So…the Blackhawks are just two or three players away, eh?
Well, I’ll let you know that they are just 14 points behind the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference after tonight’s 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues and have just two wins over the last four weeks of the season. With the loss tonight, Chicago falls to 17-24-7 (or 17-31) on the year and 2-6-2 over their last ten games.
The lone bright spot tonight for Chicago was a 5-on-3 powerplay goal for Dylan Strome in the second period that cut the Blues’ lead to 2-1 at the time. Dominik Kubalík and Patrick Kane with the assists on the play, setting up Strome for his ninth goal of the season and 14th point in his last 15 games since January 1 for the Blackhawks.
Kane to Strome and he scorreeesss! pic.twitter.com/BX1frXSvUg
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) February 13, 2022
Strome has really come into his own over the last month+ of the season, especially given the increase in minutes and responsibility with Jonathan Toews out of the lineup. Does he hold more value on the team rather than on the trade block? I’m no longer so sure. If you ask Patrick Kane, he’d keep Strome around as long as he could.
But that was as good as it would get for the Blackhawks tonight as they run into a strong goaltender in Ville Husso, making 15-of-16 saves tonight for his eighth win in his last nine starts for the Blues. That’s a season-low for shots by this Blackhawks team.
Five goals from five different goal-scorers highlight St. Louis’ offensive night that saw them out-shoot Chicago 31-16 on the night, including 13-2 in the third period. Not an effort that will ever be good enough to beat a team as tough as St. Louis is.
Marc-André Fleury makes 26-of-31 saves tonight in what was his 13th start in Chicago’s last 14 games. Give the guy a night off. Seesh.
Everyone gets Super Bowl Sunday off before the Blackhawks close their three-game road trip on Monday night with a matchup against the Winnipeg Jets. A Winnipeg team that topped the Predators 5-2 tonight and is seven points ahead of the Blackhawks in the Central Division standings.
Find the full box score here.