Gonna have to shake off the dust from the ol’ keyboard as we get back to our Hawks Hits following Blackhawks games. It has been nine full days since the last game for the Blackhawks. The NHL All-Star break and the bye week lined up for perfectly for Chicago to give them this extended layoff. In the time off, the Hawks saw themselves fall to a tie for last place in the league standings with the Columbus Blue Jackets, based on total points, and four points behind the 30th-placed Anaheim Ducks entering tonight’s game.
Now with the overtime loss, the Blackhawks find themselves with just 32 games remaining this season and sitting with 35 points in the standings through 49 games this season.
The game got off the a slow start for both teams in a bit of a feeling-out process. Anaheim came to town after losing in a shootout to the Dallas Stars on Monday night. While playing on the second night of back-to-backs is usually a detriment, the Ducks could have theoretically had their legs under them more than the Blackhawks did. But Chicago got off to the first lead of the game when Jason Dickinson scored in the second period to continue his hot stretch of play this season.
Unfortunately the lead wouldn’t last long as the Ducks tied the game seven minutes later. But it would be the Blackhawks again getting out to a lead later in the second thanks to All-Star Seth Jones netting his fifth goal of the season.
After a disappointing performance in the Hardest Shot competition, Jones didn’t need to hit it hard to make this one count. With his fifth goal of the season, Jones tied his goal total from last year in half as many games (39).
Much like the first lead for the Blackhawks, it didn’t last as the Ducks would again find their way back into the game with another tying-goal just two and a half minutes later. The Blackhawks held an 18-17 shot advantage through two periods in a 2-2 tied game.
The third period began with the Blackhawks throwing everything they could at Anthony Stolarz, but they couldn’t find their third goal of the game during that period-opening onslaught. Even with the majority of chances in the final period, the Blackhawks and Ducks, much to the dismay of those who want the best chance at landing Connor Bedard, would head to overtime.
In the extra period, the Blackhawks had a few chances and the majority of puck possession, but it was Frank Vatrano getting behind Max Domi and capitalizing on his overtime chances to send the Ducks home with the two-point win.
Patrick Kane’s decision timeline
Outside of the action on the ice Tuesday night, the off-ice news started to heat up surrounding Patrick Kane. After his comments on Monday about his decision timeline and what his agent, Pat Brisson, has brought to him, The Athletic’s Pierre Lebrun gave more information on the potential timeline Kane and Brisson have put together for him to make a decision about his Blackhawks future.
For some clarity on what Lebrun has reported, it should be noted that the ‘decision’ Kane is making could be to be traded or could be to ride-out the rest of this season in Chicago and make a long-term decision on his future in the summer. With his full no-movement clause, Kane holds the cards.
But with at least a 7-10 day period for teams on Kane’s potential trade “shortlist” to prepare for a transaction, should he choose to be traded, that would mean the latest Kane could make that decision would be February 24.
Kane played 21:48 minutes tonight with an assist and four shots on goal. He has scored at least one point in 11-straight games against the Anaheim Ducks.
Blackhawks lose another edition of the “Bedard Bowl”
An overtime game was the worst outcome for both teams tonight. Although it was worse for the Ducks as they come away with the extra point by winning in overtime.
This game had a very “I dare you to win” vibe to it between the teams. It was a game that, even with both teams being at the bottom of the league, the Blackhawks still out-played their opponent. he Blackhawks had a 28-15 advantage in scoring chances tonight against the Ducks, their best percentage of chances in their favor this season.
Chicago sits in 31st in the NHL with 35 points in 49 games this season, while the Ducks remain in 30th based on point-percentage, having 40 points in 52 games this season. Only the Columbus Blue Jackets have fewer points than both teams with 34 in 51 games played.
Chicago’s next game will be yet another key matchup in the Tank Standings as they welcome the Arizona Coyotes, currently sitting in 29th in the NHL and tied with the Ducks with 40 points in 51 games played, to the United Center on Friday night.
Get off to fast start after All-Star break and bye week
In a season where the first goal in many games goes to their opponent, the Blackhawks were able to buck that trend and avoid a sleepy start to the post All-Star break portion of the schedule. After a scoreless first period where shots favored the Ducks 9-6, the Blackhawks registered the first three shots of the second period and saw Jason Dickinson pick up where he left off prior to the break, continuing his goal-scoring while playing alongside Patrick Kane.
On all three goals for Dickinson in his last three appearances, Patrick Kane has provided the primary assist, which extended his current point-streak to four games.
After having nine days off, the Blackhawks were in danger of succumbing to “rink rust,” even with the Ducks having played in a shootout loss last night in their first game back on the ice after the All-Star break. Having played two games in two days could have benefitted Anaheim tonight, but Chicago was up for the early challenge.
With the overtime loss, the Blackhawks’ record when scoring first this season moves to 10-4-3 and they are tied for the second-fewest games getting the opening goal (17) in the NHL this season with the Montreal Canadiens.