Five Things: Blackhawks get in another 4-0 hole vs. Stars


Five Things: Blackhawks get in another 4-0 hole vs. Stars

Well, if there’s been a troubling trend this season, it’s been how the Blackhawks have fared against the Dallas Stars.

It hasn’t gone well at all. It didn’t go well on Tuesday, either, when the Blackhawks got pummeled, 6-2, by the Stars. They remain in third place in the Central Division with 91 points, but the Nashville Predators, who have been on a hot streak lately, are just four points behind them.

So, if you’re still interested in reading, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ loss to the Stars on Tuesday.

1. Pouring it on again. The Stars have gotten off to 4-0 leads in all four of their victories against the Blackhawks this season, including Tuesday’s game. In this one, the Stars scored two goals within 25 seconds, and they didn’t look back after that. Give credit to the Stars: Regardless of injuries, and they’ve had a few of them lately, they’re still playing at a tremendous level. As coach Joel Quenneville said, the Blackhawks were “playing catch-up hockey against a team that loves to attack.”

2. Another goalie change, sans desired effect. Scott Darling was pulled in favor of Michael Leighton after the Stars scored four goals in the first period. But the Blackhawks, outside of a late second-period goal from Andrew Shaw, did not get the desired effect.

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3. Defensive lapses. A turnover behind the net turned into the Stars’ first goal — a shot from behind the net that went off Darling’s stick and in. Another mishandle led to a pass from behind the net that became a goal (Vernon Fiddler’s) just 25 seconds later.

4. Well, the fourth-line guys are scoring. Even though they moved around with line changes during Tuesday’s game, we’ll call Shaw and Richard Panik fourth-liners for consistency’s sake. Those two scored the Blackhawks’ goals in their 3-2 shootout loss to Minnesota on Sunday, and they scored the team’s goals against Dallas. That’s good for them but bad for the rest of the lineup, which has been absent on the score sheet.

5. The (Central) plot continues to thicken. Quenneville has talked often about the Blackhawks squandering their opportunity to get back atop the Central Division. Now they’re dangerously close to dropping into a wild-card spot. The Blackhawks’ next four opponents are teams currently out of the playoffs. Do they finally find the necessary spark on this upcoming road trip?

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center


Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals


Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: