At this point, does the losing streak even matter to the Chicago Blackhawks? Not only did they lose the game 4-2 to the New Jersey Devils, they now wait to see how bad injuries are to Connor Bedard and Nick Foligno.
Chicago actually held a 2-1 lead going into the third period but the New Jersey Devils evened things up on Šimon Nemec’s equalizer with just over 14 minutes to play in the third period. The Devils would net the game winner and finish the Hawks off 4-2 following an empty netter, handing them their fifth straight loss and a lot more pain in the way of injuries.
The game was chippy after the Bedard hit, but settled more in the third. The Devils took care of things on the scoreboard while the Blackhawks board a plane home, hoping to get some kind of relief from an injury riddled road trip.
Blackhawks Injury Problem Now a Full Blown Catastrophe
There’s going to be a lot written and analyzed about how the Blackhawks should proceed now, but it’s honestly moot. This team is a full blow MASH unit, with barely anyone healthy and crippling the team’s best chance of winning games. If Bedard and Foligno are out for some time, three of the team’s five top scorers will all be shelved with injury. Who’s left? Jason Dickinson(13 goals) and Philipp Kurashev (7 goals).
So what do they do? Who else can they call up? What about free agents, waiver wire, maybe a trade? Whatever it is, it’s of critical importance that something is in fact done. There’s no way general manager Kyle Davidson could have seen this happen. Even guys they’ve called up, such as Joey Anderson, has gotten hurt after skating some games with Chicago.
It’s almost contagious, and just as random as who catches it or who doesn’t. But it will be a team now trying to find ways to win with nothing but a shell of the roster that took the ice on opening night.
There’s still three weeks of games left that number 11 before the All-Star break pauses things for the Blackhawks. But if Bedard and Foligno are lost for some time, they’re really going to have to dig deep.
And Davidson might have to revisit the plan to get this team in a spot that gives the Blackhawks a better chance of winning.
Until then, Blackhawks fans will hold their breath–along with the rest of the organization–to hope some good luck finally comes their way.