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Where, When, And How The Blackhawks Scored And Conceded Against Edmonton

Chicago is a team with a mix of high skill, youth, and hard-working players. They’re most known for the dazzling hands of Patrick Kane and the professionalism of Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith, but it’s the work rate from players like Matthew Highmore, Brendan Saad, Olli Maatta and others that helped them win the series against the Oilers.

Chicago won the series in four games while outscoring the Oilers by just one goal, 16-15. The 1st period accounted for 14 of the 31 total goals including a whopping nine from the Hawks.

I went back and watched every goal scored in the Blackhawks’ series against the Oilers to try and get a feel for how they scored their goals and what went wrong when they allowed them. Here’s what I found.

How Chicago scored

  • They liked to play the puck out to the point and set up multiple players in front of the goal to tip. The tips usually came from right around the edge of the faceoff circle and rarely did the Oilers have a defenseman covering the tipper.
  • Chicago’s forecheck was strong along the walls creating turnovers and opening up extra offensive chances. After forcing the turnover, Chicago looked immediately to make the decisive pass to set up the goal.
  • They took advantage of many defensive lapses from the Oilers, especially puck watching. They caught Edmonton with passes to wide-open players for one-timer goals on multiple occasions in the series.

How Chicago conceded

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Who Are The 2020 Chicago Blackhawks? A Quick Blurb On Every Player

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Playoff “Photographer” @BadSportsArt)

The Golden Knights’ first round opponent is the Chicago Blackhawks. Despite being bolstered by multiple players who have hoisted three Stanley Cups, the Blackhawks are the youngest team remaining in the playoffs at an average age of 26 (VGK is nearly 29).

You probably know the names Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Corey Crawford but it’s guys like Kirby Dach, Adam Boqvist, and Dominik Kubalik who will have just as much impact on the series as the Hawks superstars.

With a little help (he literally wrote the whole thing) from Mario Tirabassi of the Blackhawks podcast “Mario on Hockey,” here’s a quick rundown of every player in Chicago’s lineup.

**Check out the latest episode of Mario on Hockey featuring me. Don’t worry, I picked VGK in 5 even on the Blackhawk centric podcast.**


Jonathan Toews – The player with possibly the most fitting nickname in all of hockey, “Captain Serious” has seen a rejuvenation in his game over the past two seasons and his performance in the Qualifying Round against the Oilers was a reminder that when the lights are brightest, the guy shows up.

Patrick Kane – Still one of the most talented players in the league offensively. Nearly on a 100-point pace during the regular season, much of the Blackhawks’ successes this season were because of him. He was “quiet” in the Qualifying Round with one goal and three assists, but still facilitated much of Chicago’s attack.

Kirby Dach – A rookie, technically, Dach has improved his game so much over the course of this season that he is now trusted with anchoring the Blackhawks’ second-line with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. His size, speed, and vision for the game are still developing, but he is quickly becoming a key factor for Chicago.

Alex DeBrincat – He didn’t record a goal during the Qualifying Round, but his shot is his most effective weapon in his arsenal. Has a habit of being invisible, not in a good way, at times. But when he’s on, he can cause problems.

Brandon Saad – His return to the Blackhawks over the past two-plus seasons has been a roller-coaster. Still counted on as a key player in all situations, Saad hasn’t shown consistently that he can be the game-breaker he showed during Chicago’s 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup runs.

Dominik Kubalik – What a steal for Chicago. Acquired for a new soda machine and a bag of pucks, Kubalik has developed into a key piece to the Blackhawks’ success this season. He’s going to finish third in voting for the Calder Trophy, but his 30-goal season is nothing to scoff at. He’s dangerous on the powerplay with a cannon of a shot.

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Vegas Golden Knights vs Chicago Blackhawks – Round 1 Schedule

The NHL has released to schedule for the Round 1 matchup between the Golden Knights and Blackhawks.

Game 1: Tuesday, August 11 – 7:30 PM – ATTSN
Game 2: Thursday, August 13 – 2:30 PM – ATTSN
Game 3: Saturday, August 15  – 5:00 PM – NBC
Game 4: Sunday, August 16  – 3:30 PM – ATTSN
*Game 5: Tuesday, August 18 – TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, August 20 – TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, August 22 – TBD

*if neccessary

All games are expected to air on AT&T Sportsnet unless the game is on regular NBC.

Robin Lehner Excited To See What Free Agency Has In Store For Him

(Photo Credit: Jason Pothier, SinBin.vegas)

It’s been Goaltending Month here at SinBin. Earlier this month we examined the offseason decisions the Golden Knights front office will have to make in net. Last week was focused on cap percentage and how much is the right amount to spend on goaltending. So, let’s continue Tendy Month by getting some insight from Vegas’ exceptional backup goaltender as he addressed his future with the Golden Knights.

On Ottawa radio, unrestricted free agent to be Robin Lehner explained his desire to find a permanent address this offseason.

I’m looking for the right set up for me and my family. I got a five year-old and a two-year-old. My five-year-old has been to five different teams. I feel like I deserve to get some stability for me and my family. -Lehner on TSN Ottawa

It’s been a journey for Lehner. At 29 years-old with ten years of NHL service, the goaltender hasn’t found a location to settle down in.

We will see what happens and what makes sense for me and my family. To say I that need X amount of years or dollars, it’s kind of not what it’s been for me. I just try to perform as good as I can and I think I’ve done that throughout my career. I’ve had some other issues obviously but I’ve also taken the steps and been very serious about those steps and I’ve bounced back and I’ve shown that I’m on a really good path which is only getting better and better. -Lehner

The former Senator, Sabre, Islander, and Blackhawk is proud of success on and off the ice and feels he’s earned the opportunity to find a permanent NHL address. Especially, for his wife and kids.

I believe that I’ve proven my statistics for a long time and that I’m a very reliable goaltender… We’ll see what opens up and what makes sense for me and my family. We’re excited to see what happens this offseason. -Lehner

Can the playoffs do anything to help leverage Lehner’s future contract negotiations? Will he need to compete with Marc-Andre Fleury for playing time and excel in the postseason?

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Probabilities Of Each Opponent Based On Round-Robin Seed

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The NHL is a league built on parity. Winning the Stanley Cup is as much about matchups (and luck) as it is the skill of any given team. This year, the matchups have a chance to vary wildly as the league is re-seeding teams at the conclusions of the play-in and first rounds.

Unlike the eight teams with set play-in round matchups, the Golden Knights seed throughout the tournament is dependant on their performance in three round-robin games. The round-robin not only determines who the Golden Knights will play in the 1st Round, but it also determines the opponent in the 2nd round as well.

With four games in the play-in round, there are 16 possible outcomes between the eight teams. Using William Hill odds, we ranked them from most likely to least likely to occur. Then, using those rankings, we are able to show the probabilities of which team the Golden Knights would be most likely to face depending on which seed they end up with in the round-robin. (An explanation of how I arrived at these numbers is at the end of the article.)

 #1 Seed#2 Seed#3 Seed#4 Seed
Edmonton (5)59.6%
Nashville (6)33.0%22.3%
Vancouver (7)19.1%28.4%10.5%
Calgary (8)10.4%22.9%16.8%4.1%
Winnipeg (9)8.7%19.3%14.2%3.5%
Minnesota (10)13.8%20.6%7.6%
Arizona (11)26.7%18.1%
Chicago (12)40.4%

As you can see from the chart, there’s a significant advantage to finish atop the round-robin. Finishing first eliminates the possibility of a matchup with Edmonton, Nashville, or Vancouver, while coming in fourth takes away any chance to play Chicago, Arizona, or Minnesota.

Compare that to this chart, how Vegas has played against each of these eight teams.

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Golden Knights vs. Chicago Blackhawks Photo Gallery – December 10th, 2019

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 1 (16-12-5 37 PTS)

Recap: Vegas hosted Chicago for a midweek matchup against the Blackhawks. The Golden Knights got an extra boost with their leader Marc-Andre Fleury back in net.

The first featured 25 total shots on net but both goalies made some outstanding saves. Neither team would score, and the 1st period came to a close tied at 0-0.

Reilly Smith would open the scoring in the 2nd period with his 13th goal of the season on a Golden Knights power play. Deryk Engelland would add his first of the season to give Vegas a 2-0 lead. William Karlsson tapped in a shorthanded goal with under a minute left giving his team a 3-0 advantage.

Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty teamed up early in the 3rd period to make it 4-0 Vegas. Stone drove to the net, put on the breaks and touch passed it to Pacioretty for the easy goal. Ryan Reaves shot a one-timer passed Crawford for a 5-0 Vegas lead. Fleury continued to put on a stellar performance, stopping everything Chicago shot at him. The Golden Knights would win easily 5-1.

Vegas’ record improves to 16-12-5 and now have a total of 37 points on the season. The team will travel to St. Louis for a matchup Thursday night against the reigning Stanley Cup champions. Game time is scheduled for 5P. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights played one of the best games of the season in their home building. It was a bit back and forth in the 1st, but a complete and utter domination took place in the 2nd where Vegas took over the game. Karlsson got on the board, Stone got going, and Fleury was terrific back in goal. As close to a perfect game as you can ask for. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Chicago Blackhawks at T-Mobile Arena

  • Jonathan Marchessault’s new stick is helping his game, but not in the way you’d expect
  • Photo gallery from the game.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Deryk Engelland
** Reilly Smith
* Marc-Andre Fleury

 

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (9-8-3 21 PTS)

The game got off to quick with an early penalty shot for Chicago. The Blackhawks couldn’t convert and the Golden Knights took over. William Carrier and William Karlsson have Vegas a 2-0 lead 6:30 minutes into the game. Patrick Kane would get Chicago within one and the 1st period would come to a close 2-1 Vegas.

Chicago scored two 2nd period in a span of :45 seconds. Vegas was awarded a penalty shot of their own but Jonathan Marchessault couldn’t slip it past the Blackhawks goaltender.

The Golden Knights began the 3rd period trailing 3-2 and looked to get back into the game early. However, the Blackhawks had other plans and scored their fourth goal 3:57 into the final frame. Vegas would have a few chances but couldn’t covert until it was too late. Chicago coasted to a 5-3 victory.

Vegas’ record drops to 9-8-3 and remain at 21 points for the season. The Golden Knights will next play on Saturday afternoon at 1PM in Los Angeles. They’ll head right back home for a back-to-back on Sunday against the Calgary Flames. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Chicago Blackhawks at T-Mobile Arena

  • Rock bottom?

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Nic Hague
** William Karlsson
* William Carrier

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 1 (7-4-0 14 PTS) – SO (2-1)

The Golden Knights on a back-to-back faced an early deficit again. Chicago scored four minutes in and took the lead 1-0. The Golden Knights mustered 9 shots on net but could convert and trailed at the intermission.

Marc-Andre Fleury kept it one score game in the 2nd period making some tremendous saves. The Golden Knights offense couldn’t get on the scoreboard but the game was within reach after 40 minutes.

Vegas began the 3rd period on an extended Power Play but wouldn’t convert until 1:33 left in the game. The Golden Knights forced a 3-on-3 overtime period and shootout. Shea Theodore would eventually win the game in the third round of shootouts.

The Golden Knights record improves to 7-4-0 and will return home and face the Colorado Avalanche on Friday afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled at 3PM for Nevada Day. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks at United Center

  • Deryk Engelland’s impact on rookies and the VGK lineup

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** She Theodore
** Mark Stone
* Marc-Andre Fleury

Honorable mention: William Carrier

How The Golden Knights Can Clinch By Sunday

The Golden Knights clinched last year on March 26th. They can actually do it sooner this year.

Having won 10 of the past 11 games the Golden Knights have soared well above the playoff cut line and it’s only a matter of time until it becomes official that Vegas is heading to the postseason.

But, like everything in sports, nothing is a sure thing until it’s actually a sure thing. It can become a sure thing soon though, as soon as Sunday afternoon.

The Golden Knights currently have 89 points with eight games left to play. The first team out of the playoff picture is Arizona with 78 points, also with eight to go.

Thus, the easiest way for the Golden Knights to lock in their place is to eliminate the Coyotes. Using our “Points to Elimination” tool, it takes six points to do so (and only five VGK clinches the tiebreaker).

Arizona plays at New Jersey tomorrow and at the New York Islanders on Sunday. Vegas hosts Detroit tomorrow. If the Golden Knights win in regulation or overtime, and Arizona records only one point in those two games, Vegas will clinch.

If Arizona records two or more points, the Golden Knights still have a chance to clinch.

The attention would then turn to the Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, and Chicago Blackhawks. With a Vegas win tomorrow, the Golden Knights would need just one more point to eliminate Chicago and three to eliminate Minnesota and Colorado.

The Wild have a back-to-back in Washington and Carolina tonight and tomorrow while Chicago and Colorado have a home-and-home back-to-back against each other Saturday and Sunday.

So, if Vegas wins tomorrow, they would need Minnesota to record one or zero points in their two games, and Chicago and Colorado would have to split (with Colorado’s loss coming in regulation).

VGK win + ARI loss to NJD + ARI loss to NYI

OR

VGK win + MIN loss to WSH + MIN loss to CAR + COL/CHI Split 2 Games

If any piece of both of those scenarios falls short, the next Golden Knights attention will turn to Monday in St. Louis.

It could happen Sunday, it could not, but either way, it’s happening soon. Once that’s locked up, the focus is going to start to shift towards San Jose, who as of this article are five points ahead of Vegas with eight to go. It’s a tall task, but if the Golden Knights can knock off the Sharks again on the 30th, things could get very interesting that final week.

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