Maybe they just really miss Patrick Kane. He’s a pretty good player, right?
Still, something just doesn’t seem 100-percent right with the Chicago Blackhawks. And, frankly, it didn’t before Kane got hurt.
In 2015, starting with the Winter Classic loss in D.C., the ‘Hawks are a pedestrian 23-16-4. They’ve had a couple of four-game winning streaks during that stretch, but never really any sustained momentum. They’ve been shut out or held to one goal 13 times.
Analytics-wise, in those 43 games, their score-adjusted Fenwick ranks 14th in the NHL.
In their first 37, it ranked first.
Perhaps the ‘Hawks just got a little too comfortable after starting out so well in October, November, and December.
“They seemed the more desperate hockey team tonight,” forward Kris Versteeg said after last night’s 2-1 loss to Minnesota. “Those guys were really fighting for their lives over there.”
The ‘Hawks haven’t had to fight for their lives all season.
Whether it’s an overreaction or not, clearly a segment of the fan base is sensing trouble:
Look, nobody’s writing off a team with Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, and possibly Kane. At online sportsbook Bovada, only the Rangers (6/1) are more heavily favored than the ‘Hawks (8/1) to win the Stanley Cup.
Something seems off, though.
Related: Blackhawks’ decision-making was ‘tough to watch’ last night