Blackhawks’ loss to Capitals mars special week for Buddy Robinson

Buddy Robinson and brother Eric, a Blue Jackets forward, crossed paths in Washington before consecutive matchups against the Capitals. But Buddy’s Hawks struggled mightily Thursday in a 6-1 loss.

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Blackhawks forward Buddy Robinson pursues Alex Ovechkin.

Blackhawks forward Buddy Robinson enjoyed a special week in Washington, even though the Hawks lost 6-1 to the Capitals on Thursday.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Forward Buddy Robinson stepped into the Blackhawks’ Washington hotel lobby Tuesday to see his brother walking in the other direction.

Eric Robinson, a Blue Jackets forward, was on his way to a two-point night in the Jackets’ chaotic 7-6 overtime victory against the Capitals.

Buddy, meanwhile, was arriving for a team dinner a couple of nights in advance of the Hawks-Capitals matchup Thursday. He ended up finding significantly less success in the second chapter of the family’s week in the nation’s capital, notching zero points in the Hawks’ 6-1 blowout loss.

Two brothers making the NHL certainly isn’t unprecedented — the Hawks have their own pair in Seth and Caleb Jones — but it’s certainly not common, either. Moments like Tuesday remind the Robinsons of how lucky they are.

“It’s a pretty cool experience, having a brother that’s going through the same things you’re doing,” Buddy said. “We’re pretty blessed to be doing this for a living.”

The game against the Caps was only the sixth NHL appearance this season for Buddy, who played in the Hawks’ season opener Oct. 12 but then spent months in Rockford before getting called back up March 13.

The Hawks’ trades and injuries — and his recovery from a wrist injury that cost him nearly a month this winter — finally reopened a roster spot for the well-traveled veteran of six organizations. At 6-6 and 232 pounds, his size is appealing for a fourth-line role.

“Every time you get a chance to play in the best league in the world, you’ve got to take full advantage,” he said. “I’m enjoying it, having fun here. [It’s a] great group of guys to come into, [even if] it’s a little different from when I was here a little earlier in the season.”

His parents, Bud and Maureen, noticed last week that Buddy’s call-up for this stretch of the Hawks’ schedule would make this Washington confluence happen, allowing them to make the two-hour drive down from the Philadelphia suburbs to watch each of their sons play.

While Buddy has embraced his career path as a “tweener,” bouncing between the NHL and AHL, Eric has quietly carved out a steady niche in Columbus.

The game on Tuesday was Eric’s 250th Jackets appearance; his two points in the game bumped him up to 20 on the season. He’s a strong penalty-killer, too.

“Have you seen him skate? He flies,” Buddy said. “[And] he’s got a hell of a shot. I couldn’t be prouder of him. I always want him to succeed, and what he has done, it has been fun to watch.

“Every time he does well, I make sure to shoot him a text. And [I’m not] afraid to chirp him a little bit, too. I’ve got to keep him honest. I’m still the older brother.”

The sharp contrast in results between the two games did wonders for the Hawks’ odds of finishing the season in last place. With a 24-41-6 record, they’re now only three points ahead of the Jackets with one additional game played.

Losing consecutive games by a combined 11-1 score suggests the tank might be back on.

But the team is understandably frustrated. Their forward talent took yet another hit when Philipp Kurashev left early with an upper-body injury, and goaltender Anton Khudobin — in his first and potentially only Hawks start — struggled.

“It’s a little embarrassing,” Tyler Johnson said. “We have to play a lot better. We’re not sticking to our structure, not sticking to our system. We’re just ‘out there’ right now.”

Added coach Luke Richardson: “It’s just something to talk about moving forward, to make sure we stick together in the game plan. Otherwise, it unravels pretty quick on you.”

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