Blackhawks

Tomas Fleischmann, Dale Weise bring chemistry to Blackhawks

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Tomas Fleischmann, Dale Weise bring chemistry to Blackhawks

Tomas Fleischmann wasn’t surprised when he was traded. With the Montreal Canadiens going nowhere this season, several players knew they were on their way out.

But heading to Chicago? That he didn’t foresee.

“I didn’t expect Chicago, because they took Laddy a couple days ago, so I didn’t really think it would happen here,” said Fleischmann, referring to the Blackhawks trading for Andrew Ladd on Thursday. “When I heard it, I was excited. Playing on a team with a good chance to win a Cup is always fun.”

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Dale Weise had the same reaction.

“When Marc [Bergevin, the Canadiens general manager] gave me the call last night I was absolutely blown away,” said Weise via conference call on Saturday evening. “I was thinking earlier in the day when Andrew got moved there, that cut Chicago off as a possibility. And then they come around and make the deal anyway, so that was pretty crazy.”

Weise and Fleischmann had pretty good individual seasons for a Canadiens team that started well, then faded. They also had great chemistry when they played together early in the season. Now the two forwards hope to be the addition the Blackhawks need to claim their fourth Stanley Cup in the past seven seasons.

Fleischmann is already in Chicago and is expected to play on the Blackhawks’ third line in Sunday’s game against the Washington Capitals. Weise, meanwhile, is in a holding pattern until immigration paperwork is complete. When Weise does get here, coach Joel Quenneville said he would probably put him with Fleischmann, at least to start – “we’re looking forward to getting them together, to see how that works,” Quenneville said. It sounds like the combination already has: Weise said he and Fleischmann clicked immediately when they were put together in Montreal to start the season.

[MORE: Trade benefits Teuvo Teravainen, Blackhawks' third and fourth lines]

“We played the first 25 games together; we were put together in camp on the second day and took off. The chemistry was unbelievable from the start with him,” Weise said. “He has a ton of skill, a ton of vision. If we play together again that would be amazing.”

Fleischmann figures it’ll take about a week to get used to the Blackhawks’ system. Weise will catch up as soon as he gets here. Both players figured they would be shipped out of Montreal as the trade deadline approached; neither thought they would end up with Chicago. But they did, and they’re ready to take advantage of a great chance.

“You look at the roster, adding Tomas, adding Andrew Ladd, the roster looks dangerous right now,” Weise said. “For me to get a chance to play on a contender and go deep in the playoffs, on an individual standpoint, it’s huge for me and it’s only going to benefit me.”

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

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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

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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.