Blackhawks’ scoring cause for concern; Dave Bolland day-to-day
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org February 3, 2013 12:30AM
Dave Bolland smashes his stick into the boards after sustaining an injury against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period Friday. | Darryl Dyck~AP
Updated: February 3, 2013 12:39AM
CALGARY, Alberta — The good news for the Blackhawks is Dave Bolland — last seen collapsed on the ice, angrily smashing his stick into pieces on the boards before being helped off to the dressing room Friday night in Vancouver — doesn’t appear to be seriously injured, after all.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said before Saturday night’s game against the Calgary Flames that Bolland was “day-to-day” with a lower-body injury, and that he will remain with the team on the trip.
The bad news? Even with Bolland in the lineup, the Hawks’ offense — so dynamic and high-flying in the early going — had sputtered the last few games.
The Hawks mustered one goal against Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo in 60 minutes of regulation, five minutes of overtime and four rounds of a shootout. That included an 0-for-5 performance on the power play. And in the previous two games — an overtime victory over Detroit and a shootout loss at Minnesota — the Hawks scored two goals each.
After scoring 11 goals in their first two games, the Hawks have just 14 in their last six. While they’ve still managed to come away with at least a point in every game, the lack of scoring is becoming frustrating for the Hawks — especially because they keep generating chances.
Against Vancouver, the Hawks were pleased with nearly every aspect of the game — the pace, Corey Crawford’s goaltending, the defense, and the penalty killing. One problem:
“The problem is we just didn’t score enough goals to win the game,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “We had our chances, we didn’t make it happen. No other way to put it, I guess.”
Quenneville preached patience. He likes the way his team is playing, and doesn’t want them to change everything up just because the pucks aren’t going in. He’s been particularly happy with the play of the top line of Toews, Marian Hossa and rookie Brandon Saad, saying they’ve been “amazing” even though they’ve combined for just one goal in the last three games.
“The quality and the quantity of chances we’ve had are probably the same amount we normally get,” Quenneville said. “Some nights they’ve been going in, some nights they’re not. Whether we get a power play goal here or there, we still like what we’re generating. But more so, we like what we’re giving up. That’s how we basically handicap our team, what we give up and what we generate.”
Now, for a short while, at least, they’ll have to try to rekindle the first-week magic with Andrew Shaw centering the second line with Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane, instead of Bolland. Marcus Kruger moved up from the fourth line to Shaw’s spot on the third, and Jamal Mayers moved back into the fourth line.
It’s a new role for Shaw, but he immediately contributed against the Canucks after Bolland was injured, setting up Kane’s game-tying goal, which allowed the Hawks to squeeze out another point on the road.
“Obviously it’s a privilege to play with skilled players like Sharp and Kane,” Shaw said. “We work hard for each other. … [With Kane], just put it to an area. He’s a good player, he’s going to find that puck and he’s going to put it in the back of the net.”
Well, somebody had better start doing it soon, at least, or a long trip is going to start feeling a lot longer for the Hawks.