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5 Thoughts: Chicago Blackhawks defeat New York Islanders at home

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 20: Patrick Kane #88 and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks are congratulated by teammates after Kane scored a first period goal against the Washington Capitals at the United Center on January 20, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 20: Patrick Kane #88 and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks are congratulated by teammates after Kane scored a first period goal against the Washington Capitals at the United Center on January 20, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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2 – The Blackhawks managed to gain some traction in the second period.

The second period opened with not a whole lot happening until the ‘Hawks went on the power play.  A two-man advantage put the high flying Chicago Blackhawks’ power play into action, which resulted in a

Dylan Strome

tally at 6:05 of the period.  The crazy part of the play was that Jonathan Toews’ stick exploded against the goal post and Toews had to dart off to gain a new stick.  Strome did his part by waiting for Patrick Kane to draw the defense up high and slid in alone to sneak a shot far side past goalie

Robin Lehner

.  The hockey sense of Kane and Strome is on display here as they play a high-low game against the defense.

Although the ‘Hawks didn’t capitalize on the ensuing 5-4 advantage, the power play goal gave the team some energy to compete at a higher level.

3 – The 5-on-5 is meh.  The power play is wow.

The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t manage a goal in 5-on-5 play.  Their erratic passing and defensive deficiencies continue to plague them.  There were good moments on both sides of the puck, but inconsistent play once again led to numerous turnovers and scoring opportunities.  With six minutes left in regulation time, Erik Gustafsson turned the puck over twice in his own zone leading to scoring chances.  The ‘Hawks were fortunate that first-star-of-the-game Cam Ward came on strong in the third period to send the game into overtime and the eventual shoot-out.

The first power play unit is really playing well together.  We’ve mentioned lately that they’ve figured out how to run the 1-3-1 overload.  The first power-play goal was the result of chaos created by Kane and

Alex DeBrincat

with their cross-ice play.  The threat of the one-timer drew the Islanders’ defense into concentrating on those two, while Strome sneaked in low for the high-percentage shot.  On the second power-play goal, Kane fed DeBrincat for the one-timer, and big-body Toews slid into the open area to bat in the rebound.

The 1-3-1 is the most entertaining and the most effective power play scheme.  It’s great to see the ‘Hawks running it with such efficiency now.

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