It was supposed to be better than this. The Chicago Blackhawks were making tweaks to ensure that the oh-for-seven power play heading into tonight’s battle with Montreal would see some improvement.
Another oh-for-seven later, and the power play hole is even deeper. The powerless power play was only one of several problems for the Blackhawks in their 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night.
Aside from Petr Mrazek looking great again, Chicago is still figuring out its game after a trio of contests. But it won’t get much easier heading to Pittsburgh and the Colorado to round out the five-game road trip to open the season.
Blackhawks Built for This
It’s a rough go right now. Moreso because the team is designed to be financially flexible once the entry-level deals for the likes of Kevin Korchinski, and Bedard expire in three years. Lock them up, and then build through the draft. Help is on the way–but it’s still some time before that help arrives.
So games like this will unfortunately be the norm more than the exception. Without Mrazek, it’s likely a tougher score to look at. But it’s better to accept the realities now. This team, despite having the excitement with Bedard, is going to have some clunkers. Tonight was one. Almost from the start, the Hawks were flat. Montreal is also in a rebuild and maybe it was the home opener vibe.
make that TWO ✌️ for Tyler Johnson pic.twitter.com/XvBA4AO4Ki
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 15, 2023
Outside of Alex Vlasic dumping former Blackhawk Kirby Dach into the bench, the energy didn’t keep up with the last two game. Tyler Johnson’s two goals were encouraging, showing again the fight in the team. Seth Jones’ shot was just a few inches the wrong direction from tying it in the dying seconds of the game.
Close. But not enough.
It was the first of many that might be tougher to watch.
The power play will get going eventually. But it’s back to the drawing board after doubling the ineffectiveness.