The Blackhawks had lost just one of their first 43 games at the United Center this year in regulation. Two games later, that total is up to three with a 4-1 loss to Minnesota Monday and a 2-0 loss to St. Louis last night.
The Hawks enter the all-star break having lost three of four and seem to be having some trouble putting the puck in the net. Chances that were sure goals a month ago just aren't finding the twine, including a great chance for Dustin Byfuglien last night. The breaks that were going Chicago's way are now near misses, like a play last night when Matt Walker had a goal, but for a whistle sounding just before it was in.
People always debate about timing in sports. Does it pay to have a longer break before a playoff series? Is it a good thing to play a rival during a slump? I tend to think that these things don't matter as much as we think. Whether the team wins or loses determines what the media says in these situations and you have a "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" situation. Yeah, I'll bring the latin.
In the case of the Blackhawks though, I'll say the mini-slump comes at a good time, as they'll have a week to refocus and let these wounds fester a bit. The week also gives Duncan Keith some time to rest and get back on the ice when the second half starts up. The Hawks will need the vastly underrated defenseman when the games start up, as they will be on the road for 12 of their next 14 games. That will be a hell of a test for this young team coming out of the break.
Meanwhile, don't forget that Kane, Toews, and Campbell will be starting for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game Sunday at 5:oo Central Time, so tune in. Or, just come back here to see how it went down. Dave Bolland and Kris Versteeg will also be participating in the Young Stars game on Saturday.