it, then you missed watching the Hawks show how strong of a team they are without 3 key players, and then how bad they can be at playing with leads. In the end, there are more reasons to get excited, and I am hopeful that the issues are worked out by May.

Filed under: Game Recap

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  • IMO, this team, like the 2010 team, kind of likes to make it's statement and sit back and I think we are going to see a couple more games like this before the playoffs start. You never like to see bad habits established, but last night was another classic Nasheonix game of stick around for two periods of domination and try to counter punch in the third and win the game by playing one period of competent hockey. I hate to see the Hawks take a team like the Preds for granted, and it annoys me to no fucking end to hear the cliche, "This is a team that has a really hard time scoring". But the reality is that the Preds are a team that currently is going to win on mistakes. I don't believe even the Hawks will give them four wins on mistakes in the playoffs.

  • A couple things that stand out for me....first, the Bickell, Shaw, Stalberg line has not been playing well because they seem to miss the open guy more than anybody. Several times in the past 2 games, one of them has been open going to the net and the pass isn't being made. Not so much with Shaw, but Bickell and Stalberg. I will say Stalberg had a great pass to Shaw that Rinne made a great save on, but passing has never been a strongpoint for Stalberg which is why he doesn't get much time with the top lines.

    The second thing is the fading towards the end of games, and even at the end of the periods. The Hawks consistently get outhit which causes players to wear down as the game goes on. We are not a big team and we definitely are not a physical team. Teams beat us up and we pay for it by the end of the game. Our D-men are smaller, puckmoving D-men who get worn down. We don't have the big bruiser on the blue line.

    The first goal that we gave up should never have happened. Yes, Crawford misshandled it originally, but Legwand should have been nowhere near him. Hammer got lazy and gave up. It is taught to kids at a young age...keep the player away from your goalie because they will knock the puck loose. Hammer might as well been waving a red towel at a bull.

    On the second goal, Hayes made a mistake in the defensive zone and, instead of chipping it out of the zone, he was trying to stickhandle and turned it over. Bad turnover. This happens too much with Hayes and Shaw. Again, simple hockey that is taught at a young age. This created a 2 on 1 and, with a good pass, not much for Crawford to do.

  • In reply to BigJack:

    Well said BigJack,
    Your breakdown of both goals is right on the mark. I simplified that into a generic "the team is not working hard enough late in the game" thing, but it need more clarification. Thanks.

    On the hitting, this could be a reason, but I think people often forget that sometimes hitting other players takes more energy out of the guy making the hit, than the guy taking it. Both are art forms and not science. Plus, a good reason why the Hawks get hit more is because they have the puck more often. Chasing is the fastest way to get tired in hockey. So, in other words, I am not so sure this is the main culprit, but it could be a part of it for sure.
    The Hawks have no excuse for those efforts late in periods and at the end of the game.

    I want to build on this later, especially because I am reading elsewhere that this is not something to worry about. I disagree with that sentiment. It is a big deal, and it is a problem that needs solving yesterday. First, we have to find out the main cause, conditioning/health, fatigue, injury, mindset, or not knowing how to play with a lead.

  • Sorry but IMO getting out hit is a big issue. You will start hearing footsteps and making bad passes, that is just the way of it. No size to our D so it boils down to the wings coming back deep enough to support instead of looking for the long bomb as soon as we get possession in our zone. The fact that Emery and Crawford are not great puck handlers exposes the D to more thumping, Wingers have been better at support this year than last, for sure.

    Before Crawford's gaffe we all knew the roof was going to cave in as the Preds were dominating us. It seems unless we blow teams out of the water we have a hard time holding a lead.

    Loved Rosizval's game winner. Kudos to Q for that choice,for sure.

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