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I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: Red Wings 6, Blackhawks 3

The Blackhawks now have the longest streak of time without a lead to start a season in NHL history — and it’s still going.

Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks
Dominik Kubalik of the Chicago Blackhawks looks to pass against Nick Leddy of the Detroit Red Wings in NHL action
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Blackhawks lost 6-3 to the Red Wings on Sunday, making their record now 0-5-1.

They’re the last team in the NHL without a win and are now the title holders for the longest stretch of game time without a lead to start a season in NHL history. Hey, that’s an accomplishment.

There are no comforting words so let’s just dive in.

The first period started out with what might have been a step on the throat, as the Blackhawks — who could have stopped themselves from breaking that record — were put down 1-0 early when rookie Lucas Raymond scored his second NHL goal:

However, the Blackhawks battled back and, less than seven minutes later, Tyler Johnson showed a great amount of effort in driving into the Red Wings’ zone and getting the puck in the net for his first of the season:

Johnson’s goal received a primary assist by Jonathan Toews, the Captain’s first point after more than a year away from hockey.

After Johnson’s goal, the game turned into the “shoot yourselves in the foot” Olympics, as Dominik Kubalik took a double minor after making Michael Rasmussen bleed with a high stick. The Red Wings very quickly took a penalty, sending Dylan Larkin to the box, and followed it up with another penalty from Robby Fabbri, giving the Blackhawks a short 4-on-3 power play.

A common Blackhawks theme emerged in the second period as the Red Wings started piling on. That started when, shortly after a penalty from Johnson was killed off, Carter Rowney redirected a rebound off of Marc-Andre Fleury into the net from behind the red line:

Fleury gave up another rebound that ended up in the net shortly after, as a less precarious shot from Mitchell Stephens was tapped into the net by Vladislav Namestnikov:

Finally, the Blackhawks scored an own goal that put the Red Wings up 4-1, as Reese Johnson deflected a puck into the net after it bounced off of Tyler Bertuzzi’s skates.

The Blackhawks got a power play shortly after Bertuzzi’s goal thanks to a Marc Staal cross check of Dylan Strome. Chicago took full advantage of that power play, as Dominik Kubalik scored his third goal of the season:

Before the second period was up, Raymond scored his second goal of the game after a shot from Dylan Larkin was initially blocked:

In the third period, the Red Wings scored their own own goal as Gustav Lindstrom redirected a puck toward the net. The goal was credited to Henrik Borgstrom, his first with the Blackhawks:

Shortly after Borgstrom’s goal, the Blackhawks went back on the penalty kill due to a Jake McCabe penalty. A few minutes later, Connor Murphy went to the box, and the Red Wings converted on the two-man advantage as Raymond scored another goal to complete the hat trick, making it a 6-3 score in Detroit’s favor.

Kirby Dach caused goaltender interference during a 5-on-3 opportunity for the Blackhawks which took a goal away from Jonathan Toews. Later on the same opportunity, Alex DeBrincat whiffed on a wide-open net chance, allowing Alex Nedeljkovic to make a stick save.

The Blackhawks lost 6-3.

Notes

  • The Blackhawks are bad and show no signs of improving. Everything from goaltending — where Fleury had yet another bad game — to scoring, where the Blackhawks still can’t consistently get good offense going at 5-on-5. The defense makes mistakes, the forwards are being oddly used, everything seems wrong and the Blackhawks are 0-5-1.
  • Jeremy Colliton handed Kubalik the notepad and DeBrincat was drawing up plays with seven seconds left on a crucial 5-on-3 opportunity. Never seen that happen before: a coach just completely letting the players coach themselves. It failed to work, so a coach-by-coalition strategy would likely not work going forward, but nonetheless.
  • The Blackhawks were outclassed at 5-on-5 for large swaths of this game, including during the second period when the Red Wings scored four goals and took the game away. The Blackhawks surrendered 19 shots and 1.83 expected goals against in that period at 5-on-5 and all four goals came at full strength.
  • Jonathan Toews looked better offensively, scoring two assists and almost picking up a power-play goal. That’s the good news.
  • This game had absolutely zero discipline. There were 28 penalty minutes dished out between both teams in this game, with the Blackhawks picking up two double minors. There wasn’t an actual fight but a few scraps came pretty close and it’s clear that last year potentially re-ignited a rivalry. The Blackhawks need to play better in upcoming games to make it a more interesting rivalry, however.
  • The sellout streak came to an end on Sunday. Good. Let that be a wake-up call to management and ownership.
  • The power play, even without Patrick Kane, is still doing alright. Kane missed the game along with Jujhar Khaira and Riley Stillman due to COVID-19 protocol.
  • The Blackhawks make hockey less fun.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Lucas Raymond (DET) — 3 G, 1 A
  2. Dylan Larkin (DET) — 3 A
  3. Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) — GWG, 2 A

What’s next

The Blackhawks host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. Puck drop will be at 6:30 p.m. There are 76 more games. Buckle up.