RALEIGH, N.C. — Well, that was a forgettable one, wasn’t it?
The Blackhawks didn’t want to repeat their pre-Christmas outing, but that’s pretty much what they did when they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-0, on Tuesday night. It was a forgettable outing entering the All-Star break, a respite the Blackhawks clearly need. So before we all power down for a few days, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ loss to Carolina.
1. This team needs a rest. The Blackhawks didn’t want to talk about the break or how much they might need the break. They didn’t have to: It was pretty clear from their play the last few games, and especially Tuesday’s outing, that they need to recharge. In their three recent losses, the Blackhawks have just one goal. Yep, whether they’re heading to a beach or heading home, the Blackhawks need to take advantage of the next few days.
2. Jonathan Toews fighting through it. Toews, who was fighting illness the past few days, did not play at all in the third period. Toews had taken some morning skates off which, considering how much hockey he’s played, wasn’t a huge surprise — he was still playing every game. But with the Blackhawks losing, 5-0, after two, it was a good time for Toews to shut it down.
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3. Corey Crawford pulled, but ... Crawford’s early exit was not about him. He’s been stellar these last few weeks. But with the Blackhawks having an awful outing in front of him, coach Joel Quenneville looked to stoke the team fire by benching Crawford. It didn’t really work, but if nothing else, Crawford got another 40 minutes of well-deserved rest.
4. Joakim Nordstrom scores against his former team. Nordstrom is getting an opportunity with the Hurricanes — second line currently — that he probably wasn’t going to get with the Blackhawks. And lately he’s made the most of it. Nordstrom scored his fifth goal of the season, and his third in as many games, against the Blackhawks on Tuesday. Nordstrom was always a hard worker. Good to see him taking advantage of the chance he’s received in Carolina.
5. No goals again. This is likely another sign of fatigue, but this was the second of their three losses in which the Blackhawks were held scoreless (Florida beat them 4-0 on Friday). When the second line isn’t even anywhere on the score sheet, you know it’s a bad night.