Nothing has really gone right for the Chicago Blackhawks as of late.
The firing of Joel Quenneville and hiring of Jeremy Colliton hasn’t done much to rekindle the club’s glory days.
They had actually won more games (six) under Quenneville than they have under the new guy (four) coming into Tuesday’s game.
Corey Crawford, perhaps their ray of hope if he could get it together between the pipes, suffered another concussion this week and is out indefinitely.
Even their mascot, Tommy Hawk, hasn’t been immune to the frustrations in the Windy City.
So Tuesday’s 2-1 win at home at United Center against the mighty Nashville Predators on NBCSN, however insignificant it ends up being at the end of the season, was a welcomed change.
If recent history is to be believed, the Blackhawks might have even been slight favorites heading into the game.
Nashville began the season a perfect 8-0-0 outside of Tennessee, but have now lost eight in a row (0-6-2) since. They’re also pretty banged up, so that helped, too.
Despite Nashville’s shortcomings on the road this as of late, it shouldn’t take away from Chicago’s performance.
They played a tight, offensive-minded game, outshooting the Predators 36-31, including 16-7 in the second period as they erased Nashville’s 1-0 lead and replaced it with a 2-1 advantage of their own.
Any hope of the Blackhawks not falling further from grace rests in the hands of Cam Ward at this point.
With Crawford out, Ward will be leaned on to provide the best netminding he can.
On Tuesday, he did just that, turning aside 30 shots. Ward was especially solid in the third, including the last two-and-a-half minutes of the third after the Preds pulled Pekka Rinne for the extra attacker.
Other things that went well: Chicago’s last-ranked power play was 1-for-3, producing five shots on goal. Their last-ranked penalty kill was 2-for-2, allowing just two shots on goal.
It all equates on some good stuff to build on. It’s been a while since Chicago produced an effort like that. The blueprint is there.
Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck