Despite the Win, the Chicago Blackhawks Need Improvement
Despite a Blackhawks 7-2 win, the SOG was 46-32 in favor of Detroit. This should be a concern as the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town.
The Chicago Blackhawks were peppered with shots on Sunday night, with multiple chances against them. They were smart on offense and the powerplay through maintaining possession in the zone with puck control and crisp tape-to-tape passes. The game brought both encouraging points and discouraging points.
Let’s start with the encouraging aspects of the game.
A solid night for the offense and goaltender.
Patrick Kane and Alex Debrincat are back, both scoring three points or more. They were active in the zone, maintaining great motion and cycling to create space and chances for. Debrincat was a bit too fancy with the puck at times giving the puck away, but he made up for it. This duo is a problem and looks to become a nightmare for the opposition when Kirby Dach returns from IR. If Dach maintains his play from the postseason? Imagine the possibilities…
Adam Boqvist was solid this game, using his stick well and didn’t give his opponent too much space on the rush. He added an assist to a now eight-point campaign in twelve games played. As an offensive defenseman, he is expected to provide some offense with sound defensive play. We all know his offensive production is there, and the defensive side of things are looking better and better.
Depth scoring is something the Blackhawks can’t take for granted. Ryan Carpenter scored two goals vs Detroit, as a fourth-line forward. His play on the powerplay was interesting as he took the shot instead of passing to a wide-open Patrick Kane, and scored on the shot. Like many others, I expected him to pass the puck for a Kane one-timer, but any goal is a good goal. The depth forwards also press the opposition, forcing turnovers and generating chances for.
This is a great sign as the Blackhawks need everyone to make an impact this month. They won’t get a night off in a month that will likely involve playoff-level hockey as the top teams in the league (including the 6th place Blackhawks) will face off multiple times.
Kevin Lankinen was a brick wall once again, stopping 44 of 46 shots against. Despite a two-game break, he has proven yet again that he earned his spot as the Blackhawks’ starter. His puck handling still looks a bit shaky, but it’s not something goaltenders need to worry about. As long as his fundamentals, play, and mindset are all as solid as it can be for a first-year rookie. At almost twenty-six years of age, he looks to be the starter of the next generation.
Now, let’s look at the discouraging part.