Recap: Avalanche down Blackhawks 5-2 at the United Center

  

In what would seem to be a critical game, the first of a back-to-back home and home between the Blackhawks and divisional rival Colorado, the Hawks came out flat and never recovered—effectively blitzkrieged by what appears to be a superior team in the Avs.

The Blackhawks’ lines and pairings were:

Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Alexander Nylander
Alex DeBrincat — Kirby Dach  — Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik — David Kampf — Andrew Shaw
Matthew HighmoreRyan Carpenter — Zack Smith

Duncan Keith — Erik Gustafsson
Calvin de Haan — Brent Seabrook
Olli Maatta  Connor Murphy

Corey Crawford got the nod in net for Chicago, opposite Pavel Francouz for the Avs.

FIRST PERIOD

Did not go well.

Nathan McKinnon tipped a JT Compher shot from the left circle past Crawford at just :59 on the Avs’ first shot of the game. 1-0 Colorado.

And things got worse from there. Less than 3 minutes later, Ryan Graves got his turn also from the left circle, set up by Matt Nieto and McKinnon. 2-0 Avalanche at 3:17. Not long afterward, Andrew Shaw tried to “juice” his teammates by taking on the much larger Graves in a fight, earning kudos from the Hawk radio broadcast team for changing the tone of the game.

Except, he really didn’t.

Sure, Zack Smith cut the lead in half at 9:14 on a Ryan Carpenter feed, beating Francouz from the top of the crease. 2-1 Colorado. 

But after an Erik Gustafsson penalty, Avs defense phenom Cale Makar burned the Hawks from above the circles on the power play, making it 3-1 Avs.

Gustafsson took another late penalty, but the period ended without any further scoring. Shots were actually 10-7 Chicago for the period, but the Avs were basically besting the Hawks with their speed for better scoring chances and lots of odd-man breaks.

SECOND PERIOD

Also, proved basically disastrous for Chicago.

Two quick goals, one at 9:45 by Valeri Nichushkin, and another by Compher at 11:26 made the score 5-1 Colorado.

Patrick Kane salvaged a small token of respect from the period, scoring at 19:56 from Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, making the game 5-2. Again, shots were 19-7 Chicago in the period, but Colorado often had the Hawks on their heels regardless.

THIRD PERIOD

The Hawks didn’t have much pushback in the third, especially with Duncan Keith out with a groin injury suffered earlier in the game. The Avs for their part, seemed to have it on cruise control, hence the period ended at the same score it started with. 5-2. Shots in the third were 8-7 Colorado.

THE GOOD

Shaw showed some energy aside from just scrapping with Graves. The Hawks’ fourth line of Smith, Carpenter and Matthew Highmore was arguably their best.

THE BAD

Not a great outing for Crawford, who seemed to have trouble tracking the puck early on. Gustafsson and Keith were both -2.

THE UGLY

The speed difference between the Hawks and the Avs was clear. Further, and because of that difference, the Blackhawks lack of structure and tendency on the part of their defensemen to overcommit up the ice was taken advantage of all game by Colorado—hence the number of odd-man rushes the Avs had.

The Blackhawks and Robin Lehner get a shot at redemption tomorrow night in Colorado. They’ll need their best effort and perhaps a bounce here and there. Colorado made a statement at the United Center today. Tomorrow, we’ll see if the Hawks can answer back. All we have on this one. Comment below.

Center Ice Forums Recap: Avalanche down Blackhawks 5-2 at the United Center

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  • #15403
    John Jaeckel
    Keymaster

    In what would seem to be a critical game, the first of a back-to-back home and home between the Blackhawks and divisional rival Colorado, the Hawks ca
    [To continue reading full article, click here: Recap: Avalanche down Blackhawks 5-2 at the United Center]

    Apparently, all goalies are Vikings

    #15408
    theneek
    Participant

    Hey JJ,

    Nice summary thanks.

    I don’t understand who Kubalik is not given a shot on the top line and Nylander is still there now not producing.  Also Kubalik is most like Hossa IMO and thus that old dominant line can be recreated.

    Later

    #15409
    Jeff Osborn
    Keymaster

    something Colliton doesn’t like about him.  Theoretically, he should be up there.  He’s high skill

    @PuckinHostile on Twitter

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