Chicago Blackhawks stomp Detroit and the difficult trade scene - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Blackhawks stomp on Detroit and the difficult trade scene

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was awhile ago, but not so long ago when the Detroit Red Wings were the team the Chicago Blackhawks wanted to emulate. Well for the last few years the student has become the teacher as was the case on Sunday.

The Hawks jumped on the Wings and raced out to an early 3-0 lead and never looked back. The 7-1 torching of Detroit was a case of Chicago being much better and the Red Wings not being able to do anything right.

In what could be considered an oddity, the Blackhawks scored three unassisted goals. It's unusual to see three unassisted goals by the same team in one game, but the way the Wings played it wasn't shocking. Unassisted goals are normally the direct result of poor goaltending, weak coverage or defensive miscues and Detroit was guilty of all.

The Hawks young guys shined as Brandon Saad had two goals and Nick Leddy scored as did recent call-up Jeremy Morin. Dave Bolland broke a long draught with two goals, one of which was put in mistakenly by Detroit defender Jakub Kindle.

Corey Crawford was sharper than in his previous starts and should have been rewarded with a shutout. The Wings scored with 33 seconds left in the game on a goal that probably should not have counted.

Justin Abdelkader slashed Crawford's stick out of his hands which took any chance away from stopping the shot from Cory Emmerton. The officiating was no better than usual and with the score 7-0 maybe they were lax. So no whistle and a goal resulted for Detroit. Crawford deserved to post a shutout, but his 33 save performance was a nice improvement over recent efforts.

The Blackhawks playing without Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have treaded water, which isn't bad. The better teams can withstand injuries to top players and the Hawks are one of the better teams. Losing Hossa and Sharp at the same time presented many challenges but they should be back soon. It wouldn't be a shock if one was back in action Monday night but in any event both could return this week.

The Blackhawks will square off with the Nashville Predators Monday night for the second time this season. In a scheduling quirk the two will play a total of three times from Monday through next Sunday.

Nashville has had an uncharacteristic season as they have given up more goals and recently have been scoring more often as well. The Preds were shutout by Colorado over the weekend but have scored 20 goals in their last six games. They have been scored on 19 times during the same span and have recorded three wins and three losses.

Normally watching a Blackhawk-Predator game is not a scintillating viewing experience. None the less I'm looking forward to Monday night's contest.

The Hawks need to stay patient as the Preds can be a frustrating team to face. No doubt Nashville will be motivated as they sit two points out of the eight playoff seed. It is a somewhat worse for the Predators than it seems as they have three teams to jump over to catch Columbus who sits in eighth place.

That's right, Columbus would face the Hawks if the playoffs began Monday. If Nashville doesn't have success this week versus Chicago their playoff hopes could really fade.

Al' Shots

Trade Deadline Thoughts...

The last couple of years, waiting until the last day to make trade deadline deals have made it more difficult for buyers. The reason many general managers have been forced to wait that long is probably because the pool of available selling teams is lower than in the past.

With many clubs locking up core players to long mega-contracts which often have some type of no-trade clause also complicates the trade picture significantly.

Over the weekend Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald reported a rumor concerning the New York Islanders and the Blackhawks. The supposed deal involved defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky who was a pending unrestricted free agent and center Frans Nielsen.

At the time, the deal made sense for the Blackhawks. Visnovsky would be a rental player who could shore up the blueline. Nielsen would be a possible second line center who has a tolerable salary cap hit of $2.75 million through the 2015-2016.

The deal seemingly fell apart and now the Islanders have resigned Visnovsky to a two year $9.5 million contract extension. There is another Islander defenseman Mark Streit, who is also an upcoming UFA. So maybe there is still a chance a trade will come to fruition by April 3 with the Islanders.

My contact, who is wired into the Islander scene, highly doubts they will trade Nielsen. He also believes the Islanders won't be very active at the trade deadline at all.

Following the Islanders from a distance for years, I know their fan base is long overdue to watch playoff hockey. Besides the added revenue for this season, the franchise would benefit from increased ticket sales for next year.

The same can be said for any franchise who has struggled in the past to make the post season. A few weeks ago it looked like Columbus and Edmonton could be likely trade partners for the Blackhawks. Currently Columbus is the eighth seed in the West and Edmonton is two points behind them.

As I look at the standings, there are only a total of five teams including both conferences which I feel likely to be considered sellers. They are Calgary, Colorado, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay. So now GM Stan Bowman's job is much more difficult than it might have been a month ago.

Possibly Bowman has tried to make a trade or two for awhile with no success. Maybe that has been the case but now he will be forced to pay up considerably.

Even if teams like Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton and the Islanders decide to make a trade their fans bases will look for a return that can help them win now. So those GM's will be under pressure to make their teams better today and to give their fans hope that a playoff berth can happen this season.

So maybe that leaves Bowman with Calgary who has been through the wringer of late with the Jerome Iginla trade, Buffalo who has a GM with one foot on a banana peel, the Tampa Bay Lightning with former Red Wing great Steve Yzerman as their GM, or Colorado as likely trade candidates.

Oh I forgot to mention one club in the East that sits dead last in their Conference, the Florida Panthers. I'm not so sure their GM, and former Blackhawk manager Dale Tallon, will be all so accommodating in helping his replacement.

So at this point this has become a trade deadline auction, acquisitions will come to the highest bidders and the sellers couldn't be happier.

I will be back on Tuesday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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