The Chicago Blackhawks had a rough week to put it lightly. They played three games throughout the week, taking on the Winnipeg Jets, the Buffalo Sabres and finishing the week against the St. Louis Blues. Overall, it wasn’t the worst week we’ve seen from the Blackhawks. Against the Jets, they simply had no chance. With the talent that the Jets have on their roster, the Hawks couldn’t contain them. Against the Sabres, a much more evenly matched team, they held their own but would ultimately fall in the third period. The Blues game was an intense game, with Alex DeBrincat getting his third hat trick of his rookie season.
The Jets game was over seemingly before it even began, with the Hawks losing the game early. A great start for the Hawks, they made it a 1-0 game 11 seconds in on a goal from Brandon Saad. For the first four minutes of the game, the Hawks seemed like they would hold their own against the Jets again, but they quickly fell apart. The Jets scored three goals in the next six minutes to take a 3-1 lead. Anton Forsberg got the start for the Hawks, but after the first three goals, which he allowed on six shots, he was pulled in favor of Jean-Francois Berube. The Hawks never recovered from the early onslaught, eventually falling by a final of 6-2.
Game number two on the week featured a matchup against a much more equally skilled opponent, the Buffalo Sabres. The game was evenly matched throughout, with the Hawks and Sabres being tied for most of the game. The most notable play of the game was a goal from Hawks captain Jonathon Toews, who took a shot, hacked his rebound away from Sabres goalie Chad Johnson and then knocked the puck out of mid-air into the net. That play would give the Hawks a 3-2 lead early in the third. They would hold that lead for two minutes until the Sabres would score a goal of their own to make it 3-3. The next goal would come with just under two minutes to play, when Nick Baptiste redirected a shot from the point to give the Sabres a 4-3 lead. The Sabres would add an empty net goal and the Hawks would lose by a final of 5-3.
The third and final game of the week was a tight game for the Blackhawks. The story for the night was rookie winger Alex DeBrincat, who notched his third hat trick on the season, his third goal being the game winner for the Hawks. They took a 2-0 lead in the first period only to lose it in the second on a pair of power play goals for the Blues. However, the Hawks came away ahead again, with David Kampf scoring with 1.4 seconds left on the clock. St Louis would tie the game until the 3:12 mark of the third period, where DeBrincat buried his third goal of the night to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead. Almost two minutes later, the Blues would tie it again to make it 4-4. The Hawks would go on to lose in overtime, 5-4. Patrick Berglund blasted the puck at Berube, who flat out missed it.
The Hawks week wasn’t the worst we’ve seen but it also wasn’t the best. There were some good things to take away and some things that we know they need to improve on. The Hawks play three games next week. They’ll take on the Colorado Avalanche, the dreaded Vancouver Canucks and the New York Islanders. Hopefully, we see the Hawks continue to improve and show some positive signs while they head into the offseason.