Forget the old sports cliché it's not how you start, it's how you finish. In the NHL this season, the team that scores first goes on to win 65% of the time. It's even more daunting for the team that wears the Indian Head sweater. The Hawks opponents have won 88% of the time when they score first this season.
The Blackhawks latest slide has seen them playing from behind almost all of the time. They have allowed the game's first goal in seven straight and have gone on to lose six of those contests. Not only are they giving up the first goal, it's usually coming in the opening minutes. Over the last seven games, the Hawks have allowed 5 opening game goals in 2 minutes and 11 seconds or less.
Back in the cup winning years, it wasn't uncommon to see a couple slow starts each week. But, somewhere, in the second or third period, the Blackhawks would find their game, flip the switch, and end up with two points. Those days are gone. This team doesn't have the offensive firepower to rally from two or three goal deficits like they used to.
"It comes down simply to not being ready to play, that's the biggest thing." Patrick Kane said. "You've seen in the past several games, we are down and it's tough to comeback in this league, teams can "D" it up pretty good." "It all comes down to being ready to play and making sure we are dictating the pace right away, instead of waiting around feeling out the game."
The Hawks hit the road this week for back-to-back games against Anaheim and Vegas. This will be the second meeting against these two Pacific teams. As you may have guessed, the club that scored first went on to win the initial meeting.
Brandon Saad scored a power play goal five minutes into their game against Anaheim in October, which led to a Hawks 3-1 win at the United Center. While the Golden Knights scored two minutes into their game against the Hawks last week and went on to win 8-3.