The Wild game was the make it or break it game for me. I never gave that kind of weight to the Columbus game. I guess I just keep expecting the Hawks to build off of a win. They have been overdue for a winning streak since, well, the beginning of this season. As Beaver pointed out, you have to go pretty far back to find an instance where the Hawks won more than 2 in a row. It really is perplexing to wonder how they have managed such little success in that regards. For the most part, it seems to point to readiness and desire to win. As we all know, the Hawks have their trophy, or trophies in many regards. A fact that keeps me sane as I watch the Hawks throw games away. It forces me to ask myself if I am ready to throw this season away and find solace in pictures from last year's parade.
To be or not To be? Where will this season end up?
In the end I feel an eagerness to see them find some level of success this year. I am okay with not going deep into the playoffs, but I am ashamed to think they might not even make it to the 3rd week of April. So if I am to avoid feeling ashamed for my team, what will be needed for that diversion?
Trade deadline is upon us, and as I have pointed out on many occasions, coaching is where most of my votes would be going. With the prospect of Q and company being asked to move out of the question, who, or what can be done in the form of trades. I really think that Seabrook might be on the chopping block. He is in a contract year and playing some weak hockey. I am sure other teams would be interested, his play is depressing to watch and he opens up options in the form of dollars. Leddy has been doing great with more ice, and I am sure Hendry is good for some more as well. Go out and find someone who can fit the role needed in the line-up, maybe one or two players who can kill some penalties and start patching up those holes. It makes sense to make changes on the D with how outrageously those players are plaid compared to the success this year. Hjammer excluded of course.
If not Seabrook, the only other guy I can see getting moved is Kopecky and thats more because he is having a career year and his value is up. I think the energy he brings is more important right now though.
So far, I say that the Skille for Frolik move was a poor choice. Don't get me wrong, I like Frolik enough and see him fitting in some ways, probably more as time passes, but Skille was just much more skilled and I see it hurting down the road. Obviously, moving the guy who was only getting at most, 6 minutes of ice is not going to change much, so why do it anyway? Nothing is going to fix Hossa, but Hossa. I think if the Hawks were to give Skille the position that Frolik has now, Skille would have probably laid more opponents out, and caused a hell of a lot more scoring opportunities. Whether or not those opportunities cause goals or not is another question. The point is, I think the administration failed Skille in many ways. Stalberg and he are not 4th line players. They might not have been scoring goals, but neither are some other players I can think of.
How has the coaching failed players? It seems that they have not allowed them to get comfortable. I have been here before. On a team with much more talent than was showing at the end of games, uncomfortable with a new coaching staff and losing games that should have been won. Players were being asked to do things out of their comfort zone and failing to produce as a result. This coach had a plan and that plan was not right for that team. The season was looking like a bust until a rash decision was made to fire the coaches. It was like a huge weight was lifted off of the team and the turn around was astonishing. It even came down to just the atmosphere the coaches created around them.
This coaching staff seems hell bent on forcing the same players into every situation that arises. Keith was starting to improve when his minutes dipped to around 24 minutes. Now he is back near 30 and making more mistakes again. It is like they have no other game plan and just keep trying to jam our talent down other teams throats while talented guys like Stalberg should just stay in the locker room. Then the talent gets frustrated at the lack of success, they try forcing issues, fall out of position, get too fancy and blow it, while the guys not getting ice are frustrated and take stupid penalties trying to show their worth.
Maybe this is why Kaner apparently has a drinking problem. If he does have a drinking concern than it is just further example of how this team is not being handled by the administration. Though speculating on it will get us nowhere.
So, back to my original thought. How many people say the Hawks make it into the playoffs? If they stay on this track and end up failing this year, the offseason might prove interesting. Maybe they need another summer to figure it out. My guess is that another slow start next season would spell coaching change.
My vote is that the Hawks have shown too many times that they just don't have it right now. Things can change, players can come out of funks. Hell, if Hossa starts scoring actual goals it might even be enough, but my gut is telling me otherwise.