By Jay Zawaski–
(CBS) On Saturday night, the Blackhawks lost their third consecutive game, this time to the surging Anaheim Ducks, 3-2 in overtime. And for the third consecutive game, the Hawks were badly outplayed for most of the game. They were outshot 44-23, and if not for more spectacular goaltending by Corey Crawford, the game never would’ve gone to overtime.
Brent Seabrook scored both goals for the Hawks. He now has a career-high 10 goals.
Artemi Panarin returned to the lineup after missing two games with an illness, and Ryan Getzlaf’s sixth goal of the season was the difference in overtime.
Here’s the observations of the night.
Too much man: Getzlaf scored the game-winning goal during a Ducks’ power play in overtime. The Hawks were shorthanded for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty, which was called when Patrick Kane took the ice before Seabrook reached the bench.
If it seems like the Blackhawks get tagged for a lot of too-many-men penalties, you’re correct. Why? Well, coach Joel Quenneville and the Hawks are aggressive and obsessive in their line changes. More often than not, it works, but there are times when it fails miserably and the Hawks get caught. This was one of those times.
These are penalties of aggression. The Hawks want to create offense quickly. Fans are going to have to live with the occasional “too much man” call.
Hossa hurting: Late in the second period, winger Marian Hossa was hip-checked by Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm and stayed on the ice for a long time. He didn’t return to the game.
Upon replay, it looked like Hossa’s knee (aka “lower body”) bent oddly.
Despite his lower-than-usual point output this season, losing Hossa would be a big loss. Chicago just got an extended look at how its offense fares without one of its top six forwards.
If Hossa is out for an extended time and the Blackhawks place him on long-term injured reserve, it would open up some cap space just like with Kane’s injury last season.
Without Hossa on LTIR, the Hawks have the space to add a player with a $4 million-ish cap hit. If Hossa were to go on LTIR, the Hawks could be able to add two players.
Of course, we’re way ahead of ourselves here. Let’s see how severe the injury is before we go too far. Bottom line: The Hawks are a better team with Marian Hossa. Let’s hope he’s not out for long.
Get on the bench, Gus: Erik Gustafsson was a healthy scratch for Saturday night’s game. In his place, Viktor Svedberg was in the lineup. He played a whopping 4:29.
I don’t mind Quenneville giving Svedberg a look, truthfully, but how much will he grow with so little ice time? I’ve like what Svedberg has shown in his recent games. I’d like to see more, especially before the playoffs.
Rozie-colored glasses: I’m not sure if there was anyone in Chicago who was more upset by Michal Rozsival’s return to the Blackhawks this summer than myself. He was coming off of a down year and a severe injury. Surely, there were better options.
That last objection might be true, but I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Rozsival’s play all season.
Of course, he’s not perfect. There are times he looks slow. There are times he flounders, but more often than not, he’s making the right play and has even shown a penchant for rushing the puck this season.
So far, so good on Rozsival. Here’s hoping he maintains this level of play until mid-June.
Jay Zawaski is the executive producer of the Spiegel and Goff Show on 670 The Score and the Blackhawks columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JayZawaski670.