Blackhawks winger Steve Sullivan isn't big on certain games being considered measuring sticks or key stretches in a schedule.
As far as Sullivan is concerned, the 82-game season is a measuring stick, and if you make the playoffs, you've had a good year.
That kind of thinking will come in handy to help the Hawks shrug off Monday night's 3-0 loss to the Red Wings.
After blowing a two-goal third-period lead Sunday against Colorado, the Hawks took only one point of four available against two of the top teams in the NHL. Since entering the third period Sunday with a 3-1 lead on Colorado, the Hawks have been outscored 6-0.
But being in the division race almost one-fourth of the way through the season should outweigh any disappointment of the last two nights.
The Hawks are getting virtually nothing offensively from rookies Tuomo Ruutu, Pavel Vorobiev and Igor Radulov. Monday each had one shot. The shutout was the third the Hawks have absorbed this season and the 10th time in the first 16 games they have scored two or fewer goals.
"You can't miss the opportunities that we did," coach Brian Sutter said. "[The Red Wings] scored on their chances, and we didn't."
Monday was the Hawks' first loss in regulation at Detroit since April 1999. These teams usually play rollicking contests, but after blowing a three-goal third-period lead at home Saturday, the Wings put the Hawks in a sleeper hold in the third period, yielding only three shots.
Dominik Hasek, making his first start in five games because of a groin injury, was sharp early, stopping a short-handed breakaway by Scott Nichol in the first two minutes.
"We definitely had opportunities," Hawks defenseman Bryan Berard said. "We didn't bury our chances, and they capitalized on our mistakes."
Detroit won the game in the second period, taking a 3-0 lead on a power-play goal by Pavel Datsyuk and goals in the final two minutes by Ray Whitney and Brendan Shanahan against Michael Leighton.
The Hawks had three power plays of their own in the period, but aside from Ruutu's chance from a sharp angle, they didn't pose much of a threat to Hasek. He made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season.
"They didn't give us anything," Sutter said.
Monday's loss may be bigger than just the score. Already without Alex Zhamnov and Eric Daze, the Hawks now face the prospect of being without goaltender Jocelyn Thibault.
Sutter was quiet about Thibault after the game, saying he didn't know the extent of the stiffness in the No. 1 goaltender's hip.
It has taken quite an effort for the Hawks to be where they are. To keep losing the few key veterans they have and remain above water may be asking too much.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times