On Sunday night the Hawks picked up their 10th point of the season in a shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks remain 3rd in the division ahead of teams such as the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche and the recently played Wild. Chicago is now 4-3-2 just 9 games into the regular season.
A few hours before the game the official Chicago Blackhawks site (www.blackhawks.com) revealed that D Seth Jones would not play tonight. Jones is said to have a right thumb injury that will sideline him up to a month. The defensive pairings tonight were:
Jack Johnson - Jake McCabe, Jarred Tinordi - Connor Murphy, Filip Roos - Caleb Jones
Out of these 6 I want to single out Filip Roos. I am in the camp that thinks Roos is a keeper moving forward. He has tremendous patience with the puck in difficult situations. He has shown the ability to hold on to the play an extra 1/2 second to make a better pass as well. He looks to me a great option as a 4th-7th D option for years.
Fleury in net, Halloween ready crowd, let's begin. Surprise, surprise! The Hawks start this contest with an early penalty. I was nervous we'd go down early as the Wild were sporting a ridiculous 30% power play so far. Chicago escapes the early man advantage for Minnesota however. Then out of no where Jake McCabe connects on a long point shot past Flower.
With the spooky theme from the last game review... here we go again. This lead DID NOT LAST! 22 seconds later young winger Matt Boldy, a big part of the Wild moving forward, ties it up on a shot under Alex Stalock.
Speaking of the Hawk goalie, well it is always an adventure when he leaves the crease. This time it bites him as his positioning allows a tap in by the Wild to make it 2-1 visitors. Half way through the 2nd the much improved Philipp Kurashev takes a shot off the back glass and crosses it in front of Fleury. The Captain is there for the poke in goal to tie it up.
This would be Toews' 5th straight game with at least a point. Toews early season production is a nice sign after a preseason that gave most Blackhawks fans a little bit of worry for his season. He is currently averaging .778 ppg which would put him on pace for around a 64 point year (82 games). You'd have to go back to the 18-19 year to find him above that mark. Also of note: Toews is just 3 assists shy of 500 career regular season assists.
On the same play, rookie Filip Roos picked up the secondary for his first career NHL point. A few minutes later at 6:11 left Taylor Raddysh reads the play and steals the puck and makes a quick pass back to Toews for a quick one timer. Fleury gloves it, but it was an elite defensive play that lead to an A+ chance. Raddysh had one of his best games for Chicago in my opinion tonight.
A competitive and physical 3rd period ensues with alot of back and forth action. Finally off a Wild shot, Patrick Kane makes a great pass to lead Andreas Athanasiou down center ice. Athanasiou has a one on one with longtime blueliner Matthew Dumba. The Chicago winger then makes a double move on Dumba and finishes with a backhand high glove side goal. Most likely it will stand as a top 10 goal for the Blackhawks all seaon.
Ok, spooky again. Deja vu! Seconds later Minnesota ties it up. Again. Matt Boldy. Again. We head to OT where the Blackhawks skate around for around 2 minutes before proceeding forward towards Fleury. The Wild get one of the rebounds and get a great shot on Alex Stalocks's right side. The Chicago netminder comes up huge with the big right leg save to keep the match tied.
I noticed Patrick Kane had a ton of long shifts in OT. He must have been absolutely drained by the end of this matchup. Officially he had a TOI of 22:57. This was first among all forwards by nearly 4 minutes (Toews 19:11 TOI).
First shootout of the season! Richardson rolls out Kane and Toews and...... Well the Wild got a beautiful goal from Kirill Kaprizov and then the game winner by Frederick Gaudreau. The Hawks lose their second straight game 4-3, but pick up another point. Chicago welcomes in Matt Barzal and the Isles on Tuesday evening at the United Center.