Hawks collapse after three late Avalanche goals


Hawks collapse after three late Avalanche goals

Monday, Dec. 13, 2010
Posted 9:41 PM Updated 11:55 PM

By Tracey Myers

DENVER The frustration in the Chicago Blackhawks locker room was palpable. The mistake-riddled game they had just finished left their coach and their captain just about at a loss for words.

The words they did use, however, were succinct and very accurate.

Devastating, humiliating, embarrassing, I dont know what word you want to use but its not a good one, Jonathan Toews said after the Blackhawks sloppy 7-5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. I dont know what to say right now.

There wasnt much to say, really. The Blackhawks were defensively shoddy early and Marty Turco couldnt stop the bleeding he was pulled 40 seconds into the second, allowing four goals on 10 shots. And even Corey Crawfords attempts to help the team steal two undeserved points went awry, as the Blackhawks gave up three Avalanche goals, including an empty-netter, in the final 2:24 of regulation.

There are certainly some games that got away from you that make you feel like you got kicked in the guts, and that was definitely one of them, coach Joel Quenneville said. We werent sharp all night. We were fortunate to have a lead with three or four minutes to go but it caught up to us in the end.

Troy Brouwers second goal of the night, a deflection of a Duncan Keith shot, put the Blackhawks up 5-4 with 8:17 remaining. Jeremy Morin, Bryan Bickell and Jack Skille also scored for the Blackhawks. But as Quenneville said afterward, the forwards werent the problem.

Turcos first start since Dec. 3 was a short one. After he allowed Matt Duchenes goal 40 seconds into the second, the Avs fourth of the night, his evening was over. Teammates didnt put a lot of the brunt on Turco.

I feel bad for Marty, Brian Campbell said. It seems like hes played good but we get in there and we give up breakaways and theres only so many 2 on 1s he can stop. I think every one of us owes him an apology.

Still, Crawford faced his share of shots off messy play, too, and he stopped all 10 he saw through the second. But with time dwindling in regulation, the Avalanche turned up the heat and the offense. Tomas Fleischmanns shot from inside the blue line tied the game with 2:24 remaining, and Duchene scored from in front exactly one minute later to put the Avs up 6-5.

Ryan OReilly added an empty-netter to complete the Blackhawks forgettable night.

Craw was fine there. He gave us a chance at the end, Quenneville said. With three or four minutes (left) we have a lead. Whether you deserve it or not you have to get something out of the game. Thats why it leaves such a bitter taste.

Crawford said the loss was brutal.

I dont think anyone wants to lose like that, he said. We had all the momentum, (Brouwer) scored a good one, a gritty one in front there to go up top, and we just fell apart in the last two minutes there.

Devastating, humiliating, embarrassing. The Blackhawks will want to forget this one quick.

It doesnt matter who we play. Our level of satisfaction gets up there for no reason in particular. I dont understand it. Thats what ticks me off so much, Toews said. We know what we have to do as a team to go out there and find a way to win with five minutes left, and we do the things we know are going to set us up to fail. Were going to come in here and act all ticked off, but whats that going to do? The games over and we didnt get two points.
Morins status

Morin has helped the Blackhawks during this latest injury rash. But if some of the teams injured players get back soon, general manager Stan Bowman said the team will loan Morin to the U.S. team for World Juniors later this month in Buffalo.

If hes in our lineup here, were not going to take him out of the NHL to put him in World Juniors, Bowman said. But the way things are transpiring hed be going to Rockford if guys are healthy. If thats the case, well release him (for the tournament).

The World Junior tournament begins Dec. 26 but there is training camp prior to it. Morin was on last years gold medal-winning team, so hed be fine if he wasnt there immediately for camp.

Im sure theyd love to have him there from day one. But he was on the team last year, so theyre familiar with him and the coaches are comfortable with him in that way, Bowman said. He could probably miss a little bit of it.
Skating again
Marian Hossa and Fernando Pisani, who are sidelined with lower- and upper-body injuries, respectively, skated in Chicago on Monday, Quenneville said following the loss. He said Patrick Kane (left ankle) could be skating maybe Wednesday.

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

Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery dies in early morning drowning

Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery dies in early morning drowning

Former Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery was identified as the victim in an early morning drowning on Sunday at the Hamilton Harbour, Hamilton Police confirmed. He was 35.

According to the Hamilton Spectator, Emery and his friends jumped in the water around 6:30 a.m., but Emery never resurfaced. His body was recovered later in the afternoon.

Emery played in the NHL for 11 seasons, two of which came with the Blackhawks from 2011-13, where he served as a backup goaltender to Corey Crawford.

In 2013, he teammated up with Crawford to win the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender(s) with the fewest goals against in a single season, before going on to capture his first Stanley Cup. During that season, Emery went 17-1-0 with a 1.94 goals against average, .922 save percentage and three shutouts.

The Blackhawks issued this statement following the confirmation:

The Chicago Blackhawks organization was deeply saddened to hear of Ray Emery’s passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. The Blackhawks will fondly remember Ray as a fierce competitor, a good teammate and a Stanley Cup champion.

The hockey community took to Twitter to offer their condolences when news began to spread:

Thank you, Marian Hossa: An ode to one of the best Blackhawks ever

Thank you, Marian Hossa: An ode to one of the best Blackhawks ever

When the Blackhawks drafted Jonathan Toews third overall in 2006 and Patrick Kane with the No. 1 pick the following year, it was a sign that the dark skies were clearing in Chicago. Things really started to change when Rocky Wirtz took over as chairman following the death of his father Bill in September of 2007, and one of the first decisions he made was to televise all 82 games.

The fans were coming back.

For only the second time in 11 years, the Blackhawks finished above .500 in 2007-08 but missed the playoffs by three points, a season in which Kane won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

The following year Joel Quenneville took over as head coach after only three games to provide some coaching experience behind the bench for a young team on the rise. It resulted in a 104-point season and ended in a Conference Finals berth at the hands of the arch-rival Detroit Red Wings in five games.

The Blackhawks were ready to make that step into championship contenders. They just needed someone to put them over the edge.

Enter Marian Hossa.

On July 1 of 2009, he committed to the Blackhawks for 12 years worth $62.8 million. He bought into the long-term vision and wanted to be a part of something special for many years to come.

Was he ever.

In his first game as a member of the Blackhawks, Hossa scored two goals in a 7-2 road victory against San Jose after missing the first month and a half of the season with a shoulder injury. It was at that moment where you saw what kind of powerhouse the Blackhawks could be and would become with a full lineup and future Hall of Fame winger added to a mixture of franchise-changing players scratching the surface.

Fast forward to Game 5 of the 2010 quarterfinals. You know how it goes. Series is tied 2-2. The Blackhawks trail 4-3 late in the third period. Extra attacker is on. How many times have we seen this? The Blackhawks were surely going to find a way to tie it up ... and then Hossa is sent to the box with 1:03 to play in regulation. A five-minute major boarding penalty.


Not so fast. 

Patrick Kane went on to score arguably the biggest goal in Blackhawks history, a shorthanded one that evened it up with 13.6 seconds to go. United Center is up for grabs. But there are still four minutes left to kill off on the penalty once overtime starts, which Hossa once called "the longest four minutes of my life." 

In a span of nine seconds following the penalty kill, Hossa jumped on the ice from the box, darted straight for the net and buried home what was the second-biggest goal in franchise history to put the Blackhawks up 3-2 in the series. Two nights later Hossa assisted on three goals and the Blackhawks eliminated the Nashville Predators in their barn.

The rest is history.

Who knows if the Blackhawks rally to win that series if they don't tie it up or win it in overtime. Who knows if they break through the next year. Who knows if that core group even remains together. The course of the franchise could've changed that night.

Instead, Hossa was handed the Stanley Cup for the first time in his career on June 9, 2010 from Jonathan Toews, who couldn't give it to him fast enough after he came up on the losing end in consecutive appearances with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and 2009.

Hossa would add two more titles to his résumé with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015, which almost certainly locked up his legacy as one of the all-time greats and his eventual next stop: The Hockey Hall of Fame. The wait was worth it.

"I was hoping to get one coming to Chicago and now I’ve got three," Hossa said following the 2015 Stanley Cup win. "What a feeling." 

The Blackhawks don't win three Stanley Cups without Hossa, who will go down as arguably the greatest free-agent signing in Chicago sports history.

On behalf of the city of Chicago: Thank you, 81.