Looking Back; Looking Forward

There are some striking similarities between the Blackhawks worst loss of the season from last year and this year.

Without a doubt, their worst loss last year came on New Year’s Day when the then 15-24-2 Los Angeles Kings smacked them 9-2.  The loss was their second in a row.  They lost their best player midway through the game when Jonathan Toews hyperextended his knee.  Toews would remain out for six weeks subsequently killing any chance the team would have of making the playoffs.

Yesterday, the ‘Hawks suffered their worst loss of the season to the 29-36-1 Colorado Avalanche.  It was their second loss in a row.  They lost their best player, Martin Havlat, midway through the game due to an undisclosed injury.  (Quick side note:  I know Edzo doesn’t get much love from ‘Hawk faithful, but there’s no way it takes him twenty minutes before he realizes Havlat is not on the bench.  I noticed it as soon as the second power play unit came out with Bolland, Ladd, and Versteeg.  It took Konroyd until there were 3 minutes left in the period to realize it.  I’m just saying.)   

Of course, a big difference is the Kings loss was a part of an eight game losing streak that effectively eliminated the ‘Hawks from the playoffs.  Not to tempt fate, but this year’s version would need a collapse of epic proportions to not make the playoffs.  If that were to happen, then we’d have bigger problems than trying to loosely connect losses from two different seasons.   

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–Rick Telander hasn’t been in a hockey locker room since the ’70’s so he’s probably due some slack on this:

One assumed he was joking, there in front of his locker, stinking with leather-sweat in that peculiar hockey fashion that separates this sport from all others.

I’m trying to think of any equipment that’s made from leather anymore.  Other than the palms of the gloves and the insoles of skates, everything is made of cloth.  As late as the 90’s, some players still wore leather shoulder pads and leather gloves, but now, not so much.  Either way, it’s good to know hockey players still smell.

–Chris Kuc offers his insight into the ‘Hawks walking wounded:

Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin (believed to be a groin injury): He’s skating and should rejoin practice early this week. That puts him a week to 10 days away.

Forward Patrick Sharp (left knee): Sharp is working out more vehemently and should be on the ice soon, possibly today. That still puts him arojnd 10 days away.

Center Sammy Pahlsson (mononucleosis): Skated for the first time since Jan. 31 before Sunday’s game. The veteran said if everything goes perfectly he could join the lineup in a week or so. Put him at 10 days as well.

Winger Martin Havlat (lower body): Havlat left Sunday’s game during the second period and didn’t return. The extent or exact nature isn’t yet known but we should know more following Tuesday’s practice.

Defenseman Brent Sopel (elbow): The veteran had surgery on his elbow and has been more high-profile around the team in the last week or so. He could return for the playoffs.

Wait a second, Brent Sopel?  I thought he died.  Alas, he’s still alive, much to the dismay of some ‘Hawk fans.  When Sharp comes back, he’ll likely provide a much needed scoring boost and if he gets paired with Kane and Toews, you can bet he’ll rattle off a 6 goals in 4 games-type streak. 

–I’m not sure what this means for the safety of humanity, but the voice of reason today came from this man.  Wow, semi-coherent thoughts followed up with some logic that makes a little sense.  Who knew he had it in him?  And hey, what do you know, Vancouver lost tonight!!!  Looks like the season isn’t over yet! 

–Sometimes I feel like we pick on certain writers with limited readership too much (see Rozner, Barry) so I was elated to see chicagokill take another Daily Herald writer to task today

–Speaking of, Tim Sassone is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore!  He has to be pretty frustrated after covering hockey for the past twenty something years and now all of a sudden, teams shun information that was once out in the open, but the rules are the rules.  Quite frankly, other than selfish reasons of wanting to know what’s wrong with players, it’s not even one of the top five rules the NHL should think of changing.  (Mumbles something about giving out a double minor on a play that happened three minutes before and results in having a goal wiped out)

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