The Chicago Blackhawks are fortunate that they started off the 2011-12 season so strong, otherwise they would be in a lot worse shape than 65 points and the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings.
The Hawks are winless in nine straight (0-8-1), including seven in a row on the road. Things won’t get any easier for the club as they head into Thursday’s showdown at the Garden against the No. 1 team in the league, the New York Rangers.
However, despite the Hawks’ recent woes, the team is trying to remain positive.
“You’ve got to realize in this sport and in this business, there’s good days and bad days, and that comes with everything else, not just hockey,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “For the guys who have been in Chicago for a while, we’re used to success, and we’re used to winning. Moments like these probably make you appreciate that a little bit more.”
Toews and the club may not be panicking, but they definitely are gripping their sticks tighter. Toews and fellow superstar Patrick Kane haven’t exactly been lighting it up over the Hawks’ losing streak: Toews only has two assists since the All-Star break, and Kane has a goal and three assists.
Their power play is ranked 17th in the league, their penalty kill is a dreadful 27th. And whether it’s Corey Crawford or backup Ray Emery, the goaltending hasn’t exactly been stellar, either.
“It’s tough to get some sleep at night,” Toews admitted.
Until then, as bleak as things may seem, Towes and the team are going to try to stay positive.
“Something’s got to give. Something’s got to go our way eventually. They say if you keep doing the right things the hockey gods are going to reward you and we’re hoping that’s going to happen soon.”