Blackhawks

The roller coaster continues for Blackhawks, who are trending in wrong direction

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AP

The roller coaster continues for Blackhawks, who are trending in wrong direction

Two weeks ago, the Blackhawks were coming off a stretch in which they picked up at least a point in eight of nine games (6-1-2) and won four in a row. Things were quickly trending in the right direction after the organization made a schematic change on Nov. 7, which opened up the offense.

But after falling to the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues 4-0 on Monday, the Blackhawks have lost three straight (0-3-0), six of their past seven (1-5-1) and have been outscored 16-5 over their last three games. They were also shut out for the third time this season.

"We played three terrible games," Brent Seabrook said of the three-game skid. "It's definitely frustrating when you're out there. We have to work through it, we have to be better. We have to be better."  

To make things worse, only the Los Angeles Kings (24) have fewer points out of any Western Conference team than the Blackhawks (25), who were knocking on the door of a playoff spot at American Thanksgiving. It has a similar feel as last season where the Blackhawks get so close to the playoff pack before regressing, then having to start from square one again just to get back in the hunt.

It's mentally draining.

"We got to be better," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Certainly the last three games have been really disappointing after two pretty good efforts against Dallas. We have to find the energy and we have to find a better performance. That's the bottom line. There's still lots of points out there and we have a good enough team as we've shown to put a run together. But it's got to happen now."

Monday's events were indicative of how this past week has gone for the Blackhawks, who are unraveling.

The Blackhawks were forced to play one skater short due to injuries and financial reasons, which put them at a disadvantage from the start. The organization later released a statement 15 minutes before warmups saying assistant coach Marc Crawford will be away from the team while the Blackhawks investigate recent allegations made by former NHL players regarding his conduct with another organization. And then the Blackhawks got blanked by their arch-rival Blues in a lifeless environment at the United Center.

Not great.

The Blackhawks can feel the mood changing and they're searching for answers on how to turn the tide before it gets any worse.

"Every team faces adversity during the season," Patrick Kane said. "We were on a nice little run there and it turned really quick on us. You can look at the last three games and say they're huge games against divisional opponents and we didn't have our best game, which was disappointing. Obviously we have a big road trip coming up here. Got to find points anyway you can at this time of year, especially with the situation we're in."

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Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Kris Versteeg recently retired and now the Blackhawks are honoring him with the team’s “One More Shift.”

Versteeg began the season with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, but retired in November after playing six games for the IceHogs this season.

The 33-year-old wrote an emotional letter to the Blackhawks organization after requesting his contract with Rockford be terminated.

Versteeg will be honored before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He will join the team on the ice for the national anthem and highlights of his career will be featured in the United Center.

Versteeg won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, in 2010 and 2015. He is part of the Blackhawks celebrating the 10-year anniversary of that 2010 Cup win. Brian Campbell was given the same treatment on Nov. 21.

The first 10,000 fans into the UC can get replicas of the 2010 ring.

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Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane recently surprised recovering hockey player Payton Bruns in the hospital, spreading some cheer across Chicagoland this holiday season. The players spent time with Bruns and his family talking hockey and his recovery.

“I had no clue that they were coming,” Bruns told the camera.

Bruns cited Kane as one of his favorite players, making this moment even sweeter.

You can watch the heartwarming video here.

Bruns, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, broke two of his vertebrae sliding into the boards while chasing down a loose puck this past September. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and has since been recovering and doing physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.  

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.