This is the Blackhawks’ record in their last ten games. Although they have clinched a spot in the upcoming playoff race, they definitely need to find a solution for the backslide they have been on this last month. With only five games remaining in the regular season, the Hawks need to get back to playing their style of hockey if they hope to repeat their success of last season.
Not only are they playing out-of-sync, but they are also short of a couple of key pieces to the puzzle. Goaltender, Corey Crawford, is still out with an upper-body injury and hasn’t seen the ice since March 14 against the LA Kings. Coach Joel Quenneville is “optimistic” that his go-to goalie will be back in the next week or so and hopefully can propel the team forward going into the postseason.
However, Crawford isn’t the only one hoping to be back for playoffs. Defensemen and Alternate Captain, Duncan Keith, has been indefinitely suspended after an incident occurred during tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild. Keith lashed out against Wild centermen, Charlie Coyle, and was immediately ejected from the game and led into the locker room, getting charged with a game misconduct of “intent to injure”. Although the hearing in which his punishment will be handed down has yet to happen, it looks as though the team will have to get used to playing without the star defensemen; at least for a little while.
With the team preparing to face Winnipeg on friday night, they are granted a little relief in knowing that they have Brent Seabrook and Artem Anisimov back in the line-up after both missing the aforementioned game on tuesday. Hopefully their veteran presence will be felt each shift that they are on the ice and put the Hawks back in the win column by the end of the night.
The current standings show Chicago only six points down from St. Louis and eight down from Dallas. If they can find some momentum in the next couple of games, it could fiercely impact how the team performs going into the postseason and throughout the playoffs.
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