Recap: Blackhawks vs Kings 3-1 Loss


Well, Anton Forsberg looked comfortable and played very well tonight.

Unfortunately, aside from that fact, there isn’t much good news to be spread about the ‘Hawks’ performance tonight at home.

And while it is certainly beginning to feel a little futile to nitpick the issues with particular performances, I’ll do my best here to analyze what went wrong tonight.

To start, this power play is becoming unbearable. It’s almost as if they’ve got a playbook of about three or four set plays; and if none are viable options, they default to boring perimeter passing that is as predictable as anything I’ve seen at the NHL level. This of course is all contingent on their (in)ability to gain clean entry into the offensive zone. There is almost zero offensive spontaneity to the Blackhawks’ power play or in their offensive efforts simply in general these days. They are entirely deliberate and their statue-like movements prior to making passes absolutely broadcast what’s coming next from a mile away. It seems as though the days of the Chicago Blackhawks fooling the eyes of even us watching at home with unpredictable magic in the offensive zone may be over on all fronts.

Next, Richard Panik is going to get his own sub-paragraph because the man has become completely invisible. He has been a non-existent factor offensively nearly all season, and quite frankly he has been a microcosm everything I just described as negative about the Hawks’ offense. He’s painfully deliberate and robotic with the puck when he has it and I’m also beginning to take note of how often he sails his shots wide as well. Unacceptable.

The homecoming hero Patrick Sharp also gets his own rap sheet here. Sharpie is unpredictable with the puck in a very very bad way. Tonight his giveaway to Marian Gaborik actually made me cringe. It gave me eerie flashbacks of that 2011 Chris Campoli Game 7 overtime turnover that led to the infamous Alex Burrows clapper that ended the Hawks’ season. #10 is not in any way his former self.

Finally, I hate to come off as a complaining meatball with a hot take, but I really feel like we need to begin to emphasize the bigger picture stuff. It’s safe to say we have reached that point. Is it the end of an era? I can’t be sure. I certainly don’t like to think so, but this team is not getting any younger, and it’s beginning to look and feel like they simply lack the talent. It’s a new and different type of dilemma for this organization to deal with, and to be perfectly honest, I’m not at all sure what the best route to go is. How long-term should the Blackhawks begin to look as they come to the inevitable conclusion that a partial or full rebuild is becoming necessary? I can’t but help but feel that the Bowman-patented deadline tweaks are not going to be enough this year. I hope I’m wrong.