Blackhawks: Rebuilding Hawks Return Home, Still Far From Wins

By Sidney Brown (@sidkid80)

From 2 goals in 17 seconds to allowing 2 goals in 12 seconds.

The complete story of the Chicago Blackhawks’ fall from grace could possibly begin and end with the former moment — an all-time beloved moment in the history of Chicago hockey — and the latter moment, which came on a night in Las Vegas where the team lost yet again in come-from-behind fashion.

What stays in Vegas, stays in Vegas but the Hawks really have no trouble snatching defeat from the jaws of victory no matter where they go and Thursday night’s 4-3 loss was another prime example, in which the team gave up two first period goals, then scored the next three goals of the game unanswered before the deciding 12 seconds fell in the Golden Knights favor.

The Vegas loss is the latest in a six-game losing streak, four of those games coming on the road. The Hawks return to the United Center Sunday against Montreal that starts a stretch of five of six games that’ll be at home.

As The Rebuild Turns

For the Hawks it looks like the road to success, much like any typical Chicago expressway, will be under construction indefinitely.  

This statement can’t be anymore truthful than at this moment as the Men in Red continue to make their transition to playing under the leadership of new head coach Jeremy Colliton.  

The late November trade of Nick Schmaltz to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini further establishes that the franchise is going with a youth movement and is clearing as much salary cap space as possible for July 1, 2019 as next Summer’s very deep free agent class, including former Hawk Artemi Panarin, becomes available.

While the front office continues to sell their fans that the playoffs is the ultimate goal, their performance on the ice indicates the opposite given up 31 goals in their last six games, starting out slow early in games and making routine mental mistakes.  

As young teams grow, mistakes will happen learning on the job, but mistakes from aging veterans and not so talented players have hurt this team all year long. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Perhaps some can be seen with the recent play of the second line featuring Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and newcomer Dylan Strome and the fourth line — including David Kampf, John Hayden and Dominik Kahun — has given this team new energy, but it may not be enough as they try and climb out of the basement of the Central Division with a record of 9-16-5.  

As the schedule further plays out in December, what should fans expect? Maybe a reunion of the top line of Kane, Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. Will Colliton’s message begin to set in with the players?

Will signs of some quick turnaround arise or  just more of the same inconsistency that has set this team for failure plague Hawks fans through another long winter. One thing is for sure, this soap opera is far from over.

Team Leaders

  • Goals: Patrick Kane (13)
  • Assists: Patrick Kane (15)
  • Points: Patrick Kane (28)
  • Penalty Minutes: Brent Seabrook (21)
  • Goals Against Average: Corey Crawford (2.98)

Team Stats

  • Goals Per Game: 2.72 (25th in NHL)
  • Goals Against: 3.56 (28th in NHL)
  • Power Play Percentage: 12.3 (31st in NHL)

The Road Ahead (All Times Central)

  • 12/9 vs. Montreal Canadiens — 5 pm
  • 12/11 at Winnipeg Jets — 7 pm
  • 12/12 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins — 7 pm
  • 12/14 vs. Winnipeg Jets — 7:30 pm
  • 12/16 vs. San Jose Sharks — 6 pm
  • 12/18 vs. Nashville Predators — 7:30 pm
Sidney Brown covers the Chicago Blackhawks for WARR
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