Although it seemed like a disgusting and embarrassing 6-2 loss for the Chicago Blackhawks in Friday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, it was actually probably for the best. It was their sixth game in the last nine days, as well as their first road game outside of their division during this time.
With this year being a shortened season, all 30 teams in the National Hockey League are trying to squeeze 48 games in such a short amount of time. So teams are a little under-practiced and players are becoming more exhausted. This has taken an effect on many teams, but for Chicago it made their streak tougher for them to keep up.
Each individual game meant more for the Blackhawks than it did for most teams. They were trying to maintain a 24-game point streak. This meant having their best players out on the ice as much as possible. Now that they finally lost a game in regulation, the Blackhawks can slow down and focus more on what is truly important.
In 2007, the National Football League’s the New England Patriots were on the road to a perfect season, when they lost in the game that truly mattered. The Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season, won their playoff games, but then lost to the New York Giants by a measly three-points in the Super Bowl. It would be a shame if the same thing happened to the Blackhawks this year.
The Blackhawks are a Stanley Cup worthy team. They went 24 games in a row with nothing less than an overtime loss, and in so many of their victories did the Blackhawks perseverance pay off at the end. They don’t give up offensively, their defense does an outstanding job of preventing rebounds in front of the net, and they haven’t had such a successful goaltending duo in quite some years.
With a regulation loss in the books, the Blackhawks are still 10 points ahead in first place. With some room to work with in the standings they can now give the appropriate players the rest they’ll need to stay healthy and well rested.
I don’t expect Chicago to lose too many more games this season, but a few losses to keep their heads down to earth and their eyes on the prize, and the Blackhawks will guarantee be the representative of the Western Conference in the finals.
The Blackhawks return home to face the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday March 10th. The last time these two met, the Blackhawks won 3-2. However though the Edmonton Oilers were also without their main point provider. Taylor Hall was absent during the Oilers loss to Chicago while he was suspended for kneeing an opponent.
This time the Blackhawks will be without star forward Patrick Sharp. Sharp will be out 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury.