Blackhawks Out-Classed By Colorado Again

On Nov. 29 the Colorado Avalanche came into the United Center and slapped the Blackhawks around, winning 5-2. The following night in Denver the Avs dropped a seven-spot on the Hawks, finishing off a two-game sweep that saw the Avs outscore the Hawks 12-5.

The good news for Chicago on Wednesday was that Duncan Keith was healthy enough to return to the lineup. His return meant the Blackhawks now had two bodies too many on the blue line. Slater Koekkoek (who is apparently still on the roster) was a healthy scratch (because he sucks). And for the third time this season, Brent Seabrook was in the press box watching.

Even with Keith back on the top pair, the Hawks got dominated up and down the ice in the first period. Chicago continued to struggle to match the Avs’ speed and size; it’s little consolation, but there aren’t many teams in the NHL that match up well physically against this year’s Avalanche roster.

After Corey Crawford made a series of saves in traffic Ian Cole was able to rifle a shot into the back of the net to give Colorado a 1-0 lead at 8:41.

The flood gates didn’t open (yet). And 67 seconds later Alex DeBrincat turned a turnover into a scoring opportunity for Ryan Carpenter, who put home his second of the year.

That would be the end of the scoring in the first period but the opportunities continued to come for the road team. After 20 minutes the Avs had a 19-6 shot advantage. As was the case in late November, the Blackhawks looked out of their weightclass.

That proved to be too true in the second period.

Nathan MacKinnon sniped in his 21st of the season at 7:49 into the second to give Colorado the lead.

Less than three minutes later Andre Burakovsky flew up the ice and unloaded a shot that beat Crawford for his 13th of the season.

Suddenly Chicago was looking up at a two-goal deficit.

To their credit the Hawks out-shot the Avs 16-10 in the second period but there were few rebounds and fewer second opportunities. Colorado netminder Pavel Francouz was seeing the puck well and his defense was taking the puck the other direction with speed. Chicago’s two second period power plays amounted to absolutely nothing.

The third period offered little drama until just under seven minutes were left in regulation. Samuel Girard absolutely launched Alex DeBrincat well after the puck had been shot and DeBrincat, on his 22nd birthday, was sent flying into the boards. He stayed down for a moment clearly shaken by the hard, dirty play as his teammates went after Girard.

The only penalty assessed on the play was on Erik Gustafsson for coming to DeBrincat’s defense. The fact that none of the officials saw a shooter in open ice get launched in inexcusable.

Chicago killed the penalty but had only four minutes to work with down two when back at full strength.

DeBrincat was back on the ice three minutes after the hit when the Hawks pulled Crawford for the extra skater with 3:10 left in regulation. Unfortunately the Avs are accurate from long range and Mikko Rantanen found the open cage with 2:56 left in regulation to extend the lead to 4-1.

Chicago got an empty power play with 1:58 left in regulation when Valeri Nichushkin went to the box and Chicago wasted it without anything happening.

Chicago lost to Colorado by a wide margin – again.

Keith skated 23:16 in his return from injury. He was credited with six shots on net – a team high – with two blocked shots, one hit and one takeaway.

Gustafsson led Chicago in ice time (25:10) and hits (five). Connor Murphy was also credited with five hits in 20:56.

Adam Boqvist was limited to 12:50 during which he put two shots on net, blocked one shot and was credited with one hit.

Jonathan Toews won 14 of 24 faceoffs and put three shots on net in 20:03. David Kampf had a nice night at the dot, winning seven of nine draws. Dylan Strome, on the other hand, won only four of his 14 faceoffs opportunities.

Kirby Dach spent most of the nigth with Carpenter and DeBrincat. That line got worked pretty hard in the second period but did come up with Chicago’s only goal. Dach skated 13:43 and won one of his two faceoffs. Carpenter, meanwhile, won four of 10.

Crawford stopped 32 of 35 in the loss.

In the dressing room postgame Keith let his feelings be known.

43 thoughts on “Blackhawks Out-Classed By Colorado Again

  • December 18, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Outclassed sums it up. Hawks aren’t close to competing with that team ever. Nylander needs to be dealt for duct tape.

  • December 18, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    No way any team is going to go that high for Nylander. Unlike Nylander, duct tape actually works.

  • December 18, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Thought we played ok but Avs are a much more talented team. I do like Gilbert – heart and soul type guy. Hope he stays in the lineup. Boqvist needs to be playing big minutes in Rockford to build confidence.

  • December 18, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    About the good i saw in that game was Dach and Boqvist showing some progression. Still learning but against a really strong team in the Avs thought they did fine.

    A brutal no call on Debrincat for sure, one many missed calls, refs never really showed up for that game. Craig not a chance of being buyers at deadline.

  • December 18, 2019 at 10:05 pm


  • December 18, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    Won’t say much as I only watched about 15 minutes of hockey in this game-but did I see Nylander actually hit a couple of people?!

  • December 18, 2019 at 10:22 pm


  • December 18, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Nylander wasn`t the problem tonight. A lack of overall size, speed, and strength at every position was obvious. Can barely keep a cycle going anymore without getting muscled off the puck in the offensive zone and the other team coming easily out of their own zone and then up the ice on an odd man rush. Notice the difference in shooting as well. They picked corners with ease and the best we could do was a shot into the belly of the opposing goalie who really didn`t have to work too hard tonight. Need to draft heavier players with more size, speed and skill. Simple as that.

  • December 18, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Size and Speed everyone,that is what todays NHL is about.If you dont have it you can not compete against engaged and interested teams during the regular season and you certainly have no hopes of competing at all in any type of playoff series.You are also going to need a mobile defense that can continually make rushes up ice and play physical, knocking people off of the puck.The Hawks organization has fallen woefully behind the rest of the league and I dont just mean the elite teams.In the interim while you are short on that type of talent you sure in the hell better have a plan against what the Avalanche put out on the ice.Unfortunately tonight a plan was not implemented until you were down by 2 goals.In case anyone missed it,the Hawks finally shadowed MacKinnon after his goal in the 2nd period and started to hit him every time he touched the puck.Again the Avalanche coach got the matchups that he wanted even without the last change.Murphy and Keith were very poor position wise the 1st half of the game.The Hawks forwards were physically handled all night and were kept away from the danger areas.The NHL game and its stage are just too big right now for 92 and 8.When they get prime chances they are hesitating and bypassing quality scoring chances.When all you have is a 1st and 4th line center you are going to struggle with puck possession.In all fairness though,56 and 92 did play hard tonight and 39 was very good.

  • December 18, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    It was a more competitive “game” than the last time they played them here. That’s a credit to the Hawks’ brilliant young head coach making the adjustments.

    Back to my psychologist’s office in the a.m for more meds.

  • December 18, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    So this is how it looks from the other side. Think we are getting a first hand look at how opponents looked against the Hawks in the early part of this decade. The good, Dach’s progression, Gilbert and Murphy’s physicalness. The bad- this team is a patchwork sewn together like a quilt. No rhyme or reason to the line combinations, no desire to play the coaches stupid man defense, no drive to the net. Season is lost-take stock, trade some assets and rebuild with some direction. The dynasty bridge has crumbled.

  • December 18, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Blackhawks did not play a pitiful game. Didn’t shoot the damn puck enough though. This bunch has to, and mean absolutely has to, get a shoot first mentality. I’m watching these plays develop and waiting for the guy with the puck to pull the trigger and …… a little dink pass to someone who may or may not be there, with the other team’s defenders definitely there. You can’t score if you don’t shoot. Gee, there’s some wisdom for you.

    Man Oh Man, that shot by MacKinnon to make it 2-1 was unbelievable. That was an absolute rocket. I thought maybe Crawford could have stopped the Russian’s had shot to make it 3-1, but I’ll have to watch the replay.

    There was an interesting article today in the Daily Herald where Zach Parise talked about the Blackhawks’ woes, and how Minnesota has turned a horrible start into a season with a sense of promise.

    In that article was an interesting factoid about the roster that played against Minnesota ….
    (Eleven players in the game against Minnesota had fewer than 200 NHL games ….)
    “Six of those 11 against Minnesota were Alex Nylander (52 games), Dominik Kubalik (32), Kirby Dach (28), Matthew Highmore (18), Dennis Gilbert (11) and Adam Boqvist (10).”

    Wow, that’s a lot of inexperience. Yes, speed is the name of the game but even that has to be developed. Not all of those guys, certainly, are speed guys. The lack of NHL experience, when grouped together like that into one sentence ….. that says something.

  • December 18, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    What a dummy this head coach! Keith said it straight, Seabs is still the best right handed shot on this team. Murphy has no idea what he is doing on the ice! A chicken with no head!
    Benching a 3 time cup winner like Seabs is unacceptable when he is not the problem. We all saw Murphy on his ass once again, tripping over his feet! These feels like a Stan Bowman listen to DADDY Scott’s advice to start benching the vets to get them all traded! Fire this coach and fire this pathetic GM who has been living a lie ever since he replaced TALLON! He’s a poser as a GM who fire a 3 time cup winning coach for a 2nd Div.Swedish league coach! The entire coaching staff, pro and amateur scouts, and McDO all out !!!

  • December 18, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    The Avalanche were missing their top demands in Makar and Eric Johnson. Still looked good. Tab as for the article you posted. What I got out of the article was the vets don’t believe this coaching staff knows how to win . Short or long term. I think that is where their frustration is coming from. Even Keith’s comments on Seabrook. Benching points in that direction

  • December 18, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    This will continue until Bowman is fired and replaced.
    Then the rebuilding can begin.

  • December 18, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    The first period the Hawks got owned, despite the score being tied. It looked like it might be a 50 SOG night for the Avs, but it got better. Kubalik and Toews both passed up really good shooting opportunities and that is aggravating. One of the endearing things about Kubalik when he first got to Chicago was that he was always firing. He has recently developed a case of Schmaltzitis.

    Dach is hard on the puck. He doesn’t win every battle but does not go easily. His TO did lead to a goal but playing him is the right decision. I don’t even mind the line he is playing on. He is a tough player.

    I thought Nylander’s effort tonight was pretty good. He looked like he cared and he was scrapping. His results weren’t that great but he seemed to play hard. It’s just that he, like most of the Hawks were outclassed by a much better team with better, stronger, faster players.

    Not sure about putting Seabs in the press box. Thought Crawford was good except maybe on the first goal. Was surprised that Keith had 5 SOG. He probably had at least that many off shin pads.

    This continues a theme from last week or the week before, whenever that game was. The most heart warming thing about watching hockey is knowing that the league and the officials care so much about player safety (sarc). That was a terrible hit on DeBrincat and as with the bad hit against him a couple weeks ago, no penalty. DeBrincat is a clean player and has been victimized by two terrible hits recently. Then Gus winds up with the penalty basically ending the game. It would not have mattered. The Hawks PP is terrible so they wouldn’t have scored, but we were deprived of the opportunity to see them pass the puck around for 30 seconds at a time. These hits that are being let go are perverting the concept of player safety and I’ve had a belly full of it.

    There is not too much to gripe about tonight. The Hawks played hard but have a lousy team. If Crow had not been so good, it would have been 5 or 6, maybe even a snowman. Probably, someone other than Colliton could do better, but this team is going nowhere regardless of who is coaching.

  • December 18, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    From Keiths comments post game, plus comments from Lehner and Toews on how happy they were with Marc Crawford outcome. It appears there us a good chance when comes back it in New Year will be as head coach of this team.

    Shoulda mentioned Gilberts play was impressive tonight, in my earlier post.

  • December 19, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Mark Hunter, Dale Hunter, Marc Crawford, Peter Deboer…all better than Bowman and Colliton! Many of us have been saying this for years!!! Fire the fraud Bowman and the pee wee coach Colliton. And send the entire staff, scouts, AHL and ECHL managers as well! And Bowman needs to apologize for the Bill Peters and Akim Aliu incident!

  • December 19, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Can they just move Kane during the PP? Every time he was set up there was no lane. They KNEW he was there the whole time and zero adjustment. I get it… he can score, but EVERYONE knows he can from that spot. So they plan for it. Just like tonight. MOVE AROUND!

  • December 19, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Seeing Seabrook getting scratched again is not good, if this is where it’s headed or him, i really hope it’s handled respectfully. Too bad something like, his salary next year is 1m plus 4m signing bonus. If his bonus was paid and he agreed to be moved to a bottom line team say Sens, and play with their young guys for a year at a cost of 1m to them. Then the following summer they buy him out and use his remaining caphit to help them and the Blackhawks bring him back in an associate coach role to be head coach at some point. He has alot of potential in that area and he would get another couple of years of playing first.

  • December 19, 2019 at 12:16 am

    I may be wrong but my belief is that the veteran players who were here for the CUP years believe that THEY have paid their dues and have earned the right to their playing time. They also see that a coach like Colliton NEVER paid his dues as a player or a coach. This job was just handed to him.

    If I am a veteran player and see a 3 time CUP winner like Brent Seabrook being asked to take a seat because a “never paid his dues” coach thinks that it’s the right thing to do, I gotta think “are you kidding me”?

    The coach is a puppet for SB and McDonough. Yep……..JOKE!

  • December 19, 2019 at 1:23 am

    For a “sniper”, Kubalik sure does not like to shoot the puck. And Gus, his game is infuriating. He doesn’t have good hockey sense.

    MacKinnon was a man among boys. Skating circles around everyone.

  • December 19, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Dennis Gilbert. Best player on the ice for the Hawks (even better than Crow).

    Just askin -I didn’t see the post game comments. Did the Keith post game whine also include an explanation as to why he was 60 feet out of position on the first goal, and a turnstile for the potential league MVP on the 2nd goal?

    The beatings will continue until the moral improves. It actually fits literally too!

  • December 19, 2019 at 6:12 am

    Tim/Indian, yea we need more of young wave. More of Gilbert kind of players, not just for size but for the way he plays.

    Got some of those guys coming, but want more of them. Then when they get enough experience were closer.

    We just cant play legitimately fair chance with this roster and system. Keep the better players for the new system and trade at deadline and load up on this draft, being a really deep draft.

    Only way to get a roster and system to have alegit fair chance to play, play on a even playing field.

    Its just to easy for other teams. Where other teams D pinch in the whole game and keep puck in, we do not and they get a 2 on 2? rush and that 2-1 goal. if thats us the other team just keeps the puck in the zone round and round.

  • December 19, 2019 at 6:13 am

    Ian, thats what I was thinking about Crawford the coach the other day, when I asked about what style he does for system.

  • December 19, 2019 at 6:16 am

    Interesting that all of you whining about sitting Seabs are probably the ones whining about how slow Seabs is…Colorado is likely the fastest team in the NHL and you are advocating for Seabs to be out there.

    Also, coaches that make personnel decisions based on what the players want typically don’t last long

    Do I want a coaching change…yep…but some of you are just irrational (one in particular who I really hope he doesn’t have a dog he goes home and beats every night).

  • December 19, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Coliton showed no emotion when Dcat was sent in the boards and the Hawks recieved a retaliation penalty. To me he just looked at the ref asked a question and was OK with it????? #2 stated we need to come out with more fire and emotion!!!! It starts at the top …..the whole team from the executives down no emotion, no passion……..getting to be like the Cubs were awhile back, as long as the seats are filled the owner is happy, McDonagh your table is set, please take the Bowman(s) with you.

  • December 19, 2019 at 7:44 am

    At this point it really doesn’t matter who gets scratched because the management doesn’t care about winning. If they (Rocky) did they would make changes but as long as people keep going and watching this shit show life is good. Looks like Colorado has figured out Crow by shooting high and it worked 3 times.

  • December 19, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Now that’s it’s clear that the Hawks aren’t making the playoffs management seems to have made the decision to play the kids and I think given the circumstances it’s the right call

    The evidence of that has been building but not sending Dach and Boq to WJC is in line with that decision as is seating Seabs for essentially Boquist – again the Hawks had 6 rookies in the line up last night and they’ll be able to add another high pick this year at the draft

    The rebuild is on and while T and K will probably stick around maybe not 2 and 7 – Keith’s comments are not those of a happy camper although I had to laugh at his comment about feeling his best when he’s playing up the ice, being involved in the O zone because I lost count of how many 2 on 1s he was responsible for with his over aggressive ‘playing up the ice’ routine

    I thought they played hard but COL is just that much better

    What I’m watching for now in these games is progression from the young players and I Agee with Ian that both Dach,Nylander, Gilbert and Boquist showed progression – it was a sign of what’s in store that with the net empty JC had Boquist out there but not Keith IIRC

    Nylander actually won the puck on multiple occasions tonight although he’s got to learn to think quicker – either shoot or pass but do it quickly

  • December 19, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Wow that was a great game last night, with a little puck luck we could have at least tied it! I can’t believe how much of a genius Bowman is and how much better JC is as a coach than Q. We’ll make the playoffs this year, no problem. I pick Nylander for team MVP. Benching Seabrook was a stroke of genius by JC, man I’m glad they fired Q for JC. Stan is “the man” with all of the grade A players he’s picked in the draft and traded for. We all knew Teuvo would amount to nothing, right? And hell why not sign Keith and Seabrook until they’re 40, they never slow down!! ALL HAIL STAN…..

  • December 19, 2019 at 8:44 am

    The looks on the players faces said it all when JC was conversing with the officials after the Gilbert’s cheap shot. Q would have ripped that official a new a@@hole using coarse language. I am not saying that Q should still be here, however player/employees want to know that their boss has their back. JC should have defended Dekat. JC has done nothing to earn the team’s and it should in the effort and how they have not bought into his system.

    Don’t be surprised if the Hawks lay an egg at Winnipeg.

    Note for Rocky. Dude, it time for a change. Waive SB and JC. Blogger are bring up memories of Dazy and Zhamnov. Next thing you know it will talk of the ABC line. STOP THE MADNESS

  • December 19, 2019 at 8:47 am

    JC has done nothing to earn the team’s respect and it shows in the effort and how they have not bought into his system.

    Time to fire my editor. I guess he is pissed of to

  • December 19, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Someone in the comments above mentioned JC lack of emotion w/ the Cat hit. I thought I had noticed that.

    It’s one thing to be bad at your job. There are lots of people who are bad at job.

    But to not react to seeing one of your players getting their clocked cleaned, is a whole another level of dysfunctional.

  • December 19, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Ian – I like your thoughts on a respectful exit for Seabs. I hope something like that can be worked out – otherwise it will be ugly to deal with. For those advocating for Seabs to be playing, what is to be gained? This team is not going to make the playoffs and Seabs cannot be on the team long-term. Those are facts no matter how much we would like them to be different.

    I have been in the dump JC camp for some time but saying he didn’t care about the cheap shot to Dcat is over the top. I thought his discussions with the ref after the hit were the most animated I have seen him. I hope on Saturday we get physical with their top forwards.

    The over-passing continues to be insane. There were at least a half dozen examples last night, including times where we passed up a good chance in the middle of the ice to pass to a winger with a much worse angle. As someone commented recently many of these seem to happen when deferring to Kane which makes defending much easier.

    Can someone tell Gus to keep his skates sharpened? I can’t recall seeing a guy just fall for no apparent reason so often.

  • December 19, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Seabrook is not to blame here. Blame Stan and McDunkinDonut. Seabrook should have been traded instead of being rewarded with such a large contract. It was because of contracts like Seabrook’s that Stan had to throw sweeteners in deals. No one would have taken Bickell and his contract without Tuevo. Now, to be able to trade Seabrook, Stan is going to have to throw in a big time sweetener, like Ian Mitchell?

    Mis-Management 101 – Prof. Stan Bowman – MWF – 10am-12pm

  • December 19, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I have watched poor to mediocre teams play the Avalanche this year and there is a common strategy employed when they get beat.MacKinnon is shadowed and his time and space is limited along with him being hit every time he is near the puck.Teams play a trap with their d men always back.When the Avalanche d men rush below the dots they are impeded from getting back on defense by holding them up and hitting them also.Also the other teams have figured out that the Avalanche forwards love to stop abruptly and peel back so teams back check hard ramming them into the boards at every opportunity.

  • December 19, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Last night the Hawk forwards had numerous opportunities to lay out those forwards but never put a shoulder into them.Hawk forwards backcheck but dont hit anyone.They are too small and not willing to commit to that game.

  • December 19, 2019 at 11:36 am


    Mismanaged 202

    Firing a coach a few games into the season, when he could have fired him during the off season before and did an actual search for a coach.

  • December 19, 2019 at 11:37 am

    @Tim, you point out a huge deficiency with the Hawks. The willingness to play a physical game when the situation calls for it. We are an excellent technical team, and do well against other technical teams, but to be successful in the NHL, you must be able to have all facets of the game in your lineup, physical, technical, speed, hustle, and intelligence. Unfortunately, we are lacking in many of those facets.

  • December 19, 2019 at 11:47 am

    @blackhawkfan02 – LOL
    We could start a Mis-Management curriculum at DePaul, so current and former GM’s can also teach classes. Jim Hendry can teach “Outbidding yourself for a Free Agent – The Alfonso Soriano Case Study”. Theo can teach “How to get over the Salary Cap, and stay there forever”. John Paxson and Gar Heard can teach multiple courses, including “How to handle workplace violence”. Kenny Williams can teach “How to become irrelevant in a major market”. And finally, Ryan Pace can teach “How to draft the wrong player in every round”. Just a few classes that popped in my head. I’d love to hear more…

  • December 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm


    Your right sounds fun. I’ll ponder some…..

    Pick it up tomorrow?

  • December 19, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    In his interview with Mark Lazerus of the Athletic today,Stan Bowman believes the onus to turn things around is on the veteran players.I know it’s a canned generic statement that a G.M gives but has he been watching these games?I will play along with him.O.k. Stan,19.88.20 .2.and 7 are all having career years.You truly believe that this team would be on a march to the Cup?Sometimes he just should remain quiet so he is not known as delusional.

  • December 19, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Stan Bowman,your team at present is short 4 wingers,2 centers,and 3 defensemen ,with NHL size and Speed ,from being competitive.Now,when you can acknowledge that fact you will have completed the 1st step of recovery.

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