No. 4: Despite minor inconsistencies, the offense continues to lead the way.
While Ward may be viewed as inconsistent, the lack of shots in the third period was shocking. The offense started the 3rd as a shadow of how they played the first two periods. 12 minutes into the third, they tallied only three shots.
They also missed scoring opportunities in the slot and were slow to pull the trigger on odd man rushes and late to rebounds.
Debrincat’s OT winner was the 50th shot on goal for Chicago. For a 4-3 victory, that is telling of the shot quality and chances.
The offense managed to hold on to the puck and kept some weight off the shoulders of the defensive core for the first two periods. While assuming the best defense is a good offense, this is only sustainable with quality shots.
Patrick Kane blasted Chicago’s second goal of the night when two St. Louis skaters were in the crease and on their knees. It was a gimme, but it put the Blackhawks up 2-0 to end the first. Kane’s tally was also Chicago’s second power play goal of the season.
No. 5: Defense improved but cannot carry on this way.
Erik Gustafsson seemed to be all over the ice with 5 blocks and nearly 22 minutes of ice time. Additionally, Henri Jokiharju fits in perfectly on the power play and it’s only a matter of time before he nets a PPG.
Chicago’s PK is second to last in the league at %64.7, just ahead of Edmonton. After the mistake that caused the Schenn goal, expect either Saad or Manning (or both) to be off the PK.
Regardless if Crawford comes back to full form on Thursday against Arizona, the team can’t survive with this penalty kill in front of their goalie.
The Chicago Blackhawks as a whole ended the game last night with 14 blocked shots, with the Blues tallying 21.
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The consensus is that what we saw against St. Louis is not sustainable. The Central division isn’t getting any easier for the Blackhawks to forge their way through. We still haven’t seen what a regulation win feels like.
It’s frustrating. It’s fair to say the team is exceeding expectations, yet we can’t get our hopes up for OT victories or the consolidation point from an overtime loss.
That said, Mark Lazerus quipped: