With three minutes left in last night's game in Colorado, the Blackhawks had a 5-4 lead over the Avalanche...and like that, it was gone. Another blown lead from the defending Cup champs. Another game spent chasing the opponent's lead. Another game that leaves Hawk fans searching for answers at the final horn.
The Hawks are being outplayed more often than not. Their stars are not playing like stars, and the role players aren't quite good enough to cover for their lapses.
Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have been ordinary at best. Dave Bolland, when he's healthy, has been tough to find. Marian Hossa's been hurt. So has Patrick Kane.
When those guys, the core, aren't performing, you need your depth players to take over.
Bottom line? They just aren't as good as they were last season. It can't be argued anymore.
Need an example? Last season, Tomas Kopecky was a 4th line player who was rarely counted on anything other than a few minutes of ice time, and an ear for his buddy Marian Hossa. This year, he's way up on the depth chart. Tomas Kopecky is not Dustin Byfuglien.
Fernando Pisani, who's been fighting an injury, has been counted on as a key defensive forward. Last season, he would have been a healthy scratch most nights. Pisani, for all of his hustle and effort, is no John Madden.
Viktor Stalberg, for all his dreaminess, is not Kris Versteeg.
Jassen Cullimore and Nick Boynton? Ugh. Cullimore was OUT of the NHL last season, and Boynton might as well have been. Neither of them add up to even Brent freakin' Sopel.
That's it. The lack of depth coupled with the veteran leaders struggling has made the Hawks slightly above ordinary. They just aren't that good. I still believe they're a playoff team, and I believe they can make a Cup run with a deadline move here or there, but we all need to move on from the 2009-2010 team. It's not the same team. We can't expect the m to be.
Filed under: Blackhawks, blackhawks trade, brent seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Sports, danny mac show, dave bolland, duncan keith, fernando pisani, hockey, Jack Skille, jay zawaski, joel quenneville, john madden, jonathan toews, kris versteeg, marian hossa, Marty Turco, NHL, Nick Boynton, Patrick Kane, patrick sharp, sports, stanley cup, Stanley Cup Champions, Tomas Kopecky, troy brouwer, viktor stalberg, wscr
Tags: blackhawks, blackhawks trade, brent seabrook, chicago blackhawks, chicago sports, danny mac show, dave bolland, duncan keith, fernando pisani, hossa injury, jack skille, jay zawaski, joel quenneville, john madden, jonathan toews, kris versteeg, marian hossa, marty turco, NHL, nick boynton, patrick kane, patrick sharp, Sports, stanley cup champions, tomas kopecky, troy brouwer, viktor stalberg, wscr