Hawks Lose...Again...

I tried to sleep it off but it appears a new day isn't enough to alleviate my frustration over last night's loss to the Devils.  A Devils team that entered Chicago at 3-9-1, with Zach Parise!  I keep thinking to myself, "The Hawks are fine, they're at .500 and they have yet to suit up their entire roster for a game this season."  But one can only be optimistic for so long without results.  I'm beginning to think Mike Kiley abandoned ship at exactly the right moment, leaving me to digest what was once a championship caliber team.

I don't want to get too abusive here because the season is not a sprint but a marathon.  I just really hoped that at mile 5 we'd be off to a more promising start.  We're tied with Detroit and 1 point ahead of St. Louis and they have 5 and 6 games in hand respectively.  If the Blackhawks can't accumulate points while playing teams like Edmonton and New Jersey they may soon find themselves battling for an 8 seed.

I'm no hockey expert (but I am a blogger, which puts me 2nd in the hierarchy) but I think it's safe to say if Stalberg and Pisani are going to be your best players you're in for a rough ride.  Toews was in all the right places in the 1st period last night but couldn't keep the puck on his stick.  Kane had an average game but continues to disappoint me with his production.  It's really gut check time for those two.  Especially with Hossa out, it's on their shoulders to get this Blackhawks team rolling.

But they're not the only ones.  I know Patrick Sharp garners God-like praise here on Blackhawks Confidential but he will always be a secondary player to me.  If he's not on a line with Kane, Toews, or Hossa he really struggles to consistently produce.  I love Sharpy just as much as anyone but not to center Kopecky and Stalberg.  If he's not cleaning up in front or ripping one timers he's not nearly as effective to me.

The last guy I want to touch on is Jack Skille.  I have a good friend I met in college who grew up in Madsion, Wisconsin playing hockey with the likes of Skille, Dowell, Burish, Kessel, etc.  He always said Kessel would be a star.  He always said Burish would be a great locker room addition.  He always said Dowell would be a great 4th line center.  Most importantly, he always said Jack Skille would never amount to anything.  I'm starting to believe he's 4 for 4 on his predictions.  I don't know what specific details caused his assessment of Skille to be so poor but I have to agree.  You can't help but respect the energy and hustle he plays with, but how does he not have at least 5 goals by now?  He's had some of the best chances for the Hawks to date but somehow fails to score every time.  His desire to stay on the Hawks is obvious, but as my buddy Dan always predicted, it's not amounting to anything worth keeping him for.

But that's enough for now, I gotta get back to work.  I can't wait for Saturday when Buff scores a hat trick and puts a season ending hit on a Blackhawk to be named later...   

Filed under: '10-11 Regular Season

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  • This whole season reminds me of last March when the Hawks completely forgot how to play and lost something like 8 of 11 games before turning things around and winning the next 6 straight. I'm still waiting for any sign that they'll have the ability to dominate for any stretch like they did last year. They'll have to work harder with this year's team, and I don't see anyone stepping up now that Hossa's been sidelined.

    And BTW, agreed on Skille. I've never seen any magic from him. Every time he was called up last year I knew there was about a 99% chance he wouldn't produce anything but a sub-zero +/- rating. This year he proves to be following the same pattern. Zero goals in 14 games, -2. Career totals in the NHL: 5 goals in 44 games, -7.

  • Consistency with the Hawks not winning appears to be the focus of the day since the new season has begun, but should this come as a big surprise as everyone knows that this Hawk team is comprised of a brand new roster this time around and has to be really sorted out to be successfully competive. Q's job is much more difficult this year and it does rest on his shoulders to correct the situation before too long as this team won strictly on whole team effort last year and a bit of luck in addition.

    Skille, as been mentioned in this post, is being "a toss out the window" in remarks to his production/play efforts, but in my opinion, I would regularly play him as he appears to be the only member of this team that does show 100% effort in every appearance that he makes on the ice and not in a shy way by any means!

  • Skille is a fourth line energy guy at best, or he should be back in Rockford. You gotta like his effort and speed but he has no finishing ability whatsoever. Still way too much spacing between forwards and D. They are not breaking out as a five man unit enough, too many home run passes to guys standing still that don't amount to anything but a turnover. They are playing lazy hockey in my opinion.

  • In reply to SDSTAN:

    That's pretty much exactly what I said on the last thread late last night. After the Oilers game, they played a tight defensive game with short breakouts and solid forechecking and backchecking. Last night, they did this for part of the game, and then the long passes started and though NJ was not gumming up the neutral zone to start the game, I thought they did exactly that once they got the go ahead goal. From that point on the Hawks looked desperate and NJ was just waiting to pick off the long passes.

    With the league being what it is now, I believe that on any given night, any team that shows up ready to work and play a game of forecheck, backcheck and short passes can compete with ANY team out there. In example, I think the Hawks have proven this both ways. When they don't work and start flinging stretch passes, they create a lot of turnovers and often goals against. When they come out ready to work like they did for two games after the Oilers loss, they are competitive to the end even if they don't win.

  • In reply to SDSTAN:

    OK, the Devils are back to playing their current style again tonight against the Rangers: losing and not scoring. Only the Blackhawks offered them a break from their horrid play lately. In their last 7 games apart from their game in Chicago, the Devils scored 7 goals. In one game against the Hawks, 5 goals.

  • In reply to SDSTAN:

    Hey Paul, I have a ChicagoNow blogging technical question for you. Please email me jerrykayne AT gmail.com

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