The damn image loader in WordPress isn’t working tonight, meaning Boxing will have to wait until it’s fixed. So, I’m going to give you a piece of my mind without the pretty pictures.
I’m going to focus on fan response to last night’s loss, then get into a couple of other things. So, yes, you’re right … this is going to be an all out Bitch Fest directed pretty much toward everyone.
I received emails and heard people talking about a couple of things after last night’s game, and here’s how I feel about it:
A) Anyone who believes that Q is going to be fired at any point this year or even after this year is absolutely, completely, downright insane. The man won a Stanley Cup just over six months ago, and four of those months were the offseason. Stop talking about the coach being replaced, because it’s not going to happen. I feel like Arnold in Kindergarten Cop: “It’s not a tummma. It’s not a tummma, at all.” Stop thinking about it. Don’t even bring it up.
To follow that, it’s not to say his coaching hasn’t been a bit out of sorts. He sat Jack Skille when the ‘Hawks were trying to play up-tempo, and he sat Jake Dowell so John Scott could do absolutely nothing. This team was nowhere near in their right mind to play a hockey game tonight. Why do I say that? Adam Burish layed on top of Corey Crawford for way too goddamn long, and not a fucking soul came near him. I don’t give a flying shit that it’s Adam Burish, crack him upside the head for being a dick. If Dowell was out there, Burish would have been fucked with. And not only that, Dowell has been a damn serviceable center as well.
Tomas Kopecky is a waste of fucking space, yet he keeps going out there each goddamn night. He should be sitting next to Boynton, not Skille nor Dowell.
He juggles the goddamn lines constantly, and the players aren’t responding. That should tell you something, Q. You can’t tell if something is broken if you don’t examine it thoroughly. Sorry, but not every line is going to go out there and score immediately when they’re put together. On top of that, the fourth line was your best line for a week, and you broke it up. You’re not making sense, Q.
So, although Q would probably be in line for a firing if the ‘Hawks were suffering through their third straight disappointing season, it doesn’t matter. Q is the coach, and that’s it. It won’t change this season, that’s for sure.
B) If you’re going to START blaming the coach, then STOP whining and blaming the bounces. Yes, I fully agree Viktor Stalberg’s penalty shot that hit both posts and the crossbar is flat out ridiculous. I couldn’t believe it, either. It sucked, it really, really did.
Now, go back and watch how the New Jersey Devils got fucked the other night by a partition on a dump-in against the Minnesota Wild. That was a shitty bounce, but no one is going to start making the excuse that the Devils flat out fucking suck because “the bounces aren’t going their way.” Teams can be lucky and unlucky, sure. But it’s also true that the bounces go the way of the better teams. It’s not an accident.
The puck that deflected off Niklas Hjalmarsson into the net tonight went that direction because Hammer’s knee was in the position for it to take that bounce. If you remember, Hammer had about five goals go in off his skates last season. The ‘Hawks won the Cup. It’s not the bounces this year, folks. It’s the players. They’re not all there.
C) My main point is this: The ‘Hawks are not suffering some sort of injustice from The Bounce Police or Lady Luck, and Q isn’t going anywhere. What you see on the ice is more than enough talent to make a run at another Cup. Whether Q isn’t getting them ready to play, mismanaging his roster, or the players themselves aren’t in their right minds, the main personnel isn’t going to change.
The bounces COULD go differently. Luck MAY be on our side down the road. But if you’re waiting for magic fairy dust to be sprinkled over the ‘Hawks to make them a better team, then get your fucking head examined.
Any turnaround is going to have to come from Q and the players that are given the Indian-head sweater bearing their name. Maybe Stan Bowman can help bring different names in the locker room to help Q out, but let’s not start clamoring for a roster overhaul, either.
What you see is what you get. You many not like it, but everyone needs to start analyzing what we have NOW, not the coulda-shoulda-woulda.
Much like the Chicago media let Q off the hook tonight by not asking why Crawford was pulled with two minutes remaining, down one goal and the best power play in the NHL getting set to take the ice, a lot of people are giving these same guys who were our heroes last year a pass on their shitty play this season.
We blame the coach, we blame the bounces, we blame the travel, we blame one or two new guys, we blame the GM for getting rid of everyone when he absolutely had to…. Blame the assholes who were here last year who are not playing up to their standard. That’s where the blame lies.
The fact is the Blackhawks are not playing up to their potential. Not because of the bounces and not fully because of Q. Most of the remaining players look like shells of themselves. THEY’RE the ones that need to figure shit out.