The Blackhawks had a team meeting after the 4-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils. Chicago sandwiched fatigued play between energetic spurts that saw it get goals for the effort.
But the end result led to a similar fate. A chance to string a winning streak together instead folded into another frustrating loss.
And the veterans weren’t having it.
“That’s a brotherhood,” alternate captain Corey Perry said. “You’re not putting anyone down. That’s not what we’re here to do. That wasn’t the message. It’s more of being brothers and being able to talk about it and figure it out. We’re trying to build something here. We played well for parts but again we didn’t put a full sixty minutes together. There’s some things we can work on and we’ll get better.”
Fellow alternate captain Seth Jones echoed the sentiments.
“We don’t want to be a team–‘hey great moral win, great victory’ and then be a team that dips the next game,” Jones said. “We want to be a team that can string two, three, four or five wins together especially at home in front of our fans.”
Effort, Not Necessarily Results, Important for the Blackhawks
“Sometimes it’s not about the results, it’s about playing hard–like you said effort,” Jones said after being asked about the mental side of things. “The wins will come.”
The Blackhawks started strong, but the same pesky issues cropped up as the Devils took control of the game. Turnovers, fatigue, and a couple mental mistakes cost Chicago on a couple that ended up in the back of their net.
Something that has to be addressed–and constructively.
“We want to hold ourselves accountable,” Jones said. “It’s not ‘mother f’in’ guys and stuff like that. If you make a mistake, your teammate should be able to tell you you’re wrong, and vice versa.”
A loss has the ability to send things sideways–and fast. Even if it appears as harmless, something that is the result of a back-to-back game, there can’t be any slippage.
So it has to be addressed.
“We need to string it together,” head coach Luke Richardson said. “We talked about it before the game– we don’t want to be just a team that can be good once. We want to be repetitive and follow it up tonight. Whether you’re tired or not, everybody’s got the same schedule. Everybody plays doubleheaders at some point, back to back, and people win them. So I think we want to be one of those teams.”