The past two weeks have to be the most embarrassing stretch of hockey that I have seen the Blackhawks play since the arrival of Toews, Kane, and company. It's not the fact that they are losers of six straight games, but it's how they are losing the games. They aren't getting edged by a goal or had a bad penalty called against them, they are losing via blowouts or losing leads in the late stages of the game.They don't have an identity as a team defensively. Offensively, they have been doing fine during the losing streak, they're scoring goals albeit not that many, but they put in at least 2-3 a game. Defensively, they are just getting torched, defensemen are getting beat, goalies aren't stopping the puck, and forwards aren't helping the defensemen. This team has to turn things around fast or they wont even make the playoffs.
Coach Q and his staff made the team focus on defense on their last practice. Fine. The issue with that is that if you focus on defense in hockey, you lose speed. The thing about this team that makes them deadly is that they have speed. The game has to be simplified for them, they need to focus on what made them so deadly in the early part of the season and especially need to regain the swagger that netted them the 2010 Stanley Cup. The pieces to win are there, the Hawks have goal-scorers, great blue-liners, sandpaper, and above average goaltending. They can win, they just have to gain confidence.
Stan Bowman will make a move, I think that's the inevitable, and he will add a defenseman. Adding a player will help, but until this team can simplify the game and put a string of wins together, nothing will help. There will be no trade for a goalie. Crawford especially has not been playing well as of late, but he hasn't played himself out of the picture at goalie. Remember, it was him who kept us in the Vancouver series for seven games. He has a lot of ability, but just like the rest of the team, he needs a confidence boost.
The trading deadline is coming up and you can except a move or two, but making a move won't necessarily help, the team needs to grow from within to get back on track. There is just too much talent on this team to see them scratch and claw for the 8th seed again.
Filed under: Uncategorized