The first game of this series was filled with lots of offensive FUN (ignore that Kane was in on 80% of the goals and Laine was in on the other 80% for his team) and the slog of a second game was a snooze-a-palooza where both teams decided they were going to bore us all with lots of DEFENSE, CHECKING, and PHYSICAL PLAY that makes up one of those good ol’ fashioned hockey games. Let’s take our 4 points, end this series and get to the bullets.
- First of all, let’s give a round of applause to everybody’s adopted son Brandon Hagel for finally getting his first goal. It was a beauty and an important one in Tuesday’s game.
- It’s mighty unfortunate the dam broke for Laine and co. during Tuesday night’s game, and it’s also mighty unfortunate that twice in this game the Blackhawks “defense” just decided to leave Laine alone and uncovered to do what he pleases. Will our defense ever stop doing this to dangerous opponents? Probably not.
- Taking penalties nearly killed this team. The Blackhawks were unable to stay out of the box and it meant that the Blue Jackets were able to score two powerplay goals in the 2nd and another in the 3rd. Although the Hawks were able to open up the scoring with Carl Soderberg on the powerplay, penalties are not something this defensively-pious team should be taking, even if the Ogie Oglethorpes on the other team are making you mad.
- Speaking of penalties, Adam Boqvist took two bad ones this series. Last night’s penalty didn’t lead to a Blue Jackets goal, but Tuesday’s penalty allowed the Jackets back into the game to tie it up. Do better, please.
- Subban was actually pretty solid last night, gaining his second career shutout, but holy Toledo does he need to learn how to freeze a puck. Whatever he’s been working on with Jimmy Waite, please stop doing it and work on this very important aspect of being a goaltender, thank you.
- Nikita Zadorov getting outmuscled and stripped of the puck by a Blue Jacket last night after the Blackhawks media has been saying he’s supposed to be the one outmuscling others and that’s the greatness he brings to this team…I just can’t help but laugh (again) at this situation. Luckily, Subban was able to make a spectacular stop on the play to keep the game tied.
- Patrick Kane had a hand in 4 of the 5 goals on Tuesday night. He scored the GWG last night. He has 31 points, and he’s had a hand in 18.6% all of the scoring the Blackhawks have this season. To put that in perspective, red-hot Auston Matthews has only been in on 15% of his team’s total points. For God’s sake, even Connor McDavid himself, playing on one of the worst teams in the league when he’s not on the ice, is at 18.5% of his team’s total points. Believe it or not, the Blackhawks might somehow make the playoffs this season, and if they do it will largely be because of Kane and he should seriously be considered as a Hart Trophy candidate, if not winner, this season. It’s just how it is.
The Blackhawks will next face the incredibly bad Red Wings this weekend. Then, like Pat Foley announced on the broadcast, the Blackhawks will be going on a “MURDEROUS ROW” over the next couple of weeks as they face Tampa Bay, Florida, and Dallas way too many times. What could possibly go wrong?