Special teams struggle, Arvid Soderblom injured in Blackhawks’ blowout loss to Jets

The Jets scored three power-play goals and one short-handed goal to beat the Hawks 4-0 on Saturday in a game that ended with the Hawks’ fifth-string goaltender in net.

SHARE Special teams struggle, Arvid Soderblom injured in Blackhawks’ blowout loss to Jets
The Jets celebrate a goal Saturday.

Arvid Soderblom left the Blackhawks’ loss to the Jets on Saturday with an unknown injury.

AP Photos

Something about November in Winnipeg, Manitoba, stumps the Blackhawks.

The Jets shut out the Hawks 4-0 on Saturday, one year to the day after the Hawks’ lopsided 5-1 loss in Winnipeg cost then-coach Jeremy Colliton his job.

This loss won’t be nearly as consequential. It was ‘‘only’’ the Hawks’ seventh defeat in 12 games, after all, compared with 11 in their first 12 games last season. And it was the Hawks’ first noncompetitive game since the season opener, stopping a streak of 10 nail-biters that demonstrated the effectiveness of new coach Luke Richardson’s systems.

Make no mistake, however: It was an ugly afternoon for the Hawks.

Three power-play goals and a ‘‘deflating’’ short-handed goal by the Jets turned what was a 0-0 game halfway through into a rout. Scoring chances favored the hosts 22-2 in the third period and 42-16 overall.

‘‘They’re a good team, and they really have mobility on the back end at the blue line,’’ Richardson told reporters in Winnipeg. ‘‘The second half of the game, when they started taking it to us . . . we just started chasing tails in our defensive zone. You’re not going to get a good result after that.’’

The Hawks’ special-teams units, both bright spots during the first few weeks of the season, have begun showing cracks. The penalty kill has conceded nine goals on 22 chances in the last six games and missed some important assignments Saturday. On the Jets’ third goal, for example, captain Jonathan Toews drifted too high after losing a faceoff and allowed a cross-seam pass from Kyle Connor to Pierre-Luc Dubois to connect.

Richardson attributed those special-teams struggles partly to a lack of practice time during a grueling stretch in the schedule, which ended Saturday. The Hawks will enjoy four days off before visiting the Kings on Thursday.

The Hawks’ troubles covering opposing players in transition — often because of what Richardson has described as ‘‘over-backchecking’’ — also re-emerged. They had focused heavily on that in recent video sessions and had seen improvement in the last two games. On Saturday, however, that reversed. The Jets found plenty of room on counterattacks and scored their fourth goal when Jujhar Khaira left Nate Schmidt wide-open on the weak side of a rush during such a sequence.

The most concerning takeaway moving forward, however, pertains to a now-familiar topic: goaltender injuries.

Arvid Soderblom (21 saves on 24 shots) left the game at the second intermission, forcing minor-league journeyman Dylan Wells — who signed an NHL contract Wednesday as essentially the Hawks’ fifth-stringer — into the game. Richardson said afterward that trainers told him after the second period that Soderblom ‘‘wasn’t feeling good,’’ but he didn’t know anything more about his status.

‘‘It’s definitely concerning with our goalie injuries at this point, but hopefully he’s not too bad,’’ Richardson said.

Wells saved 12 of 13 shots, creating the lone feel-good storyline of the day, but the Hawks won’t want to have to rely on him again. They desperately need Petr Mrazek to return from his groin injury by Thursday, as expected. Mrazek, Alex Stalock (concussion), Soderblom (undisclosed) and Jaxson Stauber (eye) are all currently unavailable.

‘‘[Playing in the NHL has] been a goal of mine since I was a kid, so I’m really happy,’’ Wells told reporters in Winnipeg. ‘‘When I got told I was going in, it was just, ‘Keep the mindset simple, stop the puck.’ And I did a decent job of that.’’

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