WASHINGTON — At what point does the urgency come? When does the skill of the top players who have won three Stanley Cups begin to emerge, allowing the Blackhawks to shed this current, middling version of themselves and become the contenders they have been the past decade?
Two months into the season, it is more than fair to ask if the Blackhawks as you have come to know them the past 10 years will ever show up this season.
Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to the Capitals was the Blackhawks’ fifth consecutive loss, and they remain out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Coach Joel Quenneville changed the lines heading into the game, and those lasted all of a period and a half before he changed them again. It didn’t help that the Blackhawks are missing injured goaltender Corey Crawford, and backup Anton Forsberg had a rough night. He was pulled for Jean-Francois Berube after allowing three goals in the first 15:22 of the game.
Washington’s Tom Wilson had a career-high four-point game, including two goals. Chicago’s goals came from top center Jonathan Toews and wing Lance Bouma.
Game highlights: Frederik Andersen stopped 47 shots through regulation and overtime, and three more in the shootout as the host Maple Leafs beat the Flames 2-1.
Around the league: Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo will miss "an extended period of time" with a lower-body injury, coach Bob Boughner said.