Things have been fun for the Chicago Blackhawks so far this season. Connor Bedard is officially an NHL player and a very good one at that. He is far and away the best player on the team and it shows just about every night.
Thanks to the help of some veterans, the Hawks have had a decent start to the year in terms of the way that they play. It is clear that this is a developmental year but they compete hard and have some skill.
Coming into Thursday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, the Hawks were playing their fifth and final road game of the trip to begin the season. They went 2-2-0 in the first two which is good for a team with a roster like this.
The Colorado Avalanche is a different story. They have Stanley Cup aspirations as they were the 2022 champions. Their core of Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen, and Devon Toews is unlike most cores in the league.
The Chicago Blackhawks had a hard time with the Colorado Avalanche.
They are so fast and so skilled in addition to being surrounded by some good depth. All of that was so clear in this game as the Avalanche gave the Blackhawks a taste of what an elite team is like. The Blackhawks already lost to the Boston Bruins but they are elite in a different way.
Colorado is just relentless in their pursuit of the puck and scoring goals. It is one of the fastest teams and systems in the league. When they aren’t playing your favorite team, they are the definition of good hockey. Must-see TV is a light way to describe them.
It is going to take Chicago a long time to get on that level. They need to keep developing Connor Bedard the way that Colorado developed Nathan MacKinnon. In addition to that, they need to make sure that they keep Kevin Korchinski, Alex Vlasic, and Lukas Reichel going as well.
There are plenty of other prospects in the system like Oliver Moore and Frank Nazar that they need to turn into good players as well. When all of this comes together and everyone is there playing well, they might just be able to start looking like the Avalanche.
As we saw on Thursday, they are nowhere close. Finally, however, they can come home for the first time this season. They have their home opener on Saturday night against the Vegas Golden Knights which should be amazing to see.
Playing the 2023 Stanley Cup champions a few days after the 2022 Stanley Cup champions is tough but the United Center will still be rocking. With Connor Bedard playing at home for the first time, it will certainly be special.