Patrick Kane and coach Jeremy Colliton skated in circles, literally, for a lengthy chat during the Blackhawks’ morning skate Friday.
Colliton would gesture to some unknown play. Then Kane would do the same. Around and around they went for a good five minutes or so, while the rest of the Hawks shot pucks like usual.
That shooting wouldn’t end up translating much into the game.
Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo would make 31 saves to beat the Hawks 2-1. Colliton’s team, by day’s end, would find itself on a three-game losing streak, having lost all three by one goal, and 2-4-3 this season.
But Kane and Colliton didn’t know that yet.
“[We were discussing] different things throughout the game, whether it’s the power play or different things he sees or I see,” Kane said. “He’s a great communicator, comes up to you pretty regularly, asking you what you’re thinking or what you’re seeing out there. Every now and then, we trade ideas. That was the gist of our conversation.”
The unusually long talk came as Kane tries to fight through an uncharacteristic bout of inconsistency.
Without the vast majority of his offensive supporting cast around him, Kane ripped 10 shots (six on goal) but couldn’t hit the net against Columbus. He produced a number of golden opportunities in the final minutes with the Hawks pushing hard for an equalizer, only for Korpisalo to prove a step ahead.
Kane did find the box score with a primary assist on the Hawks’ lone score, a Dylan Strome power-play goal.
But he was also exploited defensively by Blue Jackets forward Eric Robinson, who blew past Kane for what turned out to be the deciding goal, and owned the Hawks’ worst shot differential for much of the game (the late flurry eventually boosted him back to only minus-2 in that regard).
His up-and-down outing against the Blue Jackets came on the heels of an equally hot-and-cold series against the Predators, who held him without a shot Tuesday. Looking back Friday, he admitted he “wasn’t very good the first game” in Nashville.
The rest of the Hawks actually put forth arguably their best performance against a non-Detroit opponent, getting more chances than the typically stout Blue Jackets 33-21.
They generated the urgency but not the payoff.
“We played well, and we created more than enough to score; they just didn’t go in,” Colliton said. “The biggest thing is that we pressed, and we continued to create chances, but we didn’t bleed chances the other way. . . . On another night, those go in for us, [and] we get two points.”
Kevin Lankinen remained solid for the hosts, saving 25 of 27 shots in his fifth start in sixth games.
This and that
Newly signed defenseman Madison Bowey cleared waivers Friday and was assigned to Rockford, the Hawks announced.
“He’s played a lot of games and [is a] right-hander, which is always nice to have,” Colliton said. “For now, the plan is Rockford, and we’ll go from there.”
† The Hawks called up defenseman Anton Lindholm and forward Michal Teply from Rockford to the NHL taxi squad.
† Defenseman Brent Seabrook (back) is still skating but has no set timetable to return, Colliton said.
† The Hawks haven’t added anyone to the COVID-19 list since Lucas Wallmark on Wednesday, easing concerns that there could be a widespread outbreak.