For the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s all about perspective.
They return home Friday to face the St. Louis Blues after going 2-2-0 on a four-game trip.
Considering they were 0-5-1 in away games before this trip, they will take it.
“You get 0.500 on the road, coming back from where we started, they’ve made some progress,” said Blackhawks interim coach Derek King, who is 5-2-0 since joining after. that Jeremy Colliton was fired following a 1- 9-2 start to the season. “Is there still work to be done? Of course. We’re making good progress and we’re headed in the right direction.”
Even a tough 5-2 loss to Calgary to end the trip couldn’t obscure the Blackhawks’ view.
The Flames broke the tie with 5:35 left when Matthew Tkachuk’s center pass slipped out of Chicago defenseman Seth Jones’ skate, over goaltender Marc-André Fleury’s shoulder and into the net. Calgary added two goals into an empty net to wrap up the win.
“The consistency of playing a certain way isn’t there yet, but it’s getting there,” King said. “I know these guys, who went there after the game, they were disappointed. As the season is so far away, it’s good that they are upset.”
Captain Jonathan Toews added, “Either way we played good hockey. We want to win all four, so 2-2 or 3-1 … I think there is hockey that we can build on coming home here.
Fleury made 34 saves and Brandon Hagel and Reese Johnson scored for the Blackhawks. It was Johnson’s first NHL goal.
“It’s obviously nice to contribute,” Johnson said. “I think I want to be able to do more, have some fat in goal, but obviously we want to come out with two points.”
The Blues suffered a 4-2 loss Wednesday in Detroit as Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 35 saves.
“We made it through the games – we could easily have scored five or six goals, but you just have to take your hat off to (Nedeljkovic),” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “You have games like this, where you throw everything at the net and nothing goes in.”
Pavel Buchnevich and David Perron scored for Saint-Louis, who have lost six of their last eight games (2-5-1).
“I think we played a really good game,” said Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly. “We just didn’t get the results we wanted.”
James Neal of the Blues was held in check with an undisclosed injury, but compatriot Brayden Schenn returned after missing nine games with an upper body injury.
Schenn was a minus-2 in just over 15 minutes of playing time.
“He was fine,” said Bérubé. “He wasn’t going to be 100% after missing so much time, but he will be fine.”
The Blues could certainly use some puck luck.
“We played a very solid game, but we had to seize some of our chances,” said forward Jordan Kyrou. “We were all over them in the attacking zone, but we needed some rebounds and (Nedeljkovic) played a great game.”
–Field level media
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