For Chicago Blackhawks, It May Be Time To Hit The Panic Button
By John Aubert
With no progress made, a sluggish team and no drive to preform any better, the Chicago Blackhawks have shrunken from the mighty kings of hockey they were in the past to an easy opponent
The Chicago Blackhawks, for a lack of better terms, suck right now. They are playing hockey that is relatable to a college team that was doing beer bats’ and playing floppy cup in the locker room, 10 minutes to game time. However, they’re not playing poorly because of poor pregame effort or nonsensical activities.
The Blackhawks were riding a five-game losing streak, ascribing a 4-3-3 record in their previous 10 games and sitting at a horrid second-to-last place in the central division, just three points above the Colorado Avalanche. They broke the skid with a 3-2 overtime victory over Buffalo last night, but barely won despite putting more than 50 shots on goal and are still second-to-last in the Central.
Definitely not what we expected, but it’s gotten to the point where their play has been painful to watch. We can pick and play with all of their mistakes, but it has to come down to the question, “Is it time to hit the panic button?”.
No, I’m not going to be an overwhelmed critic, demanding to fire one of the best coaches in modern history in Joel Quenneville, as there’s more to it than that. I’m saying, a fire needs to be lit under these players to give them a wake-up call, as if their first-round exit after one of the best regular seasons in their franchises history wasn’t a good enough one.
Big-time players need to make bigger plays
The stars on this team look to be dimming. They look like stars gone white-dwarf, their supernovas being their three Stanley Cup titles, which exploded with wonderful and ferocious hockey. Now, if you’ve paid any attention to recent events in the science world, we’ve discovered that stars once gone supernova may seem dead, but can basically revive themselves and become active again.
One can hope that’s what can happen with the Blackhawks. Patrick Kane has been a point-per-game player all year, amassing 28 points in 27 games (10G,17A), but that’s where the magic ends.
The ‘Hawks have had a great tilt with Alex DeBrincat (11G, 9A) and Artem Anisimov (12G, 3A), who have been heroes of late, being what seems like the only consistent scoring players on the roster. That cannot be the case with a team this desperate to reclaim its title as a power-elite in the NHL.
The ‘Hawks seem to have lost that grit they once had. They haven’t scored more than three goals in a game since their epic 7-3 win versus the Anaheim Ducks. That’s an impassable issue.
When the question about the panic button is asked, as bad as things may seem, I say don’t press it just yet. Make minor adjustments, bring up players like Vinnie Hinostroza and get that fresh blood on the ice to make things look original again. Light fires underneath players who haven’t been doing their job *cough, cough* Richard Panik.
It’s obvious the ‘Hawks have been at work a lot lately, playing six games in 10 days. That’s hard work and it can tear you down to your core. However, these guys have done it before, as they’re professionals. With three home games against teams that should be easy wins based on the ‘Hawks’ inevitability to pick up the pace, they could be on a road worth redemption.
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However, if they continue this skid, that panic button may need to be smashed, maybe rapidity put of pure frustration.