Hawks Insider

10 observations: Hawks allow 3 early goals in loss to Leafs

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Hawks Insider

The Blackhawks were routed by the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. What a wild start to this game. William Nylander took advantage of Jake McCabe blowing a tire and scored nine seconds in. Then, 53 seconds later, Sam Lafferty tied things up at 1-1 before the Maple Leafs later scored twice in a span of 3:07. The Maple Leafs also had a goal disallowed because of a successful offside challenge by Chicago. A much different first period than Tuesday in Montreal.

2. The Blackhawks allowed nine high-danger chances in the first period and 24 total, per Natural Stat Trick. Their season-high is 25, which came on Jan. 28 in a 7-3 loss to Edmonton. The Maple Leafs are one of the top teams at generating chances from the inner slot, so no surprise.

3. Petr Mrazek made his first start in Toronto since being traded to Chicago over the offseason, and let's just say he probably hoped it would go a little better. He gave up three goals on his first nine shots — the second one that went off Connor Murphy's stick and in was very unfortunate — and the fourth one in the second period was a stinger. No doubt he'll be looking for some revenge when his former team visits the United Center on Sunday.

4. MacKenzie Entwistle (wrist re-aggravation) and Jarred Tinordi (knee sprain) did not play after leaving Tuesday's game with injuries. Jason Dickinson, who was listed as probable after taking a slapshot off the left arm, ended up playing but he was bumped to the third line. The Blackhawks changed up their top-six because of the injuries and for a potential spark.


5. When Chicago's new-look first line of Max Domi, Patrick Kane and Philipp Kurashev was on the ice together at even strength in the first period, the Maple Leafs out-chanced (8-1) and outscored (2-0) the Blackhawks. The three of them had a better second and third period, highlighted by Domi connecting with Kurashev for a goal just 46 seconds in. Kane also showed some flashes but didn't have anything to show for it.

6. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Nylander and John Tavares combined for three goals, five assists and 13 shots on goal. Matthews and Tavares also combined to win 20 of 31 faceoffs for a win percentage of 64.5. Toronto's Big Four led the way.

7. The Blackhawks were credited with 42 hits. Murphy had six, Dickinson had five, and Jack Johnson, Seth Jones and McCabe each had four. For reference, their hits per 60 minutes going into the game was 23.6.

8. Cole Guttman was recalled from Rockford and made his NHL debut, centering the second line with Tyler Johnson and Taylor Raddysh. Difficult circumstances to jump into, for sure. I thought he had a fine game, most notably leading the team with three takeaways. I think Ottawa will be a better situation for him with a morning skate to get acclimated to his linemates. He got thrown into the fire against Toronto.

9. The Blackhawks fell to 0-8-1 on the second of back-to-backs this season. They're being outscored 32-13 over those nine games for a goal differential of -19. Here's something funny too: Chicago hasn't won on a Wednesday this season, with a 0-6-0 record. 

10. The Maple Leafs were one of the biggest favorites in NHL history, with most oddsmakers having them up to -610 against the Blackhawks. Just a crazy number.

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