When the Chicago Blackhawks were in a slump, head coach Joel Quenneville said his team needed to get off to better starts. That’s exactly what they’ve done in their run of recent success, including Monday against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks have been playing well for a team that has been dismantled by injuries. Unfortunately for them, things didn’t go their way early on.
Patrick Sharp, who couldn’t buy a goal as of late, found the back of the net thanks to a beautiful pass by Ryan Hartman. Once again, the Blackhawks were off to a fast start. Scoring first at home is important for any successful team, including the Blackhawks.
Nearly eight minutes later Alex DeBrincat beat John Gibson after Nick Schmaltz feed to make it 2-0. Brandon Saad scored before the end of the period to make it 3-0 after one period. Clearly, the Blackhawks are starting to figure things out. Still, they have had and blown three-goal leads before this season.
Heading into the second their goal was to keep the pressure on the Ducks. On the powerplay, Artem Anisimov did just that, scoring his 11th goal of the season to make it 4-0. Despite a goal by Jakob Silfverberg and Chris Wagner, the Hawks were rolling thanks to DeBrincat.
He scored two more goals in the second period to give him his very first NHL hat trick and the Hawks a 6-2 lead. He has scored six goals in his last eight games. The rookie’s second goal came on the power play to make the Hawks two of three on the advantage for the night. For a unit that has struggled most of the season, getting two more goals on Monday night was big.
The start of the third period was sloppy, but the Hawks were able to kill one of two penalties and went up 7-3 after a goal by Nick Schmaltz. Patrick Kane dropped a couple dimes tonight, including the goal scored by Schmaltz. The Hawks will need both these guys playing well with the stretch of games they have ahead.
- I’m ready to say the Hawks are officially back. Yes, I know they have a tough schedule coming up and the Nashville Predators are coming in tomorrow, but I’ve got confidence in this team again.
- Remember when people wanted DeBrincat sent down to the AHL after his struggles early on? Yea, me too. Thankfully, the Hawks stuck with the 19-year-old kid, who has scored nine goals in 11 games in the month of November.
- Both Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz had a solid game on Monday night. When these two are going, the rest of the team is as well. For a while, Schmaltz was having a rough time. Hopefully, his play against the Ducks will carry over against the Predators.
- Ryan Hartman also had a really good game. He has been very quiet this year. These young guys will be the key to the Blackhawks success this season. It’s time for them to step up.
- In case you missed it, Eddie Olczyk was honored before tonight’s game and did an emotional interview. I highly recommend giving it a watch. We’re all pulling for you, Eddie.
#HockeyFightsCancer has a different meaning for Eddie Olczyk this year.
Who do you fight for? pic.twitter.com/wRv3D45pri
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 28, 2017
Three Stars of the Night
3. Patrick Kane- Three assists
2. Nick Schmaltz- One goal and two assists
1. Alex DeBrincat- Hat Trick and one assist