The Blackhawks suffer an embarrassing 5-3 loss to Ottawa - FOX 32 News Chicago

The Blackhawks suffer an embarrassing 5-3 loss to Ottawa

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In a game the Blackhawks had no excuse to lose they did just that. It was another of many part-time efforts this season as the Hawks fell to the Senators 5-3.

Maybe the Blackhawks believe they are so good they can just show up and beat lower echelon teams. There is no telling if that is actually the case although it certainly appears so.

What is accurate, since last Sunday the Hawks have lost twice to clubs which have recorded approximately 25 fewer points. There may be little hope of catching the Blues but losses to Nashville and Ottawa could matter in finishing ahead of Colorado.

Last night in Ottawa, as in Boston the Blackhawks appeared engaged for the opening minutes but then things slipped away. A turnover, a defensive miscue, a lack of attention to details and before the period ended they were trailing by two goals.

A two goal deficit was a steep hill to climb and then the Hawks started the second period the way the first ended and were down 3-0. After Ottawa scored just 23 seconds into the middle frame the Blackhawks came to life.

Patrick Sharp has been playing well and he scored a power play goal to get the Hawks on the board. Then with less than a minute to go Marian Hossa picked off a pass and tucked a backhander past Craig Anderson. It looked like the Hawks were in business, trailing only 3-2 and they had momentum.

Although the Hawks outshot Ottawa in the second period 23-5 they would need a solid third period to win, but that wasn't the case.

Last night another rookie made his debut as 22 year old center Matt Carey was in the lineup. Carey had an auspicious initiation to the NHL although he did win seven of nine faceoffs

First he made a poor attempt to block a shot and ended up deflecting the puck past Antti Raanta. That goal gave the Sens a 2-0 lead and happened with only 30 seconds to go in the opening frame.

Carey then had the misfortune to not touch the puck with his stick while taking a faceoff. It was an odd play as the puck hit the ice and bounced up. Instinctively Carey batted at the puck and touched it. The linesman saw the play and Carey was called for delay of game. With Carey in the penalty box the Sens scored a power play goal to make it 4-2 and never looked back.

Although others should have been in the lineup before a rookie coming out of St. Lawrence University, Carey wasn't the cause for last night's loss. Carey replaced another rookie, Teuvo Teravainen, but Jeremy Morin has been playing well and he was also scratched. It was a curious move to sign Carey and put him on the big club's roster. Last night he didn't help the cause.

Carey had some good numbers in the Ontario Junior League as well as at St. Lawrence University but both places are a far cry from the NHL. It seems like Joel Quenneville is reaching for a spark, a player that comes in for awhile and catches lightning in a bottle.

Since Patrick Kane has been out injured, in five games the Hawks have scored only 10 goals. They are anemic 2 of 20 with the man advantage, so Quenneville has cause for concern.

More than the loss of Kane, which won't change until the playoffs, Quenneville needs to ignite his troops. The Hawks bench boss may have to do his best motivational work because the efforts have been scattered. At some point Quenneville has to share in the blame as he has a veteran team that often hasn't been ready to play.

Since Kane has been out, Jonathan Toews has only one goal, two assists and is a -1. More than anything else Toews isn't as noticeable as usual. Versus Ottawa, Duncan Keith was a -3 and Brandon Saad played his worst game of the season and was a -3. Andrew Shaw drew a five minute major penalty for spearing and could face a fine.

So Quenneville hasn't been able to get his club focused, plus players have been inconsistent and showing signs of frustration. It won't get any easier as the Blackhawks will face the Penguins on Sunday. Pittsburgh is banged up but they will be seeking revenge for the outdoor game loss.

On Sunday night we will find out if Quenneville is able to light a fire and if players are willing to accept the challenge.

I will be back on Monday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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