1. Drake Caggiula had one of his best games for Chicago.
Although the feisty winger only played 4:39 minutes before leaving with a hand injury following a scrap with Vince Dunn, those four minutes were inspiring to watch.
- Rocked a Blues defenseman with a great hit in the neutral zone and then nearly buried a backhander that rang off the post.
- Hustled on a penalty kill to start a 2-on-1 opportunity and collected a high-danger scoring chance with a nice toe drag and shot from the left slot.
- After the fight with Dunn, he fired up the crowd as he was leaving the ice and the United Center showed some life for a few minutes in a game that overall was pretty depressing.
Caggiula has underrated skills, versatility to play up and down the lineup and brings much needed snarl to the top nine. He is a pending restricted free agent and with the way his teammates speak about him, I would be very surprised if he isn’t back in a Blackhawks sweater next season.
Murphy on Caggiula: "He brings a lot of heart to our team and passion, and that's something that the fans appreciate as much as we do... A guy that's willing to throw his health on the line for the team, knowing when we need it most, and never going to back down to anyone."— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 9, 2020
2. Same crap, different day with the power play.
At some point this will be unacceptable as an organization to allow, right?
#Blackhawks PP last six games:— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) March 9, 2020
1. 1-for-6; 6 shots on goal
2. 0-for-3; 2 SOG
3. 0-for-2; 2 SOG
4. 0-for-2; 2 SOG
5. 0-for-3; 4 SOG
6. 0-for-3; 0 SOG
The power play continues to suck the life out of this team. It must sound like a broken record, but how many more data points do you need to validate the conclusion that the power play needs an overhaul in strategy, personnel and coaching. It’s just embarrassing to watch Chicago constantly waste golden opportunities to alter the outcome of a game in their favor.
3. Losing sucks, but the foundations for winning are being built.
The Stanley Cup was not a realistic goal this season. The playoffs likely weren’t either. However, the building blocks are starting to form to make this team more competitive in the future. Despite some of his flaws, head coach Jeremy Colliton has been able to mold this predominantly young and inexperienced team into a resilient, hard-working and close-knit brotherhood.
This team could have thrown in the white towel months ago when Brent Seabrook, Calvin de Haan and Andrew Shaw suffered long-term injuries. They could have given up when Robin Lehner and Erik Gustafsson were traded. Nope, they are going to fight until the last possible moment even if their mathematical odds conclude it’s impossible.
Resilience and a relentless work ethic are a few of the most challenging characteristics to inspire in a struggling team, but these Blackhawks surely have it and that is at least something to be excited about.