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Blackhawks Theme So Far? Consistently Inconsistent

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CHICAGO – The Blackhawks had momentum from Friday’s thriller against the Toronto Maple Leafs. So wouldn’t that be just the thing–beating a potential Stanley Cup contender–to kickstart a winning streak with the St. Louis Blues coming to town?

Apparently not.

The Blackhawks (6-13) continue to fail at putting a win streak together, losing another opportunity with the 4-2 loss to the Blues Sunday afternoon. Head coach Luke Richardson mentioned the frustration in how they couldn’t get something going.

“It was a little frustrating I think the way we just weren’t alert,” Richardson said. “I thought obviously we’d push back in the second again, but you’re always under dress when you’re behind and trying to catch up.”

A common theme this season with the Blackhawks–being behind. But there’s another–consistently inconsistent.

Blackhawks Trying to Build Winning Habits

Before fans could really settle into their seats, the Blues were up a pair of goals. On an afternoon that built its theme around the kids, it was a start that was akin to a toddler waking up from a nap–still half asleep.

Nick Foligno wasn’t a fan at all of the Blackhawks sluggish effort

“I didn’t like our start,” Foligno said.  “We talked about this–it’s building winning habits in here, and understanding what those are.”

But nearing the quarter pole of the season, the Blackhawks still haven’t figured out what that looks like. In 19 games, they have yet to put a winning streak together. They’ve failed to get a couple even in a row. Contrast that with losing streaks of three of five already, and there’s nearly half the games.

So what’s the solution? Well, it’s not that easy, either. Ryan Donato, who had one of Chicago’s two goals, admitted they’re still trying to figure that part of it out.

“That’s the problem: we don’t know,” Donato replied when asked about putting wins together. “We’ve got to come together internally and figure it out. From what I’ve learned on past teams, after a win you can sometimes sit back and say, ‘Ah OK, we won, we’re fine. Here we go; we’re going.'”

The problem? The Blackhawks haven’t seen that at all yet, mostly because the talent level isn’t there to sit back to that point.

But it’s hardly an excuse for a team that is trying to find its way back to relevancy.

No Time For Excuses

Foligno went further in saying that blaming youth isn’t acceptable, either. When talking about the younger players, Foligno went right for the veterans.

“You’ve never been pushed like this before,” Foligno said of the younger players. “And some of it is on the veteran guys who have been here, too–maybe trying to do too much which then causes a lot of bumps too, right? It’s a give and take–you can’t just blame it on the young guys–it’s so easy, I’ve always heard that.”

But then how does it change? Or further, what is it that the team needs to do differently if excuses won’t be made and they’re struggling to get a full 60 minute effort game in and game out.

“It’s just playing hard,” Richardson said. “We need to get back to that. I think we’re kind of watching the game, hoping it’s going to go our way. You have to make it go your way and that’s what we did a lot last year and at times, we’ve done that this year. But at times in the NHL doesn’t work. You have to do it all the time.”

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