Blackhawks

Missed chances doom Hawks; trail series 3-0

448153.jpg

Missed chances doom Hawks; trail series 3-0

Sunday, April 17, 2011
Posted: 9:42 p.m. Updated: 11:32 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Blackhawks finally got the energetic, productive start they were looking for against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. Its the finish that was missing. And that lack of determination late has them on the brink of elimination.

Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp scored but Mikael Samuelsson scored the game-winner midway through the third in Vancouvers 3-2 victory on Sunday night. It was a devastating loss for the Blackhawks, who now trail the Canucks 3-0 in their Western Conference quarterfinals series.
WATCH: Coach Q candid on Torres' hit

The Blackhawks had their early lead Keith scored just four seconds into their first power play and the raucous United Center crowd behind them. But when they started the third period tied 2-2 something happened. Or didnt happen. The Blackhawks had little punch in the final 20 minutes and Samuelsson provided the dagger about seven minutes into the third.

WATCH: Toews on pride

It comes down to us wanting it 5-on-5. There are a lot of our guys out there that could get hungrier and go out there and create something 5-on-5 and we didnt do it, captain Jonathan Toews said. Were going into the third tied up, and weve got to have our best period of the series to, pretty much, stay alive in this thing and we give up a soft goal like we did. Its pretty frustrating to see.

The Blackhawks had a few frustrations on Sunday. For Patrick Kane, it was his inability to score on any of his three shots on goal, including a juicy 5-on-3 opportunity in the first period.

I had my chances tonight. I shouldve buried a couple. I have to step up and make those shots and make the game a little bit different, said Kane. It seems when you dont score on those 5 on 3s you lose the game. I dont know if you lose momentum or what.

In some cases thats true, considering the Blackhawks have had some listless 5 on 3s this season. But on Sunday the Blackhawks 5-on-3 chances were very good. Roberto Luongo was just better. The Canucks goaltender stopped 30 shots, including back-to-back gems on Toews and Kane on two separate occasions.

No, this came down to finish. Or lack thereof. The Blackhawks have been bitten by these late letdowns a lot this season. Now theyre one loss away from truly being finished.

WATCH: Sharp says one game at a time

Im not evaluating players out there. The most important thing is at the end of the day it doesnt matter who scores or who gets the points. Its about winning games, Sharp said. Im not looking at whos scoring, whos playing well, who are the good players the bad players. I just know we lost the game.

Bolland improving

Dave Bolland didnt play on Sunday but the center, whos been sidelined by a concussion for more than a month, is hopeful that he can be ready for Game 4.

Bolland once again skated with his teammates on Sunday morning and said that hes progressing every day and hopes it means he can play against the Canucks soon.

Thats what Im hoping for, Bolland said about possibly playing Tuesday. Im progressing, Im going to therapy Im doing everything. I want to be part of this. You know how this series went last year. Its a fun series. Sitting around watching every day sucks, but theres progress.

WATCH: Campbell on an uphill climb

Bolland obviously would be in now if he had a knee, shoulder or some injury like that. But considering how delicate concussions are, and their long-term affects, Bolland realizes theres no choice but to wait.

Thats the way it is. If its my shoulder or anything else, itd be a different story, said Bolland. Its just making sure its healed. I dont want to take a little bump or hit and get these symptoms back because theyre a pain in the ass.

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

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

cam_ward_ap.jpg
AP

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center on Sunday:

1. Blackhawks on wrong side of history 

Earlier this year the Blackhawks made history by appearing in five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team in NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB history has ever done.

But Sunday they found themselves on the wrong side of it after allowing 33 shots on goal in the second period alone. It tied a franchise high for most given up in a single period — March 4, 1941 vs. Boston — and is the most an NHL team has allowed since 1997-98 when shots by period became an official stat.

"It's pretty rare to be seeing that much work in a period," said Cam Ward, who had a season-high 49 saves. "But oh man, I don't even know what to say to be honest. It's tough. We know that we need to be better especially in our home building, too. And play with some pride and passion. Unfortunately, it seemed like it was lacking at times tonight. The old cliche you lose as a team and overall as a team we weren't good enough tonight."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was a tough, tough period in all aspects. I don’t think we touched the puck at all and that was the part that was disturbing, against a good hockey team."

2. Alexandre Fortin is on the board

After thinking he scored his first career NHL goal in Columbus only to realize his shot went off Marcus Kruger's shin-pad, Fortin made up for it one night later and knows there wasn't any question about this one.

The 21-year-old undrafted forward, playing in his his fifth career game, sprung loose for a breakaway early in the first period and received a terrific stretch pass by Jan Rutta from his own goal line to Fortin, who slid it underneath Louis Domingue for his first in the big leagues. It's his second straight game appearing on the scoresheet after recording an assist against the Blue Jackets on Saturday.

"It's fun," Fortin said. "I think it would be a little bit more fun to get your first goal [while getting] two points for your team, but I think we ... just have to [turn the page to the] next chapter and just play and be ready for next game."

3. Brandon Saad's most noticeable game?

There weren't many positives to take away from this game, but Saad was certainly one of them. He had arguably his best game of the season, recording seven shot attempts (three on goal) with two of them hitting the post (one while the Blackhawks were shorthanded).

He was on the ice for 11 shot attempts for and five against at 5-on-5, which was by far the best on his team.

"He started OK and got way better," Quenneville said of Saad. "Had the puck way more, took it to the net a couple of times, shorthanded."

4. Special teams still a work in progress

The Blackhawks entered Sunday with the 29th-ranked power play and 25th-ranked penalty kill, and are still working to get out from the bottom of the league in both departments. In an effort to change up their fortunes with the man advantage, the Blackhawks split up their two units for more balance.

They had four power-play opportunities against Tampa Bay and cashed in on one of them, but it didn't matter as it was too little, too late in the third period — although they did become the first team to score a power-play goal against the Lightning this season (29 chances).

"Whether we're looking for balance or we're just looking for one to get hot, I think our power play has been ordinary so far," Quenneville said before the game. "We need it to be more of a threat."

Four more minor penalties were committed by the Blackhawks, giving them eight in the past two games. That's one way they can shore up the penalty kill, by cutting back on taking them.

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

hawks_bad_record.jpg
USA TODAY

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

Well, things could be going better for the Blackhawks during Sunday's game against the Lightning.

In the second period Sunday, the Blackhawks surrendered 33 shots on goal, tying a franchise record for most in a single period. The previous instance occurred March 4, 1941 against the Boston Bruins, a game that the Blackhawks lost 3-2.

While the Blackhawks tied a franchise record for shots on goal allowed, they actually set an NHL record at the same time. The NHL did not begin recording shots on goal as an "official" statistic until the 1997-98 season.

Consequentially, Sunday's 33 shots on goal allowed in the second period is the "official" record, even though the Blackhawks accomplished the "feat" nearly 80 years ago. Confusing, huh? 

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they also surrendered three goals and scored zero in addition to the plethora of shots on goal allowed. They recorded just six shots on goal in the second period themselves, trailing 4-1 by the time the third period started.