Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 3

And just like that, it’s over. 

I suppose there’s still the chance that Dallas can get bumped off by Minnesota tonight, but we’ve seen too much of this season to expect any kind of miracles.  And it’s not like we should be all that upset about it.  The Blackhawks were who they were.  They put themselves into the position of having to win their final three games including a home and home against the Detroit Red Wings.  Sure, it’s probably not their fault that this year the Western Conference decided to have ten teams with 95+ points. 

To sit here and try and draw some kind of microcosm for the season in the final game isn’t really fair either.  The Blackhawks were undone today by an all-time horrific performance from their 3rd line (or 4th, whatever you want to call it) of Jake Dowell, Bryan Bickell, and Fernando Pisani.  It started early in the first when Jake Dowell just skated past a puck laying in Jimmy Howard’s crease that should’ve been easily popped in the net.  It wasn’t.

Then the line was essentially pinned in their own end for the remainder of the game.  They ended up a collective -9 which included the two back-breaking goals in the third.  After Cleary’s goal at the 8 minute mark, none of them touched the ice the remainder of the game.

That’s not to lay all the blame on that trio because Corey Crawford didn’t exactly give himself the best chance to make a save on Detroit’s first two goals.  

Alas, that’s only a small part of the reason the Hawks will be watching this year’s playoffs from home.  Anyone who’s watched the Hawks for more than five games this season probably has a laundry list of reasons why they put themselves at this point.  Rather than beat those dead horses to submission, let’s look on the bright side of things that the end of the season means no more of:

  • Niklas Hjalmarsson and his allergic reaction to skating with the puck: The good news for him is that living on the east coast will put him closer to his native Sweden. 
  • Fernando Pisani.  No explanation necessary.
  • Jake Dowell: A promising 4th line center at the mid-point of the season, Dowell was largely invisible and mostly awful for the second half of the season. 
  • John Scott: Crossing our fingers on this one.  Do the right thing here Stan, buy him out, and don’t sell us a load of bullcrap about how much he improved.
  • Ryan Johnson: Yeah, it was admirable for him to come back the way he did and he was rightly nominated as the Hawks’ Bill Masterson candidate.  The Hawks can do a whole bunch better at that position, though, for not much more money.  Please do so. 
  • Corey Crawford’s price: With no playoffs, the price of Corey Crawford’s next contract is probably a little smaller than it potentially could have been.  Sure, maybe he’ll be a Calder finalist, but that will only net him so much.

To be honest, I wish I could be more outraged that the Hawks have missed the playoffs just 9 months after winning the Stanley Cup but from the start of this season, I had a really hard time getting behind this team.  Whether it was their early season no-shows, the propaganda shoved up our collective giggities about how great their marginal players are, or questionable management decisions throughout the season, it was extremely difficult to back this organization.*

And now, they’ll have the whole summer to improve the bottom of their roster because it needs a total makeover in the worst possible way.

*I reserve the right to change my mind should Dallas somehow lose and the Hawks go on to win another 16 games.  

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32 Responses to Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 3

  1. Mick says:

    Even if Dallas loses, we’re not built for it. I’m half-hoping they win it big in the first period so that it’s officially over, and with the injury troubles the Wild have right now, I’m not sure I’m even planning on watching. Besides, Sniper 2 is on Cinemax at 5:30 P.M. A big thanks is owed to you fellas for all the insightful posts this year. Looking forward to July 1st.

  2. WhiteSnoop says:

    Sad fucking true….

  3. AirTrafficAJ says:

    It’s weird. I’ve been looking all season to put the finger on why I just couldn’t get too pumped about this team. You hit it on the head with your last paragraph. I sold more tickets this season than any of the 4 previous, and every time I posted them for sale I would ask myself “why am I doing this?” Then I would shrug, and hit “post.”

    I’m hoping that the Epic Fail of 10-11 will prevent the Brass from raising prices next year, but I’m not gonna hold my breath. Guess I’ll side with my wife this summer and pull for the Sharks. Or I’ll just watch the White Sox.

  4. 97 points and it’s still not enough.
    All those games that they pissed away are now coming back to bite them in the ass.

  5. WING DING says:

    Well, the refs and the NHL did do everything they could to get you into the playoffs. Shipping half your team out during the offseason last year didnt help either. Good luck you bandwagon hawk fans with your stupid detroit chants, stay classy.
    WING DING

  6. Grunfeld says:

    “All those games that they pissed away are now coming back to bite them in the ass.”

    Yes. But there is a certain justice to it: You lose twice at home to the bleeping worst team in the league, you should pay a price for it. Though perhaps not the ultimate price of missing the playoffs.

    Off point and obvious, but, damn, Datsyuk is a beast. There was a debate on some other blog about who was the best all-around player in the league in Crosby’s absence: Datsyuk or Toews. I love JT; he is an elite player. But Datsyuk is better…at least right now.

    “it was extremely difficult to back this organization”

    I recall during the parade last year Jay Blunk comparing the Cup win to the Beatles coming to America in 1964 (or whenever it was) and how everything was different after that. I rolled my eyes…not for the first or the last time with this orginization.

  7. Ding ling says:

    Hey wing ding thanks to the cap you’re now able to win the division again! You certainly proved that you couldn’t handle the hawks this year, hell not even this year, only winning 2 out of 6. So have fun in shithole Detroit, with all of your shitty fucking teams.

  8. Dominic says:

    I reject the freakin hyperbole of epic failute etc….The league is good and competitive If we end up out, yeah sucks, but the whole idea that we are nowhere near it is freaking retarded. Cuz if we sneak in tonight and make a run, how would you explain that?

    If we miss with 97 points, bottom line we miss, I get that, but lets not act like we are Columbus or Colorado. If you asked me last year after winning the cup, I could have pointed out plenty of things to work on.

    I will reserve more for later. Min 1 – Dal 0 as we speak.

  9. Steve from Rockford says:

    I too had a hard time ever really getting excited about this team, and am glad to know I am not alone. It never really felt like the team bought into this season. Honestly, I was pissed off at them often. They just laughed in everyone’s faces and suggested they were morons whenever any doubt or concern was expressed. Finally, at the end of the season they were left stating disbelief of the current position and claiming that they “just had to get hot”. Well, it was much more than just getting hot. This team had serious issues and they were not dealt with. Plain and simple. How can you deal with something when you are convinced that it is not a problem?

  10. LMS says:

    Stay Classy – coming from a a fan of a team who employs Todd Bertuzzi. Absolute classs of the NHL in him.

    Jay Blunk is a PR guy as is JWow. Both have been noticeably quiet and should remain so. I would be fine if they both were gone sooner than later. They are not hoceky people and their glory run on the north side is an indicator of the bad they can do…

    The hockey guys have a lot of work to do. We need to replace Torch (Kitchen aint gettin it done) and hope Havelind stays as the heir to Q. I think Bolland is gone, Browuer is on the bubble and Kopecky, God I hate to say this, may have played himself to a new contract. AS for the other you pointed out – pretty much right on the money.

  11. Cam says:

    “but lets not act like we are Columbus or Colorado.”

    The fact that this team is so talented is why this is a preposterous day. They’re near the top of the league in nearly every important category. Absolutely no reason they shouldn’t have a dozen more points. Now you’re looking at the 3rd champion since 1970 to miss the playoffs and I have to listen to all the clowns say last year’s team was a fluke or “flash in the pan” as one columnist claimed today.

  12. Cam says:

    I must add that the points the refs fucked the Hawks out of in Vancouver also cost them.

  13. John says:

    I think the fact that the Hawks were as close to the playoffs as they were speaks to how good their top players are. Unfortunately, their bottom guys didn’t do nearly enough. It’s not like this team is in need of a full blow-up; they’re a couple guys away from being where they were last year.

  14. steve says:

    Well, in the end one thing is for sure….. At least we dont live in Detroit.

  15. Dominic says:

    @ John,

    1 guy, that is a healthy Dave Bolland. Saw note above that he is gone, is that guy high? Bolland critical part of core. Anyone not aware of his value should not post.

    Also, top guys were the guys on the ice in the third period when they gave up the ass early in the season. Without Sharp and Bolland, yes exposed weakness of depth. Get those guys back and push others down, like Kopecky makes us a totally different team.

    3-2 Wild

  16. Cam says:

    Other than Sharp, which of the Hawks’ top guys had a good season?

    Toews came closest, but even he had numerous long slumps. Kane had one big slump after all the missed time due to injury. Hossa played well for about 1-1/2 months total. Bolland was great his last two months, nearly invisible prior. Keith had about 2 good months. Seabrook was up and down.

    The pieces are there for a great foundation, but they need to be more consistent to say the least.

  17. Cam says:

    Dallas ties it late in the 2nd.

    Do you believe in miracles?

  18. John says:

    That’s kind of my point. They all had up and down years by your estimation, got about zero help from their 3rd and 4th lines all year, and just barely missed out (or made) on the playoffs.

  19. LMS says:

    No Dominic I am not high. And I am well aware of his value. And you have no idea what I do or don’t know about hockey when he plays. I have been quiet out here for months but was very, very active before. Ask, Lee about the enforcer debate. So, I think I know what I am talking about.

    And I said “I think Bolland is gone.” Bolland underproduced when healthy this year, was out partying and has a back problem. He is 26 with a bad back not likely going to get better and at $3M. It might be time to move him while he is still marketable. He isn’t close to what he was worth last year.

    It means he could be gone. He is marketable. Other Hawks blogs which also exist, besides dumbass Eklund, actually have some of the same grumblings. He is a guy they might try to move. Hell they could move Ham Sandwich too. If they don’t, hopefully he come back healthy and can contribute

  20. Cam says:

    I believe in miracles….

    Me and the Canucks just shit out pants.

  21. Grunfeld says:

    LOL! The Hawks are in.

    I don’t particularly think they have a great chance to repeat, but breaking the hearts of Vancouver again would not be without a certain satisfaction.

  22. Cam says:

    Just thrilled they don’t live in ignominy for missing the playoffs as champs. That’s beyond good enough for now.

  23. Dominic says:

    LMS, I am all for free speech and opinion. No offense, but going all lib dem on me siting 4 other people who agree with you means nothing. I agree he is marketable, what I am suggesting to you is that injured or not, he is one of the top 3 two way guys, prob top shut down guy with offensive upside. While he had struggles and may not have been a choir boy, he is hardly worth moving.

    Many people are all frantic about cap again. It will not be half the issue they think. Hopefully Bolland comes back vs Vancouuver and I promise you he will be the last guy they want to see. He is a big game player.

    Anyhow, I respect your opinion but the hysterical reaction of throwing guys out for not having career years is ridiculus. Only time will tell, in the mean time, lets get ready for the playoffs.

  24. jmk52 says:

    “Just thrilled they don’t live in ignominy for missing the playoffs as champs. That’s beyond good enough for now.”

    I can go along with that, but a few lingering closeups of Ott and Ribiero on the bench after the final horn would have been nice too. Just greedy, I guess.

    Also, ran across this a few minutes ago. Don’t think it will happen, but I had to laugh:

  25. JS says:

    It’s all house money from here out. Nothing to lose can make for a dangerous team..

  26. alpo says:

    I don’t expect the Hawks to come out winners against the ‘Nucks. But the Stanley Cup playoff is THE best professional sports tournament and I prefer watching with the Hawks in.

  27. Big Tony says:

    Talk about backing into the playoffs!! While I feel we didn’t earn the spot, i’ll gladly take it and a chance to defend the Cup. We got screwed quite often by poor offciiating…Vancouver game, anyone?….but gave away too many easy points against talentless squads like Edmonton. Maybe sitting there wishing and praying a slack team like minnesoate will give you a gift will provide some sort of spark and we can go on some sort of run, or at least give Vancouver a giant scare.

  28. ArlingtonRob says:

    Wow, talk about cutting it close. Anyhow, I’m glad were in…now the young guys get to experience some playoff hockey, great experience. Oh, and Rocky will get some extra cash going forward. Expectations are limited, but I hope the boys give us a few more thrills.

  29. Brendan says:

    I know your season’s not quite over yet, but I wanted to say I appreciate your write-ups throughout the year. I don’t get to see every game, and it’s great to get a real appraisal of how the team looked and performed each night, because that’s not something that always shows up on a score sheet or a TSN write-up. Thanks again, looking forward to reading more during the playoffs and into next season.

  30. dum dum alouwishes says:

    hAhAhA
    wow Wing Ding. A dig, and while the door is hitting your ass, you say “Stay Classy”

    just.funny.

  31. Kdog says:

    FYI. Most wing fans don’t live in Detroit. It’s called Michigan and it’s a big place. Just sayin.

  32. I don’t blame the wings fans for not living in Detroit. I wouldn’t live there either. The place is a desolate wasteland, the “good” places are good and the rest is like Beirut, the only thing going for them is that at least their whores are cheap. 25 bucks will get you anything that you may want.

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