RECAP: Blackhawks refuse to show up, lose to Flyers 4–1


The Blackhawks entered Thursday’s game still thinking about “the game that got away” on Tuesday night against Vegas. Thus, the team wanted to play last night’s game with the same intensity—but with a different outcome against the Flyers.

The only major change to the line combinations was the insertion of Slater Koekkoek for Connor Murphy on defense. 


Shaw StromeKane

Saad Kampf Kubalik


Keith de Haan




First period

The first period started off pretty well for the home team. The Blackhawks were flying around early, and two excellent scoring chances for Dominik Kubalik and Andrew Shaw came via cross-ice passes from Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews. 

Just over six minutes into the period, it appeared the Flyers took the early lead after an excellent tip from Kevin Hayes, who beat Robin Lehner five hole. However, excellent eyes from the Chicago video coaches spotted Hayes offsides before the puck entered the zone. After official review, the goal was deemed no good and the score remained deadlocked at 0–0.

Unfortunately not long after the no goal, the Blackhawks were caught in a bad situation after a pinch by Duncan Keith. The puck was poked ahead by Travis Konecny and created a two-on-one. The play could have easily been a free breakaway for the two Flyers’ forwards if not for Calvin de Haan’s hustle. Once de Haan committed to Konecny, Konecny found Oskar Lindblom wide open and he put the puck top shelf to give the Flyers the 1–0 lead.

Late in the period, the Toews line had arguably the best passing sequence this team has had all season, but unfortunately an Alex DeBrincat one-timer from the slot was denied by Brian Elliott. 

The Blackhawks entered the first intermission down 1–0 to the Flyers despite outshooting the Flyers 7–5 in the opening frame.

Second period

The beginning of the middle frame did not start well for the Blackhawks. Not even a minute in, Travis Sanhiem setup Claude Giroux in front of Lehner and the elite goal scorer quickly put the Flyers up 2–0 early on a redirect.

The best chance for the Blackhawks in the early portion of the period was generated by the Kampf line, which has undoubtedly been the best line of the season. Kubalik charged up the ice and found Saad crashing the net. Unfortunately, Saad’s shot went wide and the opportunity was wasted. 

The Blackhawks’ power play was certainly still a huge problem during the second period. The Blackhawks could not get anything going with the man advantage, allowing the Flyers to hang on to their two-goal lead.

Chicago entered the second intermission only registering one shot on net the entire period. The Blackhawks offense reverted to their ways the fans witnessed in the first few games this season. The Flyers completely dominated the period and left the Blackhawks in a bad spot entering the third period.

Third period

The third period began surprisingly well for the Blackhawks. The team had tons of momentum coming out of the intermission and finally found a sense of urgency. That exact energy led to the Blackhawks being rewarded.

Just a minute into the period, Andrew Shaw was on the left wing and received the puck after Kirby Dach won a board battle at center ice. Shaw found an open Saad at the blue line for an excellent opportunity. Saad was in all alone against Elliott and, with a nifty backhand-forehand move, Saad found the back of the net to cut the Flyers’ lead in half at 2–1.

However, the Flyers responded. Four minutes later, Hayes found himself on a breakaway after beating Brent Seabrook up ice. Hayes buried the puck behind Lehner and once again gave the Flyers a two-goal lead at 3–1. The play was a tough break for the Blackhawks as they looked to regain momentum.

Two minutes later, it appeared that Joel Farabee registered the first goal of his young career. However, the Blackhawks challenged again. For the second time in this game, Hayes was offside on a potential goal for the Flyers. The lead remained at two for the visitors.

The Blackhawks finally found some momentum and were controlling play for most of the period. However, with just over three minutes remaining, Erik Gustafsson turned the puck over in the defensive zone and it ended up on the stick of James Van Riemsdyk. Van Riemsdyk found himself on a breakaway and completely fooled Lehner with a nifty move to give the Flyers the 4–1 lead late in the third.

The Blackhawks were unable to generate anything else the remainder of the period, and ultimately fell to the Flyers by a 4–1 final. 

Quick hits

  • Where is the energy? The Blackhawks simply did not show up in the first two periods. They look lazy, tired and pathetic. Eight shots on goal through two periods is not a recipe for winning hockey games in the NHL. They finally showed up in the third period, but it was too late.
  • Saadfather: Brandon Saad continues to look like one of the best players night in and night out. He is playing with that same energy and relentlessness that made a deadly force before being traded to Columbus. Now in his third season since returning from Columbus, he is finally starting to look like his old self. He could be on pace for a career year if his play remains at this level. It also does not hurt that the only goal of the night came via Saad and it was a beauty.
  • Missing the Murph: It is interesting to say, but the Blackhawks miss Connor Murphy on the back end. John Dietz tweeted the Blackhawks’ goals against average with and without Murphy. It is 4.4 to 2.2, respectively. That is a big difference and it especially helps that he and Duncan Keith had become a formidable top pair. Now, the depth is not as strong with Calvin de Haan playing on the top pairing.

The Blackhawks will fly to Raleigh, North Carolina, to face the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. The game will be the first of back-to-back games for the Blackhawks. Puck drop is scheduled for 12 p.m. CDT.

Center Ice Forums RECAP: Blackhawks refuse to show up, lose to Flyers 4–1

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    Ron Luce

    The Blackhawks entered Thursday’s game still thinking about “the game that got away” on Tuesday night against Vegas. The Blackhawks looked to enter Th
    [To continue reading full article, click here: RECAP: Blackhawks refuse to show up, lose to Flyers 4–1]

    Chico Maki

    This team is a mess.   Other than Saad, the rest don’t show up to play.

    They lack team speed.  The opposition reduces them to a dump and chase team, and the Hawks don’t have the players to play dump and retrieve.

    They lose nearly every board battle or loose puck.  They’re slow to loose pucks.  They don’t back check, they don’t fore check.

    Their power play is abysmal.  Their PK not much better.

    Stan didn’t move Gustafson last year after a 60point season, when his value was high–to “quarterback the PP”.   How’s that workin out???

    Their $10 million dollar captain has reverted to 2017 form….with one overtime goal, where the puck just hit him, and one other point, on an empty net goal.

    I’d like to see Kubalik get more ice time….and Shaw LESS. (too many penalties)  They might as well let Dach stay up with the Hawks–and learn–rather than be sent to the Rock.

    How much longer will Rocky let this go on?   The boo birds are getting restless.



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