Jones needs to point finger at himself

Seth Jones looked and sounded awfully pissed after the Blackhawks lost 5-0 Monday at Colorado.

He sounded like a man who is sick and tired of losing game after game, month after month, season after season.

Good. It's about time someone showed some emotion. Few have during a 1-12-3 stretch in which the Hawks have been outscored 58-22.

Asked what stood out during the Hawks' loss to Colorado, Jones shrugged his shoulders and said, “There's not a lot of pushback there. A lot of outside shots. Not enough really in the crease. Not a lot of net-front traffic.”

He then pursed his lips and rolled his eyes a bit. You could almost feel the anger welling up inside him.

Next question: It feels like you had some looks. Were you just disappointed by the quality?

Jones shakes his head and says, “I can't even think about the looks we had right now. Not a lot of odd-man chances. A couple O-zone chances. A couple point shots. But nothing earth shattering.”

So how do the Hawks build something positive down the stretch?

Jones shrugs and says: “I don't know. I don't have any answers for you guys. It's hard, you know?

“We just need to find a way to play together as a team instead of everyone trying to do it themselves. It ends up in the back of our net when that happens. So we've got to block shots for each other, we've got to backcheck for each other, forecheck for each other, be on time when you're supposed to be on time. …

“Just the little details of the game aren't there at the moment.”

Look, I like Jones. When I've asked for him, he's always come out and been generous with his time. He'll open up, too, once the conversation gets flowing.

Those things go a long way in my book.

Having said that, Jones hasn't been pulling his weight this season. Not even close.

The veteran defenseman, who carries a $9 million cap hit, had 1 goal and 17 assists in 47 games before scoring twice in a 5-2 victory over Arizona on Tuesday. He came into the season averaging 9 goals and 33 assists.

Of course, it's not all his fault. The Hawks have a plethora of AHL-level talent in the lineup right now, so it's tough to rack up points.

In that Monday interview, however, Jones should have been much more self-critical. He can be a lockdown defender, but hasn't shown that much of late. He even flat-out gave Columbus a goal by mishandling the puck in the offensive zone in the first minute of a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jackets last week.

Heading into Tuesday's contest, Jones had been on the ice for 8 of the opponents' last 18 goals over the last four games. That feels like it should be next to impossible for a No. 1 D-man.

I need to be better. A difference-maker. There for my teammates. I need to stop taking so many chances. Let the offense come to me. I need to be better against the league's best. That's been a problem of late.”

There. That's what Jones should have said — and needs to say the next time he speaks.

Then go out and do it. Because that's what the Hawks are paying him to do.

Blackhawks 5, Coyotes 2:

While snapping a franchise-record 22-game road winless streak, the Blackhawks also scored 4 power-play goals for the first time since Joel Quenneville was coach. Seth Jones, Nick Foligno, Jason Dickinson and Philipp Kurashev scored in the first two periods. Tyler Johnson had 3 assists, while Connor Bedard added 2. Jones added an empty-net goal to ice the victory.

Arvid Soderblom made 37 saves and won for the first time since November 24. Soderblom's best stop came with 10:51 remaining in the second period when he lunged to his left and snared a one-timer by Clayton Keller.

The last time the Hawks scored 4 PP goals came during an 8-2 win at Ottawa on Jan. 9, 2018.

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