A slump is one thing. Not executing the steps needed to snap out of it - and repeating the same errors - starts to create something more than a frightening coincidence.
Turnovers, poor puck management and being caught out of position defensively have been what's burned the Blackhawks during this losing streak. Yet, despite focusing on it since last week's embarrassment in Edmonton, it's really gotten no better.
There was a slight step forward in Calgary, but a huge step back in Denver. The Avalanche is a team that hadn't been scoring goals - but they found a way against the Hawks. They would have scored even more if not for Ray Emery, who probably should've had the David Jones goal that made it 4-2. Still, he more than did his part.
The offense has averaged two goals during this slide, and Tuesday night, the power play was helping the Avs more than it helped themselves, with at least three or four short-handed odd-man rushes.
Instead of narrowing down the problems that have been the root of these difficult times, they seem, instead, to be growing. And it's the first time this group is going through anything close to this since the core accomplished so much.
The longer this goes, it's getting to the point where the doubts and questions about the team outside the locker room may start to be matched within those walls.
The Blackhawks dealt defenseman Michael Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick. Kempny had seven points in 31 games this season.
Kempny, 27, recorded 15 points in 81 career games for the Blackhawks. He tallied an assist in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the Capitals.
Kempny signed a one-year extension through the end of this season back in May.
After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.
Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.
"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.
"What was said this time around crossed the line."
The Capitals released a statement about the incident:
"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."
The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.
Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.
"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."
The Capitals released the full interview.