Blackhawks’ Caleb Jones maintaining confidence through recent adversity

Caleb Jones has struggled for the Blackhawks in recent weeks.

AP Photo/Matt Marton

DALLAS — Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson recently sat down struggling defenseman Caleb Jones to show him a specific video clip.

In it, Lightning star Mikhail Sergachev — analytically one of top-performing defensemen in the NHL so far this season — casually skated out from behind his net, then accidentally lost the puck right in the slot. Stars forward Radek Faksa jumped on the puck and immediately scored a game-tying goal with less than five minutes left.

Richardson’s message? Over the course of thousands of shifts over 82 games, mistakes are inevitable. Even the best players make them. And they’re not worth beating oneself up about.

“That can happen,” Caleb Jones said. “It’s just bad ‘puck luck.’ It’s a long season, and that happens to everyone. [You have to] keep your confidence and keep pushing and getting better. It was a good conversation.”

Jones knows he has struggled lately. That’s no secret. His nightmarish stretch started last week against the Hurricanes, when he caused a goal against with a disastrous pass from behind his own net in similar fashion to Sergachev.

It continued against the Blues, when all five goals the Hawks allowed came with him on the ice. And after being healthy-scratched against the Bruins in order to reset mentally, it culminated against the Penguins, when Sidney Crosby beat him to score the game-winning goal and spoil the Hawks’ comeback.

The Hawks’ scoring-chance ratio during Jones’ five-on-five ice time this season had fallen to 37.8% — which ranked 203rd among 211 defensemen league-wide — entering Wednesday’s game against the Stars. Over the last six games, his …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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