Blackhawks 2, Coyotes 0 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

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Blackhawks 2, Coyotes 0 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

Chicago Blackhawks

Coming into Friday night’s barn-burner at the United Center, the Coyotes had last three in a row and the Blackhawks had dropped their last five. Both teams are squarely in the race to land the best odds of winning the Connor Bedard lottery in the spring, so this game had some significance to all involved parties.

Star 1: Alex Stalock

The guy is just a lot of fun to watch play the game. Tonight he was out of his crease playing the puck, making acrobatic saves and directing shots out of play to get a stoppage. He got landed on, a couple snot showers and had a few guys get in his face in this one but didn’t have an issue. Stalock pitched the first shutout of the season for the Blackhawks which is awesome for him after the issues he’s dealt with this year and previously. I think it’s safe to say he’s our No. 1 netminder now.

Star 2: Jake McCabe

This isn’t selfish because his name is hot in trade rumors right now in any way (wink emoji). McCabe has been playing really well on the Blackhawks’ blue line for some time now, and he scored the first goal of the game to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. He was active the entire night, and, after two periods, was tied for the team lead with four shots on net. It was good to see him get the payoff with his second goal of the season. He came back with a huge blocked shot about seven minutes into the third period with a wide open cage behind him.

Star 3: Kyle Davidson

We’ve been over this. What are the goals this season? Increase trade value, stick at the bottom of the league and see development. Well, tonight we saw the team’s top AHL prospect come up and look good/comfortable, one of the increasingly trendy trade chips (McCabe) score a goal and play another strong game, and even with the win the Blackhawks are still dead last in the standings. Wins across the board as far as I’m concerned!

Takeaways

  • During the second period, Nick Ritchie shoved Jason Dickinson over Stalock after Chicago’s netminder had frozen the puck. The Blackhawks skater who stepped up and got in his face? Ian Mitchell. As he’s received more consistent ice time and felt more comfortably in the lineup, his confidence has clearly become stronger and his play has improved. So while I wasn’t thrilled that Isaak Phillips was a healthy scratch, I’m glad Mitchell stayed in the lineup. He was paired with Caleb Jones (not ideal) in this game and skated over 15 minutes but was active and did a good job again. KEEP SKATING HIM, LUKE!
  • Lukas Reichel had a fun game. His first period he was clearly feeling the energy; he was everywhere. Reichel was fast and showed good hands and a couple good moves. In typical Blackhawks’ fashion there were a few opportunities for him to pick up a point in the opening couple periods where the puck didn’t get to it’s intended target (the net or a pass recipient) but he was pretty good tonight in a top-six role.
  • Brett Seney got a pretty decent workload (almost 17 minutes of ice time) and did a nice job. But man does he look small out there…
  • Ho hum, Jonathan Toews won another 15 of 20 at the dot.


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