By Thomas Gibbons
The Blackhawks picked up their first road win of the season Sunday night in Anaheim with a 3-2 win in overtime. Jonathan Toews found Patrick Kane as the Blackhawks picked up a much needed two points.
With that goal, Kane now moves into the top 100 in career points.
This road trip has not been kind to the Blackhawks. It started with an embarrassing performance in Nashville followed up by an overtime loss in Los Angeles to the Kings, a game the Blackhawks were very lucky to get a point in the standings. They were out-shot 49-27 and got killed at the face-off dot. Sunday night was a different story though. The Blackhawks came out strong and jumped out to a quick two goal lead and finished the job in overtime.
A few takeaways from tonight’s win
Robin Lehner was sensational once again
Lehner has been a cornerstone for the Blackhawks this season. He stopped 36 shots Sunday night on the way to his 100th career win.
Where would the Blackhawks be without Lehner? Think about that for a minute. He has kept the Blackhawks in a lot of games, and is the backbone to three of their four wins. Stan Bowman wanted a goalie competition and he got one. He also may have found his goalie for the next few years. If Lehner continues to be dominant, it may not be a question who will be the net-minder for the next couple years in Chicago.
Adam Boqvist scored his first career goal in his second NHL game
Boqvist is one of the Blackhawks many prospects who will be apart of their next young core. And Sunday night he lit the lamp for his first career goal.
What a shot! Boqvist is a highly skilled offensive player and we are going to see a lot more of this. We know his defense needs work, but he is going to be a threat in the offensive zone.
Boqvist can play in nine total games this season before a year is burned off on his entry-level deal. I think the Blackhawks will make the same decision as they did with Dach because the faster the younger players get acclimated to the NHL the better. They are going to help the team this year and are pillars of the future. Even when Connor Murphy returns, I think the Blackhawks make room to keep Boqvist on the roster.
Top line was solid: The Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Alex Nylander line finished with a 54.17 Corsi % in 5V5 play. I thought this line was very good tonight. Nylander had seven shots on goal and Toews got a few good looks as well. This line should stick for the near future.
Lehner meets the media: Lehner has been very open with the media this season. Sunday night’s quote takes the cake
Onto the next one: The Blackhawks will travel to San Jose to continue their California trip for a Tuesday night puck drop. Their next home game is Thursday, November 7 vs. Vancouver