10 observations: Hawks doomed by special teams in loss to Jets originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks fell to the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 at Canada Life Centre on Saturday.
Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. The Blackhawks lost the special teams battle, and it proved to be the difference in this game. They gave up a shorthanded goal and three power-play tallies, three of which came in the second period. Things got away from them quickly.
2. Patrick Kane had a mini breakaway five minutes into the second period but was denied by Connor Hellebuyck. He snapped his stick over the bench in frustration afterwards. You wonder what the game would've looked like the rest of the way had he scored there. It would've put the Blackhawks ahead 1-0, but instead, the Jets scored four straight.
3. It was a sluggish start for the Blackhawks, who gave up the first five shots on goal. They settled down after and outshot the Jets 12-6 the rest of the frame, but they didn't have anything to show for it. A pretty uneventful first period overall.
4. Arvid Soderblom made his third straight in four games and picked up where he left off on Thursday to start. He stopped the first 19 shots he faced before giving up three goals on the next five shots, although it's hard to blame him for any of those three goals. The first one he was screened, the second one was a shorthanded breakaway and the third was a snapshot from 16-feet out.
5. You can't make this stuff up, but Soderblom was ruled out for the rest of the game after the second period, so Dylan Wells, who was signed to an NHL contract this week because of Chicago's injury issues at the goaltending position, made his NHL debut and played the whole third period. He stopped 12 of 13 shots in relief. Petr Mrazek (groin) is expected to be ready for the Blackhawks' next game on Thursday, but it's crazy that the Blackhawks have already used four goaltenders this season in only 12 games.
6. The Blackhawks have scored only one 5-on-5 goal in the last three games. They had 15 over their previous seven. The offense has dried up a bit.
7. When the second line of Philipp Kurashev, Taylor Raddysh and Jonathan Toews was on the ice together at even strength, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (13-7), shots on goal (8-4), scoring chances (7-5) and high-danger chances (4-1) through two periods, per Natural Stat Trick. The third period wasn't great, but the game was well out of hand by then. That trio continues to be effective.
8. This was a physical game between two teams who rank inside the Top 10 in hits this season. The Blackhawks were credited with 17 hits in the first period alone and finished with 27 total. The Jets had nine in the first period and 22 total.
9. Jarred Tinordi came into the day ranked tied for second among all skaters with 45 hits this season. He had four hits against the Jets to put him at 49 through 12 games.
10. Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey scored on a big blast from the point on the power play, and it reminded me that Chicago hasn't scored a power-play goal from a defenseman since the 2020-21 season. Not having Seth Jones right now probably doesn't help.
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