Hawks Insider

10 observations: Hawks lose in heartbreaking fashion

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

The Blackhawks fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. Another eventful Chicago-Toronto game is in the books. The Blackhawks scored first, then fell behind 4-1 before tying it up at 4-4 near the midway mark of the third period but eventually lost in regulation. They deserved at least a point.

2. Kevin Lankinen, no question, wants to have that first goal back, but he might lose sleep over the fifth goal that came with 1:20 left. The puck took a fluky bounce and fell into David Kampf's lap for the game-winner. It was a heartbreaking way to lose.

3. The Maple Leafs were the No. 1 ranked team in 5-on-5 high-danger chances for per 60 minutes at 13.5, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Maple Leafs had only five against the Blackhawks, which was tied for the fewest they had in a game all season. The Blackhawks held them in check.

4. The Blackhawks committed three penalties in the first period and the Maple Leafs converted on two of those chances. It was the second time in three games the Blackhawks allowed multiple power-play goals after giving up one or fewer in the first 24.

5. The Blackhawks held the Maple Leafs to 5:46 of offensive zone possession time and allowed just one scoring chance off the rush, according to Sportlogiq. Toronto's season average in offensive zone possession time per game is 7:18 (4th) and rush chances are 7.1 (second).

6. The Blackhawks scored four 5-on-5 goals, which was a new season-high. They scored more than two 5-on-5 goals just three times prior to Saturday. Encouraging sign.

 

7. Dylan Strome was a healthy scratch in Montreal, but he was flying against Toronto. Interim head coach Derek King recognized that and promoted him to the top line and first power-play unit midway through the second period. Strome had six shot attempts (four on goal), won 10 of 16 faceoffs (62.5 percent) and finished with a season-high 18:51 of ice time.

8. Jake McCabe and Connor Murphy each found the back of the net. It was the third and fourth goals by a Blackhawks defenseman in their last six games after having just four in the first 21 contests. The back-end production is slowly starting to come.

9. Jonathan Toews opened the scoring just 1:53 into the game for his second goal in the last two periods. He had zero goals in his first 25 games. Go figure, right?

10. Henrik Borgstrom, who centered the top line on Thursday in Montreal and scored his first goal since Oct. 24, did not play because of a non-COVID-19-illness. Reese Johnson also left the third period early with an apparent injury and did not return.

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