Rewind: 5 observations from Hawks-Wings

January, 23, 2014
Jan 23
11:21
AM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Here are five observations from the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-4 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday:

1. That was certainly an entertaining game, but one the Blackhawks are going to be disappointed in. They had the game under control with a 2-0 early lead and allowed the Red Wings back in it. The Red Wings simply outworked them for much of the game. The Red Wings often won the loose pucks and made the hustle plays. The Blackhawks were careless with the puck at times, too. A play like the one in the second period where Brent Seabrook had the puck taken off of him in the defensive zone and led to a goal doesn’t often occur to the Blackhawks. None of the goals Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford allowed seemed too soft, but four goals is still a lot to give up. He had been better than that recently.

2. Johnny Oduya's first period had to be one of his worst of the season. Early in the period, he allowed Gustav Nyquist to skate past him and create enough room behind the goal to set up Justin Abdelkader for a quality chance in the slot. A few minutes later, Oduya blindly tried to clear a puck along the end boards, didn’t get much on it, and Crawford bailed him out with a big save. Midway through the period, Oduya was checked off the puck in the defensive zone, which kept the play alive and eventually led to a Red Wings’ shot and rebound goal. The rebound deflected towards Oduya’s side, but he was unable to react quickly enough. Darren Helm toyed with Oduya later as Helm shot the puck off the end boards, raced past Oduya, retrieved the puck and put a close shot on Crawford. Finally, Abdelkader beat Oduya to a loose puck in the right circle. The puck was directed to a wide-open Patrick Eaves and he scored from a few feet away. It just wasn’t Oduya’s night.

[+] EnlargePatrick Kane
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsPatrick Kane had two assists, but his scoreless streak continued Wednesday.
3. Patrick Kane can’t catch a break. Kane’s goalless streak reached 11 games after going without a goal again Wednesday. He had two great chances, but both bounced off the post. He did have two assists, which included providing Andrew Shaw with an easy goal in front of the net. This is Kane’s third longest streak without a goal.

4. Statistically speaking, the Blackhawks’ third line was the best possession line of the night. Kris Versteeg and Bryan Bickell had the two highest Corsi percentages among the Blackhawks’ forwards. Versteeg was at 64.7 percent, and Bickell was at 59.1. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville still isn’t showing much confidence in them, though. They played the least amount of even-strength minutes among their teammates. Versteeg played 8:49 and Bickell played 9:31.

5. It was nearly a complete defensive night for the Blackhawks’ fourth line. The fourth line of Brandon Bollig, Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith had one total shot for the game. They all had Corsi percentages at 10 percent or less. That one shot happened to Kruger’s goal. That line’s responsibility is more of a defensive one and most of their shifts begin in the defensive zone, but they often at least create some offense. That didn’t happen against the Red Wings.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
6 2 4 -1
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 3
AssistsB. Saad 5
+/-J. Oduya 3
GAAA. Raanta 1.52