OK, so why can’t the once-mighty Chicago Blackhawks win a hockey game?
Goaltenders Corey Crawford and Ray Emery have struggled. The team defense has been surprisingly mistake-prone for a Joel Quenneville-coached squad.
Their top scorers have scuffled, which his way the Blackhawks rank just 17th in power-play efficiency after ranking fourth last season.
And now the losing appears to be getting to the players. The Blackhawks carry a nine-game losing streak into tonight’s game against the torrid Rangers in New York.
Listen to what the Blackhawks were saying to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and ESPN Chicago in the wake their loss at Nashville:
Patrick Kane: “It's tough not to think about it, especially when it's to this extent of nine games. We're trying to look at the positives right now . . . It’s definitely not fun for us. You can definitely take it personally and try to do everything you can to help the team out of it. I think a lot of us, we know our top guys are going to have to produce for us to start winning games, which is fine. You want that pressure on you. You want to be able to be the man when that time comes . . . For all of us, we know what a fun feeling it's going to be once we win a game.”
Patrick Sharp: “That's a topic of conversation all the time. It’s not like you punch in at the rink and you go home and you're clear mentally. That would be the ultimate goal, but we take our jobs seriously. We want to win and everyone is concerned away from the rink. I'm one of those guys who thinks about hockey all the time, whether it's going good or bad, so it makes it much more different when things aren't going well.”
Jonathan Toews: “There's a moment every day that we remind each other we're teammates, we're friends, we're family and we're going to pull through it together. We're not holding any of this bad luck or discouraging things against each other. The biggest thing is something has to give, something has to go our way eventually. As they say, if you keep doing the right things, the hockey gods will reward you. We're just hoping it's going to happen soon.”
Quenneville: “We’re all facing something we probably haven’t experienced much or ever. As a group, that’s a different challenge, we’ve had that success . . . This adversity is going to make you better. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you. As a coach you want to be hard on guys and there’s times where you have to be supportive. I think right now we want to be supportive and encouraging. That’s kind of the way I am right now.”