10 observations: Bruins rout Hawks for 11th straight home win originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks were routed by the Boston Bruins 6-1 at TD Garden on Saturday.
Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. The Bruins improved to 16-2-0 with a +38 goal differential this season and 11-0-0 with a +27 goal differential at home. Their 11-game winning streak at home ties the 2021-22 Florida Panthers and 1963-64 Blackhawks for the longest home winning streak to start a season in NHL history. They’re the best team in the league right now.
2. This was as lopsided a game as you’ll see in the NHL this season. The Bruins led in shot attempts (73-33), shots on goal (43-18), scoring chances (47-17) and high-danger chances (17-4), per Natural Stat Trick. It doesn’t get any uglier than that.
3. The Blackhawks barely touched the puck in the first period. The Bruins had 28 shot attempts, 15 shots on goal and 15 scoring chances, and the Blackhawks had only three shots on goal. One of those three shots was by Connor Murphy from 177 feet out and another was an inadvertent shot by Sam Lafferty, who tried poke-checking the puck from a defender and goaltender Jeremy Swayman covered it up.
4. Poor Petr Mrazek was under fire all night. He was the reason the Blackhawks hung around for nearly two periods, so don’t let his stat line fool you. Of the 43 shots he faced, only 11 of them came from low-danger areas. That means the other 32 were higher-quality chances. Dominik Hasek could’ve been between the pipes for the Blackhawks and the result probably wouldn’t have looked any different.
5. The Blackhawks went with five forwards on the power play in the second period, and they scored when Max Domi’s shot from the point was redirected by Jonathan Toews. An aggressive, bold move, but I liked it. They were down 2-0 and getting dominated to that point. With no Seth Jones, why not try it?
6. The Bruins have one of the most lethal power plays in the league and they showed why in this game. They scored two power-play goals and each of them came at the end of the first and second periods, which are killers. I actually thought the Blackhawks’ first penalty kill was pretty strong up until the final seconds when Boston poured it in and it resulted in a David Pastrnak goal. The Blackhawks had previously killed off 11 straight penalties over their last four games.
7. The only line Boston didn’t skate circles around was the fourth line of Colin Blackwell, Reese Johnson and Jujhar Khaira. The three of them didn’t allow a single shot on goal in the first two periods when they were on the ice together and gave up three total.
8. Ian Mitchell was recalled after a four-point night in Rockford and made his season debut after missing all of training camp and the first month of the season with a left wrist injury. This was a brutal opponent for a season debut, and the Blackhawks got so dominated that it was hard to evaluate a single player’s performance. I’d like to see him right back in against Pittsburgh.
9. Caleb Jones was a healthy scratch, and this was a much-needed reset. He’s been asked to do a lot with his older brother Seth out. He handled the responsibilities pretty well the first couple weeks, but things have spiraled the last few games and head coach Luke Richardson wanted to give him “a little break.”
10. The time has finally come, with the Blackhawks getting set to retire Marian Hossa’s No. 81 on Sunday. The atrium doors open at 2:30 p.m., the United Center doors open at 3:30, and the banner-raising ceremony starts at 4:30 sharp, so get there early. Should be a memorable night.
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