Blackhawks

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' shutout loss to Capitals

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' shutout loss to Capitals

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 6-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday night:

1. A poor first period.

The Blackhawks' first-period inconsistencies continued after they gave up three goals in the opening 20 minutes, including two within a 13-second span. The Capitals had 30 shot attempts compared to the Blackhawks' 11, all at even strength, and no player on Chicago had a positive Corsi.

The Blackhawks' goal differential also slipped to minus-4 in the first two periods this season compared to plus-14 in the third period and overtime combined.

2. Jay Beagle continues dominance vs. Blackhawks.

One of those three first-period goals came from Beagle, who now has four goals in two games against the Blackhawks this season. He has eight goals total in 42 games, which means half of them have come against Chicago.

He also had a season-high eight shots on goal, a few of them coming while shorthanded. According to CSN's stat guru Chris Kamka, Beagle has six career goals in eight games against the Blackhawks and 33 goals in 345 games vs. the rest of the league.

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3. A goal taken away.

After a slow start, the Blackhawks began to generate scoring chances in the second period, and appeared to have cut their deficit to 3-1 when Vinnie Hinostroza found the back of the net with 13:28 left. But the goal was overturned following a Capitals challenge due to goaltender interference after Marian Hossa's stick made contact with Braden Holtby.

Here's the NHL's explanation:

"After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that Chicago's Marian Hossa intefered with Holtby before the puck cross the goal line. According to Rule 78.7, 'The standard for overturning the call in the event of a 'GOAL' call on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that the goal should have been disallowed due to 'Interference on the Goalkeeper,' as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4. Therefore the original call is overturned."

4. Bradley Holtby stays hot.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner was on his A-game once again, stopping all 24 shots he faced in the win. He has turned aside 56 of 58 shots in two contests against the Blackhawks this season, good for a .966 save percentage.

It's also his third shutout in his last five starts, and sixth total, which now leads the league. Holtby hasn't allowed an even-strength goal in five straight games, with all three coming on the power play.

5. Capitals are serious contenders.

Say what you want about the Capitals' history of playoff struggles after cruising in the regular season, but this team is no joke and feels different than in year's past. They've now won eight in a row, including shutout wins against Columbus, Ottawa and Chicago, and own a plus-24 goal differential during that span.

They're a top-3 puck possession team, own the third-best penalty kill unit in the league at 86.1 percent and are averaging only 1.95 goals against per game, which ranks No. 1. Those are three key ingredients to a lengthy postseason run, and they're among the best in all of them.

2019 NHL Draft Profile: C Trevor Zegras

2019 NHL Draft Profile: C Trevor Zegras

From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top prospect per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick third overall.

Trevor Zegras

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 169 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report from Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley:

"Trevor is a high skilled centerman, very good skater, very, very creative, comfortable and creative with the puck."

Zegras describes his own game:

On his creativity: "I think growing up, watching a bunch of guys in the NHL like Patrick Kane mess around the ice, just something I’ve always done as a little kid. Maybe I rolled into the driveway and work on fun passes. It’s what I’m really good at."

NHL player comparable: Patrick Kane

Fit for Blackhawks:

Talk to any player on USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and they'll say Zegras was the most offensively gifted player of the group, which is saying a lot when you consider some of the names he's up against (Matthew Boldy, Cole Caufield, Jack Hughes, Alex Turcotte, to name a few).

At the NHL scouting combine, Zegras mentioned Kane several times as somebody he tries modeling his game after. The vision, the passing, the skating, the playmaking ability, the hockey IQ. He has it all offensively, and also doesn't get enough credit for his two-way game.

Zegras is somebody that has quickly been rising on draft boards, and it's because he has the potential to be a 90-point player in the NHL as a center. His name has been discussed by the Blackhawks at No. 3 and he's certainly a tempting option. Pair Zegras with Kane for the next decade and it's scary to think about the numbers the two could put up together.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Predicting who Blackhawks will take at No. 3 overall

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Predicting who Blackhawks will take at No. 3 overall

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Slavko Bekovic and Charlie Roumeliotis react to the Olli Maatta trade and how this impacts the Blackhawks' defensive group. Is this the first of more moves to come?

The guys then break down their top-three candidates for the Blackhawks at No. 3 overall and predict who the pick will be on Friday. They also discuss how the Blackhawks' selection may impact the offseason and the big picture going forward.

0:40 – Initial reaction to the Olli Maatta trade

3:45 – How Maatta fits with the Blackhawks

7:45 – Filling Dominik Kahun’s spot

10:00 – Maatta’s contract situation

11:00 – Our top-3 draft predictions

18:30 – Official predictions on who the Blackhawks will pick

24:30 – Is there a wrong pick in the top 10?

27:30 – If the Blackhawks don’t pick D, the forward is…?

29:30 – How the Blackhawks selections shape the offseason

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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