20 observations from the Blackhawks’ season-opening loss to the Avalanche

DENVER — Everyone was excited among the Blackhawks prior to puck drop Wednesday.

As Stan Bowman put it before the game, “Yeah, very excited. I guess that word is overused, probably, but can’t wait to get going.”

Wednesday’s season opener presented a fresh slate. It was a new season. It was a new team, for the most part. From Jonathan Toews returning after a season away to their young promising players being a year older to all the newcomers, especially Seth Jones and Marc-André Fleury, joining the team, there was an enthusiasm entering this season that had been absent in recent years for the Blackhawks.

And then the puck dropped and that hope was destroyed by the Colorado Avalanche.

Whatever happened Wednesday was always going to be overblown one way or another. A win could mean the Blackhawks were on a new path, a loss could be construed as them heading down the same path as recent years. The reality is Wednesday’s game was just one of 82 that will determine the Blackhawks’ fate this season. But whether the Blackhawks won or lost Wednesday, what coach Jeremy Colliton, Bowman, the players, the organization and the fans had to be hoping for were signs the Blackhawks were a different team this season.

That didn’t happen.

The Avalanche controlled the game. They swarmed the Blackhawks in the defensive zone and made it impossible at times to get out. They pushed the pace. They tested Fleury with shot after shot after shot. They got up on the scoreboard and stayed up.


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