Blackhawks’ Goaltending was an Issue
I’m sure a lot of you knew this would come first.
Arvid Soderblom was given the nod due to Marc-Andre Fleury earning the night off to rest for the Dallas Stars. Kevin Lankinen has been on IR with a hand injury for the last month so far right as he started to find his game, forcing Soderblom into the crease. It was obvious that Soderblom was not ready tonight to start the game, but he slowly got back into his groove. That’s all nice and dandy, but when you just placed your team in a 2-0 and a 4-2 hole in the NHL, that doesn’t cut it.
With Fleury, the ‘Hawks are certain that he can steal them a win, or at the very least keep them in the game. The same can be said of Lankinen before he injured his hand. The ‘Hawks still have two dependable goaltenders, but Soderblom will need more time in the AHL before he can hit the ice for the big club again.
The issues with Soderblom was that his positioning and fundamentals were completely off for the first and second period. For example, on the Patrik Laine goal, Soderblom was horrible positioned to the shot, and he allowed open space in his pads while in the butterfly position. The puck had no reason to make it past the goaltender, much less past the goal line where Laine shot the puck from.
Soderblom needs to make adjustments to his game and spend more time in the minors. His fundamentals and positioning still need work and he looked to jittery in the crease. Though he did play alright later in the game, his flubs lost the game for his team.