Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Struggling To Find Their Game

By Gregory Bradshaw
Oct 14, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators players celebrate after a goal by center Mike Fisher (12) past Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) in the second period at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 14, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators players celebrate after a goal by center Mike Fisher (12) past Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) in the second period at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Blackhawks fell to the Nashville Predators 3-2 in a rather lopsided affair, causing a great deal of frustration to Chicago.

These Central Division rivals squared off in the first of back to back games, and this one had playoff atmosphere written all over it. The Hawks were looking to regroup after a home loss to the St. Louis Blues, but it looks like it’s back to the drawing board.

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Nashville came out firing on all cylinders while the Blackhawks found themselves chasing the Predators for nearly the entire game. It was the Hawks who scored first on Marcus Kruger’s first goal since the 2015 playoffs, but Chicago’s penalty kill once again proved how unimposing it truly is. Six power-play goals for opposing teams in the past two games is certainly nothing to be content with.

Newly acquired P.K. Subban, Roman Josi, and Mike Fisher, all scored for the Nashville Predators, dropping the Blackhawks to 0-2-0 to begin the season.

Room for concern?

There’s quite a bit of frustration in the locker room as well as doubt throughout Chicago’s fan base. Will the Hawks ever have four solid lines on a nightly basis? Will special teams ever come around? This season is still so fresh. Chicago consists of six players who have played less than ten NHL games in their young careers. Lets relax people. Take a deep breath.

Lets look at some positives

Although the Blackhawks have had their share of trouble with special teams through these first two game, 5-on-5 has been very solid, minus the lack of scoring. The Hawks have yet to surrender a single goal at even strength. The rookies are holding their own minus the shakiness that should be expected from young players.

Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz are definitely living up to the hype from preseason. Motte has provided excellent 5-on-5 defense and has done well in the rush with the two lines he’s been assigned to. Schmaltz has provided energy which can never be overlooked. Whether its hopping in on a rush or battling for pucks, Schmaltz is striving to gain more and more ice time.

These two skaters are giving us Hawks’ fans small previews of what is to come, and the future

looks bright.

And we simply can not overlook the stellar play of rookie defenseman Gustav Forsling. He’s  proving without a doubt that he can play at the NHL level, and could very well be the Chicago Blackhawks breakout player of the year. For a rookie to play as poised and confident as we have seen thus far bodes very well for the future of the Blackhawks.

Next: Chicago Blackhawks Know Central Division Cannot Be Bullied Anymore

Are we still worried?

As Chicago Blackhawks fans we have been absolutely spoiled throughout the past decade. There were a few let downs, but for the most part Chicago has been a juggernaut in the NHL. We as fans have to realize that this is the youngest group that we’ve seen during this reign, and for the sake of the Hawks, we need to build these young players to keep Chicago’s future on the right track.

Its two games guys. Two rough outings that prove that the Hawks need some work. But lets have some faith here. Lets keep the hopes alive. Theres no need to panic.

Oct 12, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Richard Panik (14) reacts after scoring against the St. Louis Blues during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Richard Panik (14) reacts after scoring against the St. Louis Blues during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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