Blackhawks Come Up Short Against The Blue Shirts

Jonathan Daniel

The Blackhawks threw everything but the kitchen sink late at the Rangers, but could not get the equalizer.

The Blackhawks had a sluggish start to their night and in the end it cost them the game against the New York Rangers. The Hawks had to respond to being down twice. They erased a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period but could not come up with a game tying goal late in the 3rd period.  The Hawks now get two days off before taking on the Canadiens in Montreal on Saturday, the night when some of us are GONNA DRINKEN!

Brad Richards got the scoring started with his 11th goal at 5:06 of the 1st period.  Patrick Kane failed to get the puck deep which led to a nice stretch pass by Ryan Callahan.  Richards flicked a wrist shot over a sprawling Brent Seabrook, which seemed to handcuff Corey Crawford a bit.  The Rangers would double their lead with a power play goal at 9:29. Niklas Hjalmarsson got caught a bit out of position which gave Mats Zuccarello plenty of room to skate uncontested behind the net and put a wrap around shot past Crawford.  The Blackhawks would end the 1st period with a 15-9 advantage in shots but the majority of those were from a good distance out with no traffic in front of the net.

The Blackhawks were going to have to make life more difficult for Henrik Lundqvist, in the 2nd period, if they were going to get back into the game and that's what they were able to do.  The Hawks would get one by Hank with a power play goal at 6:27.  Patrick Sharp ripped a shot from the point that hit Dan Girardi, who was battling with Andrew Shaw in front of the net.  Jonathan Toews was also in front of the net and put the rebound past Lundqvist for his 16th of the year.  Duncan Keith picked up his 40th assist on the goal as well.  Brandon Bollig of all people would tie the game less than two minutes later.  Bollig skated up the left boards and took a wrist shot instead of passing across to either Marcus Kruger or Patrick Kane.  Lundqvist was caught cheating off the near post and Bollig was able to sneak it by him for his fourth goal of the year.

The Rangers were able to retake lead at 14:03 of the 3rd  The Hawks could not clear their zone and Marc Staal got off a shot from the point that knuckled the whole way to the net.  Carl Hagelin got behind three Hawks defenders to put the rebound past Crawford.  The Blackhawks would get eight of their 11 3rd period shots on goal in the last five minutes of the game but they could not get the equalizer.

* The Hawks just didn't seem to be in the game for most of the 1st period.  Was it because the Rangers were extra juiced to play the defending champs? Was it because the Hawks were not used to two days off in between games?  Was it because half the team was up late learning how to say "give me a shot and a beer" in Russian? Could be a little of each.  The Hawks are not going to have their "A game" every night. The combination of all the Olympic distractions added to an unfamiliar Eastern Conference team was the perfect recipe for a let down.  Not going to be too hard on them considering Wednesday was the first game in their last 11 that the Hawks did not get a point.

* I am sure that was a lot of goalie chatter tonight but let's face it, the Hawks could have lost by three or four goals without Corey Crawford.  Yes, the first goal was a soft one.  The Zuccarello goal was a bit unlucky.  The puck was going to go wide of Crow put it hit his paddle and got behind him.  The game winning goal has to be pinned on the five guys in front of the net.  Bryan Bickell lost the race to the puck at the blue line and Hagelin got behind Michal Rozsival, Nick Leddy and Andrew Shaw for the rebound.

* Holy crap, Marcus Kruger got some shifts with the 2nd line and looked good doing it! Don't get too excited, Q made it sound like that was a move for tonight so I am sure we will Michal Handzus tying down that line again on Saturday.  Please Q, just give Frogger two full games with Kane and Versteeg, you will not regret it.

* We got the whole spectrum of the player that is Brandon Bollig.  As I drove home and listened to Bollig yuck it up on the post game show about his game tying goal I wanted to scream.  It would have been the go ahead goal if it wasn't for the dumb shit penalty Bollig took that led to the Rangers second goal.  I am all for giving Daniel Carcillo a shot in the chops, but don't do it at center ice, during a line change, when everyone is looking. And for that, you still suck Mr. Bollig!

* With the way things are shaping up, it is only a matter of time before the St. Louis Blues overtake the Hawks for the Central Division lead and that is fine.  We will have to read many national pundits tell us that the Blues are the better team. Maybe they are.  Can they beat the Hawks in a seven game series? Possibly.  My point with this last bullet is don't freak when this happens.  Let them have their championship in January.  The Hawks are built for the post season.  They will still be the team to beat in West come playoff time.

Player of the Game

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Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel

Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves on his way to being named the 1st Star of the Game.  Hank has struggled a bit this year but he proved that  he is still one of the best goalies in the game Wednesday night.  Lundqvist is more than capable of carrying this team on his back to the post season.  I know I wouldn't want to face the King in a best of seven series.

Blackhawks Advanced Stats

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Keith, Duncan

D

16:53

68.0

18.0

53.8

14.4

77.8

Hjalmarsson, Niklas

D

19:25

53.1

-4.0

45.5

4.1

62.5

Seabrook, Brent

D

13:55

68.2

17.3

50.0

8.5

70.0

Leddy, Nick

D

16:45

48.1

-11.1

36.8

-10.0

40.0

Sharp, Patrick

R

16:05

61.5

8.8

42.9

-0.4

70.0

Kruger, Marcus

C

12:22

43.8

-14.7

45.5

3.0

50.0

Toews, Jonathan

C

16:24

64.0

12.2

46.2

4.0

70.0

Saad, Brandon

L

15:07

62.1

10.1

47.4

6.7

41.7

Versteeg, Kris

R

13:38

44.4

-14.3

46.2

4.0

71.4

Handzus, Michal

C

10:13

30.8

-29.5

30.0

-16.3

40.0

Oduya, Johnny

D

17:37

51.7

-6.0

42.1

-1.6

55.6

Smith, Ben

R

07:46

42.9

-13.9

25.0

-19.7

25.0

Bickell, Bryan

L

11:02

71.4

21.4

57.1

19.3

80.0

Rozsival, Michal

D

16:58

46.4

-13.9

35.0

-13.4

25.0

Bollig, Brandon

L

07:46

44.4

-12.5

33.3

-11.1

20.0

Shaw, Andrew

C

13:29

64.3

13.3

44.4

2.0

50.0

Hossa, Marian

R

14:31

63.6

11.1

50.0

9.0

66.7

Kane, Patrick

R

17:49

42.9

-19.4

33.3

-15.2

50.0

Advanced Rangers Stats

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Del Zotto, Michael

D

13:42

30.0

-19.2

33.3

-33.3

20.0

Girardi, Dan

D

17:57

37.9

-10.1

55.6

-2.0

31.3

Stralman, Anton

D

20:07

61.8

29.9

80.0

38.1

75.0

Carcillo, Daniel

L

07:15

25.0

-21.6

40.0

-18.7

0.0

Brassard, Derick

C

12:59

31.3

-16.4

33.3

-28.6

44.4

Moore, John

D

12:36

23.5

-26.5

25.0

-41.7

20.0

Staal, Marc

D

20:08

60.0

27.4

76.2

32.9

75.0

Richards, Brad

C

13:09

50.0

8.2

70.6

20.6

60.0

Kreider, Chris

C

14:07

48.0

5.1

52.9

-5.9

45.5

Stepan, Derek

C

15:50

46.4

3.0

55.6

-2.0

45.5

Boyle, Brian

C

09:04

45.5

1.2

57.1

0.3

37.5

Callahan, Ryan

R

18:09

62.1

27.5

80.0

38.1

63.6

McDonagh, Ryan

D

18:08

33.3

-16.7

50.0

-10.0

31.3

Moore, Dominic

C

09:03

22.2

-25.0

25.0

-34.6

0.0

Zuccarello, Mats

C

13:02

23.5

-26.5

30.0

-33.4

44.4

Nash, Rick

L

14:06

44.4

0.0

50.0

-10.0

45.5

Hagelin, Carl

L

14:11

55.2

16.7

75.0

29.8

75.0

Pouliot, Benoit

L

12:42

33.3

-14.3

40.0

-21.0

37.5

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