Wow: Chicago Blackhawks fail miserably in Edmonton again.

Wow: Chicago Blackhawks fail miserably in Edmonton again.

Who cares what the score was. Last night was kind of funny in some ways, and there are a few different vantage points to look at it from. We could chalk it off to something as simple as: The Hawks just can't win against the Oilers this year. We could also be angry, pointing at continual fails that have been festering throughout the year. Some might choose goaltending, others might sway towards defense first, and some might see the issues as a big picture issue. Is one big trade the answer? Or, is this just a tiny blip on the screen towards Winnersville, no need for change?

I have started asking a question of myself, and it is partly related to other fan's reactions to my views. What kind of a fan am I? Optimistic, angry, jaded, or excited? Am I a realist, looking at the cold hard facts from a semi-knowledgeable perspective, or over thinking things?

Even though many have often disagreed with me vehemently about a great many things with regards to the Hawks, these things have a habit of coming to complete fruition at some point. If you have been following my writing long enough, you might see that pattern.

I stand behind my critiques on coaching, and it is getting harder and harder to argue against them. The power-play is still the achilles heel of this team. The team defense a constant struggle. The lack of system-play is never there to bail them out of a rut. The consistency and preparedness often a big question, and the day to day choices a source of criticism.

I made the point a few games back that there was no longer a question as to who was the starting goaltender of the team, and yet the wrong choice continues to be made every game. I am sorry, and I really wanted him to get out of his hole, but Crow is not the guy for this season. There just aren't enough games left to get him confident. Sure, defense was an issue, and I will get to that in a sec, but Crawford allowed 2 goals that were absolutely his fault, and pretty bad, and changed the momentum of the game twice.

It was sometime early in the second when I turned to wife and said, "the defense is starting to look tired, I wonder why that could be?" My biggest gripe about the loss to Vancouver was how Q rolled the defensive pairings and how much ice Keith and Seabs saw. I said it would haunt them and it did. Players standing around watching pucks go into their net, and taking stupid penalties is a fatigue thing, and mental prepartion concern.

Unfortunately, the fact that Mayers has scored in back-to-back games will be completely forgotten. The great play by Kane to steal the puck in the neutral zone and hit Sharp for a one-timer lost in the sea of terrible neutral zone play by the Hawks. If you ask me, this is actually where they really lost the game, and that is after playing great in the neutral zone in Vancouver.

Shaw has done a pretty darn good job of drawing penalties in his short time with the Hawks, but who cares because the Hawks can't convert on the power-play. The shorty put together by Toews and Sharp holds no candle to the 8 points and 4 goals racked up by Gagne, and the great start completely overshadowed by the total collapse of the Chicago Blackhawks once again in Edmonton. And once again, I bring up that word consistency.

The rumors floating around about a trade involving Tim Thomas and Stalberg are just that, rumors. I am not so sure that any one trade will fix this team. I am however becoming quite certain that a change in coaching will (if the right coach is found). There is no control here. You could blame the players themselves for not providing their own leadership, but there is a reason we have coaches.

It might not seem like it, but I am a highly excited and optimistic Blackhawks fan. I would not be writing any of this if I was not. This fact is a big part of why I point more fingers in the direction of team guidance, rather than at the players themselves. I expect a turnaround, and whether you choose to realize it or not, the Hawks have not been the best team this year. Yes, they still stand well enough in the standings and in a really tough division, but last night, and a great many other nights have been blatant examples of some fairly large holes in their game.

On a good note, the Predators figured out how to finally lose a game last night. This loss by the Hawks doesn't hurt anything really. Unless something drastic happens soon, I think we can forget about the Hawks winning the division and conference for that matter, but they can still make a great run through the playoffs. We just have to wait and see what changes may come.

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  • Fire, the coach. Give the job to Haviland, bring back Savy to coach the special teams.
    Q has been tuned out. I'm tired of going on about this. Q is not the man for the job.

    Team needs a major shake-up.

    Not even a sliver of push back from this team. Pathetic! They play they way they are coached!

  • I have been a reader of this blog for over the past year and a half and have always been a silent observer, but after last night's performance I must break my silence. Now am I one of those fans that believes that one game means the sky is falling , no. I do believe however that one game may give a glance into a bigger picture problem which is consistency. Whether it be from game to game or within a game itself the Hawks do not have a consistent system that they can fall back on to get them going. At the first sign of trouble our lines become more jumbled than a drunk trying to walk a straight one. I understand that thru the course of a season different guys will struggle and others will increase production leading to tinkering here and there, but every couple of shifts, how are the players expected to build any kind of chemistry in that situation. Also where is the consistnecy of communication between front office and the coaching staff.Can someone explain to me at this point why did we even sign Lepisto if his only purpose was to be a season ticket holder. The fact that against a younger quick team like Edmonton John Scott gets the start over Lepisto is beyond me. While we are at it wasn't Montador brought in to bring some grit and toughness to the PK? Yet there is John Scott out there killing penalties. I will concede that Scott has made great strides, but he is still at best a 7th defenseman. My last grievance is where is a sense of pride. I mean how do you let that happen again. You got pantsed there earlier in the year, one would think that would give one a little extra incentive to show the Oilers exactly where they belong in the hierarchy of the NHL. As the Hawks showed last night I guess I was wrong. The plus side is that this team has yet to play even close to their potential and yet are still within striking distance. Let's hope that the Hawks regroup and take care of business tonight in Calgary.Thanks for letting me get this rant off my chest and keep up the great work.

  • In reply to Zinger13:

    Could not agree more Zinger. It would be one thing if that was the first time it happened. Don't even get me started on Scott, who I agree has made some great strides over the past year, but come one.

    Pride, motivation, drive, grit, determination, etc....????????

  • Welcome Zinger, glad you de lurked. It's hard to talk about some positives in this game without sounding like a fluffer for the marketing division of the team, but I think there were some factors significant to THIS game that will not determine the outcome of this season. But, in the end, it was another slapdown. At no point this season has this team hit it's stride, any stride for that matter. Cutting with Occam's razor, the simplest answer is that Q sucks and has lost the team. It doesn't explain everything or most everything to me, but it explains some of it.

    A better effort tonight in Cal-Gary, but still a loss. I see torches in the distance.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    Pssssssssssssssssssssssssss … that's the sound of the air coming out of the tires guys. That was a tired bunch tonight and they're back to looking like they're not having fun. Running on fumes and they look beaten mentally. They managed to hold one of the leagues offensively challenged squads to just three goals. Small victories, eh, something to build off, eh, things are back on track, I'm sure.

    Once again we have our illustrious GM popping off about no deals in the works and the "boys" will just have to play through it, and our "players'" coach saying he's happy with the line-up he ices. Yup, there's real cause for optimism for the remainder of this trip.

    What's that now, 5 in a row? They haven't won a road game since I was in Las Vegas in early December. Maybe I should go back again.

    Those torches, Vegas, are they at the end of a tunnel, or in a funeral procession?

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