Recap: Wild 2, Blackhawks 1

  

The Blackhawks started fast last night, but seemed to run out of gas in the latter two periods of the second game of a road/home back-to-back.

 

The Chicago Blackhawks squandered a hot start, dropping a 2–1 decision to the Minnesota Wild Wednesday night at the United Center. The United Center ice seemed to be tilted in the first period. The Hawk offense was buzzing, generating quality scoring chances throughout the frame. Chicago fired 14 shots on goal to Minnesota’s five.

The Blackhawks broke through 12 minutes into the game when Brent Seabrook chipped in a rebound from below the goal line for his second tally of the season. The goal came on the heels of the first healthy scratch of Seabrook’s career, certainly boosting the defenseman’s confidence and creating an early feel-good vibe in the game.

Despite the strong offensive showing from the Hawks—an astounding 39–11 shot attempts advantage—Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk stifled the Blackhawks the rest of the period, keeping the game within reach for the Wild.

Minnesota came out for the second period reinvigorated, creating scoring chances throughout the frame. Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg denied a net front shot from Wild forward Jason Zucker off a nice cross-ice pass from Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu. The Wild finally cashed in on a shot from the point by Jonas Brodin midway through the period. Brodin’s fourth goal of the season deflected off Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels, and Forsberg was unable to react in time to make the save. After 40 minutes, the United Center scoreboard read 1–1, with the shots favoring Chicago 23–15.

The third period proved to be pretty even in play, but the Wild got the breaks. Wild defenseman Ryan Suter sniped his sixth goal of the season on a perfect shot over Forsberg’s shoulder three minutes into the period to give the Wild a 2–1 lead. The Blackhawks were unable to convert on their chances the rest of the way, and the Wild walked away with a hard-fought, come from behind win in what initially appeared to be the Blackhawks’ night.

The loss drops the Blackhawks’ record to 21–16–6, a total of 48 points. Chicago entered the night in the second wild card position in the Western Conference standings. The Wild improved their season record to 23–17–4, reaching 50 points to leapfrog the Blackhawks in the standings.

Panik trade

Despite the action on the ice, perhaps the most significant event of the day happened off the ice. Prior to pregame warmups, the Blackhawks sent right winger Richard Panik and prospect Laurent Dauphin to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for winger Anthony Duclair and defenseman Adam Clendening.

Panik, 26, had a rollercoaster tenure with Chicago. The Slovakian winger was acquired from Toronto in exchange for Jeremy Morin during the 2015–16 season, and saw huge success last year flanking Jonathan Toews, registering 22 goals and 22 assists, smashing his previous career highs. Unfortunately for Panik and the Blackhawks, Panik could not repeat his performance on the ice this season after general manager Stan Bowman rewarded him with a two-year, $5.6 million contract over the summer. Panik has registered just six goals and 10 assists this season.

Dauphin, 22, was acquired from the Coyotes in June as part of the Niklas Hjalmarsson trade. Dauphin has spent the beginning of the season playing for the Rockford IceHogs. Dauphin will report to the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League.

Duclair, 22, is an intriguing addition. His combination of speed and skill provide the Blackhawks with a package they have lacked in recent years. Duclair has not lived up to expectations with the Coyotes the past season-plus after posting 20 goals in 2015–16. Reports surfaced earlier this month Duclair requested a trade.

Clendening, 25, is a familiar name to Blackhawks fans. The Blackhawks selected Clendening in the second round in the 2011 entry draft. Clendening showed signs of his potential while in Rockford, but could never crack the Blackhawks lineup. He was ultimately flipped to Vancouver in 2014 for Gustav Forsling. Clendening has since bounced around the league, including stops in Pittsburgh, Edmonton and New York before joining the Coyotes this season. Clendening will report to the IceHogs, but does provide another depth option on the blue line should the need arise later in the season.

The deal immediately appears to be a big win for the Blackhawks. Chicago rids themselves of Panik’s $2.8 million cap hit for the rest of this season and next season, while Duclair has a $1.2 million cap hit and is a restricted free agent at the end of this season. The cap savings give the Blackhawks additional flexibility should they choose to be active prior to the trade deadline late next month. The deal also furthers Bowman’s goal of making the team younger and faster.

Additionally, Duclair’s unique package of attributes could greatly benefit the Blackhawks on the ice. It is not difficult to envision Duclair causing havoc with his speed on a line with Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane, opening space for the duo to generate offensive chances. Of course, Duclair would also be able to contribute offensively as well, being a former 20 goal scorer. The trio could form a formidable line and finally restore a potent one-two punch for Chicago’s offense.

Another option, should Joel Quenneville not want to break up the Ryan Hartman-Schmaltz-Kane combination would be a third line of Duclair, Artem Anisimov (when healthy) and Alex DeBrincat. Duclair adds to Chicago’s forward depth, and depending on lines come playoff time, the bottom six could include names such as Anisimov, Hartman and Dylan Sikura, in addition to the slew of depth forwards the team already has in DeBrincat, Patrick Sharp, John Hayden, Tommy Wingels, David Kampf and Lance Bouma, giving the Blackhawks much-needed flexibility come playoff time.

Duclair is expected to make his Blackhawks debut when Chicago next takes the ice Friday, hosting Winnipeg in the second game of the Blackhawks’ six-game homestand. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Pluses:

— The offense showed more flashes of excellence in the first period.

— The Blackhawks looked very fast in the first period of dictated the pace of the game, dominating the first 20 minute, despite only scoring once.

— Nick Schmaltz extends his point streak to five games with an assist on Seabrook’s first period goal. Schmaltz now has 12 points (six goals and six assists) in his last eight games.

— Chicago put 35 shots on goal, which is encouraging. On most nights, 35 shots should be plenty to win the game. The offense is generating the chances they need to get results. Though they did not capitalize on their early chances, the chances were still there, indicating a trend in the right direction.

Minuses:

— The Blackhawks level of play decreased after the first period, allowing Minnesota to get back in,and later take over, the game.

— The Hawks squandered the game by not taking advantage of early opportunities.

— Forsberg made two minor mistakes in the whole game and they cost him. He slid slightly too far to the right when challenging Brodin’s game-tying goal and dropped to his knees slightly too soon on Suter’s game-winning goal.

Center Ice Forums Recap: Wild 2, Blackhawks 1

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 48 total)
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  • #3011
    Eric Andrews
    Moderator

    The Blackhawks started fast last night, but seemed to run out of gas in the latter two periods of the second game of a road/home back-to-back.  
    [To continue reading full article, click: Recap: Wild 2, Blackhawks 1]

    #3012
    Jeff Osborn
    Keymaster

    Welcome Eric, and nice job on the game recap.

    @PuckinHostile on Twitter

    #3014
    BK
    Participant

    Anyone else curious to what the hell Q was doing playing 7D on the back half of a back-to-back? We have Jurco up for a reason.

    Another terrible roster choice.

    #3018
    Under Qs moustache
    Participant

    My guess it was a “showcase” game to show who ever was scouting what the Hawks have in excess d-men for a possible move down the road.

    #3019
    John Jaeckel
    Keymaster

    Welcome, Eric. i think the Hawks lost their legs due to the back to back and travel, after the first period. The Wild saw it and turned it up a notch. Tough loss, but not terrible.

    Apparently, all goalies are Vikings

    #3021
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    Anyone else curious to what the hell Q was doing playing 7D on the back half of a back-to-back? We have Jurco up for a reason.

    Another terrible roster choice.

    You really think sitting Kempny or Rutta and skating Jurco would have meant they would have won???

    #3023
    BK
    Participant

    You really think sitting Kempny or Rutta and skating Jurco would have meant they would have won???

    Do you really think that the team slowing down as the game went along is just some random occurrence?

    First I would have sat Seabrook because the team won 8-2 without him (yeah yeah he scored but lets not act like it was a great play).

    Do I think it is the main reason they lost? No not at all. Not putting away their chances and a soft second goal are the main drivers but you have to be naive to not think that missing a forward and having random D partners did not impact it. You would figure that you would want to ice a lineup that gives your best chance to win but I guess winning 3 cups means that every move that coach makes is the right one…

    Q is a top 5 coach ever but he is terrible with lineups at times. Again remember “fresh legs”.

    #3032
    hawkeytalk
    Participant

    Thanks for the recap, Eric! Strange game last night, but I agree @BK, not putting away their chances really bit them in the behind – again. I haven’t looked at numbers but I’ve always felt like the Hawks fail to capitalize on a lot of chances relative to their zone and possession time, going back at least a few years.

    Other than that, there were a lot of positives to take from the game offensively last night, and it makes me excited to throw Duclair into the lineup – someone speedy, and is desperate for good hockey and a fresh start. I know Gate has declared this trade as a “Tomas Jurco 2.0,” but I think there’s a lot more potential to work with in Duclair than there is with Jurco. If he can fit into Q’s system nicely and find some chemistry in this lineup, they may have a lower-cost forward option for the next couple of years, if not more. Not to mention losing Panik’s $$, which was feeling more and more like a sunk cost.

    #3035
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    You didn’t answer the question. (again) Answering a direct question with a question says a lot.

    Where did I say anything about sitting or not sitting Seabrook? I’ve been advocating moving Seabrook and his ridiculous contract since last year.
    But sitting Seabrook–or kempny–for Jurco, a guy who hasn’t played with this team all year, would not have given them 2 more goals.

    You just questioned why play 7 D men and NOT play Jurco…but now you say that wasn’t the reason why they lost. ok.

    The “random D partner” wasn’t the reason they lost either. It’s not like those “random D partners” gave up 5 goals.

    “Fresh legs”? Jurco would have made a difference? C’mon….

    you’re not putting the blame where it should be, and blaming Q.

    #3040
    BK
    Participant

    You didn’t answer the question. (again) Answering a direct question with a question says a lot.

    Where did I say anything about sitting or not sitting Seabrook? I’ve been advocating moving Seabrook and his ridiculous contract since last year.
    But sitting Seabrook–or kempny–for Jurco, a guy who hasn’t played with this team all year, would not have given them 2 more goals.

    You just questioned why play 7 D men and NOT play Jurco…but now you say that wasn’t the reason why they lost. ok.

    The “random D partner” wasn’t the reason they lost either. It’s not like those “random D partners” gave up 5 goals.

    “Fresh legs”? Jurco would have made a difference? C’mon….

    you’re not putting the blame where it should be, and blaming Q.

    I don’t think you read my post.I have answered this question for you twice.

    “Do I think it is the main reason they lost? No not at all. Not putting away their chances and a soft second goal are the main drivers but you have to be naive to not think that missing a forward and having random D partners did not impact it. You would figure that you would want to ice a lineup that gives your best chance to win but I guess winning 3 cups means that every move that coach makes is the right one…”

    I don’t think you get the “fresh legs” reference.

    Small impacts I reference were all reasons why we lost. There is rarely 1 giant reason why a team loses a game (unless a goalie shits the bed).

    #3046
    John Jaeckel
    Keymaster

    You didn’t answer the question. (again) Answering a direct question with a question says a lot.

    Where did I say anything about sitting or not sitting Seabrook? I’ve been advocating moving Seabrook and his ridiculous contract since last year.
    But sitting Seabrook–or kempny–for Jurco, a guy who hasn’t played with this team all year, would not have given them 2 more goals.

    You just questioned why play 7 D men and NOT play Jurco…but now you say that wasn’t the reason why they lost. ok.

    The “random D partner” wasn’t the reason they lost either. It’s not like those “random D partners” gave up 5 goals.

    “Fresh legs”? Jurco would have made a difference? C’mon….

    you’re not putting the blame where it should be, and blaming Q.

    I don’t think you read my post.I have answered this question for you twice.

    “Do I think it is the main reason they lost? No not at all. Not putting away their chances and a soft second goal are the main drivers but you have to be naive to not think that missing a forward and having random D partners did not impact it. You would figure that you would want to ice a lineup that gives your best chance to win but I guess winning 3 cups means that every move that coach makes is the right one…”

    I don’t think you get the “fresh legs” reference.

    Small impacts I reference were all reasons why we lost. There is rarely 1 giant reason why a team loses a game (unless a goalie shits the bed).

    Guys, great convo back and forth. Remember to keep it civil please.

    Apparently, all goalies are Vikings

    #3048
    BK
    Participant

    Guys, great convo back and forth. Remember to keep it civil please.

    Friendly

    #3056
    Hank_Greenberg
    Participant

    Welcome, Eric. i think the Hawks lost their legs due to the back to back and travel, after the first period. The Wild saw it and turned it up a notch. Tough loss, but not terrible.

    I agree, JJ, but I also think the inability to dig down and get at least a point in an important game (and sadly, they are all going to be important from here on out) underscores why this team is on the bubble.

    #3061
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    BK, I read your post. You just didn’t answer what I asked.

    You said–“Anyone else curious to what the hell Q was doing playing 7D on the back half of a back-to-back? We have Jurco up for a reason.”

    And I said, do you think sitting Kempny and skating Jurco would have meant the Hawks would have won.

    You then said they “had a chance”. (changing your answer/story )
    Random D partners had NO IMPACT. It wasn’t bad defense that lost that game. it’s not like the D was out of position and they gave up 5 goals. So, the “random D partners” is irrelevant.

    Oh I understood the “fresh legs”….but that’s my point. JURCO would have played 7-8 minutes. he would have made NO IMPACT in that game.

    You’re blaming Q for that loss, because of “random D partners” and not skating Jurco. Which is ludicrous. They lost because this team, season long, has had a problem scoring goals. The fact is, they’re a bubble team.

    #3062
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    John Jaeckel wrote:

    Guys, great convo back and forth. Remember to keep it civil please.

    I’m always civil, John. 🙂

    #3070
    BK
    Participant

    BK, I read your post. You just didn’t answer what I asked.

    You said–“Anyone else curious to what the hell Q was doing playing 7D on the back half of a back-to-back? We have Jurco up for a reason.”

    And I said, do you think sitting Kempny and skating Jurco would have meant the Hawks would have won.

    You then said they “had a chance”. (changing your answer/story )
    Random D partners had NO IMPACT. It wasn’t bad defense that lost that game. it’s not like the D was out of position and they gave up 5 goals. So, the “random D partners” is irrelevant.

    Oh I understood the “fresh legs”….but that’s my point. JURCO would have played 7-8 minutes. he would have made NO IMPACT in that game.

    You’re blaming Q for that loss, because of “random D partners” and not skating Jurco. Which is ludicrous. They lost because this team, season long, has had a problem scoring goals. The fact is, they’re a bubble team.

    Try re-reading my post bud because clearly you didn’t understand what I said.

    Also, you don’t get the “fresh legs” comment if that is your response.

    If you think I am putting it all on Q you need to re-read my post or just now skip half of it.

    #3095
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    I absolutely read and understood your post. Hell, I even quoted it back to you verbatim.

    And, I certainly understood the “fresh legs” comment. But, “fresh legs” wasn’t the reason why they lost. Nor was the “random D pairings”. the Defense wasn’t the reason why they lost either.

    You WWEREN’T blaming Q? Hmm…well, let’s see….when you said, “What the hell Q was doing playing 7D”? What exactly were you driving at, other than to blame/question Q?

    #3099
    BK
    Participant

    You realize “fresh legs” is a reference to the Ducks series right? You clearly don’t.

    Do I think it is the main reason they lost? No not at all. Not putting away their chances and a soft second goal are the main drivers but you have to be naive to not think that missing a forward and having random D partners did not impact it. You would figure that you would want to ice a lineup that gives your best chance to win but I guess winning 3 cups means that every move that coach makes is the right one…”

    Read.

    #3116
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    I DO “read”. That’s why I said “random D pairings” had ZERO effect on the outcome of that game. If the D pairings were to be an issue they would have given up a lot more goals.

    I also “read” the “fresh legs” excuse–which I also shot down. Skating Jurco for 7 min would have been irrelevant.

    I also “read” where you said you were done. I guess that too was untrue.

    #3118
    BK
    Participant

    I DO “read”. That’s why I said “random D pairings” had ZERO effect on the outcome of that game. If the D pairings were to be an issue they would have given up a lot more goals.

    I also “read” the “fresh legs” excuse–which I also shot down. Skating Jurco for 7 min would have been irrelevant.

    I also “read” where you said you were done. I guess that too was untrue.

    Random d pairing throughout a game 100% have an impact. Changing D partners changes how a D needs to play and consistency is huge in the NHL. If it was not a big deal you would see D pairing change often in the NHL but you don’t. This is known thing and basic hockey knowledge.

    You still don’t get the “fresh legs comment” but that is ok. Fresh legs is not a reference to last game bud. Playing Junco 7-10 minutes 100% has an impact because double shifting Kane and playing him 27 minutes in the second half of a back-to-back clearly impacted his explosiveness in the 3rd. This is so obvious and most beat writers and analysts mentioned this in the post games (you were at the game so I get that you did not hear the post games). The team clearly did not have the jump that they normally have.

    I was going to be done but I figured why not keep going since you don’t seem to understand obvious hockey concepts.

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