Things have reached a new low for the Chicago Blackhawks‘ 2013-14 season with the team blowing a 1-0 lead in the third period. Now having lost three straight and not set to play another home game until March 1, the defending Stanley Cup Champions will be heading on a road trip that could define where they end up in the Western Conference standings.
Against the Winnipeg Jets, the Blackhawks seemed to have it all going from the get-go, dominating in shots and puck possession. The Blackhawks outshot the Jets 18-2 in the first period, but Al Montoya was up to the task.
The Blackhawks did not make any changes within the top six, with the only move being the benching of third-line winger Bryan Bickell in favor of defenseman Michael Kostka. Kostka, like Bickell, saw the lowest amount of ice time on the team. While the reward for playing a defenseman at wing is minimal, the risk is also minimal as well. While Kris Versteeg led the team with four shots thanks to his time on the power play, the third line was not on the ice for any goals allowed.
For the Blackhawks to improve, any line changes need to come from the top down. Duncan Keith was a minus-two in his return to the lineup, same as Captain Jonathan Toews. Toews was visibly upset, stating to reporters “We just threw away another two points.”
At the end of the day, the Blackhawks were able to find more success in this game than they were in their two previous losses. Stylistically, the Blackhawks were able to play their game without hindrance for the first 40 minutes.
Once again, the Blackhawks’ fourth line proved to be outstanding. Brandon Bollig scored the team’s lone goal. With a daunting set of West Coast road games looming, Coach Joel Quenneville should make some changes to the Blackhawks’ lineup, or else history will continue to repeat itself and the Blackhawks will continue to fall in the standings.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486