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AM Analysis: Avalanche Show Blackhawks What They Can Be Someday



Petr Mrazek had 29 saves after two periods of play in the Chicago Blackhawks loss to the Colorado Avalanche. It seemed like 290. All night long the Avalanche skated circles around a tired looking Blackhawks team, weary from a five-game road trip.

Now, it’s not an excuse, especially since the Blackhawks held their own for the first ten minutes of the game. But from there, the difference between the two organizations became clear as the same pattern emerged.

Colorado gets the puck. The Avalanche use their speed and skill to create more space. Shot on goal or scoring chance. Rinse–repeat.

In what easily the Blackhawks worst showing so far of the young season, it signaled that on the other side of the ice, they saw exactly what they hope to be someday.

Blackhawks, Bedard Struggle to Keep Up with a Cup Contender

Connor Bedard absorbed a couple hits simultaneously in the first period. His usual deftness and quickness didn’t fool the experienced Avalanche. At times, he looked tired on the bench. Bedard failed to register a shot on goal.

All normal, in spite of what the naysayers and fans of teams still bitter over not getting him would tell you. Check in on Adam Fantilli or even Logan Cooley. There’s a learning curve for all of them, and anyone not expecting Bedard to experience this was truthfully being naive.

But it wasn’t just him. Outside of a few bursts here and there, the Hawks looked tired and just overmatched. Also, totally normal.

The 2-3 start to the season has been a nice little distraction from a brutal Bears season and baseball seasons that didn’t bend Chicago’s way. The Blackhawks went toe-to-toe with three potential playoff teams (Pittsburgh, Boston, and Toronto) but came up short against Montreal.

Last night’s game was one of many that will happen when a contender just takes it to a rebuilding team with young players learning the ropes. Frustration will mount both within the team and among the fanbase.

Again, totally normal.

It’s part of the process of a rebuild, something Blackhawks fans haven’t really been faced with since Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were fresh faced rookies. The setup was similar and it took time to get to where they eventually arrived to.

The Avalanche reminded them of that Thursday night.

Davidson Building In A Similar Way

It’s speed, skill, and high hockey IQ that paces the Blackhawks rebuild. A look around at the prospects skating in the pipeline sees that. Oliver Moore, Sam Rinzel, and Frank Nazar all fit the category. Gavin Hayes is working to pot 40+ goals again in Flint, providing the scoring that speed will need to feed.

The Rockford IceHogs staff will be prepping and pushing the young talent looking to knock on the door soon.

The Blackhawks hope is to be the mirror image of what Colorado was on the ice all night long. They’ve drafted that hope and possibility. Now they try to develop it into a spot where it’ll be competing night in and night out in Chicago.

So in the short term, oh yeah, being on the opposite side of the domination is tough to watch. But there will come a point where the Blackhawks are on the other side of things.

Colorado once was, too. Another lesson to tuck away in a season that will provide many more.

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