Stop worrying about the Hawks' 'slump'

February 12, 2014|By Evan F. Moore | For RedEye

The Blackhawks have not looked like their usual selves recently.

After sweeping an important weekend against Anaheim and Boston, the Blackhawks had lost five of seven games. The team crawled out of the hole with recent victories over Anaheim (again) and Los Angeles.

Have Blackhawks fans been spoiled by the team's rise to prominence?

After all, they've been doing most of the winning when compared to the city's other franchises.

Every night, fans expect the team to blow away the competition. In many cases, they do. But fans worry about the struggles with the power play along with finding someone to center the second line. Chicago fans know the St. Louis Blues want their own postseason glory, preferably at the Hawks' expense.

Just know this: The Blackhawks have a way of overcoming obstacles.

The team has an unprecedented amount of talent, speed, grit and depth along with an embarrassment of riches in the farm system. If any team can bounce back from a slump, this team can. Even though no team has repeated as the Stanley Cup champion since Detroit in 1998, the Blackhawks have the horses to do it.

Goaltender Corey Crawford, who seems to unfairly draw the ire of the fans, knows the team is battle-tested despite its recent slide.

"We know what we're capable of," he told the Tribune recently. "Sometimes when you don't get the results, it's not always easy to keep playing through it, but [last week] we found a way to overcome some of those tough moments we had in the last couple of weeks."

Seeing some so many of the team's key players representing several countries in the Olympics is also a cause for concern for some. It just doesn't feel the same if someone is injured outside the NHL season.

I understand the concerns. However, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Remember, several Blackhawks played in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.

Blackhawks fans fondly remember how that season turned out.

Evan F. Moore is a RedEye special contributor.

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