Saturday night was a great opportunity for the Chicago Blackhawks. They were playing the Calgary Flames, who were right above them in the standings. With a win and another on Tuesday, they would be in a great position in terms of a wild card spot.
Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Hawks blew not one, but two leads and went onto lose 4-3 in overtime. It was yet another frustrating loss in what many saw as a “must-win game.” The good news was that the Hawks were able to get one point. The bad news is they are now five points and four teams behind in the standings.
Here are five things from Saturday night’s disappointing loss.
1. Good Start
The Hawks have struggled to get off to good starts this season. This week has been a different story. Against the Predators, Canucks, and Flames the Hawks scored the first goal. This will hopefully continue down the stretch. It’s hard for any team to come back when they get down by two or three goals early. Unfortunately, the Hawks haven’t been able to capitalize on their fast starts.
2. Blown Leads
When the old Hawks would go up by one or two goals the game was over. That couldn’t further from the truth nowadays. For the second consecutive game, the Hawks scored first but lost the game. Pretty frustrating if you ask me. The last two games have been a four-point swing in the wrong direction.
3. Nick Schmaltz and Vinnie Hinostroza are Good
This may be an obvious statement, but Schmaltz and Hinostroza are very good. They are both going to be apart of the Hawks for a long, long time. Both scored on Saturday night and have been playing really well for the last month. They are far from the problem on this team and hopefully, some of the veterans can start to pick it up around them.
4. Corey Crawford Needs to Comeback
Anton Forberg and Jeff Glass have played slightly above average, but that isn’t good enough for this Hawks team. They need someone like Crawford who can steal a game or two. There is no way this team will make the playoffs without him and that’s a fact. His absence has hurt tremendously. Before going down, he was the MVP of this season. He was back on the ice on Saturday, but who knows how close he is to returning.
5. Anthony Duclair is Playing Better
When the Hawks made the trade for Duclair I didn’t expect much out of him. He has been much better than I thought he’d be. He’s physical, but fast at the same time. In a way, he reminds of Marian Hossa. With a little more experience and playing time on the top line with Jonathan Toews, Duclair could be a steal. It was great to see him get on the board last night.