After a tough loss to the San Jose Sharks, the Blackhawks came out with a big bounce back performance to defeat the Canucks 5-2.
After arguably their worst performance of the season against the Sharks, expectations for the Blackhawks reached a low point. The Blackhawks needed a big win to hold off the negative press, and they got that against a strong team in the Vancouver Canucks.
The first period started out well for the Blackhawks, as they were out shooting the Canucks 14-3 midway through the first period. Alex DeBrincat opened up the scoring as he snapped off a sharp wrist shot while falling for a highlight real goal.
The Blackhawks struck again late in the first period, as Andrew Shaw was the finisher on a beautiful tic tac goal play against a shorthanded Canucks team. Shaw recorded his first goal since the home opener.
The Blackhawks managed to hold the Canucks scoreless through the first period, despite the shots finishing at 17 a piece.
JT Miller got the Canucks on the board early in the second period as he was able to deflect a goal in on the Vancouver power play, cutting the Blackhawks’ lead in half.
After a back and fourth third period, Patrick Kane converted on the power play putting the Blackhawk’s up 3-1 with 5:06 left in the game.
David Kampf gave the Blackhawks insurance with a shorthanded empty net goal to put the Blackhawks up by three.
The Canucks ended up tallying an additional goal, but one final empty net goal from Brandon Saad sealed the win for Chicago.
The players who need to carry this team, did just that. Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, and Dylan Strome had combined total of two goals and five assists. Jonathan Toews was held pointless, but had a strong performance and generated six shots on goal.
Goaltending continues to be a non-issue. Corey Crawford was solid stopping 36 of 38 shots. Crawford looked dialed in from the start, and did what he needed to do to help his team win.
The power play was revitalized. The Blackhawk’s power play prior to this game was predictable and stagnant. Against the Canucks, the Blackhawks converted on two of their six power plays, but most importantly, generated different types of looks that kept the opposition guessing.
The dump and chase method of zone entry did not work in their previous game. Coach Colliton and the team adapted, and instead of dumping and chasing they primarily carried the puck into the zone. The zone entries were a big factor in the Blackhawks being 50% corsi or higher in two of the three periods against the Canucks.
The Blackhawk’s schedule does not get any easier. Saturday the Blackhawks travel to Pittsburgh to take on the 9-6-1 Penguins. On Sunday, the Blackhawks return to the United Center to take on the 9-5-3 Toronto Maple Leafs.