In less then one minute, Hemski had picked Stalberg's pocket at center ice, took it up the boards past Montador, and netted the Oilers first goal. And he made it look pretty easy. Usually, I go through each goal, but with a final score of 9-2, why bother? More or less, it was a disaster from the start and it just kept getting worse. In the final minutes of the game, the crowd was chanting, "We Want Ten, We Want Ten" and I have to admit, I was kinda hoping to see it too. Going into this game, the Oilers had a goal differential of -2 and they now stand at +5.
After the game I was amused listening to the mouthbreathers call into WGN with their outrage that went something like this, "Alright, this Stalberg experimient is done, Ok? alright? and lemme tell you something else, Leddy sucks, Ok? alright? And dey gotta git ridda Bickell, Ok?, and dey gotta go out and git a real center cause Kane and Sharp both need a real center." It went on for awhile and after him, and other callers weren't much better. Personally, I'm not a believer that there is a trade that can help this team. In fact, I think a trade at this point would only enable bad behavior. We can bitch about Scott, and about not playing O'Donell or Lepisto, but I think it's absolutely ludicrous to do so when Keith has now gone -8 in two games. But, it's not just on them either.
Honestly, I'm not in sky fail mode. It's a long season and every team is going to crap the bad. Having said that, I see some consistent things happening that I think will be an issue when the playoffs come, assuming we don't repeat last season. I'm going to give my take on it, but I really want to hear what other people think as well. Over the summer, SB went out and more or less handpicked players to fill certain roles. Up until the last two games, I believed they were doing it. But, I have to wonder right now, did they come here and just fall into playing soft, or is there a bigger issue in the locker room? Early last season, I think Pisani and some of the other rental players brought some grit, but they faded as well. I don't think this team, as it is now, is soft, but neither are they willing to be a team that is tough to play against. Late late in the game tonight, even the Oilers announcers said they simply could not believe the lack of pushback they were seeing from the Hawks.
Perhaps symbolic of the whole affair, Carcillo finally laid a big hit late in the game on Hemsky and was immediately jumped by Theo Peckham. Not only have we not seen anything like that from the Hawks lately in terms of standing up for each other, but while Carcillo was literally ice dancing with Peckham, Kane was at the end of the ice, leaning on his stick with his helmet sitting back on his head while he chatted casually with Habby. As for the rest of the team, they were just standing around seemingly waiting for it to end. Fairly, I think guys like Carcillo and Mayers need to answer for not showing some jam. Then again, at least Carcillo was still hitting people late in the game, which could not be said of most Hawks, especially the veterans. Sadly, over two games now, the Hawks are most reminding of the team they HAVE beaten so far on this trip, the Canucks. Late in the game, John Scott was on the PK and you know what, I think he actually earned it and honestly did not look all that bad there.
What I saw tonight was a complete lack of unity on the team. Over and over players were out of position and when it came to one on one battles, they were getting outpositioned as well and the Oilers were doing pretty much whatever they wanted to. Firing Q, benching Scott or trading away Bickell and Scott will not fix this. Though I'm not in sky fail mode, I think some things need to be tried. Provided Keith is not Shannahammered for his douche hit on Hall (which he did at least apologize to Hall for), I think it's time to maybe give him a night off. Better yet, why not make an even bigger statement and sit Sharp, Kane, Keith, Bickell and maybe Montador. Of course, they would lose a game, but it would also send a message. No matter what, a stinkfisting like this needs to be answered with something. You can bet that other teams in the league who watched this game are now licking their lips at the thought of playing the Hawks.