Blackhawks

Undisciplined play, pitiful PK bury Blackhawks

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Undisciplined play, pitiful PK bury Blackhawks

If youre going to take a lot of penalties, you better stop the opposing power play. And if you get those power-play chances yourself, you better take advantage of them.

The Blackhawks could do neither on Sunday night.

Vancouver scored five power-play goals, as many as the Blackhawks have all this season, and the Blackhawks struggled with both special teams in a 6-2 loss at the United Center. It was a forgettable night for the Blackhawks, who hadnt lost a game at home in regulation until this one.

The Blackhawks went 0 for 5 on their power play while letting the Canucks riddle their penalty kill for five goals. But as Jonathan Toews said, it was just a bad game in every way.

The power play, as usual as of late, wasnt very good. The penalty kill went for a hike today, too. But it went beyond that, he said. We didnt play a good game all around. If those things go better for us maybe we can keep it a tighter game and find a way to make a game of it the way we have some of these past games where we havent played our best game and we hang in there. But we didnt give ourselves a chance at all.

Indeed, for all their pregame talk about how much they looked forward to playing the Canucks, the Blackhawks didnt show it on the ice. They came out sluggish and Vancouver took advantage from the start. The Canucks were more determined, stronger and obviously ready to take advantage of their opportunities. The Blackhawks had five power plays but once again couldnt muster a goal on it.

Tonight was disappointing across the board, coach Joel Quenneville said. Some of our execution in both areas was very poor. Give them credit for making nice plays on the power play. But they were results of what we did on several of them. We had some chances around the net (on the power play). I thought we werent terrible there but were looking for production at the end of the night.

The Blackhawks penalty kill had buoyed the team on some of those nights the power play didnt; entering Sunday night, it had nullified 34 of 38 opponent power plays. But against Vancouver it disappeared, giving up one more goal (five) than they had in their previous 13 games combined (four).

A couple of those goals were just about trying to be in the shooting lane and blocking shots, said defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. Its something weve talked about, too. We just have to be better with stick positioning there so they cant do those cross-ice passes. It was pretty much impossible for (Corey Crawford) to stop those kinds of pucks.

Still, the Blackhawks had a bit of a chance in the second period after Marcus Kruger scored to make it 3-2. But just 43 seconds later the Canucks snuffed out that momentum with Jannik Hansens goal, an even-strength effort.

Thats something we cant allow, Hjalmarsson said. After that, the game was pretty much over. That was obviously a huge goal we let in.

The Blackhawks have done well this first month because theyve stayed in just about every game, giving themselves a chance to collect points each time. That, as well as their all-around game, was missing on Sunday.

We didnt give ourselves a chance at all, Toews said. We shouldve been expecting an effort like that from them. Im not sure why we took them lightly. We played well and did some good things all week. But we didnt show much of that tonight.

Hawks don camo jerseys
The Blackhawks will wear camouflage jerseys during warm-ups on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, before they host the Calgary Flames at the United Center. The jerseys will be autographed by the player that wears them and then will be auctioned online at www.chicagoblackhawks.com until 9 p.m. on Nov. 17. All proceeds will benefit the USO of Illinois.

Autographed jerseys by team ambassadors Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard will also be available at the auction.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: