Blackhawks finding ways to win, beat Arizona for third straight victory

  

The Chicago Blackhawks entered Friday’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes on a two-game winning streak and appeared to have a jump in their stride after just two games with Interim Head Coach Derek King. With the 2–1 victory over the visiting Coyotes, King did not hold back in his post-game interview.

First period

The first period was about as uneventful as you can find in the NHL: Two bottom-feeder teams looking to get on the scoresheet with poor chances on either end. The period did allow Blackhawks’ fans the ability to reminisce when former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion forward Andrew Ladd interfered with Alex DeBrincat. Chicago did not score on the power play and did kill off the only penalty kill they faced after Jonathan Toews went to the sin bin for hooking.

When the paint finally dried after the first period horn sounded, the game was tied at 0–0 and Chicago had been outshot 7–5.

Second period

Patrick Kane had a breakaway opportunity stopped by Arizona netminder Scott Wedgewood early in the period that was an excellent opportunity. The Blackhawks looked like a different team in the early stages of the middle frame, as their speed kept the Coyotes on their heels.

During a delayed pentalty call, Kane created an excellent scoring opportunity, as he stickhandled through several Coyotes players and entered the offensive zone with speed. Kane found himself with a split second more of time (not many at this level have his capability of doing so) and found DeBrincat at the left circle for a one-timer that beat Wedgewood for a 1–0 Chicago lead.

Arizona would challenge the play after Wedgewood’s hissy fit, as he thought Arizona had touched the puck and would have stopped the play on the delayed penalty. However, the goal stood, much to the chagrin of the heated goaltender.

Third period

Dylan Strome took a double-minor high-sticking penalty with four seconds remaining in the second period in which the aforementioned Ladd would beat  Chicago goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to tie the game at 1–1. A goal in the past would have sent the Blackhawks reeling, but the poise the team showed was the perfect example for King’s comments about the team being “fragile” in the past.

Dominik Kubalik would have two opportunities a few minutes after the Ladd goal when he found himself all alone with Wedgewood, but would strike the cross bar with his first attempt and could not squeeze a shot behind Wedgewood’s five hole on his second attempt. Kubalik is streaky and needs to find the back of the net to show he can play top-six minutes with a purpose.

Strome would make up for his bonehead penalty with his first goal of the season at the 9:26 mark of the period. Kane created the opportunity (yes, it is the only way they can score) and found Strome in the slot, who beat Wedgewood with a quick one-timer to put the Hawks back on top at 2–1.

When it was all said and done, Chicago could not add another late insurance goal and finished off the league-worst Coyotes 2–1 on home ice.

Fleury stopped 22 Coyote shots for his second win this season.

Analysis

Chicago has won three straight since firing Jeremy Colliton and look to like they are having fun for the first time all season. A win against the Coyotes still counts.

DeBrincat continues to shine and Kane is still the engine of the Blackhawks’ offense. These two are exciting to watch and really the best two players this team has to offer, by far.

Fleury showed that he is settling back into the top-notch goalie hockey fans are accustomed. When he keeps it simple in net, he is tough to beat with his positioning. When he loses his confidence, he can surely fight the puck and overcommit on shots.

Kirby Dach needs to start finding his way onto the scoresheet. His opportunities seem to come each game (which is a result of him knowing where to be and creating chances which is a good thing), but he needs to get going by finishing his chances.

 

 

Center Ice Forums Blackhawks finding ways to win, beat Arizona for third straight victory

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.