RECAP: Blackhawks Comeback Falls Short in Winnipeg


After a terrible loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, on Tuesday, the Blackhawks took a short trip to Winnipeg Manitoba to face the high scoring Jets.

The Jets were coming off a tight loss versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, also on Tuesday night, in which they blew a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.  They were missing their big defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, but the Blackhawks needed more help than that.

For the struggling Blackhawks, Chris Kunitz (remember that guy?), Alexandre Fortin and Henri Jokiharju spent the night watching from the Jeremy Colliton Chicken Finger and Popcorn Buffet in the pressbox.

This was your Blackhawks starting lineup:
Brendan Perlini- Jonathan Toews – Brandon Saad
Alex DeBrincat – Dylan Strome – Patrick Kane
Dominik Kahun – David Kampf – John Hayden
Marcus Kruger – Artem Anisimov – Andreas Martinsen

Duncan Keith – Gustav Forsling
Erik Gustafsson – Jan Rutta
Brandon Manning – Brent Seabrook

From the puck drop the Blackhawks were pinned in their own end of the ice, but they were only able to hold off the Jets until the 1:43 mark of the game. Patrik Laine found a fat rebound off the pads of Corey Crawford, and deposited it over a fallen Brent Seabrook and a, still down, Corey Crawford.

This was not the start the Blackhawks need to be successful, and one of their enormous problems in recent games. They have been digging themselves huge holes that they simply do not have the talent or ability to dig themselves out of.

Just over a minute after the Laine goal, the Blackhawks forth line took advantage of some lazy defensive zone coverage and tied the game back up at one goal. Marcus Kruger got credit for the goal, but Andreas Martinsen did the hard work to pick the puck off the end boards and try to jam it past Connor Hellebuyck. The first couple of hacks and whacks didn’t pay off, but Kruger eventually ended up with the goal.

Unfortunately, less than a minute after the Blackhawks tied the game, the Jets came right back down the ice and snatched the lead back. Duncan Keith and Gustav Forsling were easily worked around during a Jets 3-on-2 which resulted in Nikolaj Ehlers getting fed on the back door for an easy goal. Forsling made a realling irresponsible play which left Duncan Keith alone to defend a two-on-one.

Shortly after the eight minute mark of the first period the Blackhawks third line fought back tie the game. As Eddie Olczyk would say, David Kampf was “shot out of a cannon” in the neutral zone, splitting the defenders and ending up one-on-one with Hellebuyck. The Winnipeg netminder stopped the original shot but John Hayden drove to the net and chipped the rebound into the net.

This was potentially a look into what Jeremy Colliton sees that he likes so much in the young Czech center.

The first power play of the game was a result of Mark Scheifele out-skating Gustav Forsling and getting in one-on-one with Crawford. Forsling made a nice play to recover and disrupt Scheifele enough for Crawford to make the save, but it put the Jets second overall rated power play on the ice against the Blackhawks forth worst penalty kill.

Apparently, the NBC crew didn’t even want to watch the power play, as the visiting television feed cut out several times and so often that eventually they had to switch to the home feed for about 25 seconds. Even the Blackhawks television network struggles get their act together.

Eventually the Blackhawks killed off that first shorthanded situation, which was certainly a very important small victory in a season full of glaring losses.

With two and half minutes remaining in the first period it was the Blackhawks’ turn to try their power play prowess. A power play that is, by far, the worst in the entire NHL. It doesn’t take a wizard to predict how that power play went. Uneventful, frustrating and ineffective.

The period ended with a 15-13 shot advantage in favor of the home team.

Sixty-one seconds into the second period, the Jets took the lead for the third time in the game. Nikolaj Ehlers, who was struggling mightily coming in, scored his second goal of the night as the Blackhawks defense back way deep into their own zone and allowed the speedy forward to cut across the high slot unobstructed and snap a shot over Corey Crawford’s blocker.

Just forty-five seconds after the second Ehlers goal, the Jets struck again. This time defenseman Jacob Trouba jumped into the play and found a loose puck to Crawford’s right and chipped it into the net after Crawford over-slid to his left.

Prior to the mid-point of the second period, the Blackhawks ended up with their second power play of the night and, as they regularly do, generated almost zero pressure. Like clockwork.

Moments after the power play expired, the Jets made and egregious turnover in their own end that left Jan Rutta all alone with the puck just inside the blue line and right in the middle of the ice. He wasted little time sliding the puck ahead, swinging his hips around and firing a clapper through the glove of Hellebuyck.

The rest of the period was fairly tame, with the Jets out shooting the Blackhawks for the period, once again, 12-5.

The theme for the night was the Blackhawks starting each period sloppily, and the third period was no different. Duncan Keith took a slashing penalty twenty one seconds into the third and Patrik Laine made the Blackhawks pay for it.

Jan Rutta turned the puck over to Laine as he came around the Hawks net, and Gustav Forsling was late coming over to cover. As a result, the young Jets sniper ended up with his second goal of the game and the Jets had a 5-3 lead.

At the ten-minute mark of the third period, Ehlers finished off his hat trick. He picked off an awful high risk Erik Gustafsson pass at the Jets blue line and took it the other way for a break-a-way, eventually beating Crawford.

With 6:50 remaining in regulation, Dominik Kahun atoned for his called back goal against the Golden Knights by grabbing a puck that was flipped through the Jets slot, dropping it to his stick and beating it past Hellebuyck. This goal cut the Winnipeg lead to 6-4.

Three minutes after the Kahun goal, the Blackhawks caught the Jets in disarray and the makeshift line of DeBrincat/Anisimov/Kane worked a really nice three-on-one, with Anisimov eventually scoring the goal. The play was set up by a nice effort from DeBrincat, who poked a 50/50 puck past Jacob Trouba and began the odd man break from the Winnipeg blue line in.

The Blackhawks pulled Corey Crawford and had some sustained pressure, but time ran out on them and they eventually fell to the Jets 6-5. With a solid 13 shot third period the Blackhawks were only out shot 33-31 in the game.


  • It was good to see a few player that had been ice cold, lately, get some goals. Kahun, Rutta, Kruger, and Hayden all broke out of their slumps.
  • Speaking of Kahun, he also had four shots on net.  He has been invisible for quite a while and, if the Blackhawks want to succeed, they will need him to be playing better
  • For the game, the Blackhawks actually had more high danger chances, 18-14, and won the possession battle (Corsi 64-50 / Fenwick 46-40)
  • Anisimov, Kahun, and Hayden all had Corsi numbers over 70%.


  • The stupid NBC Sport Chicago broadcast was brutal. It kept going to a black screen, and it was about as reliable as the Blackhawks defense. This is not the first time that the broadcast has done this, either. It is 2018 and this billion dollar media conglomerate can’t figure out how to get a relatively reliable feed to the audience. Not once, but twice they had to switch to the TSN feed. The second time, towards the end of the second period, they had to stay with the TSN feed for the rest of the game. Pretty pathetic.
  • Marcus Kruger only played six minutes for the entire game.  I know he went off gingerly after a collision but he should have been over 6 minutes by that point already.
  • Dylan Strome had the work possession numbers of any Hawks player at 36.11% Corsi.
  • The big spot where the Blackhawks were abysmal was faceoffs.  They lost 60% of the draws they took.

About Jeff Osborn

Jeff has covered the Blackhawks since 2009 with his former website and podcast The Puckin Hostile Shoutcast until 2017, when he moved over to The Rink. After a short hiatus to cover the inaugural Seattle Kraken season, he came back to Blackhawks coverage and started "The Net Perspective" podcast to discuss goaltending and goaltender development.


Leave a Reply