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Column: Credit Luke Richardson For Pushing the Right Buttons

It could have poorly. Instead, the right moves led to the right result for the Blackhawks

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Make no mistake about it–Chicago Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson was none too pleased in the effort against Boston.

So out went Andreas Athanasiou and in came Mackenzie Entwistle. A few tweaks on the power play unit. A rough and tumble practice that Connor Bedard loved.

Within the first 10 minutes, the Blackhawks were down 2-0 and it looked like they were about to be buried.

Instead, they dug deep and responded exactly how Richardson wanted them to the other night.

Say what you will about a roster that has a chasm compared to the top teams in the league, but one thing that can’t be measured at times is the fight in a team.

That was the case Friday night.

Blackhawks Battle Back

It started innocently enough, and in a similar fashion to what happened with Pittsburgh in the season opener. It was Ryan Donato opening up the scoring for Chicago and then it was Connor Bedard evening it up with a wicked wrist shot that Adin Hill couldn’t catch up to.

Down two. Tied after a pair. It already felt different. The Blackhawks biggest issue was playing a full sixty minutes and during a game where they had a short bench due to an Alex Vlasic injury, they dug deep and pushed on.

None more evident than when they killed off two late penalties in the third period. Again, a lesser team would have folded under the pressure.

The Blackhawks thrived.

Entwistle Line Injected Energy

Entwistle made the most of his chances, hitting people on the ice, and then turning on the jets to force chances. It was his line with Reese Johnson and Boris Katchouk that sparked chances and made some plays late that kept the Hawks in it.

Another player with a sneaky good game? Lukas Reichel, who was strong defensively and pushed offense as well. How about Nick Foligno, the guy sent over from Boston who wasn’t “good” enough to play in a game seven.

He’s making that look fooilsh after another strong outing that this time, helped spearhead a Blackhawks victory.

But the underlying strong thread was Petr Mrazek keeping himself–and the team–in the game after the Blackhawks surrendered a couple goals quickly.

It took them into the eighth game, but the Blackhawks played their most complete game of the season. Instead of running out of gas in the last 20 minutes, they seemed to only get stronger.

After a tough loss against Boston, it could have sent the team spiraling. Instead, Richardson and his staff pushed the right buttons to keep the ship steady, and off to Arizona with the chance for a winning streak.