Blackhawks fall to the Avalanche 6–4


The Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Colorado Avalanche 6–4 on Friday night at the United Center. Competing against the best in the West, the Hawks came up short, as they have on a regular basis this season, now resting 16–21–7 on the season and third to last in the Western Conference.

After a scoreless first period where the Hawks outshot the Avs 11–6, Colorado took an early lead in the second period on the power play when Gabriel Landeskog clapped a one-timer off a feed from Cale Makar to make it 1–0.

The Avalanche doubled their money before the end of the period when an in-zone breakdown by the Hawks led to a J.T. Compher goal. The Chicago native gave the Avs a 2–0 cushion heading into the third period.

The third period would open with an explosion of four goals inside three minutes. Colorado took a three-goal lead with a power play goal from Landeskog, his second of the night. Moments later, Brandon Hagel got the Hawks on the board, deflecting home a wrist shot from Connor Murphy.

Chicago would strike again 40 seconds later. Eric Gustafsson took a give-and-go pass from the streaking Patrick Kane, and Kane went to the net and tipped in a return feed to make it 3–2.

The gap was short lived, as Alex Newhook took a pass from Alex Burakovsky on a 2-on-1 rush less than a minute later to regain the two-goal lead for the Avalanche at 4–2.

With six minutes to go and the line of Hagel, Kane and Dylan Strome buzzing, Kane tallied his second of the game from the front of the net off a feed from Strome to make it 4–3.

With the Hawks pressing and just over two minutes to go Nazim Kadri scored an empty-net goal to make it 5–3, but the Hawks were not done. With just over a minute left and the goalie still pulled, Hagel was the last Blackhawk to touch the puck in a mad scramble and was credited with the goal to narrow it to 5–4.

With seconds remaining, Makar scored another late empty-net goal to seal the win, 6–4. Though the Hawks had a season-high 43 shots on goal, their best was not enough. The Blackhawks host the Canucks on Monday night.


Heading into Friday night’s game, Kirby Dach held a 34% face-off percentage when playing in the dot this season. He has averaged roughly 19 minutes per game this season for Chicago and now with one game to go in January, he has one point (a goal against the Coyotes in a 6–4 loss) this month. Dach is 21 years old, his story is not yet written and he still has the chance to go on to a nice career in the NHL. That said, it is easy to argue that the Hawks have muffed his young career and development to date. His confidence appears minimal and following the Hawks’ slump in recent years, former General Manager Stan Bowman and his brass were too concerned with trying to strike gold with him, as opposed to give him necessary time to develop. Yes, the wrist injury in the World Junior Championships, where he could have been Captain Canada in January of 2021, did not help. What also did not help was rushing him back into NHL action before season’s end in 2020–21. Hindsight is indeed 20-20, but giving him the rest of last season off or allowing him to compete in a number of games in the Rockford IceHogs’ shortened AHL season, would have been the better move. Yet, we are here, and it will be interesting to see if Dach will become the player that he was once advertised to be.

Those that are suggesting that he could or should be dealt at the deadline are not considering the fact that as of right now, Dach would be a healthy scratch or an AHL regular on a Cup-contending team. There is not a team that would pursue him for a Cup run. Much of this perhaps is not his fault, and instead another tale of a former GM who has failed to look out for and consider the long-term development of a talented hockey player. Time will tell as to if and when he will get his confidence back, but it is challenging as a fan to continue to watch him struggle.

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