Sunday evening’s contest between the Jets and Blackhawks had much larger implications for Winnipeg, as they are fighting for a playoff spot. However, while the Blackhawks postseason hopes are all but lost, Chicago did not go away easily in what was a rather eventful game.
Although they were able to come within one-goal of tying the game, the Blackhawks could not salvage a comeback and ended losing the match-up 6-4.
The first period saw a lot of back-and-forth before Nikolaj Ehlers opened the scoring, giving the Jets a 1-0 lead, 9 minutes into the game.
After a low-scoring first frame, both teams combined for an explosive six goal second period, starting off with back-to-back goals — just 23 seconds apart — from Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome. This sequence gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead.
The Chicago lead did not last long, however, as the Jets went on to score four unanswered goals. This rally started off with two goals from Jansen Harkins.
On what ended up being a controversial power play, Kyle Connor scored while Marc-Andre Fleury was without his glove. Fleury was briefly tangled up with Blake Wheeler, and after his glove came off, no whistle was blown. This sequence ultimately ended up with Connor putting the Jets up 4-2.
Just before the game clock expired, Josh Morrissey was able to find the back of the net, putting the Jets up 5-2 heading into intermission.
The Blackhawks were awarded a power play early in the third period on which newcomer Taylor Raddysh was able to score, cutting the deficit to two goals.
Later in the period, Phil Kurashev’s snapshot found the back of the net, which made it 5-4 in favor of Winnipeg.
The Blackhawks had a few opportunities to tie the game late, namely a great chance for Raddysh set up by Patrick Kane. Winnipeg was ultimately able to seal the deal with an empty-net goal, giving them a 6-4 victory.
- This may be the last time we see some of these players in Hawks sweaters. I guess we will find out tomorrow.
- Dylan Strome has scored 8 goals in his last 9 games.
- I’m not sure when Stu Grimson was brought in but more of him on the call (or intermission) is very much welcomed!
- Neither goaltending nor defense played particularly well in this game. Fleury made his usual batch of highlight reel saves, but all things considered, this was a bit of a track meet, mixed with some yah-ha cowboy time. It was one of those games we like to call, “fun-bad”.
- While it’s too early to evaluate trades, Taylor Raddysh certainly had himself a night. He had a beautiful assist on Toews’ goal and he scored a nice goal himself. He would’ve picked up a second apple, had Dominik Kubalik not whiffed on his shot. He also had a nice chance, set up by Kane which almost tied the game in the waning minutes. Raddysh has a nice skill set, he’s positionally sound, has a good set of hands and — while not the fastest guy on the ice — he is a very good skater. I look forward to seeing more from him.
- Fleury losing his glove was a weird situation. By the rules, it seems that the correct call was made in not blowing the play dead. However, the way his glove was taken off was a bit shady to say the least. The fact that he did not get hurt is good enough for me to move on from this. However, had this game had playoff implications for the Hawks, after coming within one goal, I think most of us would be pretty hot over this and understandably so.
- I have to be 100% honest, this is the most fun I’ve had watching a Blackhawks game in some time. I believe that the front office seemingly being very serious about rebuilding the right way for long term sustainable success plays into my psyche here. Watching your favorite team get their butt kicked sucks, no matter what. But over the last six seasons, the Hawks have gotten their butt’s kicked while actively trying to compete. Feeling a bit better about the actual possibility of a paradigm shift had me thinking, these last 20 games “are what they are” and then we will see what’s to come. Yet, even being down and having no reason aside from pride to win this game, the Hawks fought back and gave us something to watch. We saw this in both young players and veterans. It’s hard to find the verbiage but overall, it was an enjoyable — fun-bad — game. Hopefully we get more of this heading down the home stretch of the season.
- Speaking of the future, how ‘bout those Icehogs?
- Jansen Harkins (WPG) — 2 goals, 5 shots on goal
- Kyle Connor (WPG) — 1 assist, 3 goals
- Taylor Raddysh (CHI) — 1 goal, 1 assist
The Blackhawks head out West and drop the Puck at 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, against the Ducks in Anaheim.