Blackhawks: 3 Takeaways from Game 2 against Golden Knights
By Dylan Terry
Takeaway #1: The Lucas Carlsson Experiment Did Not Work
Before the start of Game 2, it was announced that Adam Boqvist would be a healthy scratch. After having a rough game in the opener and a couple of questionable breakdowns in the Edmonton series, it was still a move that surprised a lot of people.
Since Boqvist was out, this meant that Lucas Carlsson drew into the Hawks lineup. Before Game 2, Carlsson only had 6 games of NHL experience under his belt. It was evident that he was inexperienced, as his defensive positioning cost the Blackhawks big-time. In only 10 minutes and 33 seconds of ice-time, Carlsson had a +/- ratio of -2.
Carlsson looked lost out on the ice. Even being paired with Connor Murphy, the duo left several wide-open shot opportunities in the slot, including Smith’s game-winner.
Like what is Carlsson doing on this play? Him being out of position leads to the wide-open cross-crease look for Smith. I don’t understand what Jeremy Colliton was thinking when putting Carlsson in the lineup. Nicolas Beaudin looked really good in his only NHL appearance so far and had a really good showing at training camp.
According to Colliton, Boqvist was benched because “he needed a rest”. The move also hurt the Blackhawks’ powerplay. Duncan Keith was the only defenseman to get powerplay time, as he tallied over 2 minutes and 30 seconds of ice time during the Hawks two opportunities with the man advantage.
How does someone need a rest when they just got a four-month break from playing hockey? I get that Boqvist hasn’t been playing up to par, but I don’t think benching him was the answer. Boqvist needs to draw back into the lineup for Game 3.