Blackhawks blown out by Avalanche in road trip finale

10 observations: Blackhawks blown out by Avalanche in road trip finale originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks suffered a resounding 4-0 defeat against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena, concluding their five-game road trip.

Here are 10 noteworthy takeaways from the game:

1. In the first half of the opening period, the Blackhawks displayed superiority, but after Logan O’Connor’s shorthanded goal put Colorado ahead 1-0, the ice tilted in their opponent’s favor. The Avalanche dominated, recording 19 consecutive shots on goal before the Blackhawks managed their next one, which came about 17 minutes later. Momentum shifted swiftly.

2. Nick Foligno had numerous scoring opportunities in the first period, including an excellent chance early on, but he was thwarted by Colorado goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. A goal at that moment could have altered the game’s dynamics, given how the rest of the period unfolded. I’m sure he was disappointed during the first intermission.

3. The Blackhawks conceded their second shorthanded goal of the season during their first power play of the night. It proved to be a significant turning point in the game. The team struggled with shorthanded chances throughout the road trip, which has become an early-season concern.

4. The Blackhawks’ first power play of the game was characterized by disastrous zone entries from their first unit. It would be intriguing to see Connor Bedard and Lukas Reichel paired together on the top unit, allowing them to showcase their offensive skills.

5. Petr Mrazek, making his third start of the season, was unquestionably Chicago’s standout player. He faced a staggering 22 shots on goal in the first period alone. Without his efforts, the scoreline could have been much more lopsided.

6. In this game, Bedard failed to register a single shot attempt. This is a rarity in his NHL career. In the previous four games, he managed at least four shots on goal per game. Facing off against Nathan MacKinnon, one of the league’s top players, Bedard and his line didn’t have the puck possession they’re accustomed to.

7. This was the least physical game of the road trip, with the Blackhawks amassing only two hits compared to Colorado’s three.

8. If Cale Makar had played a full 82 games last season instead of 60, he likely would have won the Norris Trophy for the second consecutive year. He is my favorite to win it this year. Makar’s skillset as a defenseman is truly exceptional. Despite not contributing a point in this game, he made an impact almost every other shift.

9. The Blackhawks concluded their grueling season-opening road trip with four out of a possible 10 points and a goal differential of -2. These results align with my expectations heading into the trip.

10. The Blackhawks will finally host their home opener on Saturday, marking Bedard’s first official game at the United Center. An electrifying atmosphere is anticipated. Don’t forget: the game begins at 7 p.m., with red carpet arrivals scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

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