Last night's "game 7 mentality" idea went a long way. The Blackhawks for 3 periods played responsible defensively and controlled most of the game. What hurts most following last nights effort is the fact that the streak has reached 9 in a row and you cant leave it out there much better than the hawks did last night. One glaring issue that puts the hawks over the hump in these one goal games, is the presence of a second line center. If the hawks regain depth down the middle, I believe it makes the pairing of forwards a much easier job.
Enter Mikhail Grabovski. The speedy forward for Toronto will check off a lot of Hawks needs at this point. Grabovski would fill nicely between 81-10 and allow Victor Stalberg to reunite with Kane and Toews. That is a deadly top six and could be a start to building a Cup contender before this team throws in the towel. Grabovski plays with an up tempo puck moving game and would mesh nicely with a pure goal scorer wearing number 10, and a slovakian puck control machine like number 81. But Hawk nation, that is not all the movement needed to right the ship.
After speaking with other Hawk faithful, it seems to be a decided feeling that the loss of Dan Carcillo is providing the Hawks with a gaping hole in the tenacity/agitator role on this team. Insert Adam Burish/Travis Moen/Aaron Asham. The addition of one of these players will provide the rat another winger that will piss off the opposing teams top line even more. Asham has played in the playoffs and seems to accept and fulfill his role wherever he goes. Same with Adam Burish. Moen might not be a house hold name but he was once a hawk. He won a cup with Anaheim and is a 5-7 hits a night type of player that will make hell for opposing defensmen going into their zone to retrieve pucks.
A lot have looked between the pipes during this 9-game skid and suggest goaltending be upgraded. I disagree completely, at least for now. While Emery and Crawford have been an adventure, I don't think this fully evaluates the looming issue in our zone. I think a pairing D-man to play with Hjalmarsson is huge. By finding that fourth slot defenseman, Leddy and Olsen are left to establish familiarity at the NHL level and are not thrown to the wolves. Playing 12 min a game for those two will be more beneficial to this team then allowing them to rack terrible plus minus ratings and make mistakes that end up in there own net. Once the top 4 D are established I feel the goaltenders for the hawks can adequately be critiqued and we can decide if shopping for a netminder is our next move.
Thanks for reading,