Chicago Blackhawks, what happened?
How did you lose to the St. Louis Blues?
The Blackhawks fell to the Blues 5-2 on Wednesday night at the United Center, with the Blackhawks unable to muster any offense outside of Andreas Athanasiou.
The scoring started with the Blues, as Calle Rosen found the back of the net about 14 minutes into the game. Rosen received a pass from Josh Leivo from behind the net, as Leivo had missed on a previous chance.
The Blues doubled their lead early in the second period, as Jordan Kyrou scored after stick-handling Soderblom out of position.
Athanasiou came back to score his first goal of the night, cutting into the Blues’ lead, as Athanasiou came in alone on a breakaway and deked Jordan Binnington out of his spot.
Ryan O’Reilly scored on his own rebound less than a minute later, however, spinning Soderblom like a turnstile after an initial glove save. That made the score 3-1 Blues.
Athanasiou again cut into the lead, however, as Jujhar Khaira picked a pocket in the Blackhawks’ defensive end and got the puck up ice to Athanasiou, who was skating down the ice with Philipp Kurashev. Athanasiou finished the rush himself, rifling the puck past Binnington on the power play to again make it a one-goal game.
everybody look at this goal and definitely not the one that happened after this pic.twitter.com/sLVR5kyEYS— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 17, 2022
However, the Blues again extended their lead two minutes later, as Tyler Pitlick scored his first goal as a member of St. Louis’s roster. Pitlick received a pass in the crease and fired past Soderblom, making it 4-2 Blues.
Finally, St. Louis added another goal as Ivan Barbashev scored the lone tally of the third period about 7 minutes into the final frame. The Blues took it 5-2.
- FYI, Natural Stat Trick is down, which means no game charts for this game. Just know they wouldn’t look good.
- The Blues won in front of their moms, and while you always want to deny St. Louis nice things, at least they have that, and that’s okay.
- Philipp Kurashev registered a point again, getting the primary assist on the second Athanasiou goal, as his value in terms of a future Blackhawk continues to escalate. Kurashev has looked good, even without as much scoring as one would like, and he’s one of the very few players on the Blackhawks’ roster who can keep up on a 2-on-1 opportunity with Athanasiou.
- Athanasiou’s sudden, unexpected goal-scoring is one of the few nice things from this game. Athanasiou has, for valid reasons, drawn Viktor Stalberg comparisons so far this year, as someone who can skate the dickens out of other teams but doesn’t have the hands to keep up. Athanasiou proved tonight that that may not always be the case.
- Athanasiou also likely upped his trade value based on this game, coming into the contest as one of the lower-value assets the Blackhawks will likely move at this year’s deadline based on a slow start to the year.
Speaking of trade value, we haven’t updated the Trade-O-Meter in a while:
(Tyler Johnson and Petr Mrazek are temporarily not listed due to recent injuries)
- You’d like to see the Blackhawks clear the crease a lot more than they did against St. Louis. Multiple chances came either from rebounds or from high-danger areas where Blues players should not be, and that allowed St. Louis to pick up the win. Even without their No. 1 defensemen in Seth Jones, the Blackhawks need to be better defensively.
- Caleb Jones was on ice for all five goals, coming out of this game with a minus-5 rating (and while ratings are a bad stat overall, it does tell you something in individual games). That’s in just 14:39 on ice on Tuesday. His partner, Alec Regula, was a minus-3 in 15:01 and also took a penalty. Speaking of being better defensively, that’s where it starts.
- Soderblom has to be better than this game, although how much of it was on him versus the defense in front of him is debatable. Soderblom looked closer to his 2021-22 form than the superior goaltender he was earlier this season on Tuesday. On 35 shots against, Soderblom made 30 saves, a .857 save percentage. Not the results Soderblom was getting previously this season.
- Jordan Kyrou (STL) — 1 G, 1 A
- Andreas Athanasiou (CHI) — 2 G
- Ryan O’Reilly (STL) — 1 G, 1 A
The Blackhawks head to Boston for a game against the red-hot Bruins on Saturday at 6 p.m.