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Analysis

Two Thoughts Following the Blackhawks 2-1 Loss to the Islanders

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The Chicago Blackhawks had a 1-0 lead going into the third period of their game against the New York Islanders. Unfortunately for them, they allowed two straight goals to the Islanders who ended up winning 2-1 Tuesday night.

The Islanders needed that win to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race and they got it.

Folks who believe in the tank and improve their stock in the draft lottery will be happy with this loss. They are still the second-lowest team in the NHL only trailed by the San Jose Sharks. For a long stretch now, the Hawks have been playing well. That includes this game. They only scored once but they were in the game against a playoff team. Here are a couple of thoughts from the win:

Connor Bedard is as good of a playmaker as he is a goal-scorer

Connor Bedard was named as the Rookie of the Month for March because of his incredible play. He had four goals along with 13 assists in just 14 games during March. It is becoming clear that he is as good of a playmaker as he is a goal-scorer. That was also on full display in this loss. Jason Dickinson scored the goal to make it 1-0. Connor Bedard made the play that set up the goal for the Hawks to take the lead. It was an incredible pass that set it up.

Bedard has the IQ needed to rack up the assists. His dangerous shot makes him a threat to score, too, which opens up passing lanes for his linemates. That showed in this one as well.

Petr Mrazek can help the Blackhawks once they’re a good team

Petr Mrazek was outstanding in this one and nearly earned them a win. He made 27 saves on 29 shots in the game and didn’t give up a goal until the 3rd period. He went up against Ilya Sorokin, who yielded only one marker on the Dickinson goal.

Mrazek is a good goaltender and he is having a fantastic year. When the Blackhawks roster is infused with more talent , they might be able to win some games with Mrazek backstopping them. Mrazek’s steadiness is key with an up-and-coming team. It can instill confidence when such a young team makes mistakes. That will allow the young kids to play their game.

But it wasn’t the Blackhawks or Mrazek’s night in the tight loss. But down the road, both the Hawks and Mrazek can measure their respective growth as a club when they end up on the other side of the result.

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