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A bump in the road for Blackhawks, but some see a five-car crash

Goalie Corey Crawford leaves the ice after the Blackhawks' 5-2 loss to Dallas on Friday. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

This is my favorite time of the year. March Madness? Yeah, sort of.

This is the time of the year when some fans and media members lose their minds about the Blackhawks in varying degrees.

Every March, worry sets in, if not panic. Something’s wrong. Somebody’s not playing well enough. Joel Quenneville is about as smart as a bag of pucks.

I know: But this time it’s real!

I’d ask when we’re finally going to get it, but I know better. You’re going to tell me that the Hawks’ recent three-game losing streak divided by the number of Hawks’ shots that have missed the net clearly points to a decline, the likes of which hasn’t been seen around here since … last season.

You remember last season. When the Hawks won their third Stanley Cup in a six-season stretch? I can go back to each of those championship seasons and find civic angst over the team heading into the playoffs. Part of this has something to do with the vagaries of the sport. You really can lose some games because of a “bad bounce,’’ as the hockey cliché goes. Fans don’t feel in control.

I don’t care if the Hawks lose 90 percent of their remaining games. They have Patrick Kane. They have Jonathan Toews. They have Duncan Keith. They have Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marian Hossa and a smiling Artemi Panarin. And, yes, they have Corey Crawford, around whom the civic nervousness has started to congregate again. Stupid.

If I know one thing to be true, it’s that no other team has these players. No franchise forgets about the regular season the way this one does come the postseason.

It’s that time of year. The Hawks are bored. They’re playing with their food. And it’s going to be OK.