I hope that I’m not the only one that thinks the Blackhawks have some thinking to do. The inconsistency is at an all-time high. Just 2 days after one of their better performances on the ice, against a tough Winnipeg team. They come up against an average Red Wings team, that had just lost 2 straight embarrassing games, and the Hawks can’t even put one on the board. Now, Detroit is a very fast team, but they are also fairly young. I thought the whole point of keeping the veteran core intact was so that we could outsmart these kinds of teams.
I understand that the would-have-been All-Star goalie, Corey Crawford has been out for a while. And Anisimov was playing very well before his injury. But the defensive group hasn’t had any major injuries. They need to be more consistent! With still no timetable on Crawford’s return, the defense needs to step up now, or they won’t be in the playoffs this year. There are too many good teams in the Central Division for them to be losing to average, and below average teams.
I’m tired of Quennville trying to force Ryan Hartman into the top-6. He was an above average bottom-6 player last year, and that’s where he should continue to be. I don’t think there is currently enough skill in the top-6. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Hartzy’s game. He’s a great hockey player. The good mix of grit, toughness, and skill. He isn’t afraid to mix it up with the toughest. That’s why he should be playing with guys like Wingels, Hayden, and Bouma. Remember the first shift of his career? (If you don’t remember, look it up!) He absolutely leveled New Jersey forward, Dainius Zubrus. That’s the kind of Hartman that I love seeing. I don’t like him handling the puck too much and throwing a lousy cross-ice pass to Patrick Kane. He needs to be the hard-nosed, forechecking, 3rd or 4th line player that’s comfortable driving hard to the net, looking for a rebound. It’s been working well for Tommy Wingels. From what I understand, Quennville doesn’t like having too many skill guys together, because they can be vulnerable in the defensive zone. But what is so wrong with trying it out for a game or 2. I want to see the Debrincat-Schmaltz-Kane line that worked so well in the preseason.
But this is just me venting on what has been a couple seasons of up and down hockey. I’m sure the Hawks will go through a hot streak soon, and shoot up a spot or 2 in the standings once they get healthy. I’m just going to say that the Blackhawks, much like myself, need a vacation from hockey.