The Chicago Blackhawks fell 5-3 to the Colorado Avalanche, ultimately dropping three points out of the second wildcard spot behind the Minnesota Wild (64 points) and the Avalanche (63 points).
It wasn’t the best night for Chicago Blackhawks fans, but the Hawks showed resilience and fought to the end, up until Slater KoekKoek coughed up a pass late in the third period, ultimately causing the Blackhawks demise in a very important game. Here are my five thoughts on the tough loss:
1 – Patrick Kane Can Win Your Hart
No, it’s not a typo. By extending his point streak to 20 games in the second period vs the Avs, Patrick Kane has proven to be the catalyst for this teams’ success. Kane currently has 43 points during his 20 game point streak and he’s the only player besides Wayne Gretzky to average greater than 2.00 points per game during a 20-game point streak, according to @statsbySTATS via twitter:
The reason why this point streak is vital to the Blackhawks is because they’re 11-6-3 during it, which also carried seven consecutive wins in early February.
If Taylor Hall won the Hart Memorial Trophy last year for aiding the New Jersey Devils to their first playoff appearance in seven years, Kane is certainly in the conversation for not only the milestone achievement he’s going for right now, but for getting this team back to great heights once more.
2 – Henri Jokiharju Not Given Enough Chances
Jokiharju only played 9:14 TOI and wasn’t given many opportunities. Granted he was brought up because of Brent Seabrook‘s absence, but he was seemingly only there for a filler-role.
As a promising defenseman, Jokiharju should be given proper opportunities on this team in case he’s needed in the future pending if any injuries plague the backend of the team.
Jokiharju has only played the better half of the season, acquiring 12 assists and a +/- 7 rating in 38 games played. He needs NHL structuring to be better, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be getting any of that any time soon.
That said, coach Jeremy Colliton seems pleased with Jokiharju’s progression in Rockford:
3 – Hometown Heartbreak
Northbrook, IL native J.T. Compher had one hell of a night for the Avs in his hometown, scoring two goals and an assist in the 5-3 victory. His performance, which included a breakaway tie-breaking goal in the final minutes of the third period, gave him the title of first star of the game as well.
It couldn’t have been anyone else? Why not Carl Soderberg, or Gabriel Landeskog? It was only fitting that a hometown boy would light the Blackhawks up in their own building. Must’ve been a Detroit Red Wings fan growing up.
4 – Semyon Varlamov Continues To Troll The Blackhawks
Semyon Varlamov is a curse to the Blackhawks. According to Mark Lazerus via Twitter, Varlamov ended Kane’s 26-game point streak in 2015-16, as well as the Blackhawks 24-game point streak in the 2013 season.
However, he wasn’t able to stop Patrick Kane this time, but his 41 save performance put a dent in the Blackhawks playoff position, sending them three points out of a playoff spot. I wouldn’t expect him to get any free drinks at any Chicago bar.
5 – Blackhawks Have a Chance To Comeback
Alright, it’s best to forget about this game and the costly mistakes that came about. It’s even more important to look at the future games ahead. The Chicago Blackhawks play the Dallas Stars Sunday, who are 5-4-1 in their last ten, then the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night, who are 3-7-0 in their last ten, and then the Los Angeles Kings next Saturday, who are 3-5-2 in their lasted, riding a two game losing streak.
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Saying that’s an easy six points is definitely not the route to go, but it’s definitely possible with the explosive offense the Blackhawks have had since their turnaround in late-January.
To say the least, they have a chance to regain their position.