If the Blackhawks feel a sense of desperation, they sure aren't playing like it.
With their fourth loss in the last five games, the Hawks took another step backward in the race for the playoffs with Monday's 3-1 setback to the Flames.
A slow start coupled with a strong effort from a Flames team that is surging at the right time kept the Hawks in 11th place in the Western Conference, three points out of eighth.
"We're not playing well enough to win hockey games," Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell said. "I don't know if we expect it's going to be easy just to go out there and win games. There are a lot of good teams in the Western Conference. If we are a playoff team then we have to prove it. Right now, obviously, we're not a playoff team."
Right now, the Flames are as they moved into eighth with their seventh win in the last eight games. Curtis Glencross broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period, while Mikael Backlund and Rene Bourque also had goals to support goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
Patrick Kane scored for the Hawks but it wasn't enough as Corey Crawford, playing for the first time since Jan. 25, had his personal losing streak extended to three games. The loss dropped the Hawks to 1-2 on their six-game trip.
"We're giving away points," Hawks winger Troy Brouwer said. "Calgary played a good game but we needed to be better. There are fewer points on the table now for us to take. If we're sliding like we are right now, we have to find a way to get out of it and get out of it real quick. Otherwise, we're going to find ourselves in a real big hole."
The Hawks were in a hole after coming out flat, managing a season-low three shots in the first period and allowing Backlund to open the scoring. Kane tied it early in the second after taking a pass from behind the Flames net from Jonathan Toews and beating Kiprusoff from the slot.
Blackhawks fall to Flames
Chicago Tribune | Feb 8