The Chicago Blackhawks’ scoring woes continued on Thursday night. The ’Hawks got off to a hot start in Winnipeg, but they couldn’t translate that throughout the rest of the game. The ’Hawks had their four-game win streak snapped at the hands of the division rival Winnipeg Jets by a 3-1 tally. The Blackhawks struck first but gave up three unanswered goals after Patrick Kane lit the lamp just 1:26 into the game.
Here are four things we learned from Chicago’s first loss in nearly two weeks:
Blackhawks start hot, fizzle out
It appeared the Blackhawks were in store for a big night after Kane dented the twine on the powerplay before some fans got to their seats. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks fizzled out fast. The Jets answered back less than seven minutes later when Blake Wheeler ripped one past Corey Crawford’s glove side immediately off a Jets faceoff win.
That’s not to say Chicago didn’t have its opportunities.
Scoring woes continue against Hutchinson
The Blackhawks couldn’t overcome a couple of demons Thursday night. The Blackhawks’ lone goal game on a powerplay, which meant Chicago has not scored a 5-on-5 goal in any of its last three games. The Blackhawks also haven’t scored multiple goals in a game during that same span.
Check out this alarming stat from NHL.com’s Brian Hedger:
That’s nearly four hours of hockey time since the Blackhawks have scored a 5-on-5 goal. That wasn’t the only demon the Blackhawks couldn’t conquer, either.
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Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson was beat early in the night, but made 40 consecutive saves on Chicago after that. That’s right, 44 saves on 45 shots and a couple of robberies of Marian Hossa, among others. Hutchinson is now 4-0-0 against the Blackhawks in his career.
Depth fails to produce yet again
Here’s a big reason why the Blackhawks are not scoring: Andrew Shaw, Ryan Garbutt, Andrew Desjardins, Viktor Tikhonov, Marcus Kruger and Bryan Bickell have combined for one point this season. Shaw is the only person to get on the scoresheet this year with one assist. Essentially, Chicago has not gotten anything out of its third and fourth lines. Thursday night was no different.
These players aren’t supposed to light the lamp with much regularity, but the Blackhawks have become overly top-heavy through the first 10 games of the 2015-16 campaign. Teuvo Teravainen, who was scratched in favor of Bickell on Thursday night, has two goals and one assist and has struggled severely of late.
The Blackhawks will get production from Jonathan Toews, Kane, Hossa (although not as much as might be assumed) and Artemi Panarin, but that won’t always be enough.
Chicago’s depth must take the team to the next level. Eventually, these bottom lines should continue to gain stronger chemistry and begin to contribute offensively on a more consistent basis.