Want to know what it looks like when the Blackhawks quit everything that sustained their 24 game point streak for just one period? A 6-5 regulation loss. That’s what happened Sunday night when the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Edmonton Oilers who were finishing off a 9 game road trip in the city where it began.
Goaltending was questionable all night with both Ray Emery and Corey Crawford allowing 3 goals each. The Blackhawks great penalty kill that used to be the best in the league failed 3 out of 4 times on Sunday. The power play, which experienced a massive improvement from last year, didn’t have a whole lot of opportunity to shine and succeeded once out of 3 tries. But not when it mattered the most with over 7 minutes remaining in the third period and a chance to tie the game at 6 apiece.
After giving up 3 goals less than halfway through the first period (two of them 36 seconds apart), Emery handed the net over to Crawford who allowed one more to end down 4-0 after 20 minutes. It could have taken the rest of the game to match the 4 goals given up in the first, but this season’s Blackhawks team managed to return the favor and score 4 of their own in the second period alone. Patrick Kane started Chicago’s offense, followed by Marian Hossa from a nice Jonathan Toews dish, Sheldon Brookbank with a chest-bump deflection while shorthanded, and a falling Brent Seabrook. Unfortunately, they never tied it up and allowed 2 more goals against them to end the Oilers’ scoring at 6 and the second period down 6-4. In the third, Kane scored his second goal of the game to bring the Hawks within one, but they couldn’t capitalize on a power play or pull off any last-second heroics in the final seconds and lost their second game in a row in regulation.
– Patrick Kane was easily the best player for the Blackhawks with 2 goals and 1 assist. The only thing that was missing was a hat trick to tie up the game.
– The Blackhawks have now lost 2 games in a row allowing 6 goals in each of those games.
Even though the Blackhawks were down 4-0 after the first period, their fans had every reason to hope for a comeback, and the team did not disappoint. They battled hard to set themselves up for a fantastic finish that just never panned out. While most of us were having flashbacks to last season during the first period, the Blackhawks proved that they are a different team this year and can adapt mid-game creating a chance to win. They still have a lot to improve (are they ever going to start off right against the Oilers!?), but they never quit in any situation making every game exciting for their fans. One thing’s for sure – the Chicago Blackhawks offer their fans the wildest ride in the NHL!
How do you feel after the Blackhawks’ second regulation loss of the season?