Feb 9, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) scores past Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The last time the Chicago Blackhawks faced the Arizona Coyotes they were millimeters away from scoring the game winning goal as time expired. Instead they were defeated 3-2 in the shootout. During this game Antoine Vermette who was recently traded to the Chicago Blackhawks was the main factor the Coyotes won, scoring a goal in regulation and the game winning shootout goal. Hopefully this time around he will help end the Blackhawks scoring woes and contribute the same as he once did against us.
Consistency in goal support
The Chicago Blackhawks have looked lethargic during the last couple of games but still have managed to find a way to register points in the standings, thanks to the help of better defensive assignments and Corey Crawford’s saving abilities. The Chicago Blackhawks used to be better known for their high goal scoring ways but that has not been consistent this year. There are times when we see flashes of power house goal scoring like in the 5-2 route of the Carolina Hurricanes but other than that it hasn’t been happening enough. If they aren’t blowing by the opponent they are struggling to scrape by, leaving Blackhawks fans with high blood pressure and on the edge of their seats yelling at an object that can’t . If the Chicago Blackhawks are able to score first and continue to build on that lead they are almost guaranteed to win the game when entering the 3rd period.
Production from the power play
Over the last 4 games since Patrick Kane’s injury the Chicago Blackhawks have gone a sour 0-15 on the man advantage and have looked lifeless. It has been pretty brutal watching them try and control the puck without Patrick Kane’s swift stick handling. In my last article “Chicago Blackhawks Need An Answer On The Power Play” I mentioned that Teuvo Teravainen could be the answer in helping them gain more puck possession when trying to get the puck to the other end of the ice. He has recently presented the ability to maneuver the puck in way Patrick Kane does using his smaller body size to dodge and dip through traffic. It can’t just be Teuvo that gets some life in the power play, this will be a group effort. Hopefully Patrick Sharp can snap out of his funk because 6 of his 10 goals have come via the power play.
Continued excellence by Corey Crawford
Since Patrick Kane’s injury Corey Crawford has kept this team alive. Dating back to February 24 he has now gone 3-0-1 in front of the net, only allowing 4 goals over those 4 games and stopped 132 of 136 total shots. It is pretty hard to lose a hockey game when your goalie is doing that well and the Hawks have surely needed it with their recent decline in goal scoring. He seems to of rekindled the flash in the pads that we saw earlier in the season before he went down with an injury. Keep an eye on him down the stretch because if he continues to stay hot the Blackhawks will be able to use that to their advantage tonight and entering the playoffs.
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