Blackhawks Hand Blues First Central Division Regulation Loss

This game started out like a panic attack. The Blues owned the puck for the first few minutes of the game and Corey Crawford had to hold down the fort. Then the Blackhawks decided that was no way to spend an evening and pretty much held onto the puck for the rest of the game. The second line of Bryan Bickell, Ben Smith and Patrick Kane was simply outstanding. The biggest panic inducing moment of the evening was Patrick Kane's injury. Brenden Morrow and Sheldon Brookbank got tangled up near the boards and as Morrow fell, his back/shoulder area hit the outside of Kane's left knee as he skated by. Initial reports from the game broadcast said the injury may take two weeks of recovery time. Head Coach Joel Quenneville said in his post game comments that the injury would require three weeks of recovery time would be necessary and that he was not sure Kane would play again in the regular season.

Try not to panic. I know this will be a difficult task, so maybe pick up a pack of brown paper bags at the grocery store.

There were some good things in this game though so let's focus on those. Jonathan Toews was killing a penalty and decided to walk around 3 or 4 Blues on his way to Ryan Miller's net for a shorthanded shot attempt. It was a wonder to behold. Marian Hossa also took his turn making the Blues defense look like pylons as is his habit. He did not score on the play but did create a nice scoring chance. Corey Crawford played a nice quiet well-positioned solid game as usual. Seeing a game wherein Crawford does not make spectacular saves and still gets a nice win, and in this case a shutout, then we know the defense was working well and Crawford was dialed in.

Goal scorers for the night were Duncan Keith, Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith. Both Keith and Smith's goals came on power plays, which is a nice change since the PP has been struggling of late. Peter Regin looked to fit in well with Kruger's checking line and made some very nice plays. He's a solid defensive player so this would not be a bad fit for him although scratching Brandon Bollig in favor of Regin seems like a long shot.

The Blues played their usual big hitting, taking runs at players and trying to fight after every whistle game. This did not work out too well for them on this evening mainly because the Blackhawks defense kept their offense on the perimeter for most of the game. The big bodies were too busy hitting to get to the net and score and thus Crawford earned a shutout. This was the first regulation loss to a Central Division team that the Blues have suffered this season. No time like the present I suppose. All of this is very encouraging given that this game was the second leg of a back to back. No one could doubt that the Blackhawks have the talent to win, but recently, many have questioned whether they had the drive to do so. They certainly came out ready to play in this game and the shutout win was well deserved. The win gives Joel Quenneville his 700th career coaching win, so many congratulations to him. It's quite an accomplishment.

One final note: Many are wondering if Teuvo Teravainen will be coming to join the Blackhawks. It sounds like he is certainly on his way, but some are wondering if he will report to the AHL. With Kane being injured this has reached fever pitch. We have all been fumbling around trying to figure out how the team will fit his salary. I laid out some possibilities in a post on this recently, but as the situation continues to pick up steam, many are saying the team will not be able to bring Teravainen to the NHL club due to salary problems. Maybe this is the case, but I am not sure why GM Stan Bowman and Quenneville would have brought him up so much if they didn't have a plan of how to make it happen. Bowman strikes me as the type of person who doesn't use the restroom without it being scheduled in advance, so that leads me to believe that the organization has already figured out how they intend to accommodate him.

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/D st%

Keith, Duncan

D

17:09

42.3

-17.3

63.6

6.1

46.2

Hjalmarsson, Niklas

D

18:33

55.2

1.5

52.2

-12.1

36.4

Seabrook, Brent

D

16:21

46.2

-11.7

72.7

17.7

46.2

Leddy, Nick

D

15:01

65.6

18.6

66.7

13.3

66.7

Sharp, Patrick

R

14:37

57.1

5.1

68.4

15.3

84.6

Regin, Peter

C

11:25

55.0

1.0

50.0

-11.0

10.0

Kruger, Marcus

C

10:27

54.5

0.4

50.0

-10.0

0.0

Brookbank, Sheldon

D

14:12

60.7

9.8

58.8

0.0

66.7

Toews, Jonathan

C

13:30

66.7

17.5

73.3

20.6

37.5

Versteeg, Kris

R

12:40

36.8

-22.5

30.0

-35.9

37.5

Handzus, Michal

C

12:46

50.0

-6.4

64.3

7.5

84.6

Oduya, Johnny

D

17:37

52.0

-3.2

47.4

-18.3

36.4

Smith, Ben

R

14:18

45.5

-11.9

43.8

-22.0

60.0

Bickell, Bryan

L

13:15

57.9

4.8

60.0

1.7

66.7

Bollig, Brandon

L

10:46

56.3

2.5

50.0

-11.0

11.1

Shaw, Andrew

C

13:45

55.6

2.0

70.6

17.6

80.0

Hossa, Marian

R

13:08

47.1

-9.0

50.0

-11.0

44.4

Kane, Patrick

R

06:51

72.7

21.3

72.7

17.7

50.0

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/D st%

Jackman, Barret

D

15:56

31.8

-19.0

26.7

-20.6

36.4

Schwartz, Jaden

C

14:02

47.6

2.5

40.0

-1.7

62.5

Morrow, Brenden

L

11:17

27.3

-25.2

29.4

-17.6

0.0

Roy, Derek

C

11:19

52.0

8.9

42.9

2.3

55.6

Sobotka, Vladimir

C

15:00

51.9

9.0

40.0

-1.9

41.7

Bouwmeester, Jay

D

17:18

52.0

8.9

57.1

22.0

72.7

Steen, Alexander

L

12:40

25.0

-24.3

42.9

1.9

70.0

Berglund, Patrik

C

12:30

59.3

20.0

53.8

17.0

40.0

Shattenkirk, Kevin

D

18:39

42.4

-5.6

29.4

-17.6

41.7

Jaskin, Dmitrij

R

11:51

55.6

12.5

44.4

4.0

66.7

Pietrangelo, Alex

D

19:40

52.9

12.1

50.0

14.5

75.0

Cole, Ian

D

11:32

47.8

2.8

46.7

7.8

40.0

Ott, Steve

C

11:45

53.6

11.8

50.0

13.6

55.6

LaPierre, Maxim

C

10:58

38.9

-8.8

33.3

-9.5

0.0

Backes, David

R

13:59

37.5

-10.3

50.0

11.5

66.7

Polak, Roman

D

15:18

44.4

-2.0

36.8

-6.9

40.0

Oshie, T.J.

C

11:52

47.6

2.5

42.9

2.3

58.3

Reaves, Ryan

R

10:44

31.3

-18.0

14.3

-31.2

25.0

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