Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville hoped Sunday's game against Vancouver would provide a good early test for his team against one of the NHL's elite clubs.
As far as tests go, the Hawks failed this one miserably.
Other than the Hawks receiving a gift goal from goaltender Roberto Luongo in the first period, it was all Canucks at the United Center.
The Hawks were an undisciplined bunch and the Canucks made them pay to the tune of 5 power-play goals in a 6-2 rout that was hard to watch.
“They were better in all areas, whether it was physical, special teams or 5-on-5,” Quenneville said. “I was disappointed with it across the board. It was an ugly game.”
Patrick Kane, Bryan Bickell, Viktor Stalberg and Daniel Carcillo each took a bad penalty that the Canucks turned into a goal.
“Too many penalties,” Quenneville said. “We took some penalties that we can't take.”
Meanwhile, the Hawks' power play continues to be mostly a mess. It was 0-for-5 and has only scored 5 goals for the season — the same number the Canucks got Sunday.
“Our power play has to find a way to get on the board,” Patrick Sharp said.
“I thought we weren't terrible,” Quenneville said.
Is not being terrible a good or a bad thing?
It was a frustrated Jonathan Toews who told reporters there were no positives to be taken out of the loss.
“The power play, as usual, as of late, wasn't very good and the penalty kill kind of went for a hike today too, but it went beyond that,” Toews said. “We didn't play a very good game all around.
“We played well and did some good things all week, but we didn't show much of that tonight.”
The Hawks had allowed only 4 power-play goals all season before letting the Canucks throw down 5.
“I guess we just didn't work hard enough and made a couple mistakes,” defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. “They have a good power play, but that's not an excuse for us to let in, I don't know how many goals they had, 4 or 5. It just can't happen.”
It was still a game late in the second period when a goal by Marcus Kruger pulled the Hawks within 3-2 and brought the UC crowd alive.
But an awful next shift by the Hawks allowed the Canucks to answer with a killer goal from Jannik Hansen just 43 seconds later after a total breakdown defensively by the five Hawks on the ice: Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook, Dave Bolland, Michael Frolik and Bickell.
Hansen beat Hjalmarsson to the net on the right side to tap in a pass across the slot by Daniel Sedin.
“There have been several goals going in our net where we are not in the right spot,” Quenneville said.
“That's always a game changer, if the opponent scores right after we score,” Hjalmarsson. “That's something we can't allow. After that the game was pretty much over.”
The game might not have been over right then, but it was moments later after Stalberg high sticked Dan Hamhuis, with Hamhuis himself scoring on the resulting power play for a 5-2 lead going to the third.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.