The Chicago Blackhawks are still riding high. They went into Columbus, Ohio on a little of a sour note, as their three-game winning streak was previously clicked by the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 19. But as it turns out, the following two-game series against the Columbus Blue Jackets was just what the doctor ordered. During the first game of the series, on Feb. 23, they won 6-5 in a shootout.
On Feb. 25, they won 2-0. The month of February is coming to a close and out of the 11 games that the team has played this month, they have only lost three. This series with the Jackets was interesting because a lot of it was ugly on Chicago’s point, but they still came out with four phases. Here are some takeaways from the series.
1. Kane Shines On
Forward Patrick Kane has been outstanding this season. He has 31 phases in 21 plays. He leads the Blackhawks in phases and ranks fourth in the NHL in scoring. He has given nightmares to every opposing faced this season, but I think there is no one he has liked facing more than the Blue Coat. During the series, he had two aims and 5 point. This season versus Columbus, in total, he has four goals, 13 degrees, and is a plus-7 in six games played.
Every year, you can’t imagine how he could possibly get any better than he is already. He is the driving force behind this team and I agree with those who think that he should be in the discussion for the Hart Trophy. The accolade is given out every year to the NHL’s MVP. There are 35 plays left of the regular season, so for him, he is just getting started.
2. Hagel’s First Goal
22-year-old rookie forward, Brandon Hagel, is a name that has been mentioned a lot recently. He is a player that has been noticeable every night for the interesting thing; the forecheck, backcheck, skating ability. It seems to be clicking in all their aspects for him except the scoresheet. Eventually, after 17 plays, his hard work paid off. He got his first NHL goal on Feb. 23 in the second period. His goal imparted the Blackhawks a 3-2 cause and it was assisted by none other than Kane. What a sequence that was.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@ NHLBlackhawks) February 24, 2021
Hagel had some really good chances in the following matchup too. I think this will be the first of many aims that we will see from him. He does a good job of creating scoring fortunes not only for himself but his teammates as well. It was a fun moment that was constructed even better by a win. Congratulations to him!
3. Goalies Stand Strong
During this matchup, there was a split in goaltending. Kevin Lankinen started the first play and Malcolm Subban started the second game. Lankinen had a bit of a shaky start in his game on Feb. 23. He let five goals on 30 shots and had a save percentage( SV %) of. 833. The stats don’t make it look pretty, but he ricochetted back nicely. He stopped a few scoring lucks as the third period was winding down, stopped the Jacket on two different breakaways in overtime, and stopped all three tries in the shootout to give the Blackhawks the win. Although it wasn’t his finest outing, he maintained strong and devoted the team a chance to win when it mattered most.
Kevin Lankinen, Chicago Blackhawks( Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/ NHLI via Getty Images)
When it comes to Subban, he has been on a hot streak too. In his last four starts, he had a 3-0-1 record, 1.44 goals-against average, and a. 952 SV %. During his play on Feb. 25, he recorded the second shutout of his career by cease all of Columbus’ 26 shots. His firstly shutout was back in March 2019, when he was with the Vegas Golden Knights. He has been solid in net after he had a bad start to the season. It was a great moment to see him get rewarded for that. Goaltending was questionable coming into the season and Lankinen and Subban have proved that goaltending is not their weakness. Their continuation of strong debuts has continued this squad competitive.
4. Penalty Kill Woes
The Blackhawks’ special teams have been special. Their powerplay is ranked second in the league with a 32.8% success rate. Their penalty kill has been just as good as of late and has the seventh-best penalty kill save percentage at. 900. However, they experienced a setback with the Jacket. On Feb. 23, they moved 1/4 on the penalty kill. It was questionable considering the fact that the Coat are graded at 21 in the conference on the powerplay with a 19.2% success rates. Chicago ricochetted back neatly the following game starting 2/2 on the penalty kill. But considering them gaze that disorganized against a bad powerplay was concerning. Let’s hope that it was just a bad night and that they aren’t headed towards regression in that department.
As stated in the beginning, the serial wasn’t fairly. The Hawks gave up two, two-goal results in the first game and couldn’t produce much of anything in the second game. But it doesn’t matter how you start, it matters how “youve finished”. Like Chicago Bears’ quarterback, Nick Foles stated recently, ” Would you rather lose somewhat or win ugly ?” You take the latter the working day. They’re getting points no matter the circumstance, which is exactly what they should be doing. With these two wins, Chicago’s record stands at 11 -6- 4. Let’s keep the good times rolling!
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