Blackhawks

Five Things: Overtime doesn’t go the Blackhawks’ way

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Five Things: Overtime doesn’t go the Blackhawks’ way

When you score five goals in 20 the first minutes, you should probably win that game.

The Blackhawks looked on their way to doing that on Wednesday night against a Blues team that lost on Tuesday and had some hellacious travel overnight. But the Blues apparently got great naps and the Blackhawks and Corey Crawford had some forgettable moments in St. Louis’ comeback victory. The Blackhawks weren’t happy with the outcome, especially considering the start, but there it is nonetheless.

[MORE: Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, lose to Blues in OT]

So before we call it a night, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 6-5 loss to the Blues.

1. Not one of Corey Crawford’s finest. Crawford already has two shutouts this season and was great, especially in the third period, against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. But he was not at his best on Wednesday. There were some fluky goals, for sure — Alex Steen’s first one, which took one heck of a bounce over Crawford, was one. But there were stops Crawford should have made and tonight, he didn’t. Crawford said, “it felt like one of those nights. Tried to battle through it but when your team scores five goals you have to find a way and it’s just a tough one I guess.”

2. Marko Dano scores his first with his new team. Dano, who was recalled on Monday, scored off a Blues turnover to give the Blackhawks an early 1-0 lead. Dano had a big smile on his face not long after scoring that goal. But given the game outcome, his post-game euphoria was tempered. “It’s a good feeling for me,” he said. “But I would rather take the win for the team.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Blues battle fatigue and win. St. Louis had to be a tired group heading into Chicago. Their flight, following their home game on Tuesday night, was diverted to Milwaukee due to heavy fog here. The Blues bused to Chicago, getting in around 4 a.m. But the Blues had the necessary energy in the second period when they came back to tie a game they looked out of after the first period.

4. Teuvo Teravainen fitting in on the second line. Teravainen seems to be working well with new linemates Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane. Teravainen had four shots on goal, one becoming his fourth goal of the season when he capitalized on a Trevor Daley rebound. Said Joel Quenneville of Teravainen getting to the net on that one, “I think against that team, it’s kind of comparable to [playing against] L.A., traffic, second opportunities and the finish was there. You have to get there to get rewarded.”

5. OT doesn’t go the Blackhawks’ way. The Blackhawks were 3-0 in 3-on-3 entering Wednesday night’s game. Pretty sure they played more 3-on-3 against the Blues tonight than they did the previous three overtimes this season. Defending, knowing when to change and perhaps fighting fatigue during a long shift are going to be critical in this new format. “Clearly there are situations that, instead of changing and giving your team a 3-on-2 look in your own zone, it’s something that you have to fight and hang in there and even if they have the puck for another minute,” Jonathan Toews said. “You’ve got to stick it out and obviously not let them have an easy chance the way they had there, so obviously a mistake on my part there.”

 

 

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

Over the last 10 years, the words “ordinary” and "OK" have taken on a new meaning to Blackhawks players and fans alike. 

That’s “Coach Q” speak. 

A language where “ordinary” means awful and “just OK” means you were a non-factor. The good news is the last 10 seasons under Joel Quenneville have been anything but ordinary at the United Center. 

On Oct. 16th, 2008, the Blackhawks let go of fan-favorite Denis Savard after a 1-2-1 start to the season and named Quenneville as head coach in his place. Quenneville coached the Colorado Avalanche the previous season, but after another disappointing exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two mutually parted ways. He had originally planned to stay away from the bench for at least a season, but the Blackhawks triumvirate of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and then-GM Dale Tallon brought Quenneville on as a scout and then handed him the keys to the car shortly after.

“Dale’s obligation is to put together a winning team,” said McDonough at Quenneville’s introductory press conference. “At this point, Joel is the coach of that team.”

It was an emotional day at the Blackhawks offices. Savard – a Blackhawks legend on the ice and a coach the players held in high regard – was let go just as things started to turn upwards for the organization. The end of the 2007-2008 season saw the Blackhawks once again miss out on the playoffs, but the fans began to flock to the United Center once more, and the hype train around the young team built around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane was gaining steam.

“Moving forward, if we want to be a championship-caliber organization, we have to make tough decisions,” said Tallon. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” 

Savard was 65-66-16 in parts of three seasons as head coach of the Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Quenneville had compiled eight 95+ point seasons behind the bench for the Blues and Avalanche in his 11 years as a head coach.

“We felt the experience and the track record of Joel would be a balance that we needed with a young, inexperienced team,” said Tallon. "Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact."

The gamble paid off for the Blackhawks in a major way. Once Quenneville took over, the team got to the sought-after next level. 

They finished the 08-09 season with 104 points, third-most in the NHL’s Western Conference, had a franchise-record setting 9-game win streak in the month of December and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The “young and inexperienced” Blackhawks took the league by storm, dropping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs in six games before taking down the rival Canucks in the next round.

They ultimately lost out to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals, but the bar was now set for the organization. From then on, the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup contenders. 

Quenneville currently ranks 2nd in franchise history with 449 wins, trailing only Billy Reay’s 516. 

But most importantly, Quenneville’s 76 playoff wins rank at the top in the organization’s long and storied history, and those three Stanley Cups that he’s raised over his head were anything but “ordinary.”