Five Takeaways: Blackhawks lose back-to-back games against Avalanche

USA Today

Five Takeaways: Blackhawks lose back-to-back games against Avalanche

The Blackhawks lost 7-3 against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Here are five takeaways:

Missing Keith

Duncan Keith's absence was noticeable on Saturday as the Hawks allowed seven goals, the most this season, in Colorado. The two-time Norris trophy winner left Friday's game with a groin injury and is day-to-day. 

Saturday was a poorer performance for the Blackhawks than their first game of the back-to-back, home-to-home set against the Avalanche, a 5-2 loss on Friday at the United Center. Despite allowing five goals Friday, the Hawks held the Avs. to 23 shots, tying their season low (Oct. 24 against the Philadelphia Flyers). Slater Koekkoek came in for Keith.

The ferocious speed of the Avalanche wore down the Blackhawks and dismantled their defensive zone coverage. Mikko Rantanen had a goal and three assists after missing the past 16 games with a lower-body injury. 

"He's a big part of our team," Colliton said of Keith after the game. "But teams across the league play with guys shorthanded. Colorado is a perfect example, they've had multiple guys out for a long time and they continue to find ways to win and get points and that's what we need to do as well." 

Another tough first 

The Blackhawks allowed three first period goals in both games against the Avalanche. On Saturday, Colorado put the trio in the net in a span of 3:15. Prior to Friday, Chicago had allowed just 15 first period goals in their past 24 games. 

Lehner pulled

Robin Lehner was pulled in the second period after allowing five goals on 14 shots. Crawford saved 13 of 15 shots to finish the game after coming in with 5:50 remaining in the second period. 

Lehner was 2-1-1 in his past 4 starts with a .942 save percentage and his .938 save percentage in 13 games prior to Saturday led the league. 

"I felt good, honestly," Lehner said. "I felt good. [The Avalanche] score three pretty good ones real quick: in-close one-timer, kind of like a half-breakaway with a screen, then a bounce off an unlucky redirection and we're scrambling. It's definitely not good enough from all of us. There's not much to say about it."

Kane extends point streak

Patrick Kane scored a power-play goal at 14:38 of the third period to make it 7-3. That marked the final score of the game and extended his point streak to 15 games (24 points; 11 goals, 13 assists). 

"I don't think you're really thinking about [the point streak] at that point," Kane said. "I wasn't very good tonight, I got to be better going into the next game. Obviously a huge game against St. Louis coming up at home, Stanley Cup champs coming into our building, so I got to be better for us."

Another scrap

Frustration boiled over for Alex DeBrincat, who dropped the gloves with Sam Girard towards the end of the first period, giving the Hawks their second fight in two games. Andrew Shaw danced with Ryan Graves Friday. 

DeBrincat, who hasn't scored a goal in 10 games, took a hit from Girard in the corner shortly after striking iron with a quality scoring chance on an open net from the crease. 

"I was frustrated, I think," DeBrincat said. "Just missed an empty net a few seconds before, went in the corner, he gave me a little hit and I was just frustrated, I think. Just kind of happened."

Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever


Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever

The Original Six team with six Stanley Cups in franchise history known as the Chicago Blackhawks has gotten plenty of salutes from movies, TV shows and other avenues of entertainment over the years. Here are the top six pop culture nods according to us:

6. The Dilemma

The 2011 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James features lengthy scenes shot at actual Blackhawks games at the United Center in 2010. Even Blackhawks arena announcer Gene Honda has lines in the picture. 

5. Sudden Death 

Jean-Claude Van Damme. There's nothing else needed to defend this selection. But, the 1995 action flick puts the Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, of course with the Vice President in attendance.

Actual storyline: The Pittsburgh Civic Arena is wired with explosives that could destroy the whole city. It's up to arson investigator Darren McCord to stop it before the game ends. 

The movie even spawned a delightful song in a Chris Pratt Parks and Rec deleted scene. 

4. NHL '94 Roenick in Swingers

Vaughn and co. play the 1994 installment of the EA Sports NHL video game in the 1996 film with the Blackhawks taking on the LA Kings and hilarity ensues. 

3. Queen's We Will Rock You music video

Off the 1977 album "News of the World", the music video for We Will Rock You features bassist John Deacon sporting a sweet Hawks letterman-type jacket. 

2. Christmas Vacation 

[*Strong language]

"The silent majesty of a winter's morn; the clean, cool chill of the holiday air...." 

This Blackhawks shoutout in the classic Christmas comedy is too great not to make the top 2. You'll still see "Griswold" white Blackhawks jerseys pop up at the United Center during the holiday season to saltue the 1989 film. Rusty also wears a red Hawks sweater when Clark is putting the infamous bright lights on the house. 

1. Wayne's World

It might be a predictable No.1 pick, but come on. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey worked the Hawks into this iconic 1992 comedy in an epic way. The duo also gave the Blackhawks a big shoutout on Feb. 15, 2015 when Mike Myers wore a Hawks sweater as Wayne in a Wayne's World sketch for SNL's 40th anniversary. 

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device. 

Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

USA Today

Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

ST. LOUIS — Patrick Kane has been booed all weekend in St. Louis and the nine-time Blackhawks All-Star poked a little bit of fun at Blues fans for their, shall we say, warm welcoming. But Saturday put the crowd in a weird spot.

On one hand, Kane is an arch rival in St. Louis. On the other, he represented the Central Division and was teammates with the four Blues All-Stars (Jordan Binnington, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo).

After falling into a 3-0 hole to the Pacific Division, the Central Division stormed back for three straight goals. Perron scored the second goal, which drew huge cheers. Fourteen seconds later, Kane scored the equalizer, which also drew loud cheers. 

But then the St. Louis fans realized who had scored and Kane had some fun with them by holding his glove up to his ear. 

"Tried to like put my hand up to my ear to hear the boos," Kane said. "But then I was showing them that hey, I’m playing with the Blues players, I’ve got the same jersey as them. Just had fun with it. "

The Blues found themselves conflicted for a second time when Kane evened the score at 5-5 after converting on a breakaway. The interaction between Kane and the crowd was the most memorable moment of the night.

"It’s all in good fun," Kane said following a 10-5 loss to the Pacific Division. "To be honest with you, sometimes you get booed, you kind of like it a little bit. It’s St. Louis and Chicago, it’s a huge rivalry. Not only in hockey, but pretty much every other sport they play against each other. I guess that’s only baseball, but, you know what? Had a lot of fun this weekend and I thought that was a pretty cool moment."

Even the Blues had fun with it.

"Those were boos," a smiling Pietrangelo said. "Not cheers."

But at least somebody had sympathy for Kane.

"I felt bad for Kaner," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "He comes out in his introductions and is getting booed and stuff and then he scores and they're cheering for him. Tough situation for him. Players all know. They all handle it very well. It's a fun event."

In the end, it provided entertainment and brought some life to the event. What Kane is really trying to figure out is why he's snake bitten at All-Stars Games. He hasn't won since 2012 in Ottawa when Team Zdeno Chara defeated Team Daniel Alfredsson 12-9 under the fantasy draft format.

"I know, right?" Kane said. "Central can’t get over the hump. We won one last year and lost in the final. I think every time you look at the roster, you always think you have a really good roster with some of the players that are on the team, and for whatever reason we can’t do it."

The Central Division slipped to 1-5 under the 3-on-3 format, but Kane may have a solution on how to fix their struggles.

"Maybe it would be better if the Central played an Eastern team next year or something," Kane said half-jokingly. "Maybe you could switch it up that way."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.