Well, here we are.
After a very solid road game in Nashville, the Blackhawks still came up short, extending their losing streak to nine games.
Fans and media alike have been playing the blame game since the stretch reached three. "Is it time to make a change at head coach?" "Is Stan Bowman in over his head?" "Is it time to trade a core player?" While all of those questions have creedence, the most likely (and almost guaranteed) scenario is that Quenneville stays, Bowman stays, and the core remains in tact. In fact, fans probably shouldn't expect a major move at all. Ryan Miller, Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan, and Teemu Selanne aren't walking through gate 3 1/2 any time soon.
So how do the Hawks fix their problems?
It's up to the players.
Last night, somehow this "pitiful roster" that's been sucking for a month looked legit again. They dominated most of the action against one of their toughest opponents. They were winning every race to the puck. They were taking the body and controlling the puck. This roster is capable of playing well.
Does it seem to anyone else as if the players are waiting for a trade to happen? They can't wait for help to arrive, because it might not come. They can't wait for Q to change his system or commit to set lines, because it's not going to happen.
At some point, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith need to play like they're paid. At some point, Nick Leddy has to get tougher in front of his own net. At some point, Corey Crawford or Ray Emery have to make ONE big save. At some point, Michael Frolik has to get a point. At some point, the power play has to score.
Toews is praised as one of the best captains in hockey, who can set the tone with just his "serious face." Well, maybe it's time to lose the scowl and say something. Someone has to, because the Hawks are running out of time.