The Blackhawks played their ninth game in 16 days on Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg with a four-day layoff looming after the final horn. And they kinda sorta looked like a team that could use a break. The Jets didn’t convert in the first period but controlled the play. The wheels came off in the second period and the Hawks put Dylan Wells in an NHL game for the first time to start the third period.
Star 1: Luke Richardson’s Wardrobe
The head coach looked good showing up for this afternoon’s game. Black suit. Black shirt. Black tie. Full Johnny Cash. I’m here for it. Sadly, the ring of fire was around the Blackhawks’ net every time they were on special teams.
Star 2: Dylan Wells
The kid came in out of the bullpen and did what he could. He gave up his first career NHL goal on a Jets power play early in the third but looked solid at even strength. With the starter leaving because of injury again, he might get a trip to southern California out of it.
Star 3: The ’23 Draft
Bad games like this where the Blackhawks are clearly ready for a couple days without a game remind us that the 2023 NHL Draft is loaded and Chicago could use some help.
- The Blackhawks’ special teams were, well, a problem. They allowed three goals in the second period. Two were on the power play and the middle one was short-handed. Caleb Jones blew a tire on the shorty, giving Adam Lowry a breakaway. The Hawks gave up a power play goal in the third after they had eight men on the ice. Eight.
- Arvid Söderblom didn’t have a great second period. He was pretty well screened on the first Jets goal but the shorty was one he needed to get. For those who have ordained him the next starter in Chicago (including yours truly) and those who want him to stay in Chicago when Petr Mrazek and Alex Stalock are healthy (not including me), this is why getting regular reps in Rockford makes sense. There are going to be games like this when a young netminder is learning.
- Söderblom left the game because of injury, so now we’re all hoping Mrazek can go on Thursday in LA.