If you grew up in the 80's or 90's and are reading this hockey blog, I can only assume you've played Blades of Steel. This video game was epic (at the time) and I know my brother, friends and I would play for hours.
If you're not familiar with it, here's a quick preview - Blades of Steel
… I'll wait for you to check it out.
Ok, now you're back. As you can see in the above gameplay, the line "with the pass" happens when you're making a pass to your teammate and in its frantic state, the game sometimes would sound like it was on repeat: "With the pass… with… with the pass."
The reason I bring this up is that that's what I felt like I was watching last night. There was a lot of sloppy play on both ends. The Hawks for a better part of this year have really struggled with their passing. It's an area that I've examined and tried to put my finger on all year as to why it's been so bad; is it the system? Guys zigging when they should be sagging? Or is it the personnel?
I sense it may be a bit of both, layered on with a big blanket of a lack of confidence that has followed this team all year.
To get better in this area, the defence needs to start the 1st pass, and the forwards need to do their part by receiving, all while moving the play forward. Maybe the defence will go to passing camp this summer because it sounds like 90-100% of them will be back next year.
This segues into the Jan Rutta re-signing. I comment on Twitter when it happened:
: Yikes. Really? Bowman must have been given the green light to turn things around... which he has interpreted as... change nothing from this year and expect different results.
As I mentioned recently, I don't believe the Hawks will enter the season with all of these guys. I'm not sure what will happen, but something will change, even if it's just 1 medium to big addition that forces Stan to move on from one of the current D signed to a contract for 2018-19.
Keeping with the defence, it looks like Carl Dahlstrom has been sent down to Rockford, but no recall has happened to date. I'm not sure what the deal is there, but one would have to expect an announcement soon.
Heck, I wouldn't be surprised after the way this season has gone if Stan signs Henri Jokiharju and pulls him out of the WHL to play the rest of the year… because why not? It's been a weird year.
The Hawks play Boston (in Boston) tomorrow for an afternoon game. Then Boston returns the favour by traveling to Chicago on Sunday for another matinee game, this one showcased on NBC.
Expect the Hawks to make some sort of recall here today or tomorrow. Chances are the player already knows as the Hawks will be heading to Boston shortly and they won't want to head there with only 6 Dmen on the active roster.
I'm off to a hockey tournament, but will be around!
See ya out there!