RECAP: Blackhawks fall on their face, lose to Coyotes 5–2


After a disappointing outing in the Sin City, the Blackhawks traveled south to play the Coyotes at Gila River Arena. With a number of injuries, the Blackhawks were trotting out a skeleton of themselves. One positive was the return of Olli Maatta, but Duncan Keith and Calvin de Haan are two important pieces who were missed.

The contest did not start pretty for the Blackhawks. By the end of the opening frame, the Blackhawks were down 3–0 with tallies from Michael Grabner, Clayton Keller, and Brad Richardson.

Grabner’s tally was an excellent display of speed, he dipped his shoulder and released a backhand shot that had eyes, finding it’s way past Robin Lehner’s blocker side. Keller’s was a result of a defensive breakdown, as he had a semi-breakaway after an excellent pass from Jordan Oesterle. The third goal was a result of excellent net-front presence from Richardson, as he was able to tip a nice Jacob Chychrun shot through Lehner’s five hole.

There was hope in the second, as the captain, Jonathan Toews, tallied his seventh goal of the season to cut the Coyotes’ lead down to just two. The goal was a result of a well-placed shot from Dominik Kubalik that resulted in a perfect rebound for Toews to hammer home.

However, the lead would be extended for the hometown team, this time by a familiar face. After a Coyotes’ face-off win, Nick Schmaltz walked to the slot and sniped a shot over Lehner’s left shoulder to give Arizona the 4–1 lead. 

The Blackhawks opened the scoring in the third period, however, it was too late. With right around seven minutes remaining, Dylan Strome tapped home an Alex DeBrincat shot to cut back into Arizona’s lead. The power play tally was Strome’s seventh of the season. 

With two minutes remaining, the Coyotes added insult to injury. After a puck was dumped in, Christian Dvorak, the Chicagoland native, retrieved the puck behind Lehner. Erik Gustafsson was caught down low, leaving Keller wide open in the slot and he tucked a roof shot past Lehner to give the Coyotes the three-goal lead and the final score, 5–2. 

Three points

The Hawks looked terrible: There is no nice way to say it. The Hawks were badly outplayed. They just have not looked good recently. This team, earlier in the season, showed moments of brilliance. Now, this team is relying on Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford to keep them in games. They’ve done a great job doing that, but it hasn’t been enough to yield wins.

Injuries suck: You can tell that the Blackhawks miss Duncan Keith and Calvin de Haan. I’d even argue they miss the likes of Andrew Shaw. They need good players. In years’ past, circa 2015, this team had the depth to accommodate injuries. Now, this team is S.O.L without one or two players in the lineup. Did someone say tank?

Give me the top three: What does this mean? Well, it means if you’re going to change the franchise for the better, you need top 3 picks in the draft. Although no guarantees, these players are what it takes to change a franchise. I think Kirby Dach is a part of the long-term solution, as is Adam Boqvist, but the Hawks need a continuing influx of talent in order to fill the holes. With big contracts against their cap, that’s the only way to improve, young, cheap talent. 

The Blackhawks return to action on Saturday, paying a visit to the defending Stanley Cup champions. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CST.

Center Ice Forums RECAP: Blackhawks fall on their face, lose to Coyotes 5–2

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