I started the last blog with, "Before the Hawks ventured to Western Canada, I knew this would be a make or break."
Well, it's broke.
One out of five wasn't going to cut it and as we stand today on Monday, February 17th, the Hawks appear to not have the consistency and big-game ability to get themselves into the playoffs this year.
Had they rattled off 4 wins this Western Canadian swing, I'd be on board with rallying behind this team for a postseason push. However, this team, as it's constructed, does not look capable of jumping 3 teams to capture that last wild card spot.
I could be wrong and I hope I am. Honestly, all I asked for last week was – whatever happened from here on out – that this was a fun ride.
Well, an 8-4 win was fun. The 3-2 loss had some fun parts in it but ultimately was disappointing.
I am hoping for the former more times than not from here until playoff time.
I can't help but think though, how much could the Hawks benefit from starting to sell, sell, sell.
Yes, I know there isn't a ton to actually sell, but there are some sellable pieces. And the selling has begun…
Dang. There are some great returns in those trades above.
The NHL Trade Deadline is Monday, February 24th and Stan Bowman could be reaping the rewards of long(er)-term assets from now until Monday.
Can Erik Gustafsson fetch a 2nd rounder+?
Is Robin Lehner worth a 1st rounder, prospect + roster player?
Does someone want Olli Maatta?
These are the questions that I ask myself today because while the effort has been valiant, time is running out and when you look around with those teams raking in draft picks and top prospects you can't help but think that's the best path for the Hawks right now.
The Hawks only have 3 games until the TDL: NYR (Wed), NAS (Fri) and DAL (Sun).
These games should not be enough to sway Stan either way before the deadline. Are you a seller? Or are you a "stand-pat(ter)? Because there's no way you're a buyer.
I'll have more in-depth "fake trades" and rumours as I hear it so stay tuned this week. There have been a lot of whispers lately and I'm working on some things on my end – mostly around Robin Lehner.
The Hawks are talking to Lehner's camp right now and this week is critical in these talks.
What are your thoughts on the goaltending situation?
Also, after this disastrous road trip, what do you all think?
See ya out there!