On Aug. 18, Game 5 of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vegas Golden Knights went as most expected. The Blackhawks lost the series 4-1, officially ending their season. There were a lot of intangibles that went wrong for Chicago during the series. But, the bottom line is that Vegas was the better team, in every facet, from the get-go.
However, that can’t take away from some of the amazing things the Blackhawks have accomplished during the series that may have been overlooked. Here are some highlights from Game 5 and some more uplifting news from the Blackhawks’ world.
Game 5 Highlights
The Blackhawks got off to a great start. Captain Jonathan Toews scored a goal 10 minutes into the first period. Left wing Alex DeBrincat followed up with a goal with less than two minutes until the end of the period. Then, the life got sucked out of them when Vegas’ left wing Max Pacioretty scored a goal with 30 seconds left in the first period to make it 2-1. That basically sealed Chicago’s fate. Right wing Patrick Kane did Kane things by scoring a filthy goal in the second period. That was the last of the offense we saw in their 4-3 loss. Here are some other highlights:
- Shots on Goal- 26, Vegas- 39
- Faceoff Percentage: 55.1%
- Power Play- 0/1
- Penalty Kill- 0/1
- Hits- 34, Vegas- 39
The gut-punch in those highlights is the Blackhawks’ penalty kill. They were on fire killing all 9 of Vegas’ power plays in the series. The fact that the penalty kill couldn’t come through when they needed it the most just adds more salt to the wound.
Even though the end result was disappointing, the Vegas series proved historic for five of the Blackhawks’ players. Defenseman Duncan Keith and goaltender Corey Crawford had historic postseason performances that were previously noted. But the three others who hit milestones are Toews, Kane, and Kirby Dach.
To start with the captain, Toews had a great postseason. He led the team in goals (5) and points (8).
With his goal in the first period of Game 5, he is now tied for 5th in Blackhawks’ history for postseason goals (45). He is tied with Steve Larmer.
When defenseman Olli Maatta scored the lone goal for the team in Game 3, it proved big for Kane. Kane assisted on the goal, which was his 80th postseason assist. In Blackhawks’ history, only two players had at least 80 postseason assists: Stan Mikita (91) and Denis Savard (84). Kane now joins them. What a squad.
For the 19-year-old center, Dach, he has shown spurts that have been impressive for his first season in the league. And now he accomplished something to add to the impressiveness.
Right wing Drake Caggiula scored a goal in the first period of Game 4 that Dach assisted on. With that assist, he became the second teenager in Blackhawks’ playoff history to register five career playoff assists. He is joined in that club by Eddie Olczyk.
On Aug. 17, Chicago made a new prospect signing. The prospect is 21-year-old left wing, Cam Morrison, from the University of Notre Dame.
He was drafted in the second round (40th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. Fun fact: Morrison was picked right after the Blackhawks drafted DeBrincat at 39.
He failed to reach an agreement with the Avalanche by the Aug. 15 signing deadline. In return, he became a free agent. Morrison signed a two-year, $1.85 million contract with Chicago. The consensus around him is that he is big-bodied forward, at 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds, who can give the team the size and depth that they need. Here is an excerpt of how his game was described by Elite Prospects:
A big, strong all-around player who thinks the game at a high level and executes plays with purpose and drive. Moving forward, Morrison will have every opportunity to develop into a smart power forward who can play in all situations and make it difficult on the opposition.
According to his profile on the Notre Dame website, he has quite the resume. As a senior, he had a career-high with 13 goals, 14 assists, and 27 points in 37 games with a plus-10 rating. He hit the 20-point mark in each of his four NCAA seasons. He finished his college career with 44 goals, 51 assists, and 95 points in 149 games. He also has quite a few honors; such as being named the B1G Third Star of the Week in 2019 and “Rookie of the Year” when he played in the United States Hockey League (USHL) in 2015-16.
As Chicago’s season has ended, look for highlights of press releases from the team and more!