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Hawks in Total Freefall as Season Nears End


Chicago Blackhawks GM Thomas Gidlow probably realized that his club's recent run of 15 games without a regulation loss would be at risk heading into the weekend of the EHE trade deadline. After all, the goal of the deadline was to see if there was a way to shore up some inconsistencies in the Hawks attack, particularly on defense and special teams.

In an effort to improve, the Blackhawks may have jeopardized everything.

Chicago was 12-0-3 in their last 15 games heading into the Friday before the deadline. The Hawks had outscored their opponents 58-39 during that stretch, and had firmly put themselves into second place in the Central Division. With 16 games left on the schedule, all that seemed at play was whether they could secure home ice for the first round of the EHE playoffs.

Now, with six games to go, Chicago may be fighting for their post-season lives.

Over the past ten games, the Blackhawks have struggled to a 2-8-0 mark. Perhaps more frightening is being outscored 43-19 during that stretch. Let that sink in - the Hawks have given up 4.3 goals a game in their past ten contests, and have scored less than two goals a game. During this slide, Chicago has not only dropped out of second place in their division, but currently sit in the final wild-card position by virtue of their relatively low ROW number.

Perhaps fortune for them, Chicago still has an eight-point cushion - Colorado and Edmonton, the only non-playoff teams that still have a shot at a post-season berth, sit at 81 points while the Blackhawks sit at 89. But that cushion is small comfort given the total freefall the club is in right now.

And still more fortunate, the Hawks only need five points max over their last six games to guarantee a playoff spot. If the Avalanche or Oilers lose two games, respectively, over their final contests, and Chicago earns just a single point on the way in, neither team can catch them. Second and third-place spots in the Central are still within grasp. So is the first wild-card position, which perhaps presents a somewhat more favorable first-round matchup against either Vegas or Arizona compared to Dallas, who have steamrolled their way to basically every regular-season achievement possible.

So all is certainly not lost. If there was a magic reset button in the Chicago locker room, now would be the time to hit it. But they do so knowing the road to the end of the season isn't exactly the most smooth. The Blackhawks will face Pittsburgh (fighting for a playoff berth), Dallas (need we say more), and Los Angeles (currently in the first wild-card spot) over their next three contests. A 2-0-1 mark in those three contests puts that X next to the Hawks' name in the standings. But more importantly, it would help to right a ship that is quickly sinking.

Gidlow made it a point to note that regular-season momentum heading into the playoffs means little these days. The onus on his deadline deals was to be a tougher team to play against in the post-season.

They have to make it there first.

Chip Whitley
Blackhawks Beat Reporter

Eric Wolf

Rivals or not, I don't ever wish ill on a teams GM I respect. Although your freefall has benefited my team, it's hard to see your freefall because I know how much that feeling sucks. I have seen it so many countless times when a succesful or hot team swings some deals at the deadline which immediately sets them backwards. Not saying it's related, but who knows? I've seen it enough times to know never to mess with my team at the deadline if it's on a roll. Regardless of that, I hope you get out of it and that I see ya in the playoffs!

Hawks in Total Freefall as Season Nears End
After a 12-0-3 run, Chicago is 2-8-0 since trade deadline

• 2 teams Like this  1 month
Thomas Gidlow Voracek wasnt my best player and we will see how the moves translate to playoff games. ;)
1 month  0 teams Like this
Brandyn Errickson

I guess there is something similar to momentum and your team looks to have lost it with those deadline moves.

Hawks in Total Freefall as Season Nears End
After a 12-0-3 run, Chicago is 2-8-0 since trade deadline

• 2 teams Like this  1 month