Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks End 2016 On Low Note

By Gail Kauchak
Dec 27, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (33) and Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) go for the puck during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (33) and Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) go for the puck during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators, Thursday, 12/29. Win, 3-2

The loss to the Jets was the Chicago Blackhawks’ third loss in a row.  It was the first time all season they lost three games in a row.  But as Brian Hedger of the Chicago Sun-Times says, “The Hawks just don’t string losses together in large quantities, and haven’t since dropping nine straight games from Jan. 21 to Feb. 14 in 2012. They’ve since gone through four-game losing streaks once in each of the last three years, but quickly extinguished the flames. That included a four-game skid going into the 2015 playoffs that culminated in the Hawks’ most recent championship.”

Sure enough, the Hawks managed a win, with goals from Anisimov, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane.  It was nice to see Toews score, as he’s been struggling to put up points so far this season.  It was his 6th goal of the year.

Defenseman Gustav Forsling played a horrible game against the Jets, and was therefore a healthy scratch against the Preds.  Enter Michal Kempny, who has been a healthy scratch in nine of the last 10 games.  Michal Rozsival also drew back into the lineup.  He’s been a healthy scratch in the last seven games.  The two played mostly together on the third pairing, and neither really set the world on fire.

The odd man out was Brian Campbell.  Coach Q scratched him to send a message to his veteran defenseman that he’s not happy with his play as of late.  This broke a 423-game long playing streak for Campbell.

And then there’s the controversial tripping call and whether Corey Crawford intentionally stuck his foot out.  Yeah, I’m not sure if I can support Crow on that one.  I’ll let you be the judge.

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