Five Things: Energy shortage dooms Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes


Five Things: Energy shortage dooms Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes

It wasn’t that long ago that the Blackhawks broke out of their scoring doldrums, finally getting production from more than just their second line.

Well, the offense has disappeared again, and it almost led to their second consecutive shutout loss on Sunday night. Brent Seabrook kept that from happening, scoring with three seconds remaining in regulation. But it was an otherwise quiet game for the Blackhawks in their 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

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Now the Blackhawks hit the road for their final two games of 2015. So before it’s wheels up, let’s look at the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ loss to Carolina.

1. The outside game was evident. And playing the outside game rarely wins anything. The Blackhawks certainly know that. Look back at their Dec. 20 victory against the San Jose Sharks: every goal the Blackhawks scored, including Jonathan Toews’ overtime winner, was within about five feet of the goal. Credit the Hurricanes for doing a good job of keeping the Blackhawks to the outside. But those are battles the Blackhawks have to be better at winning, especially because they weren’t the group playing for the second game in as many nights.

2. Energy lapse. The Blackhawks hadn’t played since Tuesday. Fatigue, which looked to be an issue by the third period of that game against Dallas, was not the issue on Sunday night. The Blackhawks had a relatively lethargic start to this one. If they come out with energy, perhaps they put the Hurricanes on their heels early. But that didn’t happen.

3. Fourth line playing well again. The Blackhawks had six shots on goal early against the Hurricanes. Fourth liners Andrew Desjardins, Phillip Danault and Ryan Garbutt combined for five of them (one for Desjardins, two each for the other two). That’s great for the fourth line, but that also showed how little the other lines were doing until later in the game. If only one of those guys could’ve scored an early one.

[MORE: Blackhawks offense quiet in loss to Hurricanes]

4. Power play goes quiet again. The Blackhawks had the advantage just once on Sunday but it was a forgettable effort. They barely spent any time in the Hurricanes’ zone. They didn’t get a shot on goal. Again, it’s just one opportunity. But even if the Blackhawks didn’t score on it, generating some zone time and shots may have led to some momentum moving forward.

5. Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom welcomed back at the UC. The two, who were honored on the video board during Sunday’s game, have gotten bigger opportunities with the Hurricanes, who acquired them from the Blackhawks in September. That’s been especially true of Nordstrom, who’s now a second liner with Carolina. These trades have become a regular part of the Blackhawks’ post-Cup summers. Here’s to two more who turned a trade into opportunity elsewhere.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis welcome Nick Gismondi into the fold before discussing Friday's win over Columbus. Robin Lehner played stellar and is forming quite a tandem in net with Corey Crawford (4:10), while the DeBrincat/Kane connection is alive and well (6:10), and the Blackhawks' struggles at even strength continued (12:10). Then, the guys react to the breaking news of Kirby Dach's recall from Rockford and discuss where he might fit into this lineup (15:10).

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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October 19, 2007: An important Blackhawks milestone

October 19, 2007: An important Blackhawks milestone

October 19, 2007 — The Blackhawks beat the Avalanche 5-3 at the United Center. Pulling up the webpage shows an ordinary early-season NHL game, but it’s quite significant for a few reasons — and not only because of Jonathan Toews’ incredible highlight-reel goal at 06:59 of the first period to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead (please take a minute to find that highlight if you can. It’s a great goal).

Patrick Sharp added a goal at 08:29, and at 14:36, Patrick Kane scored a goal of his own. It was the first goal of Kane’s NHL career.

AND the first time that both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored a goal in the same game.

About five years ago, I started keeping track of when they both scored a goal in the same game. It became a thing. I’d post it on Twitter whenever it happened. And people started asking what their record was when it happened, so I’d have that too. It was, and still is, one of my favorite things to follow when the Blackhawks take the ice.

As of this writing, Toews and Kane have scored a goal in the same game 96 times (102 including postseason). And the Blackhawks are 84-7-5 when they do so (with an additional 6-0 in playoffs), which is to be expected when your best players combine to do good things.

I was curious, so I enlisted the help of the Elias Sports Bureau to take things a bit further.

Believe it or not, Toews & Kane do NOT have the lead among current teammates in instances with a goal in the same game. Here’s that list (regular season only):

101 — Nicklas Backstrom & Alex Ovechkin (Capitals)

96  Jonathan Toews & Patrick Kane (Blackhawks)

94 — Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin (Penguins)

64 — Patrick Marleau & Joe Thornton (Sharks)

63 — Dustin Brown & Anze Kopitar (Kings)

What is probably NOT as surprising is that they don’t have the Blackhawks record in instances with a goal in the same game. Because the Blackhawks have two all-time greats who played a long time together. Here’s that list (regular season only):

139 — Bobby Hull & Stan Mikita

96 — Jonathan Toews & Patrick Kane

88 — Steve Larmer & Denis Savard

77 — Bobby Hull & Kenny Wharram

75 — Dennis Hull & Stan Mikita

Toews & Kane may not top the list of current teammates, but the duo from the Nation’s Capitol have but one Stanley Cup together whereas the Chicago tandem has three (though Crosby & Malkin are right there with them). As for trailing Hull & Mikita… well, there’s no shame in that. Plus there’s time to add to that total. There’s a good chance they break triple digits this season, and that will be fun to track. Where will they end up when they hang up the skates? That remains to be seen, as they both seemingly have plenty of good hockey left to be played.

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