10 observations: Hawks shut out for eighth time in loss to Kraken originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks fell to the Seattle Kraken 2-0 at the United Center on Thursday.
Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. Before the game, Marian Hossa signed a one-day contract with the Blackhawks so he can officially retire as a member of the organization. He hasn’t played hockey since 2017, but he had four years left on his contract when he hung up his skates. Now that his contract is expired, he can make his retirement official. Greatest free-agent signing in Chicago sports history.
2. The Hossa news didn’t stop there. During the first intermission, the Blackhawks announced that Hossa’s number will be retired. He’s the only player in franchise history to wear No. 81. The interesting question now is, which other Blackhawks from the Stanley Cup era will join him? Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews are slam dunks. After that, the debate begins.
3. The Blackhawks were shut out for the eighth time this season, and it came against a team that’s allowed the eighth-most goals per game (3.50).
4. The Blackhawks dominated the opening shift of the game. It went downhill pretty quick after that. The Kraken recorded 25 shot attempts and 17 shots on goal, and held the Blackhawks to only 12 attempts and three shots on goal in the first period. Chicago was fortunate it was a 0-0 game through one period, although it failed to take advantage.
5. The Blackhawks had a 5-on-3 power play at the end of the second for basically two minutes and it was a disaster. Missed opportunity to even up the score, and they couldn’t gain any momentum from it.
6. The Blackhawks’ third line started out as Tyler Johnson, Dominik Kubalik and Taylor Raddysh but it didn’t last long. When the three of them were on the ice together, the Kraken led in shot attempts (9-0), shots on goal (7-0) and scoring chances (2-0), per Natural Stat Trick. The line blender was out early in the second period, and rightfully so.
7. I thought Kevin Lankinen turned in a solid performance for the third straight start. He’s made 99 saves on 108 shots over his last three games for a save percentage of .917 but has nothing to show for it.
8. Lukas Reichel was recalled for the third time this season and played on the wing this time, not center. He started on a line with Kirby Dach and Toews before Sam Lafferty jumped in Dach’s spot in the second period. He nearly scored his first career NHL goal in the middle frame but Philipp Grubauer made a great pad save.
9. Alex Vlasic played in his fourth NHL game, and he was solid on a pairing with Caleb Jones. The two of them were the only positive possession players through two periods. The Blackhawks generated five scoring chances and allowed two when they were on the ice together.
10. There are now 11 games left this season, and the Blackhawks still don’t have a power-play goal from their defensemen — and they’re the only team in the NHL that doesn’t. Interim head coach Derek King jokingly said to a reporter before the game: “Why did you bring that up?” I predict Seth Jones will get one before the season ends. He hit the post in the third period and nearly ended that streak.
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