The Chicago Blackhawks, defending Stanley Cup champions, continue to search for answers amid a frustrating period of struggle.
They’ve won only three times since the NHL schedule resumed from the Olympic break, and have lost two straight to Central Division opponents – Colorado and Nashville. The latest defeat came Friday against the Predators.
The Blackhawks twice trailed by two-goal deficits, and were unable to complete the comeback, despite carrying the run of play in the third period.
“We’re putting ourselves in tough situations by not starting well and just getting away from our team game, so not much of an explanation, but we know we need better right now,” said Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews, as per the Chicago Daily Herald.
“We need to get out of this kind of trend that we’re in right now.”
You’ll recall Toews was also not pleased after the club’s loss to the Avalanche earlier this week, saying, “It’s time to play hard,” with every team now charging ahead in the stretch drive.
This recent rough patch has seen the Blackhawks slip to third in the Central Division, one point back of the Colorado Avalanche and seven behind the St. Louis Blues.
“Our speed, pace, puck support and work ethic have eroded a little bit, particularly the last two games,” said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, as per Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago.