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I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas: Jets 7, Blackhawks 2

Another lump of coal in the ol’ hockey stocking.

Winnipeg Jets v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks slow, miserable slide down the NHL standings continued on Sunday night at the United Center in a 7-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

The Blackhawks almost took an early lead when Andreas Athanasiou batted one in past Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck. After review, though, the goal was (correctly) overturned for offsides.

Winnipeg then grabbed the lead at the 14:51 mark of the first period on this goal by Jansen Harkins:

Saku Maenalanen made it a 2-0 game about three minutes into the second period:

Just #17seconds after that goal, the Blackhawks were back within one after this goal from Taylor Raddysh:

About five minutes after the Raddysh goal, Kyle Connor restored a two-goal lead for Winnipeg with this one-timer during a 5-on-3 power play:

Maenalanen scored about 90 seconds later to make it a 4-1 Jets’ lead. Five minutes after that, Jujhar Khaira scored the first power-play goal of his NHL career:

That return to a two-goal deficit was short-lived, though, as Mark Scheifele found a soft spot in Chicago’s coverage to make it a 5-2 game heading into the second intermission:

Winnipeg added two more goals in the third period just for fun or whatever.

To the notes we go:

Notes

  • Let’s take a quick look at two of those goals for something that’s been happening a bit with the Hawks’ defensive play of late. First, here’s a screenshot of the play just before the puck went to Harkins for that first goal of the game:

Ignore that Mrazek is facing the wrong way while trying to get back to his feet because that’s not the entire issue here — although that certainly doesn’t help. Here’s a look moments before the Scheifele goal:

In each case, there’s a Winnipeg player in the middle of multiple Chicago defenders. Recently it feels like there’s been too much puck-watching happening in the defensive zone and not enough players seeking out opposing players to cover. It’s an ailment that is afflicting the Blackhawks forwards as much as it’s affecting the defensemen. Little habits like that are ones that you hope can be coached up by Luke Richardson over the course of the season. Something to monitor.

  • Raddysh did play 74 games last season but only averaged 12:20 of ice time per game, mostly affected by the 11:03 he averaged in 53 games with Tampa before being traded to Chicago. So, this will be his first full season as a top-six forward and so far it feels like his play has been ... only fine? He’s up to six goals now which projects to about a 24-goal pace and that isn’t terrible. But it also feels fair to wonder if there’s going to be more seen from Raddysh over the final 61 games of the season. He’ll turn 25 in February, so he’s right around what’s supposed to be the prime years of his career. Raddysh is one of the few players on this roster with a possible future in Chicago, so more signs of progress would be welcome developments.
  • Same could be said for noted SCH staff favorite Philipp Kurashev, who is a few years younger but it also getting a longer look in the top-six this season. Anything that could be pointed to as a sign of progress would be delightful. Can’t say there’s been much to consider just yet.
  • Filip Roos played in this game because Jarred Tinordi was out with an injury and it feels like Roos will be the first back to the press box if Tinordi is healthy after that sixth goal clanked in off of him. Roos is another young player who might actually have a future here and it’d be nice to see him get a long run of 15 or 20 games in a row just to see what he can offer, because there were some flashes of ability earlier in the season.
  • Send Reese Johnson to the press box for that pointless, stupid penalty in the third period that resulted in a PPG for Winnipeg.
  • So that is why Toronto wanted to unload Mrazek in the offseason. Makes sense.
  • Only 61 to go!

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Saku Maenalanen (WPG) — 2 goals
  2. Josh Morrissey (WPG) — 3 assists
  3. Kyle Connor (WPG) — 1 goal, 2 assists

What’s next

The Blackhawks are back at the United Center on Wednesday night to host the Edmonton Oilers for an 8:30 p.m. puck drop.