April 16, 2017
Through the years we have learned to never write off the Chicago Blackhawks in a seven-game series until the handshake line, but this team is in serious trouble.
For two straight games we have seen the Blackhawks unable to move the puck through the neutral zone, fail to get traffic in front of the net to make life difficult for Pekka Rinne and have the overwhelming majority of their shots from the outside.
One of many reasons for the struggles, beside the stars not playing like stars, has been the disappointing performances from the Blackhawks crop of rookies. Nick Schmaltz struggled in Game 1 and Ryan Hartman may have had his worst game as a professional in Game 2.
Hartman finished his night as a -18 Corsi, with just one shot attempt while the Predators had 19 against the Blackhawks while he was one the ice.
He then finished his night by getting a game misconduct for cross-checking Craig Smith in the face while he was already down on the ice.
This performance earned Hartman the "High Flying Hawk" honor by the Comcast SportsNet Chicago studio crew which makes you wonder which game they were watching!
It is unsure if Hartman will be suspended or not for his actions, but even if he isn’t Joel Quenneville should sit him for Game 3. A player like Tomas Jurco and his speed could help the Blackhawks get through the neutral zone and there is no way he could be worse that a -18 Corsi!