Blackhawks 1, Coyotes 8 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

Remember on Monday afternoon when I wrote my concern that this could be a trap game for the Blackhawks?

Connor Bedard scored his fourth goal of the season 28 seconds into the game. The primary assist: Kevin Korchinski. Get used to that, folks. After that… well, no bueno. Michael Carcone, who came into the game with seven career NHL goals, scored three times in the game’s opening 25 minutes. Even though Arizona only out-shot the Hawks 12-11 in the first period, they took a 3-1 lead to the room. And they scored three more in the first 11 minutes of the second period.

Arvid Söderblom was bad, but he wasn’t getting any help from the skaters in front of him. This felt like the ass-whipping the Blackhawks took at the end of the five-game trip in Denver, but this trip was only two games and the Hawks were looking at the rest of the week off until a back-to-back on home ice this coming weekend. After this performance, there might be another bag skate coming for them when they get home.

After what appeared to be a possible seventh goal for Arizona late in the second period — that was initially ruled a no-goal because it was kicked into the net but the situation room overturned and allowed — the Hawks pulled Söderblom for Petr Mrazek. This was one of those nights that might take Söderblom a couple months to recover from in his season stats. He allowed seven goals against 22 shots.

Star 1: Connor Bedard

Yeah, he scored the first goal of the game. But he and his linemates were dominant in the first period. When Bedard was on the ice at even strength in the opening period (5:28) the Blackhawks had a 14-2 shot attempt advantage (per Natural Stat Trick). Shots on net when Bedard was on the ice favored the Hawks 9-2 in the first as well. Those numbers went south quickly in the second period — as did everyone else’s as the team came out of the room completely flat. Bedard finished the night with three shots on net and won 5 of 12 faceoffs in 18:30.

Star 2: Kevin Korchinski

His assist on Bedard’s goal in the first period was a thing of beauty. And his overall numbers were still pretty good despite the score being disgusting by the end of the second period. In the first two periods he skated 12:27 at even strength and was on the ice for for 18 Blackhawks shot attempts to 14 for the Coyotes. The only defenseman with a better shot attempt percentage after 40 minutes was Seth Jones. Korchinski finished the night with four shots on net in 19:29 of total ice time.

Star 3: Nick Foligno

He won faceoffs (6 of 8) and smacked Liam O’Brien around pretty well late in the first period. In a performance that lacked really anything positive, he’ll get one of my three stars.

Key Takeaways

  • I don’t know how this wasn’t an instigator on O’Brien. It definitely looked like Foligno was interested in dancing but wasn’t ready for the cheap attack by O’Brien. And he took it out on O’Brien once the gloves were off. But that should have been an extra call on the Coyotes.
  • Luke Richardson is usually as cool as they get behind the bench but he wanted the instigator, too. He was as pissed as I can remember after the fight.
  • Lukas Reichel won all four of his faceoffs in the first period — but failed to register a shot on net. Need to see more offense early from him. He won one of six faceoffs in the second period but, hey! He put a single shot on net. So there’s that. Reichel finished the night winning 8 of 13 faceoffs with a single shot on net.
  • Andreas Athanasiou jumped back into the lineup on the fourth line and… it did not go well. AA, Reese Johnson and MacKenzie Entwistle were each minus-two in the first period. At least Entwistle won faceoffs in the game (5 of 8).
  • Even with the wheels completely off, Jason Dickinson had a decent night. After two periods he was on the ice for 10 even strength Blackhawks’ shot attempts to only four for the Coyotes; shots on goal while he was on the ice at even strength favored Chicago 4-1. Dickinson and Philipp Kurashev were the only skaters who weren’t minus-something after two periods.
  • Isaak Phillips wasn’t great tonight in his NHL season debut, but Wyatt Kaiser had a brutal game. This team performance was not a symptom of just missing Alex Vlasic, but he needs to get back ASAP because they are clearly not going to skate Nikita Zaitsev any time soon.
  • written by

    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

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