Kane Reaches Milestone, Blackhawks Blown Out

The Blackhawks had five days to get ready for the New York Islanders.

Erik Gustafsson had waited almost two years for the chance to get back into meaningful NHL action, having been banished to Rockford since Game 7 against the Blues in 2016.

And early, it looked like Gustafsson and the Hawks were ready to come out of the break with an improved effort. Gustafsson set up Patrick Kane only 61 seconds into the game and Chicago had an early lead.

Unfortunately, the 18:59 that followed resembled the dumpster fire fans watched on Sunday against Detroit.

Anthony Beauvillier tied the game while Jonathan Toews sat in the penalty box at 4:35. Chicago would be short-handed two more times in the opening period and survived the one full penalty in the first… but the Islanders would score two more times at even strength.

Jordan Eberle and Ryan Pulock beat Anton Forsberg and the Islanders up 3-1 in a period they dominated after the opening couple shifts. New York out-shot the Hawks 19-13 in the opening 20 minutes and all three of the penalties the Hawks took were brutal.

The third penalty the Hawks took in the first, by Tommy Wingels, carried over into the second period and Beauvillier was able to score his second of the night while on the advantage. The Beauvillier goal extended the lead to 4-1 and the boo birds were rightfully out in force at the United Center.

At 18:27 into the second, Kane returned the favor and set up Gustafsson for a terrific shot. Gustafsson’s goal cut the lead to 4-2 and gave Chicago a little momentum in the closing minutes of the second.

However, the shot totals once again favored the visitors. New York out-shot Chicago 14-8 in the second period.

When Brock Nelson scored 1:52 into the second period coach Joel Quenneville decided to put a bandaid on a bullet hole and made a change in net, bringing Jeff Glass off the bench in relief. Forsberg wasn’t good; he left far too many rebounds and played the fifth goal of the night terribly. But waiting to make the change until after the fifth goal wasn’t doing anything.

To his credit, Kane didn’t go away. at 4:58 into the third he scored from a bad angle for his third point of the night – and the 800th regular season point of his career.

To their credit, the Islanders didn’t care for a second that Kane became the fifth player in organization history to reach 800 points. Anders Lee and John Tavares scored within six minutes of Kane’s goal to make the score 7-3 in favor of the Islanders and seats were noticeably empty at the United Center with half of the third period remaining.

Ryan Hartman fought Ross Johnston at 10:38 in a classic “too little too late” moment of attempted momentum generating effort. Good for Hartman. He got the rest of the night off with the five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct penalty.

The final nine minutes rolled off the clock without anything significant taking place beyond fans walking out of the United Center early.

Gustafsson had a decent night in his return to the NHL lineup. He had one goal, one assist, put four shots on net, blocked three and picked up two hits in 20 minutes of action. He took the place of Connor Murphy, who got to sit in the press box.

The rest of the Hawks blue line had a brutal night. Jordan Oesterle led the Hawks with six shots on net but did not have a good night. Duncan Keith had a rough night and took a bad penalty in the second period. Jan Rutta had an especially tough night, posting a well-deserved minus-four. His partner, Gustav Forsling, was minus-three.

Also minus-three on the night: David Kampf, Vinnie Hinostroza and Alex DeBrincat.

Chicago rallied to put 18 shots on Jaroslav Halak in the third period to cut the overall game total to 46-39 in favor of the Islanders. Forsberg stopped 30 of 35 in 41:52 and Glass made nine saves against 11 shots in the final 18:08.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Blackhawks with Tampa coming to town on Monday night.

53 thoughts on “Kane Reaches Milestone, Blackhawks Blown Out

  1. 1) the Hawks’ goalies as presently constituted disgraceful; 2) Forsling & Rutta on the ice (together or at minimum one of them) 6/7 goals.

    You can’t win – and have no chance to win — in the NHL with 2 minor league goalies and 1/3 of your D (playing top 2-4 minutes) that have shown — at best — they belong in the press box for a long time.

    If these changes are made (starting with the next game), there is hope to turn thimgs around.

  2. P.S. At worst, Murphy & Kempny are NHL D men. Capable.

    The next task is finding a goalie that can hold his own; we have all seen enough of these two goalies to say, thanks, I ‘ll drop you a post card.

  3. Wow. Forsling and Ruuta are awful together.
    Toews and Saad are awful together.
    Hartman cannot catch an NHL level pass.

  4. Send Rutta and Debrincat to Rockford to get their confidence back and recall Hayden. Bring AA off ir and go with.
    10 19 91
    20 8 88
    40 15 13
    17 64 57

    2 82
    56 7
    6 5
    30

  5. Iceman, I agree. These 2 goalies are quality AHL goalies, not consistent enough to be starters in the NHL.

    This loss was U-G-L-Y!!

    The problem is that the only valuable asset that can get any kind of a return is Kaner. If you think Toews will get you a first round pick I have some swamp land in Arizona for you. The rest of the league is watching the demise of this once great hockey team.

  6. Bad and terrible hockey. The players coaches and organization should be ashamed. No pointing one player or person out it’s an embarrassment on the ice right now.

  7. We have plenty of issues but with the current goalie choices there is zero chance of making the playoffs. I am usually a big SB supporter but the lack of any goalie depth in the organization is a glaring shortcoming. Unless there is a miracle next week it will be time to give big minutes to young guys and prepare to be a seller at the deadline.

  8. I really hope this doesn’t push Bowman into trading (over-paying) for a goalie. It doesn’t matter who is in net, this team, this season has NO chance at the Cup, and very likely will not even get a wild card spot. I believe they should keep working toward “younger and faster”, including developing the young players they have. I know this isn’t what most paying customers would prefer, but it’s probably a better strategy for future success.

    (Again – NO rentals. Trade NO draft picks. Try to move an “asset” or two if possible.)

  9. Where is that 1st line? Invisible. The 2nd line is, and always has been, the Kane show. The 3rd line, without Sharp on it, is just lost. The 4th line without Hayden is sub-par. Defensively, Connor Murphy is not an issue. He has been getting better. Sitting him is a head scratcher. Maybe Q thinks his game could improve, even moreso, if he sees it from another angle, i.e. the pressbox. Defensively, Rutta and Forsling have hit the proverbial wall. Oesterle and Keith had a bad night. Seabrook and Gustafson were a bright spot.
    Tab had asked, in another post, about the goalie situation. I think, without Crawford, we should wait for those two college goalies, sign them, and see what they can do. It’ll be trial by fire, but, for me, this is the way to go.
    Lastly, I think the Blackhawks will be sellers. Kempny, Anisimov, and others will be gone. My hope is that, whether through draft or trade, we pick up a Center that can make Toews a 2nd line center or, if you keep him on the 1st line, the 2nd line, with Kane and, ??? will be deadly. I’m hoping because, right now, we’re a .500 team at best.

  10. Please no trades for a goalie anything you would get now wouldn’t help. You can’t have 2 defensemen standing and watching a team take 3 shots on goal without a try to move them away from the crease. The Hawks aren’t going anywhere this year so let’s just try and get younger and faster through trades and the draft. We need to think about our goal situation Crawford is a guarantee to go on IR every year now. Stop sitting Murphy he is improving the more he plays.

  11. The goalies were not good.
    The play in front of the goalies (by the Blackhawks) was just pathetic.

    Of the first four goals, I think only one can truly be pinned on Forsberg. The play in front was either non-existent or actually hampered him (getting screened by his own men). Turnovers, stupid penalties ………. The play where Oesterle abandoned his position after losing his stick to go get it, leaving an Islander parked in front of Forsberg for about 10 freaking seconds was awful, and led to a goal.

    I’m in the camp of not trading for a goalie. The goalies available aren’t going to make a difference with the quality of play the Blackhawks provide in front of any goalie.

    Bright spot – Kane barreling down the left side, determined not to be denied that 800th point. You could see the intensity as soon as he got the puck and shot toward the net. He showed up. So many others didn’t.

    It’s a bit surreal to see the Blackhawks playing like this. I/we have been spoiled. They’re still my team though.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  12. Apart from a few minutes to start the game where an early Kane goal put the Hawks up, Islanders simply dominated. It’s 2 games in a row with almost zero push back back by Hawks on home ice from a physical standpoint. Not acceptable. It is as though this team has quit on itself at mid season. How, why? For the 2nd game in a row I hit the exit disgusted mid way through the 3rd. I just could not bear to watch it any longer. I cannot remember 2 more poorly played games by the Hawks at the UC than these past 2 debacles.

    It is time for Q to sit Saad in the press box for a game or two. His play has dropped off the cliff for whatever reason. Hawks top line simply isn’t.

    Goaltending was cringe worthy not good last night. Islanders just came in waves. They had so many quality scoring chances with shooters somehow wide open in the slot or right by the net. Hawks unwilling to put any Islanders on the ice. Just like the Detroit Debacle last Sunday. It was that bad.

    It doesn’t get any easier with Bolts coming in here Monday and I am sure a well motivated Leafs team will take no pity on this embarrassing group of players sporting Hawks uniforms. At least Kane didn’t quit. Two great goals. Gus not bad, but no solution there.

    It has been over 12 years where I could say I don’t expect the Hawks to win games at home. As I said a few games ago my Hawks glass is now half empty, and it feels terrible to say that. Sadly, we are witnessing what looks to be the end of a wonderful era of exciting Blackhawks hockey. It was a helluva run I will always cherish. Yes Big Indian, I am also a Hawks fan for life, but I’m ready to put some games up on NHL Ticket Exchange. Most of the season ticket holders in my section were not there last night. People are already trying to recoup some season ticket money. Who can blame them?

    It’s mid season, yikes…..

    Lets Go Hawks!

  13. As said before ,why are 44 and 42 on the ice at the same time ? Lost , out of position ,dead weight .

    Why is it so easy to see for us average Joes ?

  14. Seeing is believing! I have asked your input on trading big 3 No better time then the present! For weeks I been saying to pull the trigger and after 5 days u get this ! The jets are without there star center and are 5.8 under cap. I very real taker for hometown Toews ! Keith can be moved with cap friendly salary to a playoff contender! Package seabs and a player or prospect or low draft pik even if u eat. 1. 5 salary but put something together with all those options to move. Now as for goalies, we’re stuck. Don’t waste money on washed up goalies unless his contract expires this year ! There enough as I went thru list that are cheap under a million ! Nobody really knows Craw condition but team doctor so I rather have him sit out rest of yeAr cause this team don’t deserve a playoff spot ! The writing been on the way and it’s time to bring in the jury which have been all your comments and the verdict is soooo obvious. Sell and rebuild starting with Toews! The fans no it and I don’t think they would care at this point ! Hopefully SB has the nerve to inquire teams interest and talk to are no trade players on what teams they wave clause to go ! Not sure if Q wants to retire himself or stay either. I know one thing unless u clear 25 mil in cap this will be a unbearable team to watch !

  15. The heat map says it all. In games we play good the map looks better then that.

    Iceman Ian those kind of tweaks are what we need, right now. Go with who’s playing good. Things change fast sometimes.

    I wasn’t expecting to much from these 4 games anyways. They are in the middle of 2 & a half wks. We can walk away with 2-2 would be good.

    Then after 1st game after all star break and this 2 & a half wks we have a chance to play. Games will be every other day in FEB. This is the math I have thought all along we get on a roll and do good.

    We do need goalie situation stable and have the right guys in the lineup as things change do what we have to roster wise.

    Can’t wait enough for that FEB where I think we will play good and really good.

    That redwings game I donot know what to say speechless that had normal sch and no long break before. That was, yeah at 11am, but that was not Blackhawks hockey.

  16. That should just about do it playoff-chances-wise. Bowen and Jammer between 2nd and 3rd [paraphrasing]: “…this is a critical period for the Hawks, gotta dig deep…” Well, they didn’t, not by a damn shot. This is not about Q, Stan, John, or Rocky. Yeah, we’re thin on the blue line and certainly between the pipes, but if you watched, this is truly about the players on the ice not giving a sh!t anymore. As stated, the heat map as usual tells the story…let the other team tailgate in front of your net and fire at will, bad things will tend to happen. Confounding thing is the Hawks can – even without Crow – bitch slap the best teams and get blown out at home by some of the worst. Was Chelios not referred to as a [fitness] freak for hitting the bike after the game? He played well – well into his early 40’s. His late 30’s were a thing of pure beauty. 2, 7, 19 (list obviously continues)…SERIOUSLY? In your early 30’s? Has the game sped past you to such an extent that you’re no longer worthy of being paid professionals? Personally, don’t believe it for a nanosecond. Watched too many pros through the years dominate throughout their 30’s.

    Before last night, dropped $345 face to attend tomorrow night with my wife, primarily to watch the best team in the NHL skate. This ridiculous Jeckyll/Hyde team will probably ironically defeat Tampa Bay. Lifelonger since 1977, season holder from 1987-2002 (at which point the building was a ghost town, couldn’t take the lifeless play anymore). Not going to do this much longer as things no longer compute…

    https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2018/01/19/blackhawks-owner-rocky-wirtz-has-made-right-moves.html

  17. @PHIL^
    Yes, I’m not surprised you are thinking of putting some tickets up on the NHL Exchange. I have two sets of single game tickets left, and I thought last night about whether I wanted to attend those. When you throw in the cost of parking (for me, someone who doesn’t have season tix or a parking pass) and food, it turns into a really expensive evening. Even though my seats are 300 level, they weren’t cheap from Ticketmaster prior to the season start. With other expenses coming up, it makes me reevaluate whether I want to try and recoup that money.

    I could tell from TV that people were exiting the joint. Prices for everything at United Center have gotten sky high. When the team plays in such a way that the fans debate whether to stay at home, there will be an adjustment to the ticket market.

    In that great game against Winnipeg on the 12th, I sat near the blue line in row 15 of the lower deck. Great seats (my wife and I splurged at the last minute). But next to me were four empty seats. There were also three Winnipeg fans (super nice guys) setting to our other side, who obviously got their tix off the Exchange or StubHub.

    It will be interesting to see how this all pans out, on the ice and economically for the rest of this season.

  18. I have a hard time with this…..but I agree, sell, or at least stand pat. I wish I knew how to motivate the core. One thing is obvious, trying to replay old glories is not working.

  19. Mike thats what I am thinking if were still 5 over .500 after game 57. If were 10 over .500 and tied with a bunch of teams for those playoffs seeds then be creative sell and add at deadline and add for free in summer and trade at draft to get more younger and faster players with upside.

    ANA and PIT are suppose to be good teams and their worse then us record wise. At least we play in he hardest division/sch. Those teams donot.

  20. That was awful. No one on this team should be thought of as “Untradeable”. The Hawks are likely not going to make the Playoffs, and even if they did, it would be a quick exit. It’s time to start over. To the Core players who helped make this the greatest era in Blackhawk history, a huge “Thank you”. But those players are never going to win a Cup together again, so if possible move these guys before the deadline. There are a lot of great memories, but us Hawks fans are in for some real lean years.

  21. Saad had a couple of power forward moves,.,.,.,ZERO finish , should have bundled him with Panic ,who by the way is damn near a point a game guy with his new digs .

    Put Jeff Glass in net and f–kin leave him there ,.,.,he is the better ,more focused of the 2 .

    Now for Q,.,.,.,he kept putting 44 and 42 out there time and time again ,.,.,same players ,same result , they keep getting killed in their own end , bring Franson back ,sure he,s slow but he can man handle folks in his own end ..,.Q should be fired ! He has no impact on the team any more .

  22. Phil-classic

    With five teams in front and five points out it will be really hard-factor in the goalie mess and I’m preparing for no meaningful spring hockey-it’s been a while, and I hope they don’t make a panic trade because it’s not worth it-(I think it’s starting to dawn on most people)

    Hopefully we at least see an honest effort next week.

  23. Hawktalk Forsling and Rutta played well earlier on and showed some chemistry and promise. They seem to be looked at as the future and living with some growing pains by letting them play through their slumps and not ruining their confidence by putting them in the doghouse could be beneficial in the long run. Playing Franson and losing him next year is not helping in the big picture and Q has been railed on for doing that too much. Younger faster and if the right opportunities for right deals happen, make them. No need for a fire sale just to have one, make smart deals not hot headed ones.

  24. …..Blackhawks are down and maybe out for this season….with Hossa gone and Toews, Anisimov and Crawford dealing with injuries there is no sense to all the juggling anymore….it might get worse before it gets better and is self-destructing at this point…..let me know if there is any good news!…..

  25. I wonder how peeved Stan is that Q keeps scratching a $3.8 million defenseman in Connor Murphy. It appears that Q has not liked Murphy since day one because he’s the piece Stan got in return for Q’s beloved Hjalmarsson.

  26. TRADE EVERYONE; FIRE EVERYONE!!!

    no, not really. Before I got on any kind of pro/con Q rant about this season I’ll say this.
    I highly doubt teams are completely altering thier “system” 3-4 times a week based on the team they are playing against; are there adjustments; sure-do they work…..maybe sometimes. Last year against Nashville the Preds played specifically to go against the Blackhawks game; it was obvious; changes should have been made after the first period of game one. No changes were made; and after a 1-0 loss in what the scoreboard said was a tight game…it was almost all Predators. They were outcoached plain and simple. The rest of the series sans game 3 was the same. So is Q making adjustments or staying the course with under-performing veterans and a learning youth movment??? Unless I’m on the ice and attending practices it’s hard to determine just how much at fault Q is for this season. I’ll blame him all day for the Predators series last year…and I’ll blame TVR for the St Louis series; Trevor Van remsdyke was on the rink for almost every goal by the blues against the blackhawks.

    Seabrook was +2 last night with an assist, but whatever even in his prime he wouldn’t have saved last night game…I mean he would have needed to be a +6 just to get the game back to even; what more do you want from him a hat-trick too? Oh wait he would have needed 4 goals….to get the game even. Oh hey maybe we can have Keith play 60 minutes a game; there’s an idea.

    Anyway the younger players are being given playing time…and even against a team I wouldn’t consider top tier they not only floundered; they sucked. Yes, the big contract players are not difference makers right now, but just as much blame if not more goes to the younger players. It’s growing pains. So many people talk about trading Kane, Toews, Keith for draft picks and prospects…..how many draft picks and prospects don’t pan out? You think the team is bad now? Go ahead and trade Kane or Keith for draft picks…see how that works out Seems to be working for Edmonton for the last ten years….

    My opinion is they need to get the younger pieces of the puzzle to work. Easy to point out they lack size up front. Put Svedberg on wing in Rockford; see what happens. If he’s NEVER going to play with the Blackhawks anyway then why not try it. They sure have a heck of a rotation on defense to work with. Franson getting demoted was a sign they are going with a semi-youth movement.

    Sign a college goalie; any goalie who signs have a potential starting position in the NHL. Players ASK to get traded for this opportunity.

    Anyone starting to see how much a difference Hossa made every night? Just look at their record when Hossa was out with an injury. Seriously I would like someone here to put together some stats based on this; surely there is some website I don’t know about that already has these filters set up. Hossa should have been in the top 100 NHL players of all-time. I hope he comes back next year.

  27. Murphy has, by a wide margin, been the Hawks best defender. That is without question. Him sitting in a game where they need points is stupid. I don’t know how else to describe it. Watching Rutta and Forsling has grown painful.

    What ever magic home town Vinny was conjuring has gone, which is to be expected since he was never more than an energy guy.

    Saad is going to hit his +20 goals, driving a bunch of play and doing what he does. If Toews was finishing at 14% and Panik or whomever was on the right side was finishing at all his assist totals would probably be right near his career numbers. There isn’t a whole lot to complain about here.

    You almost have to wonder if Q is trying to get fired on purpose.

    Anyway, team looks slow and listless. Brent Seabrook has been bad and Jonathan Toews – lol – I remember getting chided 3 years ago when I said he was starting to slide. Nothing like validation.

    Probably at the point where something legitimately major happens since I don’t see them doing better than 500 over the next month.

  28. Ogie I always thought both Murphy and Rutta wouldn’t be back next year because of the numbers of right dmen. Seemed like Rutta was pegged all year as who they preferred but lately that is looking different with Murphy showing improvement and Rutta slipping, also who I think would benefit going to Rockford to recover his game tomorrow when AA activat.ed.

  29. We win enough games and make playoffs we get what 16th 17th pick.

    We play good and not make playoffs and have a ok record tank a little we get pick 8th to 15th.

    We make trades at draft that 16 or 17 pick could trade up to 10th or we donot make playoffs and might have the 8-10th pick to begin with.

    Organization Bowman and crew are not going to sell farm and go vacation for 5yrs come back and start over. Going to max out the salary cap thats going way up which means we can add good ufa high priced good ufa players. Trades to make roster better and get more young fast players.

    The team will be a lot better for the coming yrs. Were not going to sit on our asses and do nothing.

  30. The most fustrating thing about this season is not being hot/cold play good agsint WIN and MIN twice each then not show up to play sch. or not reasons.

    Is having to wait these 2 and a half wks, with 4 games in middle that Im not going by, until we can get back into a normal routine again and play.

    This stop and go. This play good and not showup is what is tuff to watch.

  31. Let’s see, Stan bowman already said at the end of last seasons debacle that the “the early exit from the first round was unacceptable”. What’s he going to say when this team doesn’t make it to the playoffs this season? This team needs to “commit to the Indian” or find somewhere else to play!

  32. Agree with EDMAN68 and MANSON: Play Murphy. I still like this trade for Hjalmarsson. The Hawks should be sellers but do not panic about many of our young players. They are still developing and deserve more time. Do you think they could package Seabs and an expendable young player for a 3rd or 4th rounder? Can they get a 2nd and 3rd rounder for Keith? Don’t give up on Saad. He’ll be back.

  33. Echo AJ about Vinny-did the same thing last year and both times we thought we really had something-hope he can find it again this year.

  34. Brutal.

    Team structure in the d-zone is essentially non-existent. More times than not the Hawks are chasing the puck and consequently there are often 2 or 3 players on the puck meaning there is 1 or 2 guys open. Their fire drill defensive coverage is exacerbated because most of the Hawks players can’t win one on one physical battles and therefore team mates get themselves out of position trying to help.

  35. Tab mentioned Dennis Gilbert maybe signing a big fast for his size shutdown potential type defenseman, may be a big help in dzone coverage area.

  36. Last night game was fun bad! Usually the Hawks play well enough that the weak links are easy to spot. Last night was a team that either doesnt care or can’t bring it anymore. Either way it looks like a team in last place. If I’m SB I holding the firesale! Total liquidation everyone has a price. Remember when Travares was ” Toews light?” Lol JT was 1000% times better then 19, not even close. Friend of mine works in special services for the Hawks. He was questioning Toews off ice committment. Between all the success 19 has achieved in the past and now him getting older with a serious relationship. He and others there have for the 1st tine wondered if 19 has the fire that he had before.

  37. Q and Toews did not have the team ready or prepared. Something has to change.

    I looks to me that Keith does not care any more. Maybe its the fact that he is not the highest paid D-man but still skates the most minutes. The apathy is apparent.

    Rutta and D-kat need some Rockford time.

  38. It’s time to face reality. The Hawks are not good enough to win the Stanley Cup this season. That’s almost ridiculous to have to say the words because any clear thinking Hawks fan would admit that, but knowing it and acknowledging it “out loud” are two separate things. They’re not even good enough to make the playoffs now that Crawford isn’t there to get goalie wins like earlier in the season. Acknowledging that helps to clarify what the focus should be to finish out the season. In a word – SELL.

    Having said that, the Hawks don’t have a whole lot other teams would want that the Hawks would trade. Anisimov is the obvious one but he isn’t going to bring a king’s ransom. Keith probably wouldn’t agree to a trade. Maybe Kane would but he’s the only guy I hope they never trade. No one is going to want Toews cap hit and Saad has been majorly disappointing to the tune of a $6M cap. hit. Some young d-men maybe but they won’t return much either. Schmaltz, DeBrincat, Hartman? That would be counter productive because they’re on ELCs and potentially the future.

    So, not good enough to make the playoffs, let alone win a series or two, not really stocked with attractive trade pieces to start a rebuild. Well … it’s been a nice 10 years.

  39. When Keith is starting to get called out, things aren’t good. And I agree he needs to be at times.

    I also agree with the fire in the belly comment about Toews-but I think this is natural as he matures and finds out there is more too life than hockey (and there is!), especially when you have won at the highest level many times.

    I truly believe that there will be an adjustment period for the Hawks before and if they get good again. I’m still debating if tweaking can be enough? -unfortunately if it isn’t, the cost would be the continued elite play of 88–it may very well be wasted which would be the only reason to trade one of the best players in the world.
    PS-they won’t trade him.

  40. @ NOONAN96

    I was absolutely shocked to hear that Toews comment. After I heard it I starting thinking about it more. What else do some of these guys have to prove? multiple cup winners, multiple all-stars, gold medal winners. It’s understandable if they don’t have the same drive they once had, OR they still have the drive but they aren’t the athletes they once were. Hockey is a grueling sport, either way this Hawks team doesn’t pass the eye test of a cup contender OR a team that can make noise in the playoffs. This is a team bottoming out. This is also a team that doesnt have “bluechip” prospectings in the pipeline. Is Dennis Gilbert a top pair NHL guy? Even if he is you probably need another one of those guys. That Nashville series was really the end of an era in my eyes.

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