Blackhawks outlast Jets 4-3

There was a lot to like in the Blackhawks 4-3 win over the Jets and one area (towards the bottom) in particular that is quite troublesome.

–Ray Emery buckling down after two early Winnipeg goals.  The natives were restless with Emery from the time Gene Honda announced he was starting.  Two goals in the first 8 minutes didn’t help matters.  Nevermind that both came off tips less than three feet in front of him.  To his credit, Emery stood tall the rest of the way only giving up one more goal late in the second period on a scramble in front.  In the third, he was outstanding including a post to post save on an Antropov blast.  Games like these (27 saves on 30 shots) are exactly what the Hawks need from their back-up goalie.

–The Kane-Hossa-Carcillo line dominated all night.  Carcillo set the tone from the opening shift when he had about 4 checks and they never stopped.  I wouldn’t count on performances like that every game but for one night, they were spectacular.  In fact, if it wasn’t for Jim Slater scoring twice, they very well could have been all 3 stars of the game.

–They won’t be showing this game during Jonathan Toews’ Hall of Fame induction.  Toews seemed out of sorts for most of the night including a very sloppy shift to end the game.  With a chance to seal the win on an empty net goal, Toews tried to skate through the last Jet defender.  When he was forced to the outside, he flung a blind pass to the middle to send the Jets on an easy breakout the other way.

–The most troubling thing all night though was the Duncan Keith-Nick Leddy pairing.  It seemed like every time the Jets got sustained pressure, it was with that pairing on the ice.  What’s worse is the secret’s out and teams are forcing the puck into Leddy’s corner fully knowing they’re going to come out of it with the puck.  Winnipeg was funneling all their pressure towards Leddy’s side by either dumping the puck in his corner or forcing Keith to reverse the puck back to Leddy.  When the puck got to Leddy, there were immediately two Jets on him.

The good news is that even though teams are beating down on Leddy in the early going, it doesn’t seem to have affected his confidence.  He proved it in the third when he had two Jets bearing down on him and he pulled a little spin move to shake both of them off.  Guys with confidence problems don’t pull off moves like that; they blindly fire the puck up the boards.

Of course, the flip side of that is the Hawks have single-handedly neutered one of the most dynamic weapons in the game.  Duncan Keith simply can’t get anything going and at some point, the Hawks need to release him off the burden of skating with a 20-year old defenseman.  There will be a time when they can play together but it is not now.

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10 Responses to Blackhawks outlast Jets 4-3

  1. Keith has looked like crap in most of the first three games, at least compared to what Keith should look like. Bring back Marlboro 72 and let’s get on with it.

  2. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I completedly agree with the D pairing of Leddy and Keith. I was really hoping the long summer would have helped Keith regain his Norris form but the brief sample has proven otherwise. Keith and Seabrook should remain paired with Nicky Hammer or Montador skating with Leddy. Either way I like this years mix of players much more than last years D-pairing. When you can brings guys like Lepisto and O’Donnell from the press box you;ve got depth. Go Hawks!

  3. John says:

    Problem with both of those ideas is that Leddy-Hjalmarsson will probably look worse than Leddy-Keith. Their best solution will be to pair Seabrook with Leddy and let Keith and Hjalmarsson skate together. Whenever they want to do that will be fine with me.

  4. Marts says:

    Yes, I think Keith/Hjammer and Leddy/Seabrook would be good. Really, it makes too much sense. IMO, those are two scary-good pairings.

  5. Brian Davies says:

    I know it’s old news, but I think 5th F deserves another commendation for the analysis of Carcillo a couple of months ago.

    A followup to that: Carcillo gets the credit for Brett MacLean’s elbowing penalty last night. PIM +/- isn’t an official stat or anything (though it would be pretty funny if it were), but Carcillo is currently sitting at +2 there.

  6. BobbyJet says:

    Don’t speak too quickly Brian. 13 has played one game with the Hawks, but it was a treat to finally see the Hawks play with some physicality (led by a disciplined Carcillo). The game tonight will be a much better litmus test however. Bruins outmuscled us badly in last years meeting and could have been the clincher for Stan to go out and find some grit. It could get rough tonight if they try it again.

  7. BobbyJet says:

    As for Duncan Keith. I think it’s high time Hawk fans quit making excuses for him. He continues to be a liability defensively and there seems to be more issues with him other than playing alongside Leddy…..but if pairing him back with Seabrook somehow shakes him out of the doldrums, I’m all for it.

  8. Cam says:

    Brunette is absolutely invisible when not on the PP. They really need Morin, Pirri and Saad to develop and get in the lineup.

  9. John says:

    Not sure what Hawk fans you’re talking about. Keith has been the most maligned player not wearing goalie pads since mid-season last year.

  10. BobbyJet says:

    OK John. I see fans constantly ignoring Keith’s glaring mistakes and lack of intensity. More importantly, Q needs to show some tough love and sit him when he deserves to be sat. Personally I’d scratch him for next game after the effort, or lack there of, he gave on Bruins tying goal last night. He is far too comfortable playing mediocre hockey, if you ask me.

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