Blackhawks come up empty against Lightning


Blackhawks come up empty against Lightning

Sunday, April 3, 2011Posted: 8:32 PM

By Tracey Myers

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville spelled it out in the post-game press conference.

We need more, he said.

He spoke of urgency. It couldve also been about goals and points, because on Sunday, the Blackhawks were sorely lacking those, too.

Vincent Lecavalier scored an early power-play goal and backup goaltender Mike Smith stopped 31 for the shutout as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Blackhawks 2-0 at the United Center. The Blackhawks remain in eighth place in the West.

It was a missed opportunity for the Blackhawks, who had good chances against Smith but could not convert one of them. The Blackhawks got traffic in front of Smith at times, but their second and third opportunities were few and far between.

There were a lot of chances out there and for some reason it didnt bounce our way, Viktor Stalberg said. I thought we had pretty good control of the game but we need to get more bodies out there and find a way to get one past him.

Lecavalier had nobody in front of him besides Corey Crawford when he scored his power-play goal just eight seconds into Tampa Bays first advantage.

After that, the Lightning fell into their effective shut-down game and barely pushed their offense the rest of the way. They had just 15 shots on goal, tying for the least the Blackhawks have seen in a game this year (the other was Florida on March 8).

Giving up first goal was important and especially the way they love to check and stay back, Quenneville said. That penalty and how we defended it put us in a tough spot.

Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith each had five shots on goal but the Blackhawks once potent offense, still missing Patrick Sharp (left knee) and Dave Bolland (concussion), was quiet.

Were trying, Jonathan Toews said. Everyone wants to score goals. Its the most fun part of the game. One way or another, everyone has to take responsibility. Everybody has to find ways to step up and take advantage of opportunities. We have the skill throughout the lineup. Everyone can chip in.

Defenseman Brian Campbell said the Blackhawks were well aware of the Lightnings style.

They play a frustrating game, we know that and we talked about it, he said. But we had enough chances to tie it up. We just have to find ways to put it in the net.

The Blackhawks have talked about getting ready for the playoffs by playing playoff-type, crisp games. Their last three have demonstrated anything but that. Even their victory in Columbus on Friday wasnt dominating. If the results dont improve these final four regular-season games, their postseason stay could be a short one.

We want to prepare to be a better team thats going to compete far into the playoffs, Toews said. Whether you have momentum entering the playoffs or not, no one makes excuses. But no one wants to keep playing like this, thats for sure.

Injury updates

Patrick Sharp was being re-evaluated on Sunday night but hes still progressing well. He could be skating again sometime this week. Dave Bolland, meanwhile, has made little progress.

No news, Quenneville said of Bolland before Sundays game.


Lecavalier did not return to Sundays game after he took a Michael Frolik high stick near his right eye in the second period.

John Scott was the Blackhawks lone healthy scratch on Sunday.

The Lightning blocked 21 of the Blackhawks shots.

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

2019 NHL free agent focus: Five potential targets for Blackhawks

2019 NHL free agent focus: Five potential targets for Blackhawks

Stan Bowman has had a busy last couple weeks. He pulled off a pair of trades, landing defensemen Olli Maatta and Calvin de Haan from the Eastern Conference. He drafted center Kirby Dach with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft that could turn into a franchise-changing player. And now he’s in the middle of negotiations with pending restricted and unrestricted free agents.

With the defensemen group starting to take shape, it appears free agency will be used to fill out the forward group. That could come via trades, also, but it really depends on the market.

So let’s identify five potential UFA targets for the Blackhawks ahead of Monday, when players are officially able to sign contracts:

1. Ryan Dzingel, LW

When Dzingel was with the Ottawa Senators, he was playing top-six minutes and earning power-play time because the Senators weren’t very deep. After getting traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the deadline, he struggled to be a fit there, didn't play much on the power play and was healthy scratched for one game in the playoffs.

But he still has value, although it may not be in an area that the Blackhawks need (penalty kill).

Dzingel, a Wheaton native, set a career high in goals (26), assists (30) and points (56) in 78 games this past season with the Senators and Blue Jackets. He can play in the top-six but might be more effective as a middle-six winger on a good team.

According to Evolving Wild, Dzingel is projected to earn a contract of four years with a $4.25 million cap hit. 

2. Anders Lee, LW

It’s a little surprising that the New York Islanders and their captain haven’t made any progress on a long-term extension. At the same time, it’s pretty clear that Lou Lamoriello is looking to make a big splash this summer in his pursuit of Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin, and needs financial flexibility to negotiate.

Lee is a perfect complementary top-six left winger who would look great next to Jonathan Toews or opposite Patrick Kane. He’s got size at 6-foot-3, 231 pounds, is reliable, scored 40 goals in 2017-18 and has a strong work ethic. Those qualities check a lot of boxes the Blackhawks are looking for.

Where it gets tricky is what his contract may look like. He's projected to receive in the range of a seven-year deal that carries a $6.5 million cap hit. The dollar amount is doable, but the term could scare the Blackhawks away as they prepare to sign Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome to long-term extensions next summer.

3. Gustav Nyquist, LW

The Blackhawks have been interested in Nyquist's services in the past, so they'll certainly look into him as a possibility now that he hits the open market.

Nyquist has scored at least 20 goals in four of his past six seasons, with 28 being his career high. But he's not known to be a goal scorer. He's a pass-first, playmaking-type winger and makes players around him better because of it. Nyquist is a consistent 45-55-point player.

His next contract is projected to be in the six-year, $5.6 million range, which — like Lee — is a fair dollar amount but the term may not be something the Blackhawks are crazy about. Bowman appears to be focused on free-agent forwards who can be signed on shorter-term deals.

4. Joe Pavelski, C/RW

Perhaps the most intriguing player on the free-agent market for the Blackhawks is Pavelski, who’s served as the San Jose Sharks captain but may not fit into their plans going forward because of their cap crunch.

Yes, he will turn 35 in July. And yes, he has a ton of mileage on his body. But he’s showing no signs of slowing down. 

Pavelski is a five-time 30-goal scorer who’s coming off a 38-goal season, can play both center and wing, and is an absolute gamer, a leader on and off the ice who shows up when the lights are shining brightest. He’s also not afraid to go to the dirty areas and is widely considered to be one of the best at deflecting pucks, which comes in handy on the power play.

What makes him an attractive piece is that Pavelski could be a player that makes an immediate impact but wouldn't require a long-term deal. He's projected to earn a three-year contract with a cap hit of $7.4 million. If the Blackhawks can get him at two years, that would be ideal. But like Patrick Marleau a few years ago in Toronto, his camp is probably looking for that third year.

5. Corey Perry, LW

Days after he was bought out by the Ducks, Perry’s name surfaced as a possibility for the Blackhawks. And it makes sense because the Blackhawks aren't looking to hand out long-term contracts.

Perry is 34 years old, a former Hart Trophy winner and 50-goal scorer, and is still a productive player when healthy. But that's the biggest concern. He missed 51 games this season with a knee injury, returned ahead of schedule and never looked the same on the ice.

Per the CBA, Perry can sign a one-year, bonus-laden deal and it appears that's what he'll do. A one-year contract in the $2-3 million with bonuses would be a low risk, high reward move for the Blackhawks.

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Sports Talk Live Podcast: What will be Stan Bowman's next move?


Sports Talk Live Podcast: What will be Stan Bowman's next move?

Gabe Ramirez, Vinnie Duber, and Jay Cohen join Kap on the panel to discuss game two of Cubs vs. Braves and the battle of the Soxes.

Plus with the start of free agency coming up, what will be Stan Bowman's next move?

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast