The Chicago Blackhawks add to the list of blow-outs this season.

The Chicago Blackhawks add to the list of blow-outs this season.

Let us keep this wrap simple, since that is how the Hawks play was sold to use coming into the first game at home in a while. If you have seen my comment in the last post by Vegas, I mentioned that the Hawks were lucky to be sitting at the top of the standings. It is doubtful that they remain there much longer. I started writing this with 2 minutes remaining in the game, because I was bored and the Hawks just scored on the power-play. Well, thats nice to see, at least they weren't shut out.

Momentum started in the Hawks favor. For the first 5 minutes it looked like it was going to be a good hard game played by the Hawks. They were hitting, which was a nice shift. In fact, the Hawks ended the game just 1 hit shy of Phoenix. Haven't seen that too often. However, in the attempt to keep things simple, Phoenix started getting control of the puck by winning the little battles. Soon after things started shifting as the Hawks continually had issues in their own zone. The Hawks fell behind and into the Yotes type of game.

I also mentioned in that comment on the last post that the Hawks are going to start winning or losing games in the transition. I stand behind that statement with more vigor after watching tonight's weak display of hockey. The difference for the Hawks was in their individual efforts and how that translated to both their transitions leaving and entering zones. Don't skate hard in your own end and your breakout will suffer.

Give credit to the Yotes, their forecheck was highly effective and put that small, but powerful push on the Hawks D that sent them into blow-out territory. This and the subject of the last paragraph (effort) is highlighted in the 3rd goal against. To start the 3rd (when the Hawks still had a chance), the Hawks turnover the puck at their own blue-line, Kane fights to keep the Yotes from gaining possession, getting it into the corner, and then he just gave up and left it. This lead Hjalmer alone behind the net with 2 Yotes. He lost the fight and the puck quickly ended up in the back of the net. 2 turnovers on this play, and no effort to win the battle after giving the puck up. Need we say more?

Worth mentioning was how the first goal was the result of a bad change by the Hawks. The Yotes get an odd-man rush and cash in on it. The 2nd goal was at the hands of another odd-man rush. A 4 0n 2 because the Hawks forwards were caught too deep. I think every forward was behind the Yotes goal line at the point when it was being cleard from the zone.

The Hawks got out-worked again later in the 3rd and the Yotes made it 4-0. Whitney of the Yotes was left all alone in the slot, and every other Yote on the ice was pretty clear of any pressure for that matter. It was made 5-0 later, but who cares and the goal ended up not counting for some reason anyway.

Toews tried late in the game to work some magic, but it was too little, too late. This team was just coming up short and looked discombobulated. When will more blame be sent in the coaching staff's way?

Lets see:

  • Bickell and Frolik were on the 4th line. Kruger has played well, but does he deserve the spot on the 3rd line over Fro?
  • Carcillo was the best player in a red uniform.
  • Bolland had a promising night. He might be getting back to normal form soon.
  • THE HAWKS NEED TO GET THE PUCK DEEP!!! Oh my hockey lords. There were so many opportunities to just send it deep, but they tried to do something fancy and would get caught. What happened to keeping it simple?
  • The Hawks had 0 shots after 8 minutes of play in the 2nd period. They kept trying to force passes that weren't there (bad support), and were unable to generate shots as a result.
  • Bad puck management, little individual effort, no support in either ends of the ice.
  • Puck control was also lacking tonight, maybe a result of some bad ice.
  • The Yotes are known for letting the other team get shots on net, and the Hawks still couldn't generate anything. Phoenix forechecked the Hawks against the wall, and the Hawks just let it happen.

This adds to the recent blow-outs of Alberta, to the Nucks a week earlier, to the Hurricanes blow-out a week before that, and am I missing one? It doesn't matter, when the Hawks are losing, they are losing big and ugly. On the flip-side, they have won some games that seem like it should have gone the other way. Let it be said that the Hawks place in the standings is deceiving to their actual play and that is when the 11th place team is only 5 points behind with 2 less games played.

Hey, at least Sharp scored on the power-play to knock the shut-out.

The Hawks face the Islanders Friday night. Check back for something in-between now and then.

 

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  • I think I could just cut-and-paste my last post from the game in Los Angeles. When are the Hawks going to take the puck hard to the net? HH mentioned it above as well. Way too many forced passes while getting no shots on net. Sometimes it feels like they forget the ultimate goal is score, but they'd rather just do a Globetrotters routine and pass around the cycle. Time to get out of the All-Star-Game-mentality and starting grinding.

  • They weren't even passing well last night, couldn't get the puck low enough to cycle most of the game. You never want to put the Yotes in a position to sit back and play defense. Again, I see an unprepared team. The Hawks are better off overwhelming the Yotes with speed, and not a "simple" game as it was stated. Don't try to beat another team at their own game.

  • "When will more blame be sent in the coaching staff's way?"

    I alluded to this in the last blog, HH. I for one see a systemic problem with this team and I think coaching is at the root of it.

    A good system beats no system or as gitr says the globetrotter routine every time. I am still wondering after many decades of watching hockey just what system this team plays. What the hell is puck possession anyway—sounds like globetrotting to me—and who cares if they have the puck for 45 minutes every game. If they won't shoot they won't score.

    How many times will they blindly clear the puck along the walls and not get it out of their zone? How many times do we have to endure Kane curling up at the half wall and attempting a cross ice pass that gets turned over and goes the other way? and on and on it goes …

    Management has to have a close eye on what is going on with this team. Their uneven play and lackluster efforts surely must be a cause for concern. Like I said previously, were it not for the professionalism of Toews we would be looking at a six game losing streak.

    I think that we are witnessing the same thing that beset the talent-laden Caps squad. They're tuning out the coaching, Q in particular. He's coaching on reputation IMO. The team lacks emotion and intensity more often than not and this is a problem I think.

    You could see in the first 10 minutes last night that the 'yotes were on their game and if they scored first it was going to be a long night. Crawford should have stopped the first two goals. After that it was over.

  • Greetings One & All,

    The question of the Q losing the room has been on my mind since Vancouver. As in "why can't they play like this more often?". Three things come to mind:

    1. Bad signings. Bruno & SOD bring back bad memories of Wendel Clark, Good player in his prime but nothing but flumes in the tank by the time the Hawks signed him. Which brings me to the next point.

    2. A very short bench. There's a group of four or five players on this team that don't belong on a NHL roster. No where is this more telling then with the d-men. The Hawks have maybe only five NHL d-men. We're not sure about the fifth only because for whatever reason, Lepisto is in somebodies doghouse and hardly ever sees any TOI. Subtract these players and you have only 17/18 skaters on your bench night in and night out. Q can't roll what he doesn't have; 4 lines and 3 pairs of D-men.

    3. If the Q has lost the team, who do the Hawks bring in? and lastly just what was the man with the "C" on his chest role in all this?

    side note; it's not raining here .....

    BW

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Greetings BW,

    Point 1. Brunette and O'D are done, I agree..

    Point 2. Well said. Can we throw Bickell and Stalberg into that mix as well. I think Montador is OK so I would say six D including Lepisto,

    Point 3. I say Haviland and let him choose his assistants. Remember when Q was down with ulcers last year how well they played under Haviland. Three or 4 convincing Ws at the start of an 8 game winning streak. Since Torchetti left, the PP and PK have been crap, and I don't even know who coaches those aspects.

    I'm not sure what you're saying about JT's role in all this. If referring to my comment I was only stating the he is too much of a pro to tolerate this "losing" and basically carried the team to victories over the Ducks and Kings. He can't do that every night and therein lies the problem.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    FF,

    It was my clumsy way of asking which side of the fence is the Captain is sitting on. Is he still buying into the Q's system or not?

    BW

  • Strangely, I was not quite as torqued about this loss. Honestly, I thought Crow let in two kinda shitty goals and that aside from that it was a one goal game. The Yotes will perpetually play a near flawless game every night. There is NO team in the league they can't beat on any given night. But with one caveat. They other team needs to work hard and play brutally boring to watch, technically perfect hockey if they want to beat the Yotes. Going back to the year before the cup run, this core has been a group that does not play technically sound hockey on a nightly basis.

    Toews and Hossa get it, but many others do not. Carcillo and Kruger were the only guys crashing the net, and you never saw them get to the crease without a white sweater in front of them. Everything about that team is positioning, winning neutral zone battles and absolutely shutting down any player who thinks they will camp out in the Yotes crease. When the Hawks won games on the circus trip, it was net presence and they had little to none last night. I still thought the Hawks breakouts were better then they have been in the past. But the game was boring as shit and on the third goal, the Hawks were done.

    Please Hawks, win a game on Friday and make my first game since late 09 a good experience.

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