As they’ve been known to do in 2018, the Blackhawks scored first when Brent Seabrook’s blast from the point got past Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov, and that power play goal put the Hawks up 1-0 late in the first period.
Scoring first seems like a good strategy, doesn’t it? More on that in a bit.
The second period is where it all went wrong for the Hawks. First, Alexander Kerfoot scored on the Avs’ power play just two minutes into the period, making it a 1-1 game. Three minutes later, a nifty passing play between Colorado’s top line set up Mikko Rantanen with an empty net, and he buried that scoring chance for a 2-1 Avalanche lead. After an elbowing penalty by David Kampf in the middle of the second, Colorado added a second power play goal and its third of the period when Tyson Barrie’s slap shot found its way into the net, even though Chicago goalie Anton Forsberg got a piece of it with this glove.
Varlamov withstood a Chicago barrage in the final period, and then Erik Johnson scored a 200-foot empty-net goal to put the game out of reach. One minute later, Kerfoot padded his fantasy stats with his second goal of the game.
The penalty kill is trending in the wrong direction
It felt like the Blackhawks penalty kill has been giving up far too many goals of late. I looked up the numbers and, well ...
The Hawks PK has regressed quite heavily over the last month or so. Opponents have converted on 12 of last 27 chances (44.4 percent) including the Avs' 2-for-2 so far tonight.— Second City TANK SZN (@2ndCityHockey) March 21, 2018
That tweet came after the Avalanche’s second power play goal of the night on as many chances. Not great, Bob.
Scoring the first goal of the game is ... bad?
A Twitter conversation between Daily Herald reporter John Dietz and Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Potash focused on the bizarre bad luck that seems to follow the Hawks when they score first.
Agreed.— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) March 21, 2018
Also, last I checked every team in the Central had an .800 points percentage or higher when scoring first. Colorado is 33-6-3 -- .821.
And to add some more context to those numbers:
For what it's worth, the Blackhawks are 11-3-1 (.767) when scoring the first goal when Corey Crawford has started. https://t.co/wW8a0ntWeg— Mark Potash (@MarkPotash) March 21, 2018
Just eight games left.
And then we can pretend this whole season never happened.
- Mikko Rantanen (COL) — 1 goal, 1 assist
- Tyson Barrie (COL) — 1 goal, 1 assist
- Semyon Varlamov (COL) — 44 saves
Beer of the game: Sea Witch, a tasty oatmeal stout from the Pokro Brewing Company in Griffith, Ind.