The Montreal Canadiens stumbled this week against the Buffalo Sabers, who had lost eight straight before their visit to the Bell Center on Tuesday, and they won’t want to be put to sleep Friday afternoon by another struggling team, the Chicago Blackhawks.
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The Habs will find their former assistant coach Luke Richardson, now at the helm of the Hawks, at the United Center. And his start is difficult to say the least, Chicago being at the bottom of the Central Division of the National Hockey League. The team has also suffered five consecutive losses, including a cruel 6-4 failure at the hands of the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. She conceded five unanswered goals to see her drought continue and the frustration is palpable among the troops.
“We shouldn’t lose this game. When you dominate a club this way, it will come back strong and push harder,” forward Max Domi told NHL.com after his team’s disappointment.
“We have to learn to play in advance, defend ourselves with ardor and make the little plays that allow us to win hockey games: send the disc into the opposing zone and clear the puck from our territory. The opponent put more pressure this time and we couldn’t control it,” added defender Seth Jones, who hit the target in his first game since October 29.
Obviously hoping for a different scenario against the Canadian, Richardson made the same observations. His men have adjustments to make.
“We didn’t have the same work ethic [en troisième période] and we sat down a bit on our priority, he said. The other formation, very good in attack, picked up the pace and headed towards us. The guys worked very hard for 40, 50 minutes, except that a game lasts 60. It’s unfortunate and it’s a hard lesson to learn; you can’t stop playing when you have the lead.”
Despite their troubles, the Hawks are not to be taken lightly. Patrick Kane remains a threat, despite scoring just three times in 19 outings. He did register 12 assists, however. Domi is having an interesting campaign with his 14 points, one more than Jonathan Toews. In goal, three goaltenders have worked for Richardson so far. Petr Mrazek, who has won just once in seven games, was in action on Wednesday.