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All the good vibes from Saturday night’s win in Madison Square Garden were erased during the second period of a 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The Chicago Blackhawks just ran out of gas against an Islanders team that makes you work hard for 60 minutes. They will wrap up this three-game road trip on Tuesday night at the red-hot New Jersey Devils.
Upon Further Review…
I have said for years that replay review in professional sports is good in theory, but flawed in practice. Sunday night’s game on Long Island was proof of that. In the first period, the Blackhawks had a four-minute power play taken off the board after a lengthy review. It was ruled that Boris Katchouk hit himself with his own stick, negating a Mathew Barzal high-sticking double-minor call. Even if that was the case, which was hard to tell from the replay, Barzal’s stick still caused the contact, regardless of whose stick hit Katchouk first.
Midway through the second period, the officials returned to the tablet during a television timeout. They took over five minutes to look at a Matt Martin shot that likely crossed the goal line, but no angle shown on the broadcast gave clear evidence that it did.
The officials must have had an angle the production truck didn’t have access to because they ruled the puck had crossed the goal line. There was 2:08 of game time played between when the goal was scored and when the whistle was blown. The time was put back on the clock, and the stats were erased from the record books.
Nightmare of a Second Period
The Blackhawks played a very good road period to open the game. They had eight shots on goal and had a 6-3 advantage in 5v5 high-danger scoring chances after 20 minutes. While the Martin goal after the lengthy replay opened the scoring floodgates for New York, the ice had already been tilted in the Islanders’ favor.
About six minutes after the opening tally, Zach Parise was left all alone in front of the net and deflected an Adam Pelech shot past Arvid Söderblom for his eighth goal of the season. Less than a minute later, all three Islanders forwards touched the puck before Brock Nelson’s one-timer found the back of the net. The game was all but over at this point.
When the horn mercifully sounded to end the middle frame, the Islanders had outshot the Blackhawks 20-6. They also had a 32-18 advantage in shot attempts and a 7-2 lead in high-danger scoring chances during the second period. That was all New York needed for the victory as they are a team that never gets out of their structure for long periods of time.
Fourth Line Continues Effective Play
The fourth line of Boris Katchouk, Reese Johnson, and MacKenzie Entwistle has been excellent over the past three games. The line produced a goal in the last two games and had a combined 62.5 Corsi for percentage (CF%) against the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers.
The trio was noticeable right off the bat when Johnson dropped the gloves with Casey Cizikas. Of course, it was Cizikas who ran goaltender Alex Stalock on Nov. 1, giving him a concussion he was yet to return from.
The goal-streak ended for the fourth line as the entire team was kept off the board by Semyon Varlamov. However, their dominance at full strength continued. In just 6:16 of 5v5 time, they had 11 shot attempts for versus five against for a 68.75 CF%.
Be sure to check out our latest episode of the CHGO Blackhawks podcast for a breakdown of tonight’s loss.
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