Chicago Blackhawks Playing Down to Their Competition is Troubling Trend

January 15th, 2015 by Steve Silverman Leave a reply »

The Chicago Blackhawks are hoping to take the ice Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets without the inconsistency that has dogged their play in recent weeks.

While the Blackhawks rolled to a convincing 4-1 victory over the plunging Minnesota Wild Sunday night in their last game, they were just 4-4-0 in their previous eight games and were struggling quite a bit against opponents outside the playoff picture.

That type of inconsistency gnaws at head coach Joel Quenneville's psyche. While the Blackhawks can't hope to play their best hockey every night during an 82-game regular season, it's hard for any coach to stomach losses to teams like the Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche.

Another issue is the team's margin of defeat over that span. It's one thing if the four losses in the previous eight games prior to the win over Minnesota were one-goal games, but three of those defeats were by multiple goals. They dropped a 5-1 decision at home to the Jets, were blanked 2-0 at Colorado and were the victims of a 5-2 defeat to the lowly Edmonton Oilers.

The only one-goal loss was their hard-luck 3-2 decision to the ...

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