Don’t be fooled by the final score in this 5-1 Chicago Blackhawks win over the Calgary Flames, because Chicago did not play well. Scroll down to the team chart, and you will see that Calgary out-shot and out-chanced Chicago by a wide margin. The Blackhawks were lucky to leave with the win.
A theme over the past couple days is the success of the Panarin, Anisimov, and Hossa line, while the other lines struggle. This was very eveident today as they were the only line to have a positive shot differential. Not only has the bottom-6 struggled, but the Toews and Kane line isn’t performing either. Maybe putting a puck handler like Hinostroza and Schmaltz on the top line instead of Panik will help jumpstart that Kane and that line.
With defensemen, the theme has been the success of Duncan Keith and Brian Campbell. Tonight, they were the only defensemen with a positive shot differential, as they continue to be a great pairing. Rozsival has played extremely well the past couple days paired with Michal Kempny. Tonight, the Forsling – Rozsival pairing really struggled, a theme for any pairing Forsling has been on this season. Hjalmarsson – Seabrook also didn’t do well, and Hjalmarsson has really struggled playing without Duncan Keith.
I’ve raised the question that even though the Keith – Campbell pairing is so great, that putting the two best puck moving defensemen on the same pairing might not be best for business. Sure the top pairing might now be arguably the best puck moving pairing in the NHL, but that really hurts the second pairing as Hjalmarsson – Searook won’t be that great at generating offense for others. Evening out the pairings by putting Keith – Hjalmarsson & Campbell – Seabrook together might be optimal for team success.
Corey Crawford is awesome. He’s probably the 5th or 6th best goalie in the NHL
Two up / Five down
- 👍 Panarin- Anisimov – Hossa
- 👍 Keith – Campbell
- 👎 Forsling – Rozsival
- 👎 Hinostroza – Rasmussen – Tootoo
- 👎 Panik – Toews – Kane
- 👎 Motte – Kruger – Schmaltz
- 👎 Hjalmarsson – Seabrook
Patrick Kane Even Strength
Michael Frolik PK – three things here. Seabrook has position on Backlund, but Backlund blows right by him and hits Frolik for the goal. Duncan Keith broke his stick just before this play. Instead of covering, Keith went to the bench to get a new stick. Anisimov didn’t quite back check hard enough to tie up Frolik. All these things may been cause due to Chicago being on the power play and assuming the Calgary PK wouldn’t try so hard to score. NHL teams should focus more on trying to score while shorthanded. With effort, shorthanded teams can create easy high danger breakaway chances.
Artem Anisimov PP
Tyler Motte Even Strength
Artemi Panarin Empty Net
Niklas Hjalmarsson 4v4