The Chicago Blackhawks have continued a season of trends as of late. But the trends that have occurred recently should not concern Blackhawks fans as they have shown a positive turn in their play that was expected and not expected.
There is no doubt that the Blackhawks struggled after the Olympics. My cohost, Ashton Rotman, and I discussed this very topic on our weekly radio show, Standing Room Only, on Monday nights from 8-10 PM which you can listen on WRLR 98.3 FM if you live in northern Illinois or wrlr.fm online or the tune in app on your phone.
Anyway, we discussed this past week the struggles of the Blackhawks. In March of this year, the Blackhawks went 6-7-1 and have gone 6-8-1 in the fifteen games since the NHL resumed after the Sochi Olympics. If you look back at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, the Blackhawks were in a similar situation. They played 15 games in March that year and went 6-7-2.
The records are very similar in the first fifteen games back after the Olympics. It’s definitely to be expected as the Blackhawks sent ten players to Sochi this year. After playing extra games and having to travel across the globe, fatigue is going to wear in.
In both seasons, the Blackhawks had a three game losing streak at the end of March. In 2010, it was March 25-30; this season, it was from March 27-30. In 2010, there were two three game losing streaks during March.
The most important part is what the Blackhawks did after March. In 2010, the Blackhawks won five games in a row to start April before losing their final game of the season in overtime. So far in 2014, the Blackhawks have won three games in a row to begin April.
In the first three victories in April 2010, the Blackhawks scored 11 goals. In the current three game winning streak, the first such win streak since December, the Blackhawks have scored 11 goals.
They have done it by simplifying their game, creating traffic in front and pouncing on second opportunities. At the right time the Blackhawks have started to play playoff hockey to get ready for the playoffs.
In 2010, the Blackhawks were able to navigate the tricky Olympic season by turning it on at the right time just before the playoffs began. They struggled through March and turned it on in April. If the Blackhawks continue to play strong there is no reason to think that they can’t be right back where they were in 2010 at the end of the season.
Once is a coincidence, twice is a trend. The Blackhawks hope that the trends keep continuing all the way until the end of the season with the hoisting of the Stanley Cup.