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Connor Bedard’s 3 points couldn’t overcome 21st consecutive away loss


Nick Foligno admitted that this season has been a “school year” for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Lesson 1: You can’t go back-to-back against a team like the Carolina Hurricanes, or you’ll blink and find yourself down 4-0, like the Hawks did in the second period.

Lesson 2: Looks like Connor Bedard can turn it on whenever he wants. He scored a goal and made two assists in the third period.

Lesson 3: Bedard and his friends — including Philipp Kurashev, who has become a literal Robin to Bedard’s Batman — can only take so much as a third-period rally fell short in a 6-3 loss at PNC Arena on Monday.

“We’re thinking too much,” Foligno said after the game. “When you come up against a team like them coming at you, if you think too much, you get caught. “You look slow, you look lethargic.

Foligno said the team talked about it between the end of the second period and the beginning of the third period, “we said let’s forget all this here and just play,” the Hawks came back with a goal (from Foligno) and two power play goals (the championship). Bedard and Tyler Johnson) are third.

“This is a good lesson for us,” Foligno said. “This is just one year of classes. Let’s be honest, it is.

“It’s awful to say but we’re going to have to experience it as a group and understand that there’s a way to compete and a way to play, there’s a way you have to think and also use your instincts. Sometimes we overthink and our instincts get pushed out a little bit and that costs us the game.” It is possible.”

Connor Bedard’s rookie season: Tracking the goals of the Chicago Blackhawks’ No. 1 pick

Coach Luke Richardson said: “We had difficulty handling their pace. They’re coming at you, and we know they’re always coming at you with four lines. They press the D key. We just didn’t handle it well.

“We really had almost no possession of the puck in the first half of the game, so it was difficult to create anything offensively and a lot of energy was wasted defensively.”

The Hawks tied the game with their 21st consecutive road loss (either in regulation or overtime), tying a record 22-game road winning streak.

Richardson said: “Our game plan is to win every game, whether home or away.

“Unfortunately, the other team has more matchups,” he said, citing strategic advantages such as the recent change. “Obviously at home we are maybe a little bit better with the matchups, so we have to work on that because we can’t control that on the road.”

Bedard’s goal for the second consecutive game was also overturned due to offside. 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday..

“Connor’s line did a really good job,” Richardson said. “Even getting the goal back gave momentum.

“The momentum got us some power plays and the power plays worked out well for us in the third period.”

Bedard’s three points gave him his eighth multi-point game and tied Eddie Olczyk for the most by an 18-year-old player in team history, according to NHL Stats.

Here are four takeaways.

1. Two goals, two spin-o-rama moves and Bedard is at the center of both.

Karl B DeBlaker/ Associated Press

Nick Foligno of the Chicago Blackhawks moves the puck after receiving it from Andrei Svechnikov of the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, February 19, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

After Foligno’s goal in the second period, Brent Burns put the ball in the circle. Bedard seized it and found Foligno near the marijuana.

Foligno turned and delivered a backhand that surprised Spencer Martin.

On Bedard’s cue in the third, Johnson fired a shot under the goal line toward Kurashev, who turned in the crease with a reverse pass to Bedard.

Bedard had the net wide and scored only the second power play goal of his career.

Bedard left an impression on the Canes.

“He is fast. Too fast. “He’s talented,” said Sebastian Aho. “I already knew he had an elite version. He’s sure to be a very good player in this league for a long time.”

Rod Brind’Amour added: “Very dynamic. I thought we did a good job on him and he’s still on the scoresheet, right?

“He’s one of those players, he’s going to be a very good player in this league. He’s super talented, he knows how to take his ice, he knows how to find his teammates. Whoever gets to play with him is pretty lucky.”

2. Possession of the ball is nine tenths of the law of (hockey).

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 19: Jordan Staal #11 of the Carolina Hurricanes and Jason Dickinson #16 of the Chicago Blackhawks watch the puck during the first period at PNC Arena on February 19, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images) ** OUTPUTS - ELSENT, FPG, CM - OUTPUTS * NM, PH, VA if provided by CT, LA or MoD **
Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Jason Dickinson of the Chicago Blackhawks watch the puck during the first period in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday, February 19, 2024 (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The Hawks didn’t face as many forechecks like Carolina’s.

The Canes spend 46.6% of their time at even strength in the offensive zone, which puts them in the 99th percentile.

In stark contrast, the Hawks spend about 43% of their time in the defensive zone; The league average is 40.8%.

So it should come as no surprise that the Canes dominated possession from the start, including a horrendous 87% Corsi percentage at even strength in the first period.

Richardson said: “They were doing that to us a lot in the first period, they were automatically doing it towards the middle.

That’s what happened with Michael Bunting’s opening goal, which saw Jarred Tinordi and Louis Crevier run out of position.

As Martin Nečas pulled Tinordi into the neutral zone, Tinordi left the net front to chase Nečas below the goal line – just as Nečas sneaked a pass to Bunting for a net-front backhander.

“For Tinordi, we have to get the puck when it reaches the guy behind the net, or we have to guard that line and prevent it from going to the front of the net,” Richardson said. “This guy is not going to score from behind the goal. But as a defender your instinct is to hit and press.

“Unfortunately that puck went in and Petr (Mrázek) had no chance.”

3. Lukas Reichel needs to find his mojo again in Rockford.

The Hawks tried to scratch Reichel for several games — just like they did at the beginning of this winter.

They tried checking out videos of their past highlights.

Nothing was working. Richardson said general manager Kyle Davidson made the call to send Reichel to Rockford.

“We can only do so many combat exercises in practice, and it’s really not going to translate 100% into the games,” Richardson said. “We need him to get into the games to try out what we’ve been working on in training.”

Reichel struggled to gain possession of the puck and find his shot.

Last season, he split four games with the Hawks between December and January before being reassigned to Rockford.

There, in late February, he had a streak of two goals and three assists in six IceHogs games, shortly before the Hawks recalled him to Chicago in March.

Reichel has recorded six goals and six assists in his last 19 games for the Hawks.

Richardson said: “It worked really well for him last year and we think he needs to come down and get some confidence and get a high number of reps… that will help him and then hopefully he can find his game.” .”

4. They are the two best friends anyone could have.

Chicago Blackhawks' Philipp Kurashev (23) skates with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Philipp Kurashev of the Chicago Blackhawks skates with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, February 19, 2024 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

As both scorer and assister, Bedard and Kurashev teamed on 19 of the Hawks’ goals; that includes Kurashev’s assist on Bedard’s power-play goal on Monday.

While not every situation results in a puck in the net, it’s easy to see a distinct difference in the quality of opportunities the duo has created since then. Bedard’s return from injury. Master Foligno also came into the mix.

“The best chemistry, in my experience, is people you enjoy talking hockey with and we are good friends,” Bedard said before the game.

“I think the off-ice aspect adds a lot to it. But we’re still growing.”


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