The Chicago Blackhawks have had an up and down season to this point. They have beaten teams that made for some impressive wins, such as the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, and have also lost to those same Golden Knights, as well as the Boston Bruins, proving that they are not quite back to relevance completely yet.
This one would be ugly. In pretty much every other loss, the Blackhawks have at least looked competitive and put up a fight. It would appear that the wheels fell off on Monday, as they were not able to put much together.
The Blackhawks started off rolling, with Connor Bedard’s first line starting things off. Twenty-eight seconds in, Bedard put a wrister over the glove of Connor Ingram with his wicked release to make it 1–0 Blackhawks early, following a nifty cross-ice feed from Kevin Korchinski, providing an exciting glimpse of the team’s future.
1-0 thanks to the No. 1 overall pick pic.twitter.com/VYBiGBYt4x
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 31, 2023
But that is where the excitement would end. Just under two minutes later, Michael Carcone cleaned up a rebound out in front of the net to tie everything up at 1–1. The Coyotes kept pouring it on, creating more chances off of rebounds. At the 13:53 mark of the frame, defenseman Josh Brown skated to the front of the right circle and wristed a shot over the glove of Arvid Soderblom, 2–1 Coyotes. Just a couple of minutes later, the Coyotes would go on the power play on a Connor Murphy trip. Lawson Crouse dug out the puck along the boards, and fed it across to Carcone, who potted his second of the night, making it 3–1 Arizona. The first period would end with the Blackhawks down by two after one. Nick Foligno tried to get his team energized before the period would end, but we would have to see in the second if it would get his team to step up.
An even five minutes into the second, the Coyotes had the puck in deep in the Blackhawks’ end. Carcone threw the puck out in front, and it ended up going off of Soderblom into the back of the net, 4–1 Arizona, and giving Carcone his first hat trick of his career. Just 1:38 later, the Coyotes came back up ice in a 2-on-1, as Jarred Tinordi got lost behind the play. Alexander Kerfoot put a saucer pass across to Jack McBain, who potted his third of the season to make it 5–1 Coyotes. Carcone would also pot an assist this period, as he got the puck out in between the circles, where Sean Durzi skated into a wrister right into the back of the net, 6–1 Coyotes. Liam O’Brien, despite sporting a black eye from his fight with Foligno in the first, deflected the puck off of his skate past Soderblom to make it 7–1 Arizona.
No one on earth:
Michael Carcone on a Monday night in the Mullett: pic.twitter.com/D55h6NxqtG
— Bill Armstrong’s Burner (@BillArmstrongGM) October 31, 2023
The Blackhawks played their best period of the night defensively, with Petr Mrazek replacing Soderblom in the net for the final frame in this game. It took 10 and a half minutes for the Coyotes to put one in the net in this period, with Kerfoot connecting with McBain once again, making it 8–1 Coyotes. Even playing their best period of hockey of the night, the Blackhawks could not muster anything resembling a scoring chance, finally getting this bloodbath to end at 8–1 Arizona.
— Joe (@ChiSportsFanJoe) October 31, 2023
The Blackhawks almost instantly lost momentum after Bedard’s opening goal. They got lost defensively all over the ice, and it was not simply one player looking like he was getting beat, it was everyone. Tinordi looked sluggish in particular on a couple of the Coyotes’ goals, but overall, the Blackhawks failed to show up defensively. The Coyotes are a younger team as well, and they showed much better how a team should play as a unit, with all four lines coming on and scoring in some capacity. Soderblom did not look good, but he was hung out to dry more times than not, and even if he was better, this game would have still been a big L on the scoreboard for the Blackhawks. Hopefully, they decide to show up next game, which is on Saturday at home versus the Florida Panthers. That game will be at 7 p.m. CDT on NBC Sports Chicago.