The Blackhawks have lost once again. That puts them at 3-7-2 in their last 12 games. Pretty anemic for the team who's 4th place in the Western Conference. And that position they only hold by one point over the Vancouver Canucks.
I thought that perhaps the Blackhawks were only slipping because they were missing two big factors in their line-up: Nikolai Khabibulin (G) and Patrick Sharp (RW). But with the "Bulin Wall" back and Sharpie's return just around the corner, the Blackhawks don't seem to be doing any better. Why not?
Their defense is soft. Just last night, the Blackhawks allowed the New Jersey Devils' Jamie Langenbrunner to slip into the offense zone behind the defense without anyone on him. They were all too entirely concerned with team scoring leader, Zach Parise. It was no surprise that when Parise dished it to Langenbrunner, he ripped it past Khabi with less than a minute gone from the game clock.
A few minutes later, while on the power play, Matt Walker unsuccessfully lifted Travis Zajac's stick to prevent the one-timer goal through Khabi's five hole. Two goals in the first period; both of them a failure on the defense's part.
Tonight, the Blackhawks lost in OT to the Columbus Blue Jackets (the second time in 4 games). This was scored by a pass across the front of the net and a shot, despite Brian Campbell being right there to defend the play.
Looks like we could use some help on defense...
WAIT A MINUTE! DIDN'T WE JUST TRADE A GREAT DEFENSEMAN FOR A MIDDLING CENTER?!
Yes, yes, we did. By the way, Sami Pahlsson, not impressive. I knew he wouldn't be. He was hailed as a great face-off man. Yeah, I saw him win some face-offs, but not the face-off in the Blue Jackets offensive zone on their power play that led to a quick goal.
Let's review the Blackhawks' acquisitions this year.
Cristobal Huet: disappointment
Brian Campbell: Soft, doesn't put his body out there, and let's people by all the time.
Sami Pahlsson: Too soon to tell, but I don't like what we gave up.
Granted, all these guys have had their flashes of brilliance and this post is probably coming from a very disappointed and disillusioned Blackhawks fan. A short win streak may change my opinion on all these guys, but right now, I'm not sold on any of them.