ANAHEIM, Calif. The Chicago Blackhawks walked away from their West-Coast weekend on a decidedly down note: just one goal scored, no points collected.
Theyre struggling again, and their confidence looks shaky. And as the trade deadline looms Monday, the Blackhawks need to find answers and perhaps a newly acquired player or two to get them out of this funk.
Patrick Kane scored to snap the power plays scoreless streak at 39, but the Blackhawks showed little resistance otherwise in a 3-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday afternoon. Its the third loss in a row for the Blackhawks, who remain in sixth place but have several teams right on their tail.
It was a shaky weekend for the Blackhawks, who are definitely missing Jonathan Toews and defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador. Coach Joel Quenneville said it was tough to say if Toews would play on Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs; Toews hasnt skated yet. Same goes for Hjalmarsson. Montador is nowhere near ready.
And if the Blackhawks are unable to cobble together a deal or two on Monday, theyll have to find the answers with the group they have. But in the past three games theyve been hard to find. So has the offense; the Blackhawks have scored just two goals in their last three games.
I dont know. It seems like sometimes when we get the lead were satisfied with that, Kane said. At that point we have to keep the pressure on and try to extend the lead.
Kane put the Blackhawks up early on the power play, their first goal on it since Jan. 24. But with just 20 seconds remaining in the first, Andrew Cogliano knocked one through Ray Emery to tie it 1-1. It was reviewed for quite a while Cogliano kicked it first before apparently getting a stick on it.
I thought he kicked it into me. Im not sure, said Emery, who stopped 35 of 38 shots on Sunday. I know they take the proper look at it, and they mustve had some evidence to the contrary. You have to work past those things.
Yes, you do. But the Blackhawks didnt. Instead of showing determination and coming out firing to start the second, the Blackhawks were sloppy and sluggish. It took them nearly eight minutes to get their first shot on goal in the second period same goes for the third period.
The Ducks, meanwhile, were rejuvenated by Coglianos goal, adding scores by Shelton Brookbank and Teemu Selanne to seal it. They outshot the Blackhawks 26-9 over the final two periods.
We tried different lines, just trying to get some kind of offense and balance. We didnt generate enough, but the starts something we couldve fed off, coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Blackhawks were starting to get their confidence and swagger back toward the end of their last road trip. Theyve lost it again in this latest losing streak. It doesnt help that Toews is out; his contributions, obviously, are immeasurable for this team. But the Blackhawks arent the first team to lose a star player and have to make up for his absence.
Perhaps theyll add a player or two come Mondays trade deadline. Regardless, the Blackhawks need to regroup. And they need to do it fast.
Weve given up a ton of ground recently, Quenneville said. Were in a tough spot. We have to put ourselves back in the spot we were in early in the year, get some games and some confidence.