The trip that broke the camel's back
Before the Hawks ventured to Western Canada, I knew this would be a make or break.
It would lead them directly to the doorstep of the NHL trade deadline and their performance would be an indicator of what the Hawks did going forward.
To clarify, I never thought the Hawks should have significantly "added" to this roster regardless of their position in the standings. I did think if they had worked their way into a playoff position(ish), that Stan could reward the team by bringing in a character, depth player for, let's say, Dylan Sikura.
On the other side of the coin was the decision to sell. I stated in previous posts that I thought it was unlikely that the Hawks would fall far enough to sell off a goalie or a guy like Erik Gustafsson. I thought – and reports from various sources – predicted that the way things were going, the Hawks were likely to stand pat.
Well, I was optimistic about the Hawks continuing to pick up wins as they played against teams they needed to beat – teams that were directly competing with them for a coveted playoff spot.
However, all of this "playoff talk" has halted and this road trip is looking more and more like the breaking point that will pop the postseason bubble.
Two games remain on this disaster work trip; the Calgary Flames host the Hawks on Saturday and they end with the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.
The whole "standing pat" thing - which was the highest of probabilities – could actually go south if the Hawks continue to slide.
Listen, for the long-term, I know that selling off any and all assets that teams will take at this point is the way to go.
But, c'mon… if you weren't having fun watching this Hawks team play exciting, winning hockey, then I don't know what to say.
The true emergence of guys Kubalik, Dach and Boqvist, the greatness of Patty Kane, Jonathan Toews giving it 110+% every shift – it was all very entertaining.
The clock might have struck 12 though and this Cinderella story may not be destined as the same fate as those St. Louis Blues that everyone likes to refer to (I don't think that will happen again for decades for the record).
Is selling a real option for Stan Bowman? Maybe.
If so, who do you want "sold"?
Does this Western Canadian road trip eerily resemble the same Western Canadian road trip after Coach Q was let go? Or do you think Coach Colliton is safe?
There are many questions and I will be looking into all of them as this all unfolds.
I have a coaching evaluation article coming up next week. I will also have an ever-popular "Fake Trade: Deadline Edition" blog ready to go should the Hawks continue to lose.
Time is running out and if it does, let's hope the Hawks make it fun at least on the way down.
See ya out there!