Blackhawks trying to ‘find a way to play together as a team' in final 20 games of season

Blackhawks trying to ‘find a way to play together as a team' in final 20 games of season originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

DENVER — The Chicago Blackhawks dropped their seventh consecutive game and 22nd straight road contest after being blanked by the Colorado Avalanche 5-0 on Monday at Ball Arena.

It's the ninth time this season the Blackhawks have been shut out, three of which have come from Colorado. The losses are quickly piling up.

With 20 games left, the Blackhawks are searching for ways to finish on a positive note of some sort.

"I don’t have any answers for you guys," Seth Jones said. "It’s hard. It’s tough. We just need to find a way to play together as a team instead of everyone trying to do it themselves, playing individually. It ends up in the back of our net when that happens.

"We've got to block shots for each other, we've got to backcheck for each other, forecheck for each other, be on time when you’re supposed to be on time. When you lose a faceoff, do your assignment, know your assignment. Just the little details of the game that aren’t there at the moment."

Anthony Beauvillier made the same observation.

"We've just got to work a little bit more together," Beauvillier said. "One guy is doing a job and the other guy's watching. We've got to play more connected and that would help us out a little bit more."

Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson thinks his team has gotten off track a bit the last three games. He wanted them to bottle up the recent performances against Detroit and Winnipeg, and the win over Ottawa and see more of that over the final 20 games.

"We have to get back to playing that style of hockey," Richardson said. "It's a team game and like we just mentioned, we can't go rogue and individual thinking we're going to help because we know it's not going to help. So we have to get back and be very patient and work a little bit harder in certain areas of getting pucks out of our zone and into the other zone, and we've got to play as a team. That's the only way you win in hockey.

"Even the best teams like this team here, [Nathan] MacKinnon and [Cale] Makar, with their speed and talent, they drive their team, but the other team are forced to play at that level and that's what we have to do."

It would be easy for the Blackhawks to start mentally checking out at this point in the season. They're dead last in the standings, and there's about six weeks left until the summer.

Even though it's probably not fun to come to the rink, the Blackhawks are still trying to establish the right habits down the stretch, which in theory should help the foundation in the future.

"We've got to build some confidence," Beauvillier said. "I'm going to repeat myself, we've just got to build together and work together and bail each other out when it's time to really create something to look forward to here next year and feel confident about our game. That's the main focus we should have."

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