The punchless Chicago Blackhawks end a western road swing tonight at Calgary, then return home for four days of rest and reflection.
They will not like what they see.
A week ago, flush with a good start in a new NHL season, the Chicago Blackhawks were 6-2-3 and optimistic. A week later, not so much.
The Blackhawks started a four-game winless streak by losing to a struggling Blues team in St. Louis 7-3. They came home and lost in overtime to Edmonton, 2-1. A 4-2 loss at Vancouver followed by another loss at Edmonton (4-0) leaves the Blackhawks at 6-5-3 and near the bottom of the mild, piled Central Division.
They’ve been outscored 17-6 in that winless streak. If a team can’t score goals, it has to be tight as a tic in its own end to be competitive. If a team is sloppy in its own end, it has to score to be competitive.
Right now, the Blackhawks can’t score and can’t keep opponents from scoring. Until that changes, the bottom is approaching fast.
Around the League
No division in the NHL is more congested the Metro Division. Eight teams are within four points of one another. The Washington Capitals, defending Stanley Cup champions, are near the bottom of the Metro and know now how it is to be targeted. They are 5-4-2 and get the best effort of every opponent. They can expect more of the same.
The Vegas Golden Knights are 5-7-2 and in for a long slog. Tampa Bay (8-3) has cooled off, going 2-2 in its last four games. Nashville looks strong. The Minnesota Wild are playing well, having won six of seven. But they have a history of being regular-season monsters and playoff pushovers.
Roger Dier covers the Chicago Blackhawks for Full Press Coverage. Follow Roger on Twitter @rogerdier.
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