It might just be two losses, but Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville isn’t happy with a common theme that ties them together.
“The [last] two nights we’ve given up some goals; you’re not going to win in this league giving up those kind of goals,” Quenneville told CSN Chicago following Chicago’s 5-4 loss to Minnesota on Friday. “Rather easy. Two goals to start periods, big shifts and those two – you can look at other ones, but we have to be better last shifts of the period.”
Minnesota scored early in each period of Friday’s contest, including this marker 32 seconds into the third frame that proved to be the game winner:
It’s hard to get too down on Chicago given that the squad posted back-to-back shutouts prior to this two-game slide. The Blackhawks also remain one of the stingier teams when it comes to goals allowed per contest, so it’s not as if defensive and goaltending problems have been an overwhelming issue this season.
Still, it’s particularly notable right now given that Chicago is missing Duncan Keith. We previously noted the Blackhawks’ strong start in his absence, but also added that this two-game road trip against Winnipeg and Minnesota would be a significant trial for the team. It proved to be more than Chicago could handle at this time and things will stay tough for the Blackhawks as they will host Los Angeles on Monday and St. Louis on Wednesday.