The Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets played an incredibly entertaining game on Thursday night. It ended with Columbus winning the match by a final score of 6-5 and it came in stunning fashion. They scored the go-ahead goal with 1:14 seconds left in regulation which secured a victory. It was a stunning loss for the Hawks but one that they can overcome if they make a few changes. In addition to some of those changes, there are some good things that happened to build on.
For one, they saw more production offensively from some of the rookies. Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome are both young players who need to be big factors but they have been in the league for a few years now. Seeing guys like Philipp Kurashev, Pius Suter, and Mattias Janmark score goals and create offense is really the story so far this year. That is some good rookie production standing behind Patrick Kane who makes something happen every night as he is the one big veteran.
We also know about some of the rookies on the back end. Ian Mitchell and Nicolas Beaudin both scored their first career NHL goals in the last match against the Blue Jackets. Each of them is here to play defense but contribute offense whenever they can. Hopefully, each of these kids is productive enough to stick for a very long time. Mitchell could even be the next captain of this team if we are being honest with ourselves.
The Chicago Blackhawks need to win the special teams battle in order to win this next game.
In the last game, the Chicago Blackhawks were defeated in heartbreaking fashion but it could have been avoided. They still almost won even though they were pretty bad on special teams but that was the difference in the game. If they clean that part of their game up in this one, they should be able to beat this Columbus team,
The Hawks scored one power-play goal against them on Thursday which isn’t bad as they only had two opportunities. The issue is that on the power play that they didn’t score, they gave up a short-handed goal. Giving up shorthanded goals is asking for trouble in the NHL. Columbus also scored two power-play goals on three tries. That is three goals against with the special teams’ units out there to only one goal for. That needs to be the difference in this next game.
One thing the Hawks have been pretty good at this year is drawing penalties. That is because they work very hard and that is probably a reflection of the coach. It is refreshing to know that if Brandon Hagel or Matthew Highmore draw a penalty, here comes number 88 over the boards for a full two-minute power play. If these things can go their way on special teams in this game, they could win the hockey game. Hopefully, they get it done.