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After blowout loss to Jets, Blackhawks’ problems have no end in sight

The 1-9-2 Hawks have so many issues that any given one can’t be solved because all the others exist.

The Jets scored early and often in a 5-1 win over the Blackhawks on Friday.
AP Photos

The Blackhawks have so many problems now that any given one can’t be solved because all the others exist.

Consider one prominent micro-level problem: defenseman Erik Gustafsson’s nightly onslaught of halfwitted decisions that hurt his team. That pattern continued when he was directly responsible for the Jets’ fourth goal in their 5-1 rout Friday of the Hawks.

But is it fixable? No, because there haven’t been any other defensemen to replace him. Riley Stillman, part of the Hawks’ COVID outbreak until a few days ago, wasn’t eligible to travel to Canada, and Wyatt Kalynuk and Caleb Jones are still injured.

Or consider one prominent macro-level problem: Jeremy Colliton’s coaching, which clearly isn’t meshing with this team.

But is it fixable? Probably not, because the Hawks have neither a permanent general manager nor any front-office continuity and will want to leave decisions such as determining their future coach to the next GM.

In the meantime, the Hawks’ losses have become so common, so predictable, so redundant that they almost have ceased to be notable.

After their hapless performance Friday, which saw them fall behind 2-0 in the first three minutes and finish with only 18 shots on goal, they sit at 1-9-2 this season. That record should prompt outrage and immediate action. But with the issues piling up around every corner, the Hawks are left to trudge through the muck.

‘‘Each guy has to look within himself and . . . take it personal because this isn’t fun where we’re at right now,” defenseman Connor Murphy said. ‘‘It takes everyone [having] accountability together and . . . wanting to make a play not just for yourself but for your teammate, for your goalie and for the best of the team.’’

‘‘We don’t give ourselves a chance,’’ Colliton said. ‘‘It’s a team game. And as a team, we didn’t do enough to help each other out there.’’

New court filings

Kyle Beach’s lawyer, Susan Loggans, filed new amended complaints against the Hawks in both pending lawsuits Thursday.

The amendments integrate new details uncovered in the Jenner & Block investigation into the allegations and, in Beach’s lawsuit, add a new fifth count — for fraudulent misrepresentation — against the Hawks.

Settlement talks began Tuesday, but the parties continue to fight for greater leverage. The amendments fly in the face of the Hawks’ request for a 60-day stay on new filings — a request made only after they filed new supports to their motions to dismiss last week.