The Blues didn’t do much to earn their first two goals of the night. In the first period, Jack Johnson tried to shoot the puck behind the Blackhawks’ net and it hit an official’s skate, bounced out in front directly to a Blues player and they were able to pick poor Alex Stalock apart all along in front. Their second goal was a gift wrapped hot turd from Boris Katchouk… one of the worst pass attempts I can remember.
Star 1: Alex Stalock
The Blackhawks had a decent first period in which they out-shot the Blues 11-9 and scored a power play goal. If not for the bad luck of the puck hitting the official, Chicago probably could/should have had a lead after 20 minutes. The Blues flipped the script in the second and dominated the middle frame, out-shooting the Blackhawks 15-5. The game could have easily been 4-1 after 40 minutes if not for Stalock, and the Blues’ first two goals (again) were hand delivered. He stopped 26 of 28 in the loss.
Star 2: Kyle Davidson’s Draft Board
The the Columbus Blue Jackets losing at the Islanders tonight, the Blackhawks losing means they’re two points behind (ahead of?) the Blue Jackets for the worst record in the league. Why is that important? Because they’re just as awful as the Blackhawks and Chicago visits Columbus on New Year’s Eve. And both teams probably want this guy:
Star 3: Jason Dickinson
Dickinson has been playing really good hockey lately. He set up Taylor Raddysh for a glorious scoring chance in the closing seconds of the first period (that Raddysh couldn’t finish) and, with Sam Lafferty, had a very good night in the faceoff circle (they both won four of five draws). Dickinson finished tied with Jack Johnson for the team lead with three shots on net. That trade is looking better every week for the Blackhawks (especially with Vancouver being terrible). Yeah, he got called for tripping with 4:22 left in regulation but the rest of his night was solid.
- I still have no clue what purpose Boris Katchouk serves on this team other than… well, I guess losing is the point to he has a role. His turnover that directly led to the Blues’ second goal was one of — if not the — worst pass attempts I’ve seen in a long time. Sure, Colin Blackwell was skating up the ice. And maybe Katchouk thought “hey, maybe this pass will miss the two opponents who are wide open point blank in front of the net between me and Blackwell and this will work out great!” But simply attempting that pass should have his butt in a bus to Rockford in the morning because that wasn’t ill-advised. That was atrocious. Even for a team that’s losing, that was ridiculous.
- Max Domi had an assist on Patrick Kane‘s power play goal in the first period. He also had a good night in the faceoff circle. Trade value getting improved is a box checked despite the loss.
- Caleb Jones continuing to get heavy minutes (and on both special teams) while Ian Mitchell is in the press box watching as a healthy scratch makes me hope/pray the Blackhawks are showcasing him for a trade. Because I would rather see Mitchell continue developing in the NHL than the same mistakes from Caleb every night.
- As I noted with a tweet shared in the pre-game piece, the Blackhawks came into this game banged up. MacKenzie Entwistle was a late scratch; he got beat up on Tuesday night. Jujhar Khaira wasn’t able to go because of injury as well. And Lafferty was a game-time decision.