The Chicago Blackhawks are close enough to playoffs that they can smell that sweet wild card spot and nothing is about to stand in their way, not even the San Jose Sharks.
Not that the Sharks made much of an effort to crush any dreams of returning to the postseason in Chicago. Though the Sharks were able to control most of the first period, especially at 5-on-5, the Blackhawks took off with a strong second period that allowed them to control play in the third. By the end of the night, the Sharks were playing entire on their heels, while the Blackhawks found every way to make opportunities for themselves.
It wasn’t a great effort from the team in teal tonight, even given the roster being what it is.
Some good news is that Noah Gregor and Joel Kellman each took four shots and were among team-leaders in shot share. Stefan Noesen also put up an admirable performance and I’ll never tire of seeing Timo Meier score goals.
Read my live updates and reactions below. Thanks for hanging out with us tonight!
Hey folks! It’s been a minute since our last liveblog, eh? I’m stoked to get back in the saddle and hang out with y’all during the game tonight. It’s been a weird season. Let’s have some fun.
20:00: Ugh, already in a mood because I forgot this was a national broadcast.
18:50: Who else forgot Ryan Carpenter was in the NHL and also on the Blackhawks?
17:44: Sharks with the only quality chance so far. Very easy back-and-forth to start out this game.
16:24: Oh god, these kids are making Joe Thornton skate his ass off.
15:36: Olli Maatta with a shot gloved by Aaron Dell, finally a stoppage in play.
15:25: Corey Crawford with a stop as there’s traffic in the crease. Stefan Noesen with a chance.
14:20: My oh my, Noah Gregor is fast.
13:17: Blackhawks doing well breaking up plays in the neutral zone.
12:09: Brutal time for the Sharks trying to exit the defensive zone. Too many passes, too easy for Chicago to turn it into an offensive opportunity.
11:05: Dylan Strome called for tripping, Sharks to the power play.
10:50: Carpenter high-sticks Thornton because he has no respect for his elders and now the Sharks get 1:45 of a 5-on-3 power play.
9:36: God, the power play is so depleted.
9:11: FINALLY, Evander Kane scores with just a few seconds left on the first of the penalties, they’ll start with a few seconds of 5-on-4. Sharks 1, Blackhawks 0.
7:36: Oh man, it feels like the Blackhawks are gonna score soon. They’ve had a decent amount of time in the Sharks’ end and hit a post already.
6:29: I hate to compliment the opponent, but they’re cycling the puck very effectively. That’s gonna pay off sooner or later.
1:49: God, are we all sick of this broadcast already?
END FIRST: Sharks 1, Blackhawks 0
19:10: No one appears to have come out with a fire under them yet.
17:19: Crawford is a fun goalie to watch when he’s healthy.
16:01: Antti Suomela called for hooking, Blackhawks to the power play.
15:42: Melker Karlsson with a short-handed shot.
15:27: Duncan Keith with a power play goal. Sharks 1, Blackhawks 1.
14:56: 5-on-5 is so disheartening to watch in this game. The Blackhawks could actually make playoffs and they look like this. I hate everything.
14:13: Patrick Kane in front of Dell with a chance.
13:55: Evander Kane off for holding, Blackhawks to the power play.
12:26: Dylan Strome with the best shot on the power play so far.
12:08: Dell with ANOTHER big save on Strome.
11:55: Penalty killed, back to even-strength.
9:48: Joel Kellman and Stefan Noesen are on top of their game tonight. Give those boys their goals already.
8:14: Blackhawks definitely making the most of very quick opportunities. The Sharks have been slower to take advantage of those chances.
5:30: Dell was fully out of his net, the puck was behind the net and thankfully nothing got through but damn.
4:59: Yet another save by Dell — dude is getting his workout tonight, with the Blackhawks leading scoring chances 11-3 this period.
4:01: Brent Burns off for roughing and the Blackhawks have their third power play this period.
3:27: Aaaaaand a Patrick Kane goal. Sharks 1, Blackhawks 2.
2:02: Brandon Saad extends the lead. Sharks 1, Blackhawks 3.
This period sucks.
END SECOND: Sharks 1, Blackhawks 3
18:29: Alex Nylander with a goal pretty well puts this game out of reach, yeah? Sharks 1, Blackhawks 4.
16:13: Alex DeBrincat in the box for hooking Jumbo Joe. Sharks to the power play.
14:13: Penalty killed pretty easily.
13:21: TIMO TIME! Sharks 2, Blackhawks 4.
10:07: Sorry folks, getting caught up in coronavirus news during this period. Doesn’t look like the NHL is suspending the season quite yet.
9:22: Oof, Saad hit a post.
5:02: It wouldn’t be difficult to convince me that the Sharks are all sleepwalking right now.
3:43: Gross, another Patrick Kane goal. Sharks 2, Blackhawks 5.
1:57: Dominik Kubalik with a rocket, because this game refuses to end. Sharks 2, Blackhawks 6.
END OF GAME: Sharks 2, Blackhawks 6
While cities across the country begin to announce bans on public gatherings in attempts to curb the spread of coronavirus (we are living in a simulation), the show must go all over the place or something and crowd or no crowd, the San Jose Sharks are taking on the Chicago Blackhawks. To be clear, Chicago hasn’t instituted these policies yet, but several arenas have looked emptier than usual over the past few days.
Somehow, the Blackhawks have clawed themselves somewhere near a wild card spot in the Western Conference. They’re coming off a two-game losing streak, at the hands of both the St. Louis Blues (understandable) and Detroit Red Wings (extremely laughable). At least the Sharks have mostly accepted that the season is over already. Let’s get out there and crush some dreams!
Expected Scratches: Nick DeSimone, Alexander True
Injured Reserve: Logan Couture (concussion protocol), Mario Ferraro (lower body), Tomas Hertl (knee), Erik Karlsson (thumb), Jacob Middleton (ankle), Dalton Prout (upper body)
Alex DeBrincat — Jonathan Toews — Brandon Saad
Alex Nylander — Dylan Strome — Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik — Kirby Dach — Brandon Hagel
Matthew Highmore — David Kampf — Ryan Carpenter
Duncan Keith — Nicolas Beaudin
Olli Maatta — Slater Koekkoek
Lucas Carlsson — Connor Murphy
Expected Scratches: Nick Seeler
Injured Reserve: Adam Boqvist (concussion protocol), Drake Caggiula (hand), Calvin de Haan (shoulder), Brent Seabrook (shoulder/hips), Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol), Zack Smith (back)
Where to Watch
Puck drop from United Center is at 5 PT/8 ET. This evening’s broadcast will be nationally broadcast on NBCSN, home of the Chicago Blackhawks. Note that this means streaming will not be available on NHLtv. The radio call, as always, will be on 98.5 KFOX or available to stream through the Sharks + SAP Center app.