( Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE, US PRESSWIRE)

What a disaster.

The Blackhawks travled to California this weekend with a chance to build some momentum after going 4-1 in their last 5 games. Sure, they blew a 3rd period lead against Dallas on Thursday, but considering they won their 4 previous games after a horrible losing streak, a split in California would have put the Hawks at 5-2 since the end of the losing streak and the Blackhawks still could have been viewed as a team on the rise. It wasn’t to be. They got annihilated in Los Angles and the result tonight wasn’t much better.

The Hawks actually played very good hockey in the opening frame. Patrick Kane ended a dumbfounding 13 game,  0-39 power play slump midway through the 1st on a long wrist shot. Things were rolling right along until a Dave Bolland giveaway with 20 seconds left in the period led to a disastrous Ducks goal. While it appeared Andrew Cogliano kicked a loose puck past Ray Emery, the people in Toronto ruled it to be a good goal and the game was tied heading into the 2nd period. The Blackhawks never recovered.

The 2nd was as bad a period as we’ve seen the Blackhawks play in some time. Unbelievably, the Ducks only managed one goal in the frame – a Sheldon Brookbank blast from the point which redirected off the skate of Duncan Keith.

The Ducks put it away with a 5 on 3 power play goal off the stick of Teemu Selanne about 5 minutes into the 3rd period. One gets the feeling they would have been fine not scoring on that sequence as the Hawks keeled over after the controversial Anaheim goal.

So it appears that just like last season, the Blackhawks will have to work their ass off until the finals days of the season to make the playoffs while the rest of us are hoping and praying that they avoid Detroit and Vancouver in the opening round. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

A few quick thoughts to cap a horrible hockey weekend:

♦ It’s going to be super interesting to see what Stan Bowman does tomorrow. Does he roll the dice in an effort to inject some life into this team or does he fold the cards and sit on his picks and prospects?

♦ Like I said before, this weekend really could have been a statement weekend for the Blackhawks. Some would probably argue that it was. This team showed up for only 1 of the 6 periods they played in the Golden state.

♦ The Blackhawks took 9 shots in the final 40 minutes of the game tonight. Unbelievable and unacceptable.

♦ Put me in the camp that want’s to see more of Jimmy Hayes in the Top 6. It’s nothing against Marcus Kruger – but the Hawks need more of a presence out front. Just look at the Kane power play goal. Jamal Mayers was set up in front and Jonas Hiller had no idea where the Kane shot was going. More of that sort of thing, please.

♦ Speaking of Hiller – BRING BACK THE BLACK MASK! Rivaled the Eagle for coolest goalie helmet, in my opinion.

♦ Razor kept the Hawks in the game during a 2nd period in which the Hawks were in total disarray. But he had to have that 3rd Ducks goal. Such is life in the crease this year for the Blackhawks.

♦ Next up is Toronto on Wednesday. They are playing nearly as bad as the Blackhawks so it should be great fun!