Connor Bedard eventually returning to the ice.
The rookie phenom is one of the Hawks players currently on injured reserve with a fractured jaw. The offense has suffered as a result. Now the offense was bad with Bedard in the lineup, but he was at least a threat to score every time he was on the ice. Plus, the Hawks did not need to have everything perfect on an offensive play to have a shot at scoring a goal.
With Bedard out, getting the puck in the back of the net has been laborious. The Blackhawks have been shut out three times since he was placed on injured reserve after the New Jersey Devils game in late December. They have had four games where the team has scored only one goal in regulation or overtime.
The Hawks have been blanked just three times in the 39 games Bedard skated this season. There have been just 10 games where the Hawks have only had one goal with Bedard in the lineup.
His return should spark the offense to at least put some pucks past the opposing goaltender. That does not mean the Hawks will necessarily win, but there have been games since he has been out where the offense is just not giving this team a chance to win.
The offensive effort is there as the players are no longer just standing around watching Bedard. Imagine if the rest of the team plays with same intensity it has had since Bedard went out with Connor on the ice. That should give the Blackhawks a chance to win some games.
Tyler Johnson's and Anthony Beauvillier's eventual return to the ice should also boost the team's scoring attack. It might not be a huge boost, but it would be better to have them shooting than Pitlick.
Remember, all the Hawks have is a great chance to win the NHL Draft Lottery. It does not mean they will win it. Plus, we have a long way to go, and as you can see a lot of factors can determine what the Blackhawks' final chances are.