Sport On the Fly: What happened to the Blackhawks?

20:51  21 april  2017
20:51  21 april  2017 Source:   theScore

Pekka Rinne, Predators beat Blackhawks 1-0 in Game 1

  Pekka Rinne, Predators beat Blackhawks 1-0 in Game 1 Pekka Rinne made 29 saves, Viktor Arvidsson scored in the first period and the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 on Thursday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Rinne's second career postseason shutout sent Nashville to just its second playoff win in Chicago in seven tries. The Predators did not have a 1-0 victory during the regular season.BOX SCORE: PREDATORS 1, BLACKHAWKS 0Game 2 is Saturday night at the United Center.

Action, drama, history. Director: Ridley Scott. Starring: Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner and others.

Did Black Hawk Down really happen ? What happened to Todd Blackburn? The convoy was being directed by a spyplane flying overhead, but rather than communicating directly with Colonel McKnight their instructions first went to the Joint Operations Centre then the Command helicopter overhead.

This week, "On the Fly," the Score's NHL round table session, is essentially an autopsy of the Chicago Blackhawks, whose season ended Thursday in a most-shocking sweep at the hands of the Nashville Predators. We're asking the important questions: How? Why?

Navin Vaswani: To keep it short and sweet:Pekka Rinne happened.

Dude allowed three goals in four games, stopping 123 of 126 shots he faced in almost 13 periods (.976 percent, if you're into that kind of thing), while posting two clean sheets. That's hockey. That's life.

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Probably a lot like everyone else, it seems, was pretty surprised at what happened ,” Campbell said following the Blackhawks ’ practice on Monday. The rest of that day and the next are a blur to Jurco, who flew back to Detroit, packed, flew into Chicago early on Feb. 25 and practiced with his new

High Flying Hawk vs. Preds: Jordin Tootoo. “It seemed like, no matter what was happening , everything seemed to find its way in.” [NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

It was a closely contested series. At 5-on-5, a wash:

TeamCorsi ForCorsi AgainstCorsi For%

(Data courtesy: Corsica Hockey)

Rinne was better than Corey Crawford, who leaves the playoffs with a nightmare .902 save percentage. Simple. And, truly, while a sweep certainly is surprising, the fact that Nashville won shouldn't be. The Predators are a legit team.

An 82-game sample is always the most reliable, so check out the kind of defense the Predators played since October:

  On the Fly: What happened to the Blackhawks? © Provided by theScore

(Image courtesy: Hockey Viz)

Peter Laviolette's squad limited scoring chances from the slot all season, with the opposition only generating chances from the outside and high in the zone. Rinne gets hot, and it makes sense that the series is over in four.

Down 0-2 and still scoreless, Blackhawks remain confident

  Down 0-2 and still scoreless, Blackhawks remain confident The Chicago Blackhawks know one thing with an absolute certainty: They must play better. Scoring their first goal against Pekka Rinne this postseason would be a good start.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks , Toews isn't the only star forward who has failed to produce offensively in the last two games. Here are some stats involving the team's top-six forwards over the last two games combined.

The YEH-60A EW Blackhawk flew for the first time in September 1981, and in October 1984 the Tracor Aerospace Group won an Army I was a crew chief in the unit and my aircraft was 78-22961, the 24th aircraft off the line, 16th production aircraft. Anyone know what happened to it when it left KY?

Nashville also played exceptionally disciplined hockey over the past week, taking only nine penalties in four games (the same can be said for Chicago, which took only eight). While the Blackhawks' power play ranked 19th at 18 percent during the season, Chicago puts out its most talented players when it's up a man, and there's some bloody exceptional talent on Joel Quenneville's bench. Two of Chicago's three (!) goals in the series came on the man advantage. Nashville had to stay out of the box, and it did.

Chicago won Cups in 2013 and 2015, and many had the team doing it again in 2017, after the club somewhat quietly dominated - you get used to it, truthfully - and finished atop the Western Conference. But, finally, the puck stopped bouncing the Blackhawks' way. They didn't win a game in April, losing their final four regular-season matches (three by a goal, and two in overtime), and then ran into Rinne.

How the Heck Did Blue Jackets Defenseman Zach Werenski Play After this Happened?

  How the Heck Did Blue Jackets Defenseman Zach Werenski Play After this Happened? Grotesque.

Adding up the TOI for the blackhawks comes to 288:56, which is 11:04 short of a full game (of 300). Typically when I've seen it, the player getting on the ice is credited so long as they're fully on the ice - the player leaving is more or less 'out of it' once that's happened .

How did it happen ? I never put a hockey stick in his hand, never dressed him up in Blackhawks clothing (hell, he The whole night was a microcosm of fly -by-the-seat-of-your-pants early parenthood. Instead of rushing pictures and grabbing souvenirs, I settled for relishing time and holding conversation.

This happens. It simply hasn't, recently, to the Blackhawks, and that's what makes it so surprising.

  On the Fly: What happened to the Blackhawks? © Provided by theScore

Cory Wilkins: The Blackhawks were a re-enactment of "Failure to Launch."

Down 3-0 in the series, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville noted he would need everyone to contribute if his squad was to make a historic comeback against the Predators. Though, he emphasized it would be up to his club's top players to lead the charge.

They never delivered.

Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Jonathan Toews - the team's top three scorers in the regular season - combined for two goals and three assists, with Toews' lone marker turning out meaningless, as he tallied late in the third period of Game 4 with the Predators already ahead 3-0.

Chicago's other top players were also missing in action through the opening-round series. Veteran winger Marian Hossa put up zero points through four games, as did a host of other key producers like Artem Anisimov and Ryan Hartman. Most shocking? Defenseman Duncan Keith was the Blackhawks' only blue-liner to registered a single point this postseason.

Blackhawks vs. Predators: Chicago needs something from Patrick Kane in Game 3

  Blackhawks vs. Predators: Chicago needs something from Patrick Kane in Game 3 The Chicago Blackhawks are perplexing. Chicago coasted into the Stanley Cup playoffs after a terrific spring carried them to the best record in the Western Conference. No clue where those guys went. The Chicago Blackhawks are perplexing.

Learn what happened today in history around the world including major events on crime, entertainment, and more. The Canadiens reached the Stanley Cup Finals after sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks in four games, while the Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings, four games

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In all, the Blackhawks produced a meager three goals in four games. In the words of Carolina head coach Bill Peters: "Not good enough."

  On the Fly: What happened to the Blackhawks? © Provided by theScore

Josh Wegman: Nashville was the hungrier team. Plain and simple. The Preds have seen the Blackhawks flaunt their three Stanley Cup rings since 2010 and dominate the Central Division for years now. Enough, apparently, was enough.

Obviously the Blackhawks still took the ice and tried their best to win, but how desperate can you really be to win when most of your roster already has three Stanley Cup rings? Deep down, Nashville wanted it more. Absolutely nobody gave them a chance in this series. That was certainly bulletin-board material from the get go.

In my eyes, the Preds were an underachieving bunch all season long. They happened to play up to their potential at the right time. All they needed was some extra motivation. They have one of the most mobile defense corps in the NHL, one that was able to mitigate the speed of the Blackhawks. And of course, Rinne played the best hockey of his life.

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