Along the boards: Blackhawks lose to “fragile” Predators, 5-2

  

The Blackhawks came into this game looking to rebound from a tough last game against Calgary in which they came up short in mounting a full comeback. Drake Caggiula came back after post concussion issues had sidelined him since November 10th, and Corey Crawford got another shot in net after playing well in his last few games. A loss would mean the team would drop to last in the Central division, and drop to a game below .500 for the season.

First period:

The game got started off with some craziness from both sides. First, Pekka Rinne got his stick stuck in the Zamboni door, which created a chance that the Blackhawks couldn’t capitalize on. For the first period, this would be the first and really last of the good chances that the Blackhawks would be able to muster at all. Then, Roman Josi came sneaking into the Blackhawks’ zone and put the puck off of Viktor Arvidsson’s shin pads and into the back of the net to give the Predators a 1-0 lead.

Then, a few minutes later, Colin Blackwell got a great pass out in front of the net and put it past Corey Crawford to give the Predators a 2—0 lead. This was his first NHL goal after missing an open net earlier in the game. Then, Matt Duchene took advantage of the Blackhawks’ cluelessness after he was trapped deep in the offensive zone. The Blackhawks thought that they cleared it, but Mattias Ekholm managed to keep it in and get it up to Duchene, who made a nice move to get it past Crawford and make it 3-0 Nashville. Through it all, head coach Jeremy Colliton looked like he couldn’t have cared less if he was behind the bench or not.

Second period:

The Blackhawks in the second period looked like a very different team than the first period. They came out looking like they actually wanted to play, and put good pressure on Nashville from the get-go. They came up with one in the first part of the period with a Dominik Kubalik goal to make it 3-1 Predators. They put good pressure on, and continued to get shots, although they weren’t able to convert on any chances they had. They looked like they should have looked at the beginning of the game, if they had shown up and wanted to play.

Third period:

The Blackhawks started off the period well, getting good pressure on Nashville that eventually resulted in a power play opportunity. The Blackhawks streaked into the zone, with Patrick Kane getting the puck over to Jonathan Toews who passed it in front of the net to Alex DeBrincat. He made some beautiful moves to get Rinne to bite, and backhanded it past him to make it 3-2 Predators and pull the Blackhawks to within one goal. They kept the pressure up well throughout the period. Then…they pulled Crawford, and things went downhill quickly. The Predators got an empty netter on a Nick Bonino heave with under a minute to go. The Blackhawks pulled Crawford again and then allowed something that made you want to laugh and cry at the same time: a goal for Pekka Rinne, who cleared the puck all the way down the ice and into the vacated net to the cheers of his teammates.

Along the boards:

This is something I, and many Blackhawks fans, have wondered over the course of his time as a head coach. He rarely, if ever, shows emotion on the bench, and doesn’t seem to have the fire or passion for the game that he ought to have. No one should be shocked if big changes come down to the management structure of this team, from president down to the head coach.

Yeah…not the way anyone wanted to see this end. Even more salt in the wound of what was already a brutal game of blown chances, and a coach who shows no fight at all, and therefore cannot expect his players to either. The Blackhawks didn’t come out ready to play and payed the price dearly for it, creating a hole so deep that they couldn’t climb back out.

Hopefully the Blackhawks can turn things around on Saturday night against the Ducks. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. CST on NBC Sports Chicago.

Center Ice Forums Along the boards: Blackhawks lose to “fragile” Predators, 5-2

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