It took several days as a result of the All-Star break, but the Chicago Blackhawks strung together consecutive wins when they topped the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Tuesday
Nothing good seems to come easily for the Chicago Blackhawks of late. It took them quite a while to put together two straight wins for just the second time in January, but they got the job done Tuesday after the All-Star break.
Going in with a 5-1 victory over Detroit, the Blackhawks came out the other end with a 2-1 thriller over the Nashville Predators. This was a triumph over an opponent that actually has its act together (though one that was missing Filip Forsberg and starting a backup goaltender). So the Blackhawks should definitely take it as a positive.
Of course, it came with goaltender Anton Forsberg needed to survive a barrage of third-period shots and make 42 saves for the game. Considering the lone Predators goal came on a Forsberg misplay, I’d say he pretty well made up for that mistake.
The Blackhawks are still being thoroughly outplayed in spots and failed to provide what could be described as a 60-minute effort Tuesday. Still, two points are two points, and for a team presently out of the postseason hunt, that’s good news.
Don’t overreact to success
Now, a win over the Predators is certainly a good thing, for the reasons just mentioned. But let’s not go overboard with what this means for the immediate future.
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Some fans figured each time the Blackhawks have defeated the Winnipeg Jets in those teams’ last two meetings that it was the Blackhawks turning a corner. Both times that was proven incorrect. Chicago can’t hang its hat on a single victory against a playoff-bound team. It needs to keep things rolling for multiple games.
That’s been a key problem the entire season. There’s been little to no consistency, and there have not been enough 60-minute efforts. This Blackhawks roster is flawed in many ways, so it’s not as though 100 percent effort every night would equal a perfect record. But if you’re looking for easy-to-fix ways to gain some traction, those are good places to start.
I’m not going to tell you the Blackhawks’ failures this year are about a lack of will to win, but it is important for the team to control what’s in its control. And that’s the effort on the ice. Tuesday’s effort wasn’t exactly great, though the result was. So don’t get overconfident just because the Blackhawks defeated a good team.
Chicago Blackhawks morning links
— We’ve got fancy stats. Natural Stat Trick
— Emilio Estevez should be on here. The Athletic
— Yeah, it may have been inappropriate. CBC News
— It’s not over till you get assigned to a Czech League team. NHL.com
Today will see the return of our NHL power rankings, so be sure to check back in with Blackhawk Up later on for those.