Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Win Over Jets Not Very Reassuring

By Sean Fitzgerald
Apr 1, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates his goal against Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the third period at MTS Centre. Chicago won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates his goal against Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the third period at MTS Centre. Chicago won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Blackhawks tallied a late third-period goal and scored in overtime to post a 5-4 comeback victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. The Blackhawks got goals from Artemi Panarin (two), Brandon Mashinter, Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook, who netted the winner off a Panarin assist. Despite the result, the victory does not inspire confidence for the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blackhawks had to come back against a non-playoff team for an overtime victory. Going into Friday’s game, in their last 10 games, the Blackhawks were 4-5-1. Their four victories in that stretch were against non-playoff teams in the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and two against the Jets.

Their were some positives in addition to the two points. Panarin finally got back to his scoring ways after a terrible March. Kane also got back on the scoresheet after not scoring against Minnesota on Tuesday. Kane was a minus-3 in the loss to the Wild.

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Despite playing in the Central Division, the Blackhawks will not be facing the Winnipeg Jets in the playoffs. That is too bad because the Blackhawks are 4-1-0 against the Jets this season.  The Blackhawks scored 15 goals and allowed eight in the five games against the Jets, averaging 3.00 goals a game and allowing 1.60 per game.

Instead of the Jets, the Blackhawks likely will be facing either the Dallas Stars or the St. Blues. It has been well documented this season how the Blackhawks have struggled against the Stars.

The Stars are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games without one of their top scorers in Tyler Seguin, who figures to return for the playoffs.. The Blackhawks against the Stars this season are 1-4-0 with 11 goals for and 20 goals against. That breaks down to 2.20 goals for and 4.00 goals allowed, on average. In my opinion, the Stars are a big threat to send the Blackhawks home in quarterfinal round.

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Another possible early opponent is the St. Louis Blues. Surprisingly, the Blackhawks have played the Blues tighter than most people think. Despite blowing a four-goal lead at home to the Blues this season, the Blackhawks are 2-0-2 against their hated rival, with one game still remaining. The Blues outscored the Blackhawks by two goals, 13-11. The numbers break down to 3.25 goals for and 2.75 goals against, on average, the Blackhawks against the Blues. The Blues are also heading into April red hot, as they are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games.

In my opinion, the Blues are the team the Blackhawks want to play in the first round. The Blues and Blackhawks were evenly matched this season, and the Blues have not made it past the first round since 2011-12.

Hopefully the victory against the Jets will get the Blackhawks’ offensive machine rolling again. The Blackhawks’ offense is going to have continue to carry the load for a even weaker defense without Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford.

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