Analysis

5 Thoughts: Chicago Blackhawks lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets

By Stephen Yatsushiro
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 16: Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) controls the puck against Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome (17) during a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Chicago Blackhawks on February 16, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 16: Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) controls the puck against Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome (17) during a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Chicago Blackhawks on February 16, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-5 in a home-game loss.  Here are my 5 Thoughts on the loss.

1 – Wherefore art thou, Artemi Panarin?

The hockey chatter in the Chicago Blackhawks community this week was the anticipated return of ex-Blackhawk Artemi Panarin to the United Center. Still a fan favorite of Blackhawks supporters, the dynamic forward did not disappoint those looking for some hockey magic.

It all started in the pre-game warm ups. Panarin and his buddy Patrick Kane flung pucks at each other, ending in a mock stare-down.

I couldn’t help but remember how these two friends had an almost Sedin-Twins-like symbiosis on the ice together, and even resembled each other.

But here in the present, Panarin put on quite a show against his former team. He racked up 2 goals and 1 assist as his line wreaked havoc against the Blackhawks’ defensive pairings and checking lines.

To further the expression “sometimes the puck follows you,” Panarin’s second goal of the night defined that hockey magic.

Yes, we miss this guy, but he’s not coming back here to wear the red sweater.

Move along, ‘Hawks fans.

2 – Patrick Kane’s scoring streak continues.

One bright spot from the loss was Patrick Kane extending his scoring streak to 17 games.

More from Blackhawk Up

The Blackhawks’ scoring leader has been in the zone in 2019, stirring discussions of Hart Trophy consideration for MVP and the race to the Ross Trophy for leading scorer. During this streak, he has scored at a pace of more than 2 points per game, and is on pace to score 121 points for the season.

He has carried the ‘Hawks through their recent surge of victories both on the scoresheet and by elevating the play of his teammates. It can be easy to take for granted what he is doing this season simply because everything he does looks so easy.

Kane’s 2-point night against the Jackets illustrates how much skill he owns.

On his power play goal, he patiently waits for goalie

Sergei Bobrovsky

to commit and then lifts the puck over his shoulder. Knowing Bobrovsky’s ability to make the spectacular save, Kane waits that extra moment to set up his prey. This is the mark of a true scorer. Take a look:

On the Blackhawks’ only other goal, Kane deftly passes to a streaking

Erik Gustafsson

, who also make a heady play to show a wrap-around attempt only to pass to a wide open

Jonathan Toews

.

Both plays look so easy, but it is the extreme high-end skill of Kane that makes it all work. We should all appreciate watching him in his prime.

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