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Chicago Blackhawks News » News » Hawks pay the price
Hawks pay the price
Hawks pay the price
The Blackhawks traditionally need all the help they can get on their late-November road trip, and a big win in the last game of a long homestand would have created some good momentum. Unfortunately, Sunday's 6-5 loss to the San Jose Sharks didn't provide any of that.

Though the Sharks have the best record (15-3-1) in the Western Conference, it was the mistakes that the Hawks made that decided this one. They took seven penalties, and the Sharks cashed in with four power play goals.

''We can't take the penalties we did in a game like that,'' Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ''They were effective -- and we weren't very good.''

The Hawks lost to the Sharks for the 12th straight time (0-10-2) and saw their point streak on home ice end at 10 with their first loss in regulation.

Kris Versteeg scored two goals for the Hawks, one of them a shorty, and the Hawks rallied from a 4-2 deficit to take a 5-4 lead on Patrick Kane's power-play goal with 2:08 left in the second period. In the third, though, a hooking penalty on Dave Bolland set up Dan Boyle's tying goal -- his second of the game -- with one minute gone, and Devin Setoguchi scored the game-winner with 4:15 left in the period with Dustin Byfuglien in the box for tripping.

That left the Hawks with an 0-1-2 finish to their five-game homestand, hardly what they wanted with the next six games on the road.

''We gave them too much respect,'' Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. ''We knew they were good, and we gave them too much space. We let them roam and do what they wanted.''

Allowing the Sharks their four power-play goals in just six opportunities with the man advantage wasn't characteristic of this season's Hawks. They came into the game ranked third in the NHL in penalty-killing, having allowed just nine goals in the 71 times they were short-handed in the first 15 games.

''Our penalty-killing has been great, but eventually against a team like that it's going to hurt us,'' Toews said.

Another bright spot for the Hawks was defenseman Brian Campbell. The Hawks' premier free- agent acquisition enjoyed his best offensive night of the season with a goal and two assists against the team he played for in last season's playoffs. His defensive partner, Cam Barker, also had a one goal and two assists.

The Sharks tried to keep Campbell, but the Hawks lured him away with an eight-year $56.8 million contract. Sunday's game -- played before 21,181, the 11th straight sellout at the United Center -- produced the first big payoff by the franchise's best-paid player. He was happy with the points (Campbell had nine in the first 15 games), but little else.

''Those are games you've got to find a way to win,'' he said. ''San Jose didn't play its best.''

Like Toews, he felt the Hawks gave the Sharks too much respect and wasn't awed by San Jose's power-play success.

''It was more what we did,'' Campbell said. ''We gave them a lot of seam passes. Usually we take that away. We didn't do the job tonight.''

With the circus taking over the United Center, the Hawks next play at Phoenix on Tuesday. They don't return home until Dec. 3 against Anaheim.

Blackhawks RECAP

San Jose 2 2 2 -- 6

Blackhawks 2 3 0 -- 5

First Period--1, San Jose, Michalek 6 (Pavelski), :42. 2, HAWKS, Versteeg 4, 8:51 (sh). 3, San Jose, Thornton 4 (Setoguchi, Marleau), 9:15 (pp). 4, HAWKS, Campbell 3 (Barker, Havlat), 17:33. Penalties--Staubitz, SJ (interference), 3:51; Barker, HAWKS (high-sticking), 7:25; Murray, SJ, major (fighting), 12:30; Burish, HAWKS, major (fighting), 12:30; Clowe, SJ (high-sticking), 14:40; Versteeg, HAWKS (hooking), 18:15.

Second Period--5, San Jose, Boyle 5 (Pavelski, Vlasic), 5:51 (pp). 6, San Jose, Roenick 1, 9:10. 7, HAWKS, Versteeg 5 (Toews, Kane), 10:53. 8, HAWKS, Barker 3 (Campbell, Toews), 17:34 (pp). 9, HAWKS, Kane 8 (Campbell, Barker), 17:52 (pp). Penalties--Ladd, HAWKS (slashing), 5:01; Plihal, SJ (high-sticking), 17:06; Thornton, SJ (slashing), 17:43.

Third Period--10, San Jose, Boyle 6 (Pavelski, Vlasic), 1:00 (pp). 11, San Jose, Setoguchi 10 (Ehrhoff, Thornton), 15:45 (pp). Penalties--Bolland, HAWKS (tripping), :39; Brouwer, HAWKS (tripping), 1:24; Byfuglien, HAWKS (tripping), 14:31; Clowe, SJ (hooking), 16:48.

Shots on Goal--San Jose 12-6-13--31. HAWKS 10-15-8--33.

Power-play opportunities--San Jose 4 of 6; HAWKS 2 of 5. Goalies--San Jose, Boucher 5-1-1 (33 shots-28 saves). Chicago, Huet 3-3-1 (31-25).

Referees--Paul Devorski, Steve Kozari. Linesmen--Brad Lazarowich, Mark Shewchyk.

A--21,181 (20,500). T--2:28.


Jeremy Roenick has been gone from the Blackhawks since they traded him in 1997. He still ranks seventh in franchise history with 267 goals and eighth in points with 596 compiled in his eight seasons with the team. Roenick reminded the Hawks that he's still alive and kicking as a third-line center for San Jose. He stole the puck from Hawks defenseman Brent Sopel and scored his first goal of the season unassisted in the second period by getting a shot past goaltender Cristobal Huet from close range. ''I was surprised Huet bit on me,'' Roenick said. ''But I like it here. This is my old stomping grounds, and it was great to see Chicago's fans supporting their team.'' ... The Hawks' last win over the Sharks was on Oct. 7, 2005, at the United Center. They next meet Nov. 26 in San Jose. That'll be the second of their four meetings this season. ... Only three current Hawks -- Nikolai Khabibulin, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook -- were in the lineup that last time the Hawks beat the Sharks. ... Sharks assistant coach Trent Yawney, fired as the Hawks' coach early in the 2006-07 season, wouldn't show any bitterness about his Chicago coaching stint. ''I learned a ton,'' he said, ''and I like where I'm at right now. I wish [the Hawks] nothing but the best.'' ... Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was in the running for the San Jose job during the offseason before it went to Todd McLellan, who had been a Detroit Red Wings assistant. Both faced transition periods with their new teams. ''It's probably different coming in during the offseason,'' Quenneville said, ''but my transition's been fine. I've been enjoying it. Todd's got a real nice situation. He's got a good team, and he's done a tremendous job.'' ... San Jose general manager Doug Wilson, like Yawney, was a former Hawks defenseman. ... Matt Walker and Craig Adams again were the Hawks' healthy scratches. ...

The Hawks canceled today's practice and will catch an afternoon flight for Tuesday's game in Phoenix.

Len Ziehm

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 17, 2008

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