Hawks Struggle But Manage Split

The NHL regular season is 82 games long and there will be times the Blackhawks come up with a dismal effort. Often, the better teams save the substandard outings for later in the season, during the dog days of January and February, but the Blackhawks got the jump on half-hearted efforts on Friday night in Carolina.

There is no embarrassment in losing to Cam Ward and the Hurricanes, especially in an away game. But the Hawks didn’t simply go down in defeat; their effort was so poor it was highly unlikely they could possibly win.

The Blackhawks played their worst period of the season versus the Hurricanes in the opening frame. What followed wasn’t very good either, as the Hawks only showed flashes of determination. The result was a well deserved 3-0 loss.

The next day the Hawks had a chance to get back on track at the United Center against the club with the poorest record in the NHL. Blackhawks ledge jumpers held hands but didn’t need to take a plunge as their favorite club survived to post a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The league is so competitive that almost every game and each shift matters. The Blackhawks had been winning while not playing their best, as was the case versus Anaheim last Tuesday. Usually it is only a matter of time until a substandard effort leads to defeat.

The best teams don’t string losses together. It remains to be seen if the Hawks will end up in the upper echelon of the NHL. There are reasons to be confident, but after this weekend, it is apparent better efforts will be required on a consistent basis.

There is a common thread that runs through teams suffering losses or struggling to win. Many times those clubs have difficulty scoring goals and usually their power play goes dormant. Another commonality in bad times is many of the best players seem to disappear.

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  1. RJF says:

    Been reading debate on various blogs about the value of John Scott. Doing a little fun analysis from last year, regular season with and without John Scott in the lineup:

    with Scott- 42 pts in 40 games or 1.05 pts/game equating to 86 points for the season. Miss playoffs.

    without Scott- 55 pts in 42 games or 1.31 pts/game equating to 107 pts on the year. #2 in conference.

    • Al Cimaglia says:

      But then there’s the emotional lift when Scott is sitting on the edge of the bench….lol

      A total waste of a roster spot.

  2. Marshmallow says:

    Long time lurker here. What do you think should happen to Olesz? His salary seems to make him kind of untradeable, although the Hawks do have a bit more flexibility this season, and a bunch of prospects to sweeten the pot.

  3. Al Cimaglia says:

    Olesz was the tradeoff in getting rid of Campbell’s contract.

    He will stay on the roster until they feel the cap space and roster spot must be better utilized.

    Then he will play in Rockford….Next year he could be at training camp or possibly decide to play overseas.

    In that case Rocky eats most of the salary and the Hawks have $3 mill in cap space and another roster spot.

    I don’t see a trade because his contract is too long for someone to bite on. No need to take back an equally bad contract or give away prospects.

    olesz’ contract is a cost of doing business….Rocky was aware of the risk….But that was the only opportunity to trade Campbell.

    Anything the Hawks get from Olesz is a bonus.