February 15, 2012

So that’s fun: The Skid hits nine in a row.

First of all everyone in Chicago, who is suddenly an expert, needs to calm down and come off the ledge, Right Now! Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith should not be traded. Alexander Salak is not the answer in goal and as far as Ryan Miller goes, the Olympics were two years ago and right now Corey Crawford might have more confidence.  I think there are SEVERAL reasons why the Blackhawks just suffered their ninth loss in a row and in no particular order.


Is Corey Crawford the answer in net for the long term future for a team that will contend for the Stanley Cup for close to the next decade with their core of talent? I think the jury is out, he has developed the propensity of giving up really soft goals. His positioning at times is questionable at best and his confidence appears to be shaky. However we saw what he was capable last season and the defense this year has been nowhere near to what it was last year and in 2010 where they raised Antti Niemi to cult-like status in the Windy City.


Let’s be honest they are truly dressing 3.5 to 4 defensemen a night. Keith and Seabrook, Leddy and Montador. However a major problem, Nick Leddy is not anywhere close to being ready for the ice time he is getting as the 3rd man on the D corps. Now with the concussion sustained by Nik Hjallmarsson the blueline is threadbare. This MUST be an issue addressed by Stan Bowman before the February 27th trade deadline.


As it goes in this sport, the brass will never admit it, also as it goes in Chicago, the media will never ask about it after Q or Stan gives the first answer. I have a sneaking suspicion that Jonathon Toews is playing hurt. We know Patrick Sharp has been with a broken bone in his wrist. Niklas Hjalmarsson has been out the past week with a concussion mucking up the already dirty defense picture.  

Stan Bowman

What the hell did your Dad teach you? Yes he was hamstrung with cap hell after the Stanley Cup season. Most of that he created himself as the assistant GM under Dale Tallon, he missed the qualifying offer deadline and forced the Hawks to give overblown contracts to players like Kris Versteeg, and Cam Barker. Bowman has done a decent to bad job of finding roll players to fill holes left by many of the departures after 2010. I will always give him credit for unloading Cam Barker for Nick Leddy, because Leddy’s upside is much bigger than Barkers

Joel Quenneville

He can be awesome and he can be incredibly frustrating, Q will go down as the coach of the team that brought Chicago its first Stanley Cup in almost 50 years. Which in Chicago carries a lot of weight, Mike Dikta is still a god, no matter what meathead vitriol he spews on ESPN. However in last year and a half Quenneville has consistently mixed and matched lines and as well as mixed and matched goaltenders. He has a propensity of playing a certain large 6’8 defensemen less than 5 minutes a game while not giving others even look like Sami Lepisto.  The team itself and Stan Bowman on many occasions defended Q and have said multiple times he is not going anywhere and he hasn’t lost the team. This will remain to be seen.


Is the sky falling? Maybe as because as of February 15th the Blackhawks sit in sixth place in the West, however only 3 points out of the ninth spot. A month ago, I thought how nice it was that the Blackhawks were flip-flopping between 1st and 2nd in the conference and no matter what happened they wouldn’t have to worry about making the playoffs like they did last year. It appears we may be in for another bumpy end of the season, if the team doesn’t turn it around, I still don’t expect massive changes because frankly the track record of these players and this coach doesn’t dictate it. However there is no excuse for a team so talented to keep this play up, its unfathomable and unacceptable.

- Joe DeTolve

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