Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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There were some positives to build on as a team. Baby steps.
"We should be confident in our game," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said. "Our penalty killing is doing much better, our power play’s looking much better and our overall play is. I think we’ve had a little bit of continuity of a lineup for a while, so that might help."
Selfishly though, the Blackhawks wanted more than five out of a possible eight points.
"I mean, we need points, we need wins," Nick Foligno said. "I will say I thought we had more of our sustained game in this homestand, so that was good to see. Our identity came out a lot more, so that's a step in the right direction.
"But again, you want to get greedy in these ones and get this win, too, and really feel good about yourself going on the road."
During the four-game homestand, the Blackhawks outscored their opponents 8-6 at even strength. They had a -15 goal differential prior to that.
The Blackhawks also went 10-for-11 on the penalty kill on the homestand, and have killed off nine straight penalties.
"It's good for us," Foligno said. "It's a step in the right direction. Still a long ways to go, but we can rally around the fact that our game is starting to come, and we're seeing it more and more. Especially on the road now, in two tough buildings, we're going to have to make sure it's there more than ever."
Up next is a red-hot Edmonton Oilers team that's won seven in a row on the shoulders of Connor McDavid, who has 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in his last nine games. A desperate Seattle Kraken team awaits on Thursday.
Funny enough, the Blackhawks won't really know how to feel about the four-game homestand results until they see how it carries over onto their road trip.
"If we can come back with some points off the road, we’ll feel good about this homestand," Richardson said. "If we don’t, then we have to start back at square one. We have to take some of this we built this week and take it on the road with us.
"When we eventually come back home, I think it’s going to be something where we’re going to be hungry to get back to the winning feeling here in this building."