Hawks streak ends in 6-2 loss
Everything comes to an end sometime. For the Chicago Blackhawks, Friday in Colorado is when their incredible point streak in regulation games came to an end. The Blackhawks are human after all.
Whether it was the six games in nine nights grind or the altitude of Denver that contributed to the Hawks loss we are not sure. It also may have just been the law of averages; the opposition targeting them every game or just exhaustion from rewriting history.This is the Blackhawks first loss this season which brings their record now to 21-1-3 at just past the mid way point.
The Colorado Avalanche came in determined to end Chicago’s streak and they did. Colorado had nothing to lose as they came in with a record of 8-10-4. They were just stung a couple of nights earlier in Chicago with a 3-2 last minute regulation loss. What was probably their Stanley Cup was just another game to add to the record books for the Blackhawks and another chance to collect points.
The Blackhawks looked liked they played six games in nine nights. They looked gassed and that they had little left for this one. Colorado out skated and out worked the Hawks which is something that the Hawks were totally unfamiliar with up until that point.
They started out scoring first on a beautiful tic – tac –toe play from Saad to Hossa to Toews. It was a play that coaches envision and it was executed perfectly. Credit the captain with causing a turnover at the Avalanche’s blue line as the set up.
The Blackhawks had problems staying out of the penalty box all night and Paul Stastny made them pay with a powerplay goal that Crawford had no chance on. The first period ended with a 1-1 tie.
The second period is where the Blackhawks train lost it’s steam and the Avs tallied four goals on them which put the game away. For the first time all year the Hawks made defensive mistakes and looked slow which left them unable to recover.
Corey Crawford was not having his best night either. He was pulled and did not come back for the third period when Ray Emery came in to relieve him. Despite being down 5-1 the Blackhawks were still trying to win this game which speaks to their character.
The combination of many elements along with the fact that the Hawks could not win a face-off and gain control over the puck eventually derailed them. The Blackhawks were only 19 of 55 or 35% when Colorado was 65% in the faceoff circle. The Hawks were always playing catch-up in this one.
The third period saw the teams exchange goals with Bryan Bickell again showing his lethal shots. He had a turnaround slap shot that beat Varlamov and there was a tally by Colorado’s PA Parenteau.
It may not be a bad thing that this streak finally ended. The media circus was beginning to wear on the team. They can get back to focusing on their true goals, which is remarkable when you stop to think about it. This streak is only the beginning point for the Blackhawks and what they are looking to accomplish this year.
Commitment to excellence, persuit of perfection, refuse to lose, teamwork makes the dream work all of these cliche sports slogans can be applied to the Chicago Blackhawks. They should be proud of this achievement but there is still a job to get done and if any team understands this it is the Blackhawks.
Stick taps to them for rewriting hockey history and making us all forget about why this season started in January. Every hockey fan and NHL fan regardless of which team you support should applaud them.
The Blackhawks were not only breaking NHL records and statistical achievements but they also single handedly were able to elevate the NHL to a national stage.This is something the league itself has not been able to do. Their run could help all NHL teams bring in the casual fan and convert them to hockey fanatics.
For a time the Hawks transcended their sport and their city which probably has Commissioner Bettman chuckling in diabolical delight somewhere. Can you ever recall a hockey team being covered in the Wall Street Journal or National Public Radio NPR talking hockey?
In the Blackhawks post game presser, Coach Quenneville when speaking about the Blackhawks amazing run couldn’t keep from smiling. Blackhawks fans everywhere know exactly that same feeling. Thanks for the incredible ride.
Final score: Blackhawks 2, Avalanche 6
CHI goals: Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell
COL goals: Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene, John Mitchell, Jaime McGinn, Ryan O’Reilly and P. A. Parenteau
Winning Goalie: Semyon Varlamov- 2 GA .939 Sv%
Losing Goalies: Corey Crawford– 5 GA .737 Sv%
Ray Emery – 1GA .917 Sv%
Next game: Sun 3/10 vs Edmonton Oilers, 6:00pm CST
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