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Predators push Chicago’s skid to nine games

Feb 14, 2012, 11:59 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators Getty Images

Not every Central Division team celebrated the extension of a streak tonight.

While the Detroit Red Wings’ home winning run grew to 21 games, the Nashville Predators gave the Chicago Blackhawks their ninth loss in a row by edging them 3-2.

Rather than eye-balling the divisional standings, the Blackhawks’ focus is simply to make the playoffs now.

Their 29 wins act as a tie-breaker, but the Blackhawks are essentially tied with the Los Angeles Kings for sixth place with 65 points in 57 games played. That puts them in danger of being usurped by the eighth place Phoenix Coyotes as well as any number of bubble teams during the stretch run.

For most of the 2011-12 season, it seemed like Chicago was beyond the late-season nail-biting finish from last year, but that’s far from a guarantee now.

Ultimately, there really are only three obvious silver linings:

1. They’re still in the West’s top eight.
2. Detroit’s run buries their struggles in the headlines, at least nationally.
3. The St. Louis Blues lost to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.

Hey, when you’re free-falling like the Blackhawks, sometimes you have to look a little harder for positives.

  1. danphipps01 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Small consolations overshadowed by two damning realities: A) Detroit and St. Louis have goaltenders worthy of the playoffs and B) the players in front of said goalies are much, much better at *helping* them on occasion.

    Hey, if they get lucky they might draw Vancouver in the first round again and end up with the only possible opponent with worse goaltending than theirs – as long as he’s playing either them or the Bruins, anyway.

    • bigtganks - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:24 AM

      Um ever since khabibulin and neimi left town this is who the hawks are. Crawford lost to Luongo last year… Remember? and I don’t think anyone would take him over Luongo.

  2. AppealToReason - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    It isn’t just Chicago’s goaltending, although it is an easy pin and not entirely undeserving of blame. Their overall team defense hasn’t been good all year. They won games at the start of the season because they were outscoring their defensive deficiencies. Now its catching up to them as their stars have cooled off.

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