Thoughts on the Blackhawks and the Devil’s Trapezoid
We’re coming into the home stretch of the season and some things are beginning to bug me.
1. The Blackhawks. There is something about the way they are playing that is making me feel uncomfortable. I can’t put my finger on it though. The last two losses to the Caps and Flyers didn’t help that feeling. It’s not about goaltending, even though it’s been less than solid. It’s a team dynamic thing. It’s about giving up goals in bunches. It’s about perhaps being too cocky or confident. It’s about not being able to always put teams away. It was summed up when Captain Jonathan Toews said today, “We’ve got the most skill in the league, on any team. There’s no reason, up 3-0, we can’t go out and finish the team off.”
He’s right that the Hawks should be able to finish of a team when they’re up 3-0, but I don’t buy that the Hawks are the most skilled team in the league – and most teams in the NHL don’t think that either. So now, when teams are looking for that extra something to make the playoffs, they’ll have Toew’s little tidbit posted on their locker room walls. It’s bad enough that teams are gunning for you because you’re a top team but to say you’re the most skilled team will just tick some teams off and make the Blackhawk’s road to the Cup that much more difficult.
I do value that as Captain he’s trying to fire the boys up, and hopefully he knows his team best and they will respond. But, only time will tell…
2. Please, please PLEEEEEASE get rid of the stupid trapezoid behind the net (It was such a relief and pleasure to watch Olympic hockey without it). Last night I watched a game where the puck was trickling to the goal line and a player from the other team was bearing down on the goalie but still was a few strides away (a teammate was coming down the opposite boards). The goalie accidentally touched the puck almost in the corner and was given a delay of game penalty. I was stunned. I know that’s what’s given for the infraction but here the goalie clearly kept play moving and prevented a lull where the puck would’ve died just past the goal line and we would’ve waited for someone to catch up to the puck. A Delay of Game? Why not call it a ‘Bettman’?
“New Jersey Penalty, Number thirty, Martin Brodeur, 2 minutes for a Bettman at 14:36, Brodeur 2 minutes for a Bettman at 14:36. Penalty being served by….”
That has a ring to it!