Hawks show it's tough to repeat

Against L.A. those inconsistencies, the inability to string together three periods of championship-level hockey, have been mercilessly exploited by the Kings. The Blackhawk penalty kill, a strength all spring, has now allowed five power-play goals on 10 chances in the past three games.

Meanwhile, the talented Blackhawks were once again impotent with the man advantage, going 0-for-3 in Game 4; Chicago is now 1-for-11 in the past three games and 1-for-24 on the road with the man advantage.

Everything head coach Joel Quenneville attempted in an effort to prod some life into his flagging troops failed, including tinkering with the power-play lineup. Kane moved to the team's top line with Toews and Bickell, but the line was not particularly effective, especially through the first 40 minutes.

At one point in the second period, with the score 3-0, the Blackhawks found themselves on a 3-on-2 and Kane with the puck. But instead of making a play or getting away a shot, his effort was blocked.

Shortly afterward Brandon Saad, who scored the first Chicago goal after the Kings had built a 4-0 lead, had a chance to score but couldn't find the back of the net, and then Andrew Shaw took an offensive-zone crosschecking penalty.

Sharp continued to struggle while playing mostly with  Marcus Kruger  and Hossa; he sailed a power-play chance high and wide from the side of the net in the second period when a goal might have helped rejuvenate the team.

And so it goes.

Go back in history and it's exactly what happens to almost all defending champions along the way. There comes a moment when they simply cannot find the effort, the karma, the bounces that all champions need. It's like there's a finite number of those elements and when they're gone, they're gone.

It would appear the Chicago Blackhawks are confronting such a moment now.

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