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5 Thoughts on Chicago Blackhawks’ loss to the Anaheim Ducks

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ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 05: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Jake Dotchin (21) and Chicago Blackhawks rightwing John Hayden (40) fight in the first period of a game played on December 5, 2018 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 05: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Jake Dotchin (21) and Chicago Blackhawks rightwing John Hayden (40) fight in the first period of a game played on December 5, 2018 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks entered into Wednesday night’s tilt with the Anaheim Ducks with a four game losing streak. They failed to break that streak against a surging Ducks team who entered with a four game win streak. Here are 5 thoughts on the loss.

One

The Chicago Blackhawks continued their frustrating trend of falling behind in the first period. John Hayden was inserted on the second line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane to provide grit and energy.

Instead, all he provided an early 5-minute major penalty for fighting, just 1:47 into the game.  First, the fight was uneventful, far from anything to fire up the team. Second, this quickly disrupted the rotation of the forward lines, and the ‘Hawks never got going in the first period.

They were out-shot 12-8 and out-scored 2-0 in that first period. The Blackhawks desperately need to end this trend of listless play to start their games.

Two

The Ducks scored two first period goals in quick succession.

The makeshift line of Brendan Perlini-Anisimov-Kane got burned as an undefended Rickard Rakell screened goalie Corey Crawford. A long flip shot by Brandon Montour found its way past Crawford for an early lead just 5:41 into the game.

The other Brandon, Manning that is, forgot about Rakell in the slot and well…see for yourself.

Just 22 seconds later, Daniel Sprong sprung past not-a-spring-chicken Brent Seabrook to sneak a shot past Crawford.

Defensive breakdowns and lack of speed continue to haunt this 2018-19 Chicago Blackhawks team. Manning and Seabrook were both a minus-3 for the night.

Blackhawks management needs to find some answers quickly if they really want to compete this season.

Three

Who in the world is Ondrej Kase?

This 3rd year forward is a former 7th round 2014 NHL draft pick. That said, he looked like an all-world forward against the ‘Hawks with a 1 goal, 1 assist, and 6 shots-on-goal performance. The ‘Hawks could use a player like this guy.

Four

These late night west coast games are rough.

The dryness of the WGN-TV personalities lulled me to sleep during the first intermission. I recovered 6 minutes into the second period to witness a revival from the ‘Hawks.

Erik Gustafsson slammed home a one-timer on a perfect feed from Duncan Keith. Gustafsson has been playing with more confidence this year.

Later, he neatly walked the puck along the blue line to slap a dinger off the goal post. Fortunately, at the tail end of the period a Saad to Toews to Alex DeBrincat tic-tac-toe play resulted in another goal.

It wasn’t anything pretty, but high effort from all three made the play work. Put simply, the Chicago Blackhawks can’t afford lulls like the one I had between periods. When they play with energy, they can still be competitive.

Five

Goal posts.

The goal posts in Anaheim were wearing Ducks sweaters. The ‘Hawks dinged four shots off the posts to foil their delayed effort to eke out a win.

Teams do create their own luck with hard effort. Tonight, the hockey gods decided that the lackluster first period did not make the ‘Hawks deserving of any puck luck, even after they woke up.

Next. How the NHL to Seattle Affects the Chicago Blackhawks. dark

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Again, when the ‘Hawks play with energy, they can compete.  We have to hope they are learning this lesson.

So it’s on to Vegas tomorrow night for another late night tilt. As they say, “What happens in Vegas…better be a respectable showing from the ‘Hawks.” Let’s go.

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