It seems that bad things come in pairs when it comes to the Chicago Blackhawks and losing. This time, they lost to the Anaheim Ducks out on last week and have now succumbed to the Los Angeles Kings in a hard fought, back-and forth battle that ended with a 5-4 score in the Kings’ favor.
Here’s the problem: somehow, for some reason, when the second period starts, they fall the everloving heck apart. The second period was entirely too sloppy, with Brandon Bollig’s completely unnecessary fight with Jordan Nolan and Patrick Kane’s boarding penalty. Kane did redeem himself with a sweet deke on Jonathan Quick that gave the Blackhawks a brief lead toward the end of the period, but that lasted as long as a sneeze. Even Jonathan Toews’ goal in the third period couldn’t boost their sagging performance.
The power play is becoming more abysmal as the season progresses. The Blackhawks went 0-3 on the power play against the Kings and even let the Kings score a shorthanded goal. There may be flashes of scoring, but fans now cringe when a power play is announced. It takes them back to the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad power play the team had last season.
On a tangential and somewhat positive note, of the four losses the Blackhawks have, three of the teams that defeated them have not gained momentum from their wins. The Colorado Avalanche are 2-6 since ending the Blackhawks’ streak. The Edmonton Oilers are 2-4 since their win on March 10. The Ducks have now lost three games in a row since their game with the Hawks. The Kings should be mindful of those statistics.
If the Blackhawks want to hold on to their lead in the West, they can’t let off the gas at all during games. They also need to fix their regressing power play. These could be their biggest assets if they work correctly. They could also be their worst weaknesses if they don’t.