Disastrous start dooms the Chicago Blackhawks as their late rally against the San Jose Sharks falls short.
After a very solid effort against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday there were some positive sentiments around the team and how a game against the Sharks could provide them a way to gain some positive momentum. Unfortunately through two periods against the Sharks all positivity about the Blackhawks had worn off as possession was completely dominated by the Sharks.
We won’t go into a deep dive on this game as it will sound much like the games against the Predators and the Kings but this team just seems to be out of sync and cannot have every facet of their game working all at once. For example tonight the Blackhawks penalty kill was extremely solid as they squashed all three Shark attempts on the power play but the offense and goaltending left much to be desired tonight.
As well as Robin Lehner has played for the Blackhawks this season, this was one that I think he would like to have back with a couple of softer goals, the Evander Kane breakaway and the Tomas Hertl goal in the third. These two goals may have squeaked through Lehner but they were also not entirely his fault as both scoring opportunities were created by defensive breakdowns.
The offense is a whole other thing, they just could not generate anything until it was crunch time with under five minutes to play where they would score two goals in just over a minute from Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith. The issue being where was this sense of urgency early in the game?
I commend Jeremy Colliton for not doing the constant line juggling that he has done in the past but something just isn’t right here, whether it is individuals not living up to their potential, young players being outmatched or an imbalance in the overall offense. Colliton needs to figure it out quickly or the calls for his job by fan will only get louder and could actually result in a change at the coaching position.
Next up for the Blackhawks will be a return home to face the Vancouver Canucks who are off to a solid start this season. If the Blackhawks hope to compete this season they are going to need to start stringing together positive games to gain that momentum they desperately need, a win against a strong team like the Canucks would be a huge boost for this struggling group.