'Terrible call' sends Hawks to heartbreaking OT loss

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'Terrible call' sends Hawks to heartbreaking OT loss

Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 12:50 a.m.

VANCOUVER The Blackhawks were frustrated at an overtime scoring opportunity, one they thought deserved a call and a penalty shot for Viktor Stalberg.

The Blackhawks, however, had plenty of other chances against the Vancouver Canucks. But be it a power play that couldnt connect or Cory Schneiders great game, they just couldnt get one more.

Stalberg scored early in the third period but Daniel Sedin had the winner with 1:23 remaining in overtime as the Blackhawks dropped a 3-2 decision to Vancouver. The Blackhawks remain in sixth place in the Western Conference and third in the Central Division.

On a night when Jonathan Toews (left arm) and Patrick Sharp (broken wrist) returned, it was another round of great Chicago-Vancouver hockey. Goaltending was strong for both teams. Corey Crawford stopped 30 of 33 shots but Schneider got the better of this one, stopping 37 of 39, some in spectacular fashion.

But in the end, Stalberg was incensed. He broke away in overtime and was slashed by Dan Hamhuis, but no call was made.

Thats a terrible call, Stalberg said. They look at that theyre going to see thats a penalty. He slashed my hand so I cant make the move I want to. Its a pretty clear definition of a penalty shot. Terrible call.

Coach Joel Quenneville said I thought it shouldve been a penalty shot. But we still have to win the game.

Yep, they do. And the Blackhawks had their chances to do that. They outplayed the Canucks in the second period, outshooting them, 15-6. But Schneider was stalwart. His best save came against former Canuck Brendan Morrison. The newest Blackhawks center got the puck while Schneider was out of the net, but when he took his shot Schneider got back to deflect it off his glove.

Yeah, hats off to him, Morrison said of Schneider. I took my time with it, shot it hard where I wanted to, but I didnt get it high enough. Desperation save.

Stalbergs goal gave the Blackhawks the 2-1 lead early in the third period. But Stalbergs turnover led to Cody Hodgsons tying goal a few minutes later. The Blackhawks got a late power play they had two, the Canucks had zero but couldnt capitalize.

We made a couple little mistakes, said Toews, who added he felt good in his first game back. We had a chance to finish that game. We didnt distance ourselves on the power play or on 5 on 5. We had a ton of odd-man rushes in the second period. Give the goaltender credit. He played well.

The Blackhawks played well enough to win. They had their opportunities. Schneider just stopped most of them.

Its one of those games where we liked the way we played, Quenneville said. It was a tough ending, but we did some good things to start the trip.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Blackhawks Convention Opening Ceremonies

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Blackhawks Convention Opening Ceremonies

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, we're live at the 2017 Blackhawks Convention. 

Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp join David Kaplan and Pat Boyle to talk about returning to Chicago. 

Later Boyle, CSN Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers, Chris Kuc and Sam Panayotovich discuss the huge roster changes this offseason. 

Listen to the STL Pod below. 

Don Granato thrilled to be working with 'calm' Q again

Don Granato thrilled to be working with 'calm' Q again

For Don Granato, working with coach Joel Quenneville again was a chance he couldn’t refuse. Granato was a young coach with the Worcester IceCats, the St. Louis affiliate when Quenneville was the Blues’ head coach, and Granato learned plenty.

“The presence,” Granato said of Quenneville. “He has a really good presence, a calming influence.”

Wait. Quenneville calm?

“Without a doubt, calming,” Granato said. “It was almost like, ‘Hey, we’re in it together.’ And again, that’s the calm behind the scenes. He helps players and in that case he helped me perform as well as I could at that point. I think he’s good at that, because he’s a people person. That’s what I remember most. It’s more of a feel.”

Granato, who general manager Stan Bowman called “a great communicator,” is happy to be back in the Quenneville coaching fold this season. Granato will be watching the games from upstairs and will bring another voice to a Blackhawks group that is looking to take a fresh approach after a second first-round loss. Assistant coach Kevin Dineen said having another perspective will help.

“I’m looking forward to having Donny here,” Dineen said. “I like to talk. I sit there and talk through things. When you have someone working with you on a specific area of the game you can have those debates. It’s the same thing with players but you’re teaching. With another coach a good, healthy voice like that with Donny’s experience can be great for us.”

Where Granato will help most – and where that calm he learned from Quenneville could be most critical – is with the Blackhawks’ younger players. He’s worked with several already through the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, including John Hayden and Nick Schmaltz, both of whom appreciated Granato’s tutelage.

“It’s so obvious he knows the game so well. I think coaches who know the game well and know how to teach the game well are hard to come by,” Hayden said. “It goes back to what I’ve said about meeting the coaching staff and the rest of the players. You feel comfortable in that regard. With coaching changes that process happens all over again, but I was fortunate to spend two years in the World Juniors with coach Granato, who did an incredible job with coaching and development.”

[MORE: Who goes where? Quenneville already plotting options] 

Granato will have a voice with the Blackhawks and will especially have an impact with their young players. The impact Quenneville made on him is still being felt.

“When he left St. Louis, he and my brother [Tony] coached together in Colorado. So the connection stayed. And I’ve always tried as a head coach to play the system that Joel played. So I’ve always tracked and watched the Hawks and the Avalanche and whoever Joel was playing,” Granato said. “That was fun, that’s the impact he had on me, from not only a presence, but the tactics, as well.