5 Thoughts: Chicago Blackhawks Beat Canucks In OT, Inch Towards Playoffs
By John Aubert
The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in overtime, inching them closer to the final wildcard playoff spot. Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner in a solo effort, improving their win streak to six games.
Power Play Gets It Started
The meta behind the Chicago Blackhawks power play has been astounding since mid-December. According to Eric Lear on Twitter, the ‘Hawks have an NHL best 22 power play goals since December 23rd, which marks where this team started to make headway in their turnaround this season.
Not to mention, they’ve gone from being the worst on the PP, to tied for 11th best. Against the Canucks, both Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Saad scored on the PP to give the ‘Hawks an electrified jump start in the first period, which allowed the ‘Hawks to hang in the game.
Strong starts set the tone for the rest of the game. Tonight, the start kept the Canucks chasing after the lead.
DeBrincat and Strome Reunion Is All We Needed
Let’s face it, the Erie Otters brothers need to stay together. Dylan Strome and DeBrincat were absolutely phenomenal on the puck tonight, especially in the second period where Strome gave DeBrincat a no-look pass for the go-ahead goal. Coach Colliton’s decision to reunite them with Patrick Kane was an obvious strength in the lineup, and it proved to be that way tonight. In fact, the two had an eventful night, acquiring a combined four points on the night (2G, 2 A).
Penalty Kill Helps Offense Find a Way
The Chicago Blackhawks penalty kill, believe it or not, paved an amazing path for the power play to thrive. In the first period, the Blackhawks were given two penalties in a minute and ten seconds, giving the Canucks a 5-on-3 man advantage. To the penalty kill’s success, they fended off correctly. Just four minutes later, the Blackhawks found themselves with a 5-on-3 advantage, allowing them to get the opening goals of the contest.
They don’t lie when they say your best offense comes from your defense.
Patrick Kane Continues To Chase Point Streak Record
Remember back in 2015 when Patrick Kane had a career-best 26 game point streak, which he scored 16 goals and 24 assists during that span? Well, Kane seems to be chasing that record again, as he’s now halfway there with a 13 game point streak. Kane improved his streak with an assist vs the Canucks on DeBrincat’s opening PPG. In his thirteen game streak, Kane has 10 goals and 19 assists, which has helped him jump to second in scoring with 78 points, just three under league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.
Imagine if the streak lives to 26 games again, how easily he’ll surpass Kucherov to be the league’s best player, again.
Win Streak Points To Possible Playoff Position
The Chicago Blackhawks needed to beat the Canucks tonight to inch closer to that last wildcard position in the west. With the win tonight, they’re just two points from the St. Louis Blues. The catch? The Blues have two games in hand on the Hawks and are also riding a win streak of their own, which is currently at four games.
This doesn’t guarantee the ‘Hawks a playoff position, but it sure gets them close.
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The Chicago Blackhawks will look to extend their winning streak to seven games when they face the Detroit Red Wings at home on Sunday.