Pavel Vorobiev isn't going to threaten Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin for rookie of the year honors.
With nine goals and 20 points, Vorobiev was on pace for 24 goals and 55 points this seasonnot bad for the offensively challenged Blackhawks.
But Vorobiev's first full NHL season took a bit of a detour Thursday when he was sent back to Norfolk of the American Hockey League.
Mikhail Yakubov, taken right before Vorobiev in the first round of the 2000 draft, was recalled from Norfolk and was in the lineup in the Hawks' 3-2 loss to Vancouver. Jarkko Ruutu's third-period penalty shot proved the difference for the Canucks.
The Hawks now have lost nine in a row. Six of those have been by one goal and in five of those six games they failed to score more than two goals.
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead on Tuomo Ruutu's second goal of the season at 12 minutes 16 seconds of the first period, Vancouver scored twice in 1:10 of the second, the first a short-handed goal by Nolan Baumgartner, the second by Markus Naslund.
Baumgartner's goal came after a rebound of shot by Henrik Sedin hit him and rolled past Craig Anderson.
"You don't want to give up a short-handed goal, no question," Hawks coach Trent Yawney said. "It did change the complexion [of the game] for a while."
The Canucks had the lead despite having just five shots on goal. The short-handed goal was the eighth the Hawks have allowed this season, second-most in the NHL.
The Hawks were also 0 of 6 on the power play and have converted only two of their last 39. Their season average is down to 13 percent.
Ruutu's penalty shot was the third Vancouver goal. It was the second penalty shot of the period for the Canucks. Craig Anderson stopped Alexandre Burrows in the opening minute of the third.
Martin Lapointe, whose turnover and subsequent penalty led to Ruutu's penalty shot, scored shortly after Ruutu's goal for the final margin.
Many of the Hawks' games recently have been similarclose games in which a play or two goes against them.
"The only way you get out of that is to keep working," Yawney said. "We just have to keep persevering."
The Hawks are getting close to the team record of 12 consecutive losses from Feb. 25, 1951 to March 25, 1951.
Yawney said he doesn't expect Vorobiev to be in Norfolk long, perhaps for just a week, and said the rookie forward "lost the belief in himself." Andy Hilbert was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game and the fifth time the last six games. Jim Dowd (no points in his last eight games and a minus-4) and Curtis Brown (two points in his last 27 games) have played in all 40 games this season. Jaroslav Spacek served the second game of his two-game suspension and is eligible to return Sunday. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, out with a groin injury, hasn't begun skating yet and is still at least a week away.
email@example.comCopyright © 2015, CT Now