Blackhawks 2, Maple Leafs 5 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

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Blackhawks 2, Maple Leafs 5 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

Chicago Blackhawks

Before the game I noted the Leafs were the largest moneyline favorite in NHL history (-610) coming into this game. So of course they scored nine seconds after the opening puck drop. This game immediately felt like “Oh crap, they looked awful last night against a bad team… how many are they going to give up tonight?” Well, Chicago got on the board less than one minute after the opening goal. The effort was much better than it was in Montreal, but these Blackhawks just don’t have the firepower to keep up with a team like the Leafs.

Star 1: Kyle Davidson

There were reportedly 12 teams represented in the press box to watch this game, so of course the Blackhawks’ front office was hoping their players who might be available performed well. Sam Lafferty scored a goal 62 seconds into the game. Philipp Kurashev scored 46 seconds into the second period — with assists from Max Domi and Jake McCabe. Yeah, McCabe got burned on the first goal of the game but he was solid the rest of the night. Looking for a good showcase night? Against a much better team, Davidson’s players worked hard.

Star 2: PK

Ironically, on a night so many eyeballs were on Patrick Kane, it was the Blackhawks’ penalty kill units that were the only on-ice strength tonight. Against a Leafs group that’s a lot more talented and skilled than they are, the Blackhawks were perfect against three Toronto power plays. And, to my point above about strong showings by players involved in trade conversations, McCabe led all Chicago defenseman in short-handed ice time.

Star 3: Petr Mrazek

If the point is to get the best odds of winning the draft lottery, Mrazek did a heroic job on Wednesday night of helping their case. After Kurashev got the Hawks within one early in the second period, Mrazek should have picked up the second assist on John Tavares’ goal.


  • Cole Guttman thought he was going to be in Grand Rapids tonight. So I’ll excuse him not getting much ice time and struggling at the dot against some really good Toronto centers. But he did a good job of competing and not shying away from star players; his first hit was a good check on Auston Matthews.
  • It’s really hard to judge the how effective the Blackhawks’ power play could be if it was run by elite players. Because they have zero (0) power play goals in the month of February; three other teams have yet to score while on the advantage this month, but the Blackhawks are now 0-14 in February.
  • The TNT crew joked that the game was over during the second intermission and they were pretty much spot on. The third period didn’t see much of an effort to put the puck in the net for either team. Which makes sense if you had the over on 6.5 and the Leafs were -2.5 entering the game. An across-the-board cover.
  • Kane was credited with four shots on net in 18:05.

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