The Blackhawks were looking to bring what’s been a good road trek back home, at least the energy and momentum they built off this latest trip.
That didn’t happen.
It wasn’t an exceptional game for either team but the Blackhawks definitely didn’t get what they were looking for in a 2-0 loss to the Sharks. That’s the way it goes sometimes. So as we head home – no, not the road as we have a lot lately – let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ loss to the Sharks.
1. Another disallowed goal. This is getting to be a habit for the Blackhawks. After Marian Hossa’s goal was nixed in Arizona due to goaltender interference, Brandon Mashinter’s goal met the same fate after Sharks coach Pete DeBoer challenged for interference on Tuesday. Coach Joel Quenneville voiced his displeasure about this one and then ended his post-game press conference abruptly. Quenneville has usually taken the “I’m not going to comment” approach on questionable calls. He was clearly frustrated with this one.
2. Power play fizzles. As we’ve discussed before, the Blackhawks’ power play is better overall this season but it hasn’t been as good at home (12th in the NHL). The Blackhawks had three opportunities on Tuesday night and it took until the third for them to really threaten (they were down 1-0 by that time).
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3. Missing Artemi Panarin. This isn’t an excuse, just an observation. Who knows if he makes a difference, but the Blackhawks were holding auditions for that spot vacated by Panarin, who was out sick tonight. Teuvo Teravainen started at that left-wing spot; Richard Panik played there some and so did Andrew Desjardins. That line still threatened, but obviously didn’t have the same feel.
4. The Sharks play a great road game. There’s a reason they entered this one 17-8-2 on the road this season. The Sharks didn’t do anything fancy in this one. They just bided their time, took advantage of their great power play (third overall and on the road) and let Martin Jones do the rest. Jones, especially, did a good job of disallowing rebounds, because the Blackhawks were around him plenty.
5. Moving on. The Blackhawks have another day-and-a-half to get past this loss and the disallowed goal. The Stars, who are now just three points behind them in the Central Division, are here on Thursday night. The Blackhawks had a statement victory against the Stars on Saturday. They’ll need to channel their frustration in the right direction on Thursday if they want the same result.