When you look back on it, the 2011-2012 Blackhawks season was a pretty forgettable one. A terrible powerplay…a slightly less terrible penalty kill…a concussed captain, who was abused in a game vs San Jose while teammates looked on and did nothing…a nine game losing streak…9-2 and 8-4 losses to the Oilers…a front office member on the ice coaching…a goaltending roller coaster ride. I can go on…and on…and on, but I won’t.
So, when you take a step back from your Blackhawk fandom, should anyone be shocked that the Phoenix series ended this way?
Pushed around? Check. Raffi Torres destroyed Marian Hossa…and no one did much of anything about it.
Bad powerplay? Check. 1 for 19 qualifies as bad, right?
Bad penalty kill? Check. They killed a whopping 79% of the powerplays against.
Bad goaltending? Check. Two soft, game winning goals played as big a role as anything in the series loss.
If you landed on Earth from some other galaxy and only watched the Blackhawks in this series, you’d have seen the entire season. The way the played the Coyotes was the exact way they played all season long. Moments of dominance, but mostly frustration.
There are a lot of questions that need answering, and the spotlight is clearly on Stan Bowman. The Hawks have needed a physical defenseman, a number 2 center, and a top six winger during his entire tenure as GM. So far, he’s done nothing to address those needs.
July 1st will be one of the bigger days in Bowman’s career. He can make the Hawks contenders again with 2-3 successful moves. He’s made very few of those so far. His July 1st 2011 guys didn’t do much this series, did they? Daniel Carcillo…hurt. Andrew Brunette…he was on the ice, right? Steve Montador…hurt. Jamal Mayers…healthy scratch. Sean O’Donnell…bad when not scratched.
With a track record like that, how can you not have faith in the Hawks’ GM?