Having reached the midway point of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks lead the Western Conference with 57 points, but they are definitely still a work in progress
It can be frustrating to watch the Chicago Blackhawks in January and February. It may seem like they aren’t putting their best foot forward. They might not seem very motivated, and many times fans become frustrated that the coaching staff isn’t playing the optimal lineup.
Here is a quote taken from an article recently written by The Fifth Feather of Faxes From Uncle Dale:
“So what happens before and shortly after the holidays is we see a lot of teams (like the Blackhawks) take their foot off the pedal and maybe not play with that extra attention to detail. Whether it’s a game where the coach experiments with the line matchups or where a team isn’t playing as tight defensively as they were at the beginning of the season, there are a multitude of ways teams cannot look as sharp as they did early in the season.
Of course, on the other hand you have teams like Columbus and the Minnesota Wild who can run off ungodly winning streaks during this time as they take advantage of those teams tinkering with their lineup, strategy, etc. The plus side is they gain a ton of points; the down side is everyone in the league who matters now knows their gameplan as the season winds down.”
This got me to thinking. There are a number of things that factor into the ’Hawks not looking their best right now. I’d like to take a look at a few of them.