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Skyfall

October 25, 2021, 3:32 AM ET [308 Comments]
Theo Fox
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT

After a 6-3 loss to the Red Wings powered by rookie phenom Lucas Raymond's hat trick, the Blackhawks fell to 0-5-1 and have yet to lead at any point (360 minutes and 57 seconds). According to Sportradar, this is the NHL's longest such streak to start a season since 1979-80.

So far for 2021-22, falling behind is not just a theme on the scoreboard and in the standings but seems to characterize how the team is on defense. The Hawks seem to constantly trail the play by at least a stride if not being fully out of position to adequately defend.

The slow reaction time by any Chicago player to go from perpetual puck watching to being in a ready position as the play unfolds frame by frame is sadly the reality at regular speed. Watching replays in slow motion amplify errors and misplays and further frustrate fans.

No one on the Hawks -- whether defensemen or forwards -- seems to maintain tight gaps, close off time and space quickly, or gain inside positioning on the opposition. There's way too much room for the opponent to maneuver allowing them to pass, shoot, and score at will.

Despite the team plummeting into free fall, the players are falling in line behind their head coach Jeremy Colliton who has been criticized in the media and by fans. While others feel he should be on the hot seat -- if not fired already -- his players are taking sole responsibility.

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COVID Protocol

In protocol:
* Patrick Kane, Right Wing
* Jujhar Khaira, Left Wing
* Riley Stillman, Defenseman
* Marc Crawford, Assistant Coach
* Tomas Mitell, Assistant Coach

Out of protocol:
* Ryan Carpenter, Center
* Erik Gustafsson, Defenseman

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Roster Moves

After a more inspiring performance with the IceHogs on both Friday and Saturday against the Iowa Wild, Ian Mitchell made his way from Des Moines to Chicago as he was recalled due to what may be an incessant carousel of players (and coaches) in and out of COVID protocol.

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Game Summary

Starting Lineup

DeBrincat - Dach - Hagel
T Johnson - Toews - Kubalik
Strome - Borgstrom - Gaudette
Kurashev - Carpenter - R Johnson

de Haan - S Jones
McCabe - Murphy
Gustafsson - Mitchell

Fleury
Lankinen

Scratches:
Entwistle

Scoring Recap

1st Goal (0-1): Raymond (Bertuzzi)
2nd Goal (1-1): T Johnson (Toews, McCabe)
3rd Goal (1-2): Rowney (Rasmussen, Stephens)
4th Goal (1-3): Namestnikov (Stephens, Zadina)
5th Goal (1-4): Bertuzzi (Larkin, Raymond)
6th Goal (2-4): Kubalik (S Jones, Toews) PP
7th Goal (2-5): Raymond (Larkin, Bertuzzi)
8th Goal (3-5): Borgstrom (Strome, Gaudette)
9th Goal (3-6): Raymond (Larkin, Seider) PP

SOG For/Against: 35/37
PP: 1-for-4
PK: 7-for-8
Faceoffs Won: 53%


Thoughts & Notes

* Although Tyler Johnson's first goal as a Blackhawk was a thing of beauty as he pushed the puck past the goal line with a defender draped on him, the goal manufactured by Dylan Strome and Adam Gaudette to set up Henrik Borgstrom is the type of sustained offense the team needs to show more of.

* Is Marc-Andre Fleury phoning it in or is he just off his game? The porous defense in front of him is a huge reason for his swiss cheese goaltending but how much of it is his own play?

* The 5-on-3 power play in the 3rd period was a pivotal moment that turned up empty as the Hawks had a Jonathan Toews goal disallowed and an Alex DeBrincat point-blank shot miraculously saved by Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic.

Highlights

Goal by Tyler Johnson

Goal by Dominik Kubalik

Goal by Henrik Borgstrom

Milestone

500th Game for Connor Murphy

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Dominic Basse

Last season as a freshman, 2019 6th rounder Dominic Basse was hot out of the gate for Colorado College but cooled down considerably ending with a 4-11-1 record, 3.18 GAA, and .895 save percentage. Regardless, he overtook Flames goalie great Mike Vernon's son Matt as the starter.

So far this season Basse has been off to another torrid start despite a losing record of 1-3-2. His GAA and save percentage are significantly better at 1.99 and .923. It's still early in the NCAA schedule, though, so we'll see how his sophomore campaign pans out by season's end.

Drew Commesso is the goalie of the future for the Blackhawks given his draft pedigree as a 2020 2nd rounder and consistent invites to Team USA camps. However, don't count Basse out of the equation at least as a backup. Let him play out his NCAA eligibility and see where he lands.

Arvid Soderblom is another prospect to keep an eye on between the pipes. He looked quite stellar in his North America debut last weekend versus the Wolves but was a mere mortal this past Friday night in his second start getting lit up by the Wild for a half dozen goals.

Malcolm Subban and Collin Delia are almost for certain to not be with the Hawks organization by this next summer. Kevin Lankinen could regain the starter title from Fleury sooner than later this season and could be Chicago's #1 until Commesso has gone pro and paid his AHL dues.

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Sellout Streak Ends

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See you on the boards!

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