If we took out a certain few minute span at the end of the second period, this would have been a pretty terrific game. Sadly, that apparently is not an option in the NHL. It’s too bad really. That whole giving up 3 goals in a short time span thing, particularly the 2 right at the end of the period probably earned the team a good screaming at from Quenneville and deservedly so. On the bright side, the Blackhawks did score an even strength goal on home ice so we can put that talking point to rest for a while.
- Heaven Marian Saad to Brandon Hossa… no wait, that’s not right. Marian Hossa to Brandon Saad for a goal. That was beautiful work. It was just magical to watch. Hopefully Saad is soaking in every bit of knowledge he can from Hossa, because even if he never becomes the goal scorer that Hossa is, he could learn a lot about using the tools he has to be a terrific hockey player. Another bright spot was the third defensive pairing. Trevor van Riemsdyk continues to show that he’s capable of making smart decisions more often than poor ones and be trusted to slot in on any of the pairings when the blender calls for it. For the past week, David Rundblad has actually looked like the player we actually thought he might be instead of a guy scared to make a mistake and spend the rest of the season in the press box.
- Purgatory The Blackhawks had 53 even strength shot attempts (Corsi) to the Capitals 27. Outshooting an opponent to the tune of 26 shot attempts really should end up with a better result. Chicago’s On Ice Sh% was 2.94% for the game. The Capitals On Ice Sh% was 14.29%. They had lost 5 games prior to this with some pretty rotten luck so I suppose they were due for a bit of a course correction. The even strength shooting percentage for Chicago is still pretty low compared to what they usually do as a team, so there’s no reason to panic, but it sure isn’t very fun.
- Hell The Capitals scored three goals in the last 5 minutes of the 2nd period. One came after Brent Seabrook made a poor decision and got beat on a pinch that Burakovsky then buried top shelf. The next one came from the same line but this time it was Marcus Johansson making all the noise. Mere moments later, Joel Ward continued his torrid goal scoring pace on the young season giving the Caps the lead they would leave the building with at the end of the night.
- Life After Death The start of the 3rd period was a little slower than we’ve come to expect when the Blackhawks are trailing in a game. About halfway through the period, Chicago decided it should put the gas pedal through the floor and the Score Effects started in earnest. They controlled 79.17% of the play while trailing in the game so the failed comeback certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying. Too little too late in this case. It’s also interesting to note that both Jeremy Morin and Peter Regin were glued to the bench for the last 10 or 11 minutes of the third period despite being +8 and +9 in Corsi +/- in only 8.1 and 7.7 minutes of even strength ice time respectively.
- Event Summary