It’s not as bad as it looks. Yes, the Chicago Blackhawks were shutout again, but after a wily first period where the Vancouver Canucks put up two-goals, it was the Blackhawks who pushed back and gave the top flight Canucks a run for their money.
The Blackhawks fell 2-0 in a game where they were outstanding in the faceoff circle, and had one chance after another–that just wouldn’t convert. It marked the return of Nick Foligno, who had a strong game for Chicago. The high scoring Canucks buried two goals in the first 6:40 of the game, but that would be it. The Blackhawks watched a bit more than they likely would have liked in the first period, but tightened up and pushed back in the final two periods.
It was Petr Mrazek again, brilliant between the pipes despite giving up a pair, having 28 saves on the night. Chicago outshot Vancouver by the end, and grew stronger as the game progressed.
Despite all of it, they couldn’t get the puck in the net and it ultimately was the difference.
Foligno’s Return Powers Blackhawks Grit
Yes, he took a penalty that negated a Chicago power play but Foligno was buzzing, hitting, and banging away at the puck all night. He was denied on the doorstep late in the third during Chicago’s fifth power play, but his presence shows just how vital he is to the lineup.
Foligno isn’t putting up highlight reel goals nor is he tallying up gaudy numbers but it’s not why he was re-signed. The leadership and hard nosed hockey he shows on the ice is why he’s invaluable, and the effort is contagious on the ice. Philipp Kurashev was due for a goal all night, driving but ultimately coming a hair short of a goal here or there. Colin Blackwell sped down the ice on a breakaway and narrowly missed a chance.
The workmanship effort that Foligno harps on was evident up and down the lineup–though it didn’t reap the results they would have liked. But these efforts–once the lineup has more of the talent that’s present in the Canucks lineup–will be what ultimately brings back the “Chicago Blackhawks” hockey Foligno speaks of all the time.