Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Wrapping Up The Circus Trip

By Gail Kauchak
Nov 21, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) and Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic (27) battle along the boards for a loose puck during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) and Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic (27) battle along the boards for a loose puck during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 23, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Mikkel Boedker (89) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) watches the puck in the second period of the game at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks with a score of 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 23, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Mikkel Boedker (89) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) watches the puck in the second period of the game at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks with a score of 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

Wednesday, 11/23, At San Jose Sharks.  Loss, 2-1

The big news for this game was the splitting up of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane after 13 games together.  Kane and Marian Hossa switched places; so Toews and Hossa were reunited on the first line, and the second line of Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov, and Kane found themselves back together again.  Coach Q admitted he would have made this switch sooner if it wasn’t for the success Hossa was enjoying with Panarin and Arty.

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Also, defenseman Michal Rozsival drew back into the lineup, while Michal Kempny sat.  I’m not sure why you would break up the best defensive pairing of late in Brent Seabrook and Kempny.  But Q has made it clear that he wants to keep everyone fresh, and Rozy’s only played in five games all season.

Now this ended up being the second loss in a row, and the third of the circus trip, so you can see why everyone was thinking doom and gloom after this one.  But the Hawks didn’t actually play all that bad.  They let in a power play goal, and a hiccup on their own power play allowed San Jose’s Joel Ward to get a breakaway for a shorty.

But for the most part, they played a solid and consistent game.  They managed 34 shots on goal, although unfortunately Panarin was the only one that managed to break through with a goal.  Combine that with the fact that Toews sustained an upper body injury and left in the second period, and you just have to chalk this one up to bad luck.  You can’t win them all, but you can carry over the positives to the next game.

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