USATSI_8480301_160885884_lowres

And Gettin’ Toasted. Nicely Toasted: Jackets 5 – Hawks 2

Box Score

Event Summary

War On Ice

Natural Stat Trick

I’ll give you the normal intro to a wrap here, but it won’t be the normal wrap. And before I go any farther, I know there are some who think I’m always negative for the sake of it. That’s fine, I like to think I’m just realistic. And what I’m about to write I’ve only done so once in the seven years we’ve been doing this. It was also after a late-season loss at home to a Jackets team the Hawks had no business losing to. And they laughed that off and the prospect that they could miss the playoffs, except for Brian Campbell, until they did actually miss the playoffs in 2011 and had a Minnesota Wild team save them at the last possible moment. So don’t think I take it lightly.

The 2014-2015 Chicago Blackhawks are finished.

Let’s review. The Hawks were completely embarrassed at home by the Boston Bruins in February, and Joel Quenneville talked about hitting a “get attention” button. Since then, the Hawks have completely capitulated to Tampa, Dallas, Philadelphia, and arguably tonight. They tried to capitulate to the Oilers at home but Corey Crawford simply wouldn’t let them, and they figured while they were there they might as well pull it out.

That’s not all. Even though Patrick Kane got hurt, the management of this team went out and sent a message through their acquisitions that they still believed this team could go far enough for Kane to come back and the Hawks to take a serious run at another parade. They were all in on this season. And though it’s only my theory, the acquisition of Kimmo Timonen was something of a directive for the rest of the dressing room to cut out the happy horseshit that had been affecting it and focus on the task at hand. Here was a player who wanted one last run at a Cup after overcoming a life threatening condition. The management wanted the Hawks to respond to Timonen just as they had to Handzus and Rozsival in ’13 and Hossa in ’10. What does it look like to you?

On the front page of our gameday program the game after the Vermette and Timonen acquistions, I wrote that management had made it clear what they thought this team was capable of. If they didn’t snap into gear after that, we would know something is truly broken internally. I think we know now.

It usually felt like when the Hawks fell behind, even this year, there was at least a roar to come back even if it fell short. Did it feel like there was a roar tonight? There certainly wasn’t against Tampa, Dallas and Philadelphia. Maybe you could argue there was tonight, but it’s not like we saw earlier in the year.

Most worrying, it’s the players the Hawks count on making all the mistakes. Marcus Kruger knows better than to put a risky saucer pass at Keith’s feet at the blue line, just like Marian Hossa knows better than trying to dangle two guys at his own line on Wednesday. Keith knows better than trying to fling a puck to any open space he can find as he did leading to the 2nd and 3rd Jackets’ goals tonight. But it keeps happening. The Hawks know what the issues are, but they keep happening. Toews may have scored tonight, but there’s a reason he can’t complete half his passes.

Fatigue? I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it. The Kings have played just as much hockey as the Hawks, and they’re just rounding into form now. If you want to use that as proof that management doesn’t know how to pace a regular season, that’s a discussion I will have.

Quite simply, the Hawks look like a team that doesn’t want to play for each other, and can’t wait for the season to end. They had an eight-game homestand, of a length never heard of, to get back into the division race. They borked it. Even after that, they had a chance. After shutting out the Rangers in MSG, the Hawks sat two points behind the Predators with two games in hand. It was all right there for them. Since, they spit up to the Stars, tried to against the Canes, did against the Flyers, and did again tonight. Does that sound like a team that’s ready for the fight come April 15th?

Cite Kane’s injury all you want, there’s still too much talent here to look this nonchalant and disinterested. They should have pulled out some if not all of these games.

And you know what? They could slip right out of the playoffs now. The Wild are only one point behind. The Jets only four, and the Hawks go there next. Do they seem like a team that’s ready to respond to that challenge? It’s the Kings, Canucks, a gimme against the Sabres, Blues, Wild, Blues, Avalanche after that. Is a 2-6 record through that so unthinkable? In this condition?

It would take that for the serious questions to get answered, maybe. There are serious questions about the locker room right now, and what management knew about it and what they did about it. I’m honestly shocked that I’m questioning this team’s heart right now, because this is basically the same team that laughed at playoff deficits the past two years. Right now, this looks like a team that will use a 1-0 or 2-0 deficit in the 1st round to pack it up. If they even get there.

What about the last month, the last two, the last three, do we have to think anything’s different? The coach has pushed what he thinks is his biggest button. So did management. And what they got was a team that let in four goals to the Jackets in 20 minutes.

I fully realize this could all come to bite me in the ass soon. If it does, I’ll happily accept it because that means things are going really well. But I don’t see it. Do you?

  • TitanTransistor

    “The 2014-2015 Chicago Blackhawks are finished.”

    Absolutely.

    The fact that the organization sacrificed assets to try and help this group over the hump looks like a terrible decision in retrospect.

    Now we’re looking a a retool on the fly without a 1st, one less 2nd, and no 4th pick.

    Awesome.

    The lack of professionalism and pride of performance being exhibited by these players, particularly the core players, is appalling.

    • Guest

      You’ve had a boner all year, just waiting for someone to say that, haven’t you? Goddamn, I’ve never seen anyone WANTING to root against “their” team more than you. When things are going good, you’re nowhere to be found. When things are rough, you’re the first one sounding the trumpets…

      • arlingtonrob

        Shouldn’t you be directing your feel good wrath at Sam? He is the author of the epitaph after all.

        • WookRN

          Sam has no issues praising the glory when we’re looking good. Some people here are just ALL doom and gloom all year.

          • TitanTransistor

            ‘praising the glory’? Wow. Do you show the girls you bring home your creepy shrine?

      • TitanTransistor

        Always sad when pathetic, mindless fanboys equate honest, detached assessments of performance and a realist mindset with ‘rooting against their team’.

        • Sask#TankInMarch

          I don’t think you’re mindless, TT

          • TitanTransistor

            Who are you?

          • TitanTransistor

            I’ve just been informed.

            For anybody else wondering what’s up with this Literally Who, apparently I have a fan club that posts my comments on other Blackhawks gathering places. Interesting. Kinda creepy, weird, and pathetic. But interesting.

    • arlingtonrob

      Unfortunately, I agree…and it’s been my sense of things for several weeks. The last several years the Hawks have been notorious for coasting through the last half of the year, but this just feels different.

      This is going to be one interesting summer in Rocky’s funhouse. That man has got to be upset by what he’s witnessing.

    • Bob Lanz

      Lighten up Francis. I’m all for calling a spade a spade but the “core” is not lacking in pride of performance. The core is Toews Keith seabrook sharp Hossa an injured Kane and I would add Saad and Hammer, and likely TT. Scoring from them may be way down but the fucking chemistry or lack thereof is a much larger issue. Q is in my opinion hurting the play on the ice

      • Jim

        Agreed, pick some lines and stick with them.

    • WaitTillNextYR

      What are you talking about? They are not retooling from this draft class. Those kids are 3 years away!

    • WookRN

      Weren’t we all just talking about the fact that there’s already so much talent in Chicago and Rockford they can’t cram it all in anyway?

      Sure, there are issues, likely ALL coaching issues. But I think Toews can pull this shit show back together for a round or two. Then Kane will be back.
      Also, I’m sorry from your perspective you see lack of pride. I see a team getting run through the blender and needing better coaching. And I think we all have seen what Q CAN do in a playoff run. That why we pay Bickell (despite that I’m sure SOME people hate him regardless), that is when Shaw FINALLY turned it on last year (more hate, I know), etc etc. Sure, those aren’t the stars, but we need to run a four line team, and they can produce. Kimmo is just getting up to speed, Vermette I think has great defensive potential, paired with a guy like Teuvo, can free up the Toews line.

      You hide your head in a hole fearing the sky fall, I’ll be watching the Hawks make a play off run. See ya in June.

    • Icdws

      TT I agree that Q is the major cause for what is happening. His insistence on having gritty veterans on the roster, particularly Rozival prevents development of quality young players. Dahlbach comes to mind this season. This stubbornness lead to loss of quality young players such a Pirri morin the Hayes bros. continuing to rely on Shaw versteeg Bickel sharp is preventing the piglets from joining the club and making their mark. Another lost generation of hogs and yes rebuild may be difficult. But all is not lost for the future just yet. I am pessimistic about this the finish this year. But bullish for the future if coaching changes are made, some house cleaning and new blood for next season.

      The odd thing about Q’s decent into veterans only is that the Cup teams were built on speed and skill, keeping the puck and pressuring the other team. Old or aging vets can’t do that anymore. The result is shots against go up, goals go in, pressure goes down. I don’t get it.

  • Pilotefan

    Dysfunctional.
    Bring on the Capocalypse and may it reach the coach.
    A Bundyesque flush, if you please.

  • Jane Doe

    Can’t argue with the eye test, they look like shit. But, since the Hawks started their current string of playoff appearances, it seems like they’ve always shat the bed in March. So I looked it up. And, for the most part, they have. For whatever it’s worth, the best hockey they’ve played in March were they years they were bumped out in the 1st round. Just get in the playoffs.

    ’14 – 7-7-1
    ’13 – 9-5-0
    ’12 – 10-2-2
    ’11 – 7-4-2
    ’10 – 6-7-2
    ’09 – 6-7-2

    • 1985AH1985

      I’m much more of this way of thinking. Just get in and they’ve got a good shot.

      • Jim

        Agreed. Looks ugly now, but when defensive playoff hockey starts they have a chance.

  • fromheretoinfirmary

    Something has looked off from the flip of the calendar. I’m still not sure what it is. I’ve seen a bunch of theories floating around and theres some truth to all of them (if there is indeed there is an unfixable problem with this team, which I’m not sure there is yet). Cient Reif, Steve Montador, SOME form of locker room issues, and losing their best player all in a matter of months is rough, and I truly believe this plays into it more than some may realize. Combine that with fatigue, a team who has played a lot of hockey over the past 5 years, some guys in the core getting up there in years, and I think this season feels longer than any other. On top of all that, there is a coach who doesn’t seem to care about pacing out the season, who refuses to let chemistry develop in linemates, and perhaps most damning, fails to develop younger talent. On the plus side, we have corey crawford. Toews will wake up once a playoff series is at stake. We have a lot of guys that have been there before. I still won’t believe this team’s done until they’re on the wrong side of a handshake line. They’ve earned the benefit of the doubt.

    • TitanTransistor

      “On top of all that, there is a coach who doesn’t seem to care about pacing out the season, who refuses to let chemistry develop in linemates, and perhaps most damning, fails to develop younger talent.”

      Yep.

      • Bob Lanz

        Yep yep.

    • Jim

      98% chance of making the playoffs (for those on the ledge)

      http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

  • hpkscooter

    That 2011 team you keep mentioning was “finished”? They had the fight to dig out of a 3-0 hole against the eventual Western Conference Champs and came within a one-timer in Game 7 OT that Sharpie didn’t totally get around on of winning that series. I’m normally with you, Fels, but this is too much.

    • TitanTransistor

      Dude.

      They were eliminated from the playoffs. They needed another team to win an upset to back them in. Yes, they had a fun little emotional surge against a hated rival after Torres tried to decapitate Nachoes, but come on.

      • hpkscooter

        I don’t deny that they were fortunate to back into the playoffs. My point was that declaring a team “finished” in March is overreacting. Just like it wouldn’t surprise me if the Hawks limped into the playoffs and took the ax in the first round this year, it wouldn’t surprise me if they made another deep run. They are certainly not “finished” yet.

      • OMFS88

        Wait, Hossa is Nachoes?

        • bdmoss

          Hossa was in 2012. In 2011 he took out Seabs.

  • tom woj

    How has the Hawks penalty kill fared since trading Ben Smith for who?

    • RWCrum

      For a guy who has a lot of hits in limited time, but usually when you have a ton of hits that means you or your team doesn’t have the puck and when you don’t have the puck you can’t score.

  • Bob Lanz

    It makes me sick to read, but even worse to know it’s true. I agree with you Sam and not just cause the effort or lack thereof pisses me off. At least in 2011 there was an excuse… But this is just fucking pathetic. Well I might not know what all is broken, but coaching is one. Power play is not the only thing in need of an overhaul. Q is as done as this season. This is his team well except for the fact that if Kane was healthy TT would be rotting in Rockford.

    • ridrzup

      Agreed… A finished… Bowman close too for letting A Damn away young talent with enthusiasm. For me should have dumped versteeg…Bickell..Richards..Rozival….Carcillo…Sharp…Oduya. …Replaced with Kevin Hayes..Jimmy Hayes…Pirri….. Terravein… Stephen John’s…Danneult….Clenndening….Garret Ross……of course have these guys are gone already because of Q and the other half is just about ready to move on also because Q . Here’s an example.. every prospect seems to get at least a look on the big club for a game.. why haven’t we seen McNeill up for one game ? First round pick… can put the puck in the net…but locked away in Q ‘ s Rockford dog house. I said it before.. I’d rather watch the kids play and lose then the team Q is playing now….and lastly…. get off this Crow as the only reason we are close….please…..Darling is our hope and future… I agreed with Fels and I said this 3 weeks ago…..this team is finished… hope McDonough gets off his ass and make the move that is needed…don’t care how many cups Q has won. His track history shows he’s unable to develop youth…if it’s true Babcock contract expires this year…there isvyiur slam dunk answer.
      ..

      • WookRN

        This is illegible. But the parts I could parse out…
        Crow is that good. Really.
        The Hayes boys weren’t that good. Yay. they have goals this year, get back to me if they are there in a year (see also the Staals).
        I agree we need some call ups and some looks, but I think we’re too late in the year for that at this point. Now, we need to take the team we HAVE, with the new trades, and get them working.

  • guest

    Down 3-0 to Vancouver, down 3-1 to Detroit, down 2-0 to STL, down 3-1 to LA and we are declaring a 2 time champion out of it during a 2 game skid in the regular season, 6-3-1 in the last 10.

    I think this team deserves a little bit more faith and confidence. It’s not a storybook season but newsflash: not every winning season is wire to wire perfect like 2010 and 2013.

    TVR has 2A and a +3 tonight returning to pre-injury form when he sported a 60% CF%, Q is just now getting the D pairs back in their playoff order with 2 and 7 back together, Kane is bag skating himself and everyone and their mother knows they are anti-Derrick Roseing the timeline.

    There is still 10% of the season left. The Hawks have 1 of 2 goalies in the NHL that have a Stanley Cup. I, and most Hawks fans, should have learned long ago that this team isn’t done until well past the point that us fans think their done.

    • WaitTillNextYr

      What are you watching?

    • OMFS88

      There’s only two goalies in the league with a Stanley Cup on their resume?

      • TitanTransistor

        I’m not sure what he’s talking about. There are at least five active starters with their name on the cup, because in addition to Crawford and Quick, Marc Andrew Fleury has one, Cam Ward isn’t a consistent starter anymore but he has one, and some guy in SJ named Antti Niemi won a cup once…

  • OMFS88

    I’ve counted this team out every single year at one point or another. Makes it easier to be pleasantly surprised later.

  • Say what again

    This whole locker room thing. I know I’m gonna get crap for this but here goes. Isn’t Captain Serious supposed to be the “be-all and end-all” of captains? Isn’t this the kind of stuff that they’re supposed to handle? At least that’s what the hockey legends would have us believe. Maybe it’s a task too tall. Or maybe they’re sick of his shit. Doesn’t feel good either way.

  • CoolTalk

    It’s not just this year. It really doesn’t take hindsight to realize what could of and should have been. Two stinking moves that both seemed obvious (at least to me) and we look like:

    88-19-81
    Pirri-86-20
    23-91-Frolik
    65-16-42
    Smith-Hayes K.

    2-7
    Leddy-4
    27-57
    32-5

    +: Dalhbeck, #1(2015), #2(2015), #4(2016)
    -: #3(2014), #5(2016), Pokka, Brennan, Dejardins

    AND this group would $600K in LESS in term of real cap dollars both this year AND NEXT YEAR (perhaps losing Frolik or Smith if resinging Leddy).

    This isn’t some revisionist history, this is all based on only two simple and disasterous decisions that showed a total lack of understanding regarding cap management and player personnel. I’m not unwinding all sorts of other side deals (Handzus, Richards, Clendenning, Bolland, Carcillo, Morin, etc..). Just two. Both of which I puked and ranted about at the time.

    1. Choosing (and paying) Bickell over Frolik after the cup.
    2. Trading Leddy instead of Sharp last summer.

    The above doesn’t even include any assets Sharp may have returned. It also assumes K. Hayes likes the fact that the Hawks want him on the roster (likely).

    My furture’s so bright…I need to wear shades

    • HossasPierogi

      Clairvoyance has its virtues

    • Icdws

      Frolik never was respected for what he brought to the game. The dude sacrificed his body and stats for the good of the team. In the end it cost him and the hawks. Bickel scored playoff goals he gets the dough. As for Sharp, I was begging for him to go last year too. Always dump a guy one year early rather than one year late (branch Rickey).

      The problem here is Q wanting gritty vets over young bucks. Time to retire q.

      Nice job here by the way. When playoffs are not reached this year, be ready to move the deadweight and keep cap control. I’m counting on you.

  • Preacher

    I’m not ready to give in just yet. If only because the team showed as recently as 10 days ago against the Rangers that they knew how to play a tight, smart game. It still seems like this team only “gets up” for elite opponents, not realizing that EVERY team gets up to play them. I think the players are trying to do their own “pacing” by not playing terribly hard unless they have to. Apparently, they don’t feel they have to against teams who are below them in the standings. I also think that adding 3 players, losing 2 regulars, and having a coach who can’t keep his hands off the blender buttons has taken more of a toll than anyone expected. I only hope that this team realizes that missing the playoffs is a very real possibility. They seem to do better when pressed.

  • HawkIPA

    I wouldn’t call them “finished” yet, but it’s pretty awful. Need a statement win tomorrow to right the ship. This is on Toews as much as Q. I think they can still turn it around but time is running out.

  • Brandon Murray

    As always I think this piece is well written and spot on. It’s been embarrassing at times and I’ve scratched my head at quite a few things. However, and this is not an excuse but subtracting 88 from the offense has made this team lose confidence in themselves. They look intimidated by fucking Cam Atkinson? He of the frosted tips and boy band hair? Give me a fucking break. They have gone 7-3-1 in March bit shit the bed by dropping both games in hand they had on STL. HOWEVER, they are now in danger of either becoming a wild card team or missing out entirely, but with games against MIN, WPG, LAK, & 2 against STL they can determine their own fate. We’re the mighty fucking Blackhawks. The fans know it, the blog writers know it, could someone remind the players of it? Or else we will indeed be watching a first round exit in these playoffs.

  • Bobby Otter

    Like many I’m not ready to give up, but after the first period yesterday I was there. The looked good in the 2nd, and fine if a tad blah in the 3rd. They’ve got the talent and I can’t get games like @ St. Louis and @ Rangers out of my head. It’s annoying but they just might be able to turn it on when needed.

    That said… Keith has been pretty bad the last few months. Crappy partner or not, 2010-11 Keith seems to be back. Not good. And there are way too many games this year where I don’t even notice Sharp on the ice. That’s gotta stop too. And for the first time Hossa doesn’t look like Hossa… is age catching up or is he in ‘whatever’ mode too?

    Finally, for all his mirco-managing, why doesn’t Q change who runs the first unit? Like I don’t know, have Kimmo head it instead of Keith? It’s the one weak spot of Keith’s game, the Hawks have someone who can run a PP in Kimmo now, and yet we’re stuck with hot passes to no one and blocked shots.

  • Babyhawk

    Omg, nailed it, spot on. Very disappointed in this team, thought for sure with Kane’s injury they would rally, maybe there is more truth to the rumors than we are led to believe. This offseason should be interesting, especially since I see sharp on the trade block along with some others that might just be let go. As much as I like coach Q, players don’t seem to be afraid of him anymore, just like teams aren’t afraid to play the Hawks. Q needs to start holding ALL players accountable not just his normal doghouse crew.

  • Cip

    The eulogy is early this year.

  • John the ex-Loyola Goalie

    When I watch the Blackhawks play, it looks like a pre-season game of an AHL team. Passes behind people,passes into players’ skates, passes picked off by opponents who then score.Other teams are well-oiled by this point of the season and break out nicely. I don’t get it.
    The other intangible is: we dump the puck into a corner, two Hawks go in to get it with two opponents, 10 seconds later it squirts free right onto an opposing forwards stick. This happens 90% of the time! The only puck-grabber we had was Ben Smith and he is gone. If we can’t retrieve the puck out of the corner, we can’t pass it to Toews, Hossa Sharp, etc. !!
    I don’t want to be a Fair-Weather Fan like Sam, but I have to agree with him.

  • Brain Sprain

    It’s all fun and games until David Backes hoists the Stanley Cup!

    • seabsrat

      That made me laugh and then it made me cringe and curl up in the fetal position.

  • jordyhawk

    We’ve looked out-of-sync more than in-sync this year. Maybe we get squared away in time, but it just doesn’t feel like it to me either. Hopefully I’m wrong. Regardless, as I’ve posted repeatedly, we need to graduate a bunch of guys from Rockford next year and reload.

    • The Other One

      Why not play out this season first? I’m guessing you’ll be surprised

  • HossasPierogi

    For an organization that won a cup in 2010 on the strength of young, largely unproven talent, the aboutface of looking for quick, veteran fixes over young talent began in earnest after the 2013 cup win. Some examples (admittedly taking some creative license):
    Rozival over Leddy
    Handzus over Regin
    Versteeg over Pirri
    Carcillo over Morin
    Timonen over ice time for Rundblad
    Vermette over Dahlbeck
    Bickell over K Hayes
    Bollig over my mother

    While we’ve all complained about Q’s inability to develop talent, Bowman is complicit as well, as is McD’s leadership style. I’ll take a brilliant loose cannon like Dale Tallon over all of them.

    • TitanTransistor

      Absolutely.

      Stan’s cowardice and unwillingness to take Q’s favorite toys away to ensure the better options get play time is every bit the issue that Q’s senility is.

    • Oldfarthawkfan

      None of the above players if we would of kept all of them would matter if the vaunted core did not play like crap.. Toews?, I hope he is hiding an injury, because since he signed that big contract, has not been playing like a $10 million dollar player. Plus his constant whining to the officials like a baby makes me cringe . Keith? why wasn’t he benched after those turnovers last night? Hossa? Why wasn’t he benched after the turnover the night before? Sharp? worth about $2.5 to 3 million max with his play. The only core players this year that have played to the worth of their contract has been Kane, and probably Seabrook. I exclude Crow from the core although I think he has more than lived up to his contract. Most on here think Darling would be an upgrade, and is the next Ed Belfour. I think he will turn out more like Murray Bannerman. Been there done that with that as your #1.

      • WookRN

        I think Dunc wasn’t benched last night because we already lack defensive depth.

        • Oldfarthawkfan

          I agree, but that is part of my point. When your best players don’t play well, whether you have kept Leddy, Pirri, etc. wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference. Lets not forget we traded Leddy because of the cap, same reason Boston let Boychuk go. If I am not mistaken, the choice was Oduya, not Roszival if we kept Leddy because even getting rid of Roszival wouldn’t have put us under the cap.

          • WookRN

            Agreed on all points. Nice to see drive from the bottom, but the “core” does need production. I miss Leddy, but yeah, he’d have been gone, and we took a chance with Richards. Maybe he’s not perfect, but legitimate try.

  • Lord Greypuck

    When will Q learn,
    Every point that you earn,
    Is built on the team,
    Pulling its weight,
    That means every night,
    When you enter the fight,
    Your team is focused and tight!
    We are used to the best,
    And I must attest,
    That the fire is all but out,
    I will only have have hope,
    If they fire that dope,
    And give us a reason to shout!

    • TitanTransistor

      Amazing.

  • B.I.G. Forever

    http://www.secondcityhockey.com/2015/3/28/8305361/blackhawks-patrick-kane-injury-statistics-analysis-record-2015

    Nice piece on SecondCityHockey.Com that dives into the numbers post Kane’s injury. This is not a goaltending problem. This is a puck possession problem.
    Kaner was THAT good for this team and his 20+ minutes per game meant SO MUCH MORE than just pretty goals and assists.

    The other glaring issue is the recent inability to develop young talent (see Morin/Regin/Pirri and hopefully not Tuevo) and Q’s erratic line mixes that seems to hurt continuity and chemistry.

    Add to this a locker room suicide and Sharpie giving Ms. Keith the high hard one at the Trump, things are fairly messy right now.

    I can’t believe THIS team is having THIS kind of trouble.

    • TitanTransistor

      The problem with those numbers is that they’re heavily skewed by a great start.

      The Blackhawks started showing possession problems (among other problems) at the start of 2015. In fact, if you look at possession numbers since 2015, including all the games Kane played, the Hawks have been dreadful:

      https://twitter.com/RegressedPDO/status/581661048861802498

      • B.I.G. Forever

        Yes, but the with or without Kane is the key number here. Where Early Z-Score Adjusted FF% fails is in the WIN category. Hawks won games in Oct/Nov. Versteeg and Richards scored in Oct/Nov.

        They don’t score anymore – even with the shitty early season numbers.

  • TitanTransistor

    So…. this is what being in a wildcard slot feels like.

    Feels kinda sad. Gross. Don’t like it.

    • PuttingOnTheFoil77

      Disgusting, isn’t it?

      • TitanTransistor

        Shameful.

        Hopefully it shocks the players on this team into giving something resembling a fuck the rest of the way.

        • PuttingOnTheFoil77

          The way I see it, the position fits the actions. We’ve been playing like a wild card team for all of ’15. They have only themselves to blame. Pathetic.

          • To Saad be the glory

            Yes we have,but see above reply.

          • PuttingOnTheFoil77

            Look, whether we’re second, third, or fourth in the division, there’s no denying the seven-inch thick DOUBT that will hover over every Hawks fan’s mind every single game of the PO until we get knocked out or we win the cup.

          • To Saad be the glory

            Unless we drop to 5th. Being in the Pacific division playoffs bracket might be a blessing in disguise. Holy shit that’s it,Q is a genius!!

          • TitanTransistor

            Oh absolutely. It doesn’t always hold true in hockey, but in this case the Chicago Blackhawks are exactly what the standings say they are.

    • Oldfarthawkfan

      I would feel worse if I was the defending Stanley Cup champs and might not even make it into the playoffs.

      • Icdws

        Kings are still the team to fear. Monday’s result could tell which team makes the playoffs. Kings are starting to roll winning road games now too.. Quick can carry them all the way, he’s done it before.

        • The Other One

          Ummm, the Kings lost tonight…

          • Icdws

            Well let’s see what happens Monday. If you don’t think the kings are super dangerous that’s fine. I want no part of them.

    • To Saad be the glory

      Despite the shitty play,and I have agreed with you on most,if not all points about Q, the Wild are 26-6-2 since they acquired Dubnyk. Even the Toews/Kane/Bickell 3 headed playoff monster would have trouble staying ahead of that one. Nashville and St. Louis are lucky they pulled 5-6 extra points out of their ass along the way.

  • The Other One

    So, this is what the ledge looks like, eh?

  • Cville Indian

    They just don’t look like they want it. It’s a game of inches and they seem like they can’t reach an extra inch to steal a puck or skate a little harder to beat someone. No extra effort anywhere. It is not the same team it has been in the past, that used to work their butt’s off, and that includes Toews. What a shame. They need to find to find a reason to win and that really should just be winning! Who doesn’t want to win? Go Hawks!

    On a sidenote…do they seem like they fall all the time these days, if someone touches them the are on their butt. Just me?

  • Stately Wayne Messmer

    Sincere thanks for another great year of coverage to the ToS (esp. Mr. Assbitten), all others.