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Morning Bag Skate: Languishing Blackhawks are free falling after fifth straight loss

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Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It seems that after last night’s mind-numbing 3-0 loss at the hands of division rival Minnesota, the Chicago Blackhawks have reached the point of no return. Either get motivated to climb back into a wild-card race they are already 10 points out of or make it the first season since a decade ago in which they don’t make the playoffs. Based on Saturday night’s result, it seems like the Hawks are opting for the latter.

A poor showing at the Xcel Energy Center extended Chicago’s losing streak to five with two back-to-back road games in-store for the Blackhawks come next week. They’ll start at 9 p.m. Monday in Arizona.

BLACKHAWKS

**RECAP: Hawks at a loss following fifth straight defeat (Chicago Tribune)

**Mark Lazerus’ post-game thread on Twitter is a must-read for frustrated fans (Laz)

**Bottoming-out Blackhawks shutout in Minnesota (Committed Indians)

**Three takeaways from Saturday night’s game (NHL.com)

**Column: Why it’s now or never for Chicago Blackhawks on this road trip (Daily Herald)

**Column: The Blackhawks are in hockey purgatory (Blackhawk Up)

**Hawks Thoughts: Out of words and nearly of time, Blackhawks fall in wild-card race (The Athletic)

**Amidst the losing streak, the Hawks announced a 4 percent raise in season tickets (SCH)

**Blackhawks players share their travel horror stories (Daily Herald)

CENTRAL DIVISION

**RECAP: Pekka Rinne steps up for Preds in 3-2 shootout win (On The Forecheck)

**So, why aren’t any Preds players receiving any buzz for NHL awards? (The Tennessean)

**RECAP: Avalanche fall to Hurricanes in Carolina without MacKinnon (Denver Post)

**Edmundson leads Blues in blocked shots, the reason he’ll be out for 6 weeks (Post-Dispatch)

**Ryan Reaves will be returning to St. Louis as a Penguin (St. Louis Game Time)

**Wild’s Jason Zucker not burdened by upcoming contract status (Star Tribune)

**How Radek Faksa’s toughness set the tone for the Stars during their win streak (DMN)

**Jets looking for rebound performance Sunday against Rangers (NHL.com)

**Could the Winnipeg Jets be suffering from fatigue? (Arctic Ice Hockey)

NHL

**Even the goalies got into it in this wild ECHL fight (SBN)

**Sabres’ Jack Eichel injured on awkward collision into the boards (SBN)

**RECAP: Eichel’s injury overshadows 4-2 road win over Boston (Die By The Blade)

**RECAP: Marner and Leafs light up Senators 6-3 (PPP)

**RECAP: Sharks outlast Oilers in high-scoring 6-4 win (Fear The Fin)

**P.K. Subban says media, community has influence on Canadiens’ success (PHT)

**The Penguins’ three-headed monster is the scariest offensive weapon in the NHL (THN)

**Is signing Mike Fisher a good idea for Nashville? (The Hockey Writers)

HOCKEY WORLD

**Sunday’s Olympic hockey schedule (SBN)

**A day one recap of women’s hockey at the Olympics (The Ice Garden)

**OHL Roundup: Chmelevski leads 67’s victory over Generals (Sportsnet)

**QMJHL Roundup: King scores winner as Islanders edge Sagueneens (Sportsnet)

**WHL Roundup: Ronning, Tendeck lead Giants to win over Thunderbirds (Sportsnet)