The Blackhawks offer a perfect example of what can happen when you have a bad week playing in the Western Conference.
After beating the Red Wings on Dec. 30, the Hawks led the Central Division by 5 points and were first in the NHL's overall standings.
Thanks to a four-game losing streak that included Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Red Wings in overtime at the United Center, the Hawks are fifth in the West and behind St. Louis and Detroit in the Central.
"We might have been ahead of those teams, but we weren't light years ahead of them," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We did give away a lot of ground here this week and it's up to us to regain where we were at."
Not only did the Hawks lose again on Pavel Datsyuk's goal at 3:08 of overtime, they lost Patrick Sharp to an injury in the first period after he had scored his 20th goal to make it 2-0.
Various replays of his goal showed Sharp getting slashed near his wrist and hand. Quenneville said more would be known about Sharp's condition on Monday, but it didn't sound good when he was asked if the injury might be serious.
"We'll see," said Quenneville, who normally lets the media know if the injury isn't anything to worry about.
This was a game the Hawks felt they should have won in regulation. They led 2-1 late in the third period when Dan Cleary scored to tie it with 4:45 left.
"We played better," Jonathan Toews said, referring to the Hawks' three previous losses. "We were more deserving of 2 points. We just didn't find a way to close it out."
Goalie Corey Crawford felt the Red Wings got away with a penalty prior to Cleary's tying goal, and he wasn't talking about teammate Nick Leddy getting cross-checked to the ice from behind.
"The guy came in and interfered and lifted my stick before the puck even got there. "It's embarrassing," Crawford said. "They come in and do whatever they want and nothing gets called. It's (bleeping) brutal."
Crawford was down and out on Datsyuk's winner that the Red Wings' star banked in off Leddy from a horrible angle. Crawford was bumped on the play, but it was by teammate Steve Montador wrestling with Tomas Holmstrom.
The Hawks wasted two power play chances in the third period leading 2-1 and had rookie Jimmy Hayes stopped on a penalty shot by Red Wings goalie Ty Conklin.
The penalty shot was awarded when Holmstrom covered the puck with his hand in the crease on the goal line. The Hawks thought the puck was in the net, but a video review was inconclusive and the referees had ruled no goal.
"It wasn't a great (camera) shot," Quenneville said. "We couldn't get a good view. The guys all thought it was in."
Because Quenneville had to pick someone who was on the ice at the time for the penalty shot, he went with Hayes in the clutch situation.
"Jimmy's a scorer, he's out there and he's been playing well," Quenneville said. "Plus, it's a fresh look, too. There's not a lot of history to go on. It was a guess."
Hayes shot the puck right into Conklin's pad.
"It was a little surprised (to get picked)," said Hayes, who admitted he was nervous. "I tried to go upstairs on it and didn't get enough of it."