Hawks can't complete comeback, fall in shootout


Hawks can't complete comeback, fall in shootout

The Blackhawks just cant break the habit of slow starts, especially when the Phoenix Coyotes are in their building. But unlike the last time the Coyotes were here a few days ago, the Blackhawks got back in this one enough to get a point.

Jonathan Toews had two goals and an assist but Oliver Ekman-Larsson had the shootout winner in the Coyotes 4-3 victory at the United Center on Monday night. Patrick Kane also had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who have now gotten points in five of their last six games.

It was nearly a comeback victory for the Blackhawks, who were down 3-0 just 69 seconds into the second period. Corey Crawford was pulled for Ray Emery, who stopped 11 shots in regulation and overtime.

It was the second time Crawfords been pulled in as many games against the Coyotes.

The first goal was on a 2 on 1, clean pass, not his fault, coach Joel Quenneville said of Crawford. But certainly Ray gave us a spot to get us a point, which was good.

Getting one point wasnt bad. But Toews said the Blackhawks couldve made it two.

Some games lately we go down 2-3 goals in first or second period and it just seems it becomes a funk we cant get out of. As a team we did that tonight the second half of the game. We dictated most of the play, he said. We played better late but you get to that point where its 3-3, getting chances late in the third, we want to find a way to get that extra point.

The Blackhawks had a few prime chances to get that extra point. The biggest was a Marian Hossa attempt, but Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle was there to block it away.

We had a look there with Hossa in the third. That was a special look and good opportunity, Quenneville said. It was a good second period, good third, but a tough start to the game. You dont want to give them the lead. We were fortunate to get ourselves back into it.

Neither Toews nor Hossa could beat Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith in the shootout, while Ekman-Larssson and Radim Vrbata both connected on backhands for Phoenix.

I think we know our start couldve been better. They were on top of us a lot in the first period, defenseman Duncan Keith said. As the game went on we were able to establish more of a forecheck and get pucks behind them and get our game going and get more control of our play.

The Blackhawks found a way to get a point. It didnt look like theyd even have a chance at to start the second period. They finished strong. But that needs to be present from the start.

We can blame this loss on our first-period performance but at the same time we played some good hockey in the second and third, Toews said. We have to remind ourselves if we bring that for 60 minutes, especially at home, were going to be a tough team to beat. Its just about bringing that complete game right now. Theres not much more to say.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 189 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Kotkaniemi has been a top-six forward for his league team in Finland all season and had a very solid U18 season relative to his historical peers in the league. He has very good hands that are high-end, if not flashing elite. He can make very skilled plays off an entry, but what impresses me is how well he can control the puck and keep plays alive."

NHL player comparable:

Fit for Blackhawks:

There isn't a player that has climbed the rankings in such a short amount of time than Kotkaniemi, who was initially projected to go outside the top 10 but could go as high as No. 3 overall. It's likely because there aren't many high-end centers in this draft, and he's the top one.

If Kotkaniemi happens to slip to No. 8, it may be hard for the Blackhawks to pass up on him. He's versatile, too, which is always a bonus, especially when playing under Joel Quenneville. But if they view him as a center, here's how the Blackhawks would look down the middle: Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Kotkaniemi and Artem Anisimov.

Um, yeah. That'll work.