We took a more in-depth look at Chicago's issues holding onto third-period leads last week, and while they've cleaned up their act a bit over the last few days, the trend is still there. It'll take more than one come-from-behind win or secured lead to right this ship.
This is the kind of mental block that can take weeks or months to iron out.
Touching on something we addressed in the aforementioned column, the 'Hawks just seem to doze off for a few minutes in the middle of the third period. This speaks volumes about where the team is at mentally.
No core group of players around the NHL has played more hockey over the last four seasons than Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith. They look tired and check out occasionally. It doesn't take long for a top-end squad to recognize that and attack.
An old and played-out hockey adage applies here: Chicago needs to play and compete for the entirety of games. Not just two-and-a-half periods' worth.
The scary part is that the 'Hawks have the offensive firepower to lean on when stuff hits the fan. See the Ottawa Senators contest from October 29 for your proof. They can shed the defensive skin when the need arises and win shootouts.
Yet that lack of discipline isn't a positive moving forward.
That kind of game will fly during the regular season, but that isn't playoff hockey. It certainly isn't Cup-caliber hockey, either.
Joel Quenneville has the remedy for this issue somewhere in his doctor's bag. It'll just take him some time to figure out exactly what to feed the 'Hawks as a cure.