Chicago, IL — The Chicago Blackhawks have definitely hit a wall in the season. Unfortunately they do not have that luxury in the division and the conference that they reside in. Other divisional foes are distancing themselves from the Hawks in what looks to be shaping up as a tight Western Conference. The question is for fans should we be concerned?
There are a couple of films that I always look to that I feel encompass most things we faces in life. One of my all time favorite films is George Lucas’ Star Wars series and in particular episode V- the Empire Strikes back. You know the “I am your father” one. That is not the part of the film however, that I think applies here. It is Yoda, the Jedi Master’s assessment and evaluation of Luke Skywalker and whether or not he is focused and committed enough to become a Jedi.
Am I worried about the Hawks? No because of the leadership in the locker room and behind the bench. I think the Hawks just need to focus a little more on the details and maybe most importantly have some fun. Lately it has looked like work on the ice for a Blackhawks team that usually has fun.
Just as Yoda tells Luke that he has always looked to the future and his mind somewhere else so are the Hawks, they are looking ahead to the playoffs and yearning for that instead of making sure that they do in fact get there and working on their weaknesses now, say like the power play and clearing out their own crease and keeping their net minders clean. The Blackhawks know what it takes to be a champion and focus and as coach Q says purpose is essential.
We all are in the post holiday blues period before spring, but Blackhawks please I’m looking to you to help me get through this slow period. I’m being selfish, entertain me please.
Now what the Hawks can use I’m not sure to get out of the doldrums, other than focusing on the areas they have been lacking and listening to your coaches. Every game just about they all say they want more net front presence and to make life difficult on the opposing goalies and yet the Hawks for the most part are staying to the perimeter. Listen to your coaches they are right and my eye test can see there is not enough drive to the opposition net.
Somehow the Hawks need to work on clearing out your own crease either with more active sticks and just putting a body on people. I would save the blocking shots til playoffs if possible we don’t want injuries that is the last thing the Hawks need now. Try lifting sticks and plugging up lanes and just flat old without crosschecking people just push people out from in front of your goalie. I know easier said then done, but to compete against the big boy teams like the Ducks, Kings and Jets this will be necessary. May as well try this now before the playoffs.
That power play, just shoot the damn puck and get to the net maybe send two people to the net. Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews are taking a beating there a little help can never hurt. The zone entries sometimes need help which this critique feels is stuck on repeat.
Lately, the passing in general has not been crisp which forces readjustments which slows down the team. For this team supposedly built on possession and speed this is a bad thing.
The fourth line needs to somehow find a way to contribute offensively. Right now this team is so top heavy they are easy to defend and as a goalie easy to stop. I want more, more, more from the 3rd and 4th lines but in particular the 4th line. If nothing else start crshing the net even if you don’t score it will give goalies and defenses something to think about.
Be more prudent in your own zone with the puck. There have been way too many turn overs by Hawks in their own zone, would you leave your house with the door unlocked? Pay more attention in your own end.
The game in Minnesota even on twitter Wild fans were tweeting that the Hawks looked disengaged and bored. Now that is bad if they can tell and they don’t even watch this team all the time.
I know as fans we forget how young this team is since they have been through so much but you don’t want to fall into bad habits that are hard to get out of. Even when losing try to learn from it, it will come in handy later.
We all have days that we are not our best but the Hawks need to remember they are living their dreams and have, so keep that it mind you could be stuck in some ho hum job. There are two games against major division foes in the Jets and the Blues if you can not get motivated for these games I would suggest that maybe the playoffs will be a short excursion if you make them at all.
“So many people are responsible for your success but only you are responsible for your failure” – unknown
1) taken from George Lucas 1980 film the Empire Strikes Back produced by Lucasfilm released by 20th Century Fox
2) Quote taken from addicted2success.com website.