What We Learned From The Chicago Blackhawks Fall To Vegas

Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks, Corey Crawford, Connor Murphy, Duncan Keith
Chicago Blackhawks, Corey Crawford, Connor Murphy, Duncan Keith (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

The Blackhawks need to fix their blue line

The Blackhawks might have won their series against the Edmonton Oilers, but they did it by outscoring them. They did not, at any point, really dominate the play defensively. While Corey Crawford might have stood on his head at times and the penalty kill was better, for the most part, this team is going to need to play better defensively.

When I look back at how amazing the Blackhawks were in the 2010s, the thing I overlooked the most was their outstanding defensive play. During the 2015 season, the Blackhawks never lost a game when they were leading going into the third period. They did not need to score insurance goals or anything like that; they just dominated play.

Now, part of the reason the Blackhawks played so great defensively back in the championship era for Chicago was that they frequently had the puck. Chicago controlled the play of the game throughout most of the early years with Toews and Kane. We were always outshooting opponents and waiting to wear them down.

Now, the Blackhawks did eventually falter and give up the occasional weak goal, but that was it. The Blackhawks only gave up soft goals. They were never giving up third or fourth shots on goal in one rush. Instead, it would just be a fluke play or a goal off the rush. Now the Blackhawks are that team trying to get the flukey goal, and while we had that luck in the qualifying round, it did not show up against Vegas.

The way the Blackhawks are scoring goals is vital to the success of this team moving forward. We had a few good lines, but a team like Vegas can roll all four units at any moment in the game.