CHICAGO (FOX Chicago News) -
Blackhawks fans have had contrary opinions as to why their favorite team didn’t do as well as many anticipated. Some thought head coach Joel Quenneville was the root of the problem and others believed mistakes from GM Stan Bowman led to failed expectation. What can be assumed is both could have done a lot better.
As we approach July 1, this is the time when rosters are shaped and important pieces are added. There were too many misguided signings last summer and it resulted in a club which put forth a scattered effort. It was not only a lack consistency from game to game but also period to period.
Players, coaches and the front office all appeared to be on different pages and eventually the word dysfunctional was used to describe the Blackhawk franchise. The dysfunctional label, meaning not being able to function effectively, is not used to describe a true Stanley Cup contender.
At this point, what matters most is effective hockey can be played come October. This means, the Hawks are not only marketed as a Stanley Cup contender but on ice performance indicates the same. For that to happen some additions must be made and now is the time for GM Bowman to shape his roster.
What is somewhat perplexing, but not surprising, is Bowman and Quenneville have made recent similar comments. Both like their team and have led fans to believe only some tweaks are needed. That could be true, but first a definition of tweaks would be required.
The overriding theme from Coach Q. and Bowman is more has to be expected from current players. That’s troubling on different levels.
If Quenneville couldn’t motivate and was unable to get his message across last season, can we expect the new campaign to be much different?
My answer is most likely not, but players will appear like effort is lacking if they all aren’t on the same page. That also can be described as dysfunctional. It was difficult to tell what style of play the Hawks were attempting. Trying to outscore opponents and hoping for the power play to catch fire is not considered a style of play. None of that bodes well for a head coach but at some point the correct mix of players is essential.
Bowman signed players last summer who appeared miscast.
In the past Steve Montador was never thought of as being a Brian Campbell like puck rusher. In Chicago Montador appeared pushed to go beyond his comfort zone.
Daniel Carcillo can add a missing element but has to change. Carcillo will only be effective if he learns to not cross the lines and NHL officials give him a fair chance. Carcillo deserves his reputation and has only himself to blame, but he gets whistled for many infractions others wouldn’t. Hawk management underestimated how that might affect his play. Carcillo will get another chance this season, at least for awhile.
Jamal Mayers serves a purpose but these days his playing time should be at the wing position not at center. There were reasons why Mayers never saw power play time in his long career until last year. There is no reason he should be considered as a power play participant here. Mayers ran out of gas late in the season and that’s when his experience is most needed.
Sean O’Donnell had little to offer.
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