Blackhawks – What Do We Do Now?
Sometimes, the answers aren’t right in front of you. Sometimes, the problems aren’t easy to fix. And sometimes, the answer is just to play better.
The Chicago Blackhawks are in the middle of what is likely the worst stretch of games that they have played since they have returned to relevance in the National Hockey League scene.
The offense hasn’t been consistent enough, the defense has often been out of place and the goaltending has been good enough to be stuck in a six-game losing streak.
Their last win came against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 20. Since then, everyone who has seen five minutes of a Hawks game has had some sort of their own solution on how this team could be fixed.
Those options have included things such as: picking up another top scorer, picking up another physical presence, adding a top four defenseman and trading for a superstar goalie. In other words, anything and everything that doesn’t involve sending Coach Q and the ‘stache out of town.
Now stop there. Coach Q has done a good job here in Chicago, including a Stanley Cup championship a couple years ago. Leaving his name out of discussion is deserved, because this rough stretch has been the exception under his reign, rather than the standard.
Two options that are far-fetched are the thoughts of a top-six scorer or a superstar goalie. The Hawks have pretty much made it known that they do not plan on paying goalies top-of-the-line money. They would rather put a quality team in front of a serviceable goalie. They also have a lot of money invested in their top two offensive lines, so adding another top piece to that group would begin the “pinching pennies” style again, as they’d be up against the cap with no room to move.
The most likely scenario is that they pick up a top-four defenseman before the approaching NHL trade deadline. It would help replace the lack of production from the defensive third pairing, and give Keith and Seabrook a little bit more of a break.
But, maybe the answer is none of these. Maybe, the answer is to play in position and to stop allowing odd-man rushes. Maybe, it’s to get more guys crashing the net and doing the tough things it requires to be successful. Maybe, the talent is already in place. The answer may just be simple, just play better.