Nobody could be blamed for giving up on the Chicago Blackhawks season. The way the team has played in the last month — calendar year, in fact — has left such a bad taste in people’s mouths that next year is starting to look better. This outlook on the season is due to an 0-3 road trip which ended in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. To add insult to injury, it looks as if the Hawks might be without their captain, Jonathan Toews.
The Blackhawks had a fast start, but just like the last two games they gave up a soft goal, this one by James Neal. The Pens then jumped again and 21 seconds later Lee Stempniak got a goal past Corey Crawford‘s five-hole. The Hawks did manage to keep it close and Sheldon Brookbank surprisingly got the Hawks on the board. They pressured for much of the third period, but then as is typical of this losing streak, it all went wrong. Two goals by Sidney Crosby — the second being an empty-netter — sent the Hawks back to Chicago, tails between their legs.
The Blackhawks were manhandled by the Penguins, a complete reversal of their Stadium Series match-up on March 1. Ever since that game, things have been going downhill for the Hawks with a multitude of injuries, the most recent to Patrick Kane. But now things may have gotten worse. Jonathan Toews suffered a major might-be-illegal hit by Brooks Orpik that sent him to the locker room. You can expect how the Blackhawks fanbase reacted.
But if Toews is seriously injured, it will be a massive blow to the Hawks. However, head coach Joel Quenneville said the injury was not serious and Toews is day-to-day. Still, this rubs salt into the proverbial wound with how pathetically the Hawks have fallen apart in the final two weeks of March. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa have done what they can, but with all these injuries, it’s enough of a struggle.
You can’t entirely blame Blackhawks fans for giving up after this embarrassing loss. They should have gotten things together, but instead they keep getting worse and worse. The way the Hawks can fix this is by going deep into the postseason.