Blackhawks vs. Avalanche, 2022 NHL Recap: Score, Stats, Highlights

The Blackhawks suffered their fourth straight loss when they were shut out 2-0 by the Avalanche in Denver on Monday night.

The first period was scoreless, but the Blackhawks held off a powerful Avalanche team, a streak of play that included perhaps their best shorthanded streak of the season. Maybe the Blackhawks can do that all game?

Spoiler: No, the Blackhawks wouldn’t.

The second period was the exact opposite of the first as the Avalanche dominated, especially on their only power play where they took a 1-0 lead midway through the period. After several good chances from everyone on the power play, Nazem Kadri fired a shot from the slot that went through Marc-André Fleury.


The only reason the Blackhawks only led one goal in the second period was because of Fleury’s numerous saves. For some reason, there are no videos or gifs of these backups, so here’s a pretty realistic recreation:


One save in particular – the toe save while standing against Jack Johnson – was jaw-dropping. The Blackhawks Twitter was all of us back then:

Unfortunately, the Blackhawks’ weak defensive play was always going to lead to more goals against, no matter how spectacular Fleury was in net. And sure enough, the Avalanche took a 2-0 lead at 6:41 of the third period.

For some inexplicable reason, the Blackhawks decided to leave Mikko Rantanen – a player on pace with nearly 50 goals this season – so completely alone in the bottom slot that he had several seconds to wait for Fleury before placing a nice backhand. in the net. Gabriel Landeskog’s pass from the boards was also incredible.


Unfortunately, the Blackhawks couldn’t come back in the final 13:19 of the game — even shooting the goaltender with over four minutes left — and fell 2-0 to the Avalanche. .


Remarks

  • The Blackhawks’ first period was a solid effort. At 5-5, the Avs had the advantage in shot attempts (19-17) and scoring chances (12-7), but the Blackhawks were favored in shots on goal (10-7) and chances to score at high risk (5-3). And best of all, the Blackhawks didn’t allow a goal against.
  • The second period, however, was the opposite of the first in almost every way as the Avalanche asserted their dominance both 5-on-5 and on the power play. At one point, the Avalanche pinned the Blackhawks so hard in their own zone that S. Jones and McCabe had to stay on the ice for almost three minutes.
  • The Blackhawks’ penalty kill was like Jekyll and Hyde tonight: absolutely excellent in the first half, then a mess in the second half. Luckily, they were disciplined enough to only take the two penalties.
  • After a rather lukewarm season, it was nice to see Caleb Jones having some good times in the game tonight, although his ice time was extremely limited. In particular, the play where he stripped Tyson Jost at the blue line and then reversed for a scoring chance himself was impressive.
  • Speaking of defensemen, one of the biggest issues with the Blackhawks is the lack of solid neutral zone play from the defensemen, and this game highlighted that issue. Seth Jones is the only one who can successfully set up a breakout, for example, which is a huge problem. Both Gustafsson and Stillman have had moments, but the former is also not good defensively and the latter has had his ups and downs this season. Now might be a good time to see what Wyatt Kalynuk – currently on the taxi team – or Ian Mitchell could do instead.
  • That Rantanen goal was one of the worst examples of blown coverage in the Derek King era. Both S. Jones were along the board while McCabe was near the right face-off spot, so no defender was close to the net or the left side of the ice, and every forward faced Rantanen. The time he had for the extra deke and then waiting for Fleury to lay down just illustrated how screwed up the Blackhawks defense was on this play.
  • Kudos to Connor Murphy though – he was easily the best defenseman on the ice for the Blackhawks. Although not the quickest on foot, Murphy defended the blue line well and got into the passing lanes to disrupt the Avalanche cycle all night. He’s a great example of how stats and eye tests meet – he was also statistically the best defender to suppress shots.
  • However, despite all the defensive breakdowns and the unbalanced second period, the game was not as unbalanced as expected, especially at 5-on-5. At 5-on-5, the Blackhawks were within five or less in all categories of shots, except high danger risks (they were tied in that category at 11 each). The Avalanche probably did what the Blackhawks did in the successful years – just enough to win against lesser quality opponents – but I’ll give the Blackhawks some credit for trailing. So at least they have, in fact, kept their dignity.
  • Fleury has had a great rebound game since being retired against Minnesota. The team in front of him owes a lot for keeping him tight in the second period. Not much else to say about him at this point — that’s almost always the main reason the Blackhawks are still in a game.
  • On the bright side, there were several shots of a very good dog during the show:

Game graphics

Three stars

  1. Mikko Rantanen (COL) — 1 goal
  2. Nazem Kadri (COL) — 1 goal
  3. Marc-André Fleury (CHI) – 27 saves on 29 shots for a .931 save percentage

And after

The Blackhawks face the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.

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