As promised, here are some thoughts bouncing around about Sunday night’s tilt and a little bit more:
–Still no word on Patrick Kane. After seeing the replay for the 203rd time, it certainly appeared to me that his ankle twisted the same way it did a couple years ago against Detroit. He suffered a high ankle sprain then and only missed a couple games but was hardly the same player. He went through a prolonged scoring drought, notching two assists in an 11 game span. He scored just one goal in 18 games and it took him 19 games to have a multi-point game.
That stretch covered a span of two months. Of course, it probably took a lot longer for him to heal as he never sat out for an extended period and rushed back.
If he’s out for two months now (or even if he plays and is not the same player for the next two months) , you can pretty much kiss the playoffs goodbye. As the Hawks sit in the midst of the Western Conference blob, they can ill afford to be without their most consistent scorer for that long.
–The Hawks sent Jeremy Morin down today and then announced later in the evening, he would be returning on Wednesday. Clearly this was done to save cap space for down the road. It was also leaked today that Morin and Nick Leddy have been given permission by the Blackhawks to participate in the World Junior Championships.
Morin’s game total now sits at five games. Should he end up playing in the World Juniors, he’ll be unavailable to the Hawks for about a month. While I’m still fairly impressed with Morin, the difference between him, Ben Smith, and Ryan Potulny is miniscule. Has Morin really done anything that outstanding in his 12 minutes of ice time per game that the other two couldn’t? Is it really worth burning a year off his entry-level deal? These questions look like they’re going to have to be answered sooner rather than later.
Not only that, Morin carries the highest cap hit.
To me, they should make a committment one way or the other. Either keep him here, get the most out of the first year of his contract, and be done with these silly cap games or just let him spend the rest of the season in Rockford and get someone else up here.
–Dave Bolland doubled his goal output on Sunday night by cashing in on (essentially) two empty-net goals. Again, though, I found what he didn’t do to be so much more insulting. In the second period, he carried the puck out from behind the net and had a golden opportunity to get something to the net. He took way too long to make his decision and ended up losing the puck.
In the third period and just moments after Jarome Iginla’s rocket launcher hit the post, Bolland and Toews came in on a 2-on-1. Toews saucered a pass to Bolland that he should have been able to control. He didn’t and the Flames immediately came back down the other way.
Then on his empty net goal and with the Hawks on the power play, he shot the puck from behind the red line. If he misses the net there, the Flames get a face-off in the Hawks zone and an easy opportunity to pull their goalie. Not the type of play you like to see from someone who is lauded for his hockey IQ.
–It’s about time Jonathan Toews becomes a true point-per-game player in the regular season. With Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane now out for the unforseen future, it’s time Toews starts playing like the Gold Medal or Stanley Cup is on the line on a nightly basis. The only way I see the Hawks coming out of this month rosy (and it’s going to be a real tough one now) is if Toews steps up his game the way we’ve seen during tournaments.
Save us Toews-wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.
–Adding into my Sunday evening depression of trying to imagine my life without Patrick Kane was the season finale of “The Walking Dead”. It’s hard to believe we have to wait another ten months to look forward to our Sunday evenings. The finale didn’t disappoint and I was especially thankful there wasn’t any major cliffhanger (minus the whispering between Jenner and Grimes).
At some point, though, the show needs to let some time elapse. Rick has gone from waking out of a coma, travelling to Atlanta via car and horseback, escaping from a mass of zombies, covering himself in zombie guts, walking amongst a mass of zombies, escaping from Atlanta, re-uniting with his family, leaving his family to go back to Atlanta, returning back to the camp during a zombie invasion, leading the group to the CDC in Atlanta, thinking they were safe for the forseeable future, waking up the next morning to realize they only had another hour to stay there, and then breaking out just before it turned into a mushroom cloud…….
in 5 days!!!! Maybe it’s time we take a deep breath and let some kind of routine get established.