Bedard, Blackhawks look to get offense going against Golden Knights

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The intriguing tale of Connor Bedard’s recent struggles on the ice continues to baffle not only the young forward himself, but also the entire Chicago Blackhawks team. Despite being limited to a mere two shots on goal in his last three games, Bedard remains confident that his lack of shooting opportunities is not a result of formidable opposing defenses.

In Bedard’s words, “While I certainly believe I could be taking more shots, I pride myself on being more than just a shooter. If the opportunity isn’t there, I’m determined to make a remarkable pass instead,” explained the talented forward. “It’s true that opponents are adept at getting in the way of shots, but if the opportunity presents itself, I won’t hesitate to unleash my powerful shot. However, if it’s not the right moment, I’ll search for alternative plays.”

Throughout the season thus far, Bedard has showcased his prowess with a total of four points, comprising of two goals and two assists in seven games. Although his shooting statistics were impressive in the initial four games, with a total of 20 shots on goal, the dynamic forward was unable to register a single shot against the Colorado Avalanche on October 19th and the Boston Bruins on October 24th.

Nonetheless, Bedard managed to fire off two impressive shots against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, one of which found the back of the net during the Blackhawks’ 5-3 defeat at home on October 21st.

This Friday, Bedard will once again face the Golden Knights when the Blackhawks visit the T-Mobile Arena, coinciding with Nevada Day festivities (6 p.m. ET; SCRIPPS, NHLN, NBCSCH, TVAS2).

It comes as no surprise that opposing teams are focusing their attention on the highly-touted Bedard, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Similar to Connor McDavid, who was selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2015 NHL Draft, Bedard possesses remarkable playmaking skills to accompany his goal-scoring abilities.

According to Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson, the recent decrease in Bedard’s shot count can be attributed to the team’s excessive defensive play. The struggling Blackhawks, with a record of 2-5-0, have suffered three consecutive losses and have been held scoreless in two of those games. Their opponents in these matches include the Avalanche, Golden Knights, and Bruins, who boast an impressive combined record of 19-1-1 this season prior to Friday’s clash.

Richardson explained, “Such circumstances inadvertently affect players who thrive on offensive opportunities, and Connor is no exception. We need to find a way to release shots more swiftly. Whether it’s shooting through a defenseman’s legs and eluding them for a potential rebound, or fooling the goaltender with a deceptive shot that results in a pad rebound goal, we must explore every avenue to break free from this slump.”


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