Who would have guessed… the 0-5-2 Blackhawks playing an undefeated team would result in a loss?
The Blackhawks lose… Again. This marks them down to 0-6-2, ending up so far down the standings I’m not sure how they can get out of it. They miss some cues, have horrible bounces against, and have no puck luck (yes, this is a real part of winning games). Erik Gustafsson was a direct reason for two goals against, making me wonder why he is still in the lineup.
As the Blackhawks seem to get slightly better every game (thought it may not look like it), by the time they start winning games it may be too late. They are finding more time in the o-zone with great chances for on even strength just to mess it up. Patrick Kane missing games doesn’t help but there’s not much you can do about that.
This team still drops the ball defensively, something I thought would have been addressed earlier.
With the slide continuing, here are my three takeaways from last night’s game:
- Puck luck
- Defensive miscues (Erik Gustafsson)
- Not Enough Urgency
Let’s start with “Puck Luck”
1. Puck Luck
The Blackhawks should have gone into overtime this game, if not win the game. They had multiple chances for and couldn’t buy a goal while the Hurricanes scored three goals off of fluke plays. Yes, puck luck is usually used as a random statement just to make excuses but it is actually quite real, especially in this game. When you see so many bounces go in favor of the Hurricanes, you have to wonder a bit.
For example: Brandon Hagel blocked a shot just for the puck to drop right in front of Sebastian Aho for a second-chance opportunity for a 5-2 lead. There’s a shot off Gus for another goal, whose presence on the roster puzzles me. On the other side? Alex Debrincat‘s shot on a nearly empty net narrowly hits the stick of the defenseman. The pass from Hagel to Jonathan Toews narrowly hits another stick to break up a potential odd-man chance.
There are so many instances in the last few games that the Blackhawks could have scored and won the game, but instead a bad bounce (or four) would lose the game instead. This isn’t a coaching issue nor is it a skill issue. This entire team is still snake bitten.