The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Arizona Coyotes 7-1 in an explosive win, which brought them closer to a playoff position. After we thought the season was dead, the ‘Hawks decided to make the end of the year interesting again.
1. Perlini, Panik Trade Goals
Okay, this was cool. Brendan Perlini and Richard Panik, who were both traded, exchanged goals in the first period. Panik scored the game opener and Perlini responded with the equalizer. Obviously, the two forwards were involved in the same trade, but it was cool to see both sides getting a little benefit on the ice tonight. Better yet, it benefitted the Chicago Blackhawks more in the win as Perlini scored his first career hat trick.
2. Blackhawks Hold Coyotes Thin
The Chicago Blackhawks’ defense did a fantastic job keeping the Arizona Coyotes contained. After their first goal, the ‘Hawks kept the Yotes to six shots on goal in the first and nine in the second period. At one point in the second period, the Blackhawks had five goals while the Coyotes only had nine shots.
I might have the wrong cooking book, but that’s a recipe for winning.
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3. Offense Find Rhythm, Execute Accordingly
The Chicago Blackhawks offense was on fire in their win versus the Coyotes. After Perlini’s equalizer, four other Blackhawks picked up the pace and followed suit in the offensive explosion. Patrick Kane, Chris Kunitz, Brandon Saad, and Jonathan Toews found the back of the net to keep increasing the ‘Hawks lead. When you have the entire team scorching the opposing netminder, you know they’re doing something right.
4. Toews Scores Goal No. 30, Silences Doubters
Since their unfortunate downfall in 2017, the Blackhawks have been finding a face to blame for their misfortunes down the stretch. A big name in that discussion was Jonathan Toews. After having only 52 points in 72 games last year, Toews took the ‘Hawks playoff absence personally and took responsibility to change the narrative this year.
Unfortunately, you can’t rely on one person to bring your team to the playoffs, but Toews put the doubters to rest by scoring his 30th goal of the year in the win. In fact, this season Toews has 71 points in 69 games, which is 19 more points in three fewer games.
He’s definitely earning that $10.5 million annual contract.
5. Blackhawks Keep Improving, Playoffs Seem Possible at a Glance
Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Making the playoffs still might be a stretch but hear me out:
The San Jose Sharks beat the Wild 3-0 tonight. Wild currently hold the final wildcard spot with 74 points, being trailed by the Coyotes (73), Colorado Avalanche (72), and then the Blackhawks (67).
With the Avs loss against the Carolina Hurricanes, the ‘Hawks climb just three points behind Colorado and five from Minnesota with a game in hand. There are 13 games left. Call me crazy, but there might be a possibility to make the playoffs if they get a hot win streak and build with it, which seems to be the case as they’re carrying on a three-game win streak.
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If you asked me last week if the Chicago Blackhawks would climb back after losing four out of five games, I’d say they were out of the playoff hunt for sure. But now, things seem a little more optimistic than before.