10 observations: Blackhawks have no answer for Vancouver’s third line in 7th straight loss

10 observations: Blackhawks have no answer for Vancouver’s third line in 7th straight loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks dropped their seventh straight game after falling to the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Tuesday at the United Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. No surprise at how this game went. Vancouver is one of the best teams in the NHL and Chicago is the 32nd-ranked team in the standings that has seven players on injured reserve. The Canucks were in control all night.

2. The Canucks dominated the first period in shot attempts (25-11), shots on goal (12-1), scoring chances (11-4) and high-danger chances (7-0), per Natural Stat Trick. The Blackhawks’ only shot on goal came on the power play with 31 seconds left in the frame. They were fortunate the score was only 1-0 through 20 minutes.

3. Vancouver’s third line of Teddy Blueger, Connor Garland and Dakota Joshua were excellent all night. The three of them combined for three goals and three assists. The Blackhawks had no answer.

4. Colin Blackwell thought he scored late in the second period but the puck went off the post. He pointed to the net thinking it was in. The Canucks immediately went down the other way and made it 3-1. Tough swing.

5. Petr Mrazek was under fire all game. He gave up four goals, but he actually saved 0.95 goals above expected. He did his part.

6. Looking for a positive? The Blackhawks scored a power play goal and generated 13 shot attempts, seven shots on goal and four scoring chances on their four opportunities. Baby steps.

7. Lukas Reichel was demoted to the fourth line on Friday after a quiet first game back on Wednesday. He was hoping to put his first-half struggles behind him and start with a clean slate in the second half. He’s back on the third line, but Chicago’s 2020 first-round pick is going to have to work twice as hard to bust out of his year-long slump. His line struggled in this game against Vancouver’s third line.

8. Boris Katchouk has flashed quite a bit over the last month or so, but he was a healthy scratch in this game. Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson acknowledged his “last game probably wasn’t his best game in a while.” Since the team is carrying two extra forwards, it was an opportunity to get Reese Johnson and Zach Sanford back in the lineup.

9. Connor Bedard watch is starting to get more exciting for Chicago fans. He’s expected to remain in a non-contact jersey the rest of the week but the hope is he will be cleared to practice by early next week, and his return shouldn’t be too long after that. It’s looking like Feb. 21 vs. Philadelphia or Feb. 23 vs. Winnipeg.

10. The Blackhawks placed forward Luke Philp on waivers on Tuesday afternoon, which indicates he’s nearing the end of his rehab. He opened the season on injured/non-roster designation after undergoing Achilles surgery over the offseason. He’s expected to clear waivers and rejoin the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

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