The Chicago Blackhawks looked to stack their top forward line with Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane heading into their 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. With a blast to the past getting shoved in their face, it’s time to learn a lesson.
If you’ve ever read the book/seen the movie “The Great Gatsby,” you’ll understand the upcoming reference which now relates to the Chicago Blackhawks.
In one of the best moments in modern writing/cinema, we’re taken to Jay Gatsby’s mansion. He’s standing with Nick Carraway talking about his conspiring plan to win back his former love, Daisy Buchanan, who’s been in love with her spouse, Tom Buchanan, for years.
Once Gatsby describes this elaborate plan, Carraway blurts out one of the most efficient lines in writing/cinema: “You can’t relive the past, old sport.” Gatsby’s shocked by the comment, but proceeds to try and prove him wrong out of ignorance.
Spoiler alert: Gatsby is later killed and officially didn’t relive the past.
I don’t know if the Blackhawks’ management has ever sat down together to watch that movie, but I think they should, especially coach Joel Quenneville.
Heading into the Blackhawks’ 3-1 loss to the Flyers, the team seemed with a throwback line consisting of Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. No, not the kind of throwback where you listen to old 90s pop music; a throwback that was relevant back when the core was younger, more elite and much, much faster.
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Plan failed as soon as it started
Let’s face it, this line was a failure by the time it was drawn up. Each player on that line has been struggling to produce and hasn’t been owning up to the style of play they claimed they would.
Kane, who leads the team in points, is a minus-2 with only two assists in his previous five games. Toews, who was looking for a bounceback year, has 10 points on the season and just two points in his previous five. And Sharp, who has been nearly invisible since the first few games, has only four points on the year entirely.
How’d they fare in the game? Miserably. In total, they had a combined minus-5 rating, eight shots on goal — five of them coming from Kane — and, to no surprise, zero points.
Let’s face it, folks, these players aren’t who they once were four years ago, let alone two years ago. Maybe it’s the fact that they’ve played a lot of hockey over the decade. Maybe it’s an ever-changing league and they’re having trouble adjusting to regarding speed and tempo.
Whatever it may be, it cannot be fixed by looking back into the past and trying to mimic what once was. This low-scoring issue needs to be addressed in a new manner, with a fresh mentality.