After last Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers, there was a brief resurgence of hope, a temporary feeling of optimism that the 2019-20 Chicago Blackhawks might find a way to play relevant hockey through the 82-game regular season schedule and maybe — just maybe — into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After Sunday night, that probably won’t happen again.
The Blackhawks lost 4-2 to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night at the United Center, marking the first time in franchise history that the Blackhawks were swept by the Blues in a season.
St. Louis needed just one goal to secure the win and got it early in the second period when Robert Bortuzzo scored from the goal line extended after a mad scramble near the Blackhawks crease.
The second Blues goal came after a turnover near the blue line by Alex Nylander led to a counterattack from St. Louis which culminated with an Alex Pietrangelo goal.
And that was it.
Chicago spent the first 12 minutes of the third period without a shot on goal in a game it was trailing, which is a healthy summation of the events that unfolded at 1901 W. Madison.
To add injury to the insult, both Adam Boqvist and Drake Caggiula were lost to injury following a melee in the second period that started with an errant fist/butt-end to the mouth of Boqvist from Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist. Without the speedy No. 8 overall pick in the draft in the lineup, there was a noticeable difference in the lack of offensive punch from the Blackhawks, which hampered any chances of a Chicago comeback.
And so it’s probably all over, again — this time for good. Just three days after a brief glimmer of hope offered by a four-game winning streak, the 19-20 Blackhawks season is almost certainly going to end without a trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the third straight season to end in such a manner.
At some point, something with the organization is going to change to get this thing back on the rails, right?
- Jake Allen (STL) — 29 saves
- Alex Pietrangelo (STL) — 1 goal
- Jaden Schwartz (STL) — 2 assists
The Blackhawks host the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night at the United Center for a 7 p.m. opening faceoff.