Even the festivities of the Patrick Kane’s pregame celebration for 1,000 career games couldn’t get this Blackhawks team to play a complete game against the Vancouver Canucks. The Blackhawks dropped their fifth straight game to open the season and are now 0-4-1.
Like Tuesday, the first period was filled with optimism. The Blackhawks led the Canucks 3-0 in high danger chances, and the defense wasn’t making the bone-headed mistakes that killed them in the first periods of the first three games. The Canucks took a 1-0 lead, yes, but only because they found a soft spot in the defense and beat Lankinen (which is better than having a wide-open break because of a Blackhawks turnover in their zone or a flailing defender not being able to make a competitive play on the puck. Progress, right?).
The Blackhawks tied the game when Patrick Kane found Alex DeBrincat with a beautiful pass on the power play to tie it up at one-a-piece.
Kane ➡ Cat 🚨 pic.twitter.com/igVuoD3NRz
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) October 22, 2021
Patrick Kane, who was sniffing out chances early on Thursday night, was toying with the Canucks in the circle that entire power play. He found Toews in a good spot near the crease, but he couldn’t connect. But after a reset, Kane found DeBrincat, who delivered. So despite the only goal of the period coming on the man advantage, I was feeling pretty good about the first period.
Then came the second period.
Honestly, the Canucks scored a pair in that period to take a 3-1 lead over the Blackhawks, but this was different than what we’ve seen thus far. The first goal was a long shot that was redirected past Lankinen in front of the net, and the second came on a 5-on-3 Canucks power play.
What we didn’t see tonight was a bunch of odd-man breaks leading to scores for the opponent, glaring defensive blunders leading to high-danger looks for the opponent, or a plethora of offensive turnovers in their zone. So … progress?
Sure, it’s tough to focus on silver linings when they’re this small and you’re riding a five-game skid to open the season, but this was nowhere near as ugly as the first few games of the year.
You can find the complete box score here!