10 observations: Blackhawks' road struggles continue in loss to Canucks

10 observations: Blackhawks' road struggles continue in loss to Canucks originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks' road struggles continued after losing to the Vancouver Canucks 2-0 on Monday at Rogers Arena. They're now 0-16-1 in their last 17 contests away from home.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. In the first meeting on Dec. 17, Chicago was outshooting Vancouver 10-0 midway through the first period. It was the exact opposite this time around. The Canucks led 12-1 in high-danger chances through 20 minutes, per Natural Stat Trick, and took a 2-0 lead into the intermission. It was all Vancouver.

2. The next 40 minutes were fairly even between the Blackhawks and Canucks. Score effects probably came into play, but the Blackhawks were much better. They just didn't capitalize on any of their chances.

3. Rookie defensemen Louis Crevier and Isaak Phillips started the game together on the third pairing. It was very short-lived. The two of them were on the ice for Vancouver's first two goals and Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson quickly separated them.

4. Nick Foligno returned to the lineup after missing the last seven games with a fractured finger. He slotted in on the top line with Philipp Kurashev and Taylor Raddysh. I thought that trio was the best line going for Chicago.

5. The Blackhawks negated two power plays due to penalties of their own and both happened in the second period. The first was Foligno (hooking) and the second was Seth Jones (high-sticking). Momentum-killers. They almost scored one on the man advantage late in the third period but Thatcher Demko shut the door.

6. Alex Vlasic was all over the ice in this game. His growth into an all-around defenseman has been incredible to watch. What a player.

7. The Blackhawks killed off all three penalties and improved to 27 of 30 over their last nine games for a success rate of 90.0. That ranks No. 3 in the NHL over that span (since Jan. 5).

8. Connor Bedard continues to skate as he recovers from a fractured jaw, but he obviously did not accompany the team on the road trip. It would've been his first game in his hometown of Vancouver. I'm sure he and his family are bummed. His hometown return will have to wait until at least next season since this is the only trip to Vancouver this season.

9.  Lukas Reichel was a healthy scratch for the second time this season. He hasn't registered a shot on goal in three consecutive games, and he hasn't been too impactful since Bedard has been out of the lineup either. It was time for another reset.

Cole Guttman was also a healthy scratch, although I feel that was more-so because he got squeezed out with the returns of Donato and Foligno rather than performance-based. I've actually liked Guttman's since the five-game road trip that started in Dallas on Dec. 29.

10. Connor Murphy missed his fourth straight game with a lower-body injury. He did not make the trip with the team for the start of the road trip, but the hope is he could join them later in the week.

Tyler Johnson (right foot) recently started skating and could also join the team at some point during the trip.

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