Coming off a dominating 7-1 against the Washington Capitals, one would think that the Chicago Blackhawks would carry some momentum into Monday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Kings. Well, that individual wouldn’t know the 2017-18 Hawks now, would they?
It was yet another disappointing loss at the United Center for the Hawks on Monday. For the first time in a couple weeks, the Hawks got off to a bad start. Really, that’s not doing it justice. The Hawks got off to a horrible start, like being outshot 15-4 in the first period horrible.
Coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t happy with his team’s start. Could you blame him?
“It was a tough, tough start. There’s a certain standard of competing or starting a game and we watched for the first 20 minutes, every puck, every race, every puck battle, every play we were behind it. They won the period in every facet.”
After the first period, the Kings already had a 2-0 lead. The second period wasn’t much better as the Kings took a 3-0 lead heading into the third. In the final frame, veteran forward Patrick Sharp found the back of the net to make it 3-1. It was Sharp’s first goal since January ninth.
The Hawks finally woke up in the third, but it was too late, which has been the story of their season. In the end, the Hawks lost their ninth game out of their last ten played.
As a veteran, Sharp is going to make sure the Hawks fight through and finish this disappointing season that will end with the franchise missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-2009 campaign.
“Every season has ups and downs and different obstacles. These last couple of weeks have been maybe as hard as it gets. But nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. You’ve got to be a pro and keep fighting through it.”
As for the “playoff push,” Quenneville and his staff are taking it one game at a time.
“As coaches, we’re trying to win that next game. That will always be our focus.”
The writing is on the wall at this point. Quenneville even mentioned being a spoiler against other teams down the road in his post-game presser. As for more trades happening, there doesn’t seem to be much connection between the front office and coaching staff.
Soon it will be March and the Hawks are going to start to really realize where they stand. It’s frustrating and most players aren’t happy where their season currently stands.
“The first two periods were unacceptable on our part,” Jordan Oesterle said. “If we were able to put our finger on something, this season would be a little different than it is right now.”