Many reasons for Blackhawks' struggles down stretch
Nobody on the Blackhawks is going to make excuses for a losing streak that reached five after a 5-2 loss at Carolina on Monday.
They could, no doubt, point to the fact that a bunch of new faces have arrived over the past month. Forming chemistry on the fly and learning a new system is never easy.
It's not just that, though.
• The goaltenders are struggling. Badly.
• Defensive assignments are being blown. Badly.
• The power play is non-existent.
• Patrick Kane has all but disappeared.
And while those are all big reasons why the Hawks have fallen out of the playoff picture, let's also recognize that Nashville, Tampa Bay, Florida and Carolina are all on a completely different level right now.
The Hurricanes (35-10-7) proved as much Monday, taking a 4-0 lead after 30 minutes. Know how many SHOTS the Hawks had to that point?
Carolina's first goal by Dougie Hamilton at 6:33 of the first period came when the puck -- which was being sent cross ice from behind the net -- hit Malcolm Subban's stick and somehow got behind the Hawks' goalie. Subban was pulled after Carolina's fourth goal, having made just 14 saves.
Collin Delia came on in relief and stopped all 19 shots he saw. It was Delia's third NHL appearance of the season and first since January 17.
Ian Mitchell and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Hawks, DeBrincat's coming with 5:22 remaining to make it 4-2. DeBrincat has 26 goals on the season.
Sebastian Aho notched a hat trick for the Hurricanes.
The teams meet again Tuesday.