After a better than expected start to the season, the Blackhawks have stumbled. After last night’s poor performance, a 4-0 loss to Edmonton, the Hawks fall to 6-5-3 which is good for 5th in the Central.
This start is eerily similar to the Hawks of 2017-18 last year. They exploded with a 10-1 win over Pittsburgh opening night which was followed by some strong wins. However, by November 1st they had an average record of 6-5-2. They also had a losing skid of 5 L’s in 6 games from October 18th to the 28th. They’re heading down that same path.
I am working on a lot of stories right now - one which includes the future of Nick Schmaltz due out next week – but for now, I am going to turn 5 thoughts/questions over to you guys and gals to discuss on the message boards.
1) Speaking of Nick Schmaltz, what a message Q sent his way by healthy scratching him last night. My question is where does #8 fit into the Hawks and how much would you pay him on his next contract?
2) Something has to finally be done about this Blackhawks’ Power Play. There was a quote from Scotty Bowman this summer about what the Hawks needed to fix to get back to contention and his response included to be strong with the man advantage.
This has not happened and I’m starting to think that something drastic has to change. I like Kevin Dineen a lot but maybe he is let go and the Hawks bring in an Adam Oates type assistant (not actually Adam Oates as I don’t think he’s available). Then, management tells Q to get out of the way and let that person completely run it.
3) I was quite underwhelmed by Stan Bowman’s decisions this offseason. Let’s take a quick look at through 14 games, Ward (good – that signing made sense), Manning (not good), Kunitz (not good), Davidson (not good). Not looking good for Stan.
4) Speaking of evaluations, what happens if this Hawks team continues to sink. Remember Rocky’s Christmas threat about making changes by Christmas time?
What would you do?
5) So, what’s next? Well, the Hawks head to Calgary for tomorrow night to take on the Flames. They will be looking for a solid bounce back. It’s going to be a long plane ride home if they drop their 5th in a row.
I’ll have more thoughts and follow ups in the comments and you can expect a couple thought pieces next week on this team as they don’t play again until Thursday.
See ya out there,