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5 Thoughts: Chicago Blackhawks defeat Ottawa Senators in a wild game

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CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 18: Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan (9) rips the helmet off of Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy (5) during a game between the Ottawa Senators and the Chicago Blackhawks on February 18, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 18: Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan (9) rips the helmet off of Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy (5) during a game between the Ottawa Senators and the Chicago Blackhawks on February 18, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Ottawa Senators 8-7 Monday night at the United Center.  Here are my five thoughts on the game.

1 – NHL or Beer League game?

It’s difficult to describe exactly what happened at the United Center during this wild game.  Fifteen goals were scored in all, nine of which came in just the first period of play.  The opening frame smelled of something foul as the Ottawa Senators rattled off two quick goals in the first 2:40 of play.  The first goal was the result of a lost face off in the Chicago Blackhawks‘ end resulting in a less-than-sharp spin-around power play goal by Bobby Ryan, which squeaked through the pads of goalie Collin Delia.   The second goal came just 34 seconds later.  After a Brandon Saad turnover in the Sens’ zone, a 3-on-2 odd man break resulted in legendary scorer Rudolfs Balcers getting behind both Blackhawks’ defenders to slip a shot through Delia.

This set the tone for the rest of the night, as neither team seemed interested in playing defense.

The nine-goal first period had the crowd trying to guess how many total goals would be scored for the rest of the night.  The game resembled a beer league game with a few ringers who could score.  Or it could be called the Blackhawks’ best worst game ever.  The ‘Hawks were lucky that they were playing against the league’s worst team.

2 – Cat Trick

Part of the scoring deluge came from

Alex DeBrincat

.  The forward scored a hat trick less than half-way through the game.  All three were pretty goals, warranting a look-see in the following video:

The young Chicago Blackhawks forward now has 32 goals and 28 assists for 60 points scored in 60 games.   A point per game pace is not too shabby for a second-year forward who was bypassed by many a team in the 2016 NHL draft.   Captain Obvious would say that this kid is a keeper.

3 – Raising Kane

Not to be outdone by his teammate DeBrincat,

Patrick Kane

extended his scoring streak to 18 games with one goal and two assists.  He now sits second in league scoring with 90 points, trailing league leader

Nikita Kucherov

by nine points.  A wild wide-open game is the field of dreams for a scorer like Kane, and he certainly put on a show.  (We won’t talk about the turnovers, though.)  And why don’t we take a moment here to marvel at his scoring touch.

Spin-o-rama, one-timer, tip in, or with this snipe, he continues to dazzle us with his ridiculous ability.   And his current assists streak puts him in company with some prestigious names.

4 – Defensemen and team defense?

Nothing to see here people. Go back to your homes.  There’s not much else to say about the continued lack of team defense.  Seven goals scored against by the league’s worst team pretty much sums things up.  Next.

5 – No Deal. Unable to Ward off the attack.

Both Collin Delia and Cam Ward had a bad night.  But again, the lack of team defense is the underlying issue.  The combined poor results from both goalies sparked discussion about Corey Crawford‘s imminent (or may not so imminent) return.

Crawford’s health raises concerns on whether the Blackhawks should reactivate him during a lost season.  With the porous team defense, I personally feel he should sit the rest of the season and be ready for next season.  The team defense is unable to push the opponent’s attack away from the goalie, and so Crawford would be a sitting target.

Next. Free agents Blackhawks should watch on Senators. dark

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Next up, the Colorado Avalanche come to town for a Wednesday night tilt.  The ‘Hawks and Avs are currently tied with 59 points and sit just one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild-card spot. We’ll see if the Chicago Blackhawks can figure out how to tilt the ice in their favor…with a better team effort.

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