What Did I Just Watch? Blue Jackets 6, Blackhawks 5 - February 11, 2021 | Bleacher Nation

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What Did I Just Watch? Blue Jackets 6, Blackhawks 5 – February 11, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

This game was drunker than Tom Brady leaving a Florida boat party.

The Blackhawks dropped tonight’s contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-5, snapping a five-game point streak and moving their record to 6-5-4 this season.

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What more can you say about these rookies other than … “The kids are Alright!”

In the second period, three rookies scored, which helped the Blackhawks turn a 1-0 first-period deficit into a 3-1 second-period lead. Ian Mitchell was one of them (his first NHL goal), and he was followed by Nicolas Beaudin 56 seconds later (also his first NHL goal).

 

The last time the Blackhawks had two rookies score their first NHL goals in the same game was in February 1989 (Jeremy Roenick and Mario Doyon). Beaudin also notched an assist on the 3-1 goal by Pius Suter, another rookie, to seal his first career multi-point game in the NHL.

Suter’s 3-1 goal marked his sixth goal of the season, leading all NHL rookies in goals. Suter finished with 18:45 minutes played and had four shots on goal.

Patrick Kane got the other assist on the Suter 3-1 goal, and added a powerplay goal and an assist. He has 13 points in his last seven games played, leading the team with 20 points this season. Kane is up to 396 career goals, and his three points tonight bring him to 1,042 career points, passing Daniel Sedin and putting him 74th all-time in NHL history.

Tonight’s game solidified the fact that this Blackhawks team had much more in them than we saw in the first three or four games of the season. We knew, and they knew, what was ahead of them with the losses of Toews, Dach, and Crawford prior to the beginning of training camp (starting against the defending Stanley Cup Champions didn’t help either).

But then it came to playing the Detroit Red Wings. Those two wins made all the difference in the start to this season for the Blackhawks. They had been beaten soundly in three of their first four games and it was looking bleak. They needed a confidence boost and they got it against the Red Wings. From then on, we’ve seen a much different team: A team that knows they can be in any game against anyone.

This is still a young team that is going to make young-team mistakes. But making mistakes is less important for a young team than how you respond to them. So far, this team has responded to adversity the right way.

Tonight was a far from perfect game, but the Blackhawks response was what you want to see. Bounces are not going to go your way every time, and up until tonight, it looked like Kevin Lankinen would be able to bail the Blackhawks out on a nightly basis. He wasn’t super-human tonight, making 37 saves on 43 shots. We’ve been conditioned over the last 11 games to expect the Blackhawks to gain points every night. They probably should have continued that trend, but even though they come away without any points, this was a game where you saw key players take steps forward.

Final Thoughts

•   Special teams was a big part of this one. The Blackhawks continue their powerplay success with a 1-for-2 effort on the man-advantage. They have scored eight powerplay goals on their last 22 opportunities over the last seven games. The penalty-kill had successfully killed off 21 of their last 22 penalties coming into tonight, but were only successful on 1-of-3 kills in this game. You can’t have every night go your way, but this was still a bummer.

•   Alex DeBrincat had an off year in 2019-20. I think he’s going to be just fine this season. He had a three-point night tonight and has tallied 12 points over his last seven games.

•   Adam Boqvist and Lucas Wallmark have recently come off the NHL COVID Protocol list, with Ryan Carpenter still on it. Head coach Jeremy Colliton has said that those players will need time to get back up to game shape/speed, but when they are ready to go, where do they fit in? The players that have taken their spots, have done well. I’m not a big fan of losing jobs to injuries or other reasons outside of your control, but it will be interesting to see how, or if, they fit back into the lineup.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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