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Chicago Blackhawks: What We Know After October

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CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 25: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Chicago Blackhawks gets a pat on the head from Jonathan Toews #19 after scoring an empty net goal in the third period against the New York Rangers at the United Center on October 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Rangers 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 25: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Chicago Blackhawks gets a pat on the head from Jonathan Toews #19 after scoring an empty net goal in the third period against the New York Rangers at the United Center on October 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Rangers 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
EDMONTON, AB – NOVEMBER 1: Duncan Keith #2, Henri Jokiharju #28, Marcus Kruger #16, Chris Kunitz #14 and Andreas Martinsen #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks stand for the singing of the national anthem prior to the game against the Edmonton Oilers on November 1, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Answering the question “Is this a playoff team?”

If the power play can function properly, then yes. Coach Joel Quenneville continues to manipulate the power play lines to find the sweet spot. A weak PP is costing Chicago goals in winnable games.

Going into November, Chicago is 26th in the league on the man advantage at 14%.

In the division that houses the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators, the league point leaders, this is the most unsustainable issue the team faces. If they want to be serious about making the playoffs, the power play needs to figure itself out in a hurry.

Closing games

The powerplay notwithstanding, the ‘Hawks have struggled to shut the door in the third period.

The Chicago Blackhawks ended October 6-4-3. Their first regulation loss was on the 18th in their sixth game of the season. After tying the game in the 2nd period, Chicago gave up 2 bad goals in the third and ultimately lost.

Even with the exception of the 6-3 shellacking Chicago received at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning on the 21st, that game was tied after the first period. Tampa went on to make history with the most shots on goal ever recorded in a period in the 2nd.

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The St. Louis Blues game in which they fell 7-3 is another example of Chicago floundering mid-to-late in the game. Even with the Blues starting goaltender Jake Allen removed with an injury with a minute to go in the second, the Blackhawks still couldn’t find the back of the net.

Tied at 1 after no goals in the second or third period, the Blackhawks and the Oilers went into overtime on the 28th. McDavid then scored 53 seconds in. Chicago went 1 for 5 on the power play and finished the game with 38 shots on goal. Not great.

Finally, against Vancouver on the 31st the game was tied 2-2 until the third. In fact, the Chicago Blackhawks dominated the first forty minutes and looked poised to start their three game Canadian road trip with a win.

Then, the ‘Hawks put up a measly 9 shots on goal in the final period.  Additionally, Vancouver had called up Brendan Gaunce and Darren Archibald to fill the holes caused by the many injuries in the Canucks lineup, so the opportunity to take two points was there.

Instead, it was another example of a winnable game that Chicago simply couldn’t finish.

Where will Chicago be at the end of November?  Will some prospects from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs get the call?

dark. Next. Chicago Blackhawks Can’t Hold Lead, Lose to Canucks

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There are certainly a lot of questions surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks heading into the second month of the season in which they face the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals on the 21st, Tampa Bay again on the 23rd and close out the month at Winnipeg.

This should prove to be a interesting and telling month of Blackhawks hockey.

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