When you win three Stanley Cups in three seasons not too many people are going to feel bad for you. After another loss on Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks season was basically over. It’s going to take a miracle for the Hawks to even have a chance to make the postseason.
An era is coming to an end, but don’t expect the rest of the NHL to feel sorry for them, including Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock.
“Empathize with Joel Quenneville?” Hitchcock said. “He can give me his rings all he wants. I don’t give a damn. Competition’s competition. He’s had his day in the sun and he’s a great coach. But you can’t feel for anybody. Those are the things you do in the summer when you get together, you talk to a guy on the phone or when he’s facing personal adversity, but during competition, you’re in your own group and you hope the other group fails like crazy.”
Hitchcock is right. No one is going to feel sorry for the Hawks and they shouldn’t even though the franchise is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first since 2008. However, there is still respect around the league for what the Hawks are capable of.
“I thought they played a great game against Calgary,” Hitchcock said. “That’s hockey. That’s the way it is right now. But I think all of us, quite frankly, we live in a little bit of fear of the Hawks, because we know that they’re capable of getting on a run and that scares everybody.
That’s probably been the most frustrating part of this season. The Hawks are capable of being a very good team that could win a round or two in the playoffs. Unfortunately, they have been an inconsistent bunch that hasn’t lived up to the logo on their sweaters.
On Thursday night the Hawks had another game against a division rival in the Dallas Stars. Like they’ve done, for what seems like two weeks, they got off to a quick start. Jonathan Toews, who has had another disappointing season, gave the Hawks the lead.
It was great for Toews to get things going in a positive direction.
Inconsistent play has been a common theme for this group and it found them again in the second period. The Stars were able to score two goals in 59 seconds to take a 2-1 lead thanks to two turnovers. On their second power play of the period, the Hawks were able to tie the game thanks to Artem Anisimov.
Again though, the Hawks were hurt by really a lack of effort. After yet another turnover at the Stars’ blueline Tyler Pitlick beat Anton Forberg on a shot that gave the Stars a 3-2 lead with just 4.5 seconds left in the period.
Pitlick’s goal would go on to be the game winner and it was yet another frustrating loss for the Hawks. An empty-netter made the final score 4-2 Stars. For the first time since the 2005-06 season, the Stars swept the season series against the Hawks.
Thursday’s loss was the Hawks six straight at the United Center.