Recap: Canadiens down Blackhawks 3-2


The Blackhawks entered action tonight hoping to break a 6-game winless streak on home ice against the Montreal Canadiens.

In the pre-game intro, NBCSN Chicago on-air men, Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk, heralded the return of Connor Murphy to the lineup as being the potential cure for what ails the Hawks. Without question, the Hawks’ problems begin on the blueline. However, in years past, the notion that a player of Murphy’s stature might be “the answer” would have been a bit silly. This year, in the era of Brandon Manning, Brandon Davidson, and Erik Gustafsson as a “top 4” defenseman, Murphy’s return seems like a breath of fresh air.

Lines and pairings for the Hawks:

Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsDavid Kampf
Dominik KahunArtem AnisimovPatrick Kane
Alex DeBrincatDylan StromeAlexandre Fortin
Andreas MartinsenMarcus KrugerJohn Hayden
Duncan KeithHenri Jokiharju
Erik GustafssonConnor Murphy
Brandon ManningBrent Seabrook

The goalies were, as you’d expect, Carey Price for the Canadiens and Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks.


The Hawks got the first power play at 3:37 on a Tomas Tatar hooking penalty. The Hawks first rush was successful in penetrating and setting up in the offensive zone, resulting in a couple of shots. But after that, just a minute and a half of the mediocrity Hawk fans have become accustomed to.

Then, at 5:55, Max Domi beat Marcus Kruger on a defensive zone draw, then later getting to the front of the net, where he powered a rebound past Crawford. 1-0 Habs.

Less than two minutes later, at 7:36, with no Hawks challenging him at the point, Shea Weber blasted one of his patented cannon shots past Crawford. 2-0 Montreal.

The only Hawk line that seemed to have any jump early on was Kahun-Anisimov-Kane, who generated a couple of nice chances at about 10:30.

Tatar took another minor at 12:41. The Hawks won the offensive zone draw and generated one nice chance. But the Habs killed off the rest.

Chicago got one more man-advantage at 18:03 on a Shea Weber delay call. The Hawks seemed to have the right group out with Brent Seabrook, John Hayden, Jonathan Toews, Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Good movement and puck retrieval, lots of net traffic, and sure enough, Kane beat Price to make it 2-1 Montreal at 19:01, which was how the period would conclude.

Shots were 10-7 for Chicago, although the Hawks had 3 power plays and the Habs had none.


The pace opened up a bit in the early going of this period, with both teams getting a few nice chances. In particular, Tatar got set up nicely in close by Brendan Gallagher, only to ring the puck off the post.

After that the game got a little chippy as well with various Hawks and Canadiens going at each other around the nets and along the wall.

Montreal seemed to get the better of the action in the middle of the period, with some fairly sustained offensive zone pressure and chances, until Kane blasted a laser one-timer from the left circle past Price, off a brilliant cross-ice pass from Kahun, making it 2-2 at 12;55.

Kruger took the Hawks’ first penalty of the night at 13:07, but the Hawks did an effective job killing it off to keep the score tied. The kill and the Kane goal just prior seemed to ignite the Hawks in the latter minutes of the second.

Hayden took a roughing penalty at 18:32, seemingly in retaliation for a Nic DesLauriers hit on Toews earlier in the game. The period ended with :32 left on the Canadien power play, tied at two goals a piece. Shots were 12-9 Chicago in the period.


The Hawks opened the third by killing off the remainder of the Canadiens penalty.

A flurry of Chicago offense was punctuated by Tatar’s third penalty of the night at 1:58, a cross check on DeBrincat at the Montreal goal mouth. The Hawks got some pressure, highlighted by a nifty stickhandling move by Dylan Strome. While Strome failed to finish the chance, at the end of the power play, he drew a 4 minute high stick on Jordie Benn at 3:58.

The Hawks’ best pressure on that power play came from the same unit that clicked earlier in the night: Kane, Toews, DeBrincat, Hayden and Seabrook. However, the Hawks failed to convert 6 consecutive minutes of man-advantage.

Inevitably, the Habs got a power play on a Brandon Saad interference call at 9:29. And it was the Habs turn to get a consecutive call when Murphy clipped Max Domi with a high stick at 10:36, giving the Habs a 5-on-3 for 55 seconds. The kill was frenzied but the Hawks got back to 5-on-4 with no damage.

No sooner had the Hawks killed off the second call when Murphy was tripped at 12:49, putting the Hawks back on the power play. That penalty was killed when Gallagher caught Gustafsson with a stick, putting the Hawks back on the power play yet again at 15;12. The ensuring power play was basically a shooting gallery for Chicago versus a tired Montreal team.

But the Canadiens, for all their transgressions, were able to kill that penalty off, and after play returned to evens, the Canadiens mounted some consistent pressure and beat Crawford on a Jeff Petry point shot at 18:43. 3-2 Canadiens.

Crawford as was pulled in the last minute to no avail.

Your final score: 3-2 Montreal. 7 straight Chicago losses in what is shaping up as the Hawks’ worst season in over a decade.

The Good

Patrick Kane remains a dynamic and dominant offensive force. I thought Seabrook had a nice game in all situations. Hayden was often noticeable and for all the right reasons.

The Bad

Kruger had a rough night all the way around.

Duncan Keith? Paging Duncan keith.

The Ugly

The Hawks must learn to start games better: more aware and more engaged. The team played pretty well over the latter 50 minutes of the game (for a change).

Although the power play was decent to good at times tonight, the inability to convert 5 third period chances killed Chicago.

All I have on this one. Please comment below.

Center Ice Forums Recap: Canadiens down Blackhawks 3-2.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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    John Jaeckel

    The Blackhawks entered action tonight hoping to break a 6-game winless streak on home ice against the Montreal Canadiens. In the pre-game intro, NBCSN
    [To continue reading full article, click here: Recap: Canadiens down Blackhawks 3-2.]

    Apparently, all goalies are Vikings

    Alan Parsons

    Murphy had an outstanding game.  The play was almost always headed North when he was on the ice.  He looked really good on both ends of the ice.  Glad to see him back and healthy.  He made Gustafsson look good.

    Under Qs moustache

    the “One Goal” theme has changed to “One Win”. You’d have to go back to 2006 or before to see this lack of engagement. I’m expecting the ghost of Pully to show up on the bench anytime now. The first 10 minute no show was common when the Hawks were good. They could play 30 or 40 minutes and still win most of the time. Not now, and probably not for a long time. Q and Jeremy can’t get this group to play 60 minutes, where is the captain? Game after game this group doesn’t wake up til they are down 2 or 3 goals. They now own the cellar of the whole league, and for good reason. Goaltending is the least of their issues.

    Another 5’10” 170 lb puck moving defenseman is what they need. Bowman’s all Smurf review is still playing to a full house but not for much longer. Plenty of good tickets will be available for the games after Christmas. Who will be the first to be traded before the end of this year?

    This dumpster fire burns brighter and brighter in this Christmas season. Playoffs? HoHoHo!

    Eric Neuman

    If we retained 33 percent of the contract could we still get a third round pick for Anisimov?…………….


    The Hawks don’t have a lot of smurfs… And the ones that were on the ice played well. Montreal is a smaller team.

    DeBrincat had a nice game though didnt get on the scoreboard. Kahun made an incredible pass to Kane. Kane railed in two goals. Jokiharju looks good when not saddled next to Manning who is pretty atrocious.

    They could definitely use another puck moving defenseman. Maybe two with how Keith had been. Manning, Rutta and Seabrook have been the biggest problem. I dont think Gus scores or skates well enough to cowboy in his own zone like he does but he is probably just a place holder for Beaudin anyway.

    Really not a bad game. Didn’t get a result but trending in a better direction. Hopefully they don’t get beat too bad this week. Some tough games coming up.

    And honestly, if they can figure out how to get a second first round pick this year and weasel one or two young forwards with upside over they will be in a good spot for two years down the line which is the only way they should think at this point.

    Would love to see them sign Karlsson and move Seabs but I think that is a little delusional.


    Call me a dick, but Murphy seems like Danny Richmond 2.0

    Tries hard but is usually overmatched physically.

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