Dec 27, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) and Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) congratulate Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) after he scored a goal in the third period. The Carolina Hurricanes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Well, that wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. The last time the Chicago Blackhawks took to the ice it was a disappointing shutout loss to the Dallas Stars (4-0) last Tuesday. They then headed into the Christmas break and were supposed to come out well rested and ready to go against a seemingly inferior opponent in the Carolina Hurricanes. Instead, they looked out of practice and out of sync.
The Hawks were three seconds away from being shut out again when Brent Seabrook, playing in his 800th game, finally found the back of the net. But of course it was too little too late, and the Chicago Blackhawks fell to the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 2-1. Here are my five rants from last night’s game.
5. Hawks play down to their competition. The Hawks have a really annoying habit not playing as well against lesser competition. I’m sure it’s hard to find the energy and drive that it takes to win every night. After all it’s a long and grueling 82 game season. It’s not the playoffs yet, where there’s more at stake and the adrenaline is easier to come by.
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Taking a look at the last two months, the Chicago Blackhawks lost twice to the New Jersey Devils in early November. The Devils have actually picked up their game as of late. They are currently in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division with 39 points (the Hawks are in third in the Central with 44 points). But the Metropolitan Division is arguably a much weaker division than the Central. The Hawks should have been able to win at least one of those games.
They also lost to the Calgary Flames (5th place in the Pacific Division with 36 points), and the Vancouver Canucks (3rd place in the Pacific but with only 37 points). Like with the Metropolitan Division, you could argue that this division isn’t as strong as the Central.
And don’t forget the Chicago Blackhawks more recent loss to the Colorado Avalanche on December 15th. They were blanked 3-0 by a team that is in 6th place in the Central Division with 36 points. The Hawk’s lost last night to a team that is currently 7th place in the Metropolitan Division and has 35 points.
Chicago should be taking advantage of these “easier” games and collecting points for later in the season and tougher opponents. Instead they are playing down to their competition.