Blackhawks 1, Wild 4 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

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Blackhawks 1, Wild 4 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks “improved” to 3-15-4 in their last 22 games with a loss in Minnesota on Friday night. It was cold and snowing outside in Chicago and the flu bug is going around, so hopefully you were able to enjoy a nice fire or perhaps a beverage with that special someone. Between the Bulls and Blackhawks, insomnia may have ended this night 0-2 against Chicago.

Star 1: Petr Mrazek

The poor guy can only do so much. Yeah, he’d probably like Minnesota’s third goal back; I would argue that cross-crease pass is just another example of a trend I’ve pointed out a few times in recent games. The Blackhawks are leaving the back door open and losing guys, and teams are finding lanes to take advantage. Anyways, that third goal Mrazek allowed easily could have been the Wild’s sixth or seventh goal of the night but the Blackhawks’ goaltender was marvelous.

Star 2: Kyle Davidson’s 2023 Draft Board

Star 3: Jonathan Toews

It was another lackluster night at the office for the Blackhawks offensively, but Toews continues to do work at the dot. He won 15 of 17 faceoffs in the first two periods; I noted in my pregame things to watch that he won 15 of 18 when the teams played last. With the offense doing next to nothing, Chicago got a power play mid-third and Toews was able to get the puck in to end the shutout bid of his former teammate.

Takeaways

  • The league should have let the Blackhawks wear their home red jerseys tonight with the Wild in their greens because Christmas n stuff.
  • ESPN’s Emily Kaplan shared with us as the second period that Philipp Kurashev left the bench early and did not join the entire Blackhawks group when the middle stanza began. Well, Kurashev did come back… but took just one shift in the first 12 minutes of the period. As soon as I tweeted that fact, he showed up on the ice again. His first three shifts of the second period were 1:00, 1:02 and 2:24 in length. His fourth saw him wind up in the penalty box, and the Wild scoring their third goal of the night. Rough period for Kurashev.
  • Andreas Athanasiou had a very Viktor Stalberg-like performance. His speed was obvious; his passing decisions and finishing attempts left a ton to be desired. I’m whispering this to as to not hurt his trade value, but this was not his finest night.
  • Mats Zuccarello was better than every player in a Blackhawks’ sweater tonight. Period. It was his first hat trick since October 30, 2015.
  • This play by Jake McCabe is absolutely how Luke Richardson has been coaching his defensemen to play an odd-man break. McCabe plays it perfectly and starts a rush the other way. Love to see it.


Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab