Blackhawks

Bruised and battered: Blackhawks blow big lead

385815.jpg

Bruised and battered: Blackhawks blow big lead

Friday, Feb. 11, 2011
Posted 10:23 p.m. Updated 11:26 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

DALLAS - Jonathan Toews anger and frustration was palpable. And at this juncture, its hard to blame him.

WATCH: Toews reacts after loss

The Chicago Blackhawks were setting themselves up for a big victory against the Dallas Stars in Marty Turcos return to where it all began. They got out to a 3-0 lead by doing everything right.

And then it started to turn. Again.

The momentum, the lead and eventually the game went the other way. And while the Blackhawks held on to get one point, it seems a tough pill to swallow considering early they looked destined for two.

Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook scored in regulation, but the Stars started coming back in the second period and the Blackhawks couldnt wrestle control away again in a 4-3 shootout loss on Friday night. It was a bitter end to a great start, and Toews was frustrated at another squandered chance.

I dont have anything new to say to you guys, said Toews, who had two assists. Every time we lose its the same thing that happens. We dont change it. We have a good first period. Whether we come out with a lead or not in the first, we had good effort, getting pucks in there and skating.

"For some reason it goes away in the second period. Thats what you see there is us giving the other team a chance to come back and they make no mistakes. I dont understand whats going on.

Making things worse, the Blackhawks lost three forwards in the second period. Viktor Stalberg, Fernando Pisani and Ryan Johnson are all day-to-day with upper body injuries. Coach Joel Quenneville said theyll be re-evaluated on Saturday.

Pisani was hit by Stars defenseman Mark Fistric along the boards. Pisani fell back, the back of his head hitting the Stars bench railing. He got up after being down a few moments and skated off with some assistance.

The Blackhawks got a power play out of that hit, but yielded nothing from it.

We can go back and work our balls off on that power play, really show them up for hurting one of our players and we dont, Toews said. We were satisfied. It was a terrible power play and one thing led to another and they find a way to come back.

Instead, the Blackhawks, down three forwards, at least found a way to force overtime and earn a point.

Its one of those things where have a great first again and in the second we let them back in, said Seabrook, who had another potential goal ruled no goal on the ice and a review didnt reverse it. We dont finish them. Thats been the trouble weve had all year and it hurt us tonight.

READ: Hawks not trading Seabrook

Turco stopped 32 of 35 in regulation before all three of the Stars shootout attempts got past him.

You get beat, you get beat, and its tougher to swallow this time, Turco said. But not to get two points and the win was pretty disappointing.
Marty Turco heads off the ice in Dallas after the giving up goals to all three Stars shooters - all former teammates- in the shootout. (AP)
We have a big hill to climb, period, Turco said. The more often we play 60 minutes and play our game well be better off. If we can just get on a roll but itll take successive games and workmanlike effort to accomplish that.

The Blackhawks will have to regroup fast. Quenneville was looking at the positive out of this one: the Blackhawks getting a point when so many third-period slides have resulted in none. But time is running out, and the Blackhawks need more 60-minute outings and more two-point decisions.

We have to play the same way we do in the first throughout the game, Seabrook said. We feel we have a good game plan going into it, and its working. We just dont continue to play the rest of the game.

No goal

Seabrook was robbed on his 5-on-3 goal attempt by Kari Lehtonens glove save in the first period. The play went under review, and some replays showed that the glove, with the puck somewhere in it, crossed the goal line. But officials let the no-goal ruling stand.

In or out of the net, thats a judgment call, Seabrook said. If Im a ref on the ice Im probably calling it no goal as I see it.

Briefly

Marian Hossa did not play on Friday night. Quenneville said hes hopeful that the right wing can play Saturday night in Phoenix.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Five takeaways from Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

artemi_panarin_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Five takeaways from Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

We're going to be a little honest. The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs could've been better.

It didn't help that the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks swept their series', wiping out those West Coast games for the last week and a half. There were also only five overtime games, four of which came in the Washington-Columbus series, compared to 18 in the first round last season.

But having said all that, we might be in for one of the most entertaining second rounds in recent memory.

Before we get to that, here are five takeaways from Round 1:

1. Artemi Panarin is a playoff performer.

We're not going to rehash whether the Blackhawks made a mistake in trading away one of the best offensive players in the league.

Instead, let's talk about how the Bread Man proved to skeptics that he's a superstar in his own right, yes, even without Patrick Kane.

It was fair to wonder whether Panarin's production would be on par with what it was in his first two seasons in Chicago, because it was also fair to do the same for Kane, who put up his best point totals in each of those two seasons as well playing alongside Panarin — 106 points in 2015-16 and 89 in 2016-17, respectively.

But the idea that Kane made Panarin was always a lazy narrative, because they both benefited from each other. In fact, Panarin set a Blue Jackets record by registering a 82 points in a single season without Kane, proving he could thrive in a role where he was "The Guy."

Panarin finished the regular season with five straight multi-point games, and opened the playoffs with seven points (two goals, five assists) in three games, including the overtime winner in Game 1. He went pointless in the final three games, but he admitted after the Blue Jackets were eliminated that a knee injury sustained early in Game 5 played a role in his effectiveness — or lack thereof — over the final two contests. That's not an excuse, just a fact.

He now has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 17 postseason games for his career, which is nearly a point-per-game average. Panarin is a big-game player, and anybody that thinks otherwise is reading too much into the Blackhawks' first-round sweep at the hands of the Nashville Predators last season, where every single member struggled.

2. Do the Penguins have what it takes to three-peat?

The Penguins became the first team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Now they can become the first to make it three in a row, and there's a realistic chance of that happening after they became the sixth team in NHL history to win nine straight playoff series following their first-round win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

There's one major caveat, as there is to almost anything: Can they stay healthy?

Evgeni Malkin will miss Game 1 against the Washington Capitals with an apparent leg injury, and Carl Hagelin has already been ruled out for the first two games.

That's a huge factor in all this, because the Penguins still have three more rounds to go if they want to make history and would need to do it with their second-best player clearly not at 100 percent and probably won't be for the rest of the playoffs.

If there's a year the Capitals can finally slay the dragon having lost nine of their past 10 playoff series against Pittsburgh, it's this one. They've got home-ice advantage, they're healthy, playing well in all phases and don't have the expectations that have seemed to weigh on their minds in the past.

3. Vegas, baby.

Has there been a more fun bandwagon to be a part of than the Golden Knights' during their inaugural season? They racked up 109 points, won the Pacific Division and swept the Los Angeles Kings when many perceived that to be a coin flip.

Marc-Andre Fleury was ridiculous, recording a 0.65 goals against average, .977 save percentage and two shutouts in four games against the Kings. Vegas as a team allowed only three goals and scored seven, with each of those seven goals coming from a different player.

It's been an incredible story.

The next stop will be against the San Jose Sharks, which certainly won't be a cakewalk. Expect that to be an evenly-matched series between two teams that aren't satisfied with how far they've come already, especially the Golden Knights. They want to make history by winning a Stanley Cup in Year 1 of existence.

Would it surprise anyone at this point?

4. Boston-Toronto lives up to the hype.

The script was set up perfectly.

Five years after the Maple Leafs overcame a 3-1 series deficit but collapsed in Game 7 at TD Garden by squandering a three-goal lead in the third period, the opportunity to rewrite history was right in front of them.

The Maple Leafs again fell behind 3-1, rallied back to win two straight, had three separate one-goal leads in Game 7 at TD Garden but couldn't seal the deal. It also could've served as a healing moment for the city of Toronto, which was hit with tragedy when a van drove onto a sidewalk and killed 10 people and injured 15 others, the same way Boston came together following the marathon bombings in 2013.

Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs, destiny did not prevail and they're still seeking a first-round series win in the salary cap era.

It was as riveting a Game 7 as you'll see, and the hockey gods rewarded fans after a dull first round. But...

5. Get ready for Round 2.

Nashville vs. Winnipeg. Vegas vs. San Jose. Tampa Bay vs. Boston. Washington vs. Pittsburgh.

Close your eyes and pick a series and that could be the most entertaining of the second round. Each of them have the potential to be great.

It's the first time in NHL history the final eight teams standings compiled at least 100 points in the regular season, meaning it truly is the best of the best that's left. So enjoy it.

And good luck with your predictions, because going 0-for-4 looks more likely than 4-for-4.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Attempting to rebuild Blackhawks into a Stanley Cup contender

blackhawks_toews_saad.jpg
USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Attempting to rebuild Blackhawks into a Stanley Cup contender

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish joins Pat Boyle to answer your mailbag questions. Among the questions they tackle: What was your favorite moment from the Blackhawks’ past season and were you surprised that Joel Quenneville didn’t make any changes to his coaching staff? 

They also discuss re-signing Vinnie Hinostroza, backup goalie options for Corey Crawford and who do they like in the Jets-Predators second-round series?

Plus, Burish looks at the Penguins roster and sees some similarities to the Blackhawks’ situation and attempts to rebuild a Stanley Cup contender.

Listen to the full podcast right here: