James Neveau

Blackhawks Have Reason for Optimism Heading Into Game 2

After suffering a 1-0 loss in Game 1 of their series against the Nashville Predators, the Chicago Blackhawks will be looking to bounce back when they host Game 2 at the United Center Saturday.

Game 1 Loss Far From a Death Sentence for Blackhawks

During the time that Joel Quenneville has been coaching the Blackhawks, they have lost the first game of a series on 10 different occasions in the postseason. In those first nine occurrences, the Blackhawks ended up going on to win six of the nine Game 2’s that followed, and they’ve won five of the nine series in which they’ve trailed after the first game.

In three different instances, the Blackhawks have trailed 2-0 in a series, but even that isn’t a death knell, as they came back to win the 2014 first round series against the St. Louis Blues after losing the first two contests.

In case you’re curious, during Quenneville’s tenure the Blackhawks have never lost the first two games of a series when they’ve been played on home ice.

Power(less) Play

The Blackhawks came into the postseason with a bad run of luck on their power play, with a 2-for-28 performance during their final eight regular season games.

Those woes continued in the first game of the series, as they had two power plays and failed to score on either of them. In total, the Blackhawks registered three shots on goal on the man-advantage, and all of them came in the second period. On their second power play, the Blackhawks attempted two shots, but neither one of them made it on net.

And Now for Something Completely Positive

The Blackhawks may have struggled to generate offense and quality scoring opportunities against the Predators, but what they lacked in quality they made up for in quantity, as they out-possessed and out-shot the Predators by a wide margin.

In the game, the Blackhawks posted a 63.3 percent Corsi rating, and that number is staggering even before considering that they registered one shot on goal through the final 14 minutes of the first period.

The Blackhawks’ defensemen posted some video game-type numbers in that category, illustrating just how active they were in trying to get the transition game going as a method of breaking the Nashville trap. Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson both finished around 80 percent in that category, and both players looked strong defensively as well, indicating that they could be poised for a good series.  

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