Recap: Blackhawks at Coyotes 6-1 Loss


Coyote Ugly

The Blackhawks headed to the desert on Monday night to play the Arizona Coyotes. The Hawks had not won a game in the month of February, and held a three percent chance of making the playoffs entering the game. Playing on the road against a bottom-feeding Arizona team presented a great opportunity for the Hawks to start trending in the right direction.

The Coyotes on the other hand entered Monday night’s game 1-4 in the month of February, and last place in the entire NHL with 36 points. Their lineup also featured former Blackhawks Niklas Hjalmarsson and Richard Panik, who was playing in his first game against the Blackhawks since being traded to Anthony Duclair.

These were the Blackhawks starting lines:
Brandon SaadJonathan Toews – Anthony Duclair
Nick SchmaltzArtem AnisimovPatrick Kane
Lance BoumaTommy WingelsAlex DeBrincat
Vinnie HinostrozaDavid KampfTomas Jurco

Duncan KeithJordan Oesterle
Erik GustafssonBrent Seabrook
Carl DahlstromConnor Murphy

Anton Forsberg

For those of you who decided to skip the eight o’clock start Monday night, you didn’t miss much. Less than two minutes into the game, the Coyotes put themselves on the board, and never looked back. At the blue line, defenseman Jakob Chychrun fired a slap shot that was redirected right past Anton Forsberg by Max Domi for his fourth goal of the season. This goal was the start of what would be a very long night for the Blackhawks, who looked slow and disinterested for most of the night.

The Blackhawks had the edge in shots through the first ten minutes of the game, but the Coyotes definitely had the edge in chances, which led to the Coyotes second goal of the game.

One of the many negative trends this season has been the Blackhawks turnovers in their own zone.  That story line continued when Jordan Oesterle coughed up the puck behind his own net. Clayton Keller took the puck and centered it to Derek Stepan who fired a backhand shot from point blank range that was stopped by Forsberg.  Oesterle compounded his mistake by not getting back to the front of the net, allowing the space for Keller to grab the rebound and put it past Forsberg, who had no chance of making the save. Not even ten minutes into the game, against by far the worst team, and the Blackhawks were already down 2-0.

To their credit, the Hawks seemed to settle down a bit after the Keller goal. They drew a penalty with 7:21 left in the period, and despite failing to score, they didn’t look totally incompetent in the process. Sadly, with this team all good things must come to an end, and with five seconds left in the power play, Anthony Duclair was sent to the box for boarding.

After a successful penalty kill, and a largely mediocre finish to the first period, the Blackhawks headed to the dressing room down 2-0, but the shots were tied 10-10.

The second period started with a little life from the visitors. The Hawks had a nice chance early in the period on a one timer by Nick Schmaltz. The play was set up by a beautiful pass from Patrick Kane, but shut down by former Blackhawk netminder Anti Raanta.

Soon after, one of the few Blackhawks to show any life last night, Tommy Wingels, even tried to get the team going physically. Wingels leveled Niklas Hjalmarrson behind the Coyote net and was jumped by two Arizona players, drawing a penalty in the process. Although Wingels and Chychrun were given coincidental roughing penalties, Domi was given the third roughing minor, sending the Blackhawks to a much need power play.

After a lousy first minute, the unit led by Jonathan Toews was able to cash in, cutting the Coyotes lead in half. Toews fed a pass off the boards to Alex DeBrincat who used a subtle pick by Anthony Duclair to find the space to put a quick wrist shot past Raanta. Another key to the goal was a good screen by Lance Bouma, who was surprisingly added to the power play, and made the best of his opportunity.

The power play goal was DeBrincat’s 20th of the season, making him the second rookie in the NHL to score 20 or more goals.

For those of you looking to read about more positives in the game, you should just stop right here. After the DeBrincat goal, the Blackhawks packed it in for the rest of the night. But for those of you looking to reignite your anger from last night, please, continue reading.

Within a minute after the goal, the Hawks found themselves back on the power play after an Arizona delay of game penalty. Unfortunately, as this team loves to do, they squandered yet another opportunity to score on the man advantage. Instead, they allowed the Coyotes to build off their penalty killing momentum, by adding a third goal, this time by Alex Goligoski.

I am not sure how to describe how soft a goal this was. Goligoski was sitting along the boards to Forsberg’s right, nearly at the goal line, and fired a half-hearted wrist shot that somehow found its way past Forsberg.





Let’s go with all the above.  Coach Joel Quenneville immediately sent the infamous Jeff Glass to the ice to save the day, but it only got worse from there.

Just to prove how much they did not care, the Blackhawks committed a too many men penalty and quickly gave Glass his introduction to the party. About 30 seconds into the penalty kill, Christian Fischer took a slap shot from the point that was saved by Glass and found its way under Brent Seabrook who was standing in the crease. Instead of immediately clearing the puck out of the crease as he should have, it seemed Seabrook tried to stick handle out of the blue paint. This gave Coyotes winger Tobias Rieder the opportunity to fly in and poke the puck through Seabrook’s legs and into the Hawk net. This was the second egregious turnover by a defenseman in his own zone that led to a Coyotes goal.

But don’t worry, it gets better.

In the third period, the Coyotes were able to add two more goals before the final horn. The first was on a shot-pass by Goligoski that was tipped in by former Flyer Nick Cousins for his tenth goal of the season.

The second goal came with less than five minutes left on yet another embarrassing play. In his first NHL game, Carl Dahlstrom found himself in no-man’s-land, opening a hole for Zac Rinaldo to chip a pass to Christian Dvorak who finished the break away with his ninth goal of the year.

After a late and unsuccessful power play, the torture was finally over. The final was 6-1, extending the Blackhawks losing streak to six games. The shot total was largely to the advantage of the Blackhawks, 38-22, but that was the only thing they accomplished in a tremendously disappointing game.


  • Alex DeBrincat has been one of the Hawks few bright spots this year. If you would have told me before the season that DeBrincat would have 20 goals in mid-February, I would have said you were crazy. But, with almost two months left, there is a chance he gets close to 30 goals, and maybe even reaches that total if he stays hot. DeBrincat isn’t someone you build around, but he is definitely a top-six player who you can build a playoff contender with. He competes every night, is a decent passer, and has a borderline elite shot. I am very pleasantly surprised with what I have seen from the youngster this season, and was one of the few Blackhawks who showed any heart last night.
  • Speaking of heart, Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma continue to show what this team is missing most. Despite lacking the skill needed to be top-nine players, Quenneville can count on those two to play every shift like it’s their last, blocking shots, finishing checks, and contributing offensively when they can. It is obvious that Bouma saw some power play time for that reason alone, because the Brandon Saad’s of this team continue to show they are content with starting their summer early. Regardless of what happens this off season, the Hawks need to add more players with a compete level matching what Bouma and Wingels give on a nightly basis.


  • Minuses….huh, let me think…. How about everything except Bouma, Wingels, and DeBrincat! This team is in the middle of a six-game losing streak, and have now been beaten by the worst team in the NHL by five goals. Both Glass and Forsberg looked horrible, giving up six goals on only 22 SHOTS! But, don’t think Crawford is your savior. The lineup on defense has been a revolving door other than Duncan Keith, and continue to make bad decisions in their own zone. This was evident last night by the two goals given up because of defensive lapses by Seabrook and Oesterle. And don’t think Keith isn’t a problem either, he is a -11 and hasn’t score a goal this entire season. Which brings me to my next point; It doesn’t matter how many goals they give up on a nightly basis, because they can’t score! Toews has 36 points, Saad has 24 points, and Artem Anisimov has 21 points. Just to give those stats some perspective, that is a combined 81 points in 158 games. For those of you who don’t want to do the math, that comes out to .51 points per game. So, half a point a game for three players who combine to make 21 million dollars. That reality just makes me sick, and should have all Blackhawk fans calling for major changes, because what is happening isn’t just a slump. Last night’s game against Arizona showed the entire NHL what is wrong with this Blackhawks team, and that is darn near everything.


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