The Blackhawks are still in the middle of the NHL season, the dog days of winter, if you will. They have been struggling, yes, but now that they’ve broken their losing streak, they can regain their focus on the season ahead. If this happens, the possibilities are endless.
For starters, the Blackhawks will have to put the losing streak behind them. Just like they put a similar three-game losing streak behind them in December, the Blackhawks have a five-game home-stand to straighten their kinks out, followed by another long road trip followed by the Olympic break. They won’t have a home game from Jan. 28 until the Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. So, there should be some urgency among head coach Joel Quenneville and his coaching staff.
But that only emphasizes the need for the team to stay focused. They have just about every team in the league wanting to knock them off the top of the hill, and with a few news outlets and pundits calling them the best team in the league (guilty as charged), it’s easy to lose sight of the prize at the end of the season.
As for the individuals, the need is the same. Patrick Kane has had a bad 2014 calendar year, emphasized by the own goal against the Oilers. However, Kane is a special player. It should be easy for him to pick up where he left off from 2013. Corey Crawford also needs to stay focused. While he’s playing well, he hasn’t gotten the support he’s needed. However, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t stop playing the way he is.
The Blackhawks still have four months left in the season. In order to repeat as champions, they need to keep themselves focused and motivated. The coaching staff will have to get the team to focus on the task ahead and the players will have to strive for the best.