Blackhawks get Flamed
Following the loss yesterday to the Nashville Predators, the Blackhawks had a chance to rebound at home today against the Calgary Flames. It was not a pretty start to the new year as the Hawks dropped the first game of the year, 6-1.
Derek King's squad came out hot in the first period, taking an early 1-0 lead. After a good play from Henrik Borgstom in the left corner, the puck popped free to Patrick Kane behind the net who then set up Alex Debrincat for a nice goal. It was looking like the Hawks were finally going to get their offense going in this one, but they would go on to not score again in the game. For the Flames, Jacob Markstrom was terrific, stopping 30/31 shots in the victory.
Arvid Soderblom made his debut in the loss. Soderblom made an appearance in yesterday's game after Collin Delia was pulled after a horrible start. Soderblom would go on to stop 37/42 shots. He was pelted with shots all night, having little help from the defense. Calgary put up 26 shots in the second period, which is the most shots the Hawks have allowed in a single period since the 2019 season. Also not helping the cause was the defense. Once again, the penalty kill struggled in this one. The Blackhawks penalty kill has been last in the league since November 1st. Under Jeremey Colliton, the special teams were a lot better than the new coaching staff. It makes you wonder what tweaks may have been made and what they need to do to get back to having special teams success.
Alex Debrincat was obviously one of the bright spots in this game. Debrincat has been on fire as of late, netting goals day in and day out. Patrick Kane and Henrik Borgstrom have been playing on his line and they've been having some good chemistry in the past couple of games. Soderblom also looked dialed in during the game and although the box score may not have looked like it, Soderblom made some timely saves that eventually kept the Blackhawks in the game.
Stats from tonight
31 SOG 42
39% Faceoff % 61%
16 Blocked shots 17
The coming weeks are really going to let us know about whether the Blackhawks are going to be sellers at the trade deadline or staying with the roster they have now. It does not look like the Hawks are going to be climbing up the standings anytime soon, so it might be time to start thinking about that. Hopefully in the next game, which will be Tuesday (1/4), there will be improvement in this team. I really hope to write about a win in the next one.
-Jack P. (IG: @jackpolkow / Twitter: @polkowjack)