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The Time Has Come and It’s Going Nowhere: Jets 5, Blackhawks 1

The Blackhawks season is spinning ‘round and ‘round out of control after yet another embarrassing loss.

Chicago Blackhawks v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks season got even more depressing Friday night as they fell 5-1 to the Winnipeg Jets and are now 1-9-2 on the season.

The Jets opened the scoring like most Blackhawks opponents do. A rushing Paul Stastny scored a five-hole goal just 47 seconds into the first period after a beautiful saucer pass from Andrew Copp that split the Blackhawks defenders. Seth Jones, in particular, gets burned on this play.

Next, Neal Pionk cashed in on the power play to put the Jets up 2-0 at the 2:23 mark. The Blackhawks penalty kill was too passive, allowing Pionk to patiently walk the puck in calmly to snipe top-corner.

The second period looked like it was off to a better start as it appeared Ryan Carpenter scored just 39 seconds in on the power play. However, the Jets challenged for offside, the relay Jonathan Toews entered the zone a bit early, and the Jets still led 2-0 after the goal was overturned. The Blackhawks notably deflated after this.

The Jets went up 3-0 when Copp slid another slick pass to some guy named Dominic Toninato who deked Fleury out of his net.

Just a couple of minutes later, Kyle Connor forced a turnover and fired a wrist shot by Fleury to put the Jets up 4-0 with 4:34 left in the middle frame. Erik Gustafsson coughed the puck up along the boards to spring Connor, just one of several gaffes the Blackhawks defenseman made throughout the night.

MacKenzie Entwistle knocked in a goal while the Blackhawks were shorthanded 56 seconds into the third period to make it 4-1.

At least the Blackhawks weren’t shutout?

However, Nikolaj Ehlers would tack on another goal to put the Jets up 5-1. Another turnover from a Blackhawks defenseman — this time Calvin de Haan — was the main catalyst of this goal against. And that would be the final score as Blackhawks lost their 11th game of the season.

Notes

  • This was arguably the Blackhawks worst game of the season, which is saying something, because the Blackhawks season has almost exclusively been bad games. At 5-on-5, they either hit season lows or close to it in terms of shot and chances shares: shot attempts (38.96 percent), shots on goal (31.82 percent), scoring chances (33.33 percent), high danger chances (7.14 percent), and expected goals (19.03 percent).
  • Look at that high-danger chances percentage again because it’s ridiculously terrible. To put it into perspective, the Blackhawks have only been under double digits for high danger chance percentage at 5-on-5 one other time since the 2008-09 season: that was in a low-event (aka trap) game in 2016 against the Predators in which the Blackhawks had zero high danger chances. The difference in that game is the Predators only managed three chances themselves — the Jets had 13 tonight.
  • The worst part is that the Blackhawks pretty much rolled over after going down in the first period. The Blackhawks were out attempted 43-22, outshot 26-9, outchanced 25-9 in the final two periods despite chasing the entire time.
  • And it’s not like the Jets are some defensive juggernaut as they’re statistically mediocre when it comes to all shot and chance against rates. Credit them for playing well, but really, the Blackhawks lost to themselves more than anything else.
  • There’s a lot of stats thrown around in the top three points here, but those are just an explanation for what we saw on the ice. The Blackhawks had almost no meaningful zone time, committed bad turnover after bad turnover, were outworked everywhere on the ice, allowed season high rushes against, left opposing players unattended in front of the net too many times to count, and so and so. Rinse and repeat from the past few years but dial it up to 11.
  • I was going to go through the laundry list of Blackhawks players who played poorly and how, but it’d be so long and I’m honestly too tired of the terribleness. Better just say the whole team is on the naughty list and leave it at that.
  • As has been the question for several games now: how much longer can this go on? Sure, there probably should be some positive regression coming to the Blackhawks, but it’s not enough to make a huge difference in terms of success without major changes to either the coaching staff, the team personnel, or both. I don’t know what can be done with the state of the organization right now, but doing nothing seems like a recipe for more games like tonight.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Andrew Copp (WPG) — 3 assists
  2. Kyle Connor (WPG) — 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Paul Stastny (WPG) — 1 goal

What’s next

The Blackhawks return home to face the Nashville Predators on Sunday night at the United Center for a 6 p.m. start.