10 observations: Hawks fall to Avalanche after wild third period originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks fell to the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 at the United Center on Friday.
Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. Since the start of the 2018-19 season, the Blackhawks have faced a lefty goaltender nine times. They've lost eight of those games and Pavel Francouz has three of the wins. I don't understand it.
2. What a wild third period. There were two goals in the first two periods combined but eight total goals in the final frame. No lead changes, however. After the Blackhawks scored twice in a 40-second span, the Avalanche answered each Chicago goal all three times. They wouldn't go away.
3. The Blackhawks threw the kitchen sink in the third period. They had 29 shot attempts, 23 shots on goal, 12 scoring chances and seven high-danger chances, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Avalanche had 16 attempts, seven shots on goal, eight scoring chances and three high-danger chances.
4. You can't take penalties against this Colorado team and the Blackhawks committed three of them, which doesn't seem like a lot but the Avalanche made them pay twice. The Blackhawks went 0-for-3 on their power-play opportunities and generated only one scoring chance in 5:46 of action.
5. The top line of Brandon Hagel, Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome was terrific again. When the three of them were on the ice at even strength, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (16-11), shots on goal (11-3), scoring chances (7-5) and goals for (2-1). Don't break them up.
6. Alex DeBrincat might be losing sleep over the pass he missed in the second period. Kane would've had a breakaway from his own blue line but the puck sailed on him and it didn't result in a scoring chance. Kane put his stick on his knees and stared at the ice before hopping back on the bench. He knew it was a missed prime opportunity. A goal there would've evened it up at 1-1, which would've been huge considering Colorado scored the next two goals to pull ahead 3-0.
7. The hometown kid J.T. Compher had himself an eventful night. He dropped the gloves with Brandon Hagel, scored the second goal of the game and recorded a primary assist to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick.
8. The Blackhawks generated only one scoring chance off the rush, per Sportlogiq. They went into the game with a season average of 6.4, which ranked No. 11. The Avalanche, however, are the top rush-defending team, allowing only 4.7 rush chances per game.
9. Quote of the night goes to Hagel: "No one wants to just keep losing and say, ‘Ah, we played well, we played well.’ We still want to be in that playoff race and we’re not too far behind. We’ve got to string some games together and these are the games we need to win."
10. The Blackhawks and Avalanche were each without their top center. Nathan MacKinnon was out because of a facial fracture/concussion and Jonathan Toews did not play because he was placed in concussion protocol.