1. A Full 60-Minute Effort is Still Needed
The Blackhawks looked as if they stopped playing after the first goal for them, as if they took an off night before the second period. The Coyotes are not a team that loses games without a lack of effort and they showed it tonight. In a game that really should have been a one-sided 5-1 win for the Blackhawks, it was instead a chippy 2-1 win with a mid-game scare.
This team really needed to wake up and play much earlier than they did. Yes, a win is still a win and two points are needed in any way possible, but when you play a tanking team who realistically could win only ten games in the season, I was expecting a more dominating effort by the home side. Reese Johnson played like a fourth liner tonight and bashed every guy he saw, but still played with discipline and didn’t take any bad penalties in favor for physicality.
With this said, though, I am still puzzled on Derek King’s call to keep Jujhar Khaira on the second line with Jonathan Toews and Dominick Kubalik…
2. Snake-Bitten Stars
The offensive weapons for the Blackhawks are not exactly noticeable at the moment, with Dominick Kubalik, Kirby Dach, and previously Dylan Strome and Alex Debrincat snake-bitten for a long time. As Debrincat started to find his game, and Strome scored on the powerplay, the production from this team can skyrocket in no time.
Patrick Kane is still Kaner, so he doesn’t have to score goals to be effective and he hasn’t done that his entire career. His skill is possessing the puck, drawing attention from the opposition, and earning assists. Kubalik, however, needs to score to be effective as the Blackhawks’ secondary sniper, and Dach needs to step his game up as well.
Again, this team could be a offensive terror when all of their big-name guys are on form. This is a roster full of offensive potential, and it is only a matter of time until they kick off, especially with Derek King’s free-style of play. Under Jeremy Colliton, the guys just looked stiff and dull, now they are starting to find their bounces.