After their second straight regulation loss, the Chicago Blackhawks admitted that the condensed schedule might finally be catching up to them.
“We’ve had a lot of games in the past 11 days,” Patrick Kane said in an ESPN report. “I think it’s seven games. So maybe there’s a little excuse there.”
He’s right, and that stretch included three one-game road trips.
In the grand scheme of things, a two-game losing streak is hardly a big deal, especially given the cushion the Blackhawks have given themselves. And yet, by the same token everything the Blackhawks do has been magnified by their success.
It wasn’t that many years ago that the Blackhawks were, as broadcaster Pat Foley put it in a NBC Sports report, “irrelevant,” but that’s changed.
Since Jonathan Toews was drafted in 2006 and Kane in 2007, a chain reaction has started that’s led to 203 consecutive sold out contests, incredible television ratings, and – oh yeah – the Stanley Cup in 2010, their first since the 1960s.
Their historic 24-game points streak is the latest in a running list of accomplishments that’s reconnected the Blackhawks to their city.
Expectations are high in Chicago this season and the playoffs aren’t far off either.
The Blackhawks are starting a stretch of off-days and will enjoy a similar stretch from March 21-24. That will give them a chance to rest up and prepare for the monumental task of finishing what they’ve started.