When he was on a line with Michal Handzus and Martin Havlat, Radim Vrbata found a nice role as a second playmaker.
With the Blackhawks lighting up the scoreboard in the first eight games, Vrbata was collecting more than one point a game.Going into Saturday night's game against Anaheim, Vrbata was still averaging better than a point a game, with three goals and eight assists in nine games. But with Handzus out for the year and Havlat sidelined with a sprained ankle, Vrbata needs to take on a different role--shooter instead of playmaker.
Vrbata was shut out against the Ducks as Anaheim remained unbeaten (8-0-3), coasting to a 3-0 victory on goals by Andy McDonald, Rob Niedermayer and Dustin Penner. The defeat extended the Blackhawks' losing streak to four.
Vrbata may need to be more selfish, since he is the Hawks' most dangerous offensive player until Tuomo Ruutu gets back in the lineup Monday night.Vrbata isn't the only player the Hawks would like to see pull the trigger more. Coach Trent Yawney said they are trying to get everyone to shoot more.
"We have to direct more pucks to the net," Yawney said. "We can't look for the pretty play as much.
"When guys are out like [Handzus and Havlat], you have to change your game. Vrbata has to shoot more. [Patrick] Sharp has to contribute more."
It's on the power play where he believes he really needs to be more aggressive. "I've told guys that if I get a chance, I'm shooting so go to the net," Vrbata said.
Through two periods, the Hawks had 11 shots and trailed 1-0.
The Hawks thought they were on the board a minute into the second period, but officials ruled Brent Seabrook's shot past Anaheim's Ilya Bryzgalov had not completely crossed the goal line before being swept away.
DUCKS 3, BLACKHAWKS 0
Hawks' offense vanishes, skid at 4
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