Chicago Blackhawks Forsberg getting little offensive support

Updated 12/4/2017 9:11 PM
  • Los Angeles Kings center Tyler Toffoli (73) shoots against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg (31) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday Dec. 3, 2017, in Chicago.

    Los Angeles Kings center Tyler Toffoli (73) shoots against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg (31) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday Dec. 3, 2017, in Chicago.

Any pitcher who throws gem after gem after gem only to be saddled with a big, ugly "L" on his record can relate to what Chicago Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg is going through this season.

And so can Hawks coach Joel Quenneville, who zipped a baseball one-liner to the masses after a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, saying, "It would be nice to get him some run support."

No kidding.

Forsberg -- the Hawks' backup goaltender who will make his third straight start in place of the injured Corey Crawford at Washington on Wednesday -- has been solid, if not spectacular, most of the season.

Yet he sports an unsightly 1-3-3 record.

The most frustrating losses may have come Saturday in Dallas and Sunday at home against the Kings. Forsberg stopped 54 of 57 shots, but the Hawks lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Stars and were shut out until 1:46 remained against Los Angeles.

"Obviously, it's a little bit frustrating not getting the win," Forsberg said Sunday. "But I can't do anything else. Just keep playing the way I've been doing and focus on my game."

The Hawks have not scored more than 3 regulation goals in Forsberg's seven starts. He did have a 3-1 lead in the third period Oct. 9 at Toronto -- a game the Hawks lost 4-3 in overtime -- but since then they have only led for only nine minutes and 45 seconds with Forsberg in net.

Said Toews: "We just can't quite seem to get some offense and give him a little padding, give him a little breathing room. He's doing everything we need him to do in there. We just need to support him and create some offense and find some ways to get some wins for him."

Forsberg has a .914 save percentage and 3.04 goals-against average, but take out his 5-goal outing against Colorado on Oct. 28 and those numbers improve to .929 and 2.47.

"I feel better every night," he said. "I feel more comfortable and like I keep up with the pace and (have) better reads. It's a big difference."

The Hawks are hoping Crawford can return Friday or Sunday. Forsberg said he definitely feels pressure with Crawford out.

"Of course," Forsberg said. "He's been doing a really good job keeping us in games and winning games for us. It's the same thing I want to do."

That will certainly happen if he gets just a little more "run support" from his teammates.


The Hawks again are struggling on the power play, going a dreadful 1-for-17 in the last four games. They are 0-2-2 over that stretch, with every contest coming down to the end.

Had the power play converted a few times, the Hawks might have gone 4-0. They are 8-3-3 in games where they score on the man advantage and 4-7-2 when they do not.

Coach Joel Quenneville took Cody Franson off the power play the last two games and has been giving Brent Seabrook more of a chance. Quenneville said Sunday he will give both players the opportunity to show who belongs on one of the two units.

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