Rocky Road... Again

665486.png

Rocky Road... Again

A slump is one thing. Not executing the steps needed to snap out of it - and repeating the same errors - starts to create something more than a frightening coincidence.

Turnovers, poor puck management and being caught out of position defensively have been what's burned the Blackhawks during this losing streak. Yet, despite focusing on it since last week's embarrassment in Edmonton, it's really gotten no better.

There was a slight step forward in Calgary, but a huge step back in Denver. The Avalanche is a team that hadn't been scoring goals - but they found a way against the Hawks. They would have scored even more if not for Ray Emery, who probably should've had the David Jones goal that made it 4-2. Still, he more than did his part.

The offense has averaged two goals during this slide, and Tuesday night, the power play was helping the Avs more than it helped themselves, with at least three or four short-handed odd-man rushes.

Instead of narrowing down the problems that have been the root of these difficult times, they seem, instead, to be growing. And it's the first time this group is going through anything close to this since the core accomplished so much.

The longer this goes, it's getting to the point where the doubts and questions about the team outside the locker room may start to be matched within those walls.

Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook out vs. Rangers

Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook out vs. Rangers

Brent Seabrook is out and Jonathan Toews will miss his eighth consecutive game when the Blackhawks host the New York Rangers on Friday night.

Seabrook suffered an upper-body injury in the second period of the Blackhawks’ 4-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. The defenseman fell awkwardly along the boards and was down for a few moments. Coach Joel Quenneville said Seabrook is day-to-day. Quenneville added he’ll decide tomorrow who takes Seabrook’s place in the lineup.

“Seabs has played really well for us on the back end this year and we’ll definitely miss his contributions,” Quenneville said. “We’re looking for someone to step in.”

Toews is feeling better and could skate on Friday. Quenneville would not rule out the possibility of Toews returning Sunday against the Dallas Stars.

[SHOP BLACKHAWKS: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

Duncan Keith did not practice on Thursday but he’s expected to play vs. the Rangers. Scott Darling will start.

Quenneville said Corey Crawford, who had an appendectomy on Saturday, is “status quo.”

Meanwhile, Nick Schmaltz, who was assigned to Rockford over the weekend, scored two goals in the IceHogs’ 3-2 loss to the San Antonio Rampage.

“I talked to Norm (Maciver, Blackhawks assistant general manager) about his game, they were extremely happy with how he played,” Quenneville said of Schmaltz. “He scored twice and there could’ve been more.”

Eric Semborski gets his own hockey card as Blackhawks' emergency goalie

Eric Semborski gets his own hockey card as Blackhawks' emergency goalie

Eric Semborski lived out his childhood dream by calling himself a National Hockey League goaltender for one day, and he will never forget it.

Now there's proof nobody will.

[SHOP BLACKHAWKS: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

Topps revealed Wednesday that it has produced a trading card for the 23-year-old after he signed a one-day contract on an amateur tryout basis to serve as the emergency backup goaltender for the Blackhawks in Saturday's contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

While he didn't see any action, Semborski said after the game that absorbing shots during warmups from some of the best players in the league was “the best 20 minutes of my life.”

Add this to the memory bank of a story that keeps getting better.