Blackhawks

Luongo exorcises demons, shuts out Blackhawks

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Luongo exorcises demons, shuts out Blackhawks

Friday, Dec. 3, 2010
Updated 11:07 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Tomas Kopecky looked to the sky with a look of angst.

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo was sprawled on the ice when the Chicago Blackhawks winger fired what he hoped was a sure shot.

But it didnt go in. And for the Blackhawks on Friday, none of them would.

Luongo stopped all 32 shots he faced and Henrik Sedin scored as the Canucks beat the Blackhawks 3-0 at the United Center. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Blackhawks, who were also shut out for the first time this season.

The Blackhawks had some choice opportunities throughout this one. Kopecky, who had six shots on net, was stopped on several close calls, including a third-period attempt that wouldve tied the game 1-1 at the time.

Im really frustrated right now, especially with myself, he said. I missed that empty net and it would be a totally different game (if I scored). Then I took a penalty and they scored, and it changed the game. Weve got to bounce back, and I know we will. We have a good team, we just need to stay out of the box and bury our chances.

Luongo didnt make things easy for the Blackhawks. After being yanked midway through the teams Nov. 20 matchup in Vancouver, Luongo was big and unbeatable on Friday.

He flashed the leather a few times and made it look pretty. Obviously if the other teams going to win, theyre going to need him to make big stops and he did that tonight, Jonathan Toews said. Weve proven in the past its nothing we cant deal with. Hes one player and we just have to make it harder on him. When weve had success against this team, thats what weve done well. Obviously we didnt do that well tonight.

Vancouver, meanwhile, made the most of their few chances. Tanner Glass knocked home a rebound Marty Turco couldnt corral to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead midway through the second. Christian Ehrhoff scored just seconds into a Vancouver power play and Henrik Sedin added another late in the third.

Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks missed golden opportunities on their end.

Give (Luongo) credit, he played well. We had some high-quality chances in that game, he said. I liked our preparation and our approach; 5-on-5 was pretty tight both ways, but we did miss some high-quality opportunities.

Turco, getting his first start since Nov. 23 in San Jose, allowed three on 18 shots. Quenneville said Turco was fine.

Turco said when youre in a goalie battle like I was, you have to hold up your end of the bargain. Its disappointing losing anytime. But when you have a week off and a chance to put in some hard work, its even more disappointing.

Briefly

The Blackhawks observed a moment of silence in honor of Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo, who died Thursday night of complications from bladder cancer. He was 70 years old.

Jonathan Toews played in his 250th career game on Friday.

Fernando Pisani was out on Friday (upper body). He is still listed as day to day.

Jordan Hendry was a healthy scratch on Friday.

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

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

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

Quinn Hughes

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Torey Krug/Kris Letang

Fit for Blackhawks:

It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to restock their pipeline with some high-end defensemen. Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are on the way. But the former isn't a lock to be a full-time NHLer this season and the latter will continue playing in college for the 2018-19 season.

Hughes, who shined at Michigan and the IIHF World Championship with Team USA, would have the best chance of the three to crack the Blackhawks lineup first. The problem is, he likely won't be available at No. 8, so if Hughes is the guy they're locked in on, they'd need to trade up to grab him. 

If they did that, Hughes would give the Blackhawks a third blue line prospect they can get excited about. He's a left-handed shot, which evens out the balance in the system, and he would become a prime candidate to eventually replace Duncan Keith as the team's No. 1 defenseman.

NHL Draft Profile: F Oliver Wahlstrom

NHL Draft Profile: F Oliver Wahlstrom

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

Oliver Wahlstrom

Position: Right wing
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 205 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"Wahlstrom already has an NHL-caliber shot with a quick release and the ability to create space for himself and linemates. He's most known for his goal-scoring ability and elite shot, and can hit a one-timer as good or better than many professional players."

NHL player comparable: Phil Kessel

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks would probably prefer to take a defenseman at No. 8, but because four of them might go inside the Top 7, the best available player on the board is likely to be a forward. And there's a decent chance that could be Wahlstrom.

Wahlstrom would immediately become Chicago's top prospect, and a player that has the potential to slide into the top six when he reaches the NHL — whenever that may be.

He's committed to college for the 2018-19 season, so it's doubtful he would join the team until at least 2019-20, but Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley said in our draft preview edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast that it wouldn't deter them from picking him. 

And it shouldn't, because you don't want to waste a player of his caliber's entry-level years developing in the minors if he's not ready yet.

"I think the way we would evaluate it is, we project them, we try to get a timeline on when we think they might be NHL ready," Kelley said. "But we're also looking for where they are in their development curve and want their ceiling is. I think in some players, you have to be a little bit more patient for them to reach their ceiling. That doesn't necessarily mean that players can't exceed their development curve, I think we saw that with Alex DeBrincat last year."