Fansided
Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Retooling Now Points to Defense

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CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 10: Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks senior vice president and general manager, speaks to the media in between periods of the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on January 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 10: Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks senior vice president and general manager, speaks to the media in between periods of the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on January 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks’ additions of Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini may have caused a ripple in the force Tuesday night against the Vegas Golden Knights. The two young high-ceiling talents added offensive depth in this retooling, but the real issue remains with the defense.

After a strong third period against the Florida Panthers, the Chicago Blackhawks were looking to build on that effort. But the insertion of Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini into the line up against the Vegas Golden Knights may have disrupted that budding momentum. The team will have to adjust to new lines once again.

What is more possible, though, is that the festering problems within the team defense was exposed once again.

First and foremost

In the opening minutes, Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland fired a pass into the neutral zone which center Ryan Carpenter touched over to winger Tomas Nosek. Nosek blew past a flat-footed Duncan Keith at the blue line to drive into the offensive zone.

He then made a perfect cross-ice pass to high-flying Daniel Carr for a quick tap in. Keith was unable to seal off the entry into the zone nor turn and pursue quickly enough to recover against a marginal player in Nosek. As a result, the 27-year-old Carr blew past Gustav Forsling for the tap in. From eliteprospects.com, here is the report on Carr.

"“An energy forward who plays a feisty and passionate game. Daniel Carr is a small player, who plays bigger than his size, as he battles hard along the boards and in front of the net and is not afraid to throw his body around. Only an average skater, who lacks quickness and speed. Daniel Carr is a hard worker and the type of player who scores the dirty goals.” (by Rafik Soliman, April 2016)"

Carr looked pretty quick on his goal, but quickness is all relative.

Gustav Forsling came over to bail out Keith who got beaten, but left Carr alone in the slot. The fleet Alexandre Fortin was unable to consequentially bail out Forsling.

Bad fundamentals from the top pair right here:

It’s good until it’s not

At 5:44 of the first period, Blackhawks forward Dominik Kahun scored what appeared to be a game tying goal. But after a challenge by Vegas coach Gerard Gallant, the play was ruled offside and the goal was disallowed.

This was the turning point in the game.

The mentally fragile Chicago Blackhawks seemed to have the wind taken from their sails and the downward spiral began.

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