The loss comes as the second in a row for Chicago, which leaves the Hawks standing temporarily at third place in the Central Division. Emphasis on the word temporary. With a little less than a month left until the playoffs begin there isn’t a lot of hockey left to be played. But there is enough hockey left to make the division title one still completely up for grabs.
However, considering the record breaking run Chicago took last year to win the Stanley Cup, Blackhawks fans are spoiled ones; two losses in a row is almost cause for an uproar.
This is not a criticism by any means. Every morning when my alarm goes off, my feet jump out of bed and right onto a rug with the Hawks’ logo on it. So as one of the mighty thousands that manage to flock to every stadium in the NHL night after night and amass to more numbers than that of the “home” team’s fan base I say — all is still well in Chicago folks.
Yes, the Hawks’ game is not where it needs to be in order for the defending champs to continue defending through a deep playoff run.
Against the Predators, Chicago’s weakness became their inability to play a good defensive game in their own zone. If the Hawks got hold of the puck, they never reacted quickly enough to overtake Nashville’s offense. And what should have been many one-and-done zone clearing moves instead became costly turnovers.
The Hawks also came in at the onset with an unfortunately common slow start. As the team leading the NHL in scoring, the formula for most of this season’s losses have looked a lot like the game on Friday: fall behind two goals, score a goal, give up a goal, score another goal, lose by a goal. A loss is always a loss, but a loss by one after coming back with two is that much more difficult to take.
All issues in Chicago’s currently uneven game need to be worked out sooner rather than later, the roster filling up the Hawks’ offensive lines and defensive pairings gives no reason for this team to have any type of simple problems. But also thankfully, with the roster this team has, the cure for such problems is never too far away.
So stay calm Blackhawks fans and don’t be too harsh on this team just yet. Chicago always finds a way to win when it’s absolutely needed — sometimes they even manage to do it in 17 seconds.