The Chicago Blackhawks play one type of game that gives themselves a chance to be successful and they did just that against the Vancouver Canucks.
The most important thing to a team in the National Hockey League is to play a system that best fits your roster. You need to have a good balance of offense and defense but most teams do one better than the other. The Chicago Blackhawks are built around offense. They for some reason up to this point have spent most of the season dumping and chasing. That is not the style of play that fits a group loaded with offensive capabilities.
There is nothing wrong with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane right now. They were just not being put in a position to succeed until this game. The Vancouver Canucks are a team loaded with talent just like the Blackhawks but Chicago knows that they can win a run and gun type game against most teams in the league. They aren’t really built for playoff success but you have to reach the playoffs in order to find that out and who knows because all four wild card teams won their first-round matchups last season.
Chicago and Vancouver sure traded chances in this game as the Blackhawks had 37 shots on goal and the Canucks had 38. It was pretty even but Corey Crawford was just a little better than Jacob Markstrom. That is the recipe for the Blackhawks and if they play that style they will win. Whatever they were doing before wasn’t working and Vancouver is better than every team they got destroyed by in California.
Patrick Kane went into this game under a point-per-game which just isn’t right. Well, that can’t be said anymore as his goal and two assists in this one leave him with 16 points in 15 games. When taken off a leash, Kane is one of the five best offensive players in the world and with other great offensive players like Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, and Brandon Saad around him there is no reason to play a dump and chase type game. They need to just create some change and give up some chances and allow the two goalies to make a save. There are 11 million dollars invested in goalies so let them go.
The schedule comes at you in waves as another scary team prepares to take on the Blackhawks. Chicago will head to eastern Pennsylvania to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins still have one of the two best players in the world in Sidney Crosby accompanied by other elite players like Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. It is going to be another hard-fought game and with all the firepower in this game, it could be a must-see TV event for sports fans. Hopefully, the Hawks can keep up this style of play and go on a bit of a run and get back in the Western Conference race.