The Blackhawks lost a second straight game and fell to fifth overall in the Western Conference, carrying some bagagge from a tough loss to the Canucks this was not the Blackhawks best effort.
“We had a tough loss against Vancouver the other night and now we don't play them again, so whatever happens away from where we are is out of our control. We've just got to focus on what we can do out there.” – Jonathan Toews
This is the first time all year that Jonathan Toews is showing that he may not be quite mature enough for the captaincy
It should be a concern that in the post game of this one the Blackhawk's captain was still talking about the Vancouver game, yes it was tough and closer than the score showed and I know you want to get back at them but you have to “focus” on your current opponent.
Where has the Scoring Gone?
The Blackhawks are a decidedly offensive team in that to win most nights they rely on goal scoring to be the difference than defense or goaltending but in the close checking game that is playoff hockey the Blackhawks have not been able to find the score sheet. Why?
The answer is partially related to confidence, think Carey Price a month ago every time he put on the gear the nerves were tremendous and it becomes somewhat self fufilling, Eg If you think you cannot score you can't.
The second is style the Blackhawks score off the rush often odd man counter attacks and off of the wings but this time off year teams clog the middle of the ice via ”the trap” forcing you to dump the puck in and beat them down low, the Hawks are just not built to win this way.
Who is Number #1?
It was just last week that I heard the Blackhawks would go back to Khabby and likely stay with him for the majority of the games remaining. But now it appears the tinkering may continue.
The deciding factor in this game, beyond the focus issue was defensive positioning and puck handeling: one the first goal: “think Dunc was expecting Kovalev to come on the other side, and just reversed the play. Kovy made a good read on it” – Cristobal Huet
French translation, Brutual turnover in our own zone put's the Blackhawks down 1-0
Second Goal = Tough Bounce, Huey maybe should have got more of it but forgiveable
Third Goal, Montreal powerplay puck movement puts the puck in the low corner right side of the ice on the goal line, one of the least threatening places in terms of goal scoring but confused at what I'm not sure Duncan Keith let's Saku Koivu walk right out to the slot and bury the dagger.
In terms of offense, the only real openings we had was from the point on the powerplay, the Canadiens were able to force the Blackhawks to play dump-n-chase and won the battles for the puck when it mattered and did not return the turnover favour.
Shots From the Point
- Duncan Keith played his worst game of the season by far
- Cam Barker deserved to be on the score sheet threatening with several good shots and two very good powerplay shifts
- Jonathan Toews needs to step up & call out Patrick kane who has all but disappeared *note only Toews can call him out as Kaner respects Toews and they have been friends forever
About the Author
Written by Terry Shilton