Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche
Goals: Brent Seabrook (Chicago), Peter Mueller and David Jones x2 (Colorado), Patrick Kane (Chicago), Gabriel Landeskog and Kyle Quincey – empty net (Colorado)
Goalies: Ray Emery (24/28, .857), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (29/31, .935)
Well, Andrew Brunette wasn’t as badly hurt as we’d feared because he played in this game. He’s about a year older than me, but he’s a tough guy who can endure a few bumps and bruises along the way. It’s good to have him back.
Our lone goals came from Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane. So much has been made of Kaner’s “slump”, but I took a look at his stats going back to his rookie season. You know what? In that rookie season, he only had 21 goals along with 51 assists. With those numbers and his amazing play, he won the Calder Trophy. I’m not seeing this as a slump, but as Calder Season v2.0.
By the way, Kaner’s last goal came on January 20th, in their game at home against the Florida Panthers. You know, the one with the delayed start time because of the wicked snowstorm.
Just when Bruno came back to the ice, Steve Montador left in the second period and didn’t return. According to Coach Q, he has an upper-body injury and will be evaluated the next morning. Why can’t we stay healthy?
We haven’t scored on a power play in so long, it’s beginning to feel like a double penalty kill out there when we get them. Hi, special teams, can we learn to play the advantage and actually pot some goals?
I need to break this down into two parts.
First, with the absence of Daniel Carcillo, it’s like we’ve stopped being a physical team. We don’t hit like we did, and we certainly don’t get into fights like we did earlier in the season. If there is a fight, it seems futile, like there’s no motivation behind it or as a result of it. We need more physicality from the guys – not just hits and fights, but really getting into the game. The lines are great at passing and seem to find the right moment to shoot, but there’s a lack of backchecking, and we take such liberties with the puck that it’s no wonder that we give it away so much. Too much stickhandling and not enough protecting possession when we have it.
Second, I’m getting aggravated by the defense. Seabs and Duncan Keith clock in some of the most TOI per game, yet neither one seem to stay on the blue line or screen the crease effectively. Tonight was especially bad, because they each gave up a goal that they should’ve been able to block. Niklas Hjalmarsson is doing his best, but Nick Leddy‘s like dead weight out there with him. The bottom pair of whomever Coach decides to put in there (usually Monty and Sean O’Donnell) is rather meh. It was a bit of a crapshoot last time he did it, but maybe Coach should consider splitting the pairings again. It might shake them up and make them work.
Oh, and this game should prove that it’s not all on the goalies, so to those who want Corey Crawford traded: go nap on the Eisenhower during rush hour.
at San Jose Sharks
NHL Network – Canada, WGN (Chicago area only)
Not the last swing to the coast, but our last meeting with the Sharks. Let’s shut these guys down!