Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Blackhawks [Print without images]

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Keith heading the wrong direction again

By Jesse Rogers



EDMONTON, Alberta -- And just like that, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is in a funk again.

During a recent four-game winning streak, Keith led the way going plus-7 with five points. It looked like his season had turned a corner after he missed three games with an injury just before the Hawks went on a roll.

That all came to a crashing halt this weekend as Keith was on the ice for a whopping 11 of 14 goals scored against the Hawks in losses to Calgary (5-2) and Edmonton (9-2).

“I felt coming in I wanted to respond,” Keith said after Saturday’s loss. “I felt energetic coming into the game and next thing you know it’s in the back of our net. Obviously I have to find a way to get off the ice for some goals right now. It’s not going our way, my way. Just need to be better.”

Keith seems to be struggling without Brent Seabrook, but that’s no excuse. His coverage near the net isn’t sharp. Either off the rush or in and around the net he’s having his issues.

“It’s embarrassing,” he said. “The last two games have been embarrassing.”

For the record, Keith was plus-9 going into the weekend and on a good run. Six periods later he’s plus-1 and looking for answers.

Emery’s effort

Ray Emery suffered his first defeat in regulation as a Blackhawk and didn’t shy away from accepting the blame for an awful night.

“I expect to play a lot better than that,” Emery said. “You want to not feel like that again.”

Emery gave up seven goals on 27 shots and was pulled early in the game before returning to start the second period.

“It doesn’t feel good right now,” he said. “There are no excuses for it.”

Emery admitted the second goal he gave up, to Ryan Jones, was a bad one. Jones came in on a bad angle and sent a backhand towards the net which squeaked past the Hawks netminder.

“I want to forget this one but learn from it as well,” Emery said. “I have to be better than that.”

Slappers

  • The No. 1 overall picks in the last two NHL drafts scorched the Hawks for a total of eight points, including a hat trick by Taylor Hall. Last summer’s top pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, had five assists.

  • One night after winning 71 percent of his faceoffs, Jonathan Toews took 78 percent, going 14 of 18 in the circle.

  • The Hawks scored two power-play goals. It was their sixth consecutive game with a power-play tally. They’re eight for their last 24 with the man advantage.

    Quotable

  • “That was thoroughly embarrassing, humiliating, across the board.” – Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.

  • “It just seemed like right from the first shift today we didn’t do anything right and it carried on through the whole 60 minutes.” -- Patrick Sharp

  • “They stuck it to us pretty good.” -- Toews