Dec 6, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wingArtemi Panarin
(72) celebrates with right wingPatrick Kane
(88) after scoring a goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at United Center. The Blackhawks won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Ah, it certainly was a pleasant surprise that the Chicago Blackhawks pulled off a win yesterday afternoon. They beat the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center by a score of 3-1. After three disappointing losses in a row, this was good to see. And Patrick Kane broke Bobby Hull’s record, so he now has earned at least a point in 22 consecutive games. What a feel-good day for Chicago hockey, especially after the Bears blew all our football hopes away with their loss.
So what contributed to a Chicago Blackhawks win instead of a loss? Let’s take a look at 5 things they did right this time.
5. Good Start. Going all the way back to when they played in Anaheim last Friday night, the Hawks were down by two goals before they miraculously came back and won in overtime. Trust me, that’s not the kind of thing the Hawks can pull off every night. The following Tuesday against Minnesota, they allowed a goal in the first period. Against Ottawa on Thursday, it was the same thing. The Sens scored two unanswered goals in the first period, and the Hawks had to try to fight their way back into it.
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It’s not a good thing to have to play from behind. But in this past tilt against the Jets, Marian Hossa was the one to score and give the Chicago Blackhawks the lead in the first period. The Jets weren’t able to answer back until the second period.
A strong start is key in determining the tempo of the game. It’s so much easier to play with the lead than to play from behind.
4. Better discipline. The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t been as disciplined as they should be recently. In Anaheim, the Hawks accumulated 8 penalty minutes, the most noted being when Jonathan Toews tried to fight Ryan Kesler. Against both Minnesota and Ottawa, the Hawks again accrued 8 penalty minutes. But against Winnipeg, they cut that in half, with only 4 minutes.
Yes the Chicago Blackhawks have an excellent penalty kill, but having to kill off a bunch of penalties takes away your momentum in a game. And yes, sometimes you have to stick up for yourself, or take a penalty to negate an opponent’s scoring chance. But the more disciplined you can be, the better. I’m sure Coach Q is preaching this.