Carolina Hurricanes

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The Blackhawks losing streak extends to 8

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The Blackhawks losing streak extends to 8

The Blackhawks losing streak extended to eight games with an overtime loss in Carolina, but there were some signs of improvement with the team. Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss Jeremy Colliton going to the “nuclear option,” pairing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the same line. It seemed to work, but how did the other lines fare?

Plus, how close are we to seeing some calls made to Rockford and how important are the next two “winnable” games?

0:45 - Mindset of the team after their 8th straight loss

2:00 - Opposition getting quality chances against hawks goalies

4:00 - Toews and Kane playing on the same line

5:00 - Nick Schmaltz needs to take more shots

5:45 - Colliton's lines during overtime

8:00 - DeBrincat playing on a line with Kampf and Kahun

9:45 - Debrincat with more goals than Kane or Roenick through 100 career games

11:45 -  How close are the Blackhawks to making some callups from Rockford to give the team a boost?

14:00 - Hawks get a chance against 2 other struggling teams in Blues and Knights

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Blackhawks' losing streak extends to eight in Cam Ward's return to Carolina

Blackhawks' losing streak extends to eight in Cam Ward's return to Carolina

It felt like the Blackhawks' seven-game losing streak was going to end Monday night. 

Cam Ward was stellar in net, the Blackhawks' offense started hot and Alex DeBrincat snapped his scoring drought. In the end, though, Monday's hot-start was for all for naught.

Despite holding a 2-0 lead in the second period, the Blackhawks were outscored 3-0 the rest of the game, falling to the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. The Blackhawks have now lost eight-straight games for the second-straight season (they lost eight-straight in February 2018). 

While the loss hurts, there are several positives to take from Monday's game. Cam Ward was stellar in his first start in Carolina as a visitor.

Ward, who played for the Hurricanes in his first 13 NHL seasons, made 37 saves on 40 shots. The two regulation goals that he allowed came with the Blackhawks a man-down, however. 

Ward also made a huge save halfway through the third period during a 4-on-4 situation, keeping the score knotted at 2-2.

Alex DeBrincat scored his ninth goal of the season to put the Blackhawks up 2-0. Not only was the goal DeBrincat's first since Oct. 25, but it also put him in exclusive company.

Monday was DeBrincat's 100th career NHL game; his 37 goals in those 100 games matches Artemi Panarin and Eric Daze through their first 100 games with the Blackhawks.

And while a loss is still a loss, the Blackhawks picked up a point for the first time since Oct. 28. There's always some positives, right?

Four takeaways: Blackhawks comeback falls short in Jeremy Colliton's NHL coaching debut

Four takeaways: Blackhawks comeback falls short in Jeremy Colliton's NHL coaching debut

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Jeremy Colliton's NHL head coaching debut on Thurday at the United Center:

1. First period puts Blackhawks in too big of a hole

The Blackhawks actually weren't terrible in the first period. They had 15 scoring chances at 5-on-5 to Carolina's six. But they looked a little bit lost in their own end and it was evident.

Defensive breakdowns and five giveaways in the first period put the Blackhawks in a 3-0 hole and it was ultimately too much to overcome. All of the goals against were self-inflicted wounds, which means they're correctable.

"I still thought we had some good chances there in the first," Patrick Kane said. "We had some puck possession, just a couple mistakes and they end up in the back of our net. You can look at it every which way you want, the biggest thing is it just wasn't good enough as far as the start."

2. Momentum shifts in second period

After falling behind 3-0 in the first period, the Blackhawks allowed their fourth unanswered 1:20 into the second. It appeared the game was headed for a route, with Corey Crawford snapping his stick over the goal post.

But the Blackhawks showed some fight, with goals from Kane and David Kampf 6:19 apart from each other.

"We had a push there mid-second period," Colliton said. "We started to really skate and pressure the puck and I thought we were a little bit better in our own end, which helped us to create a little more. We were skating and had some zone time and were able to generate some energy. Of course we scored, but it looked like we had some push back, which was nice to see and we carried that over into the third.

"We had our chances, we had our pressure, moments and we scored the third goal it looked like we were close to really turning the game. We had some really good chances. We just couldn’t convert and maybe we would’ve liked to generate more at the end. But overall it was a good response."

3. Leaning on Kane

Colliton wasn't afraid to ride his top horses in his coaching debut. Kane logged 27:43 of ice time, which was the second-highest of his NHL career in a regular season game. His career high is 28:48 vs. Columbus on Oct. 21, 2016.

It's worth noting Kane was part of both power play units, something that we could continue to see going forward under Colliton.

Kane also had a goal, assist and 11 shot attempts (three on goal) in the loss. His 12 goals puts him back into a tie for first in the league.

4. Corey Crawford vs. Scott Darling

For the first time in their NHL careers, the Blackhawks' 2015 Stanley Cup-winning goalie tandem went head-to-head on opposite ends of the ice. Chicago needed both of them to capture its third championship in six years and certainly would not have gotten out of the first round against the Nashville Predators that spring without Darling's heroics in relief.

Darling's first game back in Chicago came on March 11 last season, but Crawford was battling a concussion and did not suit up for it.

Darling got the better of his counterpart in this matchup, stopping 35 of 38 shots for a save percentage of .921. Crawford turned aside 30 of 34 shots for a save percentage of .882.