You ever drive for five hours, making a few pit stops along the way to take in the scenery or maybe take a break for a photo op or two, then finally reach your destination, only to find out that when you got there, things may not have been what they were advertised? Well that’s how this game felt to me.
Yes, I am taking a road-trip with my wife, why do you ask?
On Friday night, the Chicago Blackhawks, facing a Columbus Blue Jackets team coming off an extra-time game last night, came out flat and never recovered. I know it’s still early in a season that’s probably going to be full of lousy games, but that’s unacceptable.
Columbus got the better of the Blackhawks, snapping their five-game point streak, and giving the Blackhawks their seventh loss in nine games this season.
FINAL: Blue Jackets 2, #Blackhawks 1
Shot attempts: 63-44 CHI
Shots on goal: 32-27 CHI
5-on-5 scoring chances: 26-20 CHI
5-on-5 high danger chances: 12-8 CHI pic.twitter.com/nHyEpKBtgB
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 30, 2021
I did find enjoyment in the response to falling behind 2-0, although it had to come when they were already behind…2-0. Blackhawks were able to get a greasy goal on the powerplay after a number of chances went unfulfilled in the moments prior. But the Blackhawks are not going to find success having to play from behind. They are not built to come back from two-goal deficits on a regular basis. You just can’t do it.
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) January 30, 2021
Kevin Lankinen, making his fifth start in the last six games, suffers his first regulation loss of the season, moving his record this year to 2-1-2. But credit him for coming up with huge saves in the second and third periods to keep the Blackhawks alive on a night when the Blue Jackets could have scored four or five quality goals. He finished with 25 saves on 27 shots.
Sigh. It’s gonna be a long short-season.
• Patrick Kane is doing so much for the Blackhawks, and yet it almost feels like it’s not enough. Weird, I know, considering he leads the Blackhawks in goals, points, and shots on goal. Tonight, he averaged over a minute per shift, playing a total of 27:13 minutes, which led all Blackhawks skaters. Kane also led all Blackhawks with six shots on goal.
• Mattias Janmark is underrated as an asset for this Blackhawks team. He’s been able to be effective in every spot he’s been put at in the lineup. P)laying with Kane the past few games has sparked his playmaking ability and has led to a number of quality scoring chances for Chicago. It seems like only a matter of time before he starts to bury some of them.
• After a few games where he finished as one of the least deployed players, Ian Mitchell had 15:16 minutes of ice time tonight, including 1:40 minutes on the powerplay. He’s continuing to look halfway decent at the NHL level and the more ice-time he’s getting, the better he’s looking.
• Kevin Lankinen was really, really good again tonight. But, with that said, I think it’s time we saw Collin Delia in net for another start. He hasn’t played since the third game of the season and he is due his redemption start. Malcolm Subban bounced back and had a decent showing in his redemption start, why not give Delia that opportunity? I’d expect at the very least, that Lankinen won’t get the start on Sunday night.