The Chicago Blackhawks certainly are becoming one of the more mysterious teams in the NHL, despite bolstering an impressive point’s streak and defending their Stanley Cup title rather successfully. However, despite being 6-1-2 to begin the year, this team certainly continues to underachieve.
They are underachieving despite having stars that continue to perform, including captain Jonathan Toews, who dominated against the Florida Panthers tonight. Toews was able to score a power play goal, and won 71 percent of his faceoffs.
Patrick Sharp once again came through for the Blackhawks, scoring the game-winning shootout goal, but not on Tim Thomas. If not for Thomas’ injury, things could have ended quite differently, and this column would be written in much more angst.
Bryan Bickell continued his point’s streak by tallying another goal on his lone shot on goal, working well with Andrew Shaw, who was credited with five hits.
The pace of the game was once again well suited for Corey Crawford, who only had to face 22 shots, and made 20 saves. And when the team needed him the most, Crawford stepped up.
That being said, the glaring flaw of this year’s Blackhawks team once again reared its ugly head, as a dismal third period forced the game into overtime. The Blackhawks stagnant play when ahead had been exposed multiple times, including by the team they will face next, the Tampa Bay Lightning. As of this writing, the Blackhawks have been outscored 10-3 in the third period, a disturbing trend that will continue to rear its head as long as the coaching staff led by Joel Quenneville allows it.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486.