The team is bad. It's not going to get better. I wrote not even 48 hours ago that I understand why people wouldn't want to tune in for Blackhawks games this year
Here is the thing though...Patrick Kanes don't come along very often. Once in a lifetime type player to have on your team. Just because Stan Bowman and Jeremy Colliton are wasting him that doesn't meant that you should. I am going to appreciate every second, every shift, and every play like that because it feels like just yesterday that he burst on to the scene and it'll be over completely before we know it. I'll always watch for moments like this
It wasn't just this though. He had the puck seemingly all night. If you want to know why a game is close. If you want to know why the team shows up and competes pretty hard even though they're not good...look no further than #88. The leader of this team. The soul of this team. A guy who makes everyone better. A guy everyone wants to be around. There is no official captain right now, but you better believe that it is Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith who are here for the culture. They're here for the pride. The Blackhawks will never be a complete joke as long as 88 is on the team which is sad both for him and for us because it might help save Jeremy and Stan to some degree. I will never take him or his time for granted though. Neither should you
--The Blackhawks need to do something about there goalies. This is why I couldn't let the Crawford shit go when I was talking with Stan. He thought these guys would be fine enough to make the playoffs when we sat down in October. He said he was trying to win and that a 2nd year for Corey Crawford was just not in the cards because it'd prevent them from getting their next goalie...or something. He made all these moves to get better defensively with Zadorov, Janmark, and Wallmark all bringing some of that to the mix, but it falls apart when you don't have a guy back there who makes the stops he's supposed to and a few that he wasn't supposed to. The reasoning was never logical to turn it over to these three because none of them are NHL starting caliber goalies. That was always the case and giving up 5 goals per game to start the year shows that. It won't be that bad every night. I hope it gets better, but these guys aren't the answer. Stan should've known that.
--I like Dylan Strome's game a lot last night. He's been strong on the dot this year. He looks a little quicker out there and more responsible too. The Hawks would've been very strong up the middle this year if they were healthy and able to go 19, 77, 17. He's taken a step in the early stages of 2021
--Power-play also has been good. Duncan Keith should really replace Boqvist on that first unit full-time because Boqvist has a broken brain. Keith just knows where to go with the puck. He makes good decisions. He makes good passes. He reads the play. He's a stabilizes everything out there.
--I'd like to find a way to get Kubalik on PP1 as well, but it's not obvious how he fits with that personnel group as a left shot looking for a one-time bomb. It was nice to see him rip claps last night and cash in. He's a player. He just needs better guys around him.
--Ian Mitchell is the real deal. You can see it. He skates, he's smart, he can move the puck. There's been a few moments where there's been a learning curve, but he definitely belongs in the NHL right now and he will be a very good top 4 Dman for a long time. I'd like to see him play with a little of that Duncan Keith psychopath nasty bite competitiveness but that might just not be him...not many guys like Duncs in the world.
--Detroit is up next. People assumed that the Hawks would finish ahead of Detroit this year, but the Wings don't look like a push-over early in the year.
--How many games in a row do the Blackhawks have to lose before Colliton gets fired?
Colliton isn't going anywhere. I've had four different people in high levels of the NHL who would have direct contact with Scotty Bowman tell me that Scotty doesn't think much of Jeremy. Take that for what it's worth. People have told me that going back to August. Take that for what it's worth. Having said that…nobody would win with this roster. There are guys who would do better than Jeremy and develop players more effectively, but nobody could make the playoffs with AHL goalies, 8 guys who belong on the 4th line, and their best two centers out. People always praise Colliton for his communication. Maybe he is a great speaker, and a willing speaker, I wouldn't know…does it matter how diligently or articulately he communicates if the things he is telling you to do are fundamentally wrong? Something to think about.
--I like Brandon Hagel.
It's going to be a long year. Try your best to appreciate the good parts of it