After the shovel to the face that was Tuesday in Chicago sports the staff got together to do an emergency roundtable and share their feelings about the rest of the season in light of Patrick Kane’s injury.
1.) So, the season is effectively over, yes? Y/N/M/brb
mMD: In the words of the great Walter Sobchak: “Nothing is fucked, dude.. come on, you’re being very un-Dude”. This could mean a decent run on a top line for Teuvo and a fit and rested Kane in the playoffs. In the words of the great Walter Sobchak: “Nothing is fucked, dude.. come on, you’re being very un-Dude”. This could mean a decent run on a top line for Teuvo and a fit and rested Kane in the playoffs.
LePac: I’m not in a joking mood about this today, so I’m looking entirely to numbers. Kane’s health is obviously important, but the season won’t turn on him. It’s about our fucked up D-corp. We won’t make it through without addressing that.
Bartl: We were bitching up a storm about how the ‘Hawks are going to struggle to win a playoff series BEFORE one of the NHL’s leading scorers suffered an up-to-10-week injury. There’s my answer.
Nakis: Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? My answer is an emphatic no.
Adam: I have a very difficult time seeing how a team that was entering a questionable slide with Patrick Kane is going to advance to the conference finals without Patrick Kane. There’s so many variables here that have to go in Chicago’s favor for the season not to be over. They need to use as much of the $5.2M possible made available by Kane’s LTIR placement to upgrade the current roster, Kane’s injury needs to heal at the shorter end of his timetable than the 12 week portion and the Blues/Predators need to start playing closer to Earth as April approaches. If you think all of that is not only possible but probable, then the season is not in danger of ending early.
tl;dr.. They’re done.
2.) Do you still want the Blackhawks to try and acquire talent for this season at the deadline? If yes, who and why? If no, why not?
mMD: Until bits started falling off Oduya, I’d have said no. What Q needs to do is limit Roszival’s exposure as a bottom-pairing d-man. Now.. yes, a cheap blueline rental would seem neccesary.
LePac: Nick Leddy. He’s still available, right?
Bartl: Try? Sure. But even saying “The Hawks acquired the best available player at the deadline” doesn’t do very much good if said player isn’t all that good to begin with. Even with Kane going down, I’d like to see an upgrade at defenseman, if anything is done at all.
Tom: No. I don’t. I want them to just run this season out with the current crap. Why? Because I don’t want to add some half-assed veterans like Chris Stewart to try and make some postseason run. This team has greater issues than they believe they do and any stopgap acquisitions aren’t going to be enough to help them compete with the big boys. You might as well just run into the postseason with what you’ve got and hope that somehow Corey Crawford turns into Dominik Hasek.
Nakis: No, let’s just give up in a “go for it” season and surrender to the playoff giant St. Louis Blues.
Adam: There’s a fence post up my ass on this one. When I sent out these questions yesterday I was a hard no. After talking it over with the rest of the guys there’s a couple of moves that would be OK with me. With McKenzie mentioning Vermette by name and Keith Yandle reportedly available I would be fine with mortgaging part of the future from Rockford to upgrade down the middle and on the backend in that fashion with one swift move. Stan has been hesitant to make splashes in the past and with this team needing help on both sides of the puck it would seem to me that having one trade partner instead of two would make the cost more manageable for such a large upgrade. Kinda like going to CostCo for butter. What, no one else does that? It’s going to cost them some prime talent to make a move like that happen, but with no cap in the playoffs and this being one last run with this group, that’s probably how you’d do it. You probably won’t ever see Danault, McNeil or someone like Klas Dahlbeck in a Hawks sweater though.
3.) This Kane injury is going to give Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman a free pass for this season, isn’t it? Should it?
mMD: Both are untouchable anyway. Two Cups etc etc. But yes, there’ll be an Escape Goat (sic) for the season (assuming we don’t have a parade in june and I still believe that’s a distinct possibility)
LePac: It should not. I don’t remember the current estimate for how many goals equals a win, but I know it’s not enough to conclude that losing Kane’s hypothetical goals over the next 21 games would significantly affect the standings. And if we’re talking about individual game heroics in a first round he misses, well . . . that’s just guess work. Maybe he would have been Kane of the L.A. Hat Trick. Maybe he would have been Kane of the Games before the L.A. Hat Trick. Who knows. It. Is. About. The. Defense.
Bartl: It will, but it shouldn’t. It’s going to overshadow all the lineup mismanagement over the course of the 61 games that Kane played. And if the Hawks bow out early in the playoffs, people will say it was because either Kane wasn’t playing or the team lacked enough time to jell while he was out.
Tom: Sure is. No it should not. As I said earlier, this team has significant issues and this is just going to give them a free pass to not acknowledge those.
Nakis: No. The failure to work in young players like Teuvo Teravainen and Klas Dahlbeck is now coming full circle. I, for one, will not forget this.
Adam: I’m with everybody else and this is probably the most heated I get about something that spins off from Kane getting hurt other than the injury itself obviously. Quenneville and Bowman will both get a pass no matter the season outcome. If they’re able to swing a big deal before March 2nd and Quenneville assimilates those parts well while also actually using Teravainen effectively then they’re heralded as heroes. If they don’t make an upgrade and bow out early, you just point to the fact that your best player got banged up.
4.) Is Teuvo returning and likely getting significant minutes a silver lining to you?
mMD: It’s a Platinum lining. Q is going to be forced to deploy real offensive talent in the top-six and… oh, shit, Gorilla Salad is going on the 2nd Line, isn’t he?
LePac: Well, he’s back of this writing which is great. I hope that whatever Sharp did to anger Q is still alive and well and burning Q’s whiskers enough that Q’s unwillingness to slot Teuvo in with a decent line intersects with his fiery hate for Sharp and we get a Teuvo-Sharp. How good is that fucking buddy cop movie?
Bartl: I have to find out with whom he’s playing first. And no matter where he’s place, it needs to stay that way consistently so he’s not being flopped around the lineup constantly.
Tom: No. I hope he comes up here and dominates for a few weeks and our TWO CUP GUY Quenneville looks like a dumbfuck for sending him down in favor of the talentless Joakim Nordstrom and the ever-redundant Ryan Hartmann.
Nakis: Yes. The Blogger v. Hockey Buzz commenter war on this issue has been raging for years now without any real hard evidence. LET’S GET IT ON.
Adam: Nope. Doesn’t mean I don’t want him to have success in his second stint this year but this is not how I wanted him recalled.
5.) Which numbskull is going to do something stupid in Sunrise today?
mMD: See above. Although you’ve got to believe that the players know it wasn’t as bad as some fans are calling it.
LePac: Frankly, I hope Go’Sal takes a run that looks awful, causes no real injuries to anyone, but earns himself a long suspension on account of being an insufferable waste of our time, money, and meagerly apportioned existence.
Bartl: I’m afraid the list of numskulls on this team is long than of those who are playing well, so I could name more than half the roster.
Tom: Nobody. This team is too damn soft to do anything stupid. Carcillo knows that if he does, he’s done so he won’t.
Nakis: Bryan Bickell will take several runs at Petrovic, only to pull up at the very last second. In all seriousness, the Hawks don’t do revenge. We saw it when Ovie hit Campbell in 2010. We saw it when Orpik hit Toews last year. It just doesn’t happen.
Adam: Patrick Sharp
Now that we’re back to getting some regular content on the site, we’ve decided to re-introduce every staff member with our opinions on some Blackhawks issues as the NHL takes a break from games that count.
Feel free to tell us how stupid we are and voice your gripes in the comments or on social media. Let’s get after it then, shall we?
Oh, also, Sellers’ answers are the best. I mean it’s not even close. OK, now let’s get after it….
The Blackhawks are 7-5-0 since Christmas and are tied with St. Louis (Blues have a game in hand) behind Nashville in the division. How do you account for the recent slip in their play?
Nakis (@JimNakis): It’s undeniable that the Blackhawks started coming back to earth after Corey Crawford took a fall at that Enya concert. I think it’s some combination of general fatigue, substandard defensive play from Oduya, Rozsival and Rundblad and Crawford trying to rediscover his pre-injury form. All things considered, I’m not super worried about the state of this hockey team.
Adam (@SouvenirCity): The Jets are no longer a punchline and two of those losses came at their hands for starters. Losing to the Stars isn’t wholly unexplained neither. That team is good and merely took some time to figure out a few things. Defensively they’re going to remain a mess more likely than not, but Dallas scoring 6 goals? That’ll happen with the kind of firepower they have up front. The only losses that really pissed me off were the WC and the Oil. The Winter Classic was a tough one to swallow given how it happened. I don’t fancy the Capitals much and that’s twice now the Hawks have dropped games to them. 0 points vs. WSH is not a good look. The Oil are the worst team in the league and it’s no longer a loss I can laugh off. Stop losing to them. Crawford was out for the beginning of that stretch I believe and our third pairing doesn’t give me much, if any, confidence.
Mighty Mike (@brightblack76): Combination of things, really. There’s the standard winter doldrums, where they seem to lose interest for a bit. There’s also been some rank bad luck (see Avalanche, Colorado for a prime example). The various injuries and suspensions and general Q line-juggling have disrupted the flow a bit as well. And yes, Crow hasn’t been imperious since his stage-dive went wrong. Nothing to worry about, really, although I’d like to see them push for the Division so that they avoid having to go through the Preds AND the Blues (although getting the Kings in the 1st Round would hardly be a walk in the park either).
Tom (@ThomPauly): The snooziness of January. Probably not what people want to hear, but these games are boring for good teams. They mean very little when you’re virtually guaranteed a playoff spot. And with the runs of success the Hawks have had in the past, it’s understandable that they’ve been just okay since the mid-December. I’m not, by any means, suggesting that it’s acceptable, but take a look at the January record for the Hawks last year. They were 5-2-6 to start the year last year. That’s not too good for any team, much less one that expects to compete for a Stanley Cup.
Sellers (@lexpatriate): These are clearly not champions. Champions don’t take breaks. A champion would have seized the opening and pressed the advantage and initiative and no letting up on the gas. A champion would have championed.
Bartl (@BartlSTATS4): Let’s take a look at the losses since the holiday break. Outdoors in the final seconds in Washington. Varlamov’s stellar 54-save shutout. At Edmonton in the second of a road back-to-back. A home to loss to a legit Winnipeg team that has owned the ‘Hawks. And a flat stinker against Dallas, which happens. I mean I’m not trying to make excuses, but I’m simply not getting worked up, especially after dominating Arizona and winning at Pittsburgh before the break.