Mar 19, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; The net falls on Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the third period against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Flipping The Switch- The Blackhawks Post-Olympic Theme

There are a lot of sayings in Sports and people throw them around a lot.  The Heart of a Champion, Cinderalla Story, A Pro’s Pro etc etc, well since the Blackhawks have returned from Sochi with 6 Olympic medals they have fallen into another dreaded sports saying—> Flipping The Switch.

The Hawks have been in this pattern of lose a game they should win and then dominate an opponent, lose a game they probably should lose on the road (Bruins game last night) dominate the next night on back to back games.  People suggest they are bored or tired or just waiting for the playoffs to begin so they can throw the switch and leave it on for 16 victories.

The problem with the switch theory to me is two-fold.  The biggest reason for the Blackhawks consistency to be frustratingly inconsistent has been health. The Hawks have had about 5 period with their 3 biggest stars on the ice at one time since the Olympic break.  Everyone was on the ice full of jet lag when they took to the ice at Madison Square Garden right after the Olympics, but Marian Hossa only lasted one period during the Stadium Series matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Hawks were not very consistent during the Hossa less stretch and were excited to get him back only to lose Patrick Kane in the first period of the Blues game when Hossa had returned. It’s very tough to flip the switch on a nightly basis when the roster isn’t 100% especially it’s star power!

The second reason the Blackhawks have been struggling with keeping the light turned on for you (we don’t receive any endorsements from Motel 6) has to be blamed on Joel Quenneville. Yes, I know he has 2 Stanley Cups and I don’t, but his line blender has been on high speed all season and turbo speed since theOlympic break.  Let me remind you last season the Hawks rolled four lines on a nightly basis in the shortened season and Quenneville didn’t mess with anything until the playoffs.  This season it’s a reporters dream with everything which way but up except for the fourth line most of the season.  The chemistry that was there last year is missing not because of a switch but due to a nightly line changes instead of settling in on what the lines are which of course is partly due back to point one the injuries.

Nine games is all that is left of this 82 game marathon and whether you like it or not the Blackhawks will not be charging into the postseason like last year, but you will hear plenty of skeptics say, will the Hawks be able to flip the switch.  The switch isn’t broken it just hasn’t been at full strength most of the year and a healthy Blackhawks team in April/May/June should find the light on more nights than they have during the regular season.

What do you think? What do you feel has kept the switch off more nights than most would have thought?

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