Friday, March 31 2023

10 observations: Hawks beat Kraken for 3rd straight comeback win originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks rallied to beat the Seattle Kraken 5-4 at the United Center on Sunday for their third straight victory.

Here are 10 observations from the win:

1. The Blackhawks didn’t look sharp at all for the majority of the first period. Head coach Luke Richardson said after the game that his team was “disconnected” and “we weren’t willing to put the work in that Seattle does” in the early going. There were a few massive defensive zone breakdowns, one of which came 36 seconds into the game but Alex Stalock bailed out his club. They allowed two goals on their first four shots and fell into a quick hole.

2. The turning point of the first period — and game — occurred when Patrick Kane committed a hooking penalty with 4:46 left. Why? Because it allowed the Blackhawks to go on the penalty kill. Or should I say, power kill? Jujhar Khaira scored Chicago’s fourth shorthanded goal in the last three games to put his team on the board. If you’re counting at home, that’s two more shorthanded goals than the Blackhawks had all of last season. Crazy run.

3. Speaking of the penalty kill, after giving up four power-play goals to Colorado on Opening Night, the Blackhawks have killed off 14 of their last 15 penalties for a 93.3 percent success rate over the last four games. They were a perfect 4-for-4 vs. Seattle.

4. The puck management in this game wasn’t great for the Blackhawks, who had 21 giveaways. For comparison, the Kraken had five. You normally don’t see the team that lost the giveaway battle by that much come away on the winning side. The Blackhawks are fortunate.

5. The Blackhawks have overcome a multi-goal deficit in each of their last three games. On the flip side, they’ve also given up the first goal in all five games this season. They keep putting together some impressive comebacks, but at some point, that trend will catch up to them if it continues.

6. The Blackhawks absolutely dominated at the faceoff dot. They won 41 of 59 draws for a win percentage of 69.5. Poor Matty Beniers, who lost 14 of 15 faceoffs for Seattle.

7. Seth Jones said before the season that he wants to have a shooter’s mentality on the power play this season, and that mindset paid off in this game. Both of Chicago’s power-play goals came off rebounds from a Jones shot at the point. That has to be nice for his confidence.

8. The Blackhawks were credited with 40 hits. The Kraken had eight. Khaira led all skaters with six, which was almost as many as the entire Kraken roster.

9. Quote of the day goes to Tyler Johnson, who scored two goals in this game: “You guys weren’t really around the locker room too much last year, but it’s a lot more fun this year. Guys have smiles on their face. They want to come to the rink every day and compete and work, and it’s been huge.”

10. Petr Mrazek (groin strain) was placed on injured reserve before the game, retroactive to Oct. 21. That means he will miss at least the next two games. The injury doesn’t sound too serious, the Blackhawks just want to give him extra time to heal up this early in the season. Expect Arvid Soderblom to get a start at some point this week.

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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