Of all the things that happened in the Stars domination of the Blackhawks on Thursday night, the only time my blood pressure went through the roof was halfway through the third period when Ed Olcyzk went on a long-winded explanation about how the Hawks and their injuries are the main reason why they played with only 17 skaters tonight. He went to discuss how the Hawks are up against the salary cap and with Brian Campbell and Dave Bolland on the shelf, the team just doesn’t have the room to play with 18 skaters.
Nevermind that Jordan Hendry is out for six months and his $600,000 salary is still counting against their salary cap for no good reason at all. Nevermind that teams like Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Boston, and Philadelphia have just as many injuries, are just as close to dry-humping the cap, and have no problem regularly dressing 18 skaters on a nightly basis. Rather than ask tough questions about the Blackhawks brain trust, it’s much easier to chalk it up to that evil salary cap.
It’s becoming quite apparent to me that the Blackhawks, as an organization, don’t think too highly of their team’s Cup chances this year and would rather focus on making sure next year’s team doesn’t have any cap penalties to deal with. How else can one explain why with the team (seemingly) in must-win mode every night, they’re going into games with absolutely no margin for error on their roster. So when someone like Bryan Bickell comes down with the flu or whatever was ailing him tonight, Joel Quenneville is left with his dick in his hand along with a team of 17 skaters (16 if we take the great John Scott out of the equation. Judging by the way the Hawks are so adverse to using LTIR, we can pretty much give up hope against his buyout this summer. It’s amazing to me that people rip on Glen Sather to no end for signing Boogaard to that asinine contract, yet Stan Bowman gets a free pass for his two-year deal to an absolute waste of space. Not only that, he signed him on the first day of free agency which means he targeted and specifically wanted John Scott. In Stan We Trust!!!). What makes it even worse is when it happens against a team fighting for their playoff lives with 18 skaters.
Of course, there’s nothing the Hawks can do about it. They’re the only team with cap problems and injuries so they just have to deal with it. Right.
So please, don’t believe the crap the Hawks and their mouthpieces are serving us on a high definition platter. It’s bad for your health.