Blackhawks News

Observations From Section 321: No Spirit In St. Louis

By Greg Boysen

This Blackhawks team certainly never allows you to get too high does it?  Just when you think they might have turned a corner they wet themselves.  The Blues forced the Blackhawks to play their game and outplayed them on every level.  It is no fluke that the Blues are in the hunt for the Presidents Trophy.  They are a very good team that is well coached and plays great at home.  Poor special teams did them in once again.  Ugh, I need a shower after that! I hate praising the Blues, or any team from St. Louis, but you have to give credit where credit is due.  The bottom line is the Hawks got 4 points out of three games in Ottawa, Detroit and St. Louis without Jonathan Toews.  I can’t really complain too much about that.

  •  The power play is still no good, and to make it worse they gave up a short handed goal.  Those types of goals are back breakers, especially against a team like the Blues.   The power play isn’t going to get fixed this year, that is a fact.  If the players and coaches can not figure it out after 68 games it just isn’t going to happen.  Fixing the special teams will be one of Stan Bowman’s biggest tasks this summer.
  • The Blackhawks are the worst team in the league when it comes to clearing the puck out of their own zone.  How many times have we watched the defensemen fail to clear the puck and watch it get put into their own net? Too many damn times.  The forwards need to do a better job at helping out.  They are outside the blue line waiting for the defenseman to force a pass that, more times than not, gets knocked down and kept in the zone.  This has been killing them just as much as the failures on the power play.  This comes down to coaching so what is going to give?
  • Another 28 minutes of ice time for Duncan Keith.  I get playing him more in close games like in Ottawa and Detroit, but why ride him to death in a game that was out of reach in the 3rd period?  There is no reason for Sami Lepisto to play only 5:28.  It is obvious Q doesn’t trust him, so why is he on the roster?  Put someone he can trust in that 6th spot so the top defensemen don’t have to carry the entire load.
  • Speaking of ice time, not sure what 5 minutes a night for Brandon Bollig and Jimmy Hayes accomplishes.  Hayes offers what this team is lacking; a big body that is not afraid to get to the net.
  • Who starts in goal versus the Rangers on Friday night?  I don’t think it really matters too much at this point.  Not much difference between Corey Crawford and Ray Emery.
  • I loved seeing Ray Emery go after David Backes after he gave Dylan Olsen a cheap shot.  This happened immediately after Emery gave up the second goal.  That is one difference between Emery and Crawford.  Most goalies would have been worried about the goal they just gave up and not coming to the aid of a team mate.

My Blackhawks Player of the Game

The pickings were slim but I am going to go with Brandon Bollig.  He tried to spark the team with an early fight with meathead Ryan Reaves.  It didn’t really lead to much momentum but any time Reaves takes a few punches to the face, I’m a happy guy.

My Turds of the Game

The Blackhawks coaching staff is too stubborn for their own good.  They refuse to put to defensemen at the point of the power play units and it cost them a goal last night.  Vladimir Sobotka’s short handed goal is a perfect example of why forwards should not be at the point.  When Patrick Sharp was out with his wrist injury Q used two defensemen at the point and they had some success during that time.  As I stated earlier, if these things haven’t been fixed in 68 games it just isn’t going to happen this year.