Coming off back-to-back wins against hot teams, the Chicago Blackhawks welcomed the Nashville Predators to the United Center. Nashville took the lead early while Chicago fought back to drop the contest in overtime.
Unfortunately, the Chicago Blackhawks couldn’t complete the comeback, losing 4-3 in overtime. They now sit at 16-22-8 for the season and 1-1-1 against Nashville this year. Here are my five thoughts on the loss.
1 – Collin Delia’s lack of experience (finally) showed.
It’s a small sample size, yet going into this game against the Nashville Predators the rookie goalie was sitting at .947 save percentage and 2.19 GAA. For comparison, Cam Ward has posted .889 SV% and 3.80 GAA in his first year in Chicago.
As of right now, Collin Delia looks to be the goalie of the future. Recently, general manager Stan Bowman has sang his praises:
"“It almost looks like his third year in the league. There’s no panic to his game. For me, that’s probably the most promising part of it is just the way he looks like he belongs here.”"
However, a performance like what we saw at the United Center Wednesday night leaves quite a bit to be desired from the rookie goaltender.
His confidence was shaken in vital rebound opportunities. Getting rattled when pucks are at his feet can result in easily goals for the opposing team.
2 – Penalties continue to be an issue
The Chicago Blackhawks were hit hard with penalties in pivotal situations. Brendan Perlini‘s double-minor for high stick against Dan Hamhuis forced Chicago to end the first period 2-1 on the penalty kill.
Fortunately, Jonathan Toews notched a SHG shortly after David Kampf was called for tripping to cut the lead back to one goal; 3-2 Nashville. Penalties against a hot divisional opponent like Nashville will forced Chicago to claw back all night.
The Blackhawks started the second and third periods shorthanded and trailing a goal. Additionally, Chicago is 4-18-3 when the opponent scores first.
The Blackhawks need to start periods at full strength to gain momentum early.