The End Is Nigh: Blues 3, Blackhawks 0

The one thing we can all agree on tonight is it’s probably a bad idea to have a 25 minute on-ice funeral before the game.  Both teams took awhile to get going and the product was severely lacking in the opening minutes.  As for the rest of the game, it wasn’t a whole lot better.

–Here’s a little known NHL fact: When your goalie gives up bad goals and you don’t score, you never win.  Corey Crawford should have stopped all three goals and the Hawks couldn’t get anything past Jaroslav Halak.  Easy enough.

I assume the easy cliche the Hawks will go to is they need more traffic in front of the opposing net.  It seemed like they had plenty of traffic tonight; it just so happened that every puck hit one of their screeners.  When it actually worked in their favor, someone like Viktor Stalberg missed a wide-open net.  So while tonight was frustrating, the Hawks didn’t get a whole bunch of puck luck tonight and when they did, they didn’t capitalize.  Hardly the stuff that will turn a Cup contender into a pretender in one week’s time.

–It will be interesting to see how the Hawks handle this adversity.  Their power play somehow managed to find a new low tonight.  In a game where the Blues were begging the Hawks to come back by taking some awful penalties, they couldn’t score on one of their four power plays.  This coming against one of the worst penalty kill units in the league.

Yeah, they generated some decent chances off their power play but the results are still lacking.  If this keeps up, something is going to have to give.  Whether it’s a coaching change or full sale unit changes, the Hawks simply can’t keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

They can start by keeping two defensemen on the point and go from there.  Notice how the Hawks best pressure tonight came when Brent Seabrook and Nick Leddy were partnered together.  While they’re at it, maybe they can also show Jonathan Toews some film of him from a year ago when he actually took the puck strong to the net along the goal line.

–Perhaps this is a good time to remind everyone of the ebbs and flows of the regular season.  Last week at this time, everyone was writing off the Detroit Red Wings as being too old.  After two convincing wins against Anaheim and Colorado, people can’t wait to say how amazing they are at their age.

The Hawks have played a couple of subpar games.  It will mean absolutely nothing four months from now.

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13 Responses to The End Is Nigh: Blues 3, Blackhawks 0

  1. muhr says:

    It’s not so much how bad they have sucked in games they have lost, it’s how bad they were in the games they won.

  2. John says:

    Not sure I understand that point, either. They didn’t look great in Florida and that’s about it. Every other win, they had periods of dominance, if not straight up dominance. Pretty good. I really don’t get where this angst is coming from.

  3. Michael says:

    Hypothetically, if this team struggles in the upcoming weeks and comes back from their long road trip at .500 or below and the power play continues to be useless, what do you think the chances are of a coaching change? I’m not saying I want Q gone or he should be relieved of his duties, but since you mentioned a coaching change in your article, I’m wondering how likely everyone thinks that might be if things don’t improve. It seems as if the team has just gotten tired of his constant line juggling and the power play will continue to be bad until their philosophy changes. After the Canuck game, Q said he didn’t think the Hawks “were all that terrible on the power play.” Considering they went 0-5 and were 5 for 53 on the season at the end of that game, I found that statement rather surprising.

  4. John says:

    I was thinking more along the lines of an assistant coach falling on the sword in the near future if the power plays continues to be the league’s worst. A head coaching change isn’t even in the cards right now even if they do come back at .500. If they’re still slogging around in January or February, then all bets are off.

    As for the line juggling affecting their play, I think a lot of that is the fans projecting their feelings on the players.

  5. Tom says:

    We’ve all seen this before, once they score on the Power Play then the goals will come more regularly. They’re just in a funk right now…and are near the top of the conference, nothing to jump off a building over.

  6. Adam F says:

    Well, I hesitate to comment least I draw the ire of some bald-headed-schmuck-who-has-not-only-his-own-website-but-actually-two-websites-to-run-yet-comes-to-this-website-to-harass-people-who-do-nothing-towards-him who shall remain nameless but…..

    This was a refreshing read. I think this will be interesting to see how this team responds to this slump. One of the things I liked about the Hawks off-season moves, perhaps the only thing I liked, was that there were at least three veterans in that locker room to help guide the team through the season. This qualifies as one of these moments. I don’t think the players are turning their lonely eyes toward Jamal Mayers and looking for guidance. But there are several candidates (Stalberg, Bickell, Hjalmarsson, Leddy.) that would benefit from some veteran advice. I don’t know, I keep going back to Mike Knuble’s little “I’m tired of this shit speech” during their big losing streak on 24/7 last year. It helped turn that team’s fortunes around. My guess is that something similar could happen here.

    The power play does need work as it’s in the Adam Dunn level of badness. And just to keep it consistent, I guess I’ll ask where you guys are on your Nick Leddy confidence level. Growing pains? Par for the course? Not ready to fill the role of a 3rd defenseman? (Something Q has already foisted upon him…..isn’t that a great word? Foisted? I really like that word….Foisted.)

    I look forward to your answer. As well as Sam’s predictable insult.

  7. BobbyJet says:

    The book on Valak, as is the case with many butterfly goalies, is he stops everything along the ice. I only caught the first 2 periods last night, but the few chances that were generated were (you guessed it) right along the ice. I will force myself to watch the 3rd period this evening.

    BTW, not that it matters, but it was Mayers that missed the open net after a decent play by Stalberg to get it to him… and the obvious goal by Bolland, called back, seemed to kill any chance to pull this one out.

    Oh, one more thing, I don’t see how anyone can blame that 2nd goal, the deflection, on Crawford. Blue Jackets are next, and hopefully the recipe to get the team out of this funk.

  8. Jeff says:

    I like seeing Carcillo standing up for his team mate as needed, but why the hell dress Scott if he isn’t sent out to do his main function? Complete waste of a warm body if isn’t used to send a message and give his team a boost.

  9. Brian Donohue says:

    Voice of reason amid a sea of hysteria. Well put, John.

  10. John says:

    @BobbyJet–There was also a chance for Stalberg when he was out with Toews and Brunette. I want to say it was very early in the third. He completely biffed an open net on a scramble in front of Halak and shot it wide. So there you go, that’s two empty nets missed. And Chris Stewart’s tip goal was from like 25 feet out. Crawford put himself out of position to make that save.

    @Adam–Leddy is a young d-man still learning the game. I thought he actually played pretty well last night and was intiating the rush. I think once he learns when it’s alright to go ahead and go with the puck, he’s going to be the star that Pat and Ed claim he already is. But that may not happen anytime in the near future.

  11. rich Lindbloom says:

    Was carcillo’s penalty deep in the Blues zone on a forecheck. I saw a Blues defenseman go down on what looked like a slew foot from carcillo. As the play headed the other way I thought to myself, that should have been a “dumb” penalty.

    The people I was with also blamed Crow, especially for the 3rd goal. I thought it was a hell of a shot – sometimes these snipers are just going to beat you. by the way, where in the hell was our right d-man on that play, Keith had to come hustling over to try to stop Oshie.

    I thought Keith was outstanding out there last night. Whenwill the John scott Experiment end?

  12. Jerry Kayne says:

    According to some stats I read last year, Coach Kitchen ran the worst PP in the league while in Florida and before joining the Hawks. Coach Haviland ran one of the best PK since joining the Hawks. When they switched Havy to run the PP fortunes turned and they finished very high on the PP. It sure looks like they gave the PP back to Kitchen.

  13. BobbyJet says:

    Watched the 3rd period finally, and yes it was 25 missing from in close as well as 22 earlier in the period. I must say the 3rd period wasn’t nearly as bad as the first 2 and with a few breaks the Hawks could have gained at least a point in the game. Halak looked like Halak again after a poor season going in. Funny how we always seem to bring the best out of the opps goalies.

    So here we go again tonight, possibly playing without Bolland. It has been reported that Q was experimenting with some odd PP combinations in practice (eg. Montador at forward position)…. Scary.

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