Chicago Blackhawks

Bruised and battered: Blackhawks blow big lead

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Bruised and battered: Blackhawks blow big lead

Friday, Feb. 11, 2011
Posted 10:23 p.m. Updated 11:26 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

DALLAS - Jonathan Toews anger and frustration was palpable. And at this juncture, its hard to blame him.

WATCH: Toews reacts after loss

The Chicago Blackhawks were setting themselves up for a big victory against the Dallas Stars in Marty Turcos return to where it all began. They got out to a 3-0 lead by doing everything right.

And then it started to turn. Again.

The momentum, the lead and eventually the game went the other way. And while the Blackhawks held on to get one point, it seems a tough pill to swallow considering early they looked destined for two.

Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook scored in regulation, but the Stars started coming back in the second period and the Blackhawks couldnt wrestle control away again in a 4-3 shootout loss on Friday night. It was a bitter end to a great start, and Toews was frustrated at another squandered chance.

I dont have anything new to say to you guys, said Toews, who had two assists. Every time we lose its the same thing that happens. We dont change it. We have a good first period. Whether we come out with a lead or not in the first, we had good effort, getting pucks in there and skating.

"For some reason it goes away in the second period. Thats what you see there is us giving the other team a chance to come back and they make no mistakes. I dont understand whats going on.

Making things worse, the Blackhawks lost three forwards in the second period. Viktor Stalberg, Fernando Pisani and Ryan Johnson are all day-to-day with upper body injuries. Coach Joel Quenneville said theyll be re-evaluated on Saturday.

Pisani was hit by Stars defenseman Mark Fistric along the boards. Pisani fell back, the back of his head hitting the Stars bench railing. He got up after being down a few moments and skated off with some assistance.

The Blackhawks got a power play out of that hit, but yielded nothing from it.

We can go back and work our balls off on that power play, really show them up for hurting one of our players and we dont, Toews said. We were satisfied. It was a terrible power play and one thing led to another and they find a way to come back.

Instead, the Blackhawks, down three forwards, at least found a way to force overtime and earn a point.

Its one of those things where have a great first again and in the second we let them back in, said Seabrook, who had another potential goal ruled no goal on the ice and a review didnt reverse it. We dont finish them. Thats been the trouble weve had all year and it hurt us tonight.

READ: Hawks not trading Seabrook

Turco stopped 32 of 35 in regulation before all three of the Stars shootout attempts got past him.

You get beat, you get beat, and its tougher to swallow this time, Turco said. But not to get two points and the win was pretty disappointing.
Marty Turco heads off the ice in Dallas after the giving up goals to all three Stars shooters - all former teammates- in the shootout. (AP)
We have a big hill to climb, period, Turco said. The more often we play 60 minutes and play our game well be better off. If we can just get on a roll but itll take successive games and workmanlike effort to accomplish that.

The Blackhawks will have to regroup fast. Quenneville was looking at the positive out of this one: the Blackhawks getting a point when so many third-period slides have resulted in none. But time is running out, and the Blackhawks need more 60-minute outings and more two-point decisions.

We have to play the same way we do in the first throughout the game, Seabrook said. We feel we have a good game plan going into it, and its working. We just dont continue to play the rest of the game.

No goal

Seabrook was robbed on his 5-on-3 goal attempt by Kari Lehtonens glove save in the first period. The play went under review, and some replays showed that the glove, with the puck somewhere in it, crossed the goal line. But officials let the no-goal ruling stand.

In or out of the net, thats a judgment call, Seabrook said. If Im a ref on the ice Im probably calling it no goal as I see it.

Briefly

Marian Hossa did not play on Friday night. Quenneville said hes hopeful that the right wing can play Saturday night in Phoenix.

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

Brandon Saad back in veteran-like form for Blackhawks

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USA TODAY

Brandon Saad back in veteran-like form for Blackhawks

Brandon Saad seems like more of an NHL veteran than he is. From his size to his composed style of play to what he’s already accomplished at this level, Saad gives off that vibe that he’s been around much longer than he actually has. Even his teammates forget that.

“You think he may be 27, 28 years old. He’s only 24 years old. He’s still a young kid,” Patrick Kane said. “Guys like [Ryan] Hartman and [Vinnie] Hinostroza are only 23 so he’s not much older than them, even though he might seem it. He’s got a great future.”

Saad’s future is once again being played out in Chicago and he couldn’t feel better about returning. Back in a familiar city and a familiar spot on the ice – alongside Jonathan Toews – Saad is ready to reignite the top line with Toews and Richard Panik. Outside of some scrimmages the line hasn’t gotten much of a chance to see where things are yet – their first preseason game was against Columbus on Saturday. But Saad said things are coming together.

“It was still [Toews’] first game back and my first time with him but we’re pretty familiar with each other. I don’t think it’ll take long at all,” he said following the team’s first practice at Notre Dame on Sunday. “Any time you come from a five-month summer into the season your timing’s always a little off, and then with a new player going back to a familiar player, I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Toews recognized Saad’s desire to be a big part of this team when the left wing was a rookie. That drive hasn’t diminished.

“His rookie year I kept saying you could see that intangible quality in him, that he wanted to get better every single night,” Toews said. “You see players with raw, physical talent and ability but don’t take it upon themselves to be one of the guys every single night. Saader was showing that right away and you could tell he was just going to get better and better.”

The powerful part of Saad’s game the Blackhawks missed the most was evident in his first preseason contest back with him, against Detroit on Thursday. The Red Wings didn’t have their top squad but Saad was nevertheless dominant, recording a hat trick in which all three goals were within a few feet of the net. The top line has had that element here and there the past two seasons but no doubt felt Saad’s absence.

“He’s a high-end player or potential player that should develop into a regular scorer and who knows what he could do,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I still think there’s room where maybe he could go to a better level as far as production goes, because he gets so many looks around the net with his quickness and the way he protects the puck and the way he can shoot it.”

Saad reaching another level. Again, you see what he’s done so far and you forget that he’s only 24. He still has a lot of time – and potential – ahead of him.

“He’s stepping in here knowing he’ll be one of those guys heavily keyed upon for us,” Toews said. “And he’s ready for that and excited for it.”

Five Things from Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Shots and slashes

Five Things from Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Shots and slashes

It’s preseason: you don’t need a lot of build-up. Let’s just delve right in, shall we?

1. Lots of shots, but…

The same Joonas Korpisalo that the Blackhawks’ youngsters scored five goals against on Tuesday was on top of his game on Saturday. The Blackhawks peppered him with 54 shots but only two got through, and the second was a 6-on-4 power-play goal in the final two minutes.

“I thought we could have gotten a little more traffic in front of him," Nick Schmaltz said. "I thought we were playing along the outside. I mean we had some great looks. He made some big saves. Some nights you get the bounces and some nights you don’t.”

2. Bérubé’s Blackhawks debut.

Jean-François Bérubé had a tough sequence early in the second period, when he gave up two goals in a 28-second span. This was against a Columbus team that didn’t send many of their top players. He also didn’t see a ton of action in this one; the Blue Jackets fired just 21 shots his way.

3. Growing pains.

Alex DeBrincat had his up and down moments on Saturday night. His turnover led to Columbus’ first goal, he took a slashing penalty and he fought the puck quite a bit. You still saw glimpses of that skill, though, especially with his quick release. Hey, he’s a 19-year-old guy getting his first taste of the NHL. Nights like this are going to happen.

“We all make mistakes,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “You gotta be safe in certain areas and you learn from that.”

4. Slash-o-meter.

Four more were called on Saturday night. Don’t be surprised if that number starts dwindling sooner rather than later, though, because the edict has apparently changed already. Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported earlier on Saturday that the league told officials to ease up on slashing and faceoff violations. But we all figure that’s going to happen once the regular season begins anyway, right?

5. Notre Dame bound.

The destination is familiar but the Blackhawks threw it into their second week of camp this season. It’ll be bonding time for the Blackhawks, who will send a smaller group for several practices there this week. Quenneville figures it’ll be a productive time. “We’ll get some bonding in, play golf together, have a nice outing, couple of road games and a nice campus.”