What is and What Should Never Be

Apparently, all it took was one mid-game Pat Foley rant and Duncan Keith’s skates have suddenly become all the rage.  During the Hawks loss to Columbus on Sunday evening, Foley discussed how Keith has gone through ten skates from Bauer this year.  Keith hasn’t found a pair of skates to his liking.  Well, that was all the beat writers needed to hear. 

Not one, not two, but all three Blackhawk beat writers took it upon themselves on Monday to get to the bottom of the Great Duncan Keith Skate Mystery.  As if his skates are the reason for the mental mistakes piling up. 

In Keith’s defense, he did downplay the attention that his skates have attracted.  It also goes without saying that Keith has been a far better defenseman this year than he was at this point last year.  Even as he’s embroiled in SkateGate 2010.    

Still, it’s humorous to see some use +/- (and now equipment) as some great indication for how poorly the Hawks have been playing recently.  Keith, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Brent Seabrook are chief among the evildoers with a minus rating. 

Of course the majority of Hawks will be minus players; they’ve gotten piss-poor goaltending out of Huet since the beginning of March and they’re playing at a below .500 clip.  Not exactly the best way to have a stellar +/-, but please let’s go back to blaming the evil Olympics.  Look how awful the Wings–with their 7 Olympians–are doing. 

–While I’m here, let’s put a moratorium on comparing the Hawks to any baseball team in town.  Since the Hawks have become relevant again, people have been very quick to categorize them with teams who don’t even play the same sport.  Maybe it’s because those people are more familiar with baseball so it’s easy for them.

Last year, when the Hawks went through their putrid March, they were compared to the ’05 White Sox.  This year, they’re having another ugly March and people are comparing them to the ’05 White Sox again.  Neither this year or last year are/were in the same universe as the ’05 Sox. 

The other favorite is to compare them to the Cubs in a variety of ways.  Whether it be the “Wriglification” of the Hawks (which has to be one of the stupidest arguments out there) or because they lose a heart-breaking game, the Cubs label gets branded on the Hawks for some unknown reason. 

Whatever, the Hawks are the Hawks.  Let them be who they are.

–With the Hawks back at practice, the forwards were grouped up into new lines.  The abbreviated version is Kane and Hossa flipped spots; Kris Versteeg was the second line center; Dustin Byfuglien was on their wing while Dave Bolland and John Madden were shifted down one line, respectively. 

Some quick thoughts: I can’t imagine Versteeg stays as the second line center for more than a couple periods.  Madden seems much more suited for a reduced role so he’s rightfully placed as the 4th line center (Anyone out there still want to re-sign him to a multi-year, multi-million deal?).  Byfuglien is a much more effective forward than defenseman, but probably not as a top-6 forward. 

Either way, I don’t really get too bent out of shape over line combinations because everyone has their own idea on what they should be and no one is ever wrong.  I know some have soured over Quenneville’s line-juggling, but I would ask, what NHL coach doesn’t shake up lines to get something going?  Maybe Q has a quicker trigger finger than most, but nothing he has done this year is out of character for a veteran NHL coach, at least in regards to line-juggling.   

*On the Farm*

–Kyle Beach scored Spokane’s first goal of the game.  It was his 6th of the playoffs.  The Chiefs win forces a Game 7.

Byron Froese was held without a point as Everett dropped Game 7 to Kelowna, 2-1.

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16 Responses to What is and What Should Never Be

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Nice work, guys. Well thought out, well written.

    PS have the playoffs started yet?

    And will Ben Eager dress up as the Easter Bunny?

  2. Lou says:

    Nice read.

    I am going to debate with you guys on a couple of points.

    JWow’s influence is real and needs to be mentored by HOCKEY people. That’s where the Cubsesque it comes from. Hockey indeed is not baseball but if he is not checked (thought I’d throw a hockey word in), the Wrigilification (nice new word!), could get out of control. That is my lone concern. The UC is the UC not the Madhouse on Madison. The Blackhawk Camaro, nice car. What is next makes me concerned. And some people know plenty about a lot of sports… Keep a good contending product on the ice, afforadable prices, and a fun arena and you have a winner. And, hopefully, JWOW is applying ALL the lessons learns from his days on the North side.

    As for the line changes, yes to get something going absolutely. But, I think there is a fine line between that and struggling. You decide what Q is doing.

    Time to get serious on the ice and behind the bench.

  3. Lou says:

    Sorry – my existential moment as Harold Snepsts when an all time favorite of Mine Jocelyn Lemieux beat the snot out of him took over and told me to challenge the moratorium…

  4. dominator says:

    This Kim Johnsson thing is starting to bug me, so he has a concussion now? What did he trip over his dog or something?

  5. CT says:

    Yes, he probably has a concussion. When a guy is day-to-day with an upper body injury for more than a week, it’s usually a concussion. Basically, the guy takes some kind of “concussion test” prior to each practice and when he passes he’s allowed on the ice. So Johnsson’s day-to-day because they test him every day, and he could presumably pass at any time.

  6. JM says:

    I feel as panicked as in 2005. Remember that big division lead we had? Shit!

  7. Lou says:

    JM isn’t 2005 when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor????

  8. Dave Morris says:

    @CT>ingrown toenail? Acid reflux? Prickly heat?

  9. Lee says:

    We don’t have a goalie and Sopel must be a minus4

  10. Lee says:

    Sopel hit in face
    Gone to dressing room
    Hopefully gone forever

  11. Lou says:

    There really is no rationalization for regressed play, depleted hockey IQ and lack of coaching adjustments.

    It all has to start with Q or it will end Q.

    I don’t even know what to say anymore.

  12. Dave Morris says:

    “Brian Campbell smashed into the end boards, breaking his clavicle and ribs, courtesy of an Alex Ovechkin hit during the Hawks-Caps NBC Game of the Week Sunday March 14th . Blackhawks fans might have been thinking at that moment that their team’s Cup hopes were done, along with Campbell, for 2010.”

    http://hockeyindependent.com/blog/david-morris/12845/

    Written March 14th. I hate being right.

  13. NKLHD says:

    Why not just say we need an enforcer? Oh wait, Boynton did that tonight and we still lost because the Blues decided to try and win instead of just fight us. Can there seriously be any team that is afraid of the Hawks right now? I doubt it.

  14. Lee Rosenberg says:

    We lost because we have two goalies neither of which are good enough to go up against either Mason. We also lost because we have a defenceman that was on the ice for all of the goals and if he had not got hit in the face with of puck they might have scored two more goals in the last two minutes

  15. Bobby b says:

    This is now a question of motivation and belief. This team has the talent to win.

    I believe this funk really hit them with awful goaltending after the break. A pair of obvious, pathetic losses after gaining big leads. then The much discussed injuries occurred. Now no one
    is playing well.

    When the playoffs come will they have the heart? Do they think they can win?

    I bet they will turn it on… Oddly, after this 3 for 11 dump they might surprise some teams.

  16. Lou says:

    @Dave, they were showing signs of issues since the turn of the new year and the Campbell thing has just confirmed the issues.

    I am not willing to say the cup is lost yet but it will be an uphill climb. I, like Bobby B, think this team may have a surprise.

    A lot has to be done and Q has to stop f-ing around with the lines and the PP. Enough of that. Pick combos and let em get some time. If that Means Bolland is a 4th line center than so be it.

    As for Sopel, maybe this will make him the second ugliest hockey player in the league behind Fedoruk instead of the third.

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