Patrick Kane

Kane on Chicago’s shootout woes: “It’s frustrating”

On the surface, the Chicago Blackhawks have plenty to be pleased about. They’re healthy, they’ve secured 10 points from seven games and currently sit tied atop the Central division heading into tonight’s home date with Anaheim.

But all is not rosy in the Windy City — especially when games are tied after overtime.

The Blackhawks have gone to the shootout twice this year against Boston and Colorado and lost both times. Most distressingly, they’re 0-for-6 on shootout attempts (Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are 0-for-2, Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stalberg are 0-for-1) which has left the team into looking for answers.

“We’re discussing orders, we’re talking about candidates and shooting first or second. When things don’t work, we look at options,” head coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We haven’t been anywhere near as effective as we were [last season]. We know we can be better.”

Quenneville even went so far as to hold shootout drills in the middle of Monday’s practice. Under normal circumstances, most teams toy around with them at the end of the session (for example, Pittsburgh’s ‘moustache boy’ competition.)

“It’s frustrating after losing in a shootout because it’s almost like it’s a real loss and you didn’t get anything out of it,” Kane said. “If you win those shootouts, everyone’s excited and upbeat and everyone thinks you played a great game. When you lose in a shootout, it’s like there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.”

That Chicago is frustrated by this — and looking to fix the issue immediately — says a lot about the team. Some would argue the shootout issue will eventually solve itself, given 1) the wealth of Chicago’s offensive talent, 2) the fact Chicago was eighth-best in the shootout last year and 3) in the grand scheme of things, it’s only two shootout losses.

But it’s evident the ‘Hawks want to return to prominence after last season’s letdown, so they’re striving for perfection. It’s kind of like when people are oohing and aahing over a carpenter’s latest project, but all he can focus on is the bent nail in the corner. (I got a D in woodworking, so I’m only assuming this is how he’d feel. My coffee table had three legs.)

As such, none of Chicago’s issues go unaddressed. Even those that might not seem like a big deal.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.

Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.

From the league:

At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.

The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.