Jan 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) go for the puck during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
2: There is no greater motivator or gut check than a slump
Everyone knows that this is not a fatal slump, by any means. This is actually a pretty soft slump, when put into context of what less talented teams have to deal with. While 9 points, in the previous 10 games, is definitely sub-par, it’s certainly manageable. It’s amazing how the Blackhawks are good at just about everything, even losing. Having said that, there is still bad that comes from this. A bad that will be the first ingredient, in an even better good.
It’s obvious that the Hawks know that they are good. Right now, they know this to a fault. They can out-class, out-skill, and out-grind most opponents, night in and night out, due to their offensive talent, puck possession abilities, team chemistry, and overall depth of roster. However, it has gotten to a point where they, as a team, expect to do that,on a nightly basis.
That expectation is natural; it happens to every good team. Right now, the Hawks are dealing with mental downside of having been too good for too long. A great team, like the Hawks, suffering through a prolonged streak of poor play, will eventually have turn this team into a better team.
There is no greater test for a team than having to prove itself, or in the Hawks’ case re-prove itself, to the world. It’s sort of like Rocky 3, here Rocky had become overconfident in his abilities, which lead to him being defeated by Clubber Lang. After being forced to find himself again, Rocky was able to become a better boxer, and eventually defeat Clubber Lang, in a rematch. This lame/cheesy comparison was too good and accurate to pass up. It is essentially the exact same thing the Hawks are going through.
Right now, the Hawks are aware and strictly relying on their elite ability. Eventually that gritty desire will return, and the Hawks will return to the win column, with regularity, and having become a better team, thanks to the gut checking, caused by this slump.