Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
The Chicago Blackhawks fell to the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Wednesday at the United Center in their first game back from the bye week and NHL All-Star break.
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Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. The Blackhawks had one shot on goal in the first period, and it was a 100-foot chip-in attempt by Nick Foligno from the neutral zone. Scoring chances were 14-1 Minnesota through 20 minutes, per Natural Stat Trick. The Blackhawks struggled to find their legs.
2. The second period was much better for the Blackhawks, who evened it up at 1-1 thanks to Foligno, who scored his 10th goal of the season. It was Foligno that recorded the first shot of the period too, which drew Bronx cheers from the Chicago crowd.
3. Marcus Foligno and Jarred Tinordi dropped the gloves in the second period, and it was one of the best fights of the season between two heavyweights. Tinordi went to the locker room after the scrap because he had blood dripping down his ear.
The fight started because Tinordi didn't like a hit that Foligno tried laying on him earlier in the period, and on the next shift Tinordi attempted to take a run at Foligno. The two decided to settle it the old-fashioned way.
4. Marcus Foligno won the Foligno Bowl after he scored the game-winning goal in the third period to put Minnesota up 2-1. Nick was more impactful than Marcus, who was in the penalty box three times, but the younger brother wins the bragging rights because he got the victory.
5. Boris Katchouk has had quite a few breakaways lately. He had another one in the third period of this game but was denied by Filip Gustavsson, who barely got his skate on the puck. Katchouk slammed his stick along the boards after he missed because it would've been the go-ahead goal.
6. The Blackhawks may have been rusty, but Petr Mrazek was not. He stood tall all night.
7. Lukas Reichel played one of his best games of the season in Calgary right before the bye week. I barely noticed him in this one, although he wasn't the only player that was quiet.
8. Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup after being out since Dec. 31 with a right foot injury and slotted in on the third line with MacKenzie Entwistle and Reichel. You could tell he was trying to find his legs, just like the rest of the team.
9. Brock Faber is a minutes-eating machine. He logged more than 28 minutes of ice time, which ranked second among all skaters. The longer Connor Bedard is out, the closer the Calder Trophy race between Bedard and Faber gets. Heck, you could argue Faber is the front-runner right now.
10. Connor Murphy remains out with a groin injury. He skated on his own before practice on Monday and Tuesday but he doesn't appear to be close to returning.