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10 observations: Hawks drop fifth straight game

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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The Blackhawks fell to the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 at the United Center on Thursday for their fifth straight loss.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. Per his request, the Blackhawks waited to celebrate Patrick Kane's 1,000th NHL game until fans were back in the building. And on Thursday, a sold-out Chicago crowd finally got a chance to share that moment with him and so did Jonathan Toews, who presented his longtime teammate with a silver stick.

2. For the second straight game, the Blackhawks turned in a strong start after recording the first four shots on goal. But for the fifth straight contest, they gave up the first goal. One of these days that streak is going to end ... right? 

3. The Blackhawks were tied or within a goal for the first 38 minutes. But they found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-on-3 opportunity late in the second period and Vancouver cashed in on the power play to make it 3-1. It was the first power-play goal the Blackhawks have allowed this season after killing off 11 consecutive penalties.

4. The Blackhawks have scored only three 5-on-5 goals through five games. They've given up 17. There's your story of the season so far. 

5. The Blackhawks gave up four high-danger chances on Tuesday, according to Natural Stat Trick, which is the second time they've allowed four or fewer in a game under head coach Jeremy Colliton. They allowed zero in the first period on Thursday and eight total. That's 12 chances allowed over their last six periods, which is significant progress. It was a second straight solid defensive performance with nothing to show for it.

 

6. The Blackhawks have scored at least one power-play goal in four of their first five games. Kane connected with Alex DeBrincat on their very first opportunity in the first period. The Blackhawks are now 5-for-18 on the season for a success rate of 27.8 percent.

7. Dylan Strome made his season debut after being a healthy scratch in the first four games and nearly scored seconds into his first shift. He skated on the third line with Henrik Borgstrom and DeBrincat before Colliton mixed things up in the third period. He had two takeaways, one shot on goal, and committed a penalty in 13:12 of ice time.

8. There were 15 NHL scouts/representatives in attendance for this game: Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, N.Y. Islanders, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tampa Bay (2) and Winnipeg.

9. Tomas Mitell did not coach due to COVID-19 protocols. Player development adviser Chris Kunitz took Mitell's place behind the bench.

10. Former Blackhawks center and current radio analyst Troy Murray announced in August that he's battling cancer. He made an appearance at Thursday's morning skate, and the Blackhawks gave him a salute and stick taps after the practice wrapped up. It was a touching moment that brought Troy to tears.

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