Oct 9, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coachJoel Quenneville
watches his team take on the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 3-2 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
When you watch the Blackhawks stumble out of the starting gate of the 2014-2015 season one thing comes to mind game in and game out, is that it appears that the Hawks are playing one of two ways, Total Fear or totally turned off depending on where you stand on the totem poll.
For the rookies and young players like Jeremy Morin it appears that they play in fear of making any type of minor mistake or they will be seeing a lot of pine for extended time during the Blackhawks games instead of playing there game. For veterans it just looks like the line blender has everyone playing in a we have turned off the coach attitude for this season. I know father time is catching up with Marian Hossa but he hasn’t been his normal self early on this season.
The question is, Is it time for a new voice in the locker room for the Blackhawks? When the Blackhawks brass wanted some more defensive accountability for the young Blackhawks talent they quickly made the move to exit out Denis Savard and move in Joel Quenneville at the beginning of the 2008-2009 season and it worked. Coach Q has done something no coach has ever done in Blackhawks history and that is win 2 Stanley Cups, so I’m sure some fans reading this feels like I’m a traitor by saying it could be time for a change but it feels like it could be.
The last time the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013 Joel Quenneville has a hands off approach to the lines and the Hawks offense flourished. The Hawks even moved up Brandon Saad to the top line to not disturb the third line of Bryan Bickell, Andrew Shaw, and Viktor Stalberg. This season the line blender and hashtags like #Qhemistry are everywhere because there is absolutely no chemistry right now on this team and you have to point to the head coach for that.
The Blackhawks outside of last night have been very responsible defensively which is the coach’s job and have never quit in a playoff series no matter where it stood which goes back to Joel Quenneville which makes it hard to say it’s time for Q to go, but this could very well be the bands last season together before another salary cap Armageddonheading our way and they aren’t playing with a sense of urgency in the first month and a half of the season.
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So is to early to panic and think that the locker room has turned off Quenneville or do you think I’m on to something? I know I’ve never played professional sports, but I’ve played sports my entire life and there always is a time when you finally turn off the coach and when that happens no matter how much talent is assembled only bad things happen. Last night was a great example of team that is waiting for something to flip their switch and a bad loss ensued. Will it be the circus trip that finally wakes up this team or does Stan Bowman need to think a change is needed ?
What do you think? Is it time for a new voice or have I lost my mind because of the daily line changes and the fact that Andrew Shaw gets a free pass while Brad Richards a real live 2nd line center “needs to find consistency” to get real ice time with Patrick Kane the player he took less money to play with.
A voice can change things or bring them down. Is it time?
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