The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t put their best effort out against the St. Louis Blues in what could have been a must-win game.
The St. Louis Blues have never swept the Chicago Blackhawks in the long history of their franchise. Well, after 53 years, it finally happened. The Blues 2-0 defeat of the Blackhawks last night gave the Blues the season sweep of the Hawks. As the defending Stanley Cup Champions, it is fair to assume that they are the better team but to be swept by your top rival is a bit embarrassing. It also really put a dent in their chances, especially after losing to the Detroit Red Wings a few days prior.
The power play has been horrible for Chicago this season. They are now on a streak of 14 straight power plays without a goal. Their power play, on the season, has clicked at 14.5 percent. That ranks 30th out of 31 as only the Anaheim Ducks are worse. They were given four chances on the man-advantage in this game against the Blues and they failed all four times.
It is very hard to swing momentum when you are that bad on the power play. That is something that needs to be fixed over the offseason. You can’t be a playoff team if your special teams are not good. It is one thing if they are average, but this Chicago power play is straight-up bad. On those four power-play chances, a total of eight minutes, they had one single shot on goal. That is simply not going to get it done.
Not scoring a single goal on the Blues is not very good. It is worse when you remember that they only scored once on the Detroit Red Wings two nights prior. The two opponents are very different but the Hawks rely on their scoring to win so when they don’t score, they are toast. Jake Allen was in the net which makes it worse. No disrespect to Allen, but Jordan Binnington is their number one but somehow the Hawks let Allen shut them out twice. Both of those shutouts came at the United Center and are his only two shutouts of the season.
The one positive that came out of this game was the broadcast. It was the first time that a United States broadcast of the NHL had an all-female crew. Kate Scott did the play by play while AJ Mleczko was the color commentator. Kendal Coyne Schofield was at ice level “inside the glass” which made it even better. It was a great day to celebrate International Women’s Day. The women’s game is incredible and it is good to see everyone putting their best foot forward as far as growing this great game. Hockey is for everyone.
The Blackhawks are now in a six-point rut. Their next attempt to start to climb out of it comes on Wednesday night. The San Jose Sharks are coming to town to try and play spoiler. They are not going to the playoffs either so it is a matchup of two former Western Conference powers having off years.