Bring you’re green hat, we’re going streaking! We all know the Blackhawks are on a whopping 2 game losing streak. The media and mostly my friends whom I haven’t heard from in 2 months make sure I’m aware of this fact. To the hockey fan that’s been popping in visiting like they’re an out of town relative, they might not see what the avid fan sees during and post-winning streak.
The weaknesses are frightening because they’re so reminiscent of the past two years; awful special teams, a what-not-to-do-in-your-own-end training DVD and *curse word* Goalie A and/or B.
It would have been remarkable to see that these bad habits disappeared like Tyler Arnason’s career. It was however, pretty incredible that they were able to put it together for a 24 game span.
It was inevitable that teams were going to get better as they found their legs. Sure, people will be talking about that streak for years and don’t get me wrong the Hawks looked really… really good at times. BUT, schtuff just got real and this will be the test that defines their season.
There is pressure on the players to continue to show the hockey world that they are that good. I think the real pressure is going to be on Coach Q and his sidekicks though. The PP is looking mediocre to bad. The PK is still 6th in the league, but continues to slide and 24th at home. Gross.
Quenneville has impressed me with this slightly changed way in terms of ice time distribution and preparation of his troops. Now, one would think that the messaging on a game-by-game basis should vary but I fail to see this logic with this team at times. The community of Hawks message-boarders have criticized Assistant Coaches Mike Kitchen and Jamie Kompon and these special teams slumps aren’t doing them any favours. It would be nice to see these special units adapt to specific opponents. It appears (…from my couch) that over the last couple of years banging your head against a wall would have been a more productive activity than watch the Hawks try to figure it out.
Going into the last game vs. a skilled Edmonton team, my common sense would have told me that the penalty kill would have been relentless in their efforts. This was not the case. They were slow to pucks and looked about as tentative as the Grade 9 version of myself in English class.
The Powerplay looked really sharp early on in the season. It was evident that there was a commitment to improving this area. There was a ton of movement with both units and they were giving teams fits. Now, we’re back to watching a struggling entry into the zone and a mitt-full of shots into shin pads.
The goaltending has been scary in the last couple of games. I still wasn’t buying into the Crawford/Emery love. The problem is, Bowman isn’t in a position to be bold leading into this trade deadline. In all honesty, it would have been better to be worse. Then Bowman could swing the deal for that goalie that doesn’t exist and set this team up for the future. Instead, you can expect a trade for a role player for a prospect/pick type deal in a few weeks. Then next year, “Hello Corey Crawford/Henrik Karlsson” combo.
We’ll see if Bowman can surprise and improve this team and set them up for a long playoff run. However, keep an eye out for a move sooner than later. I can see him acting before the deadline on April 3rd as I feel he may sweat more than Patrick Ewing under pressure.
~ Bowman has put Steve Montador on waivers. His concussion struggles have been well documented and I don’t think any team takes a chance on him. So, when he arrives in Rockford that is another addition to the list of questionable Bowman moves. He may be under the gun to prove his worth this deadline!
~ Speaking of trades… just for fun:
My surprise Stan Bowman trade: CHI trades Nick Leddy, Victor Stalberg & Brandon Pirri for BUF Steve Ott, Robin Regehr & Luke Adam
Buffalo needs a shakeup in the worst way and although Ott might not be available, Regehr is in his last year and Adam may have fallen out of favour with management. The loss of Leddy and Stalberg would be big but both are RFAs and will be looking for raises. The Hawks would get a world of grit with this trade but sacrificing speed and offence.
My “yep, that’s what I expected” Stan Bowman trade: CHI trades 3rd round draft pick & Kyle Beach for FLA Jared Smithson.
The Bowman special would be going back to who he knows best; Tallon would be one of those guys. While Smithson would be a nice add, I’m not sure it’ll be enough to make that push for the Cup. Note, Tallon takes a flyer on Beach who’s a RFA after this season.
~ Finally, yours truly has been struggling not being able to play hockey due to a knee injury. However, I channeled my inner-Q and coached my rec team to our first win in years. Congrats you beauties! This picture is why I love this crazy game:
Ty Cam out!
Filed Under: Chicago Blackhawks
About the Author: I am a rare Chicago Blackhawks fan from Canada, one might describe me as a hockey connoisseur and a solid checking line centre to your local rec hockey team. I once lived in a town of 500 people and now work in the hockey mecca that is Toronto. I work for the Score Television Network so I couldn't get away from sports if I tried. These opinions are one of my own and not of Score Media Inc. - don't get it twisted.