So the Blackhawks threw all of us a curveball moments before the game when they activated defenseman Jarred Tinordi off IR and put him in the lineup… after we were told both Thursday after practice and after the morning skate that the coaches were hopeful he would be ready to come back for Tuesday night’s game — not tonight. Oh, and they kept Ian Mitchell in the lineup and stashed Caleb Jones away in the press box. Take that for what it’s worth.
Tinordi skated a 27-second shift to start the game and… didn’t return for the rest of the first period. So yeah, anyways, that was fun. Rolling five defensemen against one of the hottest teams in the league because why not?
Tinordi came back out early in the second period… with a full cage. So apparently he needed some facial repairs. His return came after the Blackhawks successfully killed one of two minor penalties called on Jack Johnson in the final minutes of the second period (more on that below) and gave Mitchell some run on PK duty.
Star 1: Taylor Raddysh
The Blackhawks hadn’t scored in seven and a half periods when Raddysh got them on the board in the middle of the second period. Chicago was chasing two at that point, but ending the shutout bid was kinda of important after putting up a doughnut in their last two games. He scored 11 goals in 74 games last year between Chicago and Tampa; this was his eighth of this season already.
Star 2: Arvid Söderblom
This game was a dumpster fire from the jump. The blue line was thrown in the blender immediately when Tinordi was a last second addition to the lineup and then disappeared for the entire first period because of see above. The Jets out-shot the Hawks 13-7 in the first period and 11-9 in the second period but were dominating the high dangers chances (7-2 after two periods). Söderblom was throwing rebounds all over the place, but he kept a lot of shots out of the net that could have easily made this a debacle quickly. He had no chance on Winnipeg’s third goal; Adam Lowry was left all alone on the back door and received a nice pass.
Star 3: Jonathan Toews
As the first period clicked along, I noticed the Jets sneak in behind Toews at the dot a couple times and steal a faceoff win from 19. During a TV timeout in the middle of the period, I checked and Toews — who leads the NHL in faceoff win percentage — had won one of four faceoffs. I then looked down at the ice and noticed him having a fairly animated conversation with Jake McCabe that involved some pointing. Toews won his next three faceoffs. Whatever I noticed, apparently he did, too, and they fixed it. He won 9 of 10 faceoffs in the second period and 12 of 14 after my first tweet. Toews finished the night winning 21 of 30 at the dot.
- Late in the first period, Jack Johnson picked up four penalty minutes. He got mixed up behind the boards with Michael Eyssimont and they both went to the ice. Then Johnson lost his mind. Here’s a look at why Jack was so pissed off… he was absolutely livid.
- In the second period, Reese Johnson lost his ever-loving mind and went after Dylan DeMelo. DeMelo received two minutes for a check to the head and two minutes for roughing; Reese got four minutes for roughing. This clear attempt to injure Colin Blackwell certainly seems like something that could probably be worth more than a two-minute minor, no?
- It was really nice having Sam Lafferty back in the lineup. He brings speed to the ice that was noticeable tonight. With Patrick Kane in the box for tripping with 12 minutes left in the third period, he chased a clear the length of the ice and put pressure on the Jets to do something with the puck. The Blackhawks could use any/all the speed they can get and he was good in his first game back.