3 Takeaways From the Chicago Blackhawks Home Loss to the Minnesota Wild

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

After 10 days off and a four-game road trip, the Chicago Blackhawks finally returned to home ice. The result was much like those finals on that West Coast/Western Canada road trip as the Hawks lost to the Minnesota Wild 2-1.

The Wild have now won 11 straight matchups against the Blackhawks.

Marcus Foligno also won bragging rights over his brother Nick as he scored the game-winning goal for the Wild.

This defeat at least helped the Blackhawks in the Tankathon.com standings. The Blackhawks had a chance to cede last place to the San Jose Sharks, who are on a bye-week, if the Hawks won their two games this week. At least not decreasing the odds to win the No. 1 overall pick and the chance to draft Macklin Celebrini is a consolation prize for this latest beat.

Here are three takeaways from this latest Blackhawks' loss...

The Blackhawks started the game like they were still on vacation.

Chicago got off just one shot in the first period. One! This was a team that just got back Tyler Johnson and was well-rested. They played like they needed a few more days off.

The Wild got five high-danger chances off and scored the first goal of the game in that period. The Blackhawks had an xGF of .07 in the first. The Hawks should have just elected to keep the puck in the defensive zone and play five defensemen during the game's first 20 minutes.

The effort got better in the second and third periods. Maybe it was the late start that caused such a terrible first-period effort.

The offense continues to struggle to score goals without Connor Bedard.

The phenom missed his 12th game with a jaw injury. Since he went down in early January, scoring has been almost impossible for the Chicago Blackhawks.

This was the fifth game during Bedard's absence where the Hawks scored just one goal in regulation. They have been shut out in four games while he has been on injured reserve.

The Hawks are nowhere close to averaging even two goals a game without Connor on the ice. The offense now ranks dead last in the NHL in goals scored per game.

Nick Foligno scored the Blackhawks' only goal which came in the second period.

Petr Mrazek was outstanding in goal again.

This seems to be a running theme where Mrazek is outstanding in goal and the Hawks spot him no scoring to get a victory.

Mrazek stopped 23 of 25 shots. On the Wild's game-winning goal, Isaak Phillips had a chance to block the shot and missed.

Mrazek is doing everything he can to keep the Blackhawks in these games. With the offense not doing anything, Petr pretty much has to have a shutout for the Hawks to have any chance of winning. Speaking of which, the Hawks have now lost five straight and are 2-8 in their last 10 games. Hey, at least it helps the tank for Macklin Celebrini cause.

manual