Going Streaking, Sizing Up The Blackhawks, Delia's New Digs, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Going Streaking, Sizing Up The Blackhawks, Delia’s New Digs, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

With six points in the standings, the Chicago Blackhawks sit in a five-way tie (alongside the Predators, Stars, Panthers, and Lightning) for second place in the Central Division through their first seven games of the season. For Chicago to be in this mix this early is good, but just remember: they have only two wins through seven games … it’s not quite as promising as it seems on the surface. Then again, even though they’ve lost five of seven, they have earned points in their last four straight.

•   In what figures to still be a very trying season for the Blackhawks, finding positives and avenues of confidence to build on is important. Having a four-game points streak is a confidence booster. But dropping a game in which you held the lead, twice, takes a chunk out of that confidence. The Predators were the better team on Tuesday night and they were eventually rewarded as such.

•   Very few positives could be taken away from last night’s overtime loss to the Predators. The overwhelmingly standout performance of the night was from goaltender Malcolm Subban. Making 36 of 39 saves in his first game action since the opening night of the season, Subban didn’t make it look easy at times, but he came up big for Chicago on numerous Nashville chances.

•   Getting to overtime was one thing, but the Blackhawks had a breakdown in the final moments of the game between Dylan Strome and Patrick Kane in their defensive zone. Roman Josi capitalized on a missed defensive assignment and drove to the net for the game-winner. Strome and Kane are not what you would call defensive stalwarts, but the breakdown still can’t happen in crunch-time.

•   It was a fitting end to a terrible night for Kane. For just the seventh time in his career, he went an entire game without a shot on goal. How does that even happen?

•   Expect that to not be the case on Wednesday night in the rematch.

•   Head coach Jeremy Colliton, who has been relatively calm in his postgame press conferences this season, even after losses, was particularly upset after the loss to the Predators. He mentioned players like Kane and Nikita Zadorov that needed to be better. Basically, to Colliton, everyone besides Subban didn’t have the kind of game they needed to.

•   Special teams is heading in the right direction for the Blackhawks though. The powerplay remains red-hot, scoring in their seventh-straight game to start the season. The Blackhawks hold the league’s second-best powerplay with a 42.9% success rate. They trail only the Dallas Stars. On the penalty-kill, after going 4-for-4 against the Predators on Tuesday night, Chicago ranks 21st in the NHL with a 75.9% kill-rate.

•   Lucas Carlsson made his season debut against the Predators on Tuesday night, but I wouldn’t necessarily pencil him in as the full-time replacement for Adam Boqvist while he is in COVID protocol. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nicolas Beaudin or Wyatt Kalynuk to get a chance to play in the coming days.

•   In net, while Lankinen was the hot hand for three games for the Blackhawks, Subban made a big comeback statement in the overtime loss to the Predators. Will we see a shot at redemption for Collin Delia on Wednesday night? Delia has been the odd-man out since making his two starts against the Lightning and Panthers earlier this month. With Subban and Lankinen making strides forward, you’d hope that Delia gets the opportunity to make his mark.

•   Speaking of getting Delia back in net, it would give him an opportunity to debut his brand new mask, which is AWESOME if I do say so myself.

•   The Athletic has done an annual post calculating the ages, nationalities, and sizes of players that make up the NHL and how is breaks down team by team. You can find this year’s edition here. On average, the Chicago Blackhawks rank eighth-youngest (26.9 years old), third-shortest (72.6″), and the lightest (190.7 pounds) team in the league this season.

•   But hey, here’s a laugh from last night to end today with: Pat Foley calling Mattias Janmark “Calle Järnkrok” three times on his breakaway goal last night!

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.