How long will this one last?

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How long will this one last?

The Blackhawks four-game win streak, which followed a nine-game losing streak, has been followed by a three-game skid. Weren't things looking OK again early in the 3rd period Thursday night?

The Ducks -- on the playoff ropes -- got a boost from a final-minute tying goal in the 1st, and carried that momentum through the rest of the game. Andrew Cogliano's goal was reviewed and upheld (even though Toronto was forced to rule without exact visual evidence that the puck went in off his stick following a kick).

The start was good, even including a power play goal, but the fact they were dominated in puck possession thereafter runs counter to how this team was built. Yes, the absence of Jonathan Toews cannot be understated. But there were times it looked like the effort could've been stronger -- or at least equal to the Ducks.

It's only a matter of hours now before we know the makeup of this roster for the stretch run. It's clear the current group needs another player or two, or three.

Losing 12 of 16, and scoring just four goals the past four games, won't get you in the playoffs when you look at what's ahead after hosting Toronto Wednesday: at Ottawa, at Detroit, at St. Louis. Home games include the Rangers, Kings and Blues before heading to Dallas.

Six weeks left. The Hawks still stand sixth in the West, but just four points out of ninth.

Kevin Dineen to stay on Blackhawks' staff as Avalanche hire Jared Bednar

Kevin Dineen to stay on Blackhawks' staff as Avalanche hire Jared Bednar

The Blackhawks' coaching staff will be intact for the 2016-17 season.

Two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned as head coach, the Colorado Avalanche officially picked Jared Bednar to be his replacement over Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen, who was among the favorites for the coaching vacancy.

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Bednar has no National Hockey League coaching experience, but did guide the Columbus Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate to a 15-2 postseason record last season en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup championship.

Retaining Dineen is good news for the Blackhawks, who start training camp next month, but it goes without saying that Dineen is certainly deserving of a second crack at a head coaching position in the near future.

Dineen, Mike Kitchen and head coach Joel Quenneville will enter their third season together after helping the Blackhawks capture a Stanley Cup in their first year as a group in 2015.

Jonathan Toews named Team Canada alternate captain for World Cup of Hockey

Jonathan Toews named Team Canada alternate captain for World Cup of Hockey

Jonathan Toews was named alternate captain of Team Canada on Thursday for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

Sidney Crosby was named Team Canada’s captain. Crosby, who claimed his second Stanley Cup in June, was also Team Canada’s captain en route to the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

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Toews, who has been the Blackhawks’ captain since the 2008-09 season, was also alternate captain of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad. Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens will serve as Team Canada’s other alternate captain.

Duncan Keith won't play for Team Canada in World Cup of Hockey

Duncan Keith won't play for Team Canada in World Cup of Hockey

Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.

Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.

"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."

Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.