Observations From Section 321: Losing Streaks Are For The Birds

The Blackhawks slow start costs them their second straight loss, as their comeback attempt versus the Oilers falls short.

It certainly felt that the Chicago Blackhawks were affected by Daylight Savings Time because they were on about an hour delay. The Edmonton Oilers limped into the United Center, losers of five straight, and had not scored a goal in their last 164:29 of play. You would have thought the Hawks would have been hungry after their first regulation loss of the season but they did not not look ready to play. The effects of playing 7 games in 11 days looked to have taken its toll on the team. Though the game was entertaining and exciting to watch, there was plenty to cringe about.

This is normally the part of the recap where I try to go Dickie Dunn with you and really capture the spirit of the thing but, giving the blow by blow details of 11 goals would be stretching the boundaries of our friendship. The Oilers came out firing on all cylinders and the Hawks looked a step behind. Edmonton lit the lamp four times in the opening period with Mike Brown (yes that Mike Brown) scoring his first goal of the year at 2:24. Sam Gagne, a card carrying member of the Blackhawks Killer Club, scored at 3:00 to make it 2-0. Ryan Whitney's 3rd goal of the season chased starting goalie Ray Emery at 9:19. Gagne added his second of the period, while on the power play, and 9th goal of the year at 12:22 to cap off the four goal opening period.

Patrick Kane got the Hawks on the board, at 5:36, in a wacky play that including Devan Dubnyk racing out to the dasher boards and Dave Bolland doing his impression of the "Hang In There" cat on the crossbar. A little over 2 minutes later Marian Hossa cut the lead to 4-2 with his 11th goal of the year. At this point memories of the Calgary Flames game from October of 2009 started to creep back into my mind. The Oilers would get a goal back with yet another power play tally, this time from Shawn Horcroff. Whoever had Sheldon Brookbank in the shorthanded goal pool struck gold at 15:05 as the puck deflected off his chest and into the net for his first Blackhawks goal. Just 51 seconds later, while on the same power play, Taylor Hall deflected the puck past Corey Crawford for his 5th goal of the year. Brent Seabrook cut the lead to 6-4 with under 3 minutes to go in the 2nd period to give the Hawks some life and momentum heading into the final frame.

Kane scored his second of the game, on a power play, at 7:06 to get the Hawks within one goal. The Blackhawks had plenty of chances to tie the game up in the final 13 minutes of play. They missed a few open nets and Yann Danis, who replaced the injured Dubnyk in goal midway through the 2nd, came up with some key stops late in the game. These last two games are nothing to panic about. Yes, they were terrible efforts against two bad teams, but that is going to happen in the course of a hockey season. The Hawks will get some well needed time off since they do not return to action until Thursday night in Columbus. Coach Q has given his team both today and tomorrow completely off with no practices scheduled.

* The penalty kill unit, which has been very good all season long, let down the Hawks last night. The Oilers scored on their first three power plays last night, and two of the goals came on the exact same play. In the last two games the PK unit has surrendered five goals on nine attempts. Hopefully this is just an anomaly and not a future trend.

*So both goalies have had clunkers in their last two games, but neither got much help from the guys in front of them. In both losses on Friday and Sunday, the Hawks had one horrible period where they gave up four goals. I think Q handled the goalies correctly in both situations.

* Daniel Carcillo and Jamal Mayers combined for just 7:15 of ice time last night. I still don't understand why we can't call up one of the kids from Rockford who can actually skate and contribute to the team. Jimmy Hayes has been red hot of late, including netting a hat trick over the weekend. I would have no problem with Jeremy Morin or Ben Smith getting another shot with the Hawks. Knowing Q's line of thinking and his love for the "less than 5 minutes a night" bum, his next move would be calling up Kyle Beach.

* The Hawks were very good in the faceoff circle last night winning 40 of 64 draws as a team. Jonathan Toews was 16-21 (76%), Marcus Kruger 8/13 (62%), Dave Bolland 11/19 (58%) and Andrew Shaw finished 3/7 (43%).

*Marian Hossa had 7 takeaways last night, including robbing Shawn Horcroff at center ice with his own goalie pulled. It was a huge play that gave the Hawks a chance to tie up the game in the final minute.

* Brandon Saad now has at least one point in four straight games.

*Sam Gagne now has 21 points (10 G, 11 A) in 22 career games versus the Blackhawks. Someone want to put a body on this guy??

Blackhawks Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 19:47 16 17 -1 +3 -2
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 18:17 23 12 +11 -2 +12
Brent Seabrook D 18:19 14 15 -1 +3 -2
Nick Leddy D 16:51 22 5 +17 0 +17
Daniel Carcillo L 4:01 1 5 -4 -1 -4
Marcus Kruger C 10:26 13 5 +8 -1 +8
Sheldon Brookbank D 14:13 18 5 +13 -1 +13
Jonathan Toews C 18:12 23 13 +10 -1 +10
Brandon Saad L 15:45 19 16 +3 -1 +3
Jamal Mayers R 3:14 1 4 -3 -1 -3
Viktor Stalberg L 15:13 18 5 +13 +2 +12
Johnny Oduya D 14:11 17 10 +7 -3 +8
Bryan Bickell L 13:30 16 6 +10 +1 +10
Dave Bolland C 13:19 14 7 +7 +1 +7
Andrew Shaw C 14:20 15 7 +8 +1 +8
Michael Frolik R 5:59 3 7 -4 0 -4
Marian Hossa R 17:08 20 14 +6 0 +6
Patrick Kane R 20:42 20 7 +13 +2 +12

Oilers Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Jeff Petry D 20:11 18 26 -8 +1 -8
Taylor Hall L 13:55 11 16 -5 -2 -4
Ladislav Smid D 19:10 19 19 0 +1 -0
Ryan Whitney D 14:27 7 21 -14 -1 -14
Shawn Horcoff C 14:15 9 17 -8 -2 -7
Mike Brown R 9:58 3 9 -6 +1 -6
Jordan Eberle C 11:42 7 17 -10 0 -10
Nick Schultz D 17:27 6 15 -9 0 -9
Justin Schultz D 12:13 5 17 -12 -1 -12
Lennart Petrell C 13:54 6 13 -7 -1 -7
Corey Potter D 18:22 9 12 -3 0 -3
Teemu Hartikainen C 8:58 7 13 -6 0 -6
Nail Yakupov R 9:50 7 10 -3 +2 -4
Ales Hemsky R 15:12 11 16 -5 -1 -5
Sam Gagner C 14:46 11 13 -2 +1 -2
Magnus Paajarvi L 12:47 10 12 -2 0 -2
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C 11:55 9 16 -7 0 -7
Ryan Smyth L 13:03 5 11 -6 +1 -6