There wasn’t much to write home about following the Blackhawks 7-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. But the peculiar part of it all? Corey Perry was a healthy scratch and the decision came from the organization.
#Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said Corey Perry was a healthy scratch tonight. It was an organizational decision.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 23, 2023
You read that right and likely responded with the same disbelief. Perry, who has been one of Chicago’s best and most consistent players this season was off the ice because of an organizational choice, not due to injury or sickness. Head coach Luke Richardson indicated this postgame via NBC Sports Chicago.
There may or may not be a reason when it’s asked about. But in a game that was teed up to help the Blackhawks escape a four-game losing streak, it instead spiraled into a 7-3 waxing that outside of the final two Chicago goals, looked like the Hawks were sleepwalking through the game.
So with an organizational decision opting to scratch one of the leaders of the team, it might shed light on why the Blackhawks appeared disorganized and at times, disinterested.
Until there’s more known, it’s a big question mark hanging over what was easily the Blackhawks poorest performance of the season.
Blackhawks Odds and Ends After an Odd Evening
Petr Mrazek gave up five goals in 18 shots and likely would want a couple back on what was a tough night between the pipes. Mrazek has been one of the strongest parts of the Blackhawks season so a clunker is expected from time to time.
Arvid Soderblom surrendered two goals in backup work and had six saves on eight shots. The Blackhawks power play went 0/4 but they generated chances and certainly moved the puck on the new top unit.
Chicago turns around and heads home to prepare for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are on a four-game heater right now. William Nylander has been playing lights out and Auston Matthews is tied for the league lead in goals with 14.
The good news? Bedard is only four goals off the league lead–as a rookie. But the sobering part is that a machine of a team comes into Chicago on a winning streak while the Blackhawks are trying to desperately escape from their now five-game losing streak.