The Chicago Blackhawks were coming home on Wednesday night with some momentum after an 8-2 win in Ottawa the night before. They scored in the first period, but when the final horn sounded they skated off the ice with a 2-1 defeat to the Minnesota Wild. Here are 5 Quick Thoughts on the loss Wednesday.
5. I really hate 7 defenseman playing
This isn’t the first time Joel Quenneville has decided to play 7 defenseman. He used to do it with Sheldon Brookbank, but tonight was even worse in my opinion. I don’t understand what the point of having Tomas Jurco on the roster if you aren’t going to play him. Playing 7 defenseman just messes up all of the pairings all night especially when you are double shifting Patrick Kane the entire game. This is a Coach Q thing, but there is never a reason to play 7 d-men in a game.
4. The Mark Of Inconsistency
If there is one word to describe the Chicago Blackhawks this season is inconsistency. Just look at the last two games. Eight goals versus one goal, and an easy win versus a tough defeat. Every time you feel like the Chicago Blackhawks have turned the corner they take one step back. If the Chicago Blackhawks end up missing the playoffs this season, you will be able to look back at games like this and wonder why they couldn’t finish off a team they should have beaten on that particular night. It’s by far the most frustrating thing about watching them this year.
3. That’s The Powerplay We Know
After a surprising 4 powerplay goals in Ottawa on Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks were back to their normal big goose egg on the powerplay on Wednesday night. The Hawks had a real shot to put the game away in the first period when they had scored, were dominating the play, and had a powerplay after a failed Minnesota Wild offsides challenge. The Hawks powerplay had one decent Jonathan Toews chances, but then it was more of the poor entries that normally plague them on the powerplay. They don’t always need to score with the man advantage, but last night all they needed was one out of the three chances to get one to go in.
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2. Missed Opportunities
The Chicago Blackhawks had so many opportunities in the first period that you knew it was going to bite them in the end. The shots said 14-5, but it felt like 40-5 in reality. For one it feels like they hit the post just for fun every game with Tommy Wingels hitting one with a great set up from Kane. Gustav Forsling had another great chance as he totally whiffed on a puck that if he gets any kind of shot off it’s going in with Devan Dubnyk way out of the net. It really should have been 4-0, but as Mike Milbury kept saying on the telecast that the Hawks were letting them stick around and the opportunity for 2 points against a divisional opponent was lost on Wednesday.
1. Artem Anisimov Is Missed
David Kampf is a nice player and maybe the next Marcus Kruger for Joel Quenneville, but the Hawks are missing Artem Anisimov. They need his big body and scoring ability close to the net especially in games like tonight. Kampf gets pushed off the puck easily and looks to defer anytime he has the puck. I really like the Hawks lines when Anisimov gets back which hopefully is sooner than later.
The Hawks have played 43 games so far this season and are two points out of a playoff spot. It is pretty tiresome in my opinion to be talking about playoff positioning every game when it’s the beginning of January. Yes, if the playoffs started today they wouldn’t be in the playoffs, but there is still 39 games to be played. Let me know where they stand when there is 10 games left in the season!
What are your thoughts on the Blackhawks loss last night?