Let’s check some trends:
Hot start continues for Kane
Late in the third period, Patrick Kane extended the Blackhawks’ lead to 3-1 with his ninth goal of the season. He’s the first Blackhawks player to score nine goals in the first 10 games of the season since Jeremy Roenick in 1993-94.
Kane is still delivering when it matters most, with seven of his goals coming in the third period or overtime.
If it’s a day that ends in a “y”, you can bet on Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville tinkering with his lines. That’s what he did again Thursday by having Nick Schmaltz at right wing on the third line alongside rookies Alexandre Fortin and Luke Johnson. The move proved to be beneficial as Schmaltz wasn’t concerned with finding Kane and took a step toward being more active with the puck. He fed a terrific pass through the slot to Fortin, who tapped it in for the game-winning goal.
While Fortin is a newer teammate for Schmaltz, Johnson is not. Johnson and Schmaltz were linemates for a little bit at the University of North Dakota before they both took to the center position.
Corey Crawford finished with 18 save for his third consecutive win, and has only allowed one goal in each contest. He boasts a 1.52 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage. Not only did Crawford hold off the Rangers, he found the scoresheet with a secondary assist on Jonathan Toews’ opening goal in the first period. Crawford is tied for 21st among active NHL netminders with six points.
Chicago has a back-to-back this weekend with a game Saturday in St. Louis and a home contest the next night against the Oilers. It’s unlikely Crawford starts both games, but earlier this season Quenneville opted to have Cam Ward start a back-to-back. The Hawks are 2-0 against the Blues this season.
The Blackhawks are not good on the power play. That’s not new. They went 0 for 4 against the Rangers, and managed only nine shots from four skaters. Brent Seabrook tallied the most with three, while Artem Anisimov, Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane each had two. Generating more shots certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Another Brandon Manning turnover led to an opposing goal. Manning, who signed a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per year this offseason with Chicago, coughed the puck up and after a series of passes Pavel Buchnevich tied the game.
Manning, who skated a team-low 13:13 among defenseman, also decided it was good idea to get into a fight with his team up by three with less than a minute go.
Burish’s hot take
Let’s address this. Adam Burish, who is a member of the Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup team and a current NBC Sports Chicago TV analyst, said during the pregame that Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was “the most overrated goalie in the last 10 years.” Burish’s argument was largely based on the fact that Lundqvist shouldn’t be nicknamed King Henrik since he hasn’t won a Stanley Cup in a team sport. Fans took to Twitter to rip Burish for this incredible hot take, and Burish’s colleague, Eddie Olczyk, dismissed the claim quickly on the broadcast.
Never had any issue with Burish until he decided to open his mouth and be on TV. No one asked for this punishment.— Spooky City Hockey (@2ndCityHockey) October 26, 2018