On the second night of back-to-back games, the Chicago Blackhawks looked like a team that was on the second night of back-to-back games. After dispatching of the St. Louis Blues 24 hours prior, the Blackhawks were unable to get the same kind of result, with a similar effort, against the Los Angeles Kings.
Behind Jaret Anderson-Dolan’s two-goal performance and Pheonix Copley making 18 saves on 19 shots faced, the Blackhawks were unable to extend their winning streak to four games, which would have tied their season-high. Defenseman Ian Mitchell was able to make the game interesting late with his first goal of the season, and the Blackhawks had a surging effort in the final two minutes, but it was too little, too late for Chicago.
With the loss, the Blackhawks remain 30th in the NHL standings at 14-27-4 with 32 points and a .356 point-percentage, just ahead of the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kyle Davidson speaks
On the NBC Sports Chicago pregame show, Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson sat down with the panel of Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis, and Scott Darling. Davidson spoke on a number of topics, but the main takeaways surrounded the futures of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and what the Blackhawks are preparing to do with their prospects, current and future.
You can find the full interview here:
A couple of takeaways:
- Davidson didn’t confirm the report from Hockey Night in Canada’s Jeff Marek that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will make their future decisions in mid-February. He did, however, say that that point in time would be ideal to know their answers about whether they want to be traded or be a part of the club moving forward.
- As far as the infamous meetings with Kane, Toews, and their agent Pat Brisson, Davidson said again that those meetings have yet to happen.
- Davidson said, regarding the decisions of those two players and what the Blackhawks could do as the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline approaches, the team is not “entrenched in just one scenario.” They have plans A, B, C, D, etc.
- Same with the upcoming NHL Draft. Davidson said they have a pretty good picture, right now, of who is at the top of their draft board. Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carson, and Matvei Michkov likely populate that board, in that order. But the Blackhawks could theoretically come away from March 3 with at least three, maybe four, first-round picks in this summer’s draft. He also emphasized the depth of the 2023 NHL Draft class, “There’s players deeper than you usually see. There’s going to be some quality NHL-contributors in this draft in the first, second, and into the third round of this year’s draft.”
- Finally, he reiterated the organization’s plan for young players/prospects, mainly Lukas Reichel, is to have them playing key minutes, playing in important roles and important games with the Rockford IceHogs this season.
Blackhawks stumbling out of the gate, again
It took the Blackhawks 10:27 minutes to get their first shot on goal last night against the St. Louis Blues. It was a goal coming from Jason Dickinson. They faced a similar, but even worse problem tonight against the Kings. It took until there were 4:22 minutes left to play in the first period for the Blackhawks to get their first shot on Pheonix Copley, coming from a cross-crease pass from Patrick Kane to Jonathan Toews. It was a great scoring chance, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The game was also 1-0 at that point.
Both head coach Luke Richardson and defenseman Connor Murphy said the team had trouble getting their legs under them tonight on the second night of back-to-back games, but didn’t use it as an excuse since the Kings were also on the second night of back-to-back games, having played the Predators in Nashville last night.
“The energy didn’t seem like it was there with us tonight,” Murphy said after the 2-1 loss. “We have to learn that when we don’t have the energy, still have to manage the game the right way and support each other, take short shifts, and not make mistakes that cause us to be out there too long and kill the momentum of the game.”
Chicago has been prone to slow starts this season, allowing their opponents to score the game’s opening goal 31 times this season. They are tied for the second-most games allowing the first goal this season and hold a 5-24-2 when doing so after tonight’s loss.
Patrick Kane makes history
This is something that BLEW my mind. With no shots on goal against the Blues last night and no shots on goal against the Kings tonight, Patrick Kane has been held without a shot in consecutive games for the first time in his NHL career.
Regular season and postseason. Never happened.
Before the game, head coach Luke Richardson praised Kane’s subtle play this season when the goals and production haven’t come at the rate Kane, or Blackhawks fans, have come to expect. He’s had three points in his last five games since returning from an injury stint that saw him miss three games, but he continues to look like a shell of the player he was just one season ago.
At some point, even though the people around him say he’s “fine,” Kane’s health status has to be legitimately examined as we get closer to the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline.