Stan Bowman says no help coming; Blackhawks drop fifth straight
By Ben Meyer-Abbott email@example.com February 3, 2012 11:08PM
Goalie Ray Emery follows the puck as defenseman Duncan Keith ties up the Flames’ Krys Kolanos during the second period Friday in Calgary. | Jeff McIntosh~ap
Updated: March 5, 2012 8:09AM
CALGARY, Alberta — On a day general manager Stan Bowman said there was no help on the horizon, the Blackhawks continued to look in desperate need of some.
Bowman said the game Friday against the Calgary Flames would be an opportunity for the team to show its ability to respond after an embarrassing loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
What happened was another poor showing and a deepening of the Hawks’ worst stretch of the season. They fell to the Flames 3-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome for their season-high fifth consecutive loss.
“We were better than last night,” captain Jonathan Toews said of the 8-4 loss to the Oilers. “It didn’t take much to do that, but we got to find a way to play the way we did early on in that game and find a way to get our confidence back because it’s obviously not there right now.”
Much like the night before, the Hawks began well enough.
Brent Seabrook jumped into the play to score his fourth goal of the season with 28.4 seconds left in the first period. Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp assisted on the goal, which tied the score at 1. But that was all the offense the Hawks would muster.
“We have to slow things down and simplify it more,” Seabrook said. “We’ve just got to make it a simple game. As hockey players, we shouldn’t be going out there trying to be fancy. We’ve just got to dig in and work.”
Ray Emery stopped 29 of 32 shots a night after he surrendered three goals on 13 shots in relief of Corey Crawford. Jay Bouwmeester, Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla scored for the Flames.
The Hawks have allowed at least three goals in every game during their five-game slide.
“[The frustration level is] probably a little higher than I’ll admit to you,” defenseman Steve Montador said. “But at the same time, we’re going to use that as motivation. That’s [about] taking care of our own end and going on from there.”
Said Seabrook: “We’ve got to go into every game with the mentality we’re going to win 1-0 and just play a solid, defensive, smart hockey game and not worry about trying to blow teams out or anything like that and just play a solid game.”
The problem is the Hawks haven’t won a 1-0 game this season. They also haven’t recorded a shutout.
Despite having a goals-against average in the bottom third of the league (2.92), Bowman reiterated his belief in the roster.
“If you watch our team, we certainly get excited to score goals,” Bowman said. “We need them to be equally excited to keep the puck out of the net. We’ve shown we’ve been able to do it before in spurts. We haven’t been able to do it consistently.
“I like our personnel. We’re trying to upgrade. It’s not like we’ve got guys playing that can’t play in the NHL. We certainly have guys that can improve on their level of play. But at the same time, we’re just trying to enhance our group as opposed to completely remake it.”
It sounded as if Bowman might have been interested in acquiring Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason or the Anaheim Ducks’ Francois Beauchemin.
But Bowman ruled out a move for either player after they signed long-term deals with their teams.