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Five Thoughts on Chicago Blackhawks loss to the Montreal Canadiens

Reeling after a 6-game losing streak, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to break the streak against the Montreal Canadiens.  They did not achieve this one goal.

As this season devolves into a miasma of despair for the Chicago Blackhawks, there are many thoughts to dwell on.  Here are five thoughts on this game.

1 – Yet another bad 1st period

The ‘Hawks once again allowed their opponent to take the lead in the opening period.  After a lackluster power play in which the ‘Hawks lost momentum, the Habs came back and scored on the next shift.  Just a minute and a half later, Shea Weber was left alone in the center of the zone to score on a blazing shot.

For a team that has been getting spanked, it’s amazing that they can open a game with no sense of urgency.  They’ve talked about playing better, but “they are who we thought they are”.

2 – Wait, a power play goal???

After two feeble power play opportunities, the ‘Hawks finally scored on their third power play.  After winning a board battle down low, the ‘Hawks moved the puck out to the blue line.  John Hayden parked himself in front of Price to provide a screen that Kane skillfully exploited.  The ‘Hawks desperately need more of this type of net-front presence.

3 – Kane on fire

After scoring his power play goal, Kane implored his team to get going yelling, “Come on!”

His singular sense of urgency continued into the second period, with several explosions through the neutral zone to ignite offensive presence.   Kane lit the lamp again in the second period, one-timing a perfect pass from Kahun past Carey Price.

The encouraging element is that during this losing streak, the team is not giving up.  After the first point of falling behind consistently, they also consistently fight back.  They need to find the fire that Kane displayed to play a 60-minute game.

4 – Power play outage

The third period was highlighted with a bevy of penalties on both sides.  The ‘Hawks were the beneficiary of a solid six straight minutes of power play time but failed to capitalize on that golden opportunity.  They failed to capitalize on Canadiens penalty killers without a stick.  The ‘Hawks also managed to kill off a 5-on-3 disadvantage with an aggressive penalty kill.  This is usually a momentum changer, but again the ‘Hawks failed to build off that successful kill.  The lack of that killer instinct is killing this team.

5 – Questionable coaching

Jeremy Colliton had a less than stellar night.  When the ‘Hawks were clearly controlling the play on their final power play, he failed to call a timeout to give his top power play unit a rest.  He kept them on the ice after a whistle and the result was yet another failed effort.

In the final two minutes, he sent out a line of Dylan Strome, Andreas Martinsen, and Alexandre Fortin, and they surrendered the winning goal.  Those are hardly the players you’d want to see out there in the closing moments of a tied game.  Contrary to what he’s said recently, he is still new.

Next: Where do the ‘Hawks go from last place?

And so, it’s on to yet another tough meeting with the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.  The ‘Hawks will have their hands full with a team that recently defeated them 6-5.  They will have to start finding their way to avoid a crazy 8.

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