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Blackhawks Thu Nov 10 2011

Hawks Hindered by Losing Streak?

blackhawks-logo.gifCompared to last season, the Blackhawks are off to a much better start than this time last year. The Hawks have an 8-4-3 record with 19 points, whereas this time last year they were 7-7-1 with 15 points.

Of course it's nice to see them come out at swinging this season after such a lackluster start in 2010, but the Blackhawks have some obvious kinks to work out at the moment. The team has looked a little sloppy, struggled with routine passes, and haven't been moving their feet enough.

Hindered by their first losing streak this season, the Hawks are looking to right their wrongs as soon as possible.

The Hawks have the worst power play percentage in the NHL at 8.8 but have been able to counteract that with one of the top penalt- killing units in the league. However, even that has begun to falter. The team is on a 0-2-1 drift, allowing seven goals out of nine opportunities -- including five brutal ones to Vancouver on Sunday for a 6-2 loss.

Among some of the other issues going on that's putting a strain on the team is Bryan Bickell's inconsistency, several players coming and going with injuries, but also the team's lack of breaks.

Tonight in Ohio the Hawks take on the worst team in the NHL right now, the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets have a record of 2-11-1 and only five points so far this season. Patrick Kane has racked three goals and six assists in a five-game streak at Nationwide Arena, and the team has gone 7-1-1 in their last nine visits to Columbus.

While Chicago won their last game against Columbus 5-2 on Oct. 29, the Blue Jackets will not only have had four days off but will also be looking to redeem themselves after their 9-2 loss Saturday against Philadelphia, one of the poorest defensive performances in franchise history.

Right now Coach Joel Quenneville has been trying out many combinations on the power play including moving defenseman Steve Montador into the second unit. Overall the team needs a little improvement if they want to continue on the path they started earlier this season.

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