CHICAGO – There was quite a bit going on around the Blackhawks over the course of 12 hours on Monday, and frankly, a lot of it wasn’t good.
Andrew Shaw was out with an undisclosed injury and the team wouldn’t be getting Dylan Strome back from a concussion, even though he took part in the team’s morning skate. Robin Lehner was unavailable due to illness, so Kevin Lankinen was called up on an emergency basis from Rockford.
Because of their cap space and need for an emergency goalie, the Blackhawks had to play with 11 forwards and six defensemen.
Then came the news before faceoff that assistant coach Marc Crawford was on a leave from the team as an investigation continues into a recent allegation against him from former player Sean Avery when both were on the Kings.
All of this came on the night when the Blackhawks were facing their rival and defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues for the first time since they won their first title. It was a less than ideal situation that produced an unwanted result on Monday evening.
The Blues got an early lead on the short-handed Blackhawks and never let up in a 4-0 win in the first of a number of meetings between the teams this season.
Once again, the team had issues keeping their opponents out of the net, as they did in a pair of weekend losses to the Avalanche. They’ve allowed 16 goals in the three-consecutive losses with both Crawford and Lehner in the net.
Because of that, they’ve dropped below .500 at 10-12-5 on the season while the Blues add two more points to their Western Conference-leading 42 in a strong start to their season.
Mackenzie MacEachern got the Blues on the board just 2:34 into the game and Jaden Schwartz added another score later in the first to make it 2-0. Crawford (26 saves) kept St. Louis off the board and halfway through third period before Brayden Schenn beat the goalie to make it 3-0. Tyler Bozak closed the scoring with a goal with just 1:49 to make up the final deficit.
Jake Allen was the opposite for St. Louis in net as he stopped 38 shots that he faced on the night as the Blackhawks had more shots on goal than their full strength opponents. But nothing seemed to go right for the home team from the start of a rough day till the end of a difficult game.