The killing fields
The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t getting it done on the penalty kill, either. In the heat chart shown above, they are surrendering way too many high danger scoring chances due to breakdowns in coverage. Again, is it the players or the coaching?
Corey Crawford is back this season and Cam Ward has withstood a barrage of shots to hold his own after a rocky start. So, the excuse of bad goaltending can’t be used. In the blame game, the coaching staff took the hit on this too.
Misery loves company
So far, I’ve beaten up on the coaching staff. But to be fair, they could only work with the hand they were dealt. I’ve mentioned that beyond Toews, Kane and DeBrincat, there are no forwards with competitive Corsica Star Ratings.
On defense, Brent Seabrook, Henri Jokiharju, Duncan Keith, and Erik Gustafsson sport decent Corsica Star Ratings. The unholy trio of Brandon Manning, Brandon Davidson, and Jan Rutta barely show up on the chart, meaning that they aren’t doing much good.
Da Windy City
How deep is your love?
What we’re seeing this season is a repeat of last season. The Chicago Blackhawks once again have a serious lack of depth on both offense and defense. This falls squarely on the shoulders of Stan Bowman.
This summer I wrote about the underwhelming free agent signings by Bowman. Chris Kunitz has nothing left as an NHL player, Brandon Manning is barely an NHL player, and Cam Ward is a once-elite goaltender who could be a decent backup to Corey Crawford, but at a high salary cap hit.
It’s a mixed bag with the younger players. Nick Schmaltz continues to have an allergy with shooting the puck. John Hayden just wants to be generous with after-whistle cross checks. David Kampf is still developing. Ditto for Dominik Kahun and Luke Johnson.
Alex DeBrincat is a scoring machine but is also a turnover machine. Alexandre Fortin is starting to make his mark as a high energy forward but still has a ways to go. Henri Jokiharju is a wonder kid, surpassing all expectations for this year.
It’s early for jambalaya in November
The Chicago Blackhawks have a bunch of ingredients that Stan Bowman has thrown together, hoping to create a hot tasty dish. Has he actually selected the right ingredients, or has he had the wrong chef lately to whip them up into a nice jambalaya?
Enter Jeremy Colliton. After a stellar coaching career in Europe, he led the AHL Rockford IceHogs to the playoffs last year. In the few televised games I saw last year, he had the ‘Hogs playing with energy. For a Chicago Blackhawks team showing a lack of energy early in the season, Colliton is probably just the right man for the job.
After a four-day break, the ‘Hawks will have a chance to reboot their season with their new coach Thursday night. They and he have a lot of work ahead of them to correct their myriad of problems.
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Stan Bowman is counting on them to prove that he’s been right all along. We are counting on them to show us the type of hockey we expect from an organization called the Chicago Blackhawks. We shall see what we shall see. Onward.