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.