The Chicago Blackhawks play has evolved over the course of the past month. The team began the season unable to score and keep the puck out of their net, but they slowly started getting luckier on the power play as time went on.
Pucks started bouncing the right way for Chicago, which has led them to where they are now. The Blackhawks have a record of 10-6-4, something no one thought would happen after starting the year 0-3-1. Now the ‘Hawks keep finding ways to improve their play on the ice; the latest has been getting the defense involved in the offensive zone.
Last night, Adam Boqvist scored his first goal of the season, and Boqvist Keith and Zadorov all had four shots on goal. Getting a little bit of offensive production from the defense is a necessity for the Blackhawks, and they have been getting a lot of it as of late.
Even without registering a shot on goal, watching the game last night, I saw Connor Murphy pinch up in the offensive zone trying to keep a play alive, same with Duncan Keith and other members of the defense on multiple occasions.
The Chicago Blackhawks are a better team when the defense gets involved in the offensive zone and takes some risks.
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Sure the Blackhawks might get beat on an occasional play or two, and they will have to rely on Kevin Lankinen to bail them out. That will happen every time a risk is involved in the offensive zone, but sometimes a goal is worth it in the end.
Chicago has never been a team that was scoring goals from shots on the point, but the past few games, there has been a greater emphasis on attempting shots from the point. Take Dominik Kubalik’s goal last night, for example.
While Kubalik is a forward, his shot came from up high in the slot last night during a drawn-up play from the team. Due to Kubalik’s wicked shot and a screen by Mattias Janmark, Chicago took back the lead in the second period.
While Boqvist and Keith were the only two defensemen to register at least a point last night, the defense was all over that game in the offensive zone. With all the young players on this team, particularly on the blue line, it is nice to see Jeremy Colliton let the defense take some extra chances in the offensive zone.
During a rebuilding year, why not let the young guys learn through trial and error? There might be some errors along the way, but watching players like Boqvist Mitchell and Beaudin show their offensive upside is not an issue to me.