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Inconsistency continues to loom for Blackhawks

CHICAGO%2C+IL+-+NOVEMBER+27%3A+Chicago+Blackhawks+right+wing+Alex+DeBrincat+%2812%29+celebrates+with+teammates+after+scoring+a+goal+in+the+second+period+during+a+game+between+the+Chicago+Blackhawks+and+the+Anaheim+Ducks+on+November+27%2C+2017%2C+at+the+United+Center+in+Chicago%2C+IL.+%28Photo+by+Robin+Alam%2FIcon+Sportswire+via+Getty+Images%29
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Chicago Blackhawks right wing Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the second period during a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks on November 27, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Chicago Blackhawks right wing Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the second period during a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks on November 27, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Chicago Blackhawks right wing Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the second period during a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks on November 27, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Nick Kinzel, Journalism Student

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After starting off the 2017-18 NHL season sizzling hot, the Chicago Blackhawks have cooled down and are currently trying to find a little bit of consistency going forward.

Currently, the Blackhawks sit fifth in the central division, trailing the first place St. Louis Blues by eight points. Whether it is the offense or defense struggling, or both, the Blackhawks are just not clicking on all cylinders. If the Blackhawks want to have a chance at winning their fourth Stanley Cup championship since 2010, something has got to give.

In their last ten games played, the Blackhawks have an average record of 5-3-2. In a recent game on Sunday, November 12, it was as if the Blackhawks were going to pick up the win against the New Jersey Devils after having a 4-2 lead after the first period. To sum the rest of the game up, the Blackhawks second period collapse that featured four New Jersey goals, and another one in the third ultimately resulted in Chicago losing the game 7-5.

Who is to blame for the season struggles so far? The players, coaches or both? Some say head coach Joel Quenneville and the way he forms his lines for the games is part to blame. Quenneville was able to set good offensive lines because scoring was not the problem in this game as the Blackhawks were able to score five goals, four of which came in the first period. Furthermore, Chicago’s goaltending seemed to be the issue in this game, along with a couple poor defensive shifts.

After the game, goaltender Corey Crawford addressed NBCSN Chicago saying, “It’s tough when we score a lot of goals and we play well and I can’t find a way to make saves.” Crawford was pulled early in the game.

Another issue behind the Blackhawks’ struggles is that defenseman Brent Seabrook has not played well this year. As it stands, this season may be the worst season of Seabrook’s career. Could he be starting to show signs of fatigue? Seabrook, the key player in helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 by scoring the game winning goal in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings in game seven of the Western Conference semifinals. Now, it is as if Seabrook is having a hard time keeping up and being able to be the player he once was. Could this be the last season we see Brent Seabrook in a Blackhawk jersey?

If this inconsistency continues to loom for the Blackhawks, could Joel Quenneville be replaced as head coach next season? With all of the different line changes he is making, the players are having a tough time building the chemistry they need to be an effective line.

Overall, the Blackhawks will need to regain their confidence and go out and play like they started the season, otherwise, this 2017-18 season is going to be one all Blackhawks fans will want to forget, and from there the season could only get worse.

The Blackhawks are back in action Saturday, December 6 against the Washington Capitals at 6 p.m. in Washington.

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Inconsistency continues to loom for Blackhawks