Chicago Blackhawks Drop Home-And-Home Series to Colorado
By Roland Hacker
There wasn’t much for the Chicago Blackhawks to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
The Chicago Blackhawks wrapped up back-to-back games against Colorado on Saturday in embarrassing fashion. Following a soul-crushing 7-3 road loss to the Central Division-rival Avalanche, Chicago now has a 10-11-5 record with 30 percent of their season completed. They stand at 27th of 31 overall in the league and currently sit dead last in the division with their games in hand all but evaporated.
As bad as their position in the standings is, the Blackhawks’ performances against Colorado might be even more telling about what this team is; they were vastly outplayed by the Avs in every aspect of the game.
Chicago’s normally steady goaltending put together a save percentage of .769, while its defense provided no help, giving up high-quality scoring chance after high-quality scoring chance. Robin Lehner certainly didn’t seem thrilled with his defense’s performance:
The Chicago Blackhawks’ high-end offensive players also failed to measure up to those of Colorado’s, as Alex DeBrincat was held off the score sheet, Jonathan Toews had a total of two assists in the two games and Patrick Kane nearly saw his now 15-game point streak come to an end if not for a garbage time 5-on-3 power-play goal. Meanwhile, Nathan MacKinnon generated two goals and seven points for the Avalanche.
Typically, the saying goes “to add insult to injury,” but the opposite applies here. Instead, we will say to add injury to insult, as Duncan Keith was lost in the first game of this series, due to a groin injury, and his absence was extremely noticeable.
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Positives Takeaways for the Chicago Blackhawks
There were very few good takeaways from the two-game sweep, but one has to be the willingness of guys like DeBrincat and Andrew Shaw to step up and fight, trying to provide a spark for their ailing team.
Despite their position in the standings, Chicago is only five points out of the second wild-card spot, which is currently held by the Vegas Golden Knights, who have played two more games.
If you want to get go glass-half-empty about it, I guess you could say defeats are positive as the Blackhawks now enter “Lose for Lafreniere” sweepstakes.
Negative Takeaways for the Chicago Blackhawks
Well, we’ve already touched on many of the negatives, but let’s summarize: Colorado looks like they belong in another league as they completely outmatched the Blackhawks. They looked faster, stronger, more skilled and more cohesive as they completely dominated the home-and-home series.
The already shallow defense corps of the Chicago Blackhawks looked embarrassing without Keith; Calvin de Haan and Connor Murphy looked like the only serviceable NHL-caliber defensemen on Saturday. We are likely stuck with this defensive group, barring a trade or a call-up, so we will have to make do with what we have.