ST. PAUL, Minn. – A little good, a little bad: the Blackhawks had a little of both in Friday night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Certainly, this is a team still trying to figure things out, and their last several games prove that. When their defense has been stellar, the offense was quiet. On Friday their offense got going and their defense gave up too much.
You take the bitter with the sweet, realize this team, as Brent Seabrook said, has some work to do, and now they have to do it. So before we head home, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 5-4 loss to the Wild.
1. The defense had an off night. The Blackhawks gave up a few odd-man rushes. They struggled at times to get Minnesota out of their zone. What that ticked coach Joel Quenneville off most were those lapses at the beginning and ends of periods. The Wild scored two goals early in periods (18 seconds into the first and 32 seconds into the third) and another with 11 seconds left in the first.
2. Jonathan Toews on a roll. The offense did plenty of good things on Friday night, and it’s no surprise that Toews was a big part of it. His two goals – one short-handed, the other the Blackhawks’ first 5-on-5 goal in more than a week – now give him four for the season.
3. Artem Anisimov continues to contribute. While a smattering of fans keep asking when Marko Dano comes back to Chicago, everyone might want to give credit to the center in that trade. Anisimov is what the Blackhawks needed immediately, a capable second-line center that filled the void left this offseason. He’s been just that, scoring his fourth goal on Friday and showing he’s not just the other guy on that second line with Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane.
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4. Will Andrew Desjardins get supplemental discipline? Desjardins went knee-to-knee with Minnesota forward Justin Fontaine in the second period on Friday night. Fontaine needed help to get to the locker room, and Minnesota writers reported that Fontaine could be out for a few weeks. A source said the league will look at the hit, but any decision on if there is/isn’t supplemental discipline won’t be made until this weekend.
5. Finding their way. The Blackhawks won their first three games without Duncan Keith but they weren’t going to roll without him. They miss Keith on defense. They miss him on the other side, too. But he’s not even getting on the ice for a bit so the Blackhawks will have to find ways to get through a few more weeks without him.