A lacking night for the defense
21 shots on goal in one period is not acceptable, ESPECIALLY when it comes against one of the worst teams in the league. In the 46 shots against, the Detroit Red Wings forced multiple A+ chances against. Detroit does not have the best offense in the world, but they still managed to cause havoc in the offensive zone before they eventually caved to the Blackhawks’ third-period onslaught.
The defensive coverage was lazy once again, with multiple moments where a large wedge of ice would be open for the opposition to capitalize on a one-timer, much like Anthony Cirelli’s goal back in early January.
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A lapse in coverage opened up a Cirelli tip-in that, like it did multiple times before that, resulted in a goa against. Defensive coverage has to be better if the Blackhawks hope to get out of March with a positive win percentage.
If they allow another game like this against Tampa Bay, the score and the outcome would be very different. The Detroit Red Wings do not have someone like Brayden Point or Steven Stamkos, and they don’t have the best defensive corps in the league. The Lightning will capitalize on the Blackhawks’ mistakes and could end up with a 9-7 win with all of their offensive weapons.
To conclude, I believe the Blackhawks will look back on this game and play the Lightning with focused defense and the same transition, offensive game that made the Red Wings give up. They can match the Lightning offensively, there is no question there. They just have to defend well as the chances will come against them.
The youngsters, mainly Adam Boqvist, have made massive improvements in their game and they will have to be at their best if they want to defeat three of the Stanley Cup favorites this month.
The Blackhawks begin their hell-month Thursday night in a three-game homestand against the Lightning.