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Whatever Forever: Canucks 5, Blackhawks 2

More focused on fighting than scoring.

Chicago Blackhawks v Vancouver Canucks
Dakota Joshua of the Vancouver Canucks fights Max Domi of the Chicago Blackhawks
Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images

And I thought my day was gonna peak in worseness with the Oscar nominations (Andrea Riseborough really memed her way into Viola Davis’s rightful spot, eh? “The Woman King” rocks).

After winning six of eight games recently, the Chicago Blackhawks snapped their winning ways in a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. The loss brings the Blackhawks to 14-28-4, staying one point shy of the Anaheim Ducks after the Ducks won earlier Tuesday.

The Blackhawks opened the scoring, as Patrick Kane roofed a shot from the point past Collin Delia for Kane’s first goal since Jan. 14 and just his ninth goal of the season.

Kane’s goal came late in the first period, and while it may have been deflected by someone out front, it remained officially his goal.

Early in the second period, Andrei Kuzmenko got the Canucks back even, as the Russian forward caught his own rebound off of Petr Mrazek and put the puck over the Blackhawks’ netminder.

The Blackhawks would answer about five minutes later, as Sam Lafferty scored his seventh goal of the season as Lafferty cut across the crease and shot a puck five-hole.

Lafferty gave the Blackhawks their second lead of the game, although the Canucks would very quickly erase that lead as well.

Kuzmenko once again scored for Vancouver, as Elias Pettersson grabbed a giveaway by Seth Jones in his own end and Kuzmenko redirected a pass at net-front.

In the third period, Dakota Joshua gave the Canucks their first lead of the game, after a rebound off of Mrazek bounced into the net after Joshua worked to free the puck.

Just 34 seconds after Joshua gave the Canucks the lead, Sheldon Dries built on that lead, driving the net to recover a rebound and put it into a yawning net.

Bo Horvat sealed the deal for the Canucks off of a face-off, putting in an empty-net goal from his own zone.

The Canucks would hold that lead for the rest of the game, as Vancouver beat Chicago 5-2.

Notes

  • Good god, Max Domi. One on end, he did something positive early in the game, collecting a secondary assist on Kane’s goal. On the other, he then proceeded to: collect 17 minutes of penalties in the second period, cross-check Joshua, the guy he fought, into Mrazek as a form of defense (albeit not a great one) and take just one shot during the game, resulting in 0.05 expected goals. Good god.
  • Petr Mrazek’s rebound control needs work. Except for the second Kuzmenko goal, all of Vancouver’s tallies came off of a rebound and could have been prevented by a better cover. However, all four of the goals could also have been prevented by better defense, which has been a problem all season.
  • The Blackhawks mustered just five shots at 5-on-5 in this game, as the Canucks generated 38. That’s an 11.63 percent share, coming after the Blackhawks were just getting better at possession. The Blackhawks didn’t fare much better in other possession stats, with a 23.81 percent high-danger share and 17.8 percent expected-goal share. The Blackhawks generated just 0.86 expected goals at 5-on-5 in the contest, with the Canucks at 3.98.
  • Nine of the Blackhawks’ 14 shots across the entire game came on special teams, as the Blackhawks spent plenty of time on both the power play and penalty kill in this game. In fact, of the 60 minutes, the two teams spent less than 44 at 5-on-5.
  • In a rare occurrence, there were two fights between the first and second periods. Connor Murphy fought Sheldon Dries and Max Domi fought Dakota Joshua as tensions boiled over very quickly. It’s an odd phenomenon, given that the Canucks and Blackhawks have not played since Jan. 31, 2022. How did blood get so bad so fast? It’s not like it’s 2010 anymore.
  • Even I, a fan of losses for this team this year, don’t want the losses to look like that. The two goals the Blackhawks did score looked pretty fluky, while the Canucks were able to capitalize on the same mistakes made by the Blackhawks time and time again. The kids looked invisible (although Philipp Kurashev and Ian Mitchell each had one takeaway) and Luke Richardson looked badly outcoached in Rick Tocchet’s return behind the bench. Nary a positive in sight.
  • Although, speaking of the kids, this was Luke Philp’s first NHL game. The forward finished with 8:45, the second-fewest minutes on the team, and had the second-worst relative expected goal share, 16.43 percent below his teammates. Philp finished with zero shots and zero expected goals, as noted nice guy Reese Johnson looked better than him.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Andrei Kuzmenko (VAN) — 2 G
  2. Elias Pettersson (VAN) — 2 A
  3. Luke Schenn (VAN) — 2 A

What’s next

The Blackhawks head across Western Canada to Calgary for a game against the Flames on Thursday at 8 p.m. CT.