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10 observations: Blackhawks routed by Avalanche, shut out for 8th time

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks were shut out for the eighth time this season after being routed by the Colorado Avalanche 5-0 on Thursday at the United Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. The Blackhawks haven't won a single game this season when giving up at least four goals. They're 0-25-2 in those instances, and 15-15-3 when allowing three or fewer.

2. I didn't mind the Blackhawks' first period. They outshot Colorado 13-10, but the Avalanche scored late in the period to put themselves ahead 1-0. Another decent opening frame goes to waste.

3. Colorado pulled away in the second period, where it scored three goals. The last one came with 1.7 seconds left, which sealed the deal if it wasn't already closed. The Avalanche didn't have their A game and yet they still looked to be in total control. 

4. The loudest cheer of the night came when Reese Johnson took down Chris Wagner in a scrap midway through the second period. The Blackhawks were down 3-0 at the time and Johnson was surely looking to spark his team, screaming at his bench afterwards with a "Let's f--king go!" He tried doing the same last week against Philadelphia with Nick Seeler. I respect it.

5. Kevin Korchinski had six shot attempts in the period and four on goal. He finished with five shots on goal, which matched his season-high. I thought he had a solid game, although he probably could've played the 2-on-1 better on Zach Parise's goal.

6. Connor Bedard wears his emotions on his sleeve, and I don't mind it. But sometimes it's hard not to hold your breath when he punches things, like he did after Chicago's failed power play in the second period. I'd rather he break sticks.

7. Jason Dickinson's line with Joey Anderson and Colin Blackwell has usually been pretty good at shutting down the opponent's top line, but it had a tough night containing Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen. No surprise., That trio is one of the league's best.

8. MacKinnon scored a goal and added an assist to hit the 100-point mark on the season. He's on pace to finish with 134. Is this the season he captures his first Hart Trophy for league MVP? He's my front-runner right now, right there with Nikita Kucherov.

9. Caleb Jones was a healthy scratch for Colorado. He hasn't played since Jan. 15. I'm sure he would have relished playing against his brother Seth and former Blackhawks team at the United Center.

10. Andreas Athanasiou is finally out of the non-contact jersey and has been practicing with the team in full the last few days. He hasn't played since Nov. 9 because of a groin injury. The Blackhawks have missed his speed, particularly on the power play zone entries. Still unclear though when he'll be cleared to play.

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