Sky Fail

Sky Fail

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.


Leave a comment
  • It is really hard to comment after a game like that. It is even harder when the night before it wasn't much better. The fact that the Hawks played terrible in Calgary and followed it up with a completely un-excusable performance leaves me speechless.

    You nailed it Vegas, no push-back, no one wanted this game, it all came down to effort and effort alone. I on the other-hand am not as quick to let Q off the hook for something like that. Most of the consistent issues I am seeing make me think of a coach I had back in the day. He knew hockey, and gave a decent performance, but the players never liked him too much, and what he said was not what we wanted to hear. The result was a losing season until a switch in staff was made.

    That team is far too talented to ever let that happen. If it was just the one game, I would be okay, but this is far from the first time the Hawks gave an effort like that this season, and back to back this time.

  • Food for thought, right now, the Wings fan base is getting just as critical of Babcock. Before the Hawks won the cup, the Wings and Pens went back to back playing for the cup. And though the Wings are struggling right now, the Pens have continued to stay relevant. Boston, after getting stomped on, has suddenly gone on an 8 game win streak. I think it might be time to ask if "puck possession" is going out of style. At the least, teams who put on a good fore check are causing problems for teams employing it.

    Keith's hit on Hall last night looked like pure anger and frustration. In later power plays, the core went right back to dragging the puck around the net and getting shut down when a player layed on the ice. But a thought I keep coming back to is this, SB has brought grit players only to see them eventually try to evolve into "skill" guys. I have to ask who is running this team? Last night, players on the top lines were out of position all night and I think they mailed it in.

    I think it's time for Q to make a statement and bench a top player or two. What would you have him do?

  • I think giving Keith a night off would be a good idea right now. For whatever reason, he has been playing horrible these last couple games. Whether he is tired or has an injury, a rest may do him good. One thing Q is very good at is switching up the lines. Hopefully, he can find the right combination.

    For only being 1/4 of the way through the season and looking down at the rest of the Western Conference, there seems to be alot of panic here. Sure, they were horrible the past 2 games, but they won the 4 previous games (and none of those games were close).

    It isn't unusual for every team to have some sort of slump in the season, so I am not panicking after only 2 games. This is the "circus" roadtrip and it takes a toll on the players mentally.

    Coach Q is one of the best coaches in the NHL, and now is the time for him to show us why. He will whip them into shape, and he will shake up the lines.

    I am not going to panic after 21 games when we are sitting at the top.

  • In reply to BigJack:

    It's not so much panic for me as I truly believe the current Hawks roster is capable of big things. I don't like all that Q does, but I don't feel he is incompetent by any stretch. I do believe though he does need to make some kind of statement after that last game. Going around various Hawks blogs today, I've seen a lot of complaints about Stalberg, about Scott and about Bickell. I've been critical of Bickell and Stals, but I think that manipulating where these guys play or how much ice time they get is kind of window dressing. Their play is not costing us games right now.

    Is there anything you would want to see Q do besides giving Keith a night off?

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    I'm not sure there is really anything else to do right now. Bickell has been absolutely horrible. Q has already benched him to try and send a message and, apparently, Bickell doesn't get it. Ben Smith was pulled up from Rockford to push these guys, so we will have to see if he can do anything. He showed promise in last year's playoffs. Other than that, Rockford does not have anybody even close to being ready to come up and contribute. Scott has not played well, and he can't buy a fight right now. Nobody will drop the gloves with him. That pretty much makes him irrelavant.

    I think the only choice Q has is to change the lines up and try and find the right combination that works. He is a good motivator and the players respect him. I think he can make a statement in practice and away from the media and it will have the right effect.

  • Two games that I forced myself to watch to the end. Is this the price of beating the Canucks ? Early season and we are on top BUT....

    Do we miss Seabrook this much ? Does his physicality and general presence provide more day in day out leadership than anyone thought. Toews is a winner, no doubt, but somewhere the rest of the squad is getting the idea that finishing a check is beneath them. Forechecking causes acne and therefore doing a fly by is acceptable.

    After two high sticks from Jones on Toews then Hossa I was quite disappointed that none of the Hawks saw fit to speak to Mr. Jones.
    This is not good.

Leave a comment