The Blues traveled a little over 300 miles North-East to hand the Chicago Blackhawks a 5-2 defeat on Wednesday night. This will mark the 4th straight win for St. Louis that looks to be hitting their stride finally.
The game started off with chances on both sides with exciting odd man rushes going each way. The lone goal in the period was actually a shot that was about 4 feet wide right that hit Hawk rookie Alec Regula in the chest and went in.
There was one play that happened in the 1st that I want to point out:
With 14:00 left in the period, the Blackhawks went for a quick change and the Blues got a lucky bounce and quickly started racing towards Arvid Soderblom. Our captain, Jonathan Toews, quickly realized that Chicago would be caught in a bad change. He stayed on the ice and held up the play before the blue line 4 on 1. The new Hawks on the ice gained ground and the sequence continued evenly.
This was a simple play and one that will not be on the box score. However, it showed his defensive IQ and experience in that moment that has made him an elite two way player for 15 seasons.
The second period was a different story. There were 5 goals in a span of just 6:25 (3 for STL and 2 for CHI) which saw the Blues grow their lead to 4-2. Blackhawk forward Andreas Athanasiou netted 2 goals in the period and now has 5 on the season. As is usual with Athanasiou, both of his goals were started by his tremendous speed. It's a good sign to see him finish these chances as the past narrative has been just the opposite.
The final period was mostly uneventful except for the 15 times they mentioned the mom's weekend. Unfortunately, the one thing that did stick out was the play of Caleb Jones. He is either too hesitant or too risky when it comes to his gap coverage. It has gotten him into bad positions causing turnovers in the last 4-5 matchups. I believe he needs a healthy scratch at this point. I could see Ian Mitchell from Rockford in a few weeks starting to push Jones for time.
Overall this was another game that saw Chicago looking for skilled forwards to make plays and finding very few options. The Blackhawks drop below the .500 mark for the first time since early in the season. It will not get any easier as the Blackhawks travel to take on the league leading Bruins in Boston on Saturday night.
*Thank you to Sportsnet official YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/@sportsnet) for the clip.