No one likes to remember a team’s losses — but I’m going to help you remember some of the Chicago Blackhawks’ worst
It’s really easy to remember the best wins of a sports team, especially if that team has had a lot of success. The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup three times in the last seven years, so it’s fair to say we have an easier time remembering their recent successes, as opposed to their failures.
And yet, I’m here today to look at the latter. I was inspired by something a coworker at my full-time job worked up yesterday. If you’re at all interested in Illinois/college football, or just other people’s pain, check it out here.
Today, I’m going to look at the worst Blackhawks losses in the Joel Quenneville era — regular-season and postseason. Some of them you’ll remember, and some you’ll have far out of mind.
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March 25, 2010: Columbus 8, Chicago 3
The Blackhawks were en route to winning the Central Division and breaking a 49-year Stanley Cup drought when this stinker happened. They walked into Ohio and got absolutely shredded by a team that would finish with the fourth-fewest points in the league.
Cristobal Huet was in the midst of losing his starting goaltender job to Antti Niemi. This game probably expedited the process, as Huet allowed seven goals on 27 shots. The Blackhawks trailed just 2-1 a couple minutes into the second period before the Jackets reeled off six consecutive goals.
I don’t remember anything about this loss, as the Blackhawks did go on to win the Cup this year. It was a easing-into-the-playoffs type of loss, but the score and opponent make it a pretty embarrassing one.
2010-11 season: Trio of seven-goal failures
When the Blackhawks had to sell off about half their roster following the 2010 Cup win, it was no secret the defense went missing in the two seasons immediately afterward. This was terribly obvious three separate times during the 2010-11 season.
First, in late October, the Blackhawks dropped a 7-4 home decision to the lowly Edmonton Oilers (not the last time they’ll appear in this post). Edmonton scored seven times on just 22 shots, with Marty Turco getting obliterated for five goals against.
Then, in mid-November, the Blackhawks allowed a seven spot to another Canadian club, the Calgary Flames. Chicago tallied the first and last goals, while Calgary squeezed seven tallies between them. This time, Turco ate all seven goals against.
And finally, in mid-December, the Blackhawks lost a closer-than-it-seemed game to Colorado 7-5. It makes the list because Chicago blew a 5-4 lead in absolutely spectacular fashion with less than four minutes left. Tomas Fleischmann, Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly (empty net) each tallied in a two-minute stretch as the clock wound down, with Corey Crawford permitting the goals after being a perfect 17-17 prior in relief of Turco.
April 10, 2011: Detroit 4, Chicago 3
The score doesn’t make this one. Instead, it was the timing. The Blackhawks needed one point in their last regular-season game to guarantee themselves a playoff spot. And they couldn’t get it done.
Instead, Chicago had to rely on Dallas losing its final game, against Minnesota, to crawl back into the playoffs and defend its Cup championship. Thankfully the Blackhawks made it, because it allowed us to see a highly entertaining playoff series against Vancouver (after the first three games).
Nov. 19, 2011: Edmonton 9, Chicago 2
This isn’t the one against Edmonton that everyone remembers, but it’s still really bad. It was a career night for Taylor Hall, a game in which the Blackhawks got absolutely waxed by a bad Oilers club.
Chicago actually outshot Edmonton 36-34, but the Oilers scored five times in the first period and never let up. Hall tallied a hat trick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had five assists and two Oilers — Theo Peckham and Jeff Petry — finished with a plus-5 rating.
Feb. 2, 2012: Edmonton 8, Chicago 4
Now this is the one against Edmonton that everyone remembers. The Blackhawks actually held a 2-0 lead early in the second period, and then Sam Gagner went off.
Gagner contributed on every Oilers goal, tallying four goals and four assists. He found the twine three times in the third period, with his last two goals pushing Edmonton’s advantage from 5-4 to 7-4. It was a career night at the expense of the Blackhawks.
The 2012 postseason
It’s the series that Crawford can’t seem to shake, the one that doubting fans always bring up when trying to argue he isn’t qualified to handle the net for Chicago. It’s the series against Phoenix (now Arizona).
Besides the Game 6 clincher, all of the first-round playoff series games against the Coyotes went to overtime. The Blackhawks found a way to lose three of those five OT games, including two at home. I was at one of them, watching in horror as the game-winning goal trickled through Crow’s legs into the net (I can’t remember if it was Game 3 or Game 4, and I’m not interested in looking).
Regardless, the Blackhawks were arguably a better team than the Coyotes this year, even though Phoenix won the Pacific Division. So this series loss was just all-around embarrassing.
Nov. 16, 2013: Nashville 7, Chicago 2
I don’t remember much about this game, but I also can’t forget it. I’ll explain momentarily. First, a quick recap of the game itself: The Preds scored the first four goals, then the last three on just 30 shots total.
Now, why this game sticks out to me. I watched this game at a college bar with some buddies I was visiting. After the Blackhawks were thoroughly shellacked, we started drinking more to get the bad taste out of our mouths.
Long story short, there exists a video of me, beer in hand, dancing with a giant elk head (the antlers spearing dozens of empty beer can) to Chelsea Dagger. So this loss probably brings up the fondest memories, for me, of any in Blackhawks history.
Nov. 4, 2015: St. Louis 6, Chicago 5
We couldn’t have a list like this not include a loss to the Blues. Frankly, all losses to the Blues are embarrassing, because of who they area and what they represent in hockey. But this one was just ridiculous.
The Blackhawks outshot the Blues 43-29 in the teams’ first regular-season game of 2015-16. As such, Chicago jumped out to a 5-2 lead after one period. Should be in good shape, right?
Well, St. Louis managed to tie the game before the second period had ended, and the uber-talented Vladimir Tarasenko scored in overtime to end the contest in the Blues’ favor and send the United Center crowd home stunned. Yuck.