April 5, 2019 at 8:07 am #12603John JaeckelKeymaster
As I posted on Twitter yesterday morning, after the Blackhawks had been officially eliminated from the postseason the night before, being “nega
[To continue reading full article, click here: Really, what just happened? Reflections on the 2018-19 Hawk season]
Apparently, all goalies are VikingsApril 6, 2019 at 10:23 am #12613Under Qs moustacheParticipant
excellent as always JJ.
I think the injury to #91 derailed the run the Hawks were on. Drake is like a Shaw with some wheels and fit in well with #88 and #19. The second line of Strome, El Gato, and Perlini seems to work as size, speed, and scoring seem to be in balance. The third line with AA either at wing or center isn’t a real shutdown line, but Saad, AA, and Kahun held their own after the top 2 lines settled in. I expect Kahun to improve over this year as he had a rough start with Q, not to mention he was given the wing on the first line right from the start. Obviously playing out of position, then line blended when that didn’t work. (I’m dizzy just remembering the first 15 games) If Colleton has done anything well he’s established lines and seems to have given roles to the new Hawks, taking out the “Q mystery” of if they played good enough to stay in the game and out of the press box.
The fourth line with Kamph and players to be named later is what ever it’s going to be, if AA is traded he should jump up to the 3rd line, but the scoring will take a hit, so there’s the center the Hawks need to acquire over the summer.
The defense, you covered that well. Kids and guys at the end of their careers plus Murphy and Gus. Trades will fix this faster, if you can stomach watching one or more of the traded going on to a successful career for someone else. So decisions on who stays and who goes based on non NHL play makes this a crap shoot at best. Trading Gus in the hopes that one of the kids can replace his offense is a crap shoot too, but that what was drafted. Tory Krug wanna be’s. Can’t play them all plus Gus, somebody has to clear the front of the net too. Trading Buff hurt this team more than any other trade IMHO. Tyler Myers anyone?
Crow? elephant in the room going forward. Delia is a backup to a good starter. Goaltending by committee doesn’t really work, so pretending that Delia is 1A only exposes the defense’s weaknesses. Every team will have a book on him next year. Think Darling 2.0. I do love his battle and compete level, but he has to keep his glove up and stay on his feet a little more. That can be worked on so he’s not done but realistic expectations need to be applied. He’s not Crow now or down the road. After next year the “Nay Crow” crowd will realize how good he was. I don’t expect Ward to be resigned, but he was alot better than I expected, and a good locker room influence.
Now if the Hawks make progress next year, then the expansion draft will force the Hawks to expose a few players they really don’t want to lose . I predict Saad is the sacrificial lamb if he’s not part of a deal to get a top 4D, 3C, or 1LW.
Overall it’s still hard to imagine how with Toews, Kane, Gus, Strome, and ElGato having career years that the Hawks are as far removed from being a real playoff team as their finish suggests. The numbers don’t lie this time. Golf during the day and watching the playoffs at night next week for the One Goal crowd.April 6, 2019 at 1:31 pm #12620matt_ahrensParticipant
After Stan did next to nothing last summer, I figured the questions to be answered as the season started were mainly about the core: was 2017-18 the new normal for Toews, Crawford, Keith, Seabrook, & Saad or could they bounce back? Would DeBrincat suffer a sophomore slump or take his game to the next level? What about Schmaltz? Can they find enough defensemen who can play at the NHL level? I assumed – incorrectly. as it turns out – if enough of those players – and the team – started strong, then Stan would bring in reinforcements and make a playoff run. But if they didn’t, then Q would be gone and the rebuild on.
The team started pretty well at 6-2-2 after 10 games. They fired Q at 6-6-3, so after a 0-4-1 stretch. Acquired Strome & Perlini at 9-10-5. Murphy made his season debut at 9-16-5. Everyone seems to recognize the positive impact Strome & Perlini had, but getting Murphy back solidified the blue line – along with recalling Dahlstrom and dumping Manning – and that really helped the team turn the corner. Caggiula was a good add. I agree that he’s Shaw-like with his grit an his ability to play on any of the four lines.
In Stan’s assessment, the team wasn’t good enough to be TDL buyers but not bad enough to be sellers, and that’s exactly where they are finishing the season, not quite on the playoff bubble.
It kinda feels like the front office’s main plan for the season was to fire Q and head in a new direction.
But with Toews and Kane and DeBrincat all coming off career years, they need to add some pieces to make the playoffs next year and perhaps contend a year or two after that. I’d love to see 2, 7, 19, 50, and 88 win another Cup in Chicago.April 8, 2019 at 11:40 am #12649Phil MParticipant
Strome probably saved Stan’s job and I’m pretty sure Stan is aware of that. He knows there needs to be improvement or he is getting the boot. Now we see if he is capable of making the right moves to set the team up for success next season.April 9, 2019 at 10:23 am #12657John MParticipant
Well, our defense sucked at the end of last year and Stan did nothing to address it. Maybe this off season is different. Maybe Stan will pull his head out and get some help on the back end. If not, rinse and repeat.
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