I could write that this team is destined for a 3rd straight early spring.
I could write about "where the Hawks go from here?"
I could write about how the injuries are the excuse for last night's inexcusable performance.
I could write about how a goalie scored a goal last night on the Hawks.
But I'm not. I'm tired of it.
Its really exhausting sounding like a broken record; this season has been exhausting.
The reality is that this 2019-20 Blackhawks team looked like an improved group on paper heading into the season. I was a fan of the moves Bowman made of the summer (excluding the Nylander for Jokiharju swap).
However, even when healthy, this team couldn't string together a consistent effort. I fault Jeremy Colliton for that at the beginning of the season.
The strategy he wanted to implement wasn't completely off, but it wasn't right based on the personnel he possessed. Also, he should have pivoted sooner and made the shift to open these guys up sooner.
The Hawks training camp and first 10-15 games set this team back and they're not talented/deep/experienced enough to recover fast enough.
"We have to play desperate" is the message now, but why weren't they playing this way in the last couple of months?
Here are a couple of tidbits from on and off the ice:
* Dylan Sikura – you have to feel for this guy. He gets his long-awaited first NHL goal, follows that up with a so-so performance and then immediately gets benched. If I were him, I'd be asking my agent for a trade for a fresh start.
* Adam Boqvist – I had an "Emergence of Adam Boqvist" blog lined up but I held off as I wanted to add stats over a larger sample size. Well, the silver lining of waiting is that Boqvist has had a couple of rough games in a rough. He's young, he'll rebound but where they really need him is on the PP if he's going to quarterback that 1st unit. His ability to get a shot through is great and Hawks might be best to let Kane do his thing on PP1 and Boqvist just bomb away on PP2.
* Jonathan Toews – this guy has been playing his ass off lately. He was outstanding in Calgary and did all he could to drag his team through the mud last night. He misses Saad on his line.
* Brandon Saad – speaking of Saad, he should be back in a week or so. I've been hearing more and more that once he gets up to speed he will be the top trade target for opposing teams. The Hawks will have to admit they are out of the playoff race first before this happens. I will look at "fake Saad trades" in a future blog along with what other assets the Hawks could acquire at the deadline should they be out of it.
* Dominik Kubalik – one reason Saad might be more expendable is because of this guy. He scored again last night and has goals in 3 straight games. He's on pace for 20-25 tallies this year and is proving to be a difference-maker. His next salary could be in the $3M range.
* You want to talk about a team that is completely decimated? Check out the Rockford IceHogs:
They have injuries to key players like Wedin, Kurashev, and Fortin and are missing the likes of Highmore, Quenneville, Dylan Sikura, Boqvist and Gilbert who – as we know – are all up with the Hawks.
Still, they pulled out a gutsy 5-1 win Wednesday night vs. Manitoba.
Brandon Hagel had 2G and Jacob Nilsson registered 1G, 2A. Both of these guys must have their eyes on getting some NHL time themselves after seeing so many of their teammates get the call.
The Hawks take on Anaheim Saturday night. This is a winning game on paper, but we know that it doesn't really matter with this Hawks team.
Let's see how "desperate" they feel vs. the Ducks.
See ya out there!