The Chicago Blackhawks rode a three-game winning streak into their matchup with the Los Angeles Kings, Sunday evening. LA jumped out to a 2–0 lead in the second period, which ended up being all the scoring the visitors would need. Blackhawks defenseman Ian Mitchell scored his first goal of the season in the third period, to cut the Kings’ lead in half, but Mitchell’s goal was all the offense that Chicago could muster.
🏒 Petr Mrazek made the start in goal for the Blackhawks. Mrazek saved 25 of 27 shots and kept the Blackhawks in the game. That is about all you can ask for out of this rag-tag goaltending group.
🏒 Patrick Kane returned to the lineup following a lingering lower-body injury but was held shotless. One would assume that the Blackhawks could use a February Kane heater to fluff up that trade value. He continues to be their best trade asset, and Kyle Davidson needs to come away from the March 3rd deadline with a pocket full of picks.
👑 Rookie Kings’ center Alex Turcotte earned a call-up to play against the team he grew up cheering for. He played only 8:10 and had one shot on goal. It is safe to say that Turcotte has been a disappointment, thus far, for LA after being picked just two spots after Kirby Dach. He has only appeared in nine NHL games and has failed to generate any points.
🏒 Chicago managed just 19 shots on net, and only three in the first period. Chicago was also 0–2 on the power play, generating only one shot.
👑Both Kings goals were scored by rookie Jaret Anderson-Dolan who came into the game with three goals and six points in 33 games and had not scored since Dec 17.
🏒 With the three-game winning streak behind them, the Blackhawks need to get back to their losing ways. There is no shame in enjoying some mid-January wins against rivals, but their main goal is to get the best odds for the first overall pick in the June NHL draft. If they unload Kane, Toews, or any other quality players we should see a lot of losing in March and April.
For those watching the “tank index”, Chicago is currently ranked 30th overall with a .356 points percentage followed by Anaheim Ducks (.330) and Columbus Blue Jackets. (.326). The Blackhawks are off today but travel to Vancouver to face the Canucks and their brand-new head coach Rick Tocchet on Tuesday. The puck drop is at 9 p.m. CST.