Sunday, February 26, 2012
Hawks in need of a quick fix at deadline
By Jesse Rogers
Maybe the Chicago Blackhawks have actually made things easier on general manager Stan Bowman. After another lackluster effort in losing 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, the Hawks have shown they have so many holes to fill that Bowman can pick and choose what to fix.
“Stan has been working hard,” coach Joel Quenneville said after the latest defeat. “He’s doing everything he can to try and fill… He’s doing what he can.”
He just better fix something come Monday’s 2 p.m. CST trade deadline. Short of that, Bowman could just change coaches, because it has become plain as day that the Hawks need a shake-up. An awful month is coming to a close and it just happens to coincide with the trade deadline, so why not go big. Nothing else seems to be working.
The Blackhawks lost their third straight game on Sunday against the Ducks.
“This time of year you want to be playing the game the right way,” goalie Ray Emery said. “On this trip we wanted to have at least one win and put some better efforts in.”
They didn’t get a win and they didn’t even give one good effort, producing just one goal total in back-to-back games with just 19 shots on net in each. That’s a season-low total.
“After the first [period] they pretty much dominated us in the second there,” Patrick Kane said. “I’m not sure how many shots we had after the first. Happy with the way we played the first and just kind of let down after that.”
The Hawks had nine shots on net in the final 40 minutes and, as Kane said, there was a letdown after the first period. The Hawks led 1-0 early, and more than likely the letdown had to do with a video review that went against them, tying the game.
Andrew Cogliano's goal with 20 seconds remaining in the opening period was waved off at first, but officials said he did indeed touch the puck with his stick after kicking it into Emery’s pads.
“That’s a call a lot of us on the bench thought went the wrong way and even at the time we were wondering why it was taking so long,” Kane said. “We thought the call was going to go our way and it swung the momentum of the game for sure.”
Should a call late in the first period which simply allows the game to be tied change the rest of the night? With the Hawks right now, there is no telling what moment is going tip things the other way. Even with Jonathan Toews in the lineup their psyche seems fragile. Without him -- and on the road -- they seem dead.
“We tried some different lines today, just trying to get some kind of offense or some kind of balance in our lines,” Quenneville said. “We didn’t generate enough but I thought the start was something we could have fed off.”
A good start didn’t carry over and even scoring a power-play goal didn’t ignite a fuse for the visitors. The only thing left is a shake-up. Bowman has less than 24 hours to do it.
“At the end of the day we’ll be all right in here,” Kane said. “We know we have a good group and we know we can do some special things. We’ve seen it before throughout the year. We just have to put it together again.”
Or make a trade. Something has to give or the season might simply be lost. It’s come down to the trade deadline. Or at least it feels like it has.
Despite losing the game and playing without Toews, the Hawks won 58 percent of their faceoffs. Dave Bolland was 12 of 16 in the circle.
After the game, Quenneville indicated that Toews still has not skated since missing action a week ago with an upper body injury, but the Hawks coach didn’t rule him out of Wednesday’s game against Toronto.
“We’ve given up a ton of ground here recently. We’re in a tough spot.” -- Quenneville